Thingamajiggy? Whaddyacallit? Just a couple of good names for that thingy you just invented. Here at Grain we really enjoy our name creation projects, from work for Tesco to Main Squeeze, Floreon and some top-secret work in progress. Our good friends at GrantTree have just written a great post on ‘A new use for patents in the UK’ about the Patent Box which is definitely worth a read if you are looking to protect your whaddyacallit.
I absolutely love this video! I want to watch it all day and tell our clients that it will solve all their problems.
Tash is designing her way through her third year in the BA (Hons) Graphic Arts course at Bucks New University. She won’t lie for a custard cream.
This photo is a visual tidbit from our recent visit to Kensington Palace, current home of Kate and William, to hear about the business case of the recent, uber-impressive renovation. The talk was organised by the Harvard Business School alumni club (no we didn’t go there but a friend did). Historic Royal Palaces, who also manage the Crown Jewels, have truly revealed a gem here. Talk about unlocking brand value and telling a good story. Wow. Visit highly recommended, and their brand design is lovely too.
In the Don Draper days – despite the fact you couldn’t see your hand before your face for cigarette smoke and whiskey fumes – life was smoother for the ad man. But here we are, forty odd years older and wiser and advertising as well as branding have moved on in ways unimaginable back then!
And there’s no question of not playing the game – any brand which isn’t innovative, or at the very least keeping up with the pack, simply won’t survive long enough to correct what it did wrong. No longer does print dominate: the world has gone digital and social and we all need to adopt adaptability. Here at Grain our focus is to create compelling (and consistent!) brand worlds across all channels.
We always have our eye out for superb examples of brands embracing channels, in the sense of giving them a bear hug that squeezes them all together!
Chopard jewellers this year celebrated its successful partnership with the Cannes International Film Festival and at the same time capitalised on the eternal screen-icon fascination of Marilyn Monroe. Chopard displayed previously unpublished Milton H. Greene images of Marilyn, which murmur nothing less than luminous, timeless glamour, together with a freshly-designed ‘Diamond Tribute to Marilyn’ necklace. Milton Greene’s images say it all, and the connection does the rest. Dream branding and positioning!
But no laurel-resting for Chopard! Not only did the image exhibition preview at Cannes (world tour following) but the initiative was given a dedicated area of the Chopard website which led, smooth as you like, into social media. Consumers, able to visit the Chopard Facebook page and Twitter feed for real-time updates, images and videos were invited directly into all the gloss and glamour of Cannes.
Also taking digital and social firmly in hand and with an eye fixed firmly on the wedding market is another brand which seems to know exactly where it’s going. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts have used their own intrinsic lushness and superb locations to place themselves on the luxury wedding planners’ list.
Four Seasons have gone about attracting the attention of brides worldwide in a true multi-media manner. Without neglecting the still powerful impact of a great glossy, with their own wedding magazine distributed throughout their properties, for the iPadded there’s a dedicated wedding app and from Twitter and Facebook flows constantly updated input of expert tips, brides’ experiences and details on different resorts. And not for a moment of course has Pinterest been ignored; indeed it might have been invented for just such a branding promotion which is dependent on visual gorgeousness and desirability.
Two different but equally astute uses of what’s out there…Don et al would have been very proud!
One of our designers showed me a really cool feature in Firefox – right click the screen to inspect element, then click ’3D View’ at bottom right and you see – ta da! – all of the layers of code on a site. This is the kind of thing that I love.
A rose by any other name, of course is the crux of all decisions made by any brand manager or marketing director: will it, would it, could it possibly smell as sweet?
Lend me your imagination for a moment or two and let’s just pretend that way back, it was decided to call a rose a slod. Doesn’t quite work does it? Exquisite, delicate, scented, luscious, romantic – a slod?
But what if those (branding specialists of their day?) doing the naming had labelled it instead a surve. Yes, actually that could work. Sweetly scented, beautifully formed, thorned, but desirable – a surve. Yes we could have lived and grown to love that couldn’t we?
So, what makes us respond to those two options in such different ways? Different letters and letter combinations create visual arrangements and sounds with their own emotions and connotations. So slod sounds like slog and slop – not very sweet or delicate words.
Would we feel the same about Romeo if he was called Fred? Would Juliet have stirred our emotions so deeply if she was an Ethel? And if not, why not? Which brings us back to our naming issue: what’s in a name?
What to call Fred and Ethel (apologies to any Fs or Es who may be reading this with hurt in their hearts – honestly, no wounding intended) is often a huge challenge for brand managers and marketing directors. What we’re talking about are cultural connotations and if Shakespeare, reflectively sucking the end of his quill seeking inspiration (and pondering like all writers on how long since his last glass of ale and could he possibly justify a small seafood snack) had come up with Fred and Ethel, would things have been very different?
When it comes to the all-important – in fact, vital – naming of a new company, brand or product, we at Grain take into consideration not just cultural programming and expectations but also how the name could carry itself across different countries and product extensions. Not to mention trademarking which is a profession (and perhaps another post) in its own right. So…what about Rose™?
We all know that Google pretty much rules the world and that we’re very dependent on it. The very transformation of a noun (‘Google’) into a verb (‘to Google’) means that it’s important – a company is becoming an action, something that we do, and for most of us that’s something we do many times every day. So when this alert came up today, I thought that the world might be ending. The sky is falling!
What better time to come across a new website called Make It British: passionate about products made in Britain. As of this moment, Team GB currently stand at 3rd in the Olympic ratings with 25 gold medals. I am sure that founder of Make It British, Kate Hills, would be happy for that pro-GB spirit to help bring back more manufacturing to these lovely isles. In fact, on September 25th in Manchester there will be a Made in the UK conference on discussing the feasibility of bringing clothing manufacture back to the UK. And of course a stylish illustration to go along with it!
Someone I met recently at a networking meeting was intrigued to learn my business was luxury branding. What exactly did that mean, he wanted to know. Well, like most of us faced with a question as to what we actually do all day, my mind went temporarily but totally blank: how to instantly summarise? Then, ‘Chanel’ I said.
Chanel is a great example of luxury branding done well, the sort of branding we wish we could claim to our own fame! The holy grail of luxury branding encompasses not only uncompromising quality but perfect positioning and consistency. Not to mention embracing evolution and staying apace with change in the world far away from Bond Street.
Moreover, the brand police at Chanel are very effective, keeping a handle on the slippery areas of eyewear and perfume licensing (including distribution channels) with a vice-like grip.
Chanel does have clout…and the definition of clout? Well no doubt we all have our own, but in my book, it’s when your name means something to people who never have, never will and probably wouldn’t even want to buy your goods (the precise definition of the chap I was talking to) yet your name and image is as much a part of their knowledge as the sky being blue (well, sometimes at least).
Synchronicity being what it is, a couple of days later, with my networking acquaintance long gone about his own business, I was intrigued to read courtesy of Ella Alexander at Vogue that Chanel is indeed moving with the times, opening what one might make so bold as to call a Pop Up Beauty Boutique although I’m positive there should be a more dignified appellation, on July 24th (yes, today!) in Covent Garden.
Sounds like heaven on earth for aficionados and of course there’s the added element of loving it while you can, because it’s only there until December, its ephemera certainly adding to its siren charm.
Amongst pleasures in store for those able to take advantage will be a Chanel Treasure Hunt, (no I’ve no idea either!), live catwalk shows and a flower stall highlighting their own perfumes. Additionally planned and in place will be what sounds like a small army of top make-up artists and nail specialists all itching and aching to get their hands on our faces and hands – thrilling and nerve-racking in equal measure, methinks.
And to top it all (‘There’s more?’ I hear you shriek), they’re promising to go out with a real showbizzy whizzy treat, prior to the whole shebang closing just after Christmas!
Now that’s what I call luxury branding with consistency and innovation. And the perfect opportunity to collect some lovely packaging for our reference library.
I love what the guys at Animal Systems have done with Chirp by using computer generated sound bites to share information like web links, contacts and photos. Beats pairing your phone with a new acquaintance before sharing your details by Bluetooth. The opportunities for brands seem endless. As nice as the robo bird song though is, it might get a bit rowdy at a speed dating event.
We are delighted to announce the launch of the website for Main Squeeze. After having named the new brand, designed its brand identity and designed orange juice and apple juice packaging the brand needed a distinctive online presence. The website has been launched in English and Chinese and is expecting further products to be added to the family. May the juice be with you.
Labels and Labeling magazine asked our views on QR codes…and we gave our frank response!