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Archive for April, 2009

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The number 1 most valuable brand

Just when I think maybe I don’t need magazines anymore, I find myself copying and handing out six different articles from AdAge alone today – and all from one issue. OK, I still need you, trades.

One of the most interesting articles announces that the recession hasn’t reduced the value of the top 100 brands, as measured by the annual BrandZ report from Millward Brown.

The article quotes Joanna Seddon, VP at Millward Brown: “Brands are emotional bonds created with consumers, and overall, brands have sustained value.”

These findings are pretty impressive given the massive revenue losses, layoffs, and shutdowns of the recent economic (more…)

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One proposed design for the new I-5 Columbia bridge

One proposed design for the new I-5 Columbia bridge

I so totally agree with the comments on the web site, PORT, our city’s site for art news, about the sadly unambitious (and aesthetically wretched) design for the new bridge over the Columbia. As PORT says, we could have something amazing, like the Hadid design they posted, which I’ve swiped and put below. Come on, Portland, there’s a reason we’re not called Beaverton.

– Doug

A bridge designed by Zaha Hadid

A bridge designed by Zaha Hadid

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iccm_logo_op_600x600

You’ve got to see the greatest Flash into in the history of web design. Unskippable. Unbelievable. It elicits involuntary and unprintable exclamations.

– Doug

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I have recently been on the hunt for great info communication for our strategy work.  With a nod to Edward Tufte, I found this site which links to some beautiful displays of information. The image to the right is one of my favorites.

This is Living Infographic

This is Living Infographic

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Every once in a while it’s important to pay tribute to the ancestors who cleared and leveled the field we play upon. Some are ancient history, some are quite recent, and several are even mid-career (especially strategy and interactive), but they all invented or innovated in a way that gives us the industry we work in today. They come from advertising, design, web, and strategy. And they deserve props and offerings.

Here’s a partial gallery.

– Doug

David Ogilvy of Ogilvy Mather

David Ogilvy of Ogilvy Mather

Chris Riley of Wieden + Kennedy

Chris Riley of Wieden + Kennedy

Saul Bass, designer

Saul Bass, designer

David Carson, designer

David Carson, designer

Schmidt and Jugovic of Hi-Res!

Schmidt and Jugovic of Hi-Res!
Milton Glaser, designer

Milton Glaser, designer

William Morris, designer

William Morris, designer

Robert Hodgin, interactive

Robert Hodgin, interactive

Stanley Pollitt of Boase Massimi Pollitt

Stanley Pollitt of Boase Massimi Pollitt

Rich Silverstein of Goodby Silverstein & Partners

Rich Silverstein of Goodby Silverstein & Partners

Robert Greenberg of R/GA

Robert Greenberg of R/GA

Paul Rand

Paul Rand

Matt Owens, interactive

Matt Owens, interactive

Nigel Carr of Kirshenbaum & Bond

Nigel Carr of Kirshenbaum & Bond

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy of the Bauhaus

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy of the Bauhaus

Lee Clow of Chiat\Day

Lee Clow of Chiat\Day

Josh Ulm, interactive

Josh Ulm, interactive

John Hegarty of BBH

John Hegarty of BBH

Jon Steel of Goodby Silverstein & Partners

Jon Steel of Goodby Silverstein & Partners

Jeff Faulkner, interactive

Jeff Faulkner, interactive

Jeff Goodby of Goodby Silverstein & Partners

Jeff Goodby of Goodby Silverstein & Partners

Amy Franceschini of Future Farmers

Amy Franceschini of Future Farmers

Bill Bernbach of DDB

Bill Bernbach of DDB

Brad Johnson of Second Story

Brad Johnson of Second Story

Dan Wieden of Wieden + Kennedy

Dan Wieden of Wieden + Kennedy

El Lissitzky of the Bauhaus

El Lissitzky of the Bauhaus

Jane Newman of Chiat\Day

Jane Newman of ChiatDay

Chairman Jay

Chairman Jay

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A conspirator

A conspirator

At ID Branding, our brand persona is the Co-conspirator.

The brand persona is kind of a character that stands for all of the brand’s values. It gives people a way to imagine how to bring those values to life.

For us, it’s the Co-conspirator. Which means we not only want to work that way with each other, but with our clients.

In fact, if someone can’t be a good Co-conspirator here, they’re out of a job. And if a client can’t be a good Co-conspirator, well,  eventually they’ll be out of an agency.

What this means on the inside is that we will not accept any grumbling or bad

Another conspirator

Another conspirator

relations between disciplines (or within disciplines, either). And so we ask people, when some kind of conflict arises (as it always will), to go straight to the person they’ve got grumbles about and talk with them, explain the problem and how they feel, and then ask for a more co-conspiratorial relationship.

We were taught this interpersonal technique by the masterful Mr. Thom

Co-conspirators

Co-conspirators

Walters, who has my undying respect and admiration. And it works.

It’s actually the only thing that works. But it ain’t easy. I mean, in what way are a bunch of bright, assertive, and ambitious people going to find it natural to say “You know when you said that thing you said, well it made me feel this way.” Yeah, right. But they do. Or they try to. And they keep trying.

I’m the worst. Because, as one of the owners, I have my partners beside me and clear sky over my head. I report to no one. Or so I imagine. Actually, I have the whole damn agency over my head, They’re my bosses and I’m responsible to them. Either way, though, I can get a bit, um, impassioned. And impatient. And I need reminding that there’s nothing dictatorial about the Co-conspirator.

More co-conspirators

More co-conspirators

Why am I blathering about all this touchy-feely emotional stuff? Because, as someone I greatly respect once said, “the more intense the situation, the greater the stress, the more honest I become.”

We’re working to be this honest with our clients as well, in order to subvert the classic “Please me, I’m the client” relationship. Because, frankly, if we don’t operate at a higher level of integrity and courage than the usual agency-client relationship reaches, then

The ultimate co-conspirators

The funniest co-conspirators

we’ll never accomplish the far more aspirational task of building a brand culture together.

This is PhD level work we’re doing with our clients. It requires that high art be brought to how we work together, not just the work we produce together.

It’s pretty juicy stuff, but it’s not for everyone. Yet

The ultimate co-conspirators

The ultimate co-conspirators

we’re pulling off some amazing things with our clients, and with each other. And I am absolutely convinced we would not be able to do it if we weren’t operating like Co-conspirators.

So, a new model of branding requires a new model of working together, I suppose. And I thank both our employees and our clients for helping us invent this new way.

– Doug

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See ya later, Joe’s

gijoesstore

According to the Oregonian today, the former G.I. Joe’s, now known as Joe’s, now known as bankrupt, was sold for liquidation for $61 million. Sad news.

And it just gets sadder.

I heard on the evening news last night that when G.I. Joe’s was purchased a couple of years ago they issued a press release and insisted no one refer to them as G. I. Joe’s — just plain Joe’s. When local news did indeed refer to them as “G.I.” Joe’s all local media received a “cease and desist” letter with threat of lawsuits from Joe’s attorneys.

The newscaster actually talked about what that did to their brand.

In relaying this to my husband later that evening, he said, “you know, it was about two years ago that my relationship with the store really changed, but I was never really able to put my finger on it.”

NOW he gets branding (or ruining a brand) and my passion for what I do for a living.

– Diane

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