Why the best time to look at your brand is before you realize you need to look at your brand

brand strategy agency

No such thing as an unsinkable brand.
Over the last six months we’ve been working an iconic International brand who’s been a market leader for decades in Australia. As a business they’ve always had a firm grasp on who their market are, how they think and what their most important needs are. The problem for them is that the market does not stand still – and in their case it’s shifted rather rapidly over the last few years – leaving them in a new and unfamiliar competitive landscape. But they’re not alone. Every year we work with businesses and their brands helping them come to terms with the new landscape they find themselves operating in, with an urgent need to re-discover their relevance.

Whether it’s new technology, new competitors or shifts in consumer lifestyle and mindset – the world brands live in is constantly changing. But for most brand owners and managers the shift in landscape takes them by surprise. Sometimes it is a subtle change of consumer sentiment over a decade that leaves them exposed, sometimes its a competitor who has slowly grown through a proposition and marketing strategy that subtly shifts the market. There can be a thousand different reasons for a market to change, and if you realize too late, it’s a hell-of-a-job to win back market share.

Recently I was asked to comment on the latest crop of ‘micro-brands’ appearing across almost every category. My response was that this was nothing new. For the last thirty years at least we’ve seen the constant innovation of brands. Small brands grow bigger, big brands grow global, brands of all sizes loose their way and their relevance and fade-away, and germs of new ideas turn into new micro-brands, often connecting with a new need or desire that has evolved in a market.

The task for brands of all sizes is to stay across the changes that are happening in their markets, to stay involved with their consumers lives and to understand how they must also evolve to stay relevant and valued. Over more than a decade we worked with King Island Dairy – a much loved FMCG brand in Australia. Every year the brand owners invested in market research in order to have deep conversations with the market. The research insights regularly drove changes to packaging design, marketing strategy and product development. There is no better way to stay in touch with those people most important to the success of your business, and arguably no more important task for a CEO or Board to ensure the equity and business value of the brand is maintained.

Dave Ansett
Creator of Brands
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Pic via Bluray.com

Brand Designers share their work in international exhibition ‘The Swap Show’

The-Brand-Swap-Show

We see The Swap Show; an exiting new exhibition, explore the notion of international collaboration and what it means to celebrate good graphic design.

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Norway’s New Passport Design Reflects the Beauty of the Place Brand

Brand agency Melbourne

Why beautiful Brand Design made me want to move to Norway
There are few less inspiring experiences in life than standing in line in the immigration hall at an airport, surrounded by equally uninspired people, holding a passport that has less design inspiration than the light of a glow worm’s backside. All of which is why I’m green with envy at this beautiful passport re-design from Norway. Designed by Neue Studio, the passport design takes inspiration from the country’s amazing landscape. In a ‘category’ where every passport follows the same boring approach, this design solution says much about the mindset Norway has towards how the see the world and their place within it.

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Telstra finally engages customer service staff in the brand but what about the rest?

brand engagement brand agency

Customer service is a particularly tricky area for brands to build differentiation on but without the rest of the business behind the brand, it is simply another promise that can’t be delivered.

Beyond sales, marketing and even customer service, you need to engage all staff in the brand.

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Netflix’s Big Data: Is targeted entertainment what we want?

brand targeting

Soon Australians will be able to subscribe (legally) to Netflix, as the online streaming giant announced their service will be available in Australia and New Zealand early in 2015. Being one of the 200,000 people living in this country that watches Netflix from my couch in Melbourne, using a geo-blocking software, (you can pretend you’re elsewhere in the world) I think it’s time that Australians got the chance to access reasonably priced, high quality entertainment, whenever they want, just like in the US and Europe. Read the rest of this entry »

Is this the future for Starbucks?

retail branding agency

A Look at how Starbucks might respond to some key new consumer trends
As part of their recently released 2015 Future of Retail report, PSFK asked some creative partners to leverage their trends to rethink the functionality of some of the biggest brands in retail. The team at Bulldog Drummond used PSFK identified trends of ‘One Click Everything’, ‘Everyone Of A Kind’, ‘Be The Hub ‘and ‘Experiences Not Products’ to re-imagine how the coffee chain Starbucks might evolve to suit the next generation of consumers. The result is a smart bit of futurism with some strong glimpses of future retailing.

You can check the Bulldog Drummond Insights here: www.psfk.com/future-of-starbucks

An innovative colour capturing cube

SwatchMate Cube

This nifty little device is every designers dream.
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The ‘Real’ Apple Store

real-apple-store-05-2014

London’s Borough Market, one of the oldest markets in the U.K., is marking its 1,000th anniversary this year and in conjunction with it’s annual Apple Day (a festival that marks the end of apple harvesting season) with a real treat for shoppers by creating a “Real Apple Store” for the weekend.

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Let’s give smaller product brands a fair go

Lychee Gold Cider

I recently stumbled across my new favourite cider brand at Taste festival in Melbourne, Lychee Gold. At an event where Rekorderlig was plastered everywhere I’m surprised that this small brand got a look in edgewise but by the end of the first night the small cider supplier seemed he might be hard pressed to keep up with the demand. I was delighted by this brand, the product tasted amazing and Alan who was behind the counter was so genuine no wonder I went back three times!!

Small product brands have so much to offer, let’s give them a fair go! 

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Melbourne’s Mix 101.1 to rebrand to Kiis 101.1 in 2015

chrissieswan mix 101.1

I was very disappointed to learn on my drive to work earlier this week that the Chrissie and Jane show on Mix 101 would cease to exist in 2015. Calls poured in with listeners who were devastated that they wouldn’t be listening to Chrissy and Jane in 2015. As I listened to these loyal callers I wondered if it was a personal decision by the presenters. As it turns out the station is re-branding and have appointed hosts to help them shift their positioning in the market. Read the rest of this entry »