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The imaginero (maker of images) has always found it tricky to make a living.
Even painters we now regard as masters died without fortune and sometimes in poverty. Painting was a trade. It paid as such.
Of course, when means for mass reproduction came along, artists or their gallerists could distribute works that would meet public approval and this made some very rich. But even then, many of the best suffered a lifetime of penury if their works didn’t conform to the tastes of their time.
Fast forward and the emergence of the commercial internet has meant artists can promote themselves. The din is greater than ever and it’s hard for artists to get heard.
However, commerce, the internet, increase in media consumption and social media specifically make for greater demand than ever for visual design. As web design gets both more commonplace and more sophisticated, companies seek to differentiate themselves with better branding, advertising and content marketing.
And perhaps brands are getting serious about patronising new artists?
Whatever time an artist lives in, patronage has always been the surest way to security. Whether of the King of Spain or Charles Saatchi or Debenhams.
One brand that understands customer experience is Nespresso.
Here’s a rundown of exactly how the coffee-meets-tech brand provides great CX for its aspirational customers.
Kick back, allow me to bring you some creamy opinion in a glass cup.
We're at an inflection point in B2B marketing, and marketers should celebrate the opportunity to show their true contribution to revenue and not fall back on squishy metrics like 'attention'.
Last week the esteemed Top Sales World blog published a piece entitled, “Attention (not leads) should be B2B marketing’s primary measure”.
I couldn’t disagree more. And, since the post doesn’t include a way to comment, I couldn’t disagree on the page itself, so I’ll do it here.
Any brand manager will be only too well aware of the pressures that go with a rebranding exercise.
But the recent run of high-profile rebranding launches that have backfired badly, including Everton FC (as reported in Design Week recently), has pointed up even more sharply the need for caution and prudence in brand implementation.
Here are four examples of recent rebranding initiatives that make the point, not from a subjective design perspective, but in terms of consultation, brand-customer interaction and implementation.
Superman. Batman. Iron Man. Of the three, the DC characters have historically been far more recognisable.
There’s no denying that Marvel comics has had a stellar recent run at the movies, but step back to 2005 and you’d have been hard-pressed to find anyone outside the bubble of comic-book fandom who knew or cared about Tony Stark’s armoured alter-ego.
So how has Marvel Entertainment managed to propel its lesser-known characters to success, while the far more recognisable properties owned by rival DC Comics have often languished in development hell?
It’s all about brand continuity...
"Brand" will always be a nebulous term. Arguments rage about its true value. Although recent research shows that it can be responsible for nearly 15% of your total worth (Or much, much more, if you’re J.K.Rowling) It’s still seen by many as the ultimate wooly metric.
There’s no doubt that being a household name will improve your chances of success in social, but just how far will it take you?
I’ve taken a look at the world’s top ten brands, and matched up their profiles across the biggest social media platforms.
Let’s see what’s in a name...
A rebranding exercise is an exciting project for any company. But it will present challenges too, not least because the process, from concept to roll-out, can take months if not years to implement.
The value that your brand represents to your overall company value can be as much as 15%, and in the case of a business like Coca-Cola, that figure is 50%. Getting a rebrand implemented smoothly and accurately, therefore, can have a massive impact on your business.
In my experience, success is most accurately measured by the implementation phase of a rebrand. In my early career at various branding agencies, I frequently saw branding projects lose momentum, strength and vitality in the implementation stage – because the process was, to put it bluntly, chaotic.
Implementation can cost as much as 20 times the price of brand design. If you pay £100,000 for the design phase, you’ll pay £2m for the roll-out. And, if you don’t get it right, you are going to see a disappointing return on investment.
So I offer the following as the five strategic actions that, in my view, come together in assuring a successful rebrand.
Over the years academics and analysts have attempted to show the value of brands (their 'brand equity') in terms both theoretical and monetary.
The Millward Brown BrandZ Top 100 report showed Apple to be the most valuable brand in 2013, with brand equity worth over $185bn; the other four top brands were, in order, Google, IBM, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola.
Since 2006 the BrandZ Top 100 has appreciated about twice as fast as the S&P 500.
Now J.K. Rowling, author of the “Harry Potter” series (as if anyone needed to be told), has inadvertently revealed the value of her brand.
Last week I came across a great thought-provoking article by Carrie Hill on Search Engine Land outlining a few underutilised ways of implementing schema.
Much of the article was technical common sense until I read the words: Schema Now, Not Later.
Anyone that has read my previous posts on Econsultancy (especially those on the Knowledge Graph) will know of my love of all things structured, which is why it was such a joy to hear others lauding the virtues of schema.org mark-up.
Karen Cinnamon is a freelance Digital & Branding Designer at Cinnamon Creative, based in London. In 2011 she was named as Xchangeteam's freelancer of the year in the advertising & design category. Here she shines a light on a typical day in her working life.
If you're looking for a new challenge in this area then be sure to check out the range of design jobs on Econsultancy's job site.
Google recently released a blog post outlining how Schema.org organisation mark-up can be used as a way for publishers to tell Google which preferred logo they’d like to appear against their search results.
This had previously been available to brands on Google+ but its availability has been extended following a shift in behaviour by the search engines to try and display this information in a completely new way.
There’s been some talk in the last weeks about FMCG companies investing in and building their corporate brands.
Research by media monitoring company Precise, published in March 2013 says that consumers are more likely to view FMCG companies favourably if they develop a recognisable corporate brand.
Now comes the news that Johnson & Johnson have unveiled a new corporate slogan, prompting Mark Ritson to write in Marketing Week last week in less than complimentary terms about various attempts at corporate brand building.
What all this proves is that the audience for corporate brands has extended beyond the traditional confines of city, press and internal staff to include consumers, and the principles of brand management are being applied.
In fact, both Reckitt Benckiser and Unilever place so much importance on their corporate brands that they use digital asset management systems to manage them.