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Ideas in 2011 - an ebook by iiD
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Ideas in 2011 - an ebook by iiD



This ebook is a collection of iiD blog posts that tell the story of digital in 2011. This newsletter acts as a springboard for 2012 for your brand or agency.

This ebook is a collection of iiD blog posts that tell the story of digital in 2011. This newsletter acts as a springboard for 2012 for your brand or agency.



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    Ideas in 2011 - an ebook by iiD Ideas in 2011 - an ebook by iiD Document Transcript

    • ideas in 2011A collection of ideas from iiD This ebook is a collection of iiD blog posts that tell the story of digital in 2011. This newsletter acts as a springboard for 2012 for your brand or agency. 2011: iiD & beyond A year of change and new ideas By Lance Shields Put simply, 2011 was all about bright beginnings for around social and mobile strategy?” Luckily that’s what Ideas in Digital (iiD). Matt and myself moved back to San iiD was set up to do. Francisco to join forces after more than 10 years on different continents. Sitting side by side at 120 Green in We have a blog minimally dubbed “Ideas” that the summer months, we built our marketing strategy, a documents a lot of the trends and project research we’ve new CI for iiD and focused our message around becoming shared in 2011. They range from why creatives don’t get a “digital connections agency” that “builds friendship social to the legacy of Steve Jobs to how our reading through emerging technology”. habits are changing with the web to how to reach affluents in digital. We hope you find them useful or at From there we moved on to find new clients and least amusing and hope to see your comments on our blog partners which we were glad to see was made easier by in 2012. taking the time to put up our shingle in the right way. We also found out that brands and agencies have big needs The ideas blog: at the tail-end of the recession. The question we keep http://www.ideasindigital.com/blog hearing is “How can we build strategies and implement iiD ideas in 2011 1
    • A collection of ideas from iiD Designing our new iiD image was a first step on opening up shop in San Francisco in August 2011. A process of love and sweat. We thought this would be a good start to our Ideas collection for 2011. A New ID for iiD We Started with a New Message 08.31.2011 Before thinking about a logo, tagline or web design, we spent some time figuring out who we wanted to be By Lance Shields and become in the future. iiD is still a small agency but Matt and myself have a combined experience of Agencies are notorious for not walking the talk when it over 2 decades in the digital agency space. At the comes to their own brand and websites. It’s pretty sad same time, we are an agency that combines strategy, when you think about it but let’s face it, agencies get creative, social design and technology which is a big pretty darn busy taking care of everyone else’s brands. offering so we need a message that goes along with iiD has made a big jump forward today at 4:30pm by that. We came up with the simple yet important refreshing our website (www.ideasindigital.com) along message “a digital connections agency”. To explain with a completely new logo and identity system. The what that means we describe ourselves in the About partners (Matt and I) spent some time thinking about Us page as: the image we were after, the sort of clients we’d like to attract and the sort of message we want to bring to the iiD (“ideas in digital”) is a new breed of full service market. digital agency that builds connections through multi- platform strategy, highly usable UI, social design and iiD ideas in 2011 2
    • A collection of ideas from iiD dynamic scale and the information on the card kept uncluttered and easy to read. The back side has our tagline (“a digital connections agency”) and a QR code with which when scanned leads users to our About Us page to learn more about iiD. iiD Website Refresh Being a digital agency, we gave our website renewal the greatest attention. We believe our service lies exactly between a digital-social product and brand world. Consumers find both relevant but agencies mainly lean towards the flashy brands side of things. We designed the iiD site to live comfortably in the world of Facebook and Google+ in its stripped down, emerging technology to enable what what we call functional look-and-feel. The new creativity springs ‘friendship media’. Put simply, we create connections from these user generated UIs and that was the image in digital that engage the right users with brands we wanted to convey. On our top page, we used where and how they like them. elegant creative commons photos of the Getty Center in LA to serve as backdrops for our brands messages Designing a Logo Mark to Last and lead-ins to the main sections. We thought the organic lines of the architecture perfectly captured a Designing our own company logo was a lot harder than creative logic that iiD is all about while being of it looked. The logo is everywhere – your business beauty. The section pages user ajax accordion-style cards, your website, your Facebook page, your door, content reveals to keep the pages clean and readers to your stationary, you name it. It’s the face of the view only what interests them. company and represents the brand. So we thought it should be something we really like, has longevity and others will take seriously. Matt and I spent a whole day going back and forth with type, color and symbols before we decided to go with a very minimal, bold approach using just type, in this case the font Meta Bold. We also struck on the idea that only the D made capital with the dots of the two i’s in green made for a human yet innovative image we were after. We think the two i’s look like people and connote the “connections” we build for brands. The blue represents intelligence and strategy while the green is about fresh ideas and innovation. On our blog: From ID to Business Cards http://www.ideasindigital.com/ideas/the-new-id-of-iid/ The logo’s solid presence and color influenced the identity design for all of our collateral and website. Like the logo, we chose to design our business card as an ultra clean and white base with the logo at iiD ideas in 2011 3
    • A collection of ideas from iiD As REM once sang, “Sometimes everything is wrong… but hold on.” Of course there are lots of exceptions in all those above. The passionate ad man who digs social and tweets non-stop. The smart digital agency creative that gets how to design user experiences that build social right in. Why social media sucks creatively 09.07.2011 What’s my Mom to Do With Social Doesn’t UGC Mean People Create Stuff? Creativity? Alright, admittedly UGC-enabled technology has My Mom uses social media pretty well… monitoring unlocked some pretty interesting amateur artist my life, making commentary on my latest move and endeavors. NGO Creative Commons has helped somehow linking up with all my friends, coworkers unknown creatives license their work which has and even clients. It sucks…sort of. But what can I do, stimulated lots of sharing and modification. Social she’s my Mom? This isn’t a post about my relationship media sharing is the norm and everyone can be a with my maternal unit but it’s an anecdote for how filmmaker, photographer, citizen journalist, you name social has become a graveyard for basic it. But “creatives” have failed in my book to step up communications devoid of creative brilliance and and face the social challenge. What’s the problem amazingness. The question that has bugged me so people? Well, think about it for a second. If everybody much over the years is why is social media so lacking can generate content, then content creators who have in creative spark? What has happened to the promised degrees in creative professions have a lot of noise to land? compete with. iiD ideas in 2011 4
    • A collection of ideas from iiD Ad Agencies Suck What About Creative Technologists? Take the ad agency as a prime example. Employing a This is where definitions get super vague but the only whole house full of copywriters, art directors and people I would count on are the creative technologists creative directors, this crew should be excellent at – those people well versed and fanatical about coming up with imaginative ways to use social technology with a creative POV that helps them figure channels to entertain, build new kinds of out ways to make brands fun, original and surprising. I communities and encourage fans to create really think surprise is what people want from brands and engaging content all in the name of the brand. creative technologists in my book are a hybrid that can Unfortunately, really original agency-driven social potentially realize cool solutions. Google Creative campaigns are unicorns that I can count on one hand Labs is helping Google stretch a bit and Google Plus (Old Spice Man is the first one to come to mind.) The is a sign that things are looking up socially for Google problem is ad agencies generally employ the wrong (Circles is good creative at work.) Still, creative people trained in making TV commercials and print technologists tend to lean too much on their past ads. They may even feel threatened by the voices of coding experience and count on the creative director the social web and fear that their clever campaign to determine how social will integrate with the whole could get flamed by them for not being clever enough. media mix. This narrow tech focus can marginalize the It takes a pretty brave CD to put their client’s brand creative technologist, making them the go-to guy/gal out their for people to play with. Generally social when people want an add-on digital and social idea. media is an afterthought for agencies and it feels that way. Not All Sour Grapes Digital Agencies Are Sucky, Too As REM once sang, “Sometimes everything is wrong… but hold on.” Of course there are lots of exceptions in But what about digital agencies? They should be able all those above. The passionate ad man who digs to do social creatively, right? Usually wrong since their social and tweets non-stop. The smart digital agency money comes from website and mobile builds creative that gets how to design user experiences that charging for IA, design and coding. Social app build social right in. iiD is closest to this second development has become a substitute to the exception. We’re a digital connections agency that traditional website, most of these are gimmicky love planning, designing and developing social media novelties aimed at people’s friend lists, not so for brands that is unexpectedly creative to delight and different than a chain letter at best and a ponzi bring a smile to your face. We think this is a blue scheme at worst. Most distinguishing people can see ocean for strategists and creatives and a great through them and they do little more than to attract opportunity for brands to shine. The only thing we ask lots of disloyal fans. is that clients suspend their expectations and expect big creative things out of social. The other thing is Social Media Gurus Are Just Dull that integration is key, whereby social becomes a vital part of the communication plan from the first But what about the community managers, social brainstorm onward. Creative executions in social strategists and other self-proclaimed social media don’t have to always suck. What social creative do you gurus looking to social media as the key to profit and think is exceptional? improving organizations? Well, frankly creativity is the last thing on these pragmatic people’s minds. To them On our blog: social media is not so much a chance for titillating http://www.ideasindigital.com/ideas/why-social-media- social communications but a weapon to maneuver and sucks-creatively manage conversation to benefit a client in some way which is part soccer coach, part MBA-bred idealist, part nanny. To them creative breads chaos which is not on the menu. No fun hanging out with these folks unless you need to get your Dell fixed online. iiD ideas in 2011 5
    • Kill the book and redesign deep readingA collection of ideas from iiD 09.14.2011 Lance Shields I’m enjoying Nicholas Carr’s book ‘The having an interesting conversation last night Shallows, What the Internet is Doing to Our with a seasoned journalist and author of four Brains‘ and wanted to ask a few questions books about “interactive books” in relation related to it. His basic premise is that using to the iPad apps that iiD has been producing the Internet has changed the structure of our (this one and this one). Our CEO Matt was brains, reducing our attention spans and saying that even calling them books is effecting the way people read. With the limiting in how we think about designing new ability to Google anything and skim through user experiences. Obviously a familiar book countless articles in our RSS readers, Carr is metaphor helps people adopt new saying that people have lost the ability to applications more quickly but I can see his enter a deep reading state. I can see his point about needing to break away from old point, especially with the Millennials who models to really innovate and take full have grown up surfing the web. advantage of the Internet, interactivity, rich media and social sharing. Assuming that Carr is on to something here, should we begin rethinking the “book” Let’s make the argument that books are no concept, what sort of experiences should be longer efficient enough, sticky enough or bundled and what level of content is consumable enough for many people now in appropriate for the modern brain? We were and in the future. There will still be people This diagram shows all the variety of content types that the Not-A-Book reading experience could have. Text-based ebooks will be a thing of the past. iiD ideas in 2011 6
    • A collection of ideas from iiD who read books in print or ebook form but a readers in and help them attain a deep growing crowd need another format to reading experience that enables learning and consume long form content. The issue of concentrated thought. Building on the digital portability (people want to read on the toilet) tools that we have, we’re interested in is still relevant so mobile or tablet makes exploring new modes that don’t depend on sense for now. But how should we show the book and are a good fit with brains that content? How much text can people read are crying out for new ways to read. It’s time continuously? What other experiences like to burn the book if only to write a new video or audio are needed? How should chapter in helping people get smarter layouts and interactive flows change to suit through reading. the user accustomed to skimming before jumping to the next piece of content? How should hyper text be integrated effectively allow readers to jump backward and forward depending on their interest? The real question is how to focus a reader who suffers from this “Internet ADD”? At the same time, how can we make social sharing as natural in deep reading as it has become reading blogs and news articles online? Heading into dream territory, can artifical intelligence be developed which learns over time how we each read to provide as relevant “read” as possible? Should we Wikipedia-ify the experience to change the content with new perspectives or should it a historical document? On our blog: http://www.ideasindigital.com/ideas/time-to- It’s important to understand that I’m not burn-the-book/ talking about dumbing down the reading experience so much as looking for new reading models that are fluid, visual, draw iiD ideas in 2011 7
    • A collection of ideas from iiD "You cant connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path." Steve Jobs Steve Jobs, The Non-Strategist 10.11.2011 I’ve taken a while to think about what to say after particular goal.” Could you ever imagine Steve in the Steve Jobs death. I was shocked as most people in my military or working at GE surrounded by MBAs coming generation. A huge loss. After the flood of words up with net present value proven plans? Not quite. posted about Steve, it’s kind of hard to know what to Rather than embarking on focus group, business say that isn’t just regurgitation. But finally, while planning and financial analysis; Steve was more mad riding the Muni 1 bus to work today, I realized there scientist slash perfectionist about the user experience, was one point of view, I hadn’t heard yet. Steve Jobs, about design, making sure every screw was just right, for all the wonderful things he accomplished, he was delaying an OS until the scrollbar was just right. Not not a strategist, at least as far as most people think of what a strategist would do at all as strategists one. traditionally value the ideas over execution (especially their ideas.) In most organizations, business success Strategy is defined in wikipedia as “a word of military is driven by clear strategic business objectives, origin, refers to a plan of action designed to achieve a analysis such as Porter five forces and financial iiD ideas in 2011 8
    • A collection of ideas from iiD simulations. But Steve seemed to skip all that, just as he skipped university. Instead of wielding words that attempt to explain how the stars should line up, he rolled up his sleeves, insisted on every little thing being done just right and inspired people around him to do the same. He even didn’t care what consumers said they wanted. Somehow this man who said you can only connect the dots when things are already over, redefined technology as we knew it by following his instincts about what would make simpler and more elegant technology. The enormous vacancy Steve Jobs has left behind is partially because there are so few industry leaders like him who take the user experience so seriously, even Steven Paul Jobs: (February 24, when it costs more. His vision was as low as it was 1955 – October 5, high, and as detail-focused as it was inspired. Steve 2011) was an Jobs proved definitively that it’s really about delivering American businessman and expertly designed technology, again and again. inventor widely Possibly it’s unfair to say Steve Jobs wasn’t a recognized as a charismatic strategist. He had his strategy but it was so close to pioneer of the actual execution that it allowed Apple to innovate. personal computer revolution. On our blog: http://www.ideasindigital.com/ideas/steve-jobs-the-non- strategist/ iiD ideas in 2011 9
    • iiD LaunchesA collection of ideas from iiD “Our goal is to provide the public with Engaging iPad the knowledge they need to make Apps for GIA informed buying decisions. iPad and tablet technologies allow GIA to be the on-the-go resource for any diamond Ideas in Digital and agency partner The shopper, delivering accurate, unbiased Shand Group last week launched two diamond information in a way that is innovative iPad apps, one for consumers both engaging and fun.” and another for retailers, for our client GIA Kathryn Kimmel, GIA vice president and CMO (Gemological Institute of America.) Making full use of our smartphone and tablet app design and development experience, the apps help educate and engage consumers delivering accurate, unbiased diamond on the 4Cs (Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat information in a way that is both engaging weight) of diamond quality. The apps are key and fun.” marketing tools to help drive GIA business by establishing their authority in the gem/ The iPhone format and a Simplified Chinese jewelry industry. The new GIA 4Cs iPad app version of this app will also be coming soon for consumers is now downloadable for free on iTunes. on iTunes. A retailer version of this app, designed to be used at point of sale, is also On our blog: downloadable for free from GIA’s retailer www.ideasindigital.com/ideas/iid-and-the-shand- support site www.retailer.gia.edu. group-launch-engaging-ipad-appsgia-4cs-app-for- gia/ GIA vice president and chief marketing officer Kathryn Kimmel said, “Our goal is to provide the public with the knowledge they need to make informed buying decisions. iPad and tablet technologies allow GIA to be the on- the-go resource for any diamond shopper, Details of the GIA 4C’s App in English. The app also launched in Chinese. iiD ideas in 2011 10
    • A collection of ideas from iiD Still Google Minus? BofA Learned Not For Long! 11.15.2011 By Lance Shields Bank of America has learned the hard way that their lack of a social media presence could work against them. Someone has set up a parody Google Plus page in the absence of a real one as reported by Reuters social media editor Anthony DeRosa on Twitter Monday night. The page looked official enough until you noticed the series of mocking photos, images and other posts. For the largest bank in the U.S. that doesn’t even have a Facebook page (doh!), that makes them a big moving target. thought but we’re wondering if BofA The moral of this story is that if you might need our help coming up with a On our blog: choose not to engage, someone else strategy to deal with this odd notion http://www.ideasindigital.com/ideas/ will and not necessarily on your terms. that a big bank doesn’t need social? still-google-minus-bofa-learned-not-for- The page has since been taken down long/ Here’s our phone number guys: by Google but not before a large 415-738-0738. Ask for Lance or Matt… number of comments, screen captures and embarrassing press. Just a letting you know what is good in real Foursquare’s New time by being both location-sensitive Website Takes It to and time-sensitive. What you see around lunch will be different at night. Next Level As Yelp has started to loses it’s value by people gaming it with overzealous 11.16.2011 and paid-for comments, Foursquare is quickly becoming one of my favorite Reading ReadWriteWeb’s post today ways to find goodness in San talking about Foursquare’s revamping Francisco. It could also be really good their website and making it a lot more for people who are traveling to a new useful made me want to pay attention city and want to discover a restaurant again to the post-hyped check-in app. or shop. Cheers to Foursquare and I’ll The joy of Foursquare was always in be interested in seeing how much the smartphone app and never in the traffic to the site increases on website but that seems to have Compete.com. changed. Enough “adults” have told me how much they thought Foursquare (and Facebook Places) was a waste of On our blog: Foursquare time…”who wants to share every place http://www.ideasindigital.com/ideas/ Foursquare is a location-based they go, for #$% sake?” But with the foursquares-new-website-takes-it- social networking website for new site, if you give it access to your mobile devices, such as geolocation, you can see a slew of smartphones. They currently have happening restaurants, bars, bakeries 15M users. and shops that are popular. The service show some real smarts by iiD ideas in 2011 11
    • A collection of ideas from iiD 62% of affluents agree that online shopping sites provide a more convenient shopping experience than in-person retail stores Ipsos Mendelsohn Study Winning with the affluent in 2012 01.05.2012 Dear Marketers, do your research and scheming, gaze Ipsos Mendelsohn and Digitas collaboration ‘The New on the promised land of affluents (annual income over Wave of Affluence‘ whitepaper which is excellent and $100K) and know that while the rich are still careful eye opening. But a lot of what we’ve come to learn about how they spend, they can be reached. Digital, about affluents is from studying how finance, fashion, social and e- and m- commerce are the keys to retail and other brands are reconfiguring their reaching the 10% who own the 70% of the wealth in marketing channels to go full force online, in social, on the country. mobile and tablet, and knowing that digital deals appeal to affluent more than one would think. Here are The team at iiD has spent the past several months a few gold nuggets we can share… working on strategies for brands specifically focused on the affluent in digital and social. And let’s just say we learned a thing or two. Much of this has been looking at established market research such as the iiD ideas in 2011 12
    • A collection of ideas from iiD 1. Affluents are strategic shoppers, evaluate with everyone else but what makes them different is products carefully and care about value. they like to lead and influence more than the average Joe. They’ve been raised and educated thinking what Here are a few stats gleaned from the Ipsos study they have to say is important and like to recommend about affluents… experiences like dining and wine tasting as well as let their social circle know about products such as • 64% agree, “I regularly read online reviews of fashion, finance and technology. What do they stand products before making an online purchase.” to gain? Today, for young affluents it’s about status in • 47% agree, “I regularly read online reviews of the social realm rather than the country club. products before making a purchase in a retail store.” 4. Affluents are loyal to brands that provide • 68% agree, “When I go shopping online, I relevancy, value and user experience. usually know exactly what I want to buy.” • 63% agree, “When I go shopping in a retail This three point mantra has become a big deal store, I usually know exactly what I want to strategy for us at iiD because brands can really buy.” acquire, activate and retain customers if they get this formula right. Relevancy is all about delivering 62% of affluents agree that online shopping sites content and social experiences that match who you are provide a more convenient shopping experience than or want to be as an individual. Burberry has done this in-person retail stores. And coming out of the superbly with their youth-oriented rebranding in recession, they still are careful about how they spend digital and social channels in the past year. The value and like deals when they can get them. The 25-35 age equation in my mind is all about delivering deals or affluents like and use mobile coupons and as the chances to earn points in the digital spaces you’re smartphone is the main device for this emerging most active in – today this means mobile and social. affluent, offering deals via SMS text messages and And user experience is about what it’s always been geolocation apps such as Foursquare are highly (although many brands skimp), providing design and relevant. One brand in particular, American Express is functionality that provides a fantastic experience, it the one to watch in mobile and social marketing in the builds loyalty with the brand that people want to credit industry. advocate about. 2. Affluents prefer digital media more than So marketers, we hope you’re as excited as we are other media such as TV, magazines or about the potential of doing business in 2012. Winning in digital obviously is easier said than done but the newspapers. target is well defined, the channels are well known and This is counter intuitive to high-end brands who the technologies are increasingly making it possible to thought affluents hard to reach and until recently have reach affluent consumers whether on their sofa or spent most of their advertising budgets in printed inside your store. glossy magazines or the WSJ. But it makes sense that the rich who own a variety of digital devices from On our blog: smartphone, PC and tablet go online for most if not all http://www.ideasindigital.com/ideas/winning-with-the-digital- affluent-in-2012/ of their information. This is something to think about when working with your media or advertising agency to be sending the right messages in the right places where the affluents are actively looking. 3. Young affluent like to influence their friends in social media. These are the 25 to 35 high performers making $100-200K who have caught the Facebook bug along iiD ideas in 2011 13
    • A collection of ideas from iiD “The good life, as I conceive it, is a happy life. I do not mean that if you are good you will be happy; I mean that if you are happy you will be good.” Bertrand Russell Making Happiness a Top Priority for iiD 01.02.2012 By Lance Shields I just started reading a very good HBR series on how I also plan on letting people know I appreciate them happiness and life satisfaction is scientifically proven more often, whether this is my business partner, our to improve productivity (31%), creativity (300%) and team, my wife or our clients. On that note, I want to even the bottom line sales (37%) of businesses. Taking thank all our great clients who brought us into your this to heart, our 2012 resolution for iiD is about being projects and put faith in us this past year. We hope happy, making our clients and partners happy, and intend to continue satisfying your needs and have bringing happiness to our families and delighting the a great time working with you this coming year. endusers of any experience we create this year. What can you do to spread happiness this year for I personally plan on a daily level to smile to and greet yourself, your business and your community? strangers more, something I’ve noticed is lacking in San Francisco after my visit to Victoria, BC this holiday On our blog: – wherever I went people were wishing me a good http://www.ideasindigital.com/ideas/making-happiness-a- morning or happy holiday. Reducing stress in my life top-priority-for-our-agency/ by getting exercise, riding my bike to work and the occasional longboard cruise on the Embarcadero is a must. iiD ideas in 2011 14
    • A collection of ideas from iiD About iiD iiD (“ideas in digital”) is a new breed of full service digital agency that builds connections through multi- platform strategy, user focused design, social channels and emerging technology to enable what we call ‘friendship media’. Put simply, we create connections in digital that engage the right users with brands where and how they like them. We map out, design and develop digital products and services to delight consumers and achieve our clients’ business goals. iiD blends the four key elements of success in digital media: strategy, creative, social design and technology. We measure everything we do and regard our clients’ success as our own. ideas in digital 120 Green Street San Francisco, CA 94121 415.738.0738 info@ideasindigital.com http://www.ideasindigital.com iiD ideas in 2011 15