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The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
The Digital Brand Cookbook
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The Digital Brand Cookbook

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How to bake a compelling digital brand. A presentation by Jim Wolff at Digital 2013 at the SECC, Glasgow. …

How to bake a compelling digital brand. A presentation by Jim Wolff at Digital 2013 at the SECC, Glasgow.

Thanks to Blonde digital for their images for IRN-BRU and Burness, Mike Coulter for his input on Burness, Lauren Sudworth for her suggestions, and Erik Ravaglia for additional research.

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  • My name is Jim Wolff - I’m a digital STRATEGIST at Leithal Thinking, which is the brand and design consultancy part of the Leith Agency. LEITH is probably best known for our advertising for IRN-BRU - you may have seen the infamous FANNY ad before, but we also do more serious stuff for the Scottish Govt on BREAST cancer and BOWEL cancer. If you saw bare breasts on your TV that was us, and the Poo Song that hit the internet recently that was us too. So anything to do with rude body parts and bodily fluids - that’s pretty much our secret formula to connect with the Scottish audience I work for both, depending on what the job is, and tbh I’m more of digital dogsbody, straying into digital production (getting things made), creative (coming up with ideas), PR (getting this seen) and Research (blah) My BACKGROUND briefly is in startups - so I helped create an online platform for freelancers to build teams for bigger projects - and in educational training. I used to traipse the country doing workshops for 15 year olds - so anything compared to Springburn Academy up the road is an easy audience. I may eat my words. I started out with the thought of this WORKSHOP as a kind of digital brand cookbook - that gives you the ingredients you need to bake your own digital brand. A cookbook may not make you cook like JAMIE OLIVER, but at least it gives you a half-decent crack at a fish pie. So hopefully out of this short workshop you’ll have the starting point you need to take things further.
  • So - the big question: What makes a digital brand compelling? I’ve put DIGITAL here in brackets, because increasingly the use of digital is becoming misleading. Nicholas NEGROPONTE - founder of MIT Media Lab and all round good guy - was bang on when he said that “Digital will be noticed more for its absence than its presence” - and we’re getting to a point now where EVERYTHING IS DIGITAL. A digital brand could be a company that’s bricks and mortar that’s going digital, or it could be a digital company that’s going more offline. Either way digital is now pretty much ubiquitous, so I’m going to refer to brand from here on - with a focus on digital environments. So I’m going to look at some of the BEST EXAMPLES out there in the world right now and look at some of the ingredients they share. I’ll try not to SPAM you with our own work we’ve done unless absolutely necessary. And since this is a “workshop” I’ll give you a bit of THINKING TIME to think about your own brand - for your business, employer, clients or some wee side project you’re cooking up. Which you can work through as as we go along. Or use the time to check your emails. Just out of interest, how many of you work for a start-up? An SME? An agency? A big organisation? Try and keep this in mind as we go through this.
  • I’m going to keep things light and friendly and kick things of with some ancient greek philosophy - as I think old Socrates here was onto something when he coined the term “Know Thyself”. (He borrowed it from the Egyptians btw)
  • And I’m going to borrow it for the first ingredient of a good brand: self-knowledge "know thyself" has a variety of meanings attributed to it over the years… It’s implied that true self-knowledge gives you the greatest foundation for life. That goes for individuals, and for organisations.
  • Although as this cartoon shows, it’s not ideal if after great soul-searching you then discover you’re actually a twat… But Know Yourself is also a warning not to try to be something you’re not. So in other words don’t be MUTTON dressed as lamb (or witney dressed as Britney) It’s also a warning not to pay attention to the MASSES - so don’t a shit about what others think. Thomas Hobbes the philosopher was on to something that you LEARN MORE FROM STUDYING YOURSELF than you do from looking at others. And in the case of branding, if you know what your business IS, DOES and STANDS FOR, and everyone working for you does too, then there’s a high chance this will carry through to your product / service and how others perceive you. But as Benjamin Franklin , said in the 1700s: "There are three Things extremely hard, Steel, a Diamond, and to know one's self."
  • But one example who know what they’re all about is the Dollar Shave Club. Has anyone not heard of this company? Good. What do you think they do? Exactly. And they get this across with possibly the greatest brand film ever: Our Blades Are Fucking Great Which I’m going to play you because it too is Fucking Great. In a minute and a half, you get immediately WHAT they do, how they’re DIFFERENT, who their AUDIENCE is and WHY you’d want to use them over competitors. And this comes from them knowing exactly what they’re about.
  • And this points to the big myth about branding. A brand is not a superficial wrapper. It’s a culture. A modus operandi. Not just a way of differentiating externally, but also a means of shaping behaviours internally.
  • And people can see through superficial gloss too easily. (I love this site btw, Things Real People Don’t Say About Advertising)
  • So when it comes to creating or developing a brand, we work from the inside out. With SCO - the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, we interviewed all the orchestra members and attended a handful of their concerts. We then hosted a Kick-Start workshop. We discovered that SCO has a passion to deliver an intense and intimate musical experience. It likes to reach out to its audiences, traveling to remote parts of Scotland as well as conducting an energetic education programme.We captured this spirit in the proposition BRINGING YOU CLOSER TO THE MUSIC . This gave birth to their new LOGO as part of the new brand identity, but also reflects the attitudes and aspirations of the musicians and staff - and gives them a unifying purpose.
  • Two apparently easy questions - who are you? Sum up your company / product / service in a single sentence. And Who are you not? And I don’t mean we’re not a molecular physicists, or postmen or whatever - try to keep it close to what you actually are.
  • Know your market
  • Does anyone know what this attempted gay social network went on to become? (I love the gay communist worker design). FAB.com -
  • And they have an interesting story.. Two friends realized their mashup model had a fatal flaw, and this made it nearly impossible to crack users' "mindshare": Why would gays using Facebook, Yelp, Trip Advisor, and Foursquare switch to Fabulis when they were already well served by those social networks? After all, BEING STRAIGHT ISN’T A SOCIAL TRAIT nor is being gay. For instance, they had introduced a check-in feature for users to visit bars and the like and rate them, an application Shellhammer dubbed GAYSQUARE." But they couldn't even convince their friends to try it. 'Because we're checking in on Facebook.'” THEY PIVOTED (like a pirouhette). They knew their audience liked design objects as that was the most active part of the community. And the founders knew a thing or two about it too. Not unlike PayPal, which offered a new user $10 for signing up and an additional $10 for each person he referred, fab.com, through a program called “INVITE YOUR FRIENDS AND EARN CASH," set up inducements for each future user to become a de facto marketer. Convince 10 friends to join and you got a $30 credit; if you get 25 members, you receive an additional $30. You become a Prime Time member with 50 friends joining fab.com, and that meant free shipping for two months. Plus each user got a $25 credit for a friend's first $25 purchase within 30 days of joining. They also created an aspirational wall not unlike Pinterest, which let people share the kinds of products they wanted to buy. By June the new site counted 165,000 PRELAUNCH users, with only 5,000 originating from their old business, Fabulis. "People shared it before we even had a product to sell, because the idea was exciting and no one had done it yet," Shellhammer says. Social media enabled Fab to amplify exponentially the old tried and true of someone finds an AMAZING PRODUCT, they bring it home and tell four friends about it when they come over. In the same way people see something on Fab, they go crazy about it and tell their friends. "That happens with design," Goldberg says. "No one's telling all their friends about the towels they saw on a certain site or a trash can they saw on a certain site. It's about stuff that people love; it's genuine."
  • Launching a new brand into a crowded market is never easy. However, if you’re focused with your message, and use the tools now at your disposal to spread that message far and wide, then you just might have a shot at gaining some decent exposure. Mix in fun, whimsy and a bit of mythical storytelling, and you’ll follow in the footsteps of The Kraken Rum, which recently set a new high bar with the launch of their Caribbean black spiced rum.
  • 1 of 50 silk screened press kits that were sent out to a highly targeted list of bloggers, which contained evidence that The Kraken truly exists. Each kit included a personalized LETTER, Kraken TEETH, Kraken INK, QUILL, Kraken poster showing its enormous scale, scientific journal, a DVD of Kraken tales, and a BOTTLE of the Kraken Rum itself. they were avoiding the common trap of FORCING CRAP on unsuspecting customers who hold on to it just long enough to throw it away in the nearest trash bin, and instead created a brand that people not only appreciated, but actually went out of their way to purchase items with the Kraken look and feel on it.
  • Lastly, to put the icing on the cake, Kraken released an iOS app that deftly combined a branded experience with game mechanics and an animated, comic book style history lesson on the beast that is The Kraken. In the end, Kraken’s constant dedication to looking at the BRAND NOT AS A COST CENTRE, but as a DIFFERENTIATOR in the market, and thus worthy of a few extra dollars here and there and a bit of experimentation from time to time, resulted in the creation of something that not only sells a product, but actually manages to sell itself as an aspirational lifestyle.
  • Fundamentals in knowing your audience. Are you trying to increase usage of your category, or steal share from competitors. In Kraken’s case they’re trying to steal business from other rums, not trying to get people to drink rum full-stop. if you’re Coke the simplest way to grow volume is to increase category usage, since you’ll benefit with 3 of every 4 dollars coming to you. Whereas if you’re Pepsi, your best strategy for volume growth is to steal share. Hence, Coke campaigns focus on the love of Cola, and embody the category benefits, whereas Pepsi had the more direct Pepsi Challenge. http://simon-says.co.nz/2011/11/01/my-first-lesson-in-advertising-strategy/
  • The next thing is to research research research. Ask your customers what they want. It seems painfully obvious, but it’s not.
  • It’s not what we want to say to them. It’s about what they want, need and hope from us. Let your audience create the product they want. Knife Crime - we brought at-risk kids together with police, medics, youth workers, and planners / creatives at Leith to hear what everyone had to say. The big insight that there were UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES that came about from carrying knives that became the focus of the brand No Knives Better Lives and campaign. We met gang members in Polmont, and heard a hard nut tear up when he talked about the effect on his mum. PLAY FILM School competition to make films http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdyBsMnzy_A
  • How are you different?
  • Internally and externally
  • Take “values” with a pinch of salt - they don’t need to be explicit and printed out in a cheesy poster on the walls.
  • I love the fact that the Brew Dogs guys outwardly shun any traditional advertising, which in itself becomes brilliant advertising for them. And reflects their brand character perfectly.
  • Great example of how BrewDog took on Diageo http://www.brewdog.com/blog-article/diageo-v-brewdog
  • Red Bull now make money on their content by selling it to TV networks. So TV stations are actually BUYING what amounts to feature-length Red Bull ads, instead of selling them 30 second ad slots.
  • Probably the greatest advertising / PR stunt ever, totally in character, and had news agencies clamouring to talk about it.
  • Our work with Burness started with sessions with 40+ legal partners
  • This led to a brand manifesto, brand book and brand film. The website was produced by Blonde, and the social media was led by Mike Coulter, who helped Burness become recognised as one of the top law firms online.
  • And this all led to a significant impact to their bottom line.
  • What are your values etc?
  • Double-sided: but you can have one exclusively of the other.
  • "You've got a business to run; don't code stuff that you could hire a monkey to do.” Freddy Chimpenheimer
  • Great chimp-related copywriting throughout. Easter Eggs! Type in “boredom” to the search bar
  • Pop Freddie’s arm off in the preview email window
  • Valentines day special
  • A load of quirky makeable stuff. But appeals to a potential market of Etsy users
  • Love what you do! Chestnut, the founder of email marketing and newsletter company MailChimp, does things a little differently. He stormed into the marketing and design departments and demanded they come up with a coloring book called Love What You Do , featuring baby Freddie Chimpenheimer (excerpt: I’m Freddie. It ’s fun to be me! Is it fun to be you?). Sure, the CEO was a little concerned that he hadn ’t known about the tag, but, as he noted in a blog post on the incident, it was pr etty spot-on, so I got over it. http://www.fastcompany.com/1767793/creative-cultures-mailchimp-grants-employees-permission-be-creative
  • Be honest - what works well in what you do, and what doesn’t? And of the stuff that doesn’t - what should you improve? And what should you drop?
  • Keep it simple. Or at least appearing to be simple for the end user.
  • Just won design of the year award. For good reason. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-22164715
  • Clear approach to simplifying and improving government online services
  • All captured in the Design Manual
  • And founded on 10 clear design principles
  • William of Ockham (13th Century) - the simplest solution is most likely the best
  • We often over-spec a project. And our users will often ask for a lot too. We need to make a decision on what goes in, and what doesn’t. Story about SONY boss and the Walkman.
  • What can you cut? If you can’t cut something, what can you simplify? Does your audience really need to know everything?
  • Services change, audiences change, markets change, Brands Evolve. Consistency is key.
  • Twitter start off with a really simple service, and clear name and brand.
  • And this evolves as they understand what they do better: going from publishing to discovery
  • Simplifying further
  • As people know what it is now, they can say even less
  • Where they are now - Following Your Interests, and a new brand mark. But consistent throughout.
  • IRN-BRU has had lots of ads over the years. But always based on a LIKEABLE MAVERICK. Always on the right side of acceptability. (Most mavericks go too far, Gazz, Robbie Williams, Chris Evans)
  • Just on the right side of the line
  • And GET’s YOU THROUGH is a creative hook and proposition, still in the LIKEABLE MAVERICK tone.
  • One of the latest Ads. Now online first before TV.
  • Backed up by social content (by Blonde) that builds views and engagement
  • And the Fanny Magnet - which could be won by tweeting #IMAFANNY There were well over 500 self-declared Fannys by the time the winners were announced. http://storify.com/phil_adams/irn-bru-imafanny-magnet-twitter-promotion
  • Despite an awful lot of noise on the day about the Rangers liquidation saga, the hashtag trends in Scotland.
  • And has significant results for twitter following. Plus sales of IRN-BRU over the entire “Gets You Through” period have increased by 6%
  • Invisalign process of making small changes to get where you want to get to.
  • Summary
  • Or you can work from the bottom upwards - so to speak
  • Thank you
  • END
  • Transcript

    • 1. Baking a compellingdigital brandDIGITAL BRANDCOOKBOOK@jimwolffman@theleithJim Wolff – Digital StrategistDigital Connections @ SECC, GlasgowThursday 25thApril, 2013
    • 2. WHAT MAKES A(DIGITAL) BRANDCOMPELLING?
    • 3. #1KNOW THYSELF
    • 4. bit.ly/marlon-know-thyself
    • 5. DOLLAR SHAVE CLUB
    • 6. A brand is not a superficial wrapperbit.ly/brand-condoms
    • 7. bit.ly/tpdsaa-brand-positioning
    • 8. Build a (digital) brandfrom the inside outStaff & stakeholder interviewsWorkshops and focus groups
    • 9. Who are you?Who are you not?
    • 10. #2KNOW YOUR MARKET
    • 11. FAB.COMbit.ly/fastco-fab
    • 12. KRAKEN RUM
    • 13. Increase category usage,or steal share?75%25%Image: Gareth Hardy, bit.ly/pepsi-logo-chartThinking: Dave Trott, cstthegate.com/davetrott
    • 14. Research, research, research
    • 15. Co-create with externalaudiences & stakeholders
    • 16. How does your product /service differ?What does yourcustomer actually want?
    • 17. #3HAVE A CLEAR SET OFVALUES THAT INSPIRE
    • 18. bit.ly/slogan-value
    • 19. BREWDOG
    • 20. RED BULL
    • 21. BURNESSA clear set ofvalues rallies staffand stakeholders
    • 22. What are your values?What do you stand for?What are you against?
    • 23. #4EFFECTIVEFUNCTIONALITY ANDENGAGINGPERSONALITY
    • 24. MAILCHIMP
    • 25. What works well?What works badly?What’s your personality?
    • 26. #5COMPLEXITYSIMPLIFIED
    • 27. GOV.UK
    • 28. What can you cut out?Image: bit.ly/ockhams-razor
    • 29. What can you cut?What can you simplify?What does your audiencereally need to know?
    • 30. #6A CONSISTENTEVOLUTIONARYAPPROACH
    • 31. TWITTER
    • 32. IRN-BRU
    • 33. Where are you now?Where do you want to be?
    • 34. #1 Know what you’re about#2 Stick out in your market#3 Stand for something#4 Be effective, with personality#5 Keep it simple#6 Evolve consistently
    • 35. Image: logodesignlove.com/shtty-brand
    • 36. @jimwolffman@theleith
    • 37. Baking a compellingdigital brandDIGITAL BRANDCOOKBOOKJim Wolff – Digital StrategistDigital Connections @ SECC, GlasgowThursday 25thApril, 2013@jimwolffman@theleith

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