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  4. 4. IMPACT APPLE (RED) MERCEDES OI TARGET MCDONALD’S RECORDS BENZ A brand out of control: thousands of franchisees, vendors, and agencies Helping Target deliver doing their own thing. We created one global standard for the golden Created a new business model and raised more Targetness through arches and an online brand management center to make it easy to do it $108 million to combat AIDS in Africa, Inspi(RED) Leveraged an iconic brand In December 2002, the a simpler architecture the right way. Within the first 6 months the site attracted 8,500 visitors Turned a band into a business. is the biggest-selling t-shirt in Gap history. for new growth. Brazilian business newspaper and new product brands. and 6,000 logo files were downloaded. Istoé Dinheiro called the new brand a “phenomenon” — and ORANGE TESCO it has continued to perform TATE phenomenally since. Oi is now the largest telecoms provider in NEW South America, with 14 million fixed-line and 17 million mobile MUSEUM customers. More than 2.2 million people signed up in the In the first four months after the first year — almost 20% of the launch, the museum attracted a Brazilian market, and four 600% surge in visitors and 400% times more than the target. boom in new members. From the day it opened, Tate Modern was a huge success, NEW attracting double its target visitor numbers and becoming the most popular art gallery in the world. After a year, Tate’s overall annual visitor numbers Impacted 36,000 SKUs. Added $1.5 billion in sales. had risen 87% to 7.5 million. As In its first five years, Orange attracted a huge and unusually loyal Saved $5 million first year. Added 3 million new customers. the Observer wrote in May 2005, customer base of 7 million people. Year after year, Orange scored Grew market share from 10% to 15%. Grew diaper sales YORK Tate “has changed the way that highest of the mobile networks on customer satisfaction, and lowest by 70% in 8 weeks. Grew detergent sales by 60%. Britain sees art, and the way (less than 15%) on churn. By the time France Telecom bought the Revolutionized Tesco’s private label strategy and changed the world sees Britain.” business, it was worth an astonishing £25 billion. the blueprint for private label in Europe. GE CITY LONDON BEELINE PEPSICO PWC 2012 With Beeline and BBDO, Wolff Olins developed a new positioning, identity, communications style, image libraries and Within the UK, brand recognition campaign launch. The Delivered a successful solution has already reached 85% and rebrand was a huge for diverse stakeholders. globally, recognition is over 50%. success, at the end of the Smartspot — “Smart choices Sponsorship exceeded year revenue was up 40%, made easy” appealed to expectations with partners market capitalization 28% audiences from moms to teens. spending more than £400 and ARPU 7%. Following It has been a big success with million in the first year and the launch of the new brand, retailers: 13% growth in 2005, 2012 Olympic games are setting Beeline was ranked most Since launching the new brand in 2007, and today there are over 250 Brand idea-inspired 85 new “Imagination Breakthroughs,” records for generating more valuable brand in Russia for NYC tourism has increased by 5% and products today making up 40% Became the fastest growing creating $25 billion in additional revenues. money than any previous games. three consecutive years. tourism spending by 13.31% of US sales. of the big four audit firms. SONY UNILEVER BOOZ&CO. LIVING PROOF Shumeet Banerji, CEO of Booz & Company, described the brand ERICSSON Within one month of launching at Sephora, sales for Living Proof products were at $1.5 million. The product was so popular that launch in May 2008 as an QVC and HSN went in to a Every Unilever business, from China to Argentina, embraced “unambiguous success.” Clients, bidding war to promote it on the brand idea of adding vitality to life. The idea continues to be partners and employees were TV. When the product was used to determine which businesses to invest in, which to exit all informed of the changes launched in its new from, and where to innovate (almost €1 billion a year is spent being made in a structured and packaging, QVC sold $7,000 on vitality-driven innovation). The new vitality-inspired Knorr engaging way. And all key client in one hour and $30,000 Vie drink has sold over 60 million bottles. By June 2008 Unilever accounts were retained. Sony Ericsson increased its income by 139% to €362 million. over the first weekend. was achieving an underlying sales growth close to 8%.
  7. 7. (RED) A new model Power in peoples’ pockets 2 pills a day (RED)’s ambition was to harness the The first challenge was to get the Within the first five weeks of the US launch, power of the world’s greatest companies all-important founding partners on board. the (RED) brand registered 30% unaided to help eliminate AIDS in Africa. To do this, So we helped Bobby Shriver and Bono awareness. Over 1.35 million people it created both a new business model and paint a vision of what (RED) could be. watched a YouTube video showing the a new brand model to achieve three goals: This vision of the future provoked Amex, impact and there are over 850,000 (RED) deliver a source of sustainable income for Converse, Emporio Armani and Gap to friends on MySpace. In its first two years, the Global Fund, provide consumers with take the plunge. (RED) partners delivered $108 million to a choice that makes giving effortless and the Global Fund, more than most countries last but not least, generate profits and a We built the brand around the idea donated in the same period. This is enough sense of purpose for partner companies. that (RED) inspires, connects and gives money to give 650,000 people life-saving consumers power, with a unique brand drugs for a year. architecture that unites participating businesses by literally embracing their logos to the power (RED). Many partners have gone the extra mile and manufactured products or packaging in African countries, generating jobs and opportunities for local people. EMBRACING CONSCIOUS COMMERCE
  9. 9. GE Twenty-first century powerhouse Market-facing brand $25 billion new revenues With 300,000 people in 174 countries, We worked with GE to create a GE has been named “most admired and 3,500 businesses, all number one market-facing brand architecture company” for two years running by or two in their markets, GE defined that hugely simplified its portfolio of Fortune magazine. It’s now pitching the twentieth-century corporation. businesses into solution platforms to countries and governments, With the transfer of leadership from for customers. This allowed GE to using its new ability to bring unified Jack Welch to Jeff Immelt, GE was enhance existing relationships solutions to its customers. poised for transformation. From with businesses and develop new $25 billion in additional revenues manufacturing to technology and relationships with consumers. have been added by 85 “Imagination service. From US-centric to an We created a modern identity that breakthroughs,” inspired by the emphasis on Asia and Europe. From liberates and celebrates the GE brand idea. The GE brand has a business driven by organizational monogram, and that’s flexible steadily grown in value and is now silos to greater focus on the enough to work with everything worth more than $51 billion. customer. From an under-leveraged from jet engines to light bulbs. atomized old-world brand to a We traveled the world to excite GE twenty-first century powerhouse of leaders about the brand idea innovation and impact. “Imagination at work,” and defined with them how the brand should be made real throughout the business. ONE BRAND 21ST CENTURY BUSINESS
  10. 10. 36 businesses and 85 imagination breakthroughs, generating 123 solution platforms launched by $25 bn in additional revenues, across 1 modernized monogram, symbolizing 100 countries, by a team of over 1 brand idea, stimulating 300,000 employees worldwide
  11. 11. LIVING PROOF Brains meets beauty Solving problems Beauty breakthrough Living Proof started with a molecule, Armed with a lab full of radical, Living Proof has achieved unparalleled and some chemistry between never before seen technologies, success. It was the first brand to like-minded individuals in Cambridge, access to some of the best life ever receive Allure’s Beauty MA. They came together, under the scientists in the world and an initial Breakthrough Award before the first name Andora, as outsiders with product line nearly ready for product (No Frizz) even hit the absolutely no preconceived notions consumers, Wolff Olins helped to shelves. With each appearance on about what could and couldn’t be build and guide the entire brand, QVC, product has completely sold done in the beauty industry. They from top to bottom. We started by out. In February 2009, Living Proof shared one, clear ambition…to cure doing a lot of homework. We took was the first brand to ever launch the most common hair and skin ills a deep dive into the world of beauty, nationwide in Sephora, and is credited of the beauty frustrated, one product ran diagnostics on the competition with increasing traffic during a retail at a time, once and for all, and to and went well beneath the skin of slump and driving incremental sales. become the next big beauty company consumer needs to find real insights. Initial selling led Sephora to triple as a result. We observed that the beauty its 2009 sales forecast, give the industry largely ignored or brand a secondary location in all committed to the basic needs of stores and feature Living Proof consistency, simplicity, confidence, in their windows. It has also received truth and responsibility. We huge notoriety in the design world developed the brand idea — solving and been awarded a prestigious problems — and the brand name Art Directors Club Silver Cube, “Living Proof” based on the idea that a One Show Bronze Pencil and a the products produced results you coveted D&AD Award all for its can see from across a room. packaging, created and designed by Wolff Olins. SOLVING PROBLEMS
  12. 12. PWC Unite the partnership One common story Get it, like it, use it In 2003, PricewaterhouseCoopers Working with a global team, Wolff Connected Thinking was introduced had just sold its IT consulting Olins concluded that there were in late 2003, the start of a long-term business to IBM, and was besieged two important things about PwC — change program. Having established by market and regulatory events. its purpose (what it exists to do) the definitions and brand principles, Press and public were questioning and its way of delivering on that Wolff Olins worked with PwC teams the efficacy and integrity of the large purpose (the way it works). The new around the world to help them do accounting firms after the collapses positioning, “Connected Thinking,” things in a Connected Thinking way. of Enron and WorldCom. The points to the organization’s strength More recently, we have developed organization’s global leadership as a sophisticated global network of messaging platforms and felt that a common positioning was experienced individuals that share communications plans that make the needed to unite the partnership, ideas, methodologies and expertise core value proposition clear at the remind it of its purpose, and make to solve client problems. industry sector level. The positioning global communications more works at many levels and across consistent and clear. disciplines: people get it, like it and use it. And since the launch of Connected Thinking, PwC has been the fastest-growing of the big four audit firms. CONNECTED THINKING
  13. 13. UNILEVER Single-minded growth business Telling the vitality story Growing at 15+% per year Unilever is big. 150 million times a Wolff Olins helped Unilever change, Since implementation of the Vitality day, in 150 countries, people choose from an invisible owner of brands to a idea, Unilever’s operating profit has to make Unilever brands part of their much more visible business, leading increased at an average rate of more lives. But in the consumer goods its brands through a single idea: than 15% per year. Every Unilever industry, growth is hard. Unilever “adding vitality to life.” We created a business, from China to Argentina, decided that it was too diffuse, with visual identity that expresses “vitality” has embraced the Vitality idea. too many brands, and with no and that is starting to appear on every Unilever is using the idea to determine unifying driver of growth. Unilever Unilever product. Under this banner, which businesses to invest in, which wanted to become a single-minded, we also worked on dozens of projects to exit from, and where to innovate, idea-led growth business. to put vitality at the heart of the and now spends almost €1 billion a organization — from designing year on vitality-driven innovation. workplaces to transforming the Results are coming through: the new recruitment process to training vitality-inspired Knorr Vie drink, for employees how to pass on the stories example, has sold 60 million bottles that underlie the idea. And we’ve since launch, driving Unilever’s profits helped Unilever invent new products to new heights. and projects that deliver vitality. ADDING VITALITY TO BUSINESS
  14. 14. NEW MUSEUM New for a New Museum New art and new ideas Open, fearless and alive The New Museum of Contemporary Based on the idea of “New Art and The award-winning identity system Art is New York City’s only museum New Ideas,” our first step was to captured the immediate attention, dedicated exclusively to showcasing simplify the name to loosen up the hearts and minds of onlookers and contemporary art. It’s an adventurous, museum’s institutional feel. More museum lovers. In the first four progressive institution with an importantly, this broadened their months after the launch, the museum internationally renowned program. scope from the narrow definitions attracted a 600% surge in visitors of an art museum to becoming and 400% boom in new members. In a city overly saturated with recognized as a cultural hub. The New Museum — the place and cultural institutions, we faced an the brand — continues to self-renew, exciting challenge: create a brand In an exciting collaboration with opening the doors to future creative that would drive the museum’s vision the museum, we created a visual collaborations and inviting in new and ambition to become a world expression that features a spectrum art and new ideas. player in contemporary art and a of color and language, and a logo first-choice, 21st century cultural that literally moves and flexes to destination. welcome new artists and audiences and to announce new art and the new museum. The mantra “open, fearless and alive” quickly became an invaluable tool for internal decision-making. NEW ART ENERGY
  15. 15. CARTER’S From wholesale to retail Focus on mom Easier to buy In the $18 billion children’s apparel After extensive analysis across When Carter’s new brand experience and accessories marketplace, customer and wholesale segments, launched, wholesale partners Carter’s was the leading brand. it was clear that Carter’s held a applauded and so did moms. Stores But with private-label growth from strong position of trust and quality are now easy to navigate and shop. brands such as Target and Walmart, with consumers, but had lost a Packaging and point-of-sale have Carter’s needed to strengthen and history of innovation. To make sure already impacted current store sales leverage its brand and stand out Carter’s was getting credit for all and consumers are reacting in the sea of pastel sameness. The its great products and features, extremely positively to the changes. Carter’s brand also suffered from Wolff Olins articulated the brand The new Carter’s retail experience inconsistent execution and a vision as “what really matters to started to rollout in the fall of 2006 shopping experience that was far moms.” We established a fresh, new and almost immediately wholesale from easy for moms, so the brand and a new visual and graphic sales went up 3% and retail sales challenge was also to create a new style with emotional photography and went up 10%. brand vision that would drive change iconic illustration. To further reinforce inside Carter’s and help them shift Carter’s difference, we created a from a wholesale mindset to propriety language strategy that delivering a powerful brand communicated product features experience. and benefits with confidence and authority. As an integral part of the program, Wolff Olins rationalized 45,000 SKUs down to 30,000 and helped deliver the brand through packaging, in-store signage, the size/ color system, point-of-sale systems, and product and service innovations. WHAT REALLY MATTERS
  16. 16. TRUENORTH Cracking a new category Snacking with purpose Innovator of the Year Frito-Lay dominates the snack Through close collaboration with the The brand manager responsible for category with a 70% market share and Frito-Lay team, we developed a target the project was named PepsiCo in 2006 was looking for new growth consumer profile — baby boomers Innovator of the Year for 2007. opportunities. The Innovation team eager to eat more healthily, for TrueNorth exceeded sales asked Wolff Olins to help them make looking for authentic, tasty snacks. benchmarks set for test launch in a branded move into the nut aisle, Understanding the consumers’ needs 2008 and launched nationwide attracting an older, health-conscious and wants led to a strategic brand with its commercial debut on the consumer, challenging the category idea centered on making a purposeful Academy Awards in 2009. A new dominant brand — Planters. impact on your own life and the wider target consumer has been drawn world. This idea then informed the into the Frito-Lay portfolio and initial product development brief, a consumer research results are sustainable approach to sourcing, outstanding. manufacturing and distribution, the brand name — TrueNorth, as well as the natural, simple tone of the packaging and marketing communications in an otherwise noisy category. TrueNorth is only the second new brand launched by Frito-Lay in the past 20 years. ENERGY POSITIVE
  17. 17. OI New network Cut the crap Largest network In 2001, Telemar, the Brazilian Wolff Olins started by defining a brand In December 2002, the Brazilian telecoms giant, decided to launch idea that captured this ambition: business newspaper Istoé Dinheiro a new mobile phone service. In a cut the crap. We created a name for called the new brand a “phenomenon” — market dominated by formal and the new brand (Oi means “hi”), and and it has continued to perform formulaic brands, Telemar wanted its visual identity, brand language, phenomenally since. Oi is now to be very different. communication style, packaging and the largest telecoms provider in many other brand applications. South America, with 14 million More than 2.2m people signed up in fixed-line and 17 million mobile the first year — almost 20% of the customers. Brazilian market and four times more than the target. Oi successfully took customers away from other networks: 75% of Oi’s customers left other providers to join Oi. The launch was so successful that in 2007 Oi become the brand for all of Telemar’s fixed-line, broadband and mobile services. Wolff Olins developed the brand strategy, brand architecture and visual expressions for this new, bigger Oi, which is currently being rolled out across Brazil. OWNING “HELLO”
  18. 18. NYC Unified, not uniform Capture the essence One city, one brand There’s only one New York City. But To create a brand for New York City, From what was once many disparate within that one city are five boroughs, the challenge was not to define a and confusing identities, the NYC approximately 191 neighborhoods, purpose, but to capture an essence. brand has become the singular strong nearly a million buildings and over This was articulated by the idea: “only voice for the City, clearly articulated. 8.2 million people. Each individual one, but no one NYC.” Tourism revenues rose and the first has their own New York. international advertising campaign The resulting brand identity has now has launched, bringing this rigorous Within the mind of every single been embraced not just by New York brand to a global audience. New Yorker resides a different City’s official marketing, tourism and version of New York City. It’s a city partnership organization, NYC & loved in 138 different languages and Company, but across many City viewed through an almost infinite departments. mix of cultures, ideologies and ways of life. Everyone living side-by-side. This kaleidoscopic quality is one of the greatest things about this city. It’s the very thing we love. But it also makes it difficult to represent. There is no one symbol, no one logo or brand that means New York City to everyone. THE UNBRANDABLE CITY
  20. 20. OUR the permission to engage with customers on their own terms — and to 4. Use Your Brand As The Springboard To Successful Innovation. In Marketing, André Platteel observes ‘Consumers no longer believe encourage others to become advocates in the war against dirty. At Wolff Olins we use brand led innovation to help our clients to grow. In fact in unambiguous brand promises. They no longer wish to identify with brand Living Proof: Living Proof is a company recently formed to beat back the our recent research with the Oxford’s Said Business School shows that when values they can add nothing to. They no longer want to be reduced to lies and artifice of the beauty industry through the refreshing concept of you start with your brand you are more likely to create new products services consumption machines that are only allowed to absorb predigested THINKING products that actually work. Their purpose is simply defined as ‘solving and ways of working that will succeed. Brand led innovation is happening right experiences.’ problems’. Their first product “No Frizz” uses high-end MIT science to solve the now in London and Paris at the Japan Car exhibition. This event successfully As I am writing this, Spain have just played Germany in the final of the problem of frizzy hair, but the product isn’t what’s really interesting. What’s reflects what’s special about Japan’s industrial development and its culture. European Cup and the Verve are nearly through their headline set at really interesting is how uniquely open their purpose is allowing them to be Add to that the unique design abilities of Japanese car manufacturers, and a Glastonbury. The Verve are giving a perfect performance. But three chords in, with their customers – not just through great service, but by asking the new area of opportunity for brand Japan arises: ‘the driving force behind I knew what to expect and it’s not exactly boring but I’m not learning much. consumer to engage with them around what they can do to solve their transport solutions for twenty-first century cities’. Using the country brand to With Spain I had to watch. I hadn’t a clue what was going to happen next. As everyday beauty concerns. move into global issues of urban transportation in a carbon constrained Paul Doyle posted on the Guardian site after the game, ‘Spain are no machine, world — smart stuff. Xavi, Iniesta, Cesc Fàbregas and Sergio Ramos no mere cogs. They are a THE IMPORTANCE OF FOCUS: Strong Internal Purpose vibrant organism, each element exuding adventure and intelligence.” I want If you look at these three brands, the thing that connects them together is their a brand like that. A GUIDE FOR SOCIAL clear and simple sense of purpose — not an externally sourced marketing positioning, and certainly not a banal mission or vision statement. A purpose MEDIA BRANDS that is first bought into by their employees, before being presented to the GOVERNANCE NOT GUIDELINES consumer in a way that brings a natural self-confidence to that conversation. As we move forward and as the world continues to demand greater and by Paul Worthington, 3 March 2009 greater engagement from companies, and from brands, then this idea of a strong internal purpose will become more than optional — it will become by Miles Perkins, 31 January 2008 Brands must not lose their internal focus amidst the din of new information. essential. This will mean social media not being limited to use as a focus The world has changed. The new reality of online customer conversation group or crowd sourcing experiment, but more importantly as a means of The face of brand management is changing for ever. Global brands have begun means brands will need a strongly defined sense of self in order to succeed. showcasing your beliefs, and engaging with your consumer on your own to recognise that in an era of Facebook and YouTube it is no longer possible to This represents a need to think counter-intuitively about your brand — focusing terms, not just theirs. control every aspect of a brand and that, moreover, there is a growing need to on the inside more than the outside. The initial challenge is not to better adapt and metamorphose to connect more successfully with changing understand and respond to the customer. The challenge is to start with better markets and cultures. Brands of the future need to engage with people on their understanding who you are, what you truly believe in, and what you can terms, and integrate their world more directly with other brands and their realistically offer to your customer. consumers. Clearly this has a huge impact on how a brand needs to be A lot is being said about the effect of social media on brands — from managed. Tropicana changing its packaging and then changing it back again to the use of 80s and 90s ’best practice’ for brand management drove for regimented social media as a ‘real time’ focus group. But the fundamental problem with all visual uniformity (following the mantra that a consistent appearance implied a of this is that it focuses on the customer at the expense of the brand. consistent experience), controlled by explicit identity guidelines and a ’logo You’d think the predominant marketing ethos — where you defer to the cop’ attitude. This approach, championed by major global consumer brands customer, where you position your brand against a perceived consumer need like Coke in the 70s, misses the mark today as it leaves no room for RE-PACKAGING INDIA: could only be right for these open-conversation, social media times. Yet the flexibility — and ultimately the focus on the logo detracts from caring enough opposite is actually the case. about the content. IS CORPORATE IDENTITY Brands of the 00s have to work harder than this. They have to know what Why? they stand for well enough to confidently allow interpretation and adaptation, ENOUGH? Because if all you focus on are what customers are telling you, you risk losing so that they can build the relationships they need to stay relevant. This sight of who you are, what you believe in and what drives you forwards. apparent freedom implies complexity, which will need to be managed more The number one thing the Internet does is spot lies and fake-authenticity. If dynamically. Best practice going forward will rely more on governance than you position yourself against a need that you cannot deliver, or worse yet, that by Zia Patel, 29 May 2008 guidelines and market representative co-creation than centre direction. you do not believe in as an organization, people will find you out and make you An example of this approach is McDonald’s who recently adapted the pay. Nobody respects a liar. Recently, Jet Airways, Godrej, Shoppers Stop, Deccan, Ceat, Canara Bank and famous ’Golden Arches’ to create three options tailored to suit the different The number two thing the internet does is overwhelm. With corporations Air India have all been re-branded, and are currently running advertising needs of each of its key markets — an adaptation that was supported by a ’free already drowning in data they don’t know what to do with, you need to be campaigns to tell Indians how interesting and important this is. Some to air’ toolkit including templates and assets for the 30,000 restaurateurs and careful how you use more and often contradictory points of view, and then companies, like Jet Airways and Shoppers Stop, are very young and others, suppliers who use the brand day-to-day, making the transition easier and figure out how these should drive action as opposed to just more data WHAT MAKES A GREAT like Air India and Canara Bank, are heritage brands. A new corporate identity creating a platform for ongoing review, co-creation and control. paralysis. and mass advertising are bold steps. We should applaud them for taking these Other interesting brands leading the change are London 2012 and (RED), The number three thing the internet does is move at real-time. If you PLACE BRAND? steps. Change is welcome: it can help create employee pride and a real buzz in both of which were created specifically to interlace and merge their brands engage (and increasingly you will have no other choice) you need to be able to the market. It can also signal that these brands want to be a part of New India. with others. The complexity of implementing this day-to-day for London 2012 respond just as quickly, across multiple contact points, and multiple facets of So far so good. Good looks and advertising are the easy bits. The snag is that across many partners is managed through a clear governance process, your organization and your brand. This perceived loss of control is deeply scary by Melanie McShane, 17 March 2009 the buzz will not last for too long if the reality does not change for staff and supported by a full -time resource and a dynamic approval and briefing toolkit. for any traditionally trained corporate communications manager, and yet this consumers. And frankly, who needs another logo in an overcrowded market? For businesses who currently ‘do’ brand management through a 250-page very real time aspect harbors great opportunity. At times you can’t move for wonderful places telling you just how good they India’s great opportunity is to build service businesses. China will naturally logo manual and the occasional row over colour, the change of tack might are. As I sat glued to CNN’s US election coverage I was struck by the number of be big in products: India can be great in services. But a common mistake both seem daunting. But — particularly as we all know that guidelines really don’t Defining the Conversation emerging economies setting their stalls out for inward investment. London’s in India and in the west is to treat a service brand as it was a consumer get read until there is a problem — effective brand management in the 00s Before opening yourself up to the conversation, before engaging outside, start traffic lanes double up as travel brochure, as taxis emblazoned with stunning product. It is one thing to repackage Sunsilk shampoo; it is another thing to quite simply needs to be smarter than this. with who you really are, what you as an organization really believe in, and what destinations and their promises sit impatiently in line. Admittedly the scene is brand a service. The key for any service brand to succeed is delivery. This gets you out of bed in the morning. interrupted by the occasional sad Icesave chassis, though we can safely takes time. So the opportunity for these leaders is to take the lead, to invest Forget mission and vision statements. These are banal at best. Forget assume Iceland the country will not be advertising its innate financial and to create India’s first globally successful service brand — in proposition ‘shareholder value’ — No one ever got out of bed for increased shareholder expertise any time soon. and delivery, not just looks. value (but if you have something powerful to drive you, you have a better Many of these campaigns have been produced by a compulsive alliterator This change will truly move the leaders from representing Old India to New chance of creating plenty of it). let loose with an atlas; Business Friendly Bahrain, Incredible India, Malaysia India — a New India where the customer comes first and no longer says in Instead understand what you believe in and really can deliver, articulate Truly Asia. And yet, with a few notable exceptions, hardly any of them actually frustration, “This only happens in India!” Where people start talking and saying, this ethos simply so that everyone in your organization can understand it, stand out. Too samey and ‘me too’. Gone and forgotten. “You should try them. They’re great.” And where employees say, “I want to work place it firmly at the heart of your brand, and drive it through both your But beyond the marketing spin more interesting things are afoot — and there.” This change will not come from copying ideas from the West. Instead, operations and your culture in everything that you do. there are significant parallels with the non-place branding world. India’s service companies should build on their philosophy and vision to create Then, and only then, should you engage in the wider conversation. With a 1. Draw On What is Special and True. In a connected world where people something that works specifically for the Indian market, and that can then clear sense of internal purpose and direction you stand a much better chance can increasingly get most things everywhere, what is it that only you resonate beyond India. Currently there is no Indian brand listed in any of the of using social media and online conversation as a source of competitive bring — and why is it so damn good? Celebrate what’s special. In this various global brand rankings. As an Indian, I would like to see a great Indian advantage rather than disadvantage. connected world you can’t hide behind myths — consumers are just too savvy service brand listed within the top 500. That’s India’s great opportunity in the This will be hard. It is fundamentally counterintuitive for any classically for that and you will be busted. So forget attempts to brand citizens because world. trained marketer to think in this fashion, to focus on the organization before it will fail. It’s the same for non-place branding; you can’t ‘brand’ the customer, and yet the times have changed and this is what will be employees — engage them yes, but don’t try to control what they think. necessary. 2. Think About Your Brand As a Flexible Platform For Participation — SOMETHING HIDDEN Not a Fixed Badge. No place can be one glossy thing. Brands in general are So Who’s Already Getting It Right? becoming more flexible — check out the NYC identity, with its infinite There are a few brands out there who are beginning to get it right. Three that combinations reflecting the variety of life in the city. The London 2012 brand is immediately spring to mind are: Zappos, Method, and Living Proof (Disclosure: based on the idea that it’s everyone’s Olympics — inspirational, encouraging by Patrick Cox, 25 July 2008 Living Proof is a former client of Wolff Olins). access and participation. Containing neither sporting images nor pictures of INVISIBLE BRANDS Zappos: Zappos’ success is driven by a deeply felt belief in the value of London landmarks, the emblem shows that the Games is more than London, “Explaining individual poems can be an unedifying business. Start describing customer service — this gives them a tremendous strength to resist constantly more than sport. how and why they were made, or worse, what they mean, and you reach a point switching and changing with the consumer mood. This service zeal permeates 3. Allow For Powerful Collaborations Between Brands and where the poem seems to hold no value or intrigue whatsoever” (from Gig by everything they do, and acts as the filter for their conversations when they Provide Experiences. The China Now initiative was a collaboration between Simon Armitage). by George Crichlow, 25 June 2008 engage with their customers. Fundamentally this is incredibly the UK business community and China — aimed at correcting some of the It’s true (isn’t it?) that the things we are truly charmed by have a little empowering — here everyone, at every level of the organization, is able to prejudices held about the country, in the run up to the Olympics. Not through intrigue, something we don’t quite get, something hidden, whether it’s a poem Recently I’ve stumbled upon some of Rob Walker’s work in prelude to his new engage in an open consumer conversation in order to deliver the Zappos an ad campaign, but instead a series of experiences. China Art Now — a by Simon Armitage, a piece of art or who Dr. Who fancies. They leave room for book “Buying In”. In one of his write-ups he talks about invisible badges. idea of service. collaboration between HSBC, the V&A and China — stood out. Think about interpretation. They know your own imagination will make them more According to Walker, badges are signals that suggest a tighter relationship Method: Method is a company that believes deeply that it is in a war. A what each collaborating brand brings and gains: HSBC builds on its world’s interesting, more personal. They encourage ambiguity. with the brand producer and the brand consumer. literal war against dirty. And not dirty in its classical sense (although they are local bank positioning, gains innovative, creative and sensitive; V&A brings Brands aren’t ambiguous at all (not on purpose anyway). They don’t have Walker observes that people no longer buy stuff to impress others, rather good at this too) but a bigger war against toxins and bad ways of doing artistic gravitas and gains unstuffy, contemporary and challenging; China interesting scars or unplacable accents. Brands tell you everything, all the to impress themselves. This means that logos are becoming less important business. It is this self-belief in doing something fundamentally right, and the draws on the authority of both its partners to ditch the perception of low cost time. They stomp around as if on an eternal speed date (and you know they indicators of status. Look no further than the high-end fashion industry where importance they place on being a cradle to cradle company that gives them manufacturing imitator, and gain one as nurturer of creative talent. have a couple of Viagra in their back pocket for later). logos are shrinking. (Continued on following page)
  21. 21. (INVISIBLE BRANDS, continued from previous page) Christian Louboutin Being A Good Influencer So here are five things to ask of your brand. has made red soles the staple of his shoe line. Bottega Veneta bags are Clearly, this represents a major shift in how you think. Below are three 1. Are you clear what you stand for? And would your customers agree? if identifiable by their intricately weaved patterns. Rolex is known for the weight principles that good influencers appear to demonstrate, and which anyone not, now’s a great time to simplify your brand model, strip out complexity, cut of its watches and Armani for the slender rounded shoulders of its men’s considering an influence strategy should keep in mind: out sub-brands, and be crystal clear. blazers. 1. Listen then respond. Brands are not generally good listeners, mostly A brand rationalisation could cut costs too. Intended for small affinity groups rather than mass markets, these because they’ve never had to be. Before engaging with the conversation it’s 2. Are you confident? And do your employees share that confidence? To companies are creating brand undergrounds where consumers need to be important to first listen to it, see what is being said and interpret what this keep the good ones, and keep them upbeat, involve them in building your fully indoctrinated in the brand cultures to fully understand their subtle means. Once you engage with the conversation it’s important to be honest and brand. In particular, involve them in steps 3 to 5 below. Confident employees signaling. to have real sense of empathy in what you say — if people are excited and breed confident customers. This is a liberating trend for brands with strong belief systems like Zappos interested in your brand you must be supportive. If people have issues or 3. Do people trust you? The only way to build trust is to do what you say. that pays their employees to quit or Gourmet that believe that there is no problems with your brand you must seek means of genuinely helping them. Measure the gap between what you say you stand for, and what customers conflict between mixing high fashion and streetwear pieces. Companies with When Hulu pulled FX’s “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia” without notice, fans actually experience on the ground. And improve that experience — you’ll get a substance can now start to tell richer brand stories through the product were in an uproar. Days later Hulu CEO Jason Kilar apologized for the event in much better return than just spending on communication. themselves. blog post titled Customer Trust is Hard Won, Easily Lost, during which he 4. Are you amplifying your difference? Be absolutely clear what makes Moving forward the miniaturization of logos will become more prominent, admitted “We handled this in precisely the opposite way that we should have.” you special, and why customers will want to pay a little extra for it. By all where embedded clues, colors, fabric and materials will become the main The post was lauded for its honesty and transparency and was a major step means offer low-cost variants, but don’t abandon your high ground. Identify brand identifier. toward repairing the damage done. The two-way nature of influence rather the one biggest thing that makes you different, and increase that difference. than the one-way nature of control was crucial here. 5. Are you inventing your way out of recession? Drop 90% of your 2. Be comfortable with ambiguity. Conversation is messy, real time, and innovation projects, but keep the 10% that most closely deliver your often capricious. At first what you see will appear chaotic, unmanageable and brand — they’ll deliver the most value. And use your brand to inspire new intimidating. The reality is that it isn’t your job to manage or control it – but to services, new products, even new businesses that can stimulate demand, A TIME FOR NEW THINGS respond to it. Here you must learn to filter what you see and think in order to wake people up, get them out and spending respond and take part. In an extreme case, Wachovia continues to use Twitter to engage even after the banking crisis and their subsequent takeover by Wells by Ije Nwokorie, 7 October 2008 Fargo. Calmly helping people deal with everything from debit card activation, Last week, British retailer Tesco launched a new low-cost range of fruit and to how long it will take for the Wells Fargo sign to appear above the door. 3. Filter through your purpose. If you’re a great listener, and you’ve PRIVATE LABEL — BE BRANDS OR BE DAMNED! vegetables called Market Value. This is not just about low-cost, Tesco is become comfortable with ambiguity, you still risk being overwhelmed by the very cleverly adopting brand-led innovation to create the value people are conversation pulling you in multiple directions. Here, having a strong brand looking for. purpose is a crucial tool — it becomes the tangible filter through which you Good brands are really judged, not on what they promise, but on the value listen and respond. It defines the nature of your brand’s conversational voice, by Sam Wilson, 17 April 2009 they tangibly deliver. This becomes doubly important in tough times when the and is fundamental to the influence that you seek. search for value becomes even more deliberate, and only outstanding offers Historically private label brands have been popular with retailers to drive low sell. Brand-led innovation is how clever businesses create useful products and Social Media Brand To Watch: The Flying Dog Brewery margins — trading customers down and undercutting the national brands — services that people are happy to pay for. The Flying Dog Brewery is a perfect brand for social media engagement. Their with great success for many a strong merchant organization. But in my view Ideas like Market Value are inspired by Tesco’s brand, ‘better, simpler, “Way of the Dog” is about delivering “purposeful, provocative irreverence” and they’ve never really been up to much. cheaper’ and ‘every little helps’. These ideas in turn strengthen the brand and this entirely defines how they engage and what they do. Here’s a brewery that They’ve seen no need for a purpose or a point of view, they haven’t have larger impact on the business - Tesco plans to extend Market Value to encourages customers to write haiku about their beer on Twitter, engages in bothered to invent anything or offer differentiated products, they have rested other categories such as frozen food, dairy and health and beauty. They also snap polls about favorite brews on Facebook, uses their blog to invite everyone on the laurels of low prices, remained confined to the pack, comfortable with acknowledge the customers’ need for more value, without compromising on down to the bar for a beer and then Flickr to show everyone who couldn’t make mimicking the competition, and in a world of yelling national brands the only FOREST THROUGH THE TREES quality or usefulness, because in hard times, people want a lower price but not bog-standard and dirt-cheap. Sophisticated tastes see ‘economy’ as a it what ensued. (And not only that, the beer is pretty damn good too.) And yet, for every good example, there are thousands of brands large and thing they’ve screamed is cheap. These private label brands are not brands but labels and these ‘labels run compromise too far, so suggesting the values of a market in this (the realness, small who are struggling to figure this all out. the risk of eroding their master brands. And as times get tougher and by Lily Williams, 9 June 2008 the colour, the proximity to source, the haggling even) is dead smart. Perhaps the place to start is to think through what kind of influence you competition ever fiercer, simply sticking labels on products will not be enough Brand-led innovation is a clever approach to making the most in a want to achieve, and then think about how you might engage in order to and is frankly missing a trick. Corporations know the benefits of being seen as green by their consumers, but downturn and contrasts sharply with some flawed and all-too-common achieve it. If you listen first, you will see what is being said about you and this Whilst it is undoubtedly true that in today’s brutal economy people are is it just as simple as looking the part? There are a lot of brands that appear to alternative approaches: will identify useful and helpful ways in which to insert yourself into the turning to store own brands to help stretch more frugal budgets, this be earth-friendly when they are far from it. Greenwashing can often be 1. Deviating from the brand idea. Rather than change what the brand is conversation. assumption is only meaningful if they are in your store to begin with. And I’m difficult for even the savviest consumer to spot. about, Tesco uses new ranges like Market Value to re-enforce its relevance. Who knows? You might even find that losing the illusion of control isn’t only one data point, but even in a recession — who wants to be associated The visual language of green began in the 1960s. Hippie culture 2. Ripping value out of the business through massive discounts. With so bad after all, and you might just strike up a whole new obsession with with cheap?! popularized a natural way of life with products such as additive, animal- Market Value, Tesco keep margins healthy on other ranges such as Finest influence. A true own brand should tell your company’s story, build your master friendly Dr Bronner’s Magic Soap. It wasn’t until the early 1980s when the look without alienating value-conscious customers. brand, but also stand for something of its own. It should live off and leap off of the green was made familiar to the mainstream with brands such as The 3. Sticking heads in the sand and doing nothing. Tesco understand that the pack. Done right it will drive traffic to the store and increase customer Body Shop, Aveda and later on Whole Foods. in tough times, it pays to take a fresh look at your products and services and loyalty. In short, it can and will do everything other great brands do. Looking like a sustainable brand is easy. Natural visual elements such as use the brand to drive new ideas. Similarly, Apple, during the dotcom downturn, A well defined own brand can also use its considerable scale to make life a leaves, trees, earth circles and flowers, in tones ranging from moss to grass to increased R&D budgets, invented iTunes and continues to dominate the little better. It can solve every day problems that help consumers not just save bark, traditionally paint an environmentally-friendly world. Green as a color is category. money, but time, effort, stress, the environment. Focused innovation will not commonly considered fresh. British supermarkets Waitrose, Morrisons, Asda In all sorts of sectors where businesses and consumers are questioning only delight customers, but serve to inspire merchants and vendors alike. It and M&S all use green. Claiming a company is green seems to be easy as well. their spend — energy, finance, advice, travel, retail — the winners will be those will create a halo of progress around your master brand. A recent study by TerraChoice Environmental Marketing, called the Six Sins of that stimulate demand by using their brands to create new things that people Last but not least, rationalizing and strengthening your own brand Greenwashing, uncovered 1,000 household brands that make false are happy to pay for. portfolio will make good things happen to your top and bottom lines. It will environmental claims. TerraChoice found that brands would claim to be encourage cross-sell and even up-sell through out the store, increasing basket ’Certified Organic’ when the product had no credible certification. Many size, it will reduce supply chain and management costs, and ultimately build a products were making entirely irrelevant claims such ’CFC-free’, when CFCs or stronger more easily scalable asset base for your business. Chlorofluorocarbons were actually banned in the United States in 1978 all The proof is in the pudding… Tesco in the UK created a single own-brand A CONTROL FREAK’S GUIDE products in the US are CFC-free now. with a distinct personality rooted in the company’s customer-friendly culture. Even the savviest consumer can be fooled by a strong set of ’green’ visual A brand expression was created and a unique brand story was crafted with TO SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE elements and messages. BP has a brand perception among consumers of premium and economy variants. Design was made consistent across every being good for the earth when the reality is far from it, according to Pierre product category. In one year Tesco increased sales across hundreds of Berton, Professor of Marketing at Bentley College. He goes on to say, in a categories – in some cases, achieving as much as 70% growth and with recent NPR interview, that BP’s ’Beyond Petroleum’ brand message is by Paul Worthington, 24 March 2009 fewer designs. misleading, since over 95 percent of its business is still in petroleum. In 2004 Walmart’s Ol’Roy own-brand became the top-selling dog food in Since then, BP has stopped using that tagline for that very reason. Aside Losing control is a primary reason stated by brands who are unwilling to open America by an annual margin of at least 20 percent. Later this month Walmart from its messaging, BP’s yellow-green sunflower logo has a powerful impact themselves up to the conversation — and a major reason why most continue to will re-launch its Great Value brand and position it to focus on cost savings. FIVE WAYS TO BEAT THE on its green image. On the Brandtags site, where users are asked which words use social media as little more than a brochure on the web. And yet the illusion The hope is that the Great Value brand will work to reinforce Walmart’s brand they associate with famous brands, ’green’ is the third most popular word for of control is just that — an illusion. By not involving yourself you actually do positioning of “save money, live better” creating more brand loyalty. CRUNCH BP, after ’gas’ and ’oil’. Brands that look the part are clearly benefiting. more to remove control than if you did. As recently as this week, Target re-introduced their biggest private label However, if you don’t look green, you might be in trouble. Brands that don’t brand under the optimistic moniker of ‘Up&Up’, with a positive point of view have green as their central look or message tend to be ignored as being The Illusion Of Control and a look and feel that no longer apes the national brand, it will no doubt sustainably responsible even when they are. IKEA’s In traditional marketing and brand management you set out the position you 28 October 2008, by Robert Jones and Paul Worthington keep Target top of mind and dear to our hearts by standing up for itself! flat-pack furniture means it gets more items (continued on following page) want to take, the message you want to get through and then you put it out Change on this scale is no easy task. It goes much deeper than new names on trucks, boats or trains, using less fuel and creating fewer emissions. there. You feel in control because you’ve lined up your one-way Recession is here. This means people are starting to act in three ways. or logos or even new packaging, it involves a new mindset, new processes, However, ’green’ is not one of the words triggered by the IKEA logo on communications and in a vacuum everything appears to line up. They’re losing confidence — in banks, in big companies, in governments, in their more collaboration across internal silos, re-allocation of resources, even new Brandtags. Nike produces a large quantity of its shoes with recycled materials. Combine this with your brand tracking research, which abstracts the employers, even in themselves. They’re trading down, looking for value. And talent. But the effort should be well worth it for brands and consumers alike. But according to Berton’s study, Nike is perceived to have a negative consumer response, and you create a feedback loop where your marketing they’re staying put, playing a waiting game, not venturing into new things. This Hats off and best of luck to those who have stepped up their game, now environmental impact. activities and your market research self-reinforce the illusion. And yet under all sounds like bad news. more than ever you need to boost your margins, and we consumers need true How can ’green’ be represented without leaning on this overly used these circumstances you have, and have always had, precisely zero control But it also creates three huge opportunities for organisations prepared to value, smart innovation and to feel that frugal doesn’t have to mean unfulfilled. symbolism? Al Gore’s We campaign avoids using the same old green leaves over what people think and how they will respond to you. swim against the tide. First, to be an organisation that builds people’s and trees, but instead uses powerful statements that describe its main green The reality is that great branding has always been about influence and not confidence and wins people’s trust. Second, to be different — to offer objective. Brands, please stop trying to fool us! We are all getting confused by control — influencing consumer choices and desires in a manner conducive to something unusual that people will pay a little more for. Third, and most what’s really green. Governments in the UK, Canada, US and Australian have your goals and their satisfaction. important, to get people out of inertia by inventing something great and new. all fast-tracked efforts to address false environmental claims, according to In today’s world, the way to achieve this is not through bigger advertising All three depend on brand. A big enough brand, totally clear what it stands WorldChanging.com. Until then, if your business looks green, then live up to budgets or better creative, but through involvement — first by observing the for, gives an organisation the commitment of its employees and customers, how you look. The way your brand looks means a lot to the world. conversation and then by involving yourself in it. As a result, it’s likely that gives it sustainable differentiation, and gives it a platform on which to those brands with the most effective influence strategies rather than the most innovate. effective control strategies will be the most successful.
  23. 23. Michael Wolff and Wally Olins set up Wolff Olins in 1965. The 80s was the great age of corporate identity. Wally wrote the book. We worked For 3i, Q8 and Prudential. Repsol took In the 60s, we did convention-breaking design work for big us into Spain. And we created a little banking brand in Britain companies like boc, for government bodies like Camden… called First Direct. and for the Beatles. We started the 90s with Europe’s biggest corporate identity In the 70s, we pioneered corporate identity for P&O. project, BT, and then morphed into branding with Orange, then And with tough economic times in Britain, we moved Heathrow Express. And we closed the decade by opening in into France with Colr and Germany with Aral. New York. In the 00s, we’ve become a world business, With GE, Oi, PwC and (RED) in the Americas. Beeline, London 2012, Macmillan, Sony Ericsson, Tate and Unilever in Europe. And Airtel, Sony, Tokyo Metro and Wacom in Asia.