WOLFF OLINS WE HELP YOU EXPAND YOUR
AMBITION THROUGH A BOLDER,
IS A BRAND BRAND-LED STRATEGY.
WE HELP YOU CREATE BETTER
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
WE USE THE POWER OF BRAND
TO DELIVER TRANSFORMATION
INSIDE YOUR ORGANIZATION.
AND WE HELP YOU TAKE
YOUR PLACE IN THE WORLD
THROUGH A STRONGER
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
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,
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
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.
LONDON BEELINE PEPSICO PWC
With Beeline and BBDO,
Wolff Olins developed a new
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.
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%.
APPLE RECORDS PWC
ATHENS 2004 (RED)
BOOZ & COMPANY ROYAL MAIL
CREDIT SUISSE SMITH & NEPHEW
DIAGEO SOCIÉTÉ GÉNÉRALE
FILA SONY ERICSSON
LLOYDS TSB TATE
LONDON 2012 TELENOR
MERCEDES TOKYO METRO
NEW MUSEUM VIVO
NEW YORK CITY WAMU
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.
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.
imagination breakthroughs, generating
solution platforms launched by
in additional revenues, across
modernized monogram, symbolizing
countries, by a team of over
brand idea, stimulating
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
OUR RECENT AWARDS
D&AD AWARD, PACKAGE DESIGN — L LIVING PROOF (2009) /// ART
DIRECTORS CLUB CUBE, SILVER — LIVVING PROOF PACKAGE DESIGN (2009)
/// THE ONE SHOW PENCIL, BRONZE — LIVING PROOF PACKAGE DESIGN
(2009) /// AMERICAN PACKAGING AWA — TRUENORTH (2008) ///
CREATIVE REVIEW ANNUAL GRAPHIC DESIGN AWARD — NYC (2008) ///
D&AD BRANDING/EXISTING BRAND SCHEMES AWARD — NEW MUSEUM &
NYC (2008) /// ART DIRECTORS CLUB, CORPORATE AND PROMOTIONAL
DESIGN AWARD: LOGO/TRADEMARK — NYC (2008) /// AIGA AWARDS,
IDENTITY GUIDELINES MANUAL, BRA AND AND IDENTITY SYSTEMS — NEW
MUSEUM (2008) /// TYPE DIRECTORS CLUB, TYPOGRAPHIC EXCELLENCE
AWARD — (RED) & NEW MUSEUM (200 /// CORPORATE DESIGN AWARD,
INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM COMMUNICATION INTEGRATION CATEGORY —
SOUTHBANK CENTRE (2007) /// DBA DESIGN EFFECTIVENESS,
CORPORATE/BRAND IDENTITY AWAR — WE ARE MACMILLAN CANCER
SUPPORT (2007) /// D&AD NEW BRAN NDING SCHEMES AWARD — (RED)
(2007) /// AIGA AWARDS, BRAND AND IDENTITY SYSTEMS DESIGN
AWARDS — OI (2007) /// BRAND REPUBBLIC, DESIGN AGENCY OF THE YEAR
(2006) /// DESIGN WEEK BENCHMARK AWARD, BEST IN CATEGORY —
MACMILLAN CANCER SUPPORT (2006 /// AIGA AWARDS, BRAND AND
IDENTITY SYSTEMS DESIGN — CARTE ER’S (2006) ///
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
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
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
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,
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 —
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
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)
(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.
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.
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.
NOT JUST TO HELP YOU GRAB
OPPORTUNITIES, WE STRIVE
A NICER TO HAVE IMPACT IN
EVERYTHING WE DO:
A BETTER WHAT MATTERS IS
OUR WORK MAKES TO
YOU, YOUR CUSTOMERS
AND THE WORLD.
THERE IS NO ONE WAY TO
BUILD A GREAT BRAND.
EVERY CLIENT IS DIFFERENT
SO EVERY PROCESS SHOULD
THE WAY WE WORK IS BUILT
AROUND THE FLEXIBILITY TO
CUSTOMIZE OUR APPROACH