grow Thoughts Issue 1


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grow Thoughts Issue 1

  1. 1. 01.09 MAGAZINE ISSUE thoughts. something for your mind keeping the focus positive let’s focus on how to keep customers happy INSIDE THIS ISSUE brains over beauty design is more than just a pretty face wordology sounds kinda 80’s, but we promise you it’s not yeah, we did this work recently completed by the grow team
  2. 2. 2 thoughts. 01.09 01.09 thoughts. 3 credits BY ANTHONY RYMAN — MANAGING DIRECTOR OF GROW Issue Writers Editor Anthony Ryman Raj Fernandez Lui Rogliano Raj Fernandez Lui Rogliano yeah, we did this! Creative Director Garry Behling Typesetting Graphic Elements Photography Mail Lui Rogliano Lui Rogliano Rina Wood Jason Anonuevo Rina Wood Lui Rogliano PO Box 12212 Doha, Qatar Being English has several redeeming values, one of which is the bulldog spirit, otherwise defined as “stiff upper lip”. Whether our countenance and demeanour is a result of foul weather and bland food is open to question, but there’s something about the ‘whingeing poms’ when times get tough, that is well worth reviewing. The media have fallen over themselves in the rush to describe the ‘credit crisis’ as the worst since the great Depression, and other expletives too numerous to mention. But one thing is for sure, in times of hardship, most people go back to what they know and trust, and that is even truer of brands and consumer behaviour. MUSEUM OF ISLAMIC ART keeping the focus positive. At grow, we pride ourselves on positive thinking and creating award-winning work for our clients that reinforces their positioning and differentiation. This allows clients to acquire greater market share and grow their business with less effort and decreasing customer acquisition cost. I thought it wise therefore to look at what makes us truly happy, as consumers, and what doesn’t. This forms the central tenet of branding, to understand human behaviour and what motivates us, in order to develop a brand that is true, believable and honest. Studying consumers means studying human beings. So let’s start with the most important question any marketer can ever ask him or herself: what makes human beings and therefore your customers happy? The ‘happiness’ question is likely to resurface frequently in the next few years; especially as mature consumer societies are faced with formidable (economic) competition from emerging, hard working economies. If these experienced consumers decide that the race to the (money) top is crucial, they must all work harder. If they decide life is about more than economic well-being, a whole new world will open up. Challenge To communicate the uniqueness of the Museum of Islamic Art and to present the museum and its artefacts with a visually interesting and non-stereotypically “Islamic” design. Strategy Dynamic colours and shapes were chosen to lead the observer into the design. Calming tones of blue were used together with vibrant reds and golds inspired from the artefacts themselves to communicate the true stature of the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar. Results The Museum attracted over 35,000 visitors in its opening weekend and is now firmly positioned as a ‘must see’ attraction for visitors and residents alike. In fact, these ‘old economies’ could lead again, this time showing the way to leading a good life: a balanced mix of economic well being and everything else (from having more time for loved ones, to focusing on creativity and skills versus just consuming, to more eco-friendly lifestyles). Let’s take a closer look at ‘happiness’: for most people, happiness is the ultimate goal, yet often remains temporary and elusive. The booming new science of happiness has shown that it’s within individuals’ power to maximize their own happiness. For instance, University of Minnesota researcher David Lykken1 concluded that about 50% of satisfaction with life comes from our genes. The rest, he found, is subject to our voluntary decisions and attitudes. So let’s focus on the 50% of happiness that human beings can completely control.
  3. 3. 4 thoughts. 01.09 Theories of Happiness In the last 50 years, in mature consumer societies, living standards, life expectancy and material wealth have soared. Income has almost tripled. The size of the typical newly built house has more than doubled. The only thing that hasn’t soared is happiness. In fact, it’s remained completely unchanged.2 Studies by Ruut Veenhoven at Erasmus University in Rotterdam have show that after annual income exceeds USD 10,000; money tends to decreasingly affect happiness until an income of USD 50,000 has been reached. Above that, more money makes almost no difference at all. If we examine one of the central tenets of grow’s philosophy when examining consumers, Abraham Maslow, a US psychologist who was a leader in the humanistic school of psychology and created a ‘hierarchy of needs’ to explain human motivation. 01.09 thoughts. 5 Positive Psychology If wealth doesn’t bring happiness, then what does? An entirely new field of study called Positive Psychology is dedicated to answering this question. It’s a booming movement that focuses on what makes people feel good. And it has proven that happiness and optimism are skills that can be taught and learned. The key assertion of Positive Psychology is that there are provable techniques for raising our own levels of happiness. In short, we need to maximize just three key factors. First, we should derive more pleasure from sensory life experiences. Second, we should become more engaged and deeply involved in work, hobbies and relationships. And third, we should find ways of making our lives feel more meaningful. To test the ideas of Positive Psychology, two of its pioneers, Ed Diener and Martin Seligman, conducted a study at the University of Illinois. They found that the most salient characteristics shared by those with the highest levels of happiness were strong ties to friends and family and commitment to spending time with them. Happiness and Location Where people live has a significant role in their level of happiness. Several recent studies have sought to declare the world’s happiest people. The World Happiness Database named the Danes, the Swiss and the Maltese the happiest. What makes a nation happy? National happiness is most closely associated with health levels, prosperity, education and trust in public institutions. Democracy is a sure guide to happiness. It seems self-determination through political engagement boosts life satisfaction. Level 1 - Food, shelter, clothing The developed world has reached Level 4, proving their worth and self esteem and validating their success. And yet, we’re still not happy! Level 5 is next: how do companies appeal to people’s need for self-fulfilment, faith, belief and authenticity? So why aren’t people getting happier as they are getting wealthier? Most people judge what they have according to what others have. So rather than being content with satisfying one’s own needs, most people can only be happy by being comparatively better off. Consumers measure their comparative wealth mainly using Positional Goods like top jobs, luxury items, and the best education. They compete for these exclusive positional goods, judging each other by acquisition and accomplishment of them. In societies that are not so much based on hierarchy, positional goods have less of an effect because there are multiple niches in which people can show their worth. Yet in most societies, Status Anxiety is getting worse. In England we call it, keeping up with the Joneses.” It’s eating away at happiness faster because the rich are getting richer faster and their lives are more visible. This is causing Middle-Class Anxiety where people with more than comfortable lives believe themselves to be inadequate. Why doesn’t wealth promote happiness? In his 1958 book “The Affluent Society”, economist John Kenneth Galbraith argued that affluence allowed us to escape miserable lives of hunger and sickness and the social conflicts that stemmed from poverty. Yet affluence has also caused many unforeseen dissatisfactions. Galbraith believed that the materialism would breed discontent. He accused advertising of conditioning consumers into thinking they needed things they really didn’t and creating artificial desires that would be inherently disappointing to fulfil. Reach “Oh that a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a Heaven for?” -Robert Browning Psychologists Robert Biswas-Diener and Ed Diener found that though there are regional differences in happiness, humans are hardwired to be happy. They found Latin Americans to be the happiest people in the world. Their high spirits in the face of relative poverty stemmed from a cultural norm that tends to positively assess life in general. The Dieners’ research suggested that being happy is an evolutionary adaptation that helps us flourish in trying circumstances. The ancient mystics believed that happiness is a ‘state of mind’. In today’s context it is a positive and personal response to difficult times. Do we buckle under the pressure of the growing epidemic of economic gloom or take it up as a challenge and manage change for our own benefit? One country is even using happiness as a measure of development. Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is introducing a metric known as Gross National Happiness. Considerations will include how people use and balance their time, the health of the culture and community, and the quality of governance.3 Conclusion The conclusions of Positive Psychology, Happiness Economics and others show that happiness is chiefly an attitude of gratitude and acceptance. Happy people are open to change and have a positive outlook on life. They engage in purposeful activities that test their abilities, and develop relationships of respect and closeness. Successful brands understand the ‘happiness trend’. They know they can’t sell happiness because true happiness is something people make for themselves. So smart brands choose to be facilitators and support meaningful self-fulfilment so people can create their own happiness. In fact, successful brands have a deep and direct connection with the needs and aspirations of the consumer. It is an emotional appeal to their senses, thereby building a long and fulfilling relationship. Leaving behind what Kevin Roberts of Saatchi & Saatchi described as the ‘Love Mark’. Savvy consumers will endorse those brands that help them find and create happiness in themselves. Source Acknowledgements, Time Magazine, Newsweek, BBC, National Opinion Research Center, Universities: Rotterdam, Erasmus, Southern California, Boston College, Minnesota, JK Galbraith, Robert Browning, Andy Warhol among others. Footnotes 1. 2. National Opinion Research Center 3. BBC and Time Magazine Images Lui Rogliano member: Piterart
  4. 4. 6 thoughts. 01.09 yeah, we did this! 01.09 thoughts. 7 BY LUI ROGLIANO — DESIGN DIRECTOR AT GROW RITZ-CARLTON DOHA, COLLATERALS brains over beauty. Graphic Design has a long history and is known to be one of the oldest professions in the world spanning the days when early man adorned their caves. However in a history spanning centuries, not much has changed in the way people perceive graphic work. My thoughts all stem from a term I’ve been kicking around - Social Engineers. I’m not too sure when I first came across this term or who coined the phrase, however the central idea is that graphic designers are responsible for shaping the environment around them. But does this seem pompous? Do we, as designers, really have that much control or power (insert evil laugh)? you got that wordology? After chewing on the concept, I’ve decided that it’s almost our responsibility to ensure that we present society with design that is more than just beautiful. Design should be strategic, functional, engaging and challenging. It’s not just about style, it’s about ideas. It’s about communicating key messages. Our work may not have to be all that beautiful to make a difference - it doesn’t have to be “up in lights” or draw attention to itself, but it should respond to the needs/requirements of the business and not to the personal preferences of the client. Design, after all, has a business function. TINTERWEB Before we even put pen to paper, most designers spend hours researching to fully understand our subject. We draw on knowledge, experience, research and a good working process to develop solutions. Don’t get me wrong, the visual elements are certainly a focus - but not the only focus. It’s about communication and if the project doesn’t communicate, then it has failed. That’s why most designers are passionate about design. We see how effective it can be in changing the lives/opinions/circumstances of the people that come in contact with it. Design inspires us and we want to pass that on. Naturally there is a commercial side to the industry which also effects designers and our work. Clients expect more from designers than the visual. They need us to meet their expectations and be able to communicate verbally and in a written sense. We agree that this is a necessity and in doing so, we commit ourselves to constant refinements to meet their objectives. It’s a changing world and we at grow take that very, very seriously. So what better way to get into the swing of it than with a lesson in vocab... vocabulary, that is. We’re often on the fringes of futurology (we love our ‘ologys’) as we search for macro-trends that can shape or influence our clients’ business in the here and now. On our travels we meet a huge number of new words with new meanings. So we thought we would introduce a new word in every newsletter in the hope you’ll sporadically use it as ‘Tai’ did in the movie Clueless. Tinterweb The tinterweb is a slang word for the internet. It’s used by geeks who want to appear cooler than they actually are. Example: “I was surfing the tinterweb last night.”, Geoff the Geek exclaimed. Source: Urban dictionary In a nutshell, however, it’s in our best interest to find the best solution for you and that the answer to your design problem has gone through our well-oiled cog of research to deliver a solution that’s more than just beautiful. Images member: Lapolab
  5. 5. 8 thoughts. 01.09 grow 3rd Floor Thani Bin Abdullah Complex Ibn Seena Street, Doha, Qatar T +974 444 6222 F +974 431 4982 E W © grow 2008. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written permission of grow. The contents, layout and design are copyrighted and are protected by worldwide copyright laws and treaty provisions including Qatar Law No.9 of 2002 on the protection of copyrights and related rights.