Simple Brands Are Simply Better

As the world gets more complex and more difficult to navigate consumers are attracted to brands that portray and provide simple solutions. Brand simplification is easier said than done but the financial incentive is significant. Siegel+Gale, a global brand strategy consultants, does an annual survey to monitor global brands simplicity with states that 64% of consumers are willing to pay more for simpler experiences. Their study also concludes that simple brands enjoy increased revenue, stock valuation, brand advocacy and employee engagement. Companies must look at everything their brand projects within the lens of simplicity, from the purchase process to packaging to customer interactions to product usage to communications and marketing.


Simple Brands means a Convenient Brand

Ideally you want your product precisely where and when the customer most wants it. This is the point where they are willing to pay the most and will be the most loyal. Imagine you are in the hot dessert with the temperature hovering around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Stinking hot! The sun baking your face and your mouth feels like sandpaper. You are dying for an ice-cold drink. You see a Coke vending machine ahead of you. You can tell it’s working hard to keep its contents cold as water is collecting on the outside of the machine. How much would you pay for that bottle of Coke to quench your thirst? A lot! In 2010, Coca-Cola Company estimated there were more than 6.9 million vending machines in the United States.  Why so many? Convenience means more impulse sales and a higher value for the product. That’s why Best Buy, with an online and brick-and-mortar strategy also provides smaller mobile stores and vending machine, to deliver the right products in the right place. There are times I would have paid dearly for a phone charger.


Simple Brands means a Faster Brand

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, always talks of keeping his company in a continuous Day 1 state, both physically and mentally. He says, “To keep the energy and dynamism of Day 1, you have to somehow make high-quality, high-velocity decisions. Easy for start-ups and very challenging for large organizations.” Bezos says to survive in today’s world brands must “embrace powerful trends quickly.” To make this happen organization must be able to make decisions quickly without all the answers. Customers also want brands to react and fulfill promises with speed, like Amazon Prime and 1-Click.

Netflix is also recognised as one of the top simple brands by the Global Brand Simplicity Index, as they provide customers with entertainment anytime, anywhere, instantly. This brand went quickly from DVD movie distribution to streaming.

Simple Brands means a Brand for Dummies

Statista, the statistics portal, states Netflix had 109.25 million streaming subscribers worldwide in the third quarter of 2017. Of these subscribers, 52.77 million were from the United States. In less than a few clicks you can escape from reality to any genre, a task which even a three year old can accomplish. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says the battle-tested KISS principle holds a ton of power at the Netflix headquarters. He says over the years they have figured out “that people really love simplicity.”  The end game is successful brands don’t make customers think they just make them happy.


Simple Brands means a Focused Brand

Apple is passionate about creating a simple, focused brand. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, said, “This is the most focused company I know of… We say no to good ideas every day so that the company can keep its focus on a small number of areas.” Jeremy Miller, author of Sticky Branding says successful simple brands can be described in 10 words or less. Can you describe what makes your brand unique in 10 or less words?

No surprise, Google has been in the top 10 ranking for the last eight years Siegel+Gale began publishing its Global Brand Simplicity Index. That means Google needs to satisfactorily answer over 63,000 search queries every second (or 5.5 billion searches per day or 2 trillion searches per year) world-wide. No pressure.

“A simple design is like telling a compelling story with as few words as possible” explains Art Director Bianca Magna at Banfield advertising agency. This is true for packaging, website and online applications and advertising.

The eco-friendly Ikea has been recognised for its “minimalist” designs in its variety of products and memorable brand advertising. True to its brand Ikea has “simplicity” as one of its key values stating “It is about being ourselves and staying close to reality…and see bureaucracy as our biggest enemy.” However, assembling some of the Ikea furniture might require an engineering degree if you can’t understand the pictorial instructions.


Simple Brands means a Successful Brand

Successful and sustainable brands have one common promise – they make life simple. Simple brands are the furthest away from being a simple businesses. In the eyes of the consumer these are beautifully designed, understated brands that come with powerful benefits. These brands take complex, complicated technology, processes and algorithms and turn them into simple customer interfaces that look effortless and simple. Their business operations are state-of-the-art, their employees are focused on what matters and their understanding of their customers is paramount.

Achieving simplicity is not simple. But the brands that harness its power stand to reap a multitude of both reputational and financial rewards.



Is Your City Sticky Enough To Be A Brand?

In a globalized world, every city has to compete with each other for its share of the world’s talent, resources, tourists, investments, businesses, respect and attention. Cities compete for funds, talent and fame. Those cities that have the stickiness to build a strong brand definitely have an edge to stand out against the 4,036 other cities in the world (Source: reddit user Fingolas).

Branding a city is a daunting task but some cities have been successful. Think about it. Your product is a massive moving and breathing sea of people and services. Some in sync and others working against the grain. Talk about a quality control nightmare. Building a city brand isn’t about slogans, advertising campaigns and visual logos (for some cities this is a good start). It’s about understanding the essence of what makes the city tick and what attracts people in the first place.

The Big Issue – Aligning City Hall

The biggest challenge in building a city brand is the number of stakeholders involved in the process, which makes it crucial to have a clear strategy and defined goals. Alignment of all stakeholders’ around a vision is essential in building an effective, long-term city brand. Sicco van Gelder an expert in city branding says that the stakeholders need to come together in partnership. “Creating such a partnership is the first step in changing the way the city operates, because it simultaneously crosses divides such as those between town and gown, government and business, arts and sports, and commerce and culture, the public and community sectors.”

A City’s Eye-Candy


The physical and functional aspect of any city can be its geography, landscape, physical environment (such as its location, harbor and waterways), transportation, and physical attributes. Or symbolic buildings such as the Eiffel tower, the White House, Big Ben, Sydney Opera House and the Roman Colosseum. Or iconic symbols like a wooden sign on the side of a hill (Hollywood) or a white cross (Rio de Janeiro), or an orange bridge (San Francisco). It doesn’t hurt if a city has a few thousand years behind it or an iconic architectural structure that everyone wants to take a selfie with. But not every city has the luxury of time and forefathers who had more money and resources than common sense. The physical image and iconic architecture is the mental picture of the city’s brand but it is the unique experience that creates the brand story. The physical and functional attributes are just eye-candy to get the consumers’ attention or a least get in their photos.


A City’s Coolness


The coolness factor can’t be underestimated in building a city brand with or without city eye-candy. Richard Florida, Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, and author of numerous books on the subject of “creative class” says that we can’t underrate the importance of the Creative Class within a city. The Creative Class is defined as scientists and engineers, architects and designers, artists and entertainers and gay people. It is these people who create new ideas, new innovations, and new companies that help build a vibrant city. Forbes publishes an annual List of America’s Coolest Cities that is based on the amount of entertainment and recreational options, the ethnic and cultural diversity and the abundance of young people. We all know that cities with lots of university/college students is a happening place. Coolness is generated by word-of-mouth and media, especially movies where a blockbuster film can take a landmark and make it an emotional memory for life. New York City has hundreds of these moments. Check out NYNY greatest film scenes. It doesn’t need to be a blockbuster movies, TV series (like C.S.I. and Miami Vice) and major events such as the Calgary Stampede, SXSW, or Olympic Games hosting can have a huge effect on the city’s image and ultimately its brand.


A City’s Brand Promise


A city’s brand depends on much more than where it is located, its climate or natural resources. It’s the human capital and history that shapes the experience, and provides the brand promise through food, shopping, museums, art, theatre, music, social activities and cultural events.


Unless you have a city that has an unprecedented brand promise like Las Vegas, the task of building a true city brand is almost impossible. City branding can be big business – in 2013, the Big Apple (New York City) had over 54.3 million tourists who ate, slept, shopped, and needed to be entertained. If each person spent a thousand dollars (cheap in Manhattan) they would generate over $54 billion. Cities continue to look for their elusive brand promise to help create the stickiness to stand out from the competition. Brand strategist Günter Soydanbay says not every city is New York, London, or Paris; nor should it try to be.


Most Cities Fail At Branding


No surprise, branding consultancy k629 database indicates that most city branding efforts fail (86%) within a year of introduction. Bill Baker, city branding guru says too often city branding fails because they try to become a consumer product, all wrapped-up in a nice advertising campaign. “Many consider that branding is purely a function of marketing communications and they do not take into account the behavioral, organizational and community-wide implications that successful place-branding can bring.”


The City of Toronto VS Austin


With all these barriers, it hasn’t stopped the city of Toronto from trying to build a vibrant brand with the sound of music. In a 2012 study commissioned by Music Canada it was found that Toronto is one of the greatest music cities in the world, and yet, it could be doing much more to maximize the economic benefits of this fact. “The music cluster strategy is an important step forward to helping Toronto claim its rightful place as one of the best music cities in the world,” says City Councillor Josh Colle. It was discovered that Toronto had more music assets than Austin, Texas but Austin leverages their assets to account for almost half of their $1.6 billion economic output. This is three times more economic activity compared to Toronto’s music industry from a city that is a third the size of Toronto.


To solidify the music focus, the initiative “4479” was launched. “4479” stands for 44 degrees North and 79 degrees West the map coordinates for Toronto. The website states that “4479 is an initiative to unite the people for whom music and Toronto intersect, around the idea of celebrating the extensive musical assets in the city, and promoting the growth of this vibrant economic sector.” Who knows, this initiative might catch fire and Toronto could be the northern version of Austin, Texas. Let’s hope their conductor knows as much about rallying people as they do about music.


A Sticky City Brand


A city brand isn’t an advertising campaign, slogan or logo. It’s the feeling and excitement that you experience the moment you step off the airplane, train or vehicle. It’s the rush you get when you broadcast to your family and friends – I’m here! Ever city should understand what it stands for and what is that one insight that stick’s into people’s minds. This is the essence of the city brand. If there isn’t one thing or moment sticky enough then you need to make one. Start with eye-candy then create a vivacious and lively city from the creative people within. If this happens a brand will be easy to see because it will be all around you – living and breathing. Yahoo from Calgary!




Does the colour of a brand really matter?

“Any color – so long as it’s black.”

Henry Ford


If you followed the virtual sensation of what colour was the dress as people debated online about whether its colours were blue and black or white and gold then you would agree colour does matter. Research suggests cells in secondary visual cortex (V2)  is particularly responsible for how we see colour consistency, which explains why a red apple still looks red if we look at it outside, under a lamp or in different lightening conditions – unless you are looking at a blue or white dress.

Loyola College research points to the connection between colour and memory: seeing a logo in colour makes it 39% more memorable than seeing the same logo in black and white. Colour also drives engagement: adding colour to blog posts, product guides, print advertising and other brand collateral increases readership by 80%

According to KissMetrics, “Color increases brand recognition by 80%.” But you also need to differentiate your brand from the pack. If you are starting up a new bank you might want to use a different colour than blue which is used by: Chase, JP Morgan, Deutsche bank, RBS, RBC, Prudential, Barclays, Citibank, Capital One, Union Bank, Bank of Montreal, to name a few. Then there are those who used the colour orange as the new blue, like ING Bank and the new bank Tangerine.

It is no surprise financial institutions and many other brands use the colour of ‘true blue’ as it emotes feelings for trust and dependability. But, according to a study published in the Journal of Business Research, customers are actually 15% more likely to return to stores with blue colour schemes than to those with orange colour schemes. Try to tell ING Bank that the orange isn’t working for them as they turned a profit of 3.5 billion Euros in 2014.

The Birth of a Brand Colour

There has been a great deal of work done in the area of psychology of colour in branding. But, to me it’s like buying a house. You make the initial decision based on emotion and then you rationalize it after the fact to legitimize your purchase. The birth of a brand identity really starts with the logo design which is generally done by a graphic designer. Depending on your budget, you can employ a single individual of a massive agency team (Top 15 graphic design companies from around the globe) then it will depend on their ability to sell you on the colour.

My assumption with most start-up companies is that the brand logo design and its colour aren’t the biggest concerns of the day. It isn’t where they are investing or spending their time. Their biggest concern is focused on getting their product or service to market.

To believe they have the brand all figured-out would be a stretch. You might know where you want to go, but how you get there is not always in your control and that includes your brand. I am sure the college dropouts Steven Jobs and Steven Wozniak, who started Apple Computers in Job’s garage, didn’t have a clear vision of where the Apple brand was going. Their first logo void of any colour could have easily been a Tolkien book cover (author of the famous The Lord of the Rings book series) than a company logo. The logo depicted Isaac Newton sitting under a tree with an apple dangling over his head. You know the rest of the gravity story.


This logo survived only a year, but the company now had the funds to be able to commission a real graphic designer Rob Janoff. He designed the rainbow colour apple with a bite taken out of it. This logo lasted 22 years until 1997 when the colours were replaced with a more modern monochromatic sleek look. It is these redesigns and modernization of brands that the rationalization and supporting stories are developed alongside the million plus dollar price tag from the mega graphic design firms. It is interesting that as the Apple brand became more popular, myths began to be told about how the Apple brand came to be.

Starbucks started with a brown or mocha coloured logo of a siren (or mermaid) from Greek mythology, which made sense since they were selling rich dark-roast coffee by the cup in Seattle on the west coast. But, 15 years later the logo was refined and the colour changed to green. Why? It is believed the three founders wanted to honour their alum matter, the University of San Francisco, which happens to a similar green.


There has been a great deal of research done to understand the effects of colour on consumer’s response. But Gergory Ciotti, marketing strategist at Help Scout, points out that there has been “numerous attempts to classify consumer responses to different individual colors… but the truth of the matter is that color is too dependent on personal experiences to be universally translated to specific feelings.” He goes on to explain that gender, background, and culture all play a role in how consumers are influenced by colour perceptions, but that doesn’t seem to stop the rationalizations.


If this is true why are all STOP signs and SALE signs red? According to a study published in the journal Emotion, Professor Andrew Elliot found that people react faster and more forcefully when they see the colour red, with the primary reason behind the phenomena being that the colour red enhances physical reactions as it is programmed into our psyche as a cue for danger.

A brand that has used the power of red successfully for over 128 years has been Coca-Cola, which sells about 19,400 beverages every second around the world. Like the SALE sign, Coca-Cola started advertising their brand by painting big red signs on the side of buildings and coolers. They continued on in the early 1900’s with outdoor billboards and traditional advertising. In 1931 they successfully tied their brand to the man in red – Old St. Nicholas. As the years passed, the colour red became synonymous with Coca-Cola. It required years and years of persistence and hardnosed application of the brand principles. As the brand developed over time, a process was developed to define and codify the brand values and its essence. In this process, the brand colour(s) also get encoded into the brands DNA.

white coke canII

In 2011, Coca-Cola slipped up by changing their sacred red Coke can to white during the December holiday season to celebrate their highly successful polar bear advertising campaign. Within weeks, the white “polar bear” cans were pulled off the shelves because of a tremendous backlash from retailers and consumers, who were confused by the change from the traditional red. Some even complained that the taste of the soda was different—all because of the colour of the can!

Getting the brand DNA right takes time and is built on what works for the brand’s customers, but once the brand colour is locked in you must be ruthless in protecting this relationship to a colour and what the brand represents.  Can you see a John Deere customer selecting the colour he wants for his tractor? It comes in green or green or green.

heinz-ez-squirt-275When you think of Heinz ketchup you automatically think of the tomato red coloured bottle. They had the opposite results from changing their red coloured bottle to green. The Heinz EZ Squirt Blastin’ Green ketchup was a phenomenal success. But, to be fair, they still had the red bottle for those customers who didn’t want to change. More than 10 million green bottles were sold in the first seven months following its introduction. All because of a simple colour change. I am not sure if the ketchup tasted better.

Colour is a powerful signifier of a brand. When customers visually scan store shelves, they look first at colour clues, then at shapes, and finally at the label or name of the brand. Research conducted by the Seoul International Color Expo 2004 found that 92.6% of customers put visual factors as most importance when purchasing products and the colour accounted for almost 50% as the important factor. The Institute for Color Research found that people make a subconscious judgement about an environment or product within 90 seconds of initial viewing and that between 62% and 90% of that assessment is based on colour alone!

The colour a company uses to brand itself conveys how trustworthy they are, the quality of their products, how fun they are and much more. So, you need to have the right colour to succeed.

Paul Bottomley and John Doyle authored a study: The interactive effects of colors and products on perceptions of brand logo appropriateness where they demonstrated that the relationship between brands and colour are based on the perceived appropriateness of the colour being used and the particular brand personality you are trying to portray.

Does the colour fit what the brand represents? An obvious misfit would be the colour pick with a somber and serious lawyer firm brand or a funeral home. While the colour of pink might differentiate the brand, it might not built a solid brand message. Because there are so many brands today, it is getting harder and harder for new brands to build their own unique brand colour positioning, so they are pushing the limits of what is appropriate. In every business category, there is an outlier who isn’t following the colour code like Orange’s orange, T Mobile’s neon pink, Veuve Clicquot’s bright yellow, Yahoo’s purple, and BP’s lime green.

If you want your brand to be synonymous with a colour, you need to use your colour everywhere. The store environment or anywhere it makes sense. A fleet of planes painted orange with airline attends wearing orange uniforms (EasyJet), a fleet of brown delivery vans with drivers wearing brown uniforms (UPS), the tastefully accent colour of robin egg blue surrounding gold, silver and diamonds with the iconic blue box (Tiffany & Co), and flooding the exterior and the interior of the store and staff in yellow and red (Shell and McDonald’s). The colour is part of the brand experience.

I wonder how many brand colours were the results of the whims of the graphic designer exploring the next trend or the personal taste of the CEO’s spouse. In the case of Facebook, the founder Mark Zuckerberg is red-green colour blind so blue was his choice.

Well thought-out colours can help define a brand’s value, strength and positioning, which will boost awareness and customer recall and differentiate the brand from the competition. If chosen effectively, it can even set the emotional stage for the overall brand experience.

The right colour does matter.


10 Simple Secrets to Keep Your Brand Creative

Creativity is at the core of every successful brand. It’s the essence of what makes the world go round, driven by new ideas and new better solutions. The digital world has blown-up traditional thinking with new concepts and business models never seen before literally at your finger-tips. The blue ocean” has never been so big. Creativity has always ranked as one of the most crucial factors for a brand’s future success.

How do you build a creative culture to sustain a brand? It starts with leaderships’ understanding of creativity, then giving talented people the knowledge of how to be creative and the freedom to do so. Simple—right? If it were, every brand would be ahead of the game, anticipating every customer’s needs. To help with the learning process, I have collected ten simple secrets to help keep your brand creative:

1. Build A Creative Culture

Pixar is a good example of a company with a creative culture—the innovative animation giant has created 14 No. 1 movie in a row. Pixar President Ed Catmull, the coauthor of the book Creativity, Inc., points out some basic beliefs:

  • Talent is rare.
  • Management’s job is not to prevent risk but to build the capability to recover from failure.
  • The working environment must be safe, to tell the truth.
  • Everyone must constantly challenge all assumptions and search for flaws.
  • The ultimate goal is “making the product great.”

Creativity isn’t elusive or exclusive—diversity is key. According to a joint study between Harvard and Insead, it turns out that creativity is 85% a learned skill. All we need to do is learn it! Easier said than done for most of us.


2. Steal With Pride

Jim Jarmusch, an independent filmmaker, said it better than I could ever write,  “Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, water bodies, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.”

3. Connect The Dots

Maria Popova, the creative genius behind BrainPickings.org, says that creativity is the ability to connect the unconnected – it is the melding of existing knowledge into new insight about the world around us. It’s the ability to connecting the dots between unrelated ideas. Sir Richard Branson, the Virgin Group founder, is so passionate about this concept that it is part of its growth philosophy. They call it the ABCD process: Always Be Connecting Dots.

Steve Jobs supports this secret, “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it. They just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.”

4. Curiosity

Psychologist Todd Kashdan thinks curiosity “appears to be a fundamental motive in facilitating industry and creativity.” Curiosity goes hand-in-hand with creativity. B. F. Skinner, psychologist and author, said, “When you run into something interesting, drop everything else and study it.” Visit a bookstore or library and wander the rows of books and maybe get inspired to read something totally different. Buy a magazine from a section that you rarely view (stay away from the adult section). Watch a movie or TED Talks about a topic you know nothing about. Take a course on a skill set that you are interested in but know nothing about. Start asking the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ on everything around you.

5. See Things Differently

In Maria Konnikova’s book Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes, she emphasizes the importance of observing your environment on a deeper level. Leonardo da Vinci observed that many people look, but few people see. Mindful seeing is the foundation of direct experience and the foundation of direct knowledge. Writer Joan Didion kept a notebook with her at all times and said that she wrote down observations about people and events to understand the complexities and contradictions of her own mind. Try to be in the moment.

6. Diversity

Involve individuals from all walks of life to help collaborate. Google provides lunch every day for all their employees, but there is one catch – everyone must participate from all departments and levels. According to Caitlin Adair, from Google’s head office, their café and micro kitchens create collaborative spaces for employees to “discuss, brainstorm, meet and relax.”

Google goes to great lengths to provide employees with a fun environment, such as beach volleyball courts, mini-golf courses, and adult playgrounds. The goal is to create a safe, relaxed and comfortable environment for employees to vocalize creative, even wacky, ideas. Businesses that value creativity needs to provide an unstructured environment where unusual ideas can be generated and celebrated from anywhere in the organization.


7. Experiment – Appreciate That It’s A Process

Creativity is a process that is developed over time. Creativity can’t be rushed or delivered on-demand.

The first iPhone didn’t just happen. It took many hundreds of versions before it was finally released. Some of them, terrible versions that Apple never showed us, like the rumoured click wheel iPhone that never was.

“Creatives fail, and the really good ones fail often,” Forbes contributor Steven Kotler wrote in a piece on Einstein’s creative genius.

“There is a deep and meaningful connection between risk-taking and creativity, and it’s one that’s often overlooked,” says Kotler. “Creativity is the act of making something from nothing. It requires making public those bets first placed by imagination. This is not a job for the timid. Time wasted, reputation tarnished, money not well spent – these are all by-products of creativity gone awry.”

Don’t be frustrated that you didn’t come up with a brilliant idea in five minutes. Creativity takes time – sleep on it, and get others to sleep on it.

8. Shake Things Up

Sitting in a room around a table or on a zoom call brainstorming isn’t thinking out-side-the-box. Get up. Move around. Change your perspective, literally. Physical movement has been shown to have a positive effect on creative thinking.

Take away an element (it could be something physical, environmental or conceptual) or add a new foreign element to generate new ideas or constructs.

Experience new things, take different routes to and from work, use your left hand for the things you would normally do with the right hand, avoid anything that makes life monotonous or mundane. Promise yourself you will do something different today.


9. The Philosophy Of Walking

Facebook‘s Mark Zuckerberg conducts meetings on foot – walking around the Facebook campus. Creative thinking improves while a person is walking and shortly thereafter, according to a study co-authored by Marily Oppezzo, a Stanford doctoral graduate in educational psychology, and Daniel Schwartz, a professor at Stanford Graduate School of Education.


10. Play

Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO, advocates that creative thinkers need time, space, and permission to play to do their jobs well; because playfulness helps us get to more creative solutions. Check out his TED Talk as he talks about the powerful relationship between creative thinking and play – with many examples you can try at home (and one that maybe you shouldn’t).

Start With A Problem

Creativity ultimately solves a problem, as does a successful brand. Nick Woodman couldn’t get any great action photographs of himself surfing in Australia. This problem inspired him to develop the GoPro camera. Doctor Joan Fallon noticed that many autistic children had a deficiency in a certain kind of enzyme for processing protein. She started Curemark and raised $50 million to develop a treatment to solve the problem. Today, she is taking her unique technology and tackling problems like schizophrenia and other neurological conditions. Maybe, Ingvar Kamprad couldn’t get a table into his trunk of his small Swedish car, so he took the legs off and then started IKEA.

As Steve Jobs said, “You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.”

It’s no secret that many brands were a solution to a problem. If you keep looking to solve customer problems, your brand will always be relevant and valued. To do this, you must cultivate a creative environment that is always seeking to do better.


The headline image is a protester whose Molotov cocktail has been morph into a bouquet. Banksy designed a famous English graffiti artist, political activist, film director, and painter. His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine dark humour with graffiti executed in a distinctive stencilling technique.


Brands Need to Be Faster to Stay Alive

I don’t think anyone is surprised that the speed of life has consumers demanding instant gratification. In the past, if you wanted to watch a movie you had two choices: go to a movie theatre or sit down in front of your TV. But you were stuck with a small selection of maybe two to five movie choices. The next evolution was video stores – remember Blockbuster? You could select from the 100s of new releases or old favorites as long as you had a video player to view it. Then the next innovation was video-on-demand cable but the big game changer was Netflix who went from rent-by-mail to online – hundreds of movies anytime, anywhere for a low cost monthly fee. The selection process went from hours of planning down to minutes and seconds. It took 25 years for Blockbuster to go from one store to 9,000 locations and $800 million in late fees to bankruptcy. While in less than 15 years YouTube has users watching 6 billion hours of video each month and uploading 100 hours worth of video every minute and along the way has made many people famous.