Last week it blew a gale and rained a lot in Manchester. But on the upper floors of the Hilton hotel it wasn’t the weather that was getting people excited: it was the collective reaction of some 200 business school leaders to the just published Government Green Paper on the future of the higher education sector and the proposals for a Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) in particular.
As a creative marketing agency we do a lot of work with clients around branding and visual identity. In most cases it’s the time we invest at the early stages of a project that proves the most valuable and certainly the most insightful: we need to establish exactly what our client really needs. Is it time for a rebrand? Or is it a refresh? And does everyone in the project understand and agree what the expected outcomes will be?
So I’m very excited, as this week I get to write about the social media god that is Joe Wicks, he’s one of my favourite people to follow on Instagram and you probably know him as ‘The Body Coach.’ I want to look at the brand that he’s managed to create through social media, and why Instagram is becoming such an important tool for businesses… I do work in marketing after all.
With an X Factor debut, and a deluge of famous names, Band Aid is back with a bang. Selling 312,000 copies in its first week and raising valuable funds for the African Ebola crisis, the ‘Do They Know it’s Christmas’ single is all set to be the 2014 Christmas number one, which led me to question – how has Band Aid become the powerful and overwhelming marketing machine it is?
It’s already had over four million views on Youtube and the John Lewis Christmas commercial hasn’t even been aired on terrestrial TV yet. Boy’s best friend is outed as a stuffed toy just as his BFF buys him a Mrs Monty for Xmas. Poor Monty fails to p-p-pick up his Penguin, no wonder we’re all crying. Talk about not being allowed to spread your wings. Monty is a star – more of a star than the previous JL ads (bear, bunny, cameo by a reindeer) and as a result, the Monty Merchandising Machine is motoring. Already the Monty stuffed toy, priced at just under a ton (yes, £95 a pop) has flown off the shelves – which is more than a real penguin can do – and sold out in JL stores. John Lewis has 39 separate items of merchandise planned for release for Christmas. How long before he gets his own TV show? In no time fame will have gone to his furry head and he’ll be arrested for racing his Lamborghini under the influence in South Beach, if not the South Pole. Let’s hope he doesn’t buy a camera with his 25% JL staff discount (actually with electrics you only get 12%) and do a J Law. It doesn’t bear/bare thinking about.
A company’s brand can be one of its most important assets, but when does the protection of a successful brand get in the way of innovation?
In the dim and distant past when I was studying for my CIM Diploma, branding was a key part of the learning. We were told that the brand meant everything to the company. The worth of the brand appears on the balance sheet of many corporations as an asset. This is nothing new:
I’ve always been a fan of The Logo Game, it never has time to be covered in dust and makes a cheeky appearance now and then. I have always been curious as to how logos develop, the meaning behind them and the elements that makes up a good, memorable logo.