Category: Promotion Tips Folder

Useful tips for Public Relations, Branding & Marketing.

Modern Luxury – Trends in Branding

The new modern luxury roars freedom, flexibility, and eccentricity.  The collaboration of stylish streetwear with luxury brands, genderless approach, quirky brand images and the flair of uniqueness rattles the traditions.  As our planet moves towards positive partnerships and collaborative sentiments to create flourishing communities, the luxury style is powered by acceptance, inclusion, affiliation, and sustainability.

Gucci - The new men’s Tailoring campaign features Dapper Dan, the Harlem couturier renowned for the custom designs he created for celebrities, athletes and hip-hop artists in the 80s and early 90s.
Gucci – The new men’s Tailoring campaign features Dapper Dan, the Harlem couturier renowned for the custom designs he created for celebrities, athletes and hip-hop artists in the 80s and early 90s.

Undeniably the luxury lifestyle is being emblazoned by street art & fashion, sportswear brands, social and political uncertainties, technology and personal sentiments.  The acceptance of this cultural shift, influenced by emerging designers that have been brought up by the influence of Hip Hop and Rap culture and conspicuously merge authenticity with creativity is apparent throughout luxury brands. At the same time, the majority of growth in this particular market is driven by the change in wealth distribution and the shift in consumption of luxury goods by affluent millennials.  As for the luxury industry, it’s attempt to be relevant and represent this mindset demands adventurous creativity and savvy business approach.

F is for... Campaign:  Six super street legends, got together and wrote the word FUTURE in six different languages inside a giant yellow ring. To spread a mega positive vibe across Rome and beyond, breaking all barriers for a fearless future for all the freaks around! Image by Frendi
F is for… Campaign: Six super street legends, got together and wrote the word FUTURE in six different languages inside a giant yellow ring. To spread a mega positive vibe across Rome and beyond, breaking all barriers for a fearless future for all the freaks around! Image by Frendi

The zeitgeist of our times values unexpected collaborations and distance itself from flying solo. This particular trend has been successful to motivate the affluent millennials.  To engage and consume the intangible image created by luxury life and style is about seduction to the extent that the sense of belonging and acceptance in this particular community is not an option but essential. This idea might appear two-dimensional; however, the underpinning notion of blurring the hierarchy lines between different brands in its way is the language of progress and social inclusion. Distancing from the old styles and introducing fresh attitudes bring brand awareness to a diverse audience.

In 2017, Louis Vuitton’s collaboration with Supreme is undeniably an endorsement of inclusion. Supreme has all the elements of a valuable affiliation due to it’s young demographic, genderless designs and limited editions.  Consumers from different realms of taste, behaviours and dress codes where brought together by their shared interest in fashion honouring their differences.  Together the two brands created a tribal affiliation and an exclusivity hype resulting in a sold-out experience.

Supreme X Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2017
Supreme X Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2017

Another good example is the collaboration between the luxury fashion house Gucci and Spanish artist Ignasi Monreal. For the past few years, Gucci has appealed and secured an affiliation to millennials thanks to their design evolution and remarkable online presence. Their narrative illustrates mythical and surreal universes and underlines quality and uniqueness of their brand.  The combination is Super Cool!

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Having social-conscious values and adopting responsible environmental practices add the desirability quality to the luxury brands. They need to take a principled stand to gain favour among the millennials, the growing segment of the premium consumer market. Cultural diversity, labor practices, philanthropy or environmentally conscious lifestyles foster respect among the customers.

For instance, delving into luxury hotels, the ultra-exclusive Nekupe Sporting Resort & Retreat, built by the American Nicaragua Fund, is an innovative way that offers high-end luxury experience. The ANF, founded by Alfredo and Theresa Pellas, a wealthy family that believes in creating opportunities, self-sufficiency, and dignity for the poorest sectors of the population through the partnership model. They have reforested their 1,300 acres by planting more than 14,000 trees, hoping to restore natural habitat, increase local employment and their income. The ANF has contributed to well being of villages by building homes, creating access to health care, education and water management solutions. An Eco-Friendly resort that offers luxury experience with a clear conscious.

 

Nekupe Resort
Nekupe Resort

 

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Last but not least, enabling consumers to live a lifestyle true to themselves and being responsible towards community are the pillars of a brand’s authenticity.  Successful representation of the authentic perception of your core values to technology savvy consumers involves meaningful digital narratives as well as offering instant gratification through mobile and e-commerce.

 

Interest, Empathy & Resilience- Winning Skills for an Effective Communication

Good communication is not to impress but to discover possibilities, to gain advocates, to improve life for others, to resolve issues, to be heard and most importantly to be understood. Whether the communication is through mass media, face-to-face verbal or non-verbal, the challenge is how to breathe friendly, skilled, knowledge-based and mindful basics into your dialogue.
There are many factors that influence the outcome of our communication still our attitude will determine the course of the interaction. The dynamic approach to cultivate sentiments of compassion, curiosity and remain flexible will support our content and intention. With this view in mind, the pitfalls of communicating across cultures, businesses or interpersonal relations can be avoided by tweaking our style of communication based on the following tips:

Be interested

From your non-verbal cues such as eye contact, posture, or position of your arms to keep track of the conversation, the critical element is to be attentive. By asking relevant questions, replacing unnecessary conversation fillers like “um”, “er”,… with pause to think and respond are the effective way to engage your listeners and show your interest. Make sure to avoid personal judgements and allow people to finish their sentences.

Dale Carnegie meeting Spencer Trace - Getty Image
Dale Carnegie meeting Spencer Trace – Getty Image

Have Empathy

Empathy is not about agreement, is the ability to pass through emotions, threats and  complexities with confidence and awareness. Nurturing our mirror neurons by observing and being mindful of people’s emotional experiences, builds trust and effectively improves your dialogue.

Barack Obama’s speech in 2013 to the People of Northern Ireland, embodies hope and empathy to sustain union:

“Ultimately, peace is just not about politics. It’s about attitudes; about a sense of empathy; about breaking down the divisions that we create for ourselves in our own minds and our own hearts that don’t exist in any objective reality, but that we carry with us generation after generation. And I know, because America, we, too, have had to work hard over the decades, slowly, gradually, sometimes painfully, in fits and starts, to keep perfecting our union.”

The first step is to listen empathetically. This means listening with the intention to understand. By doing so, the receiver establishes a positive climate for the speaker to open up. Repeat what has been said with the same words and summarize in you own way to make the speaker aware that you have understood what is the issue or the story. It is a great moment when we stop judging, probing or interpreting someone else’s experiences and motives.

Barack Obama Visit to Ireland - White House Image
Barack Obama Visit to Ireland – White House Image

Be Resilient

A resilient communication process is an approach to evaluate a situation or crisis by breathing normality to the interaction, validating the negative feelings and focusing on positive course of action. Clearly, spearheading constant optimism is ineffective without use of alternative logic. Broadly speaking, resilience in crisis management is when optimism and a narrative to make sense of the situation serve as the roadmap to develop and maintain a good communication. Importantly, resilience develops when the focus is on the communication process rather than examining individuals or entities to refrain from the unnecessary and unwarranted assumptions.

Winston Churchill’s war speeches are great examples of acknowledging the reality and drawing a vivid picture with hope. Here is an excerpt of his speech “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.” May 1940 at the House of Commons.

You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory. Victory at all costs—Victory in spite of all terror—Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival. 

Resilience depends on confidence and optimism. People do not all react the same way or every situation is dire, still a resilient communication helps to keep things in perspective. The capacity to be realistic, maintaining a positive outlook and developing a narrative to cope with the unwanted situation is called resilience. We should all remember that resilience is an obligation not only to self but to community at large.

Winston Churchill - Image from Winston Churchill Org.
Winston Churchill – Image from Winston Churchill Org.

 

Featured Image by:  GERRY ELLIS, MINDEN PICTURES – National Geography

 

How to Brand Your Event?

In it’s many forms,  an event is a powerful tool to inspire loyalty, to attract new audiences, to engage, or to start a movement. Harnessing the enormous potential of events, requires a cohesive approach to create a “real brand experience”. Without doubt, a winning strategy if meticulously planned and implemented.

Whether you are hosting a global or local event, the key to a favourable outcome is to fuse the brand proposition to the experiences that your audience care about.  In other words, evoking sound and emotional responses, happens when the brand promise is tangible through all the aspects of the event.

Meet the audience expectations and needs

Before spending time planning for your event, make sure that your have interested audience. Think like an attendee and identify their reasons and their core needs. Exploring their interests, allows you to tailor your event and ensures that their expectations are inline with your goal. Questions to consider:

Why I need to attend?

What I want to get out of this event?

What kind of format I prefer?

Define your Goal

Ask yourself: What is it that you want to accomplish? Regardless of the event’s type, you should be clear about your goal.

Craft a tagline for your event

It is challenging to communicate in few words your brand promise that differentiates your event. However, following a framework to answer the questions in the brand pyramid, allows you to plan an unforgettable experience.

 

brand pyramid

A vey good example is TED Talks. The non-profit foundation is a global community that provides a platform to exchange ideas, usually in the form of short conferences and distributes through video streaming. Their goal is to spread great ideas. Their videos are educational, inspiring, motivational, funny and give advice. Hence, their tagline is “Ideas worth spreading”.

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Define your brand identity

Make sure that your branded event elements are consistent and recognizable:

  • Logo
  • Fonts
  • Colour palette
  • Visuals
  • Tone of voice

Remember persuading people to attend your event is about resolving problems, emphasizing on the benefits, powering a trademark by tapping into the five senses. Manage these essentials to create a must attend event.

 

 

 

 

Branding – How to build your tribe?

 

One of the objectives of branding in postmodernism is essentially getting through to individuals or groups to join your utopia! Is about certainty of one’s world view and the paradox of interpretations that validates the brand’s mindset such as courage, being active, cultured, cosmopolitan, daring,… . Basically, creating an echo chamber of motives and behaviours that embraces the attitudes of individuals and ensues support.

Nike embodies the major characteristics of postmodern branding by juxtaposing essential and ephemeral social experiences throughout their branding efforts. From their logo depicting motion and speed to their inspiring lifestyle, Nike explores the complexity and real challenges of our world at the same time the real basis of motivation, passion and empowerment. Their diverse and connecting social media posts champion creation of tribes that identify with it’s way of life and play an instrumental role to promote the brand. Their stories tap into the essential feelings, the interplay of oppositions and realities that propel us to be a role model, to have that “can do attitude” regardless of the gender, giving hope and saving a child “from the streets to the league”.

Nike: A sunset is not a stop sign.
Nike: A sunset is not a stop sign.
Nike: It's not always sunshine and sand. #justdoit
Nike: It’s not always sunshine and sand. #justdoit
Nike : If you don't take risks, you'll always have regret. #justdoit
Nike : If you don’t take risks, you’ll always have regret. #justdoit

The postmodern culture of connecting with your tribe in personal branding is also setting side by side different aspects of our self-image and opposing views. Fragmenting our narratives, documenting extremely realistic images, sharing contents that supports the complexity of ourselves is appreciated by many.  Transforming our opinions and beliefs offline and online, into what we consume, wear or undertake should be acknowledgement of contradictions that makes us human.

Emma Watson- Ready for anything after @SheFighter training with Lina Khalifeh. She opened the first self defence studio for women in the Middle East. I’ll be chatting with her and 8 other activists about challenging gender stereotypes at @OneYoungWorld Ottawa later today.
Emma Watson- Ready for anything after @SheFighter training with Lina Khalifeh. She opened the first self defence studio for women in the Middle East. I’ll be chatting with her and 8 other activists about challenging gender stereotypes at @OneYoungWorld Ottawa later today.

Forming a loyal postmodern tribe or a community demands the understanding that diversity, differences and similarities are in state of flow. For that reason, plug in to identify trends and shifts from passing ideas, harness your capabilities to help others, tune in to your supporters to help you grow, take risks to make an impact and be conscious of the fluidity of ideas and our ways of life.

 

Featured image is work of art by : JR –  The artist exhibits freely in the streets of the world, catching the attention of people who are not typical museum visitors. As he remains anonymous and doesn’t explain his huge full-frame portraits of people making faces, JR leaves the space empty for an encounter between the subject/protagonist and the passer-by/interpreter. That is what JR’s work is about, raising questions…

How To Bring Your Personal Brand Voice To Life?

In previous blog post, I talked about how to define your personal brand voice and frame recognizable standards to create your brand story. In whatever field, your distinct voice, signature image and style determine your relationship within your circle or group, overall in society at large. Let’s expand our topic to the critical element of bridging your brand identity/voice to real life and social media.

Let’s start with your engagements through myriads of social media platforms. Generally, the nature of these mediums are spontaneous and fluid. Cultivating your personal brand voice on social media calls for identifying your tone, your language and your purpose.  Creating contents that are authentic and endorse your brand voice; requires clarity, discipline and consistency. Blissfully once established, it takes away the distracting flotsam in your busy lives.

Sweeping through your list of what I am and what I am not, can be used to create contents that give a hint or a splash of your identity. It really pays off if you have done your homework.  For instance:

You prefer the visual appeal of Instagram to adapt your screenplay and engage with your friends or the public. You are an empathizer but not a sympathizer; you prefer soft rock & relaxing music but not techno; you love to read fiction concerning social issues not science fiction; you are an advocate for a specific cause, you love to eat french pastry, the list goes on.

Certainly, the efforts to define your personal brand voice gives you a clear idea to share images and micro stories that exhibit your opinion and position. Creating snaps, videos, tweets or images to showcase what matters to you; putting into words effective captions that firmly support your perspective; sharing your odyssey, together breath life to your brand.

Each medium evokes different experience and connection. Tapping in to the most compelling one to convey your intentions, you need to tailor your brand story to fit. No matter what form your are using, there are few techniques that you can apply to stamp your brand story, whether through snaps, images, conversations or attire:

Show don’t tell: your choice of clothing, manner, your posture, your eye contact, your images, a piece of art, snaps or pins,… should be in harmony with your brand voice.

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Serena Williams sleek feed on Instagram attest to her qualities and values.

 

 

 

Foreshadowing by giving hints and clues: your choice of accessories, food or wine; a quote or a proverb; building anticipation by composing contents that your circle looks forward to,…. are few tips to consider.

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For instance, one accessory that reflects your character in an understated elegance is a watch. Let’s say, you are a sportsman, a thrill-seeker,  drive a Porsche 911 and choose to spend a weekend in Circuit  des 24 heures de Mans. Certainly you wear an Omega wristwatch that communicates the style with power in a subtle way.

 

 

Appeal to senses: your choice of music to include in your storytelling; a description of a taste;  narrating the mood,…. invoking a sentiment that one hopes for and allows your audience to relate.

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Jess Hoffman snapchat account (@ChoosingChia) focus on wholesome plant-based ingredients. She shares the fresh produce that goes into her juice of the day, step-by-step videos of her favourite recipes.

 

 

Ability to find solutions: Be a thought leader by sharing your knowledge; talk about your experiences;  be the expert in your topic of choice; tell what motivates you; your world views,….

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Lewis Howes, an American author, entrepreneur, and former professional Arena League football player. He hosts The School of Greatness, a talk show distributed podcast. He makes use of his knowledge of marketing, product design and human behaviour through his online media company.

 

Set up a unified visual branding: this technique surely applies both to your social media engagements and physical attributes. Use of colour that matches your emotions and fonts that appeal to you personally. Be expressive and include a signature style to indicate your distinct voice.

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Christoph Niemann Instagram account @abstractsunday is innovative and witty. His whimsical signature is apparent in all his visual storytelling.

 

 

We might not have the unique experience of cheering people up, influence, entertain, tell and hear stories around a campfire at all times, still adapting the same approach and emotions to our social and career networking brings our personal brand voice to life.