an experience strategist's musings on how culture, technology and design drive innovation.
WE CAN HAZ ALL YOUR BRAIN DATA:
*A General Dynamics Company.
But wait, there’s more. Interesting background on Stromberg Carleson.
Millions have viewed the video below well before the sad announcement tonight of Steve Job’s passing. As much as I admire both Apple and Steve Jobs for their innovation, design-centricity and the seamless, useful beauty of their products. I’m a little embarrassed I’d never viewed this clip.
There’s so much I did not know about Steve Job’s as a person, and how much of his success was shaped by a very unique life.
His adoption, raised by working class parents.
His unusual education path, a college dropout… yet a non-dropout who essentially made a conscious decision to create his own education. Observing classes that were interesting to him and drove his passion, and making that happen by sleeping on the floors of friend’s dorm rooms.
The depth’s of his lows when being fired from Apple and nearly begging an apology for screwing up Apple.
Realizing in hindsight the blessing of failure, and the freedom created by lifting the weight of leadership expertise and corporate success by relinquishing to becoming a “beginner” again.
His study of the art and science of typography design that clearly inspired is attention to elegant technology, creating a unique design centered business culture.
His countercultural experimentation and practice of Zen Buddhism.
And his terrible and rare cancer diagnosis that was both a blessing and curse that directed a long battle filled with hope and day-to-drive to live every day like it was his last.
I’m sure many of you already know some of this backstory. It’s explains much and is also a reminder of how much our life experience shapes who we are. No matter your view of Apple or the Man, spend the 15 minutes of your life watching this video. It’s worth every second.
“Don’t be trapped by Dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others opinions drown out your inner voice. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.. they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
[RIP Steven Paul Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011)]
*more inspiring quotes at Mashable.
Great inventory of the services practices of social science, business design and technology. The kick-ass infographic design and map makes this even more useful to create, combine and integrate insight, marketing and tech processes.
1. Make a clear separation between awards, on the one hand, and competitions and challenges, on the other. If designers want to give each other awards and prizes, fine. But activities outside the tent should operate according to different principles.
2. Design the desired outcomes of the competition first. The focus should ideally be on posing new questions, connecting people to new people, and helping them learn from each other’s other experience. Exhibits, books, winners and ceremonies are a means to an end, not the end itself.
3. Focus on the discovery of new and meaningful questions to do with with daily life issues — not on pre-cooked solutions. The most valuable outcome is a question that excites people, that is meaningful, and that becomes a shared focus for a wider variety of people to join the conversation.
4. Focus on “wicked” challenges. Rather than solicit fully-formed design objects or “visions,” ask entrants to create platforms and contexts in which diverse groups of people may co-design the systems, institutions and processes that shape our daily lives.
5. Focus on tools more than on messages and solutions. These can be tools for perceiving, seeing, understanding, conversing. They can be tools for sharing and organizing and exchanging. And yes, they can be tools for making things; the carrying capacity of the biosphere is not limitless, but neither is it zero.
6. Get real: Insist on external partners and a live context. The identification of individuals and groups who are already out there, and active, is a key part of the value competitions can create. One way to do this is by posing three questions upfront: What might life in a sustainable world be like? Who, out there, is already experimenting? And how can design help us get there? Reassure participants that incremental improvements to an existing reality will be taken just as seriously as blue-sky scenarios.
7. Provide communication support throughout the process. Make writers, filmmakers and storytellers available to the program as a whole. This will ensure that the most important outcomes — meaningful new conversations — are well prepared. It follows from this that PR or corporate communications will support, but not own, such competitions.
8. Ensure that there is adequate time, expertise and resources for entries to be evaluated. Entrants should be required to provide independent evidence to support their claim, and the jury process should have its own capability to interrogate those claims.
9. Make the judging public. Various formats are possible — from a court-room trial or Pecha Kucha to Dragon’s Den. The key point is to expose as many people as feasible to the content of jury deliberations. The deliverable, here, is the capability of more people to interrogate the propositions of experts and specialists critically.
10. Provide ongoing stewardship for the community of participants, experts, judges and sponsors that a competition brings together. This connecting is itself a form of innovation. It should not stop with a winners’ ceremony.
[via @zeldman from Happy Cog]
[Repost from my entry at the openexchange.org.]
Created by Google Creative Labs,”3 Dream’s In Black” is part art experiment, musical collaboration, part CGI video and breakthrough web coding assignment. Driving a culture of experimentation, all Googler’s are encouraged to pursue experiments both relatable and non-relatable to Google’s business. All to drive a passion of innovation.
How Google makes innovation part of the cultural fabric, not a project or a siloed process.
- Democratizing Ideas. Engage “the people.” Have people magnify the mania and become your evangelists. The user is your marketer.
- Gaining Credibility through the right partners: With finesse of smart salesmanship to make ideas happen.
- Challenging conventions. Question how things should be done (e.g., YouTube and the Guggenheim??)
- Don’t do marketing. Solve problems.
- Know the user. Know the magic. Connect the two. What’s the emotion behind the idea? * taken from Jeffrey Davis’s blog, post his visit to Google Creative Labs.
Amazing. Say hello to the future, the 3D virtual web experience.
[Quote from Oscar Wilde. As presented by Jeff Swystun of DDB in “Brand Consistency Redefined“]
Recently, A colleague asked me for some thoughts on “The Importance of Brand Consistency.” I haven’t jumped down the branding philosophy rabbit hole in some time, but this topic is one that hits close to home. Having bridged the world of traditional brand planning, identity design, advertising and digital, it’s a big topic to chew on. My simple answer:
“Brand Consistency has never been more important. Brand Consistency has never been more meaningless.”
Consistency has had to evolve to be more nuanced, take into account media fragmentation. In fact, because a brand’s platform to connect with people has expanded so much and (of course) the “consumers are control” thing, consistency has had to evolve to a brand focusing less on being consistent and more on becoming a brand in concert with it’s activity and the people it connects with. There’s a ton of rationale out there for this, but I particularly like this articulation by friend and colleague from Upstream, Tim Sweeney.
There is no average consumer so brands should be customized to individuals
Brands should/must conform to different contexts people may be in… which runs contrary to consistency.
Articulations of this aren’t completely common I find. More so, I think there’s a ton of smart marketers that haven’t really been exposed to this change in paradigm beyond CGM driven ad campaigns and talks on transmedia. Corporate communications leaders and the passionate designers responsible for brand guidelines and identity find themselves in the mostly fruitless job of playing brand cop. They keep on pounding the drum of consistency
Maybe the job of brand identity management should be more orchestral and open minded. It certainly would make people lives somewhat easier. “Open source” branding may just work, though not perfect. Releasing your control as a brand manager, creative designer and identity manager to the loose architecture of brand experience design might, in fact, be liberating. And it doesn’t have to mean crowdsourcing and foresaking the beauty of thoughtful design.
Here’s the story I tell about the (r)evolution of consistency as it relates to brand strategy and brand identity:
1) Brand consistency is as important as ever in a digital, disrupted media world..but the notion of how it works and is applied is changing dramatically.
2) A Brand and it’s consistency has traditionally been attached to Brand Identity. Today it’s important that one not equate THE Brand as being THE Brand Identity, rather Brand Identity is a part of the overall Brand Experience. In a traditional media world Identity led the process and Brand consistency was an effective method. With media fragmentation, replicated consistency in look, tone, feel and message shifts to a need for a connected Brand Experience and story across mediums, with shifting narrative and presentation.
3) More specifically, a Brand Experience must retain element of consistency, but be fluid with a narrative arc. The caution is that exact sameness is easier to tune out for consumers in a fragmented media landscape. A connected less, literal Identity can actually help retain attention and reinforce the backfrop of Brand Identity’s intent. Guidelines apply but may be less singular and prescriptive.
4) “Branding is now like conducting a symphony… With many acts, movements, instruments, players and styles that compliment one another to engage… to create resonance.”
5) We believe Identity elements must retain a connected, reminiscent and identifiable sameness in message and presentation. However, it does not necessarily need to be exactly executed to template. Big brands are taking note of this, and shift and change their look and message continuously, yet lead consumers to the same conclusion, reinforce the same purpose. This is particularly the case given the impact of consumer generated media. Entertainment brands have evolved to allow consumers to take the elements of their content and brands, be creative with it and execute differently yet allowing for it to come “from the same place”. This approach embracing an open brand has led to the strategy of Transmedia Brand Planning.
6) Brands are keeping a degree of control of their brand, and it’s identity by recognizing the need to architect message, media and design in context to where the message is. By understanding how it intersects with a consumers life… Their journey, by intersecting in the right place and the right time. By being relevant, useful and meaning to these places and times. For brands like Apple, Whole Foods, Method, Nike and Coca Cola Brand Purpose becomes it’s bellwether for consistency.
7) The result is that Brands are spending less time and effort managing the executional elements of Brand Identity. Rather, they are spending more time being articulate across the brand experience and keeping consistency in their Brand Purpose and Brand Experience.
More context from Henry Jenkins: Transmedia’s Role in the Shifting Experience of Brands:
More written examples.
* A great white paper on evolution of consistency by DDB from Jeff Swystun/2007: Brand Consistency.
* A POV on the continued importance of a crafted Identity: Who Care’s What Your Logo Looks Like?
* A metaphor for your marketing, Branding “in concert”: Apple is the new Grateful Dead.
* Open marketing, the storytelling experience of a transmedia centered brand: Transmedia Planning