The dog speaks

Return on investment innovation

Innovation definedLast night, Cliff and I attended a lecture by Michael Peters, Chairman and Creative Director of Identica. For those of you who don’t know of Michael Peters, he boasts a career spanning 30 years within the global design and branding arenas and has been responsible for many high profile global branding projects. Michael is one of the Granddaddy’s of the British Design industry.

I found last night’s session particularly refreshing as Michael took pains to outline ‘a new era’ for branding design consultancies. His rationale extended to the fact that clients want consultancies that trade in big ideas and the new trend is for these big ideas to be supported by new technologies, new rules of engagement and altogether a new way of working… Personally, we can’t wait for this ‘new era’…

Ok, so what is a brand?

Last night one of the guests posed a question to the panel of esteemed professionals. The question was, “exactly what is a brand?” Alarmingly, this question seemed to befuddle the panel… So, exactly what is a brand? I think the answer to this question is easy enough…. A brand is the vehicle which contains the sum total of an organisation’s efforts – be it advertising, promotion, direct mail, customer service, product development, or poor service and non existent customer relationship management. The brand contains all the equity created by all the organisation’s activities.

These days a strong brand is a promise delivered. Clients in the know look for return on innovation rather than the typical return on investment. Venture capitalists look for a strong brand at the heart of an organisation. Advertising and promotion are purely tactical and usually don’t last longer than the campaign itself.

Michael went on to comment that he believes that the future is in design rather than advertising and that the era of the branding design consultancy has begun. Brand stewards are looking for agencies with experience and high standards and outfits where concept and implementation work together to deliver results for the brand.

Bring on ‘the new era’ I say. Firedog is ready for it.

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