The chaps over at Fiasco treated us to another great evening of speakers at the latest Thread event. Previously Animade inspired and entertained us with their brilliant animations and sound approach, with John McFaul taking us along his journey from the start before that. This time Paul Bailey of Brand in Process and James Greenfield from Koto shared their experience of working in the complex field of branding; though many of us state claim to practicing the discipline, few are able to accurately define it.
Paul Bailey was first up, and not only had some great things to say about his field, but also recommended some essential literature such as Alvin Toffler’s The Third Wave and Martin Kornberger’s Brand Society (full list below). He took us through the results of an experiment he conducted on Twitter where he asked people what they associated with the Nike brand, which revealed how significant peoples’ emotions are in determining brand identity.
As suggested by Jeff Bezos “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room”.
A chance for a quick drink and digest was followed by a masterclass in presenting from James Greenfield. He confidently spoke about the intricacies and realities of working with clients and agencies, and the different ways in which the two can determine your output. He demonstrated how important authenticity is in branding and rightly stated that ‘bullshit is dead’.
What I found best about James’s talk is he didn’t boast his way through his well-known portfolio as a lot of design talks sadly resort to. He sped past that bit into a lesser-known project with real enthusiasm and insight. His humility and honesty about his relationship with his client and their journey emphasised what’s really important, and it’s clear that his ability to really immerse himself in clients’ brands is instrumental in determining who they really are.
I fear that there is still a lack of proper understanding of branding within the industry, but it is our role as creatives to further the academic discussion and educate ourselves and each other as much as possible.
Go look these guys up and read the books below and help your piers and clients truly comprehend the importance and power of branding.
Please continue the conversation @PeteSturgeon and be sure to follow @threadbristol to keep updated about future events.
The Third Wave – Toffler, A.
The Power of Co-Creation: Build It with Them to Boost Growth, Productivity, and Profits – Ramaswamy, V. and Gouillart, F.J.
Brand Society. How Brands Transform Management and Lifestyle – Kornberger, M.
Brands: the logos of the global economy – Lury, C.
The Rise of Brands – Moor, L.
Designing Brand Identity – Wheeler, A.