envisage Archivos | Allegro 234

envisage Archivos | Allegro 234

Brandtopia or Needing a Fast-Forward to the Past

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Usually, after a few days of being on vacation (of which I’m back), my thoughts begin to wander freely again, without the normal ‘noises’ that we use to have during the rest of the year.

I would like to share those thoughts with you…

I’m a little postmodern

I like to self-express, to have my own ideas, to believe that I can change the world (at my scale and in my immediate surroundings). I am respectful with (although I think I’m far away of being an example) gender issues, environment or tolerance. However, the most important issue which I think defines me as a ‘postmodern’ is that if I do not see a distinct benefit in what is presented to me, I choose things I already know and that still mantain validity.

In this sense, postmodern would be an individual who is capable of creating her/his own world, blending what it’s comming with what has always been good.

I think I’m walking in this direction, and I like it.

I agree to be in a world that flows

I think more than half of the posts that I’ve written in Brand 3.0 (I or my alter ego, Dr. Utterson) talk about the changes we are living… How we have moved:

  • From a real world and virtual one, to a real world, offline and online
  • From own goods, to enjoy experiences
  • From mere spectators, to ‘star’ of our micro-cosmos
  • From a deep knowledge of few things to superficial information of everything that surrounds us
  • From status by wealth and inheritance, to referential status and ‘meritocracy’
  • From being patient, to behave as eternal capricious young people

The world flows and we flow with it at high speed… We live the moment with intensity… What we imagine is possible and achievable…

The question that came to me was: “Where were our dreams? Where is this ideal world of Plato and Sir Thomas More that we want but it is not achievable? Have we left on the road the utopia (without ideological connotations… please!), doesn’t it exist anymore or are we living in it?

We have put a giant condom to our dreams

I think that at some point in time we have forgotten to dream, sorry, to DREAM in capital letters.

It’s like the speed and vertigo have put us in the condition of surface dreamers… And this may be philosophically unrealistic, however, is not utopian.

It is rare, it seems as if we had put a giant condom which does not let the big dreams roam and wander in our spirit. Something to pursue!

We have confused the progress of mankind with the development of our own humanity… And in some cases, times and situations, we’re still so primates as 10,000 years ago, at least as savage and violent (although in some cases, with a white collar).

At some point, I think that we need to dream again in an ideal and unreachable world to balance the progress with our ‘primitive’ behaviours, and stop thinking and saying that that world is the present one.

Isn’t it time to approach ourselves without a condom?


Some of us, dedicated to branding, marketing and this sort of stuff, also have to get down to thinking.

Our life and our bias to think in terms of brands leads us to speak of achievable dreams, unique experiences, living haphazardly, here and now…

  • What does it happens with us and with the ones whom we work? Haven’t we unattainable dreams?
  • How can we think of a better world if our horizon is limited to today?
  • What responsibility do we have to build a better world?
  • When will we stop to think that Arcadia is a Nintendo game not an ideal place to live

If branding is a matter of, for and among people, something should be done.

I do not mean giving up what we do, but to go back to what it’s worth to keep, to be postmodern in our work. It’s to know that behind the dream offered by a brand, there is a deeper, more valuable, more existential… permanent and unattainable… Utopian.

It is to add to our thoughts and actions:

  • Direction and guidance
  • Value
  • Criticism
  • Hope
  • Delicacy and delight
  • Honesty
And you, will you also do ‘Fast-Forward’ to those things of the past?

play 1

Masstige brands or the problem of being the ham of the sandwich

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Last month we organized an online survey asking about masstige brands. The survey was opened during two weeks.

Before results

  • We considered only 12 brands that were mentioned as masstige ones (with global presence) in different media
    • We excluded those brand that were, in a certain way, at the top and bottom pricing levels of the masstige category (if we can call it “˜category’). E.g.: Porsche Boxter or Sam Adams beer
    • We considered the following brands: Burberry. Codorníu, Commes des Garçons, Hermes, La Perla, Lladró, Majórica, Manolo Blahnik, Möet & Chandon, Swarovski, Tiffany and Vivienne Westwood. (Please, do not kill the messenger, we only took brands mentioned several times in different magazines, off and online, during the last four months)
  • There were 404 completed answers and 915 uncompleted (people left the survey before ending it)
  • Participants came from 25 countries
    • 50% of the answers came from Germany, Portugal, Spain, UK and USA
    • 30% of the answers came from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France and Italy
  • 90% of the people who answered were between 26 and 55 years old
    • 55% between 26 and 45
    • 35% between 46 and 55


It looks obvious that the main attributes recognized in these brands were: Prestige, luxury and elegance. What was not so obvious was that one out of five people did not know and/or couldn’t say anything about those masstige brands. The brands with high association to those key attributes were: Burberry, Hermes, Manolo Blahnik, Möet & Chandon and Tiffany.

Another interesting point about masstige brands, was that people perceived that they are becoming more massive. Exceptions to this point were: Hermes, La Perla, Manolo Blahnik and Vivienne Westwood.

Half of the participants believed that masstige brands are focused on adults (neither young people, nor grandma & grandpa). However, if we look at Spanish brands and answers coming from Spain, the results are perceptively different”¦ These brands are considered by them for older people. Also, they said that this sort of product is bought mainly as a gift.

Finally, almost 60% of the participants buy this kind of products more than once a year and at the brand store (neither duty free shops, nor department stores, shopping centres and/or multi-brand luxury shops); however, in their decision process, they consider other alternatives out of the masstige category. Actually, one out of four considers tech-products as an alternative (E.g.: Will I buy a Hermes tie or an iPad?).

What can we learn from this:

Results are clear enough; however, allow me to share with you some thoughts:

  • Like each and every category, the masstige category has strong brands in it, brands that are telling us that they are strong (although it is not necessarily true), that they are niche brands”¦ The issue is that when we asked about attributes and we proposed some linear simple answers, 20% of the people couldn’t assign any of them”¦ When the sandwich has a lot of bread, you lose the flavour of the ham
  • While half of the people believed/perceived that masstige brands continue being what they are, the other half believed that they are becoming more massive or more luxurious, and if they are more luxurious, they begin to be out of range (for purchase purpose)”¦ But this is a perception which in many cases has no relation to what happens in reality”¦ If the sandwich has a lot of ham it will look expensive, even when it’s cheap ham
  • Masstige brands are competing with other brands (and products) that are beyond the category boundaries”¦ when you want to eat something exquisite, you look for tasty food, not only sandwiches
  • Most of the masstige brand companies used to considered duty free shops, multi-brands luxury retails or department stores, their main distribution channel. But people want to enjoy a full experience with those brands, at their own stores”¦ If the ham is so good, don’t sell it at a 7/11, have your own “˜sandwich boutique’

Masstige brands are like the ham of the sandwich”¦ Although we are talking about excellent ham, it is still in the middle of the bread. If the brand belongs to a certain developed category where similar mass market and premium products are thought attractive, the masstige product will be recognized and considered as it should be “¦ If not, it is too much bread for a thin slice of ham”¦

A final thought or perhaps a question”¦

Could we consider in the same situation all things that are in the middle? People, neighbours, banks’ affluent clients, countries?…

The tendentious Dr. Utterson | Synthesis | End of season

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I would like to begin this synthesis with something said by President Clinton, ‘It’s the economy, idiot…!’. At the end of this short story you will probably understand the reason why I’ve begun with this.

At the end of January I wrote the first chapter of this affair between trends and branding. Actually, the one who talked was Dr. Utterson, Dr. Jekylls’ best friend… the one who knew the truth.

Now, for the end of this season, I’ve invited Dr. Jekyll (J), Mr. Hyde (H) and Dr. Utterson (U) to discuss with you through their own dialogues.

(U) Trends are showing that people are changing, going back to their roots… Finally, we are talking again!

(J) For us that’s good news, we are revitalizing concepts and honestly validating what is around us. Good dialogues produce a better and deeper understanding of our reality

(H) And it’s great because we can manipulate people in the way we want, just telling them that we are good friends

(U) My not-so-good-friend Hyde, we, as people, are able to decodify the messages and segregate what looks like misleading

(J) Please, dear Dr. Utterson, don’t take him into consideration, he is an idelogical monster

(H) I could be whatever you want, but I’m not alone… my dear ‘other side of the coin’!

(U) But trends are something that’s happening around the world… And I presume that there are more honest people than monsters like you

(J) The important issue here, I think, is that we are facing a new kind of human momentum, disruptive, empowered, fascinating.

(H) No, no, no… There is a special feeling, I would say you get in extasis, when you know that you are cheating somebody else… Here you are, here I kill you!

(U) Your point is interesting and actually, it could be true, but I believe that it’s not going to work on the long-term. We wish to feel good, to avoid nightmares, to see that what’s around us reduces our uncertainties

(J) Now is time to observe, to anticipate… to execute… to innovate… to be and feel unique… And this is important for us, for companies, for institutions… I’m sorry to say that your time, Mr. Hyde, is gone

(J) (H) (U) Can’t you see it?… It’s simple… It’s the people, idiot!

To summarize, seriously and responsibly… Among trends and brand experiences, what matters is people… Yes, we are the key!

Time to think, time to talk, time to create, time to use our brains 🙂

Branding is a question of people… As simple as that!

The tendentious Dr. Utterson | ‘Luxurious’ trend & Branding | Chapter 7

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Things have changed… The traditional definition of luxury is losing content. Luxury will be whatever you want it to be.

Luxury, in a certain way, is related to scarce resources, and they are becoming an individual issue, specially, if the person is desperate to be different and unique. Does this sound like something strange?

Now, there are infinite ways to be unique. The days of better, more expensive, bigger are in the past. So, the concept has changed 🙂

Trend #7: Luxurious

The key is not to discover what is luxurious now, but to define and/or create it.

It’s a question of paying attention to the way that people in their different tribes are showing their status attributes.

Remembering Trend #1 ““Status & Recognition, some triggers could be:

  • Green, eco, sustainable…
  • Information and experience sharing
  • Mastery in something
  • Online image

Challenge #7: Create a unique experience

The challenge is simple to describe and difficult to implement (good brains are required): Create, design and launch something different, knowing that you are toasting with champagne on the Titanic’s deck.

The present “luxurious level” will descend in the Maslow’s pyramid to the “needs level” for future generations.

Interesting… Financial Times Special Report: Business of Luxury

The tendentious Dr. Utterson | ‘IAmMyBrand’ trend & Branding | Chapter 6

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Arriving to the “IAmMyBrand’ trend, I presume that we arrive to a point of real discussion.

As some of you may know, I have a clear opinion regarding personal branding. This is that I’m against that concept:

  • Brands and branding was and is developed to objects: We can work on improving certain identity and build its image
  • We are subjects: We are what we are and that’s something difficult to change. We can only work on personal image
  • To work on subjects cannot follow a pre-defined process: If we all follow a process to improve our image, we will arrive to the same point that companies did when they applied reengineering… A new standard without a clear differentiation between one individual and the others
  • Instead that we are gregarious and want to be part of certain tribes, as persons, we are unique and that is part of our identity

However, as everybody is defining the personal image as personal branding, I’ll use those words 🙁

Trend #6: “IAmMyBrand’ Trend

‘IAmMyBrand’ trend is about building our own personal brands online.

As it was said on the Trendwatching 2010 report: “The online world has unlocked existing needs in entirely new ways. Humans’ deep need to be interesting to others, to be loved, admired, coveted, special, recognized, unique can now be satisfied by building attractive online profiles and presences, which, if successful, will attract friends, followers, if not a proper audience’

The relation with products and services that make us more interesting is based on what they do, say, who they connect to… and help us as a dress to improve our own image. This trend needs you to be:

  • An empathetic person
  • A person who knows and tell valuable things
  • A person who is able to envisage the future (next minute or next century)
  • A person who understand the new reciprocity business framework

Challenge #6: Brands are for objects, Image is for subjects

Due to our online presence, brands can pro-actively learn about people preferences. However, there is a huge challenge here and it hasn’t solved yet:

  • As individuals we have our own preferences
  • Those preferences are based on our own experiences
  • Experiences are lived with different brands… Each of us has a unique sort of brand salad (e.g.: we expect that the retail experience that we had in Barnes & Noble, instead that we are in Carrefour… we want that our new car has the same kind of apps that we have in our iPhone…)
  • Companies need to understand that the issue is not their competition, is the competitors that we have in our minds (and that would reflect in our online opinions about brand experiences)
  • Brands are like prêt-à-porter dresses for our image

Brands and individuals are now managing their images across multiple platforms in this real “off and online’ world, with different messages, different images, to different tribes… with the same identity.

What do you think?

Marketing | Becoming one of the round table knights

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Create and maintain a relevant brand experience makes the difference

The companies face a world that, day by day is becoming more complex and paradigmatic. The range of products and services is growing exponentially, competition has overcome geographic barriers and what still worse there are similar offers in excess.

For their part, customers are better informed, they seek for offers that are unique and differential to help them on building their self-expression, a proposal financially attractive, and as if that were not enough, they have less time to decide what to buy and use.

These facts establish the need for an excellent and innovative offer that considers a new dimension useful to distinguish it from other products and services that meet the same needs. This new dimension is what is known as a brand experience.

As such, a relevant and effective brand experience has to be seductive and sedative, or an element which triggers the deepest desires of the person and simultaneously reduce their level of uncertainty, thus driving to action and streamline the processes of thought and decision.

The brand experience goes beyond the name, symbol, sound and/or any combination of these aspects, although, of course, included. It considers aspects such as:

  • The place where the supply is submitted, whether real or virtual
  • Associated services before, during and after the sale
  • The availability of the product or service
  • The value that is given to the offer, beyond the price
  • The intrinsic value of the product or service
  • The communication of the offer in all its possible aspects
  • The brand as a synthesis of the value proposition of the company

This is the way of how it was transformed into a strategic asset of the company, which must be managed and monitored, both at the level of assumptions (efficacy) as well as at the accomplishment of the defined goals (efficiency).

Managing the brand experience is an imperative for the company

In one way or another, the entire organization is committed to the success:

  • Employees, in or out the moment of truth, are those that convey the values that make the company unique
  • The product or service is the final element which verifies compliance with the value proposition
  • Communication builds the image, which honestly, represents the identity of the company and manages the call to action idea that differentiates the company from competition

To ensure coherency and consistency in the brand experience there must be a deliberate planning and strategic alignment with the company definitions at the highest level, to ensure their proper execution and observation, considering all the key business audiences, be they consumers, customers, channel , Employees, shareholders, and so on.

In this sense, and considering the need to act fast, short-term imperatives of managing the brand experience must be aligned with the strategic decisions that address the creation of long-term value.

This makes the need for an effective control system that is not limited to performance metrics, but it’s useful to take decisions based on relations of the type of cause and effect linking the objectives outlined in the strategy with the day-to-day brand experience execution.

Observe what is executed and decide central issues belongs to top management

The Marketing & Branding Balanced Scorecard (MBBS) is a system for strategic management of the brand experience, which translates the strategy into tangible and verifiable goals. It is the balance between past results and the measures that will guide future performance:

  • Clarifies and translates the brand strategy
  • Communicates and correlates strategic objectives of the brand experience with the metrics that measure their performance
  • Plans, sets goals and aligns strategic initiatives
  • Aligns the goals of the business units to give substance to the value proposition of the company
  • Improves the strategic response and knowledge
  • Uses a limited number of indicators (usually no more than 20) that allows a quick understanding of the business strategy and brand experience

The MBBS helps to link facts that build the brand experience ““often uncoordinated, the company and its key audiences, by integrating metrics derived from the strategy to streamline its management, prioritizing what matters and promoting organizational learning.

The brand strategy is built from the values that convey the company’s strategic objectives pursued by the business, brand assets, functionality (to create awareness and consideration) and emotional elements that differentiate the offer (to create preference and sales).

These values are recognized differently by each key audience:

  • Towards the customers, reputation
  • Towards employees, internal alignment
  • Toward shareholders, creating value from the brand experience as an asset of the business

The MBBS links these interests from different perspectives by bringing together the cause and effect relationships. The most visible result so will the financial perspective.

The truth is that those results expressed in Euros/US$/Pounds”¦ will depend on the success that the company and its products and services have to make its audiences live the value proposition of the company, what ultimately depend on the ability to change and innovate which has the organization.


Financial Perspective

For the shareholder may be important, among other metrics, recognizing the value of the brand. But at this point it must be made several clarifications and “topples a myth.”

Let us start with the latter, tear down the myth that “the brand is the most important asset of the business.” The brand experience is a key asset, however, is not necessarily the most important. Let us see an example:

  • General Electric-GE, is the fourth largest brand value according to the rankings produced by Interbrand. But when we compare this value to the business, the brand represents less than 7% of the value of it. In this case the brand is not the most important asset of the company. This does not diminish the importance, however, when making business decisions, the brand will have a subsidiary role
  • GAP, is in the ranked 40. The Gap brand is worth almost six times lower than GE, however, regarding the business value, it represents more than half of it. In this case, the brand itself is the most important asset of the company. Any act that harms the brand experience will have a profound impact on the value of the business. And possibly in relative terms, is more complex strategically manage the GAP brand that the GE one

The clarifications relate to the indicator in itself and with the way it is calculated:

  • The calculation of brand value is a subjective and controversial subject. It is partly a science and partly an art
  • Among the various models for valuing brands, the “valuation for its use” may be the most suitable for marketing and the one that is better associated with other variables of the MBBS
  • The decisions that can be taken with the value of the brand are few and are related to merger and acquisition, licensing and franchising, indirectly fund raising to presentations to analysts
  • What is true is that it is almost impossible to reduce the richness of the brand experience to a single metric

The metric related to the financial perspective, properly orchestrated, will depend on those that relate to the customer in a given competitive environment.

Market perspective

There are two main sections that make up this part of the MBBS:

  • The customer – consumer, either potential or actual
  • The competitive environment in which the brand experience lives

Within the metrics used in the market perspective, there are some that measure the image and others that measure the identity of the company

  • Measures Image: Metrics associated with the recognition, familiarity and consideration
  • Measures of identity: Metrics associated with the purchase decision and customer loyalty

Following the logic of cause and effect of MBBS within the variables that are in the hands of the company and can help to make substantial improvements, there are those that cater to the internal objectives and ensure that the brand experience is consistent across the organization, including, in some cases, their marketing channels (and support the value proposition that is communicated to the market).

Internal perspective

This is not a minor issue. Cooperation and coordination. It goes beyond choosing the employee of the month. Generally, the metrics used internally do not measure the impact on the brand experience, or worse, they go against the brand experience.

Consider for a moment in the systems of rewards and compensation of personnel that are linked to the outcome of your business unit. The same system of control could lead people to compete against another of the same company, harming the overall results and confuse the client who perceives misalignment between the values and real brand experience.

The creation of value from the internal perspective is the foundation of the company, its level in more strategic and more intangible. This is its ability to innovate, grow and learn.

Change and innovation perspective

To grow healthily and steadily create value, companies have to innovate. To innovate must be managed properly capitalizing knowledge (structurally). Brand experience must be part of this process.

In this regard, it is not only to innovate in products and services, it also must consider the models of management and control, and at this point, the MBBS can become part of the innovation processes of the company.

MBBS as a management system is the key

The key is to transform the control panel in a management tool that even serve to generate new habits within the organization.

Linking the processes of innovation, with the internal brand experience, this with the experience in the market and finally, with the performance of the business, allows the organization as a whole to manage the brand experience in a way that creates real and measurable value.


Use a MBBS prioritizes what is important

To implement a MBBS it is required at least 10 points to consider:

  • Ensure that there is determination and support of the top management
  • Define, structure and translate the brand strategy consistently with the business strategy
  • Define the critical strategic objectives for each perspective and establish their links ““create the brand experience strategic map
  • Select the metrics to measure each of the defined objectives, accomplishing the rule of effectiveness ““there are all the metrics needed and only the metrics required
  • Establish satisfaction and measurement policies, and goals to be achieved
  • Set times and responsible for meeting each goal considering a multi-functional and decentralized team (some actions go beyond the role of marketing)
  • Establish sources of information and frequency for updating the model
  • Link the goals and targets with action plans, initiatives and projects
  • Link the system of incentives to MBBS metrics
  • Develop the ability to simulate future results to improve the quality of decisions

The MBBS is a model for managing the brand experience that balances long-term vision with immediate imperatives, strategy with day-to-day activities.

The reward is not in the mere fact of creating brand value, but to generate value for shareholders, and this brings the role of marketing to the highest levels within the organization. Marketing, as a knight, become part of the round table.

The jam session II

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Here we are again!… Julio and myself…

[C] Generally, for what it’s important to us, we opted for products and services with brands that tell us something. A story that, I insist (sorry), is relavant for us.

[J] Every story needs a starting point, let’s say an excuse to open up the dialogue. Every brand needs a footprint to deliver tiny but strong clues and flexible enough to let the story grow during its life (and yours). Do you remember crests and flags history?. They were created to represent not a thing, but beliefs.

[C] What it’s being observed as a trend is that, rather than finding the best brand, we begin to see two or more brands together (those that are best for us), bringing a unique competence to the table, re-inventing a product and/or service. A new and unique experience that is blending the best of several worlds.

[J] You mean alliances. This is what we can see (visually) in co-branding: two brands that we already know (what they represent) with relevant experiencies gathered to deliver a bigger an differential one. 1+1=11 as Marty Neumeier uses to say.

[C] Let’s see some examples as the ones I saw in Trendwatching:

Starbucks Bosh Philips NiveaThis is more than the traditional co-branding (the one we see in our Visa-Bank-University or whatever). And again, it is important, unique, inspirational,… for the tribe that is passionated with those brands.
  • The Bosch/Starbucks experience is interesting because, behind the scene is Kraft with its Kraft’s Tassimo system. “Coffeehouse quality with our home comfort”
  • The Philips/Nivea experience transform the shaver in a massage system that soothe the face and… shave
[J] It’s not a question of attached logos. They point to make these couple arise as a third experience. It’s the result of what we understand they have in common based in their identities from the touchpoints they’ve built. So we can figure what’s going on.

  • Adidas /Goodyear trainers. Even if you’ve not seen the sneakers, you can understand they are talking about performance. And you can prefigure they are talking about races too. This let you imagine the rest of the world around these concepts: custom cars, sex, youth, adrenaline.
  • Reebok /KoolAid trainers. You tell me!! OK, may be the idea behind is to offer “flavors”, but that was the Apple iMac first gen story. What’s the experience this product is signaling?
Adidas Reebok

[C] The challenge is to understand the tribe, values and behaviours, that are associated to a brand, to thereafter find the right partner to reinvent the offer through the brand blending. For mass-market products/services which could go to different tribes. The key point is to discover the “intersection tribe”… people that believe in both brands.

[J] Tribes use brands as trading cards like in a show and share game. Each tribe member needs some badges to make her/him recognizable to their peers and brands are obliged to be interesting if they want to be part of the ritual. So brands have to build bigger and more relevant concepts. Logos are not enough.

[C] A particular case is the one that blends a product brand with a human being brand… Eg.: H&M and Madonna

[J] Mmm… Let me disagree a little with you. This is the classic “be like a star” ad trick . Consumers are not so easily deceived anymore. But there’s an example of a campaign using past and present icons (or human being brands) that Converse is launching mixing local with int’l stars like Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong or Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Karen O. Additional regional icons include Ian Curtis (UK), Carlos Diez Diez (Spain), Jane Birkin (France), Nina Hagen (Germany), Kim, Jung Man (Korea), Cui Jian (China), Darren Cordeux (Australia), Jose Fernando Emilio (Mexico) and Sandro (Argentina).

converse leads

[C] Good point! Under the branding point of view, I do agree with you. However (Mmmmm, the God dammit “however” again is here!), as a social trend, those kind of “short time” messages are talking to a specific tribes… Back with H&M…

  • Karl Lagerfeld -2004
  • Stella McCartney -2005
  • Madonna -2007
  • Kylie Minogue -2007
  • Roberto Cavalli -2007

[C] Almost the same, however to a different tribe is MissX from Agent Provocateur with Kate Moss.

[J] OK, now I understand. The power of a signature or an ambassador who embodies not the brand but the tribe.

[C] Is this too much?… Or would you like to hear also the story of Japan Airlines and Toto’s washlets?… Again, it’s not money, is status, self-expression… sense & sensibility… Isn’t it?

Jam session I

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Let’s see the results of co-writing in Webjam. The first instrumentalist is Cristian Saracco, editor of The Semantic Branding, where he shares his thoughts and trends about branding and business strategies. Cristian is also Director of Allegro 234 based in Madrid, Spain. The second instrumentalist is Julio Ferro, editor of Hey! It’s About Design and owner of Hey! Brand Design in Buenos Aires, Argentina. They’ve worked together and allowed them to ignite the spark between their two worlds in order to deliver differential solutions to both local and international renowned brands.

[C] I would like to humbly begin with a trend which in certain way has some kind of relation with Julios’s previous post: We are facing new ways of recognition and satisfaction, away from well-known trditional status symbols like luxury cars and expensive watches. The issue is to see who spend the most, who lives an unique experience, who has more presence online… And this excitement is not necessarily about traditional consumption patterns, but about status, about impression peers.

[J] The funny thing is that the word Design is closely associated to luxury goods as well. I mean, they sound like synonyms in the big cities around the world where you can see an incredible show off. A good example is Design Miami/Baselâ„¢. Design for zillionaires.

[C] There will be people who will pay € 10 to€ 350 for a bottle of water… They will show status to their peers because of the experience that they are living with a bottle spotted at the Emmys and MTV Awards. Bling H2O, a fashion accesory.


[J] Bling-Bling! And if you don’t have enough glitter, the alternative is to pimp your gadgets. You can give real gold to your iPhone or laptop that coast a fortune. Glitter is part of the environment of (posing) millonaires. Glam is back, but this time is real and worths too much money.


[C] It’s water!… It’s a 750 ml bottle embelished with Swaroski crystals… Functionally, we know what it is , emotionally, “a bottle that tells a lot about the person who is drinking from it”…. And behind the scene, another two big factor: It’s telling us a reality, it’s transparent, it’s telling us a story, “it’s not waht you have, it’s the experience you live”.

bling detalle

[J] Crystal clear. There’s a new sense and It’s a review over a traditional atribute of waters. I see coincidences between waters and parfumes. And several coincidences between the experience looking at their bottle designs. May I either drink Carolina Herrera or spray my face with Ty Nant? There’s also Kenzo water. Any ressemblance with Voss is “pure” coincidence.


[J] Going back to your comment about new ways of recognition I see really interesting the new design directions for such a basic product. Y Water has an amazing bottle designed by Yves Behar (One Laptop Per Child designer). It’s a “smart water” where form and content work really well IMHO.


This post is also published in Hey! It’s about design

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Identity before image

By | Blog, Living Brands | No Comments

Identity comes before image, and is an intrinsic part of the institution. It is built on the grounds of history, traditions, and the present and desired future. Internal and external people are part of it. Identity is present in the corporation, in its products and in its services.

Image stands for and communicates such identity. Its major challenge is to maintain the coherence between the conveyed concepts, and the business model and the “idea into action” of the institution.

It is must to have consistency between identity and image in the long term to achieve better incomes and results, and build sustainable value.

Brand goes beyond an aesthetic matter, or a sum of specific events. Its origin is in the people who created the institution and is among those who share values and the idea. It is translated into a strategy, feeds the business value proposition, and generates a unique experience, emotionally relevant and functionally desirable.

Brands are for those people who interact with the company, since they are part of their business processes, belong to the organisation and manage its resources. Summing up, brands are relevant for the environment, unique for the system and admired by key audiences.