Our MD, Lulu Raghavan, recently spoke at the monthly meet of the British Business Group. Lulu’s address, titled “Brand in the boardroom” was centered on a topic she passionately evangelizes – the inevitable connection between brand health and shareholder wealth.
by Ronita Mukerjee
I travel a fair bit for work. Despite the countless number of times work takes me around India, I am always struck by Calcutta’s laid-back charm, Bangalore’s cosmopolitan buzz and Delhi’s flamboyance. The city layouts, the people and the overall energy are so distinct. They are thriving agile ecosystems of infrastructure, people, beliefs, behaviors and hopes. They are brands by themselves. And I see three key takeaways for brand professionals.
Co-authored by Sanjana Mathur, Ronita Mukerjee & Hiren Dedhia
It’s November, and those of us who have been glued to our desks all year long are already gearing up for December. Here at Landor (amidst frantic holiday planning) we felt this was a great opportunity to reflect on the year 2017 – and what a year it’s been!
We saw an explosion in FMCG and packaging projects, everything from alcohol to milk, from indulgent to healthy, from mass to premium. After spending the year soaking in consumer profiles, printing, prototyping and testing, three of us (from across client management, strategy, and design) wanted to pen down some of our learnings on what is going on in this space.
By Ronita Mukerjee
The culinary world has always fascinated me. After watching Sarah Graham’s Food Safari, I ordered my first Lodge cast iron skillet. These days if I am not wearing the brand consultant hat, you will find me curiously researching and shopping for the next big meal I plan to make. During my last holiday in Cambodia, apart from visiting temple ruins and museums, I managed to squeeze in a cooking class as well. Pure delight! What was even more interesting was the ‘aha’ moment I had. A revelation of sorts. There is so much marketeers can learn from cooking. And then apply that knowledge to building their brands.
By Lulu Raghavan
Successful marketers around the world acknowledge the incredible power of word of mouth. As consumers, we know that business associates, colleagues, friends, and family have a massive influence on the products and services we buy and the companies we choose to do business with. Social media has furthered this influence by giving everyone a platform to express their opinion—and an audience keen to hear it. But there’s a new force emerging that could potentially influence people’s feelings about brands to an even greater extent.
Along with the rise of megacities is the rise of equally mega developments. From East London to Guangzhou in China, huge faceless canyons of concrete and glass are springing up every year that dwarf what we are used to: a sense of human scale. City growth is of course, a prerequisite of urban development, something that’s been going on for thousands of years. We can’t stop it, but how do we adapt to it?
The answer is to break these architectural jungles down into something to which we can relate. There is growing demand for a more profound sense of territorialism to our urban environments—a new age of tribalism, if you like—and in order to meet that challenge we must create stronger and more distinctive regions, territories, places, districts, boroughs, and landmarks.
The rate of city growth today means that leaving it to organic progression, where it is driven largely by local citizens, is no longer realistic. A more robust, civic approach is required, with place branding principles at the heart.
Place branding is of course nothing new. In fact, it’s an ancient art. The Old Quarter, Down Town, the High Street, the West End, the town square, the market place, Soho, Dumbo, NoMa: all are examples of how society breaks down the scale of a city into manageable, human entities by which we navigate our lives.
Developing these local brands can go far beyond simply giving them a new logo or slogan, although these can also be worthwhile. What really differentiates a place are the subtle urban details we notice as we walk along the streets: the benches, the street lamps, or the directional signage.
Over time, these tangible elements become synonymous with a place and help to differentiate it. Branding can play a crucial role here too and, if done right, the design can blend with and ultimately enhance the organic character of a city borough.
Melbourne and Vancouver are perfect examples of cities adopting a robust strategy to creating stronger identities, drawing millions of tourists and fostering a sense of local pride for citizens. Both often feature in lists of the world’s most liveable cities.
And despite its relatively small size, Barcelona is also capitalising on its growing brand strength, recently being named the world’s sixth most valuable city brand. Part of Barcelona’s strength is the vibrant and distinctive identities of its districts, from the old charm of Barri Gòtic (the Gothic Quarter) to the bohemian cool of Gracia.
Apple accessories company Twelve South normally sells things like docking stations, covers, and cases. But the latest product in its portfolio is the New Mac Candle that, when lit, emits the smell that is released from the box when you open a newly purchased Mac. Whether or not you find that appealing, it’s an interesting exploration into the strength of the sensory equity built by the business over the years—regardless of whether Apple realized it was doing so.
Adobe Systems in partnership with Exchange4media, brought together a few industry leaders over a panel discussion to understand how they lead by design. The event was organised on 2nd May 2017 at Trident, BKC, Mumbai. The panel was a melting pot of client and creative agency experts, who shared their views on how design creates experiences and is a key business advantage in this agile world.
At Landor we love to excite the minds of our clients by offering them new perspectives on potentially mundane topics. This gave rise to the creation of our bi-annual thought leadership journal, SHIFT. The objective of SHIFT is simply to inspire new ideas and spark fresh thoughts. Each volume would focus on one branding topic of burning relevance to our clients. The design and copy would be aligned to bring to life the topic using powerful visuals and a compelling narrative.