|March 6, 2014 | Erica Cerula|
lost in thought
I'm proud that I feel like what's going on in the world. When we started the business, I felt completely out-of-the-loop about, well, everything that didn't have to do with emerging designers for about two years, but that's finally changed. I have the daily news emails by The Skimm largely to thank.
My playlist is entirely dictated by Songza and filled with country. My current favorite is Cowgirl Kiss-Offs.
The next stamp on my passport is Portugal! My husband and I are going on our honeymoon there this summer—for two whole weeks! (Which feels like an eternity in the best of ways).
Find out more about Erica's participation in FUSE 2014 © 2014 IIR Holdings, LTD. All Rights Reserved.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
During the Middle Ages, male and female craftsmen made many of the items we use today like clothing, furniture, jewelry, tools, wine, beer, cheese, and of course, weapons by hand. These expert craftsmen then sold their goods at local markets.
This C2C or craftsman-to-consumer model was how business was done. There were no overseas logistics in place, no mass production in factories, nor was there a global need for a specific product from one manufacturer. There were no bottom lines to worry about or stockholders breathing down their necks. Buying and selling was very much localized and provided a specific good for a specific need in a specific area. You knew your blacksmith by name and he stood behind his work.
Technology Spurs Change
Industry and machine manufacturing first started to dominate the handcrafted economy in England around the 18th century. Technology evolved to include use of new energy sources like the steam engine. And iron and steel became more prevalent. The Spinning Jenny and other inventions increased production. Also, transportation developed and the ability to communicate across cities and countries in Europe became easier. By the 20th century, the Industrial Revolution spread to countries like China and India and spurred economic, political and social change.
But as I look around today, I notice a new revolution starting – one that is very reminiscent of our former craftsmen. Websites like Etsy, Kickstarter or Indiegogo provide a platform and the opportunity to once again showcase one’s crafts...
Read more at http://bit.ly/1g0s0vW and let us know where you see this trend heading!
Read more at http://bit.ly/1g0s0vW and let us know where you see this trend heading!
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
With FUSE quickly approaching, we wanted to take some time to speak with two creative thought leaders from Zunda Group to learn more about what’s happening in the design & brand strategy space lately. Charlie Zunda, Owner and Gary Seve Esposito, Partner and Chief Creative Strategy Officer of Zunda dive into inspiration, how design & and brand strategy have changed, and what it takes to truly make a product special.
Check out what they had to say:
IIR: A big theme for FUSE this year is inspiration. So, we want to know what is your “muse” or what inspires you in your work?
Zunda: Inspiration is all around in what we see, think and feel. Like the other “I” word, Innovation - which is an iterative process - to be truly inspired is to not expect, but best realized as a “quiet" surprise. It is a sense of “knowing”--- when something feels right, effects or impacts your thinking and opens your imagination to a range of infinite possibilities. Inspiration first resonates on an emotional level, for it is subliminal and difficult to articulate.
I find the multi-dimensional elements of color, light and sound (especially music) quite inspiring. To translate Inspiration creatively into a tangible brand (product or service) is to apply transformational thinking to the creative process. Reimagine. I do not have a “muse” per se.
IIR: How has design or brand strategy changed in the last 5 years?
Esposito: Hearing what a consumer has to say is a great starting point in understanding how to emotionally connect with them. But understanding their lifestyle, no matter how they answer questions in a qual or quant test, is the only real key to connecting with them. Hearing that a consumer is green conscious may tell us they care, but does it mean they have the time and where with all to compost?
If we know our market is the light green, caring mom who is just too busy running from PTO to soccer to be an activist, maybe the trigger for her is being easy green. Maybe she'll connect with the effortless green approach. At the end of the day, we really need to know everything about the consumer’s lifestyle, not just their opinion about the category you're addressing, in order to find the right emotional triggers to connect with them.
IIR: Brands want their product to be special — to mean something important — to their customers. How do you make your product special?
Esposito: Perhaps the biggest misconception in branding is that if your competitor is "doing it," or if all of your competitors are "doing it," then it must be right and we need to "do it." Brand X is blue, so blue must be our category color. Brand Y is showing people, so lifestyles is the way to go.
Had we followed that direction with Chobani the packaging would have shown the Parthenon rather than build a benefits driven platform, and Greek yogurt might still be three percent of the market instead of 36 percent. I like to believe the starting point is what is "not" being done yet, and work back from there. Isn't that how Kotex rocked their category with "U"? Start with the unconventional and impossible. You never know…it just may become the new norm.
Zunda and Esposito will be speaking at FUSE 2014 in April. Uniting brand strategists and designers, along with trend hunters and culture curators, the 18th annual FUSE conference celebrates a collaborative approach to building more meaningful brands. With One Collective Voice, FUSE becomes a forum for all to share stories, inspiration and best practices. This year, we present our most Iconic and Inclusive experience ever and welcome all to discover the magic of FUSE. To meet Zunda and Esposito in person at FUSE, click here: http://bit.ly/1egIcJg
About the Author: Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs including Next Big Design, Customers 1st, and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business Analysts, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her at @AmandaCicc.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
– Design is for people and innovation is for the corporation.
If deep empathy is central to excellence in design, then inclusive is always the essential intention of good design. Having empathy for the intended audience is parallel to design for the person. The corporation makes it iconic, while design makes something inclusive.
Let's apply the principles of design to an educational experience. Our secondary institutions are moving quickly to a place where students can design their own learning experience. If so inspired (perhaps by Steve Jobs) the software programmer can take a calligraphy class. Even better, the student of today and tomorrow may even find themselves fusing philosophy, design and software programming to emphasize the diversity of their interests.
Now, this is where FUSE steps into our world and makes a difference.
FUSE is a designed experience. While there may be exclusive brands, the knowledge shared is inclusive. While the brands may be common knowledge to many, the speakers have iconic stories to share. We, the audience, can craft our experience. We can design our education by picking the places we go and rooms where we stay. The only things you'll need are a full set of working senses, a brain and perhaps a writing utensil.
You'll have a tough time avoiding inspiration. If you have a brain, this is the liquid experience for which it is worthy of submerging. We send this out as our first challenge to the 500+ people at FUSE this year, can you attend and avoid inspiration? If you do, find us and we'll get you in a room that lights up your brain.
FUSE has been designed for us to hear the innovations behind the corporations we know well.