I don't know about you but I am an observer of how good brands do what they do. I also love to explore the nexus of business, messaging, human behavior, sustainability in the economy, and positive change.
So here's something new: a"branding roundup" where I'll share the most recent thought-provoking stuff I come across that has anything to do with branding, marketing, or content. I'll pull from resources around the web, sometimes from business, sometimes from non-profits, sometimes from the worlds of art, literature, ethics, and anything else that can inspire good ideas.
Beautiful styling and storytelling: Maptia
The mission of Maptia is to foster empathy through storytelling. That alone is awesome, very simple and clear, and needed in the world despite the irony that we are more digitally connected than ever before. Additionally, the storytelling is absolutely superb, and the photography is stunning.
Here's an example of great video advertising: Rainforest Alliance
Why is it great? Humor + storytelling + good cause + modern media + catchy tagline = MEMORABLE and needed in the world. Yes to all of this. Follow the frog 🐸
Forbes article: Should Companies Comment on Politics? A Brand Expert Weighs in
My thoughts: it really depends on the brand. Those whose mission/products inherently stand FOR something, such as if Prius or Alter Eco double down on their environmental message now that environmental policy is under threat in the U.S., then I think there is a graceful way to capture what your target audience is feeling while strengthening your own alignment to certain values. In this way you're not pointing fingers and being "political" in a way that's going to invite criticism.
A well-executed page: Why Water?
Charity: Water recently rebranded their website, which looks fantastic, but while they might have a bigger budget than you, pay attention to things like how concise the information is, how they tie the resource of water to many other elements of thriving in life, how they "chunk" information, and how links to different pages are created to avoid too much copy in any one place. Good stuff. Concise information presented well will always convey a message better than elaborating with lots of words. Also, quality photography is worth the investment.
Brand agency to learn from: Brand Union
This is a TOP international brand agency, the stuff of Mad Men of the modern age. They not only do great work, they're generous enough to share some of their campaigns and the thinking behind what they did. Awesome source of high quality inspiration here.
On the surface this may look like a random addition, but not if you read it and see the deeper implications. Connect the dots here between humanity, sustainability, ethics, economy, and business. To address the real problems many of us are feeling about the world, we'll need a global shift in how we are living. If you can tap into the idea of an ethical economy that puts people and planet over profit then you will resonate strongly in the minds and hearts of your customers, but you must understand this for yourself first. Take the time to learn.
This is User Experience: Instructions Challenge
User Experience (UX) is all about thoroughly thinking through every detail of how someone will navigate your website or interact with your product/service/business. Very often, via lack of mindful planning, business owners will unknowingly create confusion or dissatisfaction in the very people they want to buy from them. This hilarious video summarizes the importance of good UX perfectly.
This is a great collection of brilliant advertising concepts and ideas that will help get your creative juices flowing. Of course, these were done by major advertising firms with big budgets and design teams, but don't let that deter you from thinking outside the box in whatever your endeavor is. Scroll through and then take 10 minutes to brainstorm your own concepts. If you come up with a great idea that gets the point across, it might be worth hiring a freelance designer to create a visual for you.