A few weeks ago, it was announced that the Cleveland Indians would put an all-stop to using the Chief Wahoo logo on their uniforms by 2019. The cartoon-like logo depicting a Native American was first introduced in 1948 but over the years, the team name and symbol have been called out as insensitive and racist to Native Americans resulting in many a debate and protest. In fact, pressure to remove Cleveland Indian brand symbology has been ongoing for the past 50 years. So why the change today?
In our highly connected and attuned society, it is more important than ever that a brand be keyed-in and connected to the fast moving cultural barometer at-large.
Culture inherently moves like an ocean, its forces and waves breaking as “a storm to the norm.” Think watershed or counter-culture movements.That’s why all brands, regardless of industry, should be paying attention to cultural conversations; and if brands are smart, they will be leading changes for good vs. reacting. When a brand doesn’t keep up with culture, it runs the risk of the worst brand offense: irrelevancy. We’ve seen our culture break many brands that were too slow to evolve. We’ve also seen culture reward […]
In Part 3 of our 3-Parter blog series examining packaging design, Vannett Li and Krisana Jaritsat look at emerging design cues brands are exploring as they try to stand out on both a literal and digital shelf.
Packaging’s role on shelf is to attract, engage, and sell. When brick and mortar was the de facto shopping destination for consumers, standing out on sometimes, a literal shelf in a supermarket or grocery store was one of the primary goals of how brands approached traditional packaging. Category cliches and functional claims were prioritized over the brand resulting in a sea of uniformity and neon violators shouting “NEW”, “ORGANIC”, “IMPROVED”. Physical constraints of the shelf discouraged innovative structures. An overwhelming amount of brands assaulting the consumer from every angle prevented marketers from launching bold and daring designs in fear that the consumer won’t be able to reliably find their brand. Shopping in store was purely transactional.
However, as shopping migrated online and e-commerce exploding, new considerations had to be made by brands. Design decisions had to reflect and address such issues such as whether your goods were sold on websites like Amazon versus DTC on your own website or how your brands would spread via social […]
In Part 2 of our 3-Parter blog series examining packaging design, Krisana Jaritsat discusses how thoughtful packaging can serve as a bigger marketing and media experience for consumers.
Back in early 2016, when Evan Spiegel, the co-founder and CEO of Snapchat (or more accurately, Snap, Inc) was asked to describe his Gen Z and Millennial favored social media platform, he stated “it was a camera company.” According to a Piper Jaffray Report in 2016, Spiegel’s “camera company” was named the most important social network by teenagers. Not the company whose mission was to help connect the world (that would be Facebook) nor the company cited years ago as an entertainment platform by its founders (that would be Instagram). No, the most important tool in a teenager’s arsenal was one that helped document and share their lives in ephemeral images (alongside a dancing hot dog) via their phone or a pair of circular $130 sunglasses.
Now certainly, what a difference the past two years make. Once a darling of the tech world, the common conversation around Snap these days ranges from whether their IPO was overvalued, can the company innovate fast enough to compete with competitors or the increasing decline of their DAU’s amongst […]
In Part 1 of our 3-Parter blog series examining packaging design, Sarah Mitty explores the necessary evolution of packaging design in order to survive our digital-driven times.
It is no secret online shopping creates an entirely new purchasing journey for the consumer. What was previously a physical experience of interacting with products has now become virtual as well. Nowadays, thumbnail icons are the new shelf-presence and 3-D zoom is the equivalent to picking up a product and holding it in your hands. Now, packaging not only needs to work on shelf—but also in the digital realm.
While the online shopping revolution may make some nostalgic for the days of brick and mortar, online purchasing allows for exciting new opportunities in packaging functionality.
From Shopability to Usability
When considering in-store shopping as the primary avenue for consumer interaction, the function of package design is to attract attention on shelf and enhance the experience of in-person interaction. The purpose of packaging for in store is not only to create a visual experience but a tactile one as well.
Product packaging needs to physically work in a store context. This means that a shape-shifting bag of cereal requires an […]
In a new three-part series, we explore the many facets of design packaging. What is its significance in the digital age? How has it changed from previous generations and what does it mean to younger generations today? And ultimately, why should brands care about any of this? Our Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer, Dustin Longstreth introduces the series with his thoughts:
Is Your Brand Ready for the Golden Age of Packaging?
Disruption. It is perhaps both the most overused and most accurate word to describe the nature of what is occurring in almost every walk of life these days. Long held standards, rules of thumb and laws of nature are being replaced, seemingly overnight, by the new, the innovative, the revolutionary.
While we are undeniably inundated with new, there is nothing new about creative destruction. Technological advances do and will continue to destroy businesses, and even industries, but in doing so they open up far more opportunities for those willing to think creatively and redirect their efforts.
The recent shifts in the entertainment industry provide us with a great example. For decades, the two hour major theatrical release dominated. The feature film industry attracted the best talent, received the […]
At CBX, we are rigorous in our pursuit of being at the forefont of conversations in popular culture; our aim is to ensure our work is informed by and consequently, able to contribute to it. The topic of women in higher office in business and politics has been of particular interest when we began working with She Should Run, a non-partisan organization encouraging and equipping women with the community and tools to consider running for public office. On the eve of the Women’s March, in this edition of our “Q&A with…” series, we speak with Erin Loos Cutraro, the CEO and Co-Founder of She Should Run on the importance of creating a brand that resonate in today’s communications-sensitive climate.
1. Tell us what makes She Should Run unique?
Erin: Throughout the nearly decade of She Should Run’s work, we have been dedicated to encouraging women from all political parties, all geographies and all demographics to run for office. We firmly believe in the saying “you can’t be it if you don’t see it” so, for our sisters, mothers, and daughters, we are dedicated to getting more women to run for office – period.
Last week, Diet Coke introduced four new flavors into the family of America’s largest low-calorie soft drink: Ginger Lime, Feisty Cherry, Zesty Blood Orange and Twisted Mango. Along with the robust new flavor offering came a sleek new look- a slimmer can, a focus on the iconic silver color and a more refined take on the font design. This is a big move from the brand, having originally introduced the “diet” version of its beloved drink originally back in 1982, which unlike its main competitor, Pepsi, wasn’t a modified version of the original but an entirely different formula altogether (its biggest differentiator was its use of the artificial sweeter, aspartame) Alongside its taste, its look and feel, while reminiscent of the original Coke, was distinct and over the years, hasn’t significantly changed even when offering new flavors such as Diet Cherry Coke or Diet Vanilla Coke. In summary, not much has been done to the brand…until now.
The cultural climate and sentiments towards health, wellness, diets and food and beverages in 2018 is one significantly different than that of the 1980’s. As it’s oft-repeated, we know now that consumers of today- especially younger demographics- are much more conscious and discerning […]
Over the past few years, design has increasingly becoming a topic of mass discourse. As consumers come to now expect Apple-esque precision in the design of their products and services, design as a concept is being appreciated and scrutinized on a much wider scale. It is impossible to discuss design without referencing Pantone and of course its “Color of the Year,” as what once was a tool used by printers and manufacturers is now a name that appears in the local Sephora as a make-up shade or a conversation topic debated by aesthetic connoisseur of all types. We celebrate the announcement of 2018’s Color of the Year (It’s Ultra Violet!) with this edition of our Q&A where we speak with Laurie Pressman, VP of Pantone Color Institute to understand the evolving nature of design in culture and what role a company like Pantone plays in it.
1. Design, as concept/practice/expertise, continues to enter mass conversation and cultural and business activity. What are your thoughts on this?
Laurie: As design and design thinking moves to the forefront of the conversation, the symbiotic nature between color thinking and design continues to strengthen. We are living in an increasingly visual society, […]
At this year’s Fast Company Innovation Festival, brands were inevitably at the center of conversation. The speakers all repping an array of industries were speaking either about OR on behalf of a brand analyzing, pontificating and at times, criticizing what the modern day brand is and how it should behave. All of it led to a diverse and passionate mosaic of opinions but there were some primary recurring themes such as Community, Context, and Purpose (specifically pertaining to social impact).
The most exciting, relevant, and interesting brands understand the power of all three- some incorporate all while others incorporate a minimum of one. Today’s consumer expect brands to go beyond the transaction; each purchase, point of purchase and even path to purchase is correlated to something much more personal to consumer. Today’s brands are now emblems of values and self-identification. Those brands that understand the landscape they now inadvertently live in find ways to leverage their newfound power to build more personal relationships with the consumer and thus gaining fans and evangelists for the long haul.
The new (or newish) brands unanimously fawned over nowadays – by the media, by the VC firms pouring Series A,B,C funding into them, […]
Technology has, and increasingly continues to, drastically change the way consumers interact with brands and products. No industry has been more impacted than retail. The “death of brick and mortar” is a hot button topic and we continue to see brands, both big and small, place their bets on digital. Additionally, nascent technology- AR, AI, VR- is a curiosity that brands are furiously trying to tackle with, unsurprisingly, the major tech players such as Amazon and Google ahead at the forefront. If you’re a brand these days, how are you supposed to keep up? If you don’t have the access or capital like the big guys, what do you need to be thinking about in order to remain relevant and competitive?
In gearing up for our second #StraightTalk event with Ben Running, Director of Innovation at Jet.com (Are you coming? Feel free to RSVP here), we decided to tackle a few questions in advance. Here are his thoughts on the future of the retail landscape:
1. The current retail landscape is one that looks vastly different from that of ten years ago or even five years ago. What is your take on what’s currently happening and why people are […]