Our strategy intern, Sarah Mitty recounts her most memorable sessions at the Northside Festival.
Our culture is constantly evolving. Each day is a whirlwind of new consumer behavior trends, technological achievements and political updates. Keeping up with our world is challenging enough, how are brands supposed to ensure their output is culturally relevant? Last week, I attended the Northside Festival where some of the brightest minds in innovation discussed how to accomplish this feat.
Think Tech The amount of exciting new technology discussed at the conference was mind blowing. From artificial intelligence to augmented reality platforms, a hyper-technologized future seems very close to the horizon.
Alex Chung, the CEO of GIPHY, was confident that augmented reality would be standard in four years. This means it will likely be integrated into all parts of life from music (a hologram Justin Bieber performing a concert in your bedroom) to sports (player statistics popping up in front of your eyes) and beyond. This leaves the question: What is the cultural value that AR technology will provide? The panelists, Alex Chung (GIPHY), Sofia Dominguez (Svrf), Raj Advani (Viro), Bill Marino (Uru), and Matt Hartman (Betaworks) debated the ideals of communication versus entertainment. […]
At the Northside Festival, Shutterstock, the stock photography company, sponsored master classes by experts in the technology, design and production industries addressing different facets of content. The sessions we attended were taught by Lauren Reddy, Director of Audience & Development of T Studio (of The New York Times), Theo Ernstsson, CEO of Alpha, and Jason Schickle and Jesekeena Hahn of Shutterstock. The main takeaway from the sessions was the importance of creating content that would truly add value to a user’s lives. While each speaker represented different vantage points, courtesy of the industry they were speaking on behalf of, it was unanimously agreed upon that content is the future of marketing.
1. Be useful Nowadays, as a consumer, we have our pick of options. Any product or service, no matter its obscurity or location, is within arm’s reach due to the advances in technology. As technology continues to impact and shape a consumer perception and loyalties, how is a brand supposed to stand out in its value proposition? By being consistently useful. Theo Ernstsson’s session, ‘How to Cut Through Bullshit to Create Great Products,’ proposes that experimentation and execution was the path to usefulness. He believes that by rapid iteration […]
This year, we sent a group of CBXers to the Northside Festival, the innovation-centric conference in Brooklyn. The sessions featured brands and speakers spanning industries in technology, food, media, entertainment and politics discussing a wide variety of topics from AI, entrepreneurship, President Trump & James Comey, Instagram, and feminism to name a few. Whether it was discussing how technology would advance society, the implications of scaled information or how to innovate to tell better stories, regardless of industry, the root of all discussions rounded back to two fundamental questions: What are we creating and who are we creating it for?
Our conclusion was this: As brands and agencies (and the people who shill for them) attempt to decipher how to operate in our changing times, both in business and society, it is clear that connection is what we are all seeking. At CBX, we pride ourselves in creating content, in various forms and delivered in various ways, with the belief that connecting to the lives of people is what matters most. In creating content made to share, inform, entertain and sell, we are informed and inspired by culture. It is when circumstances are uncertain, unclear, and sometimes even tumultuous, that […]
Big news, food manufacturers, the FDA is making changes to the nutrition facts label. All food manufacturers will be expected to comply with these changes by July 26, 2018.
What does this specifically mean for you? It means you’ll be:
– highlighting calories and servings, so consumers can make more informed food choices – indicating “added sugars” instead of just “sugars” – disclosing “per serving” and “per package” calorie and nutritional information (because who ever really follows the recommended “per serving” information anyway)
(as well as several other changes, but these three are the big ones)
A few suggestions for you to consider when making these changes:
1. Stay calm and be true to your brand
Remember it’s all about authenticity these days. Don’t try to reinvent your brand as something it’s not. Consumers buy your brand and love it for a reason. Continue to do what you do best – stay true to you.
2. Educate your consumers
Tell your consumers all the good stuff happening in your product. While many of the changes seem like doom and gloom (hello 45g of sugar in a 100% juice brand). There are a lot of great things to tell consumers about […]
Marvel’s new Iron Man will be called…Ironheart. Well done, Marvel. You could have taken the well-worn and clichéd path for naming female superheroes by calling Riri, the new female hero wearing the iron suit, Iron Woman or Iron Maiden. And while my heavy metal heart may secretly yearn to see Iron Man (a well known Black Sabbath song) together with a hard rocking reference like Iron Maiden, Ironheart bounds over old-fashioned naming conventions and soars into the future.
Ironheart is a name that focuses on the history and soul of the franchise over gender—after all, Tony Stark first put on the iron suit to save his heart and Marvel indicates that Riri will also put it on for not-yet-disclosed heart-related reasons. A gender-neutral name like Ironheart says, this is a superhero. A gendered name like IronWoman would say, this a girl superhero. The implication being this is a franchise designed for a female audience only. By avoiding un-necessarily gendered naming, Marvel signals to a new generation of boys and girls that we can all look up to female superheroes.
Now if only other brands would take Marvel’s cue. Ahem, I’m looking at you Bic Pens for Her and Forbes Woman.
I spent this weekend at The Period Shop — the world’s very first pop up store dedicated to periods, created by our favorite period brand U by Kotex. To say that I’m proud to work with the CBX U by Kotex project would be an understatement. The pop-up shop brings to life the brand mission in a tangible way, and the shelves were lined with our anti-stereotype package designs. See more about how these cool, colorful designs came to be here.
The Period Shop was inspired by a Tumblr post from a young woman, Sarah M., who partnered with U by Kotex to make her vision a reality on 5th Avenue in NYC. Part celebration, part proclamation, The Period Shop is proof that, together, we can change how we think about, talk about, and shop for periods. All proceeds benefit Susan’s Place, a NYC-based transitional residence for homeless women.
And here are photos from my #PeriodProjects experience:
“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.” —The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka
It’s morning in America, folks. And as America awoke this morning, it found itself transformed into the king of beers. Today, Budweiser announced that starting May 23rd they will henceforth be referred to as America. With that, our nation has manifested its destiny.
E pluribus unum. Where there were once two brands. There is now one. If you think about it, the union between brand America and brand Budweiser could not be more perfect. Both are iconic. Both are red, white and blue. Both have moved their manufacturing bases overseas. And both can get you bombed. #Twinning.
Even mighty Anna Wintour with her power to make or break designers can’t kill the word athleisure. There was a time in 2015 she could have, but that time has passed. Beyonce just launched her brand of athleisure IVY PARK. And that has everyone using the word. And if anyone can SLAY Anna, it’s QUEEN BEY. It has 75K hashtags on Instagram, over 401K hits on Google. And the second entry hit on Google for the term—an article titled “The 5 Golden Rules of Athleisure” published in January this year by…wait for it…VOGUE. Wintour herself has contributed to the term becoming “in vogue” as they say.
Usage in Vogue is all it takes to make Athleisure an official word in the fashion world. And its acceptance in Merriam Webster this year makes it an unofficial word for the rest of the world. That said, it’s not truly a real word until the Oxford English Dictionary makes it so. So far they are still holding out on Athleisure. However it’s only a matter of time. The OED loves “blend” or “portmanteau” words like Athleisure that bring two words together to create a completely new word. They brought Fauxhawk, Jorts, and Flatform […]
First rule of the internet—don’t read the comments. Second rule of the internet—do not ask the internet to name your brand.
The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) learned the second rule the hard way when they opened up suggestions to name their new ship to the internet. The ship is a £200 million polar research vessel described by NERC as “the most advanced floating research fleet in the world and will help put the UK at the forefront of ocean research for years to come.” The internet’s answer for such an esteemed vessel?
Boaty McBoatface. By a landslide.
Here is a list of things the internet cares about—cat videos, bacon, unclad celebrities. Here is a list of things the internet does not care about—your brand strategy, managing a complex trademark landscape, ensuring a name isn’t offensive culturally.
The internet cares about instant gratification. If you want someone to care about creating a name that lives up to your £200 million investment and will stand the test of time, call the professionals.