Publication: Market Wired

CBX Expert in TEDx Talk: Women’s Brands Must Soar Past Sea of Cliches

July 27, 2016

Brand Agency’s Allison Koller Cites Need to Forge New Visual Codes Rooted in Realism and Respect

Brands need to soar past the sea of clichéd visual codes if they want to legitimately connect with real women, said Allison Koller, Executive Creative Director at brand agency CBX, in a recent TEDx talk in Scotch Plains.

All too often, even top brands seeking to connect with women fail to overcome the tired visual clichés that have marred such efforts for generations, Koller noted. “How quickly we become a sea of eyes, bellybuttons, breasts, and beautiful booties,” she said. “Messages and images with the power to break through that sea are unexpected. They are something that makes you look twice. They shift the cultural conversation.”

The TEDx event in Scotch Plains included several on-stage and video presenters in an effort to spark conversation. It was held under a free license granted by TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), the internationally known conference series run by the nonprofit Sapling Foundation under the slogan “Ideas Worth Spreading.”

During the talk, Koller described herself as a swimmer, illustrator, daughter, tennis player and wife who pays keen attention to the content and subtext of brand messages aimed at women. […]

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CBX Expert: Technology Can Alienate Retailers From Their Customers

June 9, 2016

At Pacific Northwest Retail Design Institute, Brand Agency’s James Sundstad Encourages Retailers to Keep Tech Tools in Perspective and “Dance” With Their Customers — Face-to-Face, Here and Now Retailers can fail to connect with their customers on a human level if they focus myopically on in-store and other tech tools, cautioned James Sundstad, VP of Branded Environments for brand agency CBX, at the Retail Design Institute’s Pacific Northwest conference in Seattle.

“Smartphone addicts pay more attention to incoming texts than they do to the living, breathing human beings standing in front of them,” Sundstad said. “Many retailers focus overmuch on tech tactics such as video walls or geo-fencing, or on big-picture analytics about customers and markets. But the foundation of your brand strategy should be to forge meaningful, lasting relationships with actual people in the here and now — especially when your competition includes the likes of Amazon.”

Sundstad, a 35-year veteran of the retail design business, gave the talk (“Why Algorithms Can’t Dance: 5 Trends that are Humanizing Retail™”) on May 24 at Cincinnati-based RDI’s Pacific Northwest regional event. The audience included leading retail design professionals as well as executives from major retailers such as Nordstrom, Ethan Allen […]

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