Think It. Blog It.
Account Director Wanted
Are you looking for an exceptional opportunity to join a successful boutique brand consultancy at a senior level? We’d love to talk.
We are looking for an entrepreneurial self-starter with well-rounded talent to join us in the role of Account Director, to help us take on some of the new business coming through the door.
As the ideal candidate, you will have 5 years solid experience across branding, strategy and consumer marketing, with proven client management skills. You’ll be naturally curious, driven and ambitious, with an entrepreneurial mind to handle a number of clients and brands at the same time. We are looking for someone who is ready to take ownership of the role, and be involved in the business on a managerial level.
Your role will be to manage brand development projects in branded consumer goods and services. Our services cover brand innovation and renovation, in single markets and across international markets. Specifically, your role will include: Managing clients and projects, Idea Development, Managing Workshops, Report Writing and Presenting and Project Delivery. We’d like to see you have experience working with small, entrepreneurial clients as well as more established companies.
Our clients are based in UK, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe with markets in Europe, Asia and the US. We’re based in west London, in a bright, spacious studio overlooking the Grand Union canal, in a share the premises with a number of other creative industries and artists.
*Developing, presenting and managing projects
*Working with clients to establish their aims and objectives
*Managing billings and terms of business
*Briefing and managing creative teams
*New Business Development
You’ll need to be:
*Well organised, good at people management
*Entrepreneurial, able to think around problems
*Strong in presentation and negotiation skills
*Good at ideas, written and spoken communication
Salary: £35K-£40K (doe)
To apply, please email your CV and Cover Letter to email@example.com
Soft & Gentle Skin Science
We recently helped Soft & Gentle create an identity for their new expert deodorant range, Skin Science.
The Soft & Gentle Skin Science range has just been launched to the trade, and we are very excited to see the range being rolled out. Having worked with us on the re-launch of Soft & Gentle, Godrej approached us to develop the Soft & Gentle brand beyond the current ‘fragrance choice’ remit. They needed a concept, brand and design system that could accommodate new products with distinct benefits.
We built a sub-brand system for Soft & Gentle. The ‘Skin Science’ range has a minimalist design on a silver pack, communicating a sophisticated, modern vibe and efficacious image, raising the profile of the brand without disrupting the original range architecture.
Soft & Gentle Skin Science is now available from all major pharmacies
We want to say congratulations to our client Speedo, on the successful and well-received launch of the new Speedo Fastskin LZR Racer X. UK Olympic silver medalist Michael Jamieson hosted the launch in London, and accredited the new suit to making him feel ‘fast and powerful’.
The LZR Racer X is developed with speed and world-class performance in mind, and is engineered to help swimmers feel their fastest. As Speedo puts it:
‘There is a significant psychological benefit for every athlete in feeling fast, as well as actually being fast.’
The whole range looks great, and we’re sure the new Fastskin LZR Racer X will be a huge success for Speedo.
After a very busy first week here at Ergo, I finally have some time to sit down and introduce myself. My name is Emma, and I’m the newest addition to the team. I will be managing the studio, make sure it's all running smoothly, and help the brilliant team with whatever they may need!
I’m from a creative background, having dabbled in photography, design and creative writing before joining Ergo. When not working away in the studio, you’ll most likely find me eating food, talking about food or reading about food. To balance it out, I do a fair bit of running around South London, and yoga with my cat.
I’ve joined Ergo at a very exciting time, with some great projects in the making. I’m looking forward to getting stuck in, and hopefully won’t bore the team with too much chatter about my breakfast or perfectly ripe avocados.
Now, a cup of tea and a brainstorm!
16 ways to change the world…
An attention-grabbing Royal Institute conference in London last week. Yes, we are entering another era of exponential science-driven change: the curve keeps going up and up, as the more we discover, the more we can discover. But are all changes for the better?
Some great stuff, some fun stuff and some scary stuff:
The great: The future of Human Health is looking rosy on a number of fronts:
- Personal nutrition management: combining of all your unique variables (incl. your very own microbial makeup) means personal, accurate predictions to food responses. Pizza and ice-cream could be good for you (but not for you...)!
-The astonishing world of nanotechnology... Things behave differently at nano-level, and it seems we will be able to tackle illness and dysfunction at cell level.
- Mobile Health, (though not well communicated here) will contribute to this rosy future for each of us...who can access and afford it.
The fun: Future toys - Flying cars, Hybrid Air Vehicles, Smart Robots are in the air. City planning and predictions involving autopilot cars gave us visions of children playing safely in car-free streets. Great optimism. This recalls the story of an earlier team of scientists (from The Royal Institute?), in early Victorian times, who modeled the future of London and its infrastructural needs. After months of deliberation, they concluded that any cities maximum size was 2.5 million inhabitants. The crucial limiting factor? Transport emissions, in the form of horse manure.
The scary: Geo-engineering. Has human technology screwed up the environment? Let us fix it...with more technology! The side effects of science 'changing the world' have not always been benign (Atom splitting, plastics, DDT, CFC)... Who knows what the fallout may be from 'intervening' with the environment on a planetary scale? As Danish scientist Niels Bohr memorably said, "Prediction is very difficult, especially if its about the future".
Beyond the honeymoon excitement, what are the potential dangers of the new super-material, graphene? And the threats from cyber security? Even the minefield of nanotechnology? Scientists by their very training tend to think and work within their own tight constructs. Maybe, like any good commercial innovation projects, they should build teams with multiple perspectives. Include the projective, the empathetic, lateral and poetic thinkers, the multi-visionaries.
On that note, we look forward optimistically to a healthy 2015!
Ubiquitous branding: good tips
Sitting on a Gatwick express this morning, I'm presented with a fully branded PG tips cup of tea. Recognising that the Gatwick Express is a somewhat tired brand, and realising the potential of a captive audience, the catering unit have cleverly done a deal with more credible beverage brands - Starbucks, PG tips - to make the mundane more pleasurable. It's still a teabag in a paper cup with boiling tapwater - but you drink the brand. And it made me recall that last night, downloading the brain by watching a TV comedy, PG tips slipped into the script: a Moslem cleric offered a CofE vicar a "nice cup of PG tips" to signal a small moment of bonding. Warmth generated.
Clever placement in both cases. As a consumer I joined the two dots : better than watching a paid ad pushing the predictable message.
A good tip from PG for other everyday brands: forget disruption, focus on blending into the fabric of consumer lives. And adding that appropriate bit of value.
According to Wikipedia, Starbucks is present in 61 countries & territories as of November 2012. This international growth has not disguised the fact that like McDonalds, KFC and the original Coca-Cola, they are exporting an essentially American experience.
And with it, American world views and values. As the debate about the influence of Britain, the small Island(s) than no-one listens to, continues within Britain (and no-where else), it comes as a salutary reminder where we REALLY fit into the American world view and values. Starbucks reminds us that to them, Britain is England – a city somewhere east of New York noted for dead playwrights and old buildings.
Is this a reflection of the Starbucks sensitivity to local cultures – or more a reflection on Brand Britain?
Answers in a sonnet, please.
M&S with a Capital F.
Now in Britain, its the autumnal discontent about M&S. Possibly orchestrated, all the noise is about the 'limited availability' of its new range of 'exclusive' womenswear. Yes, to be 'exclusive' you do have to exclude: it's a tactic used successfully by other retailers, like H&M with its limited edition 'designer' ranges. It generates noise. But in M&S case, the noise is more sound and fury than the sound of cash tills ringing. Why is this?
I went into M&S in central London to see what was going on. There were no sale-type scrums around the till, no piling up of desired designer wear. As ever, the buzz was in the food halls. In the menswear, nothing in the 'smart' sections demanded a share of my heart or wallet. In the end, I resorted to buying some socks and pants – well, its M&S after all. The old staples. When I got them home, it felt like they had been made with old staples: the socks were rubbish, and the pants excruciatingly uncomfortable. I had to throw the whole lot away. Only £25 worth, but unwearable. What's going wrong?
Look no further than the strategy. Back in May, M&S revealed their strategy was to "reassert our position as a leading, premium fashion retailer". Umm – what? It kept generations of Britons in warm sensible underwear, pyjamas, pullovers - occasionally, a smarter but always solid coat or skirt. And always at a solidly reasonable price. But a "leader in fashion and design?" No, Ms Belinda Earl – the new 'style director' who has coined the unfortunate phrase 'fashion with a capital F' - that's not what consumers mean by 'better quality and style'. They mean something they want to wear – and is actually wearable!
It's back to Maslow's needs. Get your basics right – be the best, once again, at the staples, the regular purchases: get that visit frequency up. Then add some seasonable desirables on top, to increase interest and basket size. Then, and only then, add some icing on the cake – a bit of fashion frosting.
That's the F in idea.
Within any advertising, branding or graphic design company, I expected creativity – and a lot of it. What I didn't know were all the minds behind it. I initially thought that there were a few people in a team, all using the same skills. However, what I have quickly learnt at Ergo, is that there are different people with different skills, and this will appear to be apparent in most creative companies. For example, you have the person that comes up with all the ideas (the conceptual person), designers (who bring it to life), researchers (who test it), technology geniuses (who build it), project managers (who plan and manage it), and the list goes on... Yet they are all striving towards one thing, and at Ergo, what I understand is that their main aim is to improve a brand and unlock their true potential.
What stood out to me was the work area. Ergo are lucky to be surrounded by trees with a canal running by with large open windows – the perfect creative environment in my opinion. In order for ideas to flow and design to happen, it needs to be relaxed; a vibe I instantly received upon my arrival at Great Western Studios.
As I am yet to learn, there is a great deal behind the branding of a product that we see on the shelf or a website that we browse. I didn't really know what to expect when it came to the design/idea of a brand, so this process is something I am keen to learn about whilst I am here. Ergo's strategy seems simple, as displayed on their website, a breezy 'before and after' deal – but all those little pencil sketches in between don't begin to portray the thought and hard work behind all of it.
So these next few days should help me recognise the truth behind branding and Ergo's approach.