Why building a brand - instead of buying a logo - may be your key to success.
In a city filled to the brim with entrepreneurs, San Francisco is not always the easiest city for new businesses to stand out. Thousands of brands-to-be wilt on the vine every year, lacking in funding, grit, product-fit, VC connections, talent, you name it. But we’ve also noticed an emerging trend in the world of start-ups: the “so close but no cigar” scenarios. These teams have brilliant products and talent and network connections to lean on, but they fall just short of success. They are lacking in a certain magnetism and desire that helps them cross the finish line. And after working with hundreds of investors, VC’s and brands, more often than not, that missing piece of the puzzle is brand.
Where does luxury stand relative to popular culture? Although designers have always inspired the masses through their avant-garde, innovative creations, this purely top-down influence is now obsolete. Facing a crisis of legitimacy, luxury’s notorious conservatism has been drawing inspiration from the most public of spaces: the street and its modern digital components.
Last week was the Winter Fancy Food Show put on by the Specialty Food Association. For us here at CBA it’s a wonderful time to see what is happening in the world of food and beverage, as well as what new product trends we should keep our eyes on. It’s one thing to check out new designs online and quite another to see hundreds of samples in the crowded Moscone Center. From the thousands of vendors and brands present, we've identified 3 most notable trends that are soon to be dominating the world of food and beverage.
Creating brand experiences has become the mantra of marketers. Everybody wants to deliver experiences to stay relevant and build strong relationships with customers. Technology has provided us with incredible tools to communicate, measure engagement and create seamless transitions between the online and the offline worlds. It has also created more complex dynamics and made it more difficult for brands to grab the customer’s attention and to conquer their hearts. But as we aim to create strong brand experiences to find growth, we should look not at the tools but at opportunities in new risky territories. This is why knowing where the limits of your brand are is key to stretch the brand and go beyond.
Let me explain.
The internet, while ubiquitous in our everyday lives, is still fairly new. Many remember the days preceding its arrival, and well. The systems and rituals that went along with finding things,researching things, buying things the old fashioned way are now both shockingly archaic and comfortingly nostalgic.
This is the last in our series of learnings from Fast Company’s Innovation Festival. Our three principles thus far, internal valorization, diversity, and cross-industry collaboration, have given us an astute understanding of the makeup of a powerful brand. Our last take away, disruption, helps seal the deal.
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