I've got to know Andy Knowles of design agency JKR quite well through workshop we've run together on renovating the core. I've seen his presentation on the power of design 5-6 times, and yet I still love watching him passionately promote the power of what he calls "brand charisma". This is all about identifying, and then amplifying, your brand's visual essence.
JKR are putting their money where their mouth is with a super press advertising campaign. This is a breath of fresh air compared to the usual ads for design agencies which simply show a "before and after" of the latest pack they've re-designed. This is the problem Andy highlights: brands copying each other and so looking like just another grey pigeon on the Trafaulgar Square of design agencies.
The JKR ones stick out as they promote a point-of-view about the power of good design. Whether you choose to work with Andy and his team or not, they are great thought starters. Here are some examples of the campaign, and the points they make:
1. Evolve your brand design with care
"Protect me from ambitious managers" says this one. And indeed, sometimes a brand's worst enemy is the new marketing director who has arrived through the rapidly revolving door to take over. The risks of messing around too much with a brand's design were covered in the recent post on Tropicana here.
2. Remember what made you famous
I love the headline "Another pack from JKR you think you've seen before". This is about looking back at the history of your brand, and what made you famous in design terms. The brand in this ad, Phileas Fogg is being brought back from the dead after years of neglect, as I posted about here.
3. Be the 1 in 1000
This one is all about the key to success today is being chosen at the point of purchase, where on average people are picking 1 brand out of 1000 they could choose from (30 items per avge shopping basket; 30,000 skus per avge supermarket).
4. See the recession as an opportunity
One close to our heart is the view that in a downturn brands need to carry on innovating and marketing, and be optimistic about the future. As our recent research has shown (coming out soon), growing the core has proved to be 3 times more effective than cutting prices at helping brands through the recession.