Botanical Madness! from Eater

Botanical Madness! from Eater

We think the brands should be looking at how their wallpaper affects their customer as much as anything else in the bricks and mortar locations. Eater picks up on this trend and we love it!

In restaurants from Leo’s Oyster Bar to Hello Sailor, designers are bringing plants to the walls — and to an Instagram feed near you

The Subtle Art of Connecting: Medium

One of the reasons that groups of people are able to bond together is because of the shared culture that they have created. This culture is essentially an invisible presence that contains knowledge about what a particular group values, how they conduct themselves, and where they want to go.

Movements have a culture. Companies have a culture. Families have a culture.

It’s the glue that binds us together. It’s what adds context to our discussions, it’s what inspires us when no one is looking, and it’s what moves us to action.

That’s not everything, though. It’s also what divides us. In fact, most cultures are built around distinctions. They highlight what it is about them that is different, and they then use these differences to attack each other.

In large groups, with mature cultures, this is more prevalent than in small groups, with blossoming cultures, which explains my distaste for the former.

The interesting thing, however, is that individual relationships have a culture, too, and a connection is about nurturing that. And the beauty of a culture between individuals is that it doesn’t have the downside of group cultures.

Adobe's Visual Trends for 2019: from Creative Boom

"Our trend reports help the creative community spot trends as they’re evolving, understand what they mean to consumers, and build on them for maximum impact," says Brenda Millis of Adobe. "In 2019, our visual landscape will reflect far more than fleeting fads, likes, and shares. We’ll be surrounded by images that capture passionate, beautiful, contentious, messy cultural conversations about values, how we express our individuality and experiences, and how we find refuge in tumultuous times."

For this year's report, the Adobe Stock team looked around the world, from fashion runways and art galleries to the business world, pop culture, and social media – all with the goal of uncovering the major visual trends that will shape the year. Here’s an early peek at the trends they're forecasting for 2019, as described by Adobe's Brenda Millis.

Curbed: What Amazon’s HQ2 will mean for a city’s brand

What is “place branding?”

Throughout history, brands have become closely associated with the cities in which they build headquarters—and vice versa. Apple prints “Designed in Cupertino” on the back of its products. Mountain View is a Google town. Nike put Portland on the map as an athleticwear city and, soon, other brands, like Adidas and Under Armour, followed.

Digiday: How The Knot uses content to grow consumer revenue three ways

Brands that take the time to identify the content needs of their customers, and then delivery on those, while also creating partnerships with other brands is the beginning of a new wave of thinking. Less ads, more valuable content. Here is an article we found inspiring:


The Knot also is wringing more out of its content. The editorial team produces or updates around 160 pieces of content per month, said editor in chief Kristen Maxwell Cooper. It’s still monetizing those pages with ads while finding additional ways to monetize that evergreen traffic.

—“We’ve started to devote more resources to both creating content opportunities that work well for our commerce partners as well as using content for a signal to understand some problems that our customers want to solve, and then finding the right partners to help them solve those problems,” said Guy Vidra, vp of national revenue at XO Group.

For example, Vidra found that Knot readers searched for information about how to preserve their wedding dresses, so it found a wedding-dress preservation company and developed a Knot-branded dress preservation package, then put links to that service in an article.

It also uses reader traffic and affiliate conversion data to forge direct affiliate and advertising deals with brands or through affiliate networks, a practice that is becoming increasingly common among publishers with commerce operations.

“For better and maybe worse, data around successful commerce initiatives is also being used really effectively by sales teams,” said Shane Roberts, chief editor of affiliate commerce platform Skimlinks. “Using commerce data to show an audience’s affinity toward a brand or category to sell more ads is something I’ve seen a lot of success around.”—

Value in Social Media Influencers vs Authentic Storytelling? Finn Partners finds the answer, and we agree!

Instead, brands need to view their social strategies as an integral part of their public relations programmes, employing the ‘old school’ but successful techniques of, really understanding what their audiences are looking for and creating ‘story-telling’ social content that connect with these needs and expectations.

The New York Times: Can You Curate a Town?

Fascinating article on the rebirth of a town in NY and its “curators”.

Excerpt: He knew this required courting a new breed of visitors: weekenders, artists and escapees from New York City’s high rents. But as a high-school dropout who made his money manufacturing grocery store equipment, he didn’t know how to find them.

Then a friend introduced him to DVEight, a regional magazine named for eight towns in the Delaware Valley that describes its audience as “a stylish and sophisticated readership interested in exploring modern rural life.” 

These were precisely the people Mr. Resnick wanted. And so he hired the magazine’s editor in chief, Nhi Mundy, 39, to be Mountain Dale’s “town curator.” Ms. Mundy’s role is to turn Main Street into a living version of the magazine. “If a museum does it, why can’t I do it?” Mr. Resnick said.

AIGA Eye on Design: What NOT to do with a logo

For a contemporary graphic design exhibition at Gonggansail gallery in Mapo-gu, Seoul, curator and graphic designer Jieun Yang has explored exactly that. Yang’s visual identity standards manual for the Open Recent Graphic Design (ORGD) exhibition tracks the do’s and don’ts with meticulous detail. While intended purely for the ORGD design, the instructions also serve as a helpful illustration of what’s important when a implementing a logo more generally.

How the BBC ties memory to branded content effectiveness - Digiday

BBC StoryWorks, the content marketing division of BBC Global News, has studied how content triggers long-term memory and in turn drives results for brands. The Science of Memory study, which came out Oct. 11, is an extension of the work the BBC started in 2016 to understand how emotion, measured through eye-tracking and facial coding, moves the needle for branded content.

NY Magazine: An Advanced Digital Map Is Being Used to Save Forests — and Indigenous Land — in Paraguay

NY Magazine: An Advanced Digital Map Is Being Used to Save Forests — and Indigenous Land — in Paraguay

Paraguay is home to vast swathes of wild land — forests, savannas, mountains — but over the past 20 years, it’s lost huge amounts of that. Agriculture and development have deforested 9 million acres (roughly the size of the Netherlands) in Paraguay since 2001, the majority of it to enterprises like soy and cattle. But there are also people living on this land; over 100,000 Paraguayans identify as fully indigenous, with varying types of claims to this territory. Figuring out exactly who has a claim to the land, who has the right to use it, and what it’s being used for are complicated questions. One answer might come in the form of a digital map called Tierras Indigenas.

The indigenous peoples living in rural Paraguay are diverse, with about 20 different ethnic groups speaking different languages and living in different ways, ranging from generations-old villages to groups living in voluntary isolation. The status of their land rights can be chaotic: old claims in a drawer in a government building somewhere, verbal agreements never sent to the government, unofficial titles, all kinds of stuff. “If somebody wanted your land for soybeans or cattle, and you didn’t have any legal means to get your land mapped, to show where you were, much less attorneys, it was hard to combat that,” says Ryan Sarsfield, the Latin America commodities manager of Global Forest Watch, which provided the platform to build the map. Global Forest Watch is a project from the World Resources Institute, and is an application that monitors forests around the world in real time.

Hootsuite: Social Media in 2020

Hootsuite: Social Media in 2020

By 2020, we’ll see more practical uses of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in marketing. Amazon, for example, are exploring how to use AR to help consumers to try on virtual clothes and explore products. Snapchat’s Geofilters and Lens functions have been broadly adopted in marketing campaigns including creating location-specific videos to influence nearby customers such as event attendees or pedestrians near a store location.

Modern Restaurant Managment: Building Restaurant Brand Awareness in the Mobile Age

Modern Restaurant Managment: Building Restaurant Brand Awareness in the Mobile Age

Determine Your Identity

Even if your restaurant is easily found on the Internet, the question remains: how to make people choose no one else but you? The answer lies in strong positioning. 

Choose a niche: check out the competition, analyze the audience, gauge your strength.

Tell a story. Find a topic that resonates with your audience and make it your brand identity.

Adweek - Building ‘Storyworlds’ Lessons from Hollywood for marketers and brands

Adweek - Building ‘Storyworlds’ Lessons from Hollywood for marketers and brands

Every brand is a storyteller, and every person who creates and executes ideas for the brand is a storyteller in turn. The world is, at this very moment, a storyteller's oyster. Hell, it's an oyster topped with caviar and truffles. This year, the advertising industry will spend almost $600 billion on advertising. Just think of the stories we can tell if we channel that money in the right directions.

The act of telling a story is 10,000 years old.  It's in our DNA as humans. We want stories that engage us—make us laugh, cry, think, dream, love and every human emotion in-between. We want to be entertained. But the advertising industry isn't creating enough compelling stories that people actively seek out. Hollywood is brilliant at it. And consider that Hollywood had its best year everin 2015, with a global record of $38 billion dollars at the box office, it shows no signs of slowing down.

JWT Intelligence: Future Museum

JWT Intelligence: Future Museum

This summer saw a record number of experiential installations opening around the world. Beijing launched The Legit Dumpling House, New York City welcomed The Color Factory, and London debuted Scoop: A Wonderful Ice Cream World. This speaks volumes about people’s desire for experience culture and their willingness to prioritize time for highly curated spaces with volumes of visual stimulus that make for the perfect Instagram post.

From JWT Intelligence - Brands: The New Life Coach

From JWT Intelligence - Brands: The New Life Coach

From food retailers to fashion houses, brands are moving beyond their products to offer services and experiences that encourage self-reflection—all in an effort to promote wellness and deepen brand relationships.

Coach is also attempting to connect with its clients on a deeper, more personal level. In June 2018, the luxury brand launched Life Coach, a week-long pop-up in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood designed to inspire spirituality and creativity.