Personal blog of Alicia Fowler, aka @aliciaef, senior strategist at FutureBrand. Topics covered include brands, branding, technology, and space, and more!

Social links round up 18 Aug 2013

This week I turned my attention to write a few tips on branding. I also looked at how cool is redefining trains and color theory. 


Brands: The defense of trademarks


Shameless self-promotion. I've been really struck recently by the number of trademark disputes in the news. You can read my post to learn more about some basics of trademark law, some branding tips and even the recent filings, losses and wins. But all to say, the bar for marketing creativity is surely raising! 


Hyperloop: The Elon Musk proposal


From Elon Musk's proposal.

From Elon Musk's proposal.

How cool (and slightly freaky) is this! Dissatisfied with the proposed train between LA and SF, Elon Musk this week suggested the hyperloop. If you don't know what a hyperloop is, just imagine those old bank teller vacuums; it's not quite the same but you get the idea. Of course, not everyone is on-board with the idea of the hyperloop, but I think the very notion of the proposal is just the jolt we need. With a dash of imagination and a whole heck of a lot of physics, maybe, just maybe, we can continue the legacy of engineering that built this nation.


Berlin: The next agglomeration economy


Agglomeration economies are such a neat idea within economics, and particular economic development. They remind me of my attempts to keep orchids: most of the time, no amount of planning and cunning will get the buggers to take root, but every now and again, with just the right mix of fertilizing soil, good ideas and sunshine, the things flourish. Is Berlin that next economy? Some signs point to yes, with low rents as the driver for this potential "new" Silicon Allee as it's being called. Of course, the problem with branding it as the next Silicon Valley already stunts its growth and potential, in my opinion. Here's hoping they figure out what their right mix of industry, imagination and prowess is.


Better: The trouble with vacuous adjectives


Okay, yet another shameless self-promo. This time I look a look at the recent controversy over Papa John's "Better ingredients. Better pizza." tagline. The story itself is rather straightforward: a journalist sets out to find out what exactly makes the ingredients better and lo and behold finds little. The real story, for me, is the marketing nightmare that really could have been avoided by a) properly staffing and responding to a journalist's requests and b) thinking longer and harder about the brand's key points of differentiation. If ingredients are what we hang our hat on, well then what makes them better must be known by all employees, from the delivery boy to the CEO. But moreover, why not define what it is that makes our ingredients better? Flesh out the story a little bit. That's all I'm saying. By relying on vacuous adjectives like "better", "true", "real" and a multitude of other words, marketers ask their customers and clients to define the full story for themselves. And as we learned with Papa John's, that story might not be the one marketers originally wanted. 


Color: The new Interaction of color app


This app is just cool! You really need to get the $10 version to enjoy it, but even the free one is quite neat. I love how this agency totally reinterpreted the book for the digital space, rather than just copying & pasting content into a new medium.  


This week in pictures

And lastly, this week in Instagram. I've grown to quite love the monochromatic feel as it forces a focus on composition and lighting.  


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