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Brilliance@Work: Jeremy Lindley, the Man Behind “The 10 Commandments of Brand Design”

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Welcome to Brilliance@Work, a series of profiles about stellar people and their best practices at work. We’re kicking off 2017 by featuring brand, design and marketing strategy experts to help you “thrive in the new brand reality.”

Jeremy Lindley

FUSE 2017 presenter Jeremy Lindley is Global Design Director at Diageo, the world’s leading premium beverage business with an iconic collection of alcohol beverage brands across spirits and beer. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, J&B, Windsor, Buchanan’s and Talisker whiskies; Smirnoff, Ciroc and Ketel One vodkas; Baileys, Captain Morgan rum, Tanqueray gin, and Guinness beer.

Prior to joining Diageo, Jeremy was head of design for Tesco Stores Ltd., where he was responsible for design across the portfolio of 19,000 private label products and for leading the store formats and design teams. During his early career, Jeremy was a design consultant and university lecturer.

As a preview to his presentation, Jeremy shares his insights on how design is at the heart of brand thinking and activity:

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: How did your experiences in design shape your character and career?
Jeremy Lindley:
I fell in love with the idea of being a designer when I was 17 years old and had to switch tracks from a very academic focus at school. Task one was to learn how to draw!  Forcing my way into a profession that my early education choices did not obviously lead towards helped me recognize that great talent and ideas can come from many non-traditional places, and it’s not just the “creatives” that can be creative.

My art school training taught me the importance of empathy (to create great design you really have to understand the end user), openness (great ideas rarely come quick and often from unexpected sources) and humility (as a designer you are not always right, there is always much to learn). These skills have served me well throughout my career.

PB: What role does design play in the performance of a brand?
JL:
We operate in an era of multiple media channels where consumers are in control of whether to watch an advert or not. Each channel needs a unique solution – creating a 30-second advert and pushing it out to all platforms simply won’t work.

The reference point for brands used to be the advertising narrative. Today it’s the brand’s visual world – how the brand shows up across multiple applications. Design is the interface between the brand and the consumer, providing coherence and meaning throughout the whole consumer experience. If design is not at the heart of brand thinking and activity, the company will underperform.

PB: How can design connect on an emotional level with consumers?
JL:
The human brain is designed to understand images. We’re so good at this instinctive skill that we mostly don’t realize the meaning we take from visual stimulus. Consumers take implicit understanding from every visual output of a brand; these are influenced by existing memory structures, other brands and culture.

The question for brands is less “how can design connect emotionally” – it already does! Rather, the focus needs to be on understanding how the brand already connects, what the existing memory structures already are, and how these can be developed.

PB: What are some of your recent design projects?
JL:
As Diageo is the world’s leading premium spirits business with over 100 brands in our unrivaled portfolio (these include Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Guinness), there are too many projects to mention!  One recent project of which I am very proud is the redesign of Buchanan’s whisky that won a Gold at the Design Business Association’s Design Effectiveness Awards in London. I value this award because it demonstrates the business impact of design; to win you have to prove conclusively the link between design and business performance.

PB: What will people gain from attending your conference presentation?
JL:
I’ve been working as a designer for over 25 years; seven of those freelance and the remaining leading design within client organizations. I’ve tried to distill the key things I’ve learned from working on some of the world’s most iconic brands into a “10 Commandments of Design.”

Want to hear more from Jeremy? Join us at FUSE 2017. Learn, network and share best practices with the most influential leaders in brand, design and marketing. Stay connected at #FUSEdesign.

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Brilliance@Work: Brian Robinson Tells a Great Story at Universal Pictures

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Welcome to Brilliance@Work, a series of profiles about stellar people and their best practices at work. We’re kicking off 2017 by featuring brand, design and marketing strategy experts to help you “thrive in the new brand reality.”

Brian Robinson

Brian Robinson

FUSE 2017 presenter, Brian Robinson, Executive Vice President of Creative, Design and Development at Universal Pictures, spent 10 years in retail, leading brand strategy and new partnership ventures. Over the last four years, he’s been a brand leader in the entertainment world, building and cultivating brand and creative teams at DreamWorks Animation and now Universal Pictures.

As a preview to his presentation “DO NOT OPEN: A Tale of Resiliency, Imagination, and the Power of Curiosity,” Brian shares his insights on how unbridled imagination is at the heart of innovation.

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: How did your previous work in retail and brand strategy translate into success in the entertainment world?
Brian Robinson:
Have a seat and let me tell you a story, a great, grand story. But first, tell me yours.

Listen to the rhythm of culture, hear the dreams, ideas and aspirations of your fans and build an undeniable empathy for those that love what you do. This understanding, this empathy, will allow you to tell great stories, and great stories are the great connector. Whether campaigns, design, product development or innovation, the combination of empathy and great storytelling will always deliver success.

PB: How do your leadership values support your creative work and the work of your team?
BR:
The culmination of my leadership values – courage, authenticity, resiliency, respect –are intended to unlock the most exciting and purest forms of creativity, while encouraging individuality.

PB: What is the creative process you follow to bring your ideas to life?
BR:
The most unadulterated form of my personal creativity is free-form writing and is always the beginning of my creative process. Followed by editing, challenging, story-arching, and ultimately, pitching the idea.

PB: How do resiliency, courage and imagination drive your quest for innovation?
BR:
Life is a quest and trying to innovate within my own life journey means I’m living. I’m failing, I’m learning, I’m living, I’m failing, and in this cycle, it is my own personal resiliency, courage and imagination that continually drive me forward.

PB: What do you see as the next phase in the movie entertainment industry?
BR:
Phases no longer exist. The speed at which change takes hold is breathtaking. In the great renaissance of storytelling, one’s relevancy is the single most important idea in the entertainment industry and dare I say all industries. You must have compelling, empathetic stories that connect to culture, but unless you can make your stories relevant, they don’t exist.

PB: What will people gain from attending your conference presentation?
BR:
They’ll experience the amazing, courageous art of getting knocked out and the resiliency and determination to get back up and keep on fighting.

Want to hear more from Brian? Join us at FUSE 2017. Learn, network and share best practices with the most influential leaders in brand, design and marketing. Stay connected at #FUSEdesign.


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A New Twist on Storytelling – The Cleveland Clinic Empathy Series Continues

Flickr_-_paul_bica_-_high_parkPhoto by paul bica

To follow-up on my post “What’s Missing from Your Corporate Videos,” here is the next video in the Cleveland Clinic empathy series. “You’ll be moved by these life-changing stories, and astonished when you learn what these patients have in common.”

Cleveland Clinic’s Empathy Series Continues – Patients: Afraid and Vulnerable

As a guest blogger for this year’s Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit (TCEL), April 9-11 in Miami, Florida, I’d like to make you aware of two sessions where you’ll “discover the emotional drivers that are critical in creating an effective customer story and how to factor empathy into the bigger equation to get a return on customer relationships:”

  • “Bringing Empathy into Your Organization,” Crystal Collier, CEO, Tarp Woldwide and Dan Hill, President, Sensory Logic
  • “Empathetic Marketing for Total Customer Experience,” Mark Ingwer, Ph.D., Founder, Insight Consulting Group
This year’s Summit focuses on “Return on Relationships: Factoring Empathy into the Stakeholder Equation.” To learn more about the event and register, go to www.iirusa.com/totalcustomer.
Stay connected with TCEL:
  • twitter.com/TotalCustomer #TCEL14
  • linkedin.com/Total Customer Experience Leaders
  • facebook.com/TotalCustomer

How are you developing more empathy in your professional and personal lives?


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The Critical Element Missing from Your Customer Experience Programs

Flickr_-_paul_bica_-_nature's_painting

Photo by paul bica

As a guest blogger for the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit, April 9-11 in Miami, Florida, I posted my second pre-event article today called “The Critical Element Missing from Your Customer Experience Programs.”

This year’s Summit focuses on the “Return on Relationships: Factoring Empathy into the Stakeholder Equation.” I encourage you to learn more about this event and to “discover the emotional drivers that are critical in creating an effective customer story.” Please also share this information with those who might be interested in attending.

Here are other ways to stay connected with this event:

  • twitter.com/TotalCustomer #TCEL14
  • linkedin.com/Total Customer Experience Leaders
  • facebook.com/TotalCustomer

In the meantime, please continue to watch for my pre-event posts on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Customers 1st blog, and my blog, and please share with your networks. Let’s keep the conversations going!

How are you developing more empathy for your customers?


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Join Me for the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit

TCELbannerImage from www.iirusa.com/totalcustomer

Join me April 9-11 in Miami, Fla. for the Total Customer Experience Leaders (TCEL) Summit sponsored by the Institute for International Research USA (IIR USA). I will be a guest blogger promoting this event and blogging before, during and after the event to share the highlights.

I’m excited that this year’s Summit focuses on the “Return on Relationships: Factoring Empathy into the Stakeholder Equation,” especially since showing empathy through strategic storytelling is the theme of my January, February and last week’s posts.

I encourage you to learn more about this event and to “discover the emotional drivers that are critical in creating an effective customer story.” Please share this information with those who might be interested in attending this event.

I will be posting daily during this timeframe to IIR’s Customers 1st blog and to Starry Blue Brilliance. Here are other ways to stay connected with this event:

  • twitter.com/TotalCustomer #TCEL14
  • linkedin.com/Total Customer Experience Leaders
  • facebook.com/TotalCustomer

Be sure to check it out!

In the meantime, watch for my pre-event posts on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Customers 1st blog, and my blog, and please share with your networks. Let’s keep the conversations going!

Thank you very much for your continued support. I’m very excited about this opportunity!


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What’s Missing from Your Corporate Videos?

Flickr_-_paul_bica_-_skywalkPhoto by paul bica

Following up on last week’s post, How to Create Your New Slant on Corporate Videos, here is another example of a powerfully compelling video containing the one important element missing from many corporate videos: empathy.

Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care by Cleveland Clinic

You can also find The Cleveland Clinic video and an article about creating more empathy through video at www.teamworkandleadership.com.

As you can see, making a difference in people’s lives builds trust and credibility and of course, creates a better world for all of us! Want to learn how? Check out In Video, Connecting is King, from www.ragan.com, for some advice on how to get started.

How are you developing more empathy in your professional and personal lives?