Going to Be Good: Brand New Conference

There's a new conference in town!  Organized by Bryony and Armin, the wonders behind one of my favorite sites, UnderConsideration, the Brand New Conference will be a one-day affair that will focus on the practice of corporate and brand identity.  Serving as a direct extension of their blog, Brand New, the day will consists of eight sessions by some of today’s most active and influential practitioners from around the world.

Speakers include:

Michael Bierut Partner Pentagram

Erik Spiekermann CEO Edenspiekermann AG

Jordan Crane Creative Director Wolff Olins

Tom Dorresteijn Strategy Director Studio Dumbar

I like the fact that the list of speakers include both the creative and strategy side.  I think that makes for a better balance and a more interesting point of view.

Register here.

Go: Ambassador of Lifestream

Screen shot 2010-06-02 at 11.43.50 PM Recently, Aol put out a call for a two month internship for the "Ambassador of Lifestream."  Lifestream, their new product that  aggregates third party social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Delicious, Flickr, YouTube, is looking for someone to become an integral part of their team.  This "ambassador" will have the opportunity to work directly with Tim Armstrong, the new CEO, and will sit in high-level meetings and be asked to share their point of view with engineers, marketers and executives.  It's incredible opportunity, with lots of perks including bi-coastal living, an expense account, VIP access to events/contests and mostly, the ability to really be a part of something.  Fit the bill?  Apply here.

This is just one of the ways that Aol is changing their game and I give Armstrong a lot of the credit.  With the help of Wolff Olins, Aol rebranded themselves and are now focusing their efforts on being a media and publishing platform where content is key.  It's clear that Armstrong is a leader that believes in taking risks and empowering others to do the same.

Living proof.™

I didn't plan to go to Sephora yesterday.  I certainly didn't plan to spend $50 on shampoo and conditioner.  But after learning about Living proof, I was so inspired that it happened in a spontaneous, must have sort of way.*

You see, yesterday the good folks over at Wolff Olins hosted a breakfast.  The theme?

How do you build a brand from the ground up in a down economy? How do you launch a product that solves a real problem in consumers’ lives? How do you create big impact in a high-investment category with a small marketing budget? How do you stay relentlessly focused on your vision no matter what?

livingproofThey invited their client, Rob Robillard, CEO at Living proof, a company whose mission is to solve the toughest beauty challenges through the use of cutting edge science AND then provide extraordinary customer experiences.  So despite the products high price point in this economy, they are thriving.  Thriving as in they sold 40,000 units in less than 30 minutes.  It is an amazing feat on many levels.  The reason as I see it?  Yes, they have a great product; a product that is revolutionary.  (They use PolyfluoroEster, the first new anti-frizz technology in over 30 years.  Other brands use silicone, which weighs down hair.) But what makes their brand really champion others is they have focused on their consumer.

They have a corporate policy to answer every phone call and email.  They send out free samples.  They listen.  They have invested in the research, the design, the packaging and the product and therefore, they got results.  They value their customers on every level, which is ground breaking for a CPG company.  It is definitely a new and refreshing way to enter the beauty segment and I hope others in the industry follow Living proof's lead and success.

*Perhaps I was a bit too enthusiastic. I failed to look inside the goodie bag they gave on our way out, which had a travel size shampoo and conditioner and a full size styling cream. Hey, it will actually be perfect for my trip to LA next week. Right?