Category: Branding & identity

10
Nov

Color Coded Creativity: The “Six Kid Technique”

Imagination is what keeps marketing and brand work relevant and meaningful. Dreaming up new ideas, processes and applications isn’t merely a good skill, it’s increasingly a metric for your success. Can you see the world differently enough to write a story, design a product or execute a strategy? And if you are lucky enough to work for a company that invests in you – asking you to solve problems and innovate – then you’ll want to reacquaint yourself with the the “Six Kid Technique.” It’s our adaptation of the classic Six Hat Technique used by Edward de Bono. It’s simple and easy to use. Pull out the six color-coded kids during your next meeting. Use and apply all kids when working on a challenge.

The Six Kid Technique Spectrum

TheKid_red02

Red

Use emotions to look at the situation. What do your feelings or impulses tell you about it?

TheKid_white01

White

Use facts, logic and objectivity to assess what’s in front of you. Make a list of all the facts.

TheKid_yellow02

Yellow

Put on a smiley face and look at the bright side. With a positive view, make a list of what works and what can be accomplished.

TheKid_black01

Black

Tap into your dark side. Make a list of what doesn’t work and which elements of the solution just can’t work.

TheKid_green02

Green

Think laterally and then some. Imagine the situation in the most alternative and unconventional ways, then work backward.

07
Nov

Agency Post Profiles Kate Canada Obregon

Screen Shot 2014-11-07 at 10.22.30 AM

Our Co-Founder/Director of Strategy & Research Kate Canada Obregon has written extensively about the power of data in helping brands to better understand and connect with their audiences in authentic ways.

Agency Post recently profiled Kate on the marriage of social science and research in Oishii Creative’s work for both design and brand clients.

Here’s an excerpt:

Should creative ideas always be based in research and data? How does this foundation provide brands with a more impactful strategy or campaign?

The best creative emerges from a conversation with qualitative and quantitative data sets. I like to know the facts and the big picture that numbers can readily tell us. With that said, numbers do miss the subtleties of opinions, perceptions, and desires. This is where semiotics, ethnography, or other social science methods are extremely valuable tools. The best campaigns I’ve worked on are those where I’ve been able to dig deep into all sorts of data and turn up something unexpected and new. These campaigns end up being the most timely and talked about beyond a quarterly life cycle or the next ad buy season. I like partnering with clients who want to be relevant and let the research lead them beyond trends and into real meaning and relevancy. Audiences and consumers want this, too. 

Check out the full interview here!

08
Mar

14
Jan

The New York Times Refresh Is About More Than Aesthetics

NYT redesignThis week, one of the world’s most respected newspapers, The New York Times refreshed and re-launched their digital platform to mostly positive reviews. Fast Company characterized the visual refresh as somewhat exciting compared to the previous decade-old design. Others pointed to the back-end changes, re-styled pages and “sections” and navigation adjustments as necessary moves to moor the company in the rough waters of decreasing sales, increased competition and slackening advertising rates for digital newspapers.

We generally like the design and navigational changes. The look and feel of the refreshed home page is less like the “swarm” of ink of the old design and presents a clean, measured and even engaging experience. With the new navigation features, scrolling through an article no longer requires clicking and reloading into new pages, which made for a choppy reading experience. But beyond the aesthetic, and even the functionality improvements of the refresh, what we find most interesting about the new site is what the changes say about the status of The Times in our culture and the newspaper world.

“We are seeing a company retool and experiment in the laboratory of design, media and branding, and in the end, this is about larger strategic issues,” Kate Canada Obregon, Oishii’s Head of Research and Strategy explained. “The New York Times is actively pursuing its once coveted leadership role in our changing world, and is using the discipline of design to get there.”

Oishii’s President and Chief Creative Officer Ish Obregon agreed, pointing out how even small details like the new smooth integration of the comments alongside the articles, which he says creates a “rich and textured” feel to the reading experience, is all part of a bigger news delivery goal. “From a design perspective, this is a very small step toward a blog look, without losing the power and stature of the new,” Ish said. “And great design strengthens the delivery of news.”

The Times has arguably been one of the most important leaders in the distribution of news. As it wields such formidable power, it also creates and shapes expectations about reading, how we get our news and how we recognize what’s important.

The New York Times redesign is a way for it to once again be a leader in reimagining news, reading and information delivery. Its role has always been to report facts, tell stories and inform us about our world, but in this new digital era, it’s also subtly taken on another role – to deliver “all the news that’s fit to print” through a fresh, innovative and powerful design harnessed through the most creative use of technologies.

01
Nov

Same Old Story: Why Technology Will Never Outpace Good Storytelling

Image courtesy of imaginarycollection.org

Image courtesy of imaginarycollection.org

At Oishii, storytelling is at the heart of what we do. Whether we’re launching a new brand, redefining an existing one or creating a 360-degree integrated experience, storytelling drives every one of these projects. The rise of digital technology means more opportunities to get your message out – more than we’ve ever had before. But with these new platforms also comes the fear that the rise of digital storytelling will fundamentally change what we do, shifting it into something unrecognizable. After all, if we can’t foresee it, then how can we adapt and excel with it?

But the key to good storytelling is older than any technology. No matter how many new ways we come up with to tell a story, the fundamental core of it remains the same: a good story is about connecting, be it to a character, an emotion, or, yes, even a product. Worrying that the story is dead just because the mediums for it have evolved would be like worrying that we’re no longer capable of love just because people use dating sites to meet someone.

Good storytelling transcends the platforms we use to deliver it, ensuring that no matter what technological changes we see, if your story is well told, engaging, and, most importantly, provides a value to your audience – be it informative or entertaining – it will make that connection. All of the companion Twitter feeds and carefully-timed video series in the world are not going to give your audience a reason to care. So, before you start wondering whether a Pinterest board or a sponsored Buzzfeed article is the best delivery medium for your story, make sure you’re telling a good one.

05
Sep

Yahoo!’s Logo Redesign: Yet Another Highly Overrated Option?

yahoo

This morning, Yahoo! unveiled its highly anticipated new logo, on the heels of “30 Days of Change,” a project in which it unveiled a new logo each day—displaying each one on its homepage and throughout its network in the U.S. Oishii Founder and Chief Creative Officer Ismael “Ish” Obregon says that creating and designing or updating a logo provides an opportunity to refresh a company perspective and demonstrate vision and vitality.

In the competitive tech landscape, boldly speaking through a logo is an effective way of speaking about the future of a company. So does the new Yahoo! logo measure up?

“You can measure the strength of a brand by its ambition and reach,” says Ish. “I always ask myself, ‘Am I designing with the company and its future top of mind?’  Does the Yahoo! logo change much beyond its sans serif font? Is it merely a default change? There’s thinking and innovation going on here…and this may be a step toward a coming design revolution at Yahoo! But companies, in general, need bold action like a logo departure to show their internal thinking and innovation. One of the best examples is when Apple changed its rainbow logo into a sleek and modern representation of its product design and vision.”

30
Aug

Kate to Serve As Brand Advisor to LA-Area School

Kate Canada Obregon_2

Oishii’s VP/Partner Kate Canada Obregon was recently asked to serve as a brand advisor for a Los Angeles-area school and its educators. Kate brings unique experience in this space, spending time in university work environments, and earning a doctorate degree at USC, as well as teaching and doing extensive research into culture and education.

“Educational institutions are more than companies trying to garner emotional connection and support,” says Kate. “Schools and learning environments invest in students and in turn, students invest in the values and mission of schools. By implication, the metrics or the value of education lies with individuals and communities. Education brands are very different than consumer brands because their perception and value transcends simple quantification, it’s the sum of many moving parts.”

The first order of business? Kate plans to remind teachers of their critical roles in shaping young minds. “When you think about it, teachers show students how to look at the world, and come up with ways of thinking, drawing or writing about what they see. It’s how creative thinking starts!”

 

02
Aug

Part 5: Project Management & Engagement

Team-purpose

• How do you manage your project from idea to actual implementation?

Make sure you have access to the skillsets and people needed to actually accomplish your project before launching. After investment, communicating and staying connected to your investors is key. Update them and your team (especially if they’re working remotely) regularly with your good news and with any delays.

• What’s the best way to engage your team?

Depending on your project, you may need to build a team. People with different experiences and viewpoints can complement your own. Your team members should feel invested in the larger goals and vision of your new venture. They should also help out with your campaign by reaching out via their own extended networks and social media channels.

• How do you continue to engage people who have donated and/or supported your idea?

Weekly or regular video updates show your supporters and audience what you’re creating and how you’re doing it. People love how-tos, and this is a great opportunity to walk your fans through your process.

Regular written updates via the crowdfunding site, email newsletters and social media channels are other useful ways to engage and inform people on your project. It’s important to answer questions and comments, when possible, to let your audience know that you’re listening.

26
Jul

Part 4: Defining Your Objectives & Visual Pitch Strategies

marketing-your-crowdfund

• When it comes to Crowdfunding, who is your target audience?

Your target audience should be driven by your project and strategy and will be supported by the platform you choose. For example, technological innovations should be geared towards the appropriate platform or else your great pitch will be ineffective and speak to the wrong audience.

• How do you create an effective video / social media campaign?

Authenticity is key. People invest in ideas and products they care about. It’s essential to connect with your audience quickly and build a real relationship with them. Your video campaign needs to let your personality and vision shine. It should be informational, accessible, clear, short and concise. Be specific with your funding goals, timelines, and explain why you’re passionate about this idea, product or experience. Why should they believe you? What are your credentials? What can supporters expect in return?

Social media is a great way to provide updates, stay in touch with your investors and fans, and respond to their questions and feedback. It’s also a useful tool for building excitement and increasing engagement.

09
Jul

America the Brand

Americas-Most-Buzzworthy-Brands

Branding: Your Company Vision & Mission Statements

We’ve posted many conversations about the process of branding—from the how-tos of telling your brand’s story to the mechanics of leading productive brainstorming or strategy sessions in the ideation process. Whether you’re working at a startup or within a branded-orchestrated company, without exception, much of your time and energy is probably devoted to some aspect of a brand development and management.

The two most important elements of a brand are the vision and mission, the “why are you here” and “what do you do.” Do your research and you will find a number of methods and processes to help you craft a vision and mission.

We have our own unique method for envisioning how to frame ideas for these two statements. Use our America: The Brand example as a way to frame your brainstorming materials into a structured vision and mission. Generate ideas and work into content. Plug into the model and see if it works. Is the vision majestic? Is the mission ambition wrapped in a plan? For extra credit, plug in action items. Please share your feedback!

Thanks to Steiner Kierce for his extraordinary help and insight into the brainstorming process.

Client: The United States of America
America: The Brand


Declaration of Independence
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Mission Statement
Constitution
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Action Items
1. Establish justice
2. Insure domestic tranquility
3. Provide common defense
4. Promote general welfare
5. Secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity

The key elements to keep in mind as you go through these exercises is that a mission statement describes what your company wants now, while the vision statement describes what your company wants to be in the future.