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America the Brand


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
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.


PromaxBDA: The Conference 2013 Recap In Photos

PromaxBDA Elite Member Party, co-sponsored by Oishii

PromaxBDA Elite Party
L – R: Our fabulous rep, Astra Dorf of Astra Reps!, Sterling Hawkins (Oishii Consumer Experience Specialist & Business Development) & Ish Obregon (Oishii President/ Creative Director)

Photo courtesy of PromaxBDA
Photo courtesy of PromaxBDA
Photo courtesy of PromaxBDA
Photo courtesy of PromaxBDA

When Drinks, Hijinks and Photos Mix…
The Oishii-branded photo booth at the Elite Member Party, courtesy of technology partner SOOH Media

Photo courtesy of PromaxBDA

The results!


The Kid In The Wild

The Oishii Kid leaves his mark around the PromaxBDA Conference, including the opening night party at the Science Center with the Endeavour Space Shuttle, a decadent dinner at Wolfgang Puck at LA Live and a view of Staples Center.

The Kid_Endeavour
The Kid_Wolfgang Puck
The Kid_Staples Center

The Conference

Photo courtesy of PromaxBDA

Keynote with Larry Flynt, interviewed by Cindy Gallop
Photo courtesy of PromaxBDA

Creative Keynote by Gary Baseman
Photo courtesy of PromaxBDA

“State of Design” Talk by STASH’s Stephen Price
PromaxBDA State of Design
Some of the most mind-blowing design & animation work from around the world… makes us inspired to get our hands dirty!

“Beauty Is Embarrassing” Documentary
Wayne White & Ish Obregon
This irreverent documentary, directed by Neil Berkeley, takes us into the brilliant and prolific mind of one of America’s greatest artists / puppeteers / illustrators – not to mention a truly kind and friendly spirit — Wayne White. Here posing with Oishii’s Ish Obregon!

The Awards Show
Hosted by the ever-funny Jay Mohr
Photo courtesy of PromaxBDA

Mark Hamill accepting the Don LaFontaine Legacy Award recognizing his work as a voice actor.
Photo courtesy of PromaxBDA


Promaxbda throws down a dare


Promaxbda Keynote
Larry Flynt, often vilified for his products, inspires through the strength of his convictions. Reviled by most and shot by a man who believed America needed less freedom and more coercion, we salute the tenacity of those who dare to inspire.


Impromptu Innovation


 Inspiration often comes without a scheduled meeting.

Need to invigorate your work routine? Try crashing the office lunch table.  Greg Lindsay ( has written extensively on workplace productivity and noted recently that researchers at the MIT Human Dynamics Laboratory concluded that workers who had chance conversations, unintentional meetings and casual office conversations were more productive than those who worked alone. Informal communications, as opposed to structured meetings, allows conversations, thoughts and ideas to flourish. In turn, these conversations can have a replication effect throughout the workplace and can foster “serendipity,” moments where ideas become action.


Now get up, and find someone to talk to!


Bring Everyone Coffee…

Looking to make the next teamwork session more productive? Try making everyone coffee and bring to the meeting

Psychologist Sonya Lyubomirsky,, has studied happiness and has discovered the many  downstream benefits of cultivating a smile and generous emotions for your  work mates.  For creatives, where “producing” content is critical, feelings play a role in the process of idea generation.  Postive feelings about ones self and others fosters empathy which in turn allows the mind to flourish and generate ideas. So, pick up the coffee and let the ideas flow…




Oishii Creative–Dare To Inspire

Oishii Creative welcomes aboard Luca Giannettoni as Creative Director and Designer. Giannettoni is an award-winning creative director for broadcast, print, commercials, and feature film titles. Originally from Verona, Italy, he launched his career in design and fashion before coming to Los Angeles, where he has served as Creative Director at top production and design companies, such as Bang Bang Studios, Trailer Park, ARTiFACT and Aerodrome Pictures. As a freelancer, he has worked with Motion Theory, Mirada, Brand New School, Logan, MPC, King & Country, Digital Kitchen and The Mill. Notable work includes a print and broadcast campaign for AT&T, as well as commercials for Toyota, T-Mobile, Mazda, Scion, Microsoft, Nike, and American Express, among many others.




Think Like A Tourist


Ish preps for a strategy session by thinking of Peru

Tourism as Thinking Tool

 Do you know how to think creatively? What does that even mean? A lot of authors blogs and webinars generate lots of money and buzz around this very simple but misunderstood intention—how to think creatively.  Thinking creatively is deceptively simple in that it involves more than using your brain for a task or outcome. It is a physical process working in tandem with carefully practiced thinking skills.  We at Oishii Creative encourage everyone—clients, and within our internal culture, to think creatively everyday and this is what we mean:

  • Tourism as Thought Process: What do you do when you go to a new city? Most people explore through maps and with feet on the ground. That is, we use a map and walk around getting a lay of the land. We invariably make a few wrong turns; we go back and find where we want to go.  Using the same “outsider” mindset to understand a problem we want to solve, an article to write, boards to create or whatever (insert task here) goes along way toward pushing the mind closer toward opening the space for thoughts, ideas and action. Try the following exercise before work: Walk around the out-of-doors of your work -space. Bring nothing with you but a paper and pen.
  • Step #1 Walk briefly and notice where your mind wanders: Let loose without censoring yourself: think about the multiple upcoming deadlines, the annoying meeting you want to miss or the best options for lunch. Let your mind loose for five minutes.
  • Step #2 Now find something that grabs your attention—a tree, a person, a building—sit or stand near the object and give it your full attention. Think only about that object—this can be hard, but do your best.
  • Step #3 Begin writing notes about the object. Write as if this object were completely new to you. Like you are a tourist and you are seeing the object for the first time. Jot down its physical characteristics, its size, shape, scale color etc.  No detail is too inconsequential or too small; write everything you notice.

Look at your notes. Did you draw a picture or diagram? Did you record lots of detail or only a few? The goal of the exercise is to generate as many details as possible.

If you took only a few notes or drew with minimal detail on your first excursion, no worries. Practice your tourist skills again tomorrow before work. Practice will train your brain to think actively and generate lots of details about whatever it is your observe, the goal being to bring a fresh and perceptive mind to the day.

We call this the Oishii Tourism as Thought Process, because it takes the best of academic, neuroscience and ethnographic research and synthesizes into a tool kit for approaching problems.  And creativity, or learning to “think” creatively is a problem we love to solve.



Make Your Story



Our previous blog discussed what we believe to be one of the most overlooked but nevertheless important distinctions between Storytelling and Storymaking for the early stages of the branding process. Today, we’ll continue that conversation as it relates to positioning for start-ups and entrepreneurs.

When thinking about your story and your vision, Oishii typically advises clients to think beyond the ‘what is’— the details of your business plan — and, instead, think about the ‘why’— the core values at the center of your company. The ‘why’ is your essence, the collection of passions and inspirations that animate your mission statement. On a far more practical level, your core values are the bold promise and longevity of your brand, and offer meaningful reason for others to engage with it. You can’t do this any other way.
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Do You Know Your Story?

You have ideas, technology and investors… but do you know your story?


Oishii’s own consumer behavior specialist Sterling Hawkins was recently profiled by NewsWire on his work through Maverick Angels, an entity that takes an entrepreneurial approach to angel investing. Last year, the company invested in no fewer than 11 startup businesses, of which the largest group worked in software or the Internet.
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