THE BLOG

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!”

 

16
Aug

Ish Talks PromaxBDA Judging; Metrics for Award-Worthy Design

imagePromaxBDA recently tapped Oishii Creative Principal Ismael Obregon to join the judges panel for its annual awards event, which honors the advertising and broadcast industry’s best design and marketing work.

Ish views his participation as more than a “best practices” accolade; it is an opportunity to meet some of the best and brightest designers, editors and producers working in broadcast and television. The “rules” of broadcast design (written and unwritten) are well known among influencers and decision-makers in our industry. They have proven to be instrumental in keeping audiences engaged and watching content across all channels and platforms. But for Ish, there is more to assessing creative work than applying guidelines. Here are some of his own metrics for award-worthy design:

Read and Research
“Well-read and knowledgeable designers are not just clichés. Promos have a script – a cadence with a tone and style. I’m always looking for the inspired piece, and that usually happens with effort. Inspiration means looking at your work through different lenses. Whether by way of research, books, or conferences – even looking at your competitors’ work – the practice of innovative design-thinking begins with an open mind that is ready to absorb any and all combinations of inspiration.”

Use the Rules to Break Patterns
“Everyday creativists play by the rules, and the rules of branding, design and culture need to be understood, unconscious even. A designer might see an assignment with a new tweak, a new perspective, and simple shifts can become new elements of the brand.”

Small is Big
“Most designers know how to use the tools. I’m interested in how designers use their skill sets. The biggest impact comes from the small details and I pay close attention to how skill sets are used when judging work, the rendering techniques or animation approaches. Regardless of what technical approach is taken, I’m always interested in someone’s ability to create emotional connections with audiences. That’s what differentiates a good piece from a great piece.”

12
Aug

SXSW V2V: Day 1

SXSW V2V Logo

We love SXSW not only because of the parties and people (although we should note both are excellent), but also because, on a more earnest note, we at Oishii love participating at SXSW V2V and the community of like-mind entrepreneurs and creativists who experiment with the order of things.

Building on the SXSW experience, SXSW V2V is a four-day event in Las Vegas with an emphasis on the creative spark that drives entrepreneurial innovation.

In the days ahead, the 1,500 attendees will participate in informative panels, mentoring and coaching programs, intense workshops, pitch competitions and exhibits of startup innovations.
Here are a few highlights from today’s sessions:

America’s Entrepreneurial Spirit: The Case for Fixing our Broken Immigration System
Alex Torrenegra, CEO of VoiceBunny
Andrew Crump, CEP of Bluefields
Mark Falzone, Deputy Director National Immigration Forum
Rep. Joe Heck, US House of Representatives – US Congressman
Scott Allison, CEO of Teamly Inc.

This panel discussed what lies ahead for immigration reform, and what the tech industry can do to fix the broken system.

Key takeaways:
• Like a bad football team, we’re training the players with the best strategies and sending them out to work in other countries because of immigration.
• It’s necessary to bring (the right) talent to startups.
• There’s need to be a balance between bringing international talent and national security.

Founder’s Guide to Securing First Round of Funding
Alex Mittal, Co-Founder & CEO of FundersClub

In this session, Alex Mittal outlined the fundraising process for first-time founders, focusing on whether fundraising makes sense, best practices for securing their company’s first round of capital, the role investors will play in their company’s future, and things to consider before agreeing to investment terms.

Key takeaways:
• Try not raising money. 2/3 of IPOs are not from VC money.
• $25-50k can start companies. Go with your family and friends.
• Then raise about 18 months’ worth of money.
• Spending doesn’t equal results.
• The key to success: don’t die!

Not Just a Pretty Profile: Building Online Persona
Brett Martin
Christine Herron, Director of Intel Capital
Peter Kazanjy, Founder of TalentBin

This panel discussed the importance of cultivating the online persona, provide concrete examples of what has and hasn’t worked, and help you understand the challenges that come along with that creation.

Key takeaways:
• How a person can act like a brand and vice versa.
• Everyone has an online persona. Be proactive about managing it.
• Venture groups and employers will look at your online persona.
• Authenticity has to be proportional to what you share. Personality is what attracts people.
• Create goals and objectives around your online persona and build a content strategy for it.
• Purpose needs to be defined:
o Build professional credibility
o Professional engagement (personal)
o Create connections
• Address mistakes head on
• Your online identity carries over into the real world (examples: Uber, Lyft, etc.) Rating each other furthers that identity.
• First step to engage (if not already) is to signup, consume and learn.
• Good analytics tools: Reporative, Twitter (analytics) & Sprout Social

Keynote: The City as a Startup
Tony Hsieh, Zappos

Culture is to company as community is to city; it’s about values, innovation, serendipity, and attraction of smart startups and the creative class. Tony applies his Zappos corporate culture to build the most community-focused big city in the world, in Downtown Las Vegas.

Key takeaways:
• Tony invested in Zappos… and then joined the company because investing was boring.
• He invested into customer service instead of marketing.
• Culture is the most important thing in order to deliver happiness.
• The values can be anything; it just requires company alignment.
• There needs to be a higher purpose beyond profits.
• Brand and culture are different sides of the same coin.
• A great brand is a story that never stops unfolding.
• Zappos moving past its four walls and into community as well.

Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh

Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh

Learn How Top Brands are Succeeding by Being Transparent
Jeff Rosenblum, CEO of Questus

Jeff discussed how advertising is the connection point between consumers and corporations and that the industry can be the linchpin in a revolution that enables corporations to earn billions while moving the planet forward.

Key takeaways:
• Advertising is going through a revolution. Social media and technology are forcing a paradigm change.
• Advertising can save the world.
• Trust is at an all-time low. The authenticity of a brand is so important to building that trust.
• Because of technology, transparency is forced. If you don’t participate in the conversation, people will have it around you.
• As branders, we have to help companies be great. We can inspire a new generation of branding where authenticity drives consumers, not false messaging.
• Digital natives are now taking over the workplace. What happens as transparency natives come into the workplace?
• Advertising has to make a fundamental shift from “interrupting us” to adding value to our activities.

09
Aug

Building the Better In-Store Mobile Companion

Swirl screengrab

Mobile Insider’s Steve Smith recently wrote an article on how to build a better in-store mobile companion, specifically how apps, such as Swirl, will perform in retail locations including Kenneth Cole, Timberland and Alice and Ani stores in the coming months. Swirl uses an indoor Bluetooth broadcasting system that will engage opted-in customers as they enter the store with mobile content.

How will consumers respond to mobile content that’s designed to speak to an in-store experience? How much do shoppers actually want content pushed to their mobile devices?

Oishii weighs in on the topic:

The conversation is larger than just mobile being used in-store; it’s about connecting the online and offline world.

There needs to be an intuitive synergy between all channels: broadcast / cable, outdoor campaigns, mobile and in-store.

Everything comes down to value exchange. If retailers want shoppers using mobile in-store, it’s about providing the right value exchange to them. Something similar happened with airport check-in kiosks. Airlines wanted consumers using their kiosks to check in, and they slowly rolled out a value exchange to accomplish that goal.

Personalization is key to this effort to make sure that all the content that’s being pushed to you is relevant and timed appropriately for you. If personalization is successful, then the content isn’t an annoyance, it’s a helping hand and all part of that value exchange.

Inevitably, this whole question brings up the issue of privacy. Privacy is relative and driven by culture. People would have never have dreamed they would be putting their life story, pictures and relationship status on Facebook 10 years ago. Today, nearly everyone is taking part. Why? Because they saw enough value in the platform and as a result, changed the privacy culture.

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.


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