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  • Posted by: Interbrand on Thursday, November 21 2013 10:47 AM | Comments (0)

    Following the incredible conversations coming out of yesterday's Sustainable Marketing Conference Interbrand had the pleasure of hosting with Yale at the Yale Club in New York, our Corporate Citizenship practice leaders are taking a look at measuring the impact of brands' efforts in its latest version of Closing the Gap today. To find great dialog from the conference yesterday, track #SMCstories on Twitter and stay tuned for our upcoming blog post.

    Is your brand measuring the impact of its Corporate Citizenship efforts? As the latest edition of Closing the Gap notes, "You can't manage what you don't measure."

    With consumer expectations growing for serious efforts from the for-profit world to work with the non-profit world to address issues from deforestation to world hunger, that something must be done is clear. But how is the impact of that something to be measured to ensure a path to effectiveness for both the issues facing the world and the brands?

    Measuring Social Impact

    "By crafting a strong story around your organization’s impact and showcasing measurable results, you will fundamentally help stakeholders understand your brand’s mission, goals, distinctive qualities, and characteristics," say Erica Chan, Thomas Goerner and Dominik Prinz of Interbrand in What's Your Impact? How to successfully define, track and communicate the good your brand is doing. This discussion, featured in Closing the Gap, showcases key takeaways from interviews with leaders of foundations and Corporate Citizenship programs, revealing the most common challenges they face and effective solutions.

    This issue of Closing the Gap curates content from Yale Center for Business and the Environment, video interviews with FEED's Lauren Bush Lauren on strategic corporate partnerships, brandchannel and TEDx, for example. These pieces explore cost efficiencies, customer loyalty, internal brand engagement and harnessing the power of brand to change the world.

    To subscribe to Closing the Gap and to learn more about Corporate Citizenship at Interbrand, please contact Tom Zara, Global Practice Leader of Corporate Citizenship.

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  • Posted by: Wynne Renz on Tuesday, October 23 2012 04:49 PM | Comments (0)

    Rob Forbes, the founder of Design Within Reach, recently came to speak at Interbrand New York as part of our World Changing Speakers Series. Forbes talked about his latest venture, Public Bicycles, as well as how good design can be found in unexpected places—all you have to do is look for it.

    Forbes shared how he "sees" design in a TED Talk: Rob Forbes on ways of seeing.

    I started thinking about Forbes' idea that "common design in the public area means a lot to people, and establishes [a] groundwork and common dialogue." In looking at where I personally work, I asked myself, "What 'un-designed' design can be found in the ‘public’ space of Interbrand New York?" And I wondered, "How is this design inspiring and connective?"

    Un-designed design #1:

    Interbrand Coffee Mug Pyramid

    Interbrand Mug Pyramid 

    According to Forbes, "the first job of design is to serve a social purpose." The Interbrand coffee mug pyramid is design-for-the-public-good, giving Interbrand employees their much needed morning cup of Joe.

    Each mug is expertly placed on top of the other, revealing the “white space” waiting to be filled. The design is interactive — the structure changes as each mug is removed.

    It even has a design imperfection, like a knot in a beautiful cut of wood. See the white mug, sans Interbrand logo?

    Un-designed design #2

    3rd Floor Stairway

    Interbrand Stairway 

    The third floor stairway exemplifies Forbes’ idea of, "the power of pattern and repetition to make an effect in our mind." The length of the stairs narrows to the top, creating the effect of an M.C. Escher painting, where the stairs appear to be neither ascending nor descending.

    See the poster announcing Forbes’ World Changing Speaker Series? The event copy is printed in red, which is Interbrand’s core color. And red, Mr. Forbes says, is a color that has "this emotional power…"

    Un-designed design #3

    The Elevator Floor

    The Elevator Floor 

    The polka dotted floor of our building’s elevator shows how pattern has the power to, according to Forbes, "unite disparate elements."’ People tend to look down in elevators, and the pattern of the dots creates a sense of order and expectation in a place where people want to feel they’re safely getting where they need to go.

    What are some moments of un-design you appreciate in your own environment?

    Wynne Renz is a Consultant with the Verbal Identity team at Interbrand, NY.

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  • Posted by: Paola Norambuena on Tuesday, October 16 2012 07:43 PM | Comments (0)

    I’m sure you’ve noticed the myriad of recent books, articles and advisors all suddenly extolling the virtues of storytelling – especially when it comes to branding.

    But brands telling stories is not a trend. It’s not something we’ve stumbled on in the last few years. Put aside the fact that stories are as old as human existence itself, and that branding, as a practice, is a neophyte in comparison. It’s simply that brands are human, and humans live and tell stories, and always have. The difference is good stories versus bad ones.

    The recent Interbrand 2012 Best Global Brands put a human spin on a valuation list, in Jez Frampton’s The Future Is Human:

    “Today's best brands are in touch with their own humanity and the humanity of others. After all, brands evoke emotion. They are personal. They fulfill and delight us. They are reliable, familiar, exciting, surprising, and ever in the backdrop of our lives. They are woven into our memories, fantasies, and dreams. They have the power to touch and change us precisely because they are human creations, invented in response to both our deepest and most practical needs and desires.”

    That’s how stories were created, as a response to our deepest needs and desires. It’s why we craft them, pass them on, evolve them, read and reread them, even create clubs around them. And it’s not just for writers; stories are democratic.

    Just take a look at Cowbird, a phenomenal sharing platform for any and all storytellers. Its mission is to build a public library of human experience (not another social network), a place for meaningful stories that stand on their own and will resonate for time to come. Cowbird founder Jonathan Harris’ video speaks of humanizing the web. The number of members it’s gained, the number of stories that have been loved, clearly shows that how we access and share is changing – but it’s not changing our deep, deep need for storytelling.

    Jonathan Harris: Cowbird And Humanizing The Web from Piers Fawkes on Vimeo.

    What’s changed is how and where we tell them. Brands no longer speak from a platform, now customers decide where they want to hear from us, and for how long. In the din of the market, our stories need to stand out. They only do that when they are authentic, relevant, wrapped into the experience – and written very, very well.

    Then, you take that beautiful story, and turn it into action. A recent TED session by Tim Leberecht lays out three rules that brands can use to change how consumers feel about them and, in turn, what consumers say about them. Few are just about words.

    Paola Norambuena is Executive Director of Verbal Identity, North America, and cannot live without stories.

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  • Posted by: Christoph Meyer-Roscher on Thursday, May 31 2012 06:20 PM | Comments (0)

    Christoph demonstrates the TED-Ed flipping function.Christoph demonstrates the TED-Ed flipping function.

    For us at Interbrand, education is an important topic. It's the primary focus of our corporate citizenship program Interbrand InspirED, which enables us to support non-profit organizations in the educational sector. So it is very interesting for us to watch the recent developments in the area of digitally enhanced education.

    You have probably already seen one of the inspiring TED talks they share on their website. TED, started in 1984 to connect people from the fields of technology, entertainment and design, has risen in scale and reach with more than 500 million views and, since 2001, all under the stewardship of curator Chris Anderson (not to be confused with the editor-in-chief of Wired magazine).

    Their success is due in large part to the use of free online video since 2006, enabling people from all over the world to engage on their platform and spread the ideas. They successfully extended their portfolio with offers like TEDx, granting licenses to third party individuals and letting them organize events in their countries and regions. It is no understatement to say that TED has grown to be a powerful cultural and intellectual force.

    They have now gone further with the launch of TED-Ed, an innovative digital based learning center for universities and schools. They offer engaging educational videos on a number of different subjects steering their core idea further into the educational field: lessons worth sharing. Each of the videos comes with a quiz, thought-provoking questions and links to websites for deeper digging. Probably the most innovative feature of the site is the “flipping” function, allowing teachers to personalize the video lessons and to tailor them to their specific needs.

    The interesting thing about “flipping” is, that it enables the user to integrate any of the countless videos available on YouTube and to transform it into a personalized lesson.

    YouTube paved the way in December of last year when they launched YouTube EDU, uncovering their educational potential. Because some schools have blocked the access to YouTube (in compliance with children protection laws or simply to avoid students’ distraction through cat videos), the Google-owned video service acted accordingly and solved this issue. The videos available under the EDU link are limited to educational content, comments are disabled and related videos don’t show up in the sidebar. Teachers can suggest videos from the regular YouTube sphere and grow the field.

    Used properly, TED-Ed in combination with YouTube EDU will be a powerful tool for digitally enhanced education and out-of-school learning. Imagine the opportunities for countries in the developing world, where for example lessons could be pre-installed on XO-1 laptops (One Laptop Per Child) as Wikipedia already did with static articles. Or the lessons can be accessed via the cloud. The new TED offspring is a project worth watching and seeing where the journey will take us.

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  • Posted by: Rachel Bernard on Monday, September 19 2011 05:11 PM | Comments (0)

    There is an evolution in learning taking place. Due to the prevalence of mobile computing and digital content, access to educational material is increasing at exponential rates. Cengage Learning, a leading provider of innovative teaching, learning, and research solutions, has played a key role in shaping this evolution with its recent launch of MindTap™.

    MindTap™ – a revolutionary new learning solution named by Interbrand – is defining the role of technology in the future of education. Originally launched during the TED annual conference in March 2011, Cengage Learning’s unique solution creates a personalized learning experience that taps into the wider world of knowledge, far beyond last century’s static textbooks and classroom lectures.

    The MindTap™ name represents learning as a fluid experience. In this context, knowledge is something that can be acquired or drawn as if from a vessel or container. MindTap™ is both a receptacle and a conduit that retains and transfers the most relevant and dynamic content using the most modern tools. In the process it is fundamentally transforming the educational experience for this generation’s students.

    We are thrilled to have provided the name for such a revolutionary solution, and are excited to witness the transformative effect it will have on the learning experience. Go MindTap™!

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