Monday, March 31, 2008

The Senses of Identity

BusinessWeek reported this week on the adoption of a sensory approach to enhancing the customer experience at Credit Suisse. The scents of choice: peppermint with hints of grapefruit and green tea. "Surveys showed an uptick in customer satisfaction at the sensory branches." The statistics are in on their experience, so make one of your own ... what's your scent?
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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Speak to the positive

Imagine if there was someone in your office or social circle designated to remind you not to gossip -- at least for the next hour. An interesting proposition raised as The New York Times reported on a national campaign in high schools sponsored by the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation, a religious group based in Suffern, N.Y. The campaign may stem from religious roots, seeking "to use religious teachings to raise awareness about the power of speech, for good and for ill." Yet, what a good reminder for all that social warfare stems from words; and words are very, very powerful weapons. Let us, too, use them for the positive.
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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Start with the box

Research attributed to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has shown that the degree to which we use creativity at work is a safeguard against disengagement, low morale, burnout and absenteeism. In the interest of having creativity work to your advantage (and protecting the interests of those of us who infuse it professionally), take a page from our book. Always be prepared to make it relevant. Know your box and embrace it. Find the edges. Figure out how tall it is. Know what it’s made of. Basically know your parameters. Then, start pushing a little. Pull it. Try to jump out of the box. When you escape, soak everything in. Run amuck through the open fields. Feel the greener grass under your feet. And, do it quickly. Because the true value will then come when you bring everything you’ve discovered back into the box with you and use it to deliver a better solution while the problem is still relevant to your success.
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Monday, March 24, 2008

Try a little something new

Creativity often stems from perspective: primarily involving your ability to take risks in exploring a different one. Start small. HOW Design has a great new installment that is infusing a different creative technique over four weeks with the challenge to try them all and make your month more creative. While the magazine targets the design industry, the first push lays out a wonderful welcome mat for anyone with the desire to try new things. Happy experimenting!
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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Sounds of Success

The first thing people notice when they walk into our office are the orange and yellow walls. Eventually, they notice something else: the music. Sometimes it erupts in that they finally comment on the range of styles they've heard in the span of a few minutes; sometimes it's a sidenote about its mere presence; other times it is simply the supportive energy during a creative silence. We didn't invent the idea; we simply benefit from it.

A recent article cites a study that shows music in the workplace "releases a listener's endorphins, reduces stress and improves creativity." Furthermore, behavioral scientists also suggest listening to music in the workplace boosts employee relations. The article points out that music is a universal tool of nearly every background and generation, and it offers a great way of making connections.
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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Evolving an Identity

The April 2008 issue of PRINT Magazine has a series of articles on the Lord & Taylor signature. Seeing the traditional approach to advertising is invigorating for "old school types" such as myself. There is something truly beautiful about classic sketches and ad layouts from the 40s, 50s and 60s. The attention given to integrating the logo into the ads, into that world, is commendable. The respect given to the identity's heritage by David Lippman and BrandBuzz is as well. Now, let's hope those involved with strengthening the brand remember that success stems from knowing who you are, what you stand for and what you want to achieve. Define that and connect it with your audience; you put yourself in a position to make things happen.
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