BIC adjunct prof on "corporate narrative"

4/28/2014 Unknown 0 Comments

Sandra Stahl
Co-founder and Principal,
jacobstahl inc.
The pharmaceutical industry has a unique -- and fascinating -- challenge: it has to deal with all the branding and marketing communications challenges of any company; and it also has to convince its stakeholders to entrust them -- not with their dollars or their lifestyle -- but with their Lives.

Sandra Stahl, co-founder and principal of jacobstahl, inc., a 25+ year veteran of healthcare communications, will join the BIC adjunct faculty in the Fall of 2014 to help BIC students understand how best practices in branding fit into the most sensitive and important aspects of both our personal lives as well as part of one of the largest segments of the global industrial economy.

See Professor Stahl's recent post at (pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical devices online marketing magazine) on "The Return of the Corporate Brand."

Creativity made for sharing

4/27/2014 Unknown 0 Comments

Brand managers covet -- and sometimes desperately regret -- the viral spread of messages. BIC industry advisory board member, Rob Norman, GroupM's Chief Digital Officer, recently blogged at about how communications professionals can structure and harness the cultural and social triggers that characterize some of the most successful and product viral brand messages.

BIC students: highlight of CCNY Graduate Student Symposium

4/27/2014 Unknown 0 Comments

BIC MPS Class of 2015 students:
Edmund Balogun, Raj Andrew Nicholas Gomes,
and Luz Corona
On April 24, 2014, BIC students carried off top recognitions among the Humanities and Arts submissions at the CCNY Graduate Student Symposium for Research and Creative Achievement.

Edmund Balogun received the third place recognition for his paper on "Market Research Bias," a paper he first developed for his BIC course,  Research and Measurement, taught by BIC adjunct professor, and EVP of Global Research at Y&R, Belle Frank.  (Mr. Balogun will also present this paper on April 24 at the State University of New York Graduate School at The College of Rockport annual Master's Level Graduate Research Conference.)

BIC students Raj Andrew Nicholas Gomes and Luz Corona received top honors at the CCNY competition for their development of an integrated communications campaign concept for the New York City Citi Bike program, "Create Your Own Stop," a project originally developed for their BIC class in Idea Development taught by CCNY Professor and BIC Program Director, Nancy Tag.

The CCNY Graduate Student Symposium is a platform for graduate students to gain recognition for their work by faculty, students and potential employers. It raises awareness about the wide gamut of programs housed at CCNY and helps distinguish the college as one of the premier higher learning institutions in the CUNY system. The students received cash awards as well as bragging rights -- in BIC's first year, we walked away with two of the three awards for graduate student achievement at CCNY Humanities and Arts.

BIC MPS Class of 2015 Students: Edmund Balogun, Raj Andrew Nicholas Gomes, and Luz Corona

Still good to the last drop?

4/18/2014 Unknown 0 Comments

NPR's Marketplace recently reported on Kart's "refresh" of the "vintage" Maxwell House Coffee brand -- which includes a new logo and design but resurrects a Very Old Tagline: "good to the last drop."  The people at Kraft are not investing in Maxwell House out of nostalgia. Presumably, they've got some research and insights and that are supporting this risk. Another brand story to watch.

How about this idea for brand strategy: Honesty. Integrity. Truth.

4/13/2014 Unknown 0 Comments

Imagine: a first priority for communicating with total, transparent honesty, integrity, and truth.  Other objectives follow (efficiency comes later; sales results are important but don't come first), because if that first priority is achieved -- all else will be well.

Professor Shannon Bowen from the University of South Carolina has posted at PRWeek that "if we [marketing communications professionals] act as independent advisers seeking to create truth and support relationship building, we release the field [public relations] from the 'divided loyalties' conflict between employer (or client) and the publics that has plagued it."

Professor Bowen reminds us that the bar for honesty, integrity, and truth cannot be raised too high.  NOT because that's all goody-goody; but without that ability of a brand to sustain perception of honesty, integrity, and truth, there are no other "tricks of the Ad/PR trade" that will work.

The New Yorker deliberately evolves a digital brand strategy

4/13/2014 Unknown 0 Comments has published a very interesting take on The New Yorker's digital strategy. It sounds like The New Yorker is being smart (well . . . I guess that's what you'd expect) -- in evolving its core identity into digital: not trying to be Upworthy; maintaining the 90-year tradition/policy of having every word published/posted be fact checked (by a real person) (including the comments, Tweets, etc.). It seems to demonstrate that long-read and deep content does not have to be diminished by digital platforms.

Rebranding the oldest company listed on NYSE.

4/06/2014 Unknown 0 Comments

Sotheby's auction house is the oldest company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The company was founded in 1744, and if it doesn't have a brand by now . . . well, what's a branding firm to do?  Well, whatever it does, it better do it well.

Pentagram Design
Since 2011, Pentagram has been working with Sotheby's "to bring stronger coherence to the full spectrum of the company's identity and communications."  If it were only so simple that the company sold stuff, at auction.  But Sotheby's is arguably one of the leading organizations / voices for significant changes in global culture. Sotheby's customers are among the most influential -- and richest -- consumers and  patrons of global culture.

Sotheby's credibility is grounded in its claim to unerring judgment of the potential value about cultural artifacts -- the final cash value of objects is, of course, up to the buyers.  But Sotheby's is the very definition of a "global market maker" -- and needs to be at home, credible, and trusted in New York, London, Paris, Zurich, Milan, Geneva, Beijing, Hong Kong, Doha, Moscow, and . . . . anywhere that power and money invest in culture.

Pentagram's work for Sotheby's is an insightful case study in branding conceptualization and fulfillment in a high-stakes, high-profile environment. This is not the branding story of a start-up; this is the branding story of an organization over one quarter of a millennium old -- not much competition in that frame of reference.