“Champions of Design”

Champions of Design features 25 cracking cases on brands who have used design to give them an edge. Each case combines great visuals with nuggets of insight on the brand.

Want a copy? If so, check out the online version of the book here. Then leave a comment here on the blog with your favourite brand from the 25 and why you picked it.

The first 10 readers to leave a comment get a book. Simples.

Sorry, offer now closed!

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To start the ball rolling, here are three of my personal faves.

1. Selfridges

Screen Shot 2011-12-14 at 16.54.11Here's a good example of a brand that has uses our mantra of "everything must sell", turning their shopping bags into what James from JKR call "bright beacons of brand advocacy". He goes on to applaud the courage and discipline of Selfridges to keep the bags so bold and simple: "Apparently, early incarnations of  featured decoration echoing the shop’s exterior. This was judiciously removed, revealing a contemporary brand unencumbered by its heritage".

By consistently using the bright yellow colour, Selfridges has created some distinctive memory structure for the brand. They went a giant leap further when celebrating their 100th anniversary in 2009, launching a whole range of exclusive and limited edition products in the same colour.

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2. Pixar

I share JKR's enthusiasm for animated film supremos Pixar. Yes, they revolutionised the movie world with their digital animation technology. I too admire their incredible attention to detail.

But the real magic of Pixar is their storytelling, as Silas from JKR explains: "The emotional heart of the films defines Pixar, not its dexterity with a pixel. Both Up and Toy Story 3 were mostly reviewed from the perspective of how embarrassing it was to start weeping in front of your children".

I've posted on the power of storytelling in brands here.

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3. Veuve ClicqScreen Shot 2011-12-14 at 16.54.54uot

My favourite bit of this case study is the brand's brilliant use of secondary packaging, which I posted on a couple of years ago here. This is a brand which is a champion of "fresh consistency". They have consistently used their trademark tangerine colour and partnerships with the fashion and design world. The freshness comes from a stream of clever ideas which go beyond graphics to actually have functional value. These include the outer box which turns into an ice box. And the outer sleeve which keeps your bottle cool when you take it for a picnic. This shows that combining functional sausage and emotional sizzle works even in the world of luxury goods.
In conclusion, JKR's book is an excellent reminder of the power of great design that is not only good to look at but, more importantly, adds real value to everyday life.
So, get over to the online edition of the book here. Select your own personal favourite from the 25 cases, and leave a comment to have a chance of getting a free book.