Fashion Philosophy

I asked myself a question, “What is my purpose in the marketing world?” Well, my hobby turned side projects answered that, with each one having a melody of its own. 4umum.com reflects my love for my dear mother, with slogans like giving back, optimis+ and “Hope is food for the Soul.” Whereas UnityStates.com has a mountain of a slogan, “Black or White – We’re ALL the Same” which resonates with the brave. Finally my masterpiece 7ofPARIS.com with its flamboyant slogans like, “Grandiose” or the quote, “Long Live the Crayon Kids,” to the punchline, “it’s easy to criticise, but can you create?” speaks volumes.

From all of my projects, I noticed a pattern in my brain. The secret ingredient behind my ideas is philosophy or fashion philosophy to be specific. I was always big on quotes, and during my university years I would flood my twitter line with food for thought, all of which helped me understand life. I then combined design with philosophy to create the brands above. It sounds simple right, but believe me I had many sleepless nights working on my craft – from quotes, to design, and execution through online sales.

Steve Jobs once said, “you cannot connect the dots forward, you can only do so backwards” and so I saved all my Confucious like quotes and combined them with simplistic design to create my brands. The quest to success lies in looking backwards and connecting the dots to draw the perfect picture. I absorbed so much art: from music, film, documentaries, the list goes on, but they all were part of the bigger puzzle. As I write this, I am fully content. With views from around the world, to online sales success of my brands. I have seasoned each brand with my creativity and kept it on the right track – towards their destination.

Branding takes years, and sometimes tears.

BRANDING – PART 6 – Copywriting

Words move mountains, and if you want your brand to succeed, you must condition the brand story with creative writing – otherwise known as copywriting. Writing good copy can be a challenge, but it’s instrumental you gather keywords and depending on the business or brand, you then link the buzzwords creatively. For example, let’s take the photobooth company I did content for; I wrote creative sentences like, “we zoom into your happiness,” or “we add colour to your occasion.” You see, the fun will never stop if you link words in a creative way. Another cool example I wrote copy for was a restaurant where the sentence, “we answer your cravings,” totally took their brand value to new heights.

I’ll tell you a secret, I’m a big fan of Gordon Ramsey and watched his Kitchen Nightmares show from the very first season. From the show, I would pick out food/cooking words – in a way I was stealing words from the main man Gordon himself, but when I had a restaurant as a client, I was able to write great copy! Hey, they say – great artists steal, but I doubt Gordon will be mad. By simply watching the show, I was inspired to write sentences like, “the key ingredient is delighting your taste-buds.” Another restaurant I designed a menu for happened to be in a resort located next a small waterfall, and I was able to use the location to my advantage by writing the following, “Qafa Resort has a melody of its own, enjoy your exquisite meal to the sound of mother nature.”

It’s easy brand enthusiasts, just think outside the box and great copy will flourish from your mind. On that note, this is where the blog ends.

Oh, and one last thing …

Thank you for your eyes 🙂

HERO

My ethos on living life is as follows: Live life like your painting the most beautiful picture with every person that has helped you along the way, each one being a different colour – paint happiness!

If you can live life like a painting, then boy are you in for a surprise. Suddenly you enjoy everything around you, you radiate positive energy and trust me, it comes back to you – sometimes in ten folds. Learn to love, not just the one in your life but, love family, friends, music, food, dance, art … love everything.

I applaud happiness, I applaud a smile, I applaud generosity, I applaud my health, I applaud everything. Remember when you’re feeling down, think of those that don’t have food and water. Gratitude heals unhappiness, and the pilgrimage to true happiness begins with gratitude.

You see, you’re the hero of your story, so make it amazing! Polish life with positivity, condition life with hope, and create ripples of happiness. A pious man once said, smile – it’s charity … so the next random person you see, just smile.

 

BRANDING – Part 2

The first step to branding is engraving belief. If you don’t believe the potential your brand has, then who will? You see, the destiny of a brand should be affection and that begins with you. You have to be the first person who will love your brand, as love is a brands best friend. The quest of a brand is love, whilst destiny – affection, I said it once and I’ll say it again. However, an idea is simply just an idea, but then you must garden your brand until it blossoms. 

For a brand to flourish, it must indulge and act upon customer feedback. On another note, a brand that is nostalgic will always thrive. Remember, persistence is instrumental to a great vision and it’s down to you to carry your vision forward. The road to a successful brand is differentiation. To enjoy the cream, you must satisfy your customer, it’s that simple. Things will get tough, however a brand must find its silver lining. The most successful brands are fluent in loyalty, as the bounty of your brand is customer loyalty. To enhance your brand, you must protect customer loyalty, it’s the core of your brand value. The ultimate fortune for a brand is brand loyalty. Your brand should be centred with love and coated with loyalty. 

A brand will only blossom when its purpose is sincere, so you cannot make things up. You must be original and genuine. A vital part of branding is emotional branding, how consumers become emotionally attached to products or services – such as apple. Your brand must have the ability of changing peoples’ lives. Story, purpose and love are the perfect ingredients to stir an affectionate brand. Note, brands have feelings too – they need love just like flowers need the sun. 

To conclude, your brand should be modest in expectation and honest in strategy. Whereas employees must harvest your secrets for brand longevity. Every brand must carry a scent of creativity. Ideas ignite brands, but only critical action makes dreams come true. Words can be just words but they can also be a melody to your brand, so take the above advice however you want it, but just remember emotional branding, google it at least … it certainly changed my life.

BRANDING – Part 1

The key to branding is the story, a story that resonates and speaks volumes. A story with a melody and a rhythm that ignites the public. The story is the key to the consumers heart, and your brand must require affection, this my friend must be an obsession.

The remedy to a successful brand is its story, believe me. I said it once and I’ll say it again … it’s a marketing crime if your brand doesn’t have a story. Once the consumer understands your story, they will understand your purpose.

If you truly want to manifest a successful brand, if you want to form a connection with your customer then explain your vision, your ‘aha’ moment, the moment that triggered the action to create what you have created.

And please dream, everyday day think about what your next step to be, but don’t think and talk too much, rather act – have a just do it approach! Good luck everyone, oh … if you need Brand Consultancy then do see our price list, to be honest we’re kinda good at what we do, so give us a Moo!

WORK

They say good things come to those who wait, I say “Good things come to those who Work.” Yes, we should hope and dream, but we must not sit and wait. If you have a dream, an ambition, a business plan – that’s just step 1 my friend. You see, everything creative starts with an idea, then come all the critical steps in achieving them.

Success is not a straight line, along the way there will be sacrifices. There will be many hurdles you must jump, but the finish line can only be reached if you carry on running – so don’t give up. Even if you have to work a boring 9 to 5, by all means do so. It would be great to have a mentor, but if you cannot find one, read books – autobiographies specifically. 

Carry on the good fight by continuously reminding yourself of where you want to be, be positive, and paint happiness. Paint happiness is a term I’ve coined, it simply means creating a picture in your everyday life, with each person you encounter daily being a unique colour. By using people as positive colours, you create this aura of optimism and thus your day will blossom. 

To conclude, I leave you with a short story from a man who managed the Spice Girls, David Beckham, Lewis Hamilton, Andy Murray and many more. I was working in Harrods and this man casually dressed walked up to me and asked where the Paul Smith section was? I replied and said, “are you Simon Fuller” amazed he said, “how did you know.” I told him that I had seen only one picture on the internet and had read his autobiography. Anyway he purchased the shoes, and eager to get advice, I asked – What’s the key to success. He said, “don’t talk about, don’t even think about it – just do it!” 

TYPOGRAPHY

Art also exists in typography and searching for fonts that pair well together is a quest, but once found it is a magnet to the eye. The infusion of serifs with sans serifs is crucial, however not all are destined to blossom. It takes experimentation along with taste to establish a connection, and the result – a contribution to art.

I was first introduced to the big brands of today whilst working in Harrods. From Prada to Gucci, each one had their own unique typography. It was apparent that fonts are instrumental to their success, sending its own message of elegance. I wanted to know how they created these ripples of creativity?

After a year of studying fonts through books, blogs, & articles I began to experiment. The result being 7ofParis.com – positioned in two words “Renaissance Couture” with the aim of selling affordable luxury. However, the challenge I found was using fonts for clients. A perfect example being a construction company. It would not have made sense if its slogan was in fashion typography, so we chose the rather simplistic Helvetica.

To conclude, each font must be in sync with the direction of the business as it is critical in creating your brand image. It can engineer your brand to victory, but only if you know your stuff! That is why, I respect graphic designers. They are truly modern day artists.

WORDS

Words, written or spoken are sacred. “Patience is food for the Soul” … how powerful are words. “Be an instrument to improve Humanity,” how effective are words. “The currency of this World should be kindness,” – words are paramount.

When I sit down with a client, I act as a Scientist. Firstly, depending on the business (in recent cases it has been restaurants) I pick out buzzwords or keywords that are in sync with its direction. Then, I carefully tailor the words around the vision of the client because I believe that words can blossom your brand. When carefully woven, they can be potent in creating vibrancy around your story. They can enhance, ignite, and harmonise your brand.

Why can’t Art be infused in Marketing? As a Brand Consultant that is my aim, I want to paint a picture to my clients through vocabulary that to some may seem to be different but to set/create trends one must be unique. Because words, when seasoned perfectly can create irresistible flavours. There is a growing appetite for creativity and with every client we aim to plant a seed that will grow and eventually drive the brand to success.

I leave you with a sentence I wrote whilst travelling in the beautiful Swiss Alps, “Words are melodies to branding and the magnet of a brand is belief.”

 

DESIGN

Exceptional design boils down to beauty and simplicity. For one to design, he/she must be a visionary. He/she must create a solution that can harmonise humanity and ultimately connect/unite culture. There is a melody behind design, and it’s called change.

Change is an obsession to modern designers, change is potent and curiosity triggers action that influences this change. Often, one thinks design to be about furniture, cars, but technology has been at the forefront of this movement. The remedy to great design is creating a product that is a magnet to the heart. A remarkable product must fuel modern day culture and play its part. Apple inc. have done that – having recently announced the sale of over 1,000,000,000 iPhones (you saw that alright … a Billion).

In relation to branding, firstly I would like to highlight that taste is critical to design and without taste you will not set or create trends. To have a design driven mindset that is in sync with the trend-conscious will do you wonders. Secondly, creativity in the aspect of differentiation is the rhythm to a branding orchestra. Thirdly, I love typography and for the last year have continuously studied different fonts, how they pair/marry each other, and those Vogue type fonts that have changed the fashion World. With regards to logo’s, when I have a client, not only do I brief graphic designers to do a cool logo but force myself to go on photoshop and create a typography font logo which is in sync with their brand.

To conclude – Design at best, is simple and beautiful, or … simply beautiful. For that reason I applaud Apple Chief designer Jony Ive for inspiring me, thank you.

SIMPLICITY

Are you like me? When I first visited Paris I was amazed at the subtle yet rich brands such as Louis VuittonCartierChanelYves Saint LaurentBalenciaga … the list goes on. Some, I cannot even spell but I know how to pronounce them. I found something however that took me a while to realise, the key to their branding is simplicity. Yes, Simplicity!  

My first ever book that I read was How to Think like Leonardo Da Vinci and the very human who was part of the Renaissance period said, “Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication.” It was evident this is true when I read another book by Ken Segall (the right hand man for all matters Marketing to the legendary Steve Jobs). He stated that Apple were all about simplicity, I found this outstanding, but when one thinks in clarity … the iPhone has only one button at the front (everything is done via the touchscreen) I am not counting the volume, on/off button because that is standard in all phones. Even my two year old cousin used to play angry birds when the iPhone 4 was in its heyday.

So, be it Creativity, Design, or Branding everything should be simple. But by simple I mean the one that touches the 5 senses, be slick, attractive, and worthy of a purchase. Yes, that is the secret everyone however it is the most complex thing to accomplish.

Long Live Simplicity!

SUCCESS

For a chef to create he/she must taste. As simple as it sounds, it is rather true. However that is just one of the 5 senses. To be potent, you must allow the customer to fully indulge each senses. Only a polished brand has this ability, and believe me it can take years and tears, unless of course you already know the secret. The equation you see below is the alchemy to a successful brand, it will create ripples of positivity, and keep everyone happy – from staff to shareholders. I should really write a book on this, but being one that likes to share knowledge – here it is. 

Last night I had a conversation with someone close to my heart and perhaps my biggest critic. I was adamant that my point of taste being the road to success is correct, yet his view complemented mine with another sense … feel. Take for example the hospitality industry, in specific fancy restaurants – they truly first and foremost rely on feel. These are not my words, rather they are his – who has (may I add) been in hospitality for over 15 years, “feel is so important, when you are living in a city such as London, you are faced with daily challenges, you are not on holiday mode and it all begins with feel. From the cutlery to the glasses, quality of the napkin, all the way to the feel of the table/chairs.” 

Feel must be conditioned in the brand DNA, feel leads the path to taste, without feel we will not enjoy the taste. In short, feel fuels taste … irresistible taste that is. Now you can poach my thought or you can ignore it, but if you truly understand branding, you should keep this in mind: Success = Feel + Taste

LIFE

He always used to look after me as a kid. My mum said I was always smiling, looking at people, always curious. Sadly a great deal has happened, but I do not want to lose that smile, that joy, that innocence of when I was once a kid. You see, when we grow up, we tend to loose touch with our inner child, our spontaneous, artistic self. Suddenly everything becomes critical. Bills, family drama, relationships, broken heart (the list goes on) but please remember … there is a difference between being childish & childlike. Childish is a spoilt brat whereas childlike is that creative, artistic, full of joy being.

Long Live the Crayon Kids.