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.
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.
There is a recipe to success and it’s called persistence. However you must take calculated risks, don’t risk everything because you will actually loose everything. Everybody craves success, money or fame, but what they don’t understand is the struggle. The struggle is an ingredient to success, as success is not a straight road, there are many bumps, many holes and hurdles you must overcome.
One must first plant a seed with an idea, then harvest and water that idea until suddenly it slowly blossoms. And when it grows, it grows into a delicious product, whereby your customers can indulge, allowing you to relax and applaud your success. But to get to this stage, persistence must be your appetite. Plants wont grow unless you water them.
Persistence is truly the fuel to success, so don’t give up! You must be the action to pollinate dreams, bee, see what I did there. To conclude, dreams are just dreams without action.
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!”
I was always a quiet child, but a very emotional one. They say the most emotional people are the most creative & that is what I’m doing … giving back.
My mother is a special woman and the majority will say the same about theirs alive (or sadly not at present) but remember, one day you will have kids of your own.
Coming from a humble beginning to becoming a masters graduate is not my accomplishment, but Hers. To conclude, this website is a gift to her … for all the care, struggle & endless Love.
This is 4umum.com
We all have an ego, but Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now changed my life and I believe it can change yours. Our ego always wants to be associated with the past and the future whereas its ultimate enemy is the present. It is always trying to want more with future ambitions or think of the past. The ego is never happy, and our first step is to be aware of the ego, acknowledge that you are not the voice/the thinker but the one who is aware of it. Simply put, Tolle says, “knowing yourself as the awareness behind the voice is freedom.”
The second step is to feel 100% in the present moment starting with the air you breathe, your physical form, and give everything to creating the best possible moment. Our mind is always trying to conclude and interpret, so when one becomes at ease with not knowing, you are going beyond the mind – says the acclaimed author.
The third step is surrender to the now, if you have trouble doing so just look at nature – how a flower or a tree adapts to the changing climate via the seasons. Surrender only arrives when you no longer ask “Why is this happening to me?”
To conclude, our ego is hungry for the past and eager for the future so the only way we can defeat it is by living in the present.
An irresistible brand contains a variety of ingredients, the main being its story. Some stories are timeless, others are nostalgic, whilst few are exceptional. In the very first page I wrote the following, “we believe that each brand has a story, if it doesn’t then this is a marketing crime,” so yes, I am very serious! One could say, a brands story is the melody to growth – a bold reminder of the past, influencing the present and its hope of the future.
We all know that without words there is no story, however without creativity there is no interest. Stories must also be simple to understand, so that they can be remembered and retold. In relation to branding, the message must be fundamental to the brands roots, defining its purpose and appeal to the masses. The challenge as a marketer arises when there is no story, much is the case with clients that have start ups. This is when creativity is tested, but there is always a seed to be found if you truly question the dots, then connect them to create a picture – mindfully.
To conclude, the human mind loves stories – from books, films, music, or real life experiences, everything has a story. Ever since we were old enough, stories have had an impact on us because we all have our own. That is the special thing and this also true with branding.
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.”
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.
Are you like me? When I first visited Paris I was amazed at the subtle yet rich brands such as Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga … 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!
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
From my academic experience (amounting to 6 years) I have learned that being critical is not bad, unless when one is too critical then you ultimately doubt yourself. I am naturally creative and played the piano from an early age, so academic life taught me the other side, both of these were a blessing.
I came across Edward de Bono (considered by most a pioneer in creative thinking) and I learned through his lateral way that you can actually be creative in step by – critical-creative steps. I strongly believe this is a method for employees or entrepreneurs to live by, that is why … I always say,
be creative … act critical.