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 7 – Science

Success is a science, and I am a Marketing Scientist, a Brand Scientist to be specific. It was during my GCSE exams that I first excelled in Science, my teacher at the time put a £5 bet on me by saying it would take a miracle to achieve anything above two C’s. Since I stepped foot in this city (London) I aimed to prove everyone wrong, with my friends I would do so on the football pitch, eventually reaching a fraction of semi-pro status. But this time, I had to prove my science teacher wrong. The exam results came out on a beautiful August day, and voila – I got my two B’s for science. Mrs Cook did keep her word, and gave me my deserved £5.

You see, Marketing is a science, once you figure out the analytics, connect the dots, be on top of your SEO, pinpoint your ads to your niche customers, then you will have success. Branding in particular is the deepest of the Marketing sciences, it’s guilty for brand growth, brand image and brand ethos – done in accordance to Marketing psychology. Branding is an ocean of knowledge that can create waves of success, if done correctly of course. Branding is the secret ingredient of Marketing, yes it’s only a portion of the topic but the recipe to success doesn’t exist without a great Brand ethos.

That’s why you should condition your mind with colours, logos, content, creativity, typography, art… the list goes on. I believe the modern day artists are Graphic Designers, for they just get Branding. I cannot draw but I’ve had many visions where I worked alongside designers to create successful logos. Branding consultants are visionaries, for they marinate ideas that can flourish in the near future. The melody behind marketing is branding, and the core of branding is emotional branding. To create brands that capture peoples’ emotions are the greatest of brands, hence when I created 4umum.com in 2012 I didn’t know how great it was. After years of solo social media promotion, we have just passed 48,000 views and nearing the big 50k. Not only did I create gifts for mother’s but I went deeper into the meaning and promised the profits to my dear mother, that’s why it’s called 4umum after all.

So I urge you all to sharpen your minds with branding and indulge in books, that’s how I did it. Books such as, “Who Moved my Cheese,” or “Edward de Bono’s Lateral Thinking,” to “Brand Positioning by Al Ries,” they all played their part in the enlightening process. Knowledge is a magnet to success, but there comes a time when you need to practice this new found knowledge. For example, when I first started consulting for restaurants and designing their menus plus websites, I would watch the epic Chef’s table on Netflix. I would be inspired by the dishes each chef would create, for they are the Leonardo Da Vinci’s of today, and every buzzword that sounded interesting, I noted down in my one page keyword. From flavour, to aromatic, irresistible, potent, pollinate, seed, cream to coated and poached, I wrote them all. And when I got my first restaurant as a client, I put those words into exceptional use by creating sentences such as, “the key ingredient to our success is delighting your taste-buds,” to the rather cool, “we answer your cravings,” sentence.

To conclude, Branding is also an art – a marketing art. Try to be creative in whatever you do, do not lose your artistic side. As my favourite author Paulo Coelho said, “there is a difference between being childish & childlike.” Childish is a spoilt brat whereas childlike is that creative, artistic, full of joy being. So please do not lose that creativity in you…

Long Live the Crayon Kids!

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 🙂

BRANDING – Part 5 – Swiss Made

Watches, they amaze me … and so does Switzerland. As a teen, I would visit my auntie with my brother every other year. Being a Londoner, I found the country strange. So many rules, from recycling to not being able to make noise after off-peak evening hours, or else face eviction from fellow Swiss neighbours. But all these rules is what makes the country boast an economy amongst the best in the World.

As a young university graduate, I wanted to know the secret to the “Swiss Made” formula. When you think of products from Switzerland, you think of luxury, advanced, tailored with precision – bold products with a high emphasis on quality, or QUALI+Y as I like to call it.

Let’s take watches as an example – there is three ingredients to a luxury Swiss watch: Design, Quality, and Typography. Design of course is critical, once your design is noticed by the masses and becomes in sync with the latest fashion trends, you’re onto a winner. Quality is obvious, but I bet typography raised your eyebrows. Yes, typography is the icing on the cake. If you look at all the biggest and most expensive brands, they all have unique typography, and they always mix it with another different font underneath. In graphic design this is called font pairing, or, fonts that marry with each other.

There you go people – the secret to a luxury brand is Design + Quality + Typography … thank me later!

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.

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.