THE FIRST TUESDAY ESSAYS
First Tuesday is the FLUX monthly newsletter on traditions, trends and transitions in the ever
evolving world of branding. Each issue includes a warrior’s look at branding, profiles of
projects we’re working on and an insider’s profile of the people we work with.
First Tuesday is published via email on the first Tuesday of every month. If you’re not on our
list, take a moment to sign up now because your brand matters.
Creative Measurement: Part 3 of our 4-part series.
Over the last few issues of First Tuesday we’ve been discussing the complex series of analysis we perform in our minds, nearly instantaneously, when we “measure” the value of creative work. This process results in an opinion, and determines how we react to the materials we’re viewing.
What do you find expressive? READ MORE
A SEASON OF CHANGE
I’m seeing unmistakable signs of Spring.
Last week’s Passover Seder and Easter Egg Hunt are both fresh in my mind, and bud-break has revealed new growth in my garden. After a short winter respite, I’m seeing economic rebirth as our clients embark on major business development initiatives.
We’re doing the same at FLUX. READ MORE
THE SCIENCE OF CREATIVITY:INTRINSIC VALUE
Creative Measurement: Part 2 of our 4-part series
Last month we discussed the complex series of analysis we perform in our minds, nearly instantaneously, when we “measure” the value of creative work. This process results in an opinion, and determines how we react to the materials we’re viewing.
What do YOU value? READ MORE
THE SCIENCE OF CREATIVITY
Congratulations to the Ravens for winning the Super Bowl XLVII in an exciting game that kept us screaming. But I think Beyonce and Dodge Ram Trucks were equally victorious on Sunday.
Do you agree? READ MORE
HATS OFF TO 2013
Happy First Tuesday.
Happy New Year.
Happy Day One.
My hat’s off to you!
I’m happy you share a First Tuesday moment with me each month. These moments are your opportunity to focus on your brand while learning the fundamentals behind the branding process. We’re optimistic for 2013. Exciting projects are getting underway with a sense of urgency.
Let’s make 13 New Year’s resolutions for your brand. READ MORE
WHERE DID THE TIME GO?
December came early this year. Only 12 months ago we celebrated the close of of last year.
“December is for you. Time to sing and dance, celebrate the year that you have had. It’s not quite over and there’s still time to put the cherry on top of your sundae.”
Has it really been a year since I wrote these words? READ MORE
FACT OR FICTION
Lot’s of messages. What did YOU believe?
It’s likely that who you voted for today is a function of how you responded to the avalanche of messages. Candidates know that creating an emotional connection is far more valuable than cultivating an intellectual one. READ MORE
WHAT’S THE COST OF CONFUSION?
Unanswered questions lead to confusion. And the cost of confusion can bring you to the brink of catastrophe.
Here’s a timely example: a brand called the National Football League. With a labor negotiation on the horizon, there were a lot of unanswered questions.: READ MORE
THE PARADOX OF BRILLIANCE
From Prada to Bentley, people like bright shiny things. They attract us like spinning lures or flashing lights, like the facets of the Hope Diamond or the sparkle of my daughter’s smile. Brilliance is intoxicating. It draws us in, holds our attention and makes everything else secondary: READ MORE
ARE YOU READY?
Branding is on the forefront of corporate conversations in your industry. Are you ready to talk?
Start Here > The dialog begins with a distinction between branding & advertising. Think about it in terms of business objectives: READ MORE
IMAGES ARE EVERYTHING
There is no substitute for a great image…literally and figuratively.
With the right thought, planning and execution, great photography can develop into powerful business tools. More than snapshots, more than portraits, the right photos capture the essence of your brand as well as the best copy, the catchiest tagline, or the coolest logo. READ MORE
SHOW NO FEAR
“Courage is resistance to fear and mastery of fear… not absence of fear.” -Mark Twain
Times of change in business can be frightening. But show no fear. It takes courage to embrace change and leverage it for its true potential. As status quo in your company yields to the inevitable cycles of business, the simple truth is that fear needs to be understood and dealt with strategically. Fear is the enemy of innovation. READ MORE
Nestled between the Los Angeles State Historic Park, the LA River and Chinatown, Spring Naud is poised to become one of LA’s coolest and most affordable locations for film, photo and art events.
An inspirational product of its urban surroundings, Spring Naud maintains the look and feel of its industrial roots while creating direct links to the burgeoning artistic community that is taking DTLA by storm. READ MORE
WE DECLARE WAR
FLUX Branding has waged a creative crusade to deliver big ideas that result in bold communications. It’s a mission born out of our passion for branding. We won’t settle for anything less. Apathy is our enemy. Enthusiasm is our ammunition. In business, change is the only constant. Those that embrace it evolve to meet opportunities for growth and success. Resisting change results in retreat, to protect turf from savvy competitors all vying to capitalize on those same opportunities…. READ MORE
THE FLUX TEAM
We are the people behind your brand, a mosaic of goals, interests, talents and dreams filtered through our collective life and work experiences. We create strategies, communications and campaigns that capture your audience, captivate their emotions and cultivate their devotion.
WHO WE ARE: Opera Singer. Screenwriter. Entrepreneur. Ballet Dancer. Ceramist. Gardener. Photographer. Painter. Dog Lover. Jewelry Designer. Fitness Enthusiast. World Traveler. Lacrosse Player….READ MORE
Yes. It’s really spring. Was last week’s rain the extent of winter? Here in DTLA it’s been pleasant. Things got even sunnier with the news that Magic Johnson is taking ownership of the LA Dodgers. Whether they knew it or not, with the announcement that broke on March 27 and Magic’s big smile, Dodger Blue began their rebranding initiative without even trying. You can feel it. I predict record attendance at Chavez Ravine this year… READ MORE
THE I/D/E/A IS BETTER BRANDING
Dedicated followers of First Tuesday will be familiar with the importance of having a defined methodology from which to approach any branding initiative. As a part of our internal brand audit at FLUX Branding, we realized that trying to explain an 8-step methodology was overly cumbersome and could be simplified. Our team of creative strategists got to work, with powerful results. We are proud to announce The I/D/E/A Method™ – a fresh new perspective on how to communicate what we do…READ MORE
THE MAKING OF THE MONTH
It’s March. Welcome to the madness. I was thinking about how well branded this month is and decided to do a little investigation about the coinage of the term March Madness. During my abbreviated research I discovered that Henry V. Porter, an official with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) first used the term way back in 1939 in an article he wrote for the organization’s in-house magazine called “March Madness”…READ MORE
ANALYZE THIS. What we think is the most creative part of our process definitely has the least creative name: ANALYSIS. The word reminds me of late nights and lots of time spent pouring over facts and figures to come up with a very linear answer based on complicated calculations that no one really understands…READ MORE
I like to live in love. It keeps me hopeful and looking forward to every moment. But what is love besides the theme of Valentine’s Day? Wikipedia wasn’t much help, nor were the sweet little “Love Is” cartoons that come up in my Google search, or the words stamped into those candy hearts I took from my daughter’s desk…READ MORE
LISTEN TO THE MUSIC
RESEARCH is often the last thing on a brand’s to do list, but the first thing that will be missed if it’s cut from the initiative. It’s tempting for organizations to control budgets by limiting investment on research because it does not directly build ROI. But skipping this step can lead to inaccurate conclusions that cost multiples of the proposed research dollars. Think about a football coach who refuses to spend the time on game film or the scouting report on their next opponent…READ MORE
Some people make resolutions at the beginning of every year but those of you who have been with me since the first, First Tuesday (Nov. 2010) know that I make promises instead. Promises, in my mind are much stronger and I do not make them lightly. Promises are my truth. I am bound by my promises…READ MORE
FINDING A WAY
Last month we discussed the importance of choosing a branding agency that has a clearly defined methodology. Synergistic Integrated Branding is the 8-step methodology that we’ve crafted at FLUXbranding. We’ll be exploring each of these steps in greater detail over the next 8 months.
Here’s a quick recap of the process:
Step 1: INVESTIGATION includes observations of your organization to gain a deep…READ MORE
NOTE FROM JAMIE
December is for you. Time to sing and dance, celebrate the year that you have had. It’s not quite over and there’s still time to put the cherry on top of your sundae, but you can feel it already. As soon as the calendar turned over last Thursday I immediately felt like celebrating. This has been an amazing year for us here at FLUX. We have exceeded all our expectations. From what I have seen and heard from clients…READ MORE
PROCESS, POWER, BRANDING.
Typically a company will start to think seriously about their brand during times of change. There can be an internal change in philosophy, an external change in the marketplace, an acquisition, a new offering or new tender from the competition. Once the branding/re-branding process has begun there are multiple challenges, risks and…READ MORE
THANKS A MILLION
Personally and professionally it’s time to be grateful. The beauty of a strawberry, the smell of rain, the sound of a guitar, the smile on my daughter’s face…I appreciate those things intuitively and emotionally. It’s in these small moments that I gain a deeper understanding of what’s really important. I have learned to appreciate the value of memorable experiences and the good feelings they inspire…READ MORE
BOLD BRAND POSITIONING
Who are you? What do you do best? Where do you fit within your industry? What makes you better than your competitors? What makes you special? Answer those questions truly, honestly and completely, and you have the foundation for an authentic brand position. Crafting a clear, well-articulated brand position helps cut through market noise. It makes a direct connection with your intended audience and ensures that you are memorable. It’s crowded out there. How well you set yourself apart while remaining true to your product or service is critical to your success…READ MORE
MASK OF ORIGIN
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays for the contrasts it represents: Orange and Black. Trick or Treat. Horror and Delight. Each masks the emotion and the feeling of the other without silencing or muting its essence. We wear masks so we can pretend we are something we wish we were, or something we’d never want to be…READ MORE
Have you ever noticed within the most spirited companies, the people that work there seem united? There are two schools of thought behind this. One is that organizations tactically recruit unified types of people. The other is that organizations strategically create unity through their culture. Either way the goal is to develop an internal brand that reaches the hearts and souls of your employees, generating a deep sense of “spiritual” loyalty…READ MORE
THE WISDOM OF LEARNING
The older I get, the shorter summer seems. Labor Day was yesterday and children all over the country are back in school. September is traditionally the last month of harvest and the first month of learning. You may be interested to learn that Mexico celebrates their independence on the 18th of this month. The 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day and the lessons of September 11th teach us more about ourselves and our world every day….READ MORE
BRAND IDENTITY SUPREMACY
Your brand is not your name, your logo, your colors, your style guide, or your tag line. But your brand identity is determined by the choices you make in all of them. How you visually represent yourself to the marketplace is important. First impressions can only be made once so clearly communicating who you are in a bold and memorable way will often be how you are perceived each and every time a potential customer comes in contact with you. The design of your brand identity needs to be authentic, relevant…READ MORE
HOT, HOT, HOT
It’s August and it’s hot. Sizzling hot. During August, Sirius, the “dog star,” rises and sets with the sun, which led ancients to believe that both the sun and Sirius were working together to make it that much hotter. That’s how August came to be known as the dog days of summer. There really is no truth to that theory, but it does make me think about heat. And how to make your brand sizzle…READ MORE
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
For every company name there is a story.
Sometimes it’s as simple as the founder’s name or street where your company is located. Some names are the product of weeks or months of investigation and research. Others are born in a moment of inspiration. However you decided upon a product or company name,…READ MORE
AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL
I love July. Summer is in full swing and a feeling of independence is in the air. The 4th of July is America’s branding moment – we display our symbols and rituals proudly. Nothing defines this country like the spirit of independence we share with friends and family gathered together to celebrate with flags and fireworks. We have pride in who we are and in who we are becoming. It is a day to celebrate the American brand…READ MORE
Companies typically budget for branding based on sales, and attempt to determine ROI based on its direct affect on revenues. We believe this is an inherently flawed approach.
When initiatives are evaluated in terms of their immediate impact on sales, the long-term benefits of an overall brand strategy are more difficult or even impossible to achieve. Branding opportunities have a deeper monetary value that extends well beyond current revenues…READ MORE
Even though I can manage the dark, I do my best work under good light. My eyes are sharp, but they require illumination to perform their best. Simple, bold fact: when I can see, I can be more precise.
June 21st is Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. It’s a metaphor for looking at things. This is the day you can see the most because of the duration of natural light. Take this opportunity to measure your campaign’s effectiveness, and look for new growth opportunities…READ MORE
Welcome to the final article of our 8-part series. At the conclusion of a branding initiative, great value can be learned through MEASUREMENT, where we attempt to quantify results towards meeting the business goals.
We began with INVESTIGATION, discussed RESEARCH, defined ANALYSIS, described VISION explained STRATEGY focused on CREATIVE, then detailed CAMPAIGN…was the project effective? Did we reach our goals? It’s now time to MEASURE the outcome…READ MORE
IS YOUR BRAND ALIVE?
Flowers are blooming in my garden as the weather heats up. Signs of life are everywhere: birds, bees…brands! MAY is a great time for a simple campaign to remind the world that your brand is alive. It’s an important step in setting the stage for another, bigger promotional effort. Start with communication that something is about to happen. Taking action to get noticed now helps ensure that you’re positioned to attract critical customers as the business landscape continues to heat up into summer…READ MORE
POUND THE PAVEMENT
This article focuses on the CAMPAIGN, where we take the strategies and creative materials out on the road to meet your business goals and generate a return on your investment. We began with INVESTIGATION, discussed RESEARCH, defined ANALYSIS, described VISION explained STRATEGY and focused on CREATIVE, where materials are crafted and platforms created. Now it’s time to take it on the road…READ MORE
WHO ARE YOU?
We ask that question as the foundation for developing an authentic brand. After years of asking our clients, we turned the tables and asked ourselves. The results were distilled into the powerful new identity for our agency: FLUXbranding. Our name reflects our expertise in Synergistic Integrated Branding– strategies for visual, interactive and experiential campaigns that generate spirit and sustainability around a service, product, location, offering, cause, or technology…READ MORE
BEAUTY + BRAINS + BALLS
Welcome to part 6 of our series on best practices in branding. Regular readers will notice a subtle shift in our methodology’s name…a slight change in perspective to help define our branding expertise within the broader context of marketing. We began with INVESTIGATION where an engagement forms, discussed RESEARCH in evaluating and validating ideas, defined ANALYSIS as the development of fundamental creative branding concepts, described VISION as the poetic statements and visual presentations that develop consensus and explained STRATEGY for development and launch of a branding initiative….READ MORE
It’s March. Madness. Leprechauns. Shamrocks. Green bagels. Time for a bit of mirth. We like to keep a playful spirit in the studio. It keeps the creative energy alive, and tends to make everyone happier. Creativity is fragile, and we’ve found that being overly serious can limit our vision. Through a bit of mischief, we’re able to have a great time in the studio while simultaneously producing the amazing branding that we’ve built our reputation on…READ MORE
Welcome to part 5 of our series on best practices in branding. I began with the first step to successful branding: INVESTIGATION where an engagement forms. We discussed the value of RESEARCH, the key step in evaluating and validating ideas. ANALYSIS is where fundamental creative branding concepts are developed. VISION crafts the initial poetic statements and visual presentations that develop consensus…READ MORE
FALLING IN LOVE
It’s February and the time when thoughts turn towards Valentines, roses, chocolates and hearts. It’s the traditional season of emotion, where we recognize the significance of the people and things we love…READ MORE
VISION OF LOVELINESS
Welcome to part 4 of our series on best practices in branding. I began by introducing the first step to successful branding: INVESTIGATION where an engagement is formed. Then we discussed the value of RESEARCH, the key step in evaluating and validating ideas. Next we focused on ANALYSIS where fundamental creative branding concepts are developed…READ MORE
A TIME FOR PROMISES
It’s January, and the start of a new year — a traditional time to make vows and promises for what changes, actions and accomplishments I’ll commit to in 2011. Taking the time to craft a vision for what I intend to manifest is an important part of my creative process…READ MORE
BRAINSTORM WITH REASON
In November, I introduced the first step to successful branding: INVESTIGATION where an engagement forms. Last month we discussed the value of RESEARCH, the key step in evaluating and validating ideas. This month we focus on ANALYSIS which, surprisingly, is where the fundamental creative branding concepts are developed. Typically, ANALYSIS is the domain of savvy spreadsheet gurus, who thrive on drawing conclusions based on multiple data sources. Branding analysis is a related process, but there are sharp contrasts to the solitary nature of data analysis. In our ANALYSIS stage…READ MORE
CELEBRATE THIS FIRST TUESDAY
It’s December and the holiday season of celebration is at hand. For us here at FLUX we’ve got a lot to celebrate: we just wrapped our biggest year in our 11-year history! While many are still experiencing a sluggish national economy, we’ve found business categories that have managed to thrive in the current climate including: automotive aftermarket, legal services and real estate. Real estate? Yes, we mean it. We’ve been working to remarket…READ MORE
LEARNING TO LISTEN
Last month we reviewed the first step to successful branding: INVESTIGATION. This month we’ll focus on RESEARCH, a key step in evaluating and validating your marketing initiatives before investing the resources to bring them to market. It’s tempting for organizations to control budgets by limiting investment on RESEARCH. That specific strategy introduces risk that could ultimately cost multiples of the proposed research dollars. Our recommendation is to equally include research in the budget process, and consider it as a form of “insurance” to reduce risk associated with branding projects…READ MORE
WELCOME TO FIRST TUESDAY
It’s November and fall weather has arrived. We’re seeing signs of the change of seasons in business climate too, as numerous clients have moved forward with marketing launches, online initiatives and communications campaigns to capitalize on various opportunities. As we approach Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for all the ambitious projects we worked on this year, and the wonderful clients, partners & resources…READ MORE
5 KEYS BEFORE BRANDING
Synergistic Integrated Marketing (SIM) is our proven methodology to promote change within your organization, which ultimately creates a unified brand strategy that cuts through the clutter to achieve maximum results. The SIM formula for success is akin to a chemical reaction that begins with reagents: INVESTIGATION, RESEARCH and ANALYSIS, then strategically mixes in key elements: VISION, STRATEGY and CREATIVE to formulate campaigns that generate MEASURABLE MARKET SUCCESS!…READ MORE