Social Brands is a hands-on, project-based course about brand marketing, design thinking, prototyping and story-telling. Check out their dedicated class website for syllabus information and downloadable branding tips, guidelines and handouts:
The class broke out in teams of 4 students from across Stanford University and 1) audited a brand 2) designed an experience and 3) crafted a story - all in a pretty tight time-frame of 9 weeks. One deliverable was a video that documented their journey, including the experience they designed and the outcomes they learned along the way. For the final presentations, each team had 5 minutes to share their story and video.
Before we dove into the student presentations, the co-instructors Jennifer Aaker and Chris Flink (below) explained the Social Brands course and the final presentation format for the guests and judges in the audience.
AT&T Foundry Brand Gap: Not seen as an innovator, but a necessary inconvenience. Strategy Focus: Be a key enabler of deeper human relationships. Experience: Developed a mobile phone booth on-campus that encouraged students to pick up the phone and call someone you love. Learnings: Sincerity is key. Expect the unexpected. Simplicity matters. Social Tie-Ins: #gladucalled and facebook.com/GladUCalled
Specialized Women Brand Gap: Biking is a man’s sport. Strategy Focus: Reduce intimidation and increase engagement around cycling for women Experience: Bring biking to life. They created Ruby, the talking bike who represented the girl-on-the-go.
Nike Brand Gap: It’s not just for top elite athletes. Strategy Focus: Focus on the everyday athlete. Experience: Celebrate the small daily victories by creating a finish line for the amazing things people do every day. Takeaways: Keep it simple. Create an experience that people can recognize. Be authentic. Encourage creativity - see what kind of craziness ensues.
Kitchit Brand Gap: Increase awareness for bespoke dining. Strategy Focus: Create a perception of accessibility. Experience:How much can you juggle at at time? Kitchit can do it all for you. Results: Raised awareness from 13% to 39% post-event.
Google+ Brand Gap: Lacks humanity. Strategy Focus: Create meaningful conversations to change negative perceptions of G+. Experience: Build a life-size dream-catcher for students to write and share their dreams. Learnings: First impressions matter. Changing brand perceptions is extremely hard. Product attributes & brand building might, at times, be at odds.
Milk & Honey Brand Gap: Lacks personality. Strategy Focus: Milk & Honey is as cool and sophisticated as their target audience - the “pistol” woman who knows what she wants. Experience: The world can be hard to navigate in high heels, but women look fabulous in high heels and the world is your runway to walk on. Learnings: Iterate or fail. Details matter (music, signage & critical mass are essential for success). Scale your experience with social media.
Social Brands - Milk & Honey - The World Is Your Runway
Amour Vert Brand Gap: Fashion is the 2nd most polluted industry in the world, but consumers are not aware of this eco-narrative. Strategy Focus: Enable consumers to better connect with the eco-narrative. Experience: Inspire people to rethink fashion through the simple act of recycling. Learnings: Keep it simple. Evoke happiness & excitement.
Black Box Wines Brand Gap: Box wine is cheap. Strategy Focus: Great wine can come in a box. Experience: Develop a casual, social occasion where boxed wine is appropriate and acceptable. Learnings: Keep it simple. Show me, don’t tell me. Invite consumers for co-creation. Think of your brand as a person. Have fun. Consumers are smart and will get it.