WDA are excited to announce a collaborative partnership with Looking Glass Research to directly complement our differentiating ‘Route to Mind’ strategic creative marketing deliveries. Run by Alison Bull, a highly respected and experienced market researcher, WDA clients can take advantage of this well analytical marketing service either as a key component part of WDA specific client support/activities, or alternatively if desired as a direct ‘stand-alone’ service offering.

The deliveries offer a tried and tested mix of both traditional and innovative research techniques tailor-made to help better understand brands, customers and scope out the competitive marketplace in a very focused way. Typically this is done through a considered combination of online, telephone, face to face interviews or focus groups offering a bespoke and cost effective approach for individual and multiple projects.

Alison shares WDA’s fundamentally strategic creativity approach of using innovative techniques to unearth unique/killer insights (nuggets) about consumers/brands. These are essential in helping to shape and deliver commercial goals through better understanding customers (and/or identifying potential new ones), benchmarking brand performance, testing brand or campaign messaging, trialing new products or service ideas, and through to identifying and understanding how people find, choose and use websites.

Over the last 10 years Alison’s varied and extensive research credentials have been built up both in research and in the media/advertising industry with media companies such as ITV, and notably working as Head of Research at the pan-european business news channel CNBC. Recent projects include working with a new technology start up business, Ordnance Survey, Alder Hey Children’s Charity and Premier Inn to name just a few.

WDA firmly believes this new working relationship can only be good news with the opportunity to better leverage both strategic brand marketing and strategic analysis to identify and develop new and better ways to ultimately drive sales for our clients.

Kinship is everywhere. It’s empathy in action: a hug, a comforting word, the backbone of a friendship. Kinship is fundamentally selfless, intrinsically rewarding, a vital and extremely human part of being, well, a human being.

Kinship requires work, and while people inherently are driven by it, brands are not individuals and often do a poor job evoking similar feelings. Consumers have been skeptical of today’s brands’ intentions for some time now, and so is it any wonder they have such a hard time earning trust?

Martin Weigel, planning director at Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam, rightly said we have become prisoners of a metaphor, and as we’ve suspended reality for our metaphors, our brands ask consumers for what a person expects from his or her friends—loyalty, trust, attention, love, time—without putting in the reciprocally requisite work. In other words, brands need to reconsider their motivations and behaviors because no one is buying the be-our-friend act any longer.

One problem is the mistaken notion that advertising shapes culture. Rather, advertising has always been a mirror that reflects changes in culture, politics and industry. In the Era of Logic—the ’50s and ’60s—there was a scarcity of information, so products earned markets based on clearly stated attributes. Winning brands made whites whiter, fed families more easily and vacuumed hard-to-reach places.

Market saturation and mass media shifted us to the Era of Emotion. Prompted by booms of products and prosperity, conspicuous consumption kicked into high gear, and logic wasn’t enough. Your product had to make a prospective buyer feel something. A car was freedom on four wheels, jeans made you rebellious. This ego-driven style persists today, but it’s worn thin—its promises turned to platitudes, its emotion drowned in a sea of indistinguishable metaphors.

Let’s consider the world in front of us: massive amounts of products and information a mere finger’s touch away. This could be a truly exhilarating landscape for brands and marketers. The bad news, however, is that brands are still working with the dated tools from the Era of Emotion.

Most brands are looking at behavior but don’t question whether people’s internal motivations have changed. Spoiler: They have. Fragmentation of media and the power to the public collective, for example, are behavioral outcomes of deeper truths. Find those truths, and you transcend the “like us on Facebook” noise.

So what’s motivating people? What thoughts are keeping people up at night? Our access to endless information and socialization has given new life to age-old questions. Why am I here? What impact do I want to have on the people around me?”

Our success doesn’t lie in becoming more interesting or disruptive. What we need is purpose and to help people realize their purpose. To know your purpose as a brand is to know who you, as the brand, aspire to be. This defines your subsequent behavior inside the company, in your products, and ultimately how you impact the world. It’s the “why” your brand exists. Consider a few well-known, proven examples. Pampers helps parents care for their babies and helps toddlers’ development. Amazon enables freedom of choice, exploration and discovery. Red Bull energizes the world. Notice the commonality: Purpose transcends business and product (the what) and delivers on human principles (the why).

The “why” gives businesses and brands focus, a valued role to play in modern life and a depth that resonates with people. If you commit to a purpose that will truly benefit the world in some way, you are on your way to defining your brand’s role in people’s lives, and the way you communicate with them. It is within this dialogue between brand and consumer that we can find solutions, innovate and challenge the status quo. Ultimately, we can inspire others—our kin—to find their purpose.

Let’s shed the chains of our metaphors in this new Era of Kinship. It’s not people who need to do the heavy lifting—it’s our brands and us. Like a good friend, we have to help others find purpose and to give selflessly, empathetically and meaningfully.

Written by Abbie Walker, published on AdWeek February 24, 2014, 10:17 PM EST.

Abbie Walker is vp, strategy at brand experience agency Momentum Worldwide.

WDA are excited to announce the launch of a major rebrand for a-one commercial cleaners, designed to reflect the company’s ethos of delivering industry leading customer service and give the business real stand-out to elevate their marketing and communications above their competitors.

A-one are a company who pride themselves in delivering a first–rate service that comes second to none. As Joe Hunnam, MD and founder tells us;

“We’re called a-one because we do an a-one job! Having built up this reputation over the years by going above and beyond the call of duty to deliver very tangible service advantages over those offered by other firms. However, we didn’t feel this difference was being communicated effectively through our marketing which is why we approached WDA.

We first became aware of WDA through their re-brand of Derby County’s new gym Funktion Fitness, as a-one have their cleaning contract, and myself and my son Danny (who runs the business with Joe) are also members there. When compared to other gym’s in the region we felt the brand identity WDA had created gave Funktion real stand-out and a very strong, clear appeal to its target audience – two things we really wanted to achieve for a-one.”

With this in mind, WDA designed a fresh and bold new visual identity with the new brand positioning of ‘No One Compares’ to underline a-one’s stated service advantages; and also to compliment and reinforce the ‘a-one’ name.

The re-branding was then applied to their new website (also built by WDA), which you can see by clicking this link. Additionally, the new look has been applied to signage and vehicle livery (shown above – you’re certainly not going to miss that driving round the streets of Derby!) and a range of fully branded uniforms, which we hope you’ll agree makes these two gentleman look pretty smart!

“The a-one re-brand is a great example of how effective brand marketing can strongly differentiate a business operating in what many would consider a commodity market” said WDA’s Lee Waterhouse “This project was all about change customer perceptions about cleaning by highlighting that ‘not all cleaning companies are the same’ – and in fact, with a-one – no-one compares!”

 www.a-oneclean.com 

Growing consumerisation of technology means an increasing number of people have control of what technologies they use in both their personal and business lives. Two of the biggest areas where this trend manifests itself these days are mobile technologies and software, the latter of which has resulted in a steady and significant growth in the use of open source software (OSS) thanks to its lower cost and relatively similar functional capabilities.

Yet, despite such growth, OSS is still often derided as inferior in quality, security, and longevity in comparison to proprietary software when there is plenty of evidence to the contrary. Here are 4 concerns that still persist about OSS, and why they should officially be labeled myths:

Myth 1: Open source is less secure than proprietary software
In short, licensing models have nothing to do with security. If anything, OSS allows for development teams to rapidly address any security issues, whereas proprietary systems must rely on the software vendor to get around to issuing an update or patch.

Additionally, open source projects benefit greatly from having a diverse community that is interested in the development of the solution, not just one vendor. This allows for things like peer review from a base of knowledgeable and expert supporters. This really can’t be undervalued, because while these communities are invested in the quality of the software, they aren’t necessarily invested in making a dollar from every functional improvement.

In the end, if you asked a group of people to use the same processes to produce a proprietary model and OSS model of their software, they would likely be just as secure, and just as functional.

Myth 2: Open source is harder to maintain
Question: What do all these things have in common?: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s famous utterance “hasta la vista, baby”; Nirvana’s Nevermind album; The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; Tim Berners-Lee’s “World Wide Web” (aka, the Internet); the original Linux open source kernel.

Answer: They all made their debut in 1991. And 22 years later, Linux is stronger than ever. Just last year, one of the world’s most popular gaming distribution platforms, Valve’s Steam – which at 54 million user accounts has an estimated 50–70% share of the digital distribution market for video games, made a version that works on Linux.

In many situations in fact, OSS can live on after the relationship with the original producer or vendor has ended, whether it’s because the vendor has shifted focus, went out of business, or priced itself out of the relationship – OSS remains valuable because it eschews all of these potential pitfalls.

Myth 3: There is less support for open source software
If we look at Linux as an example, some of the biggest companies in the world, for instance Google and Facebook, rely on Linux to run their servers, so they will always be concerned with maintaining software that basically runs the platform on which its business is built.

What’s more, with open source software, a business can always bring in an independent third party for support and consultation, rather than having to wait for the proprietary vendor to get around to addressing a particular issue they may have.

Myth 4: Open source is not enterprise-grade
I’m going to start my answer to this one with a list of organisations who use open source systems:

• Amazon
• Google
• IBM
• Facebook
• Twitter
• Reddit
• Wikipedia
• McDonalds
• London Stock Exchange
• New York Stock Exchange
• Audi
• BMW
• Peugeot
• Virgin America
• Dreamworks

That’s really just scratching the surface. Many of the world’s biggest organizations don’t just use open source software, but, in some cases, like Google’s Android, base an enormous portion of their entire business on it.

*Article originally published by Rafael Laguna on Wired.

WDA are  just back in the office after a very successful morning at the Annual Love Business East Midlands event at Donington Park, and despite having missed out on a fast lap in the Fiat we can report a great vibe of optimism amongst the East Midlands Businesses we spoke to.

WDA attended 2 workshops – the first an early morning ‘Social Media’ workshop, followed by a ‘Marketing Tricks Of The Trade’ workshop hosted by Marketing Derby’s John Forkin. Both sessions were delivered by some great speakers and both ignited some lively debate and contributions from the floor, with WDA voicing our own feelings on the shifting demographics of those engaging with the most popular social networks.

The speakers too were very upbeat about economic prospects for the region when asked about their outlook for 2014:

“I think that generally there is much more confidence around”
Chris Rose, Head Of Brand, Leicester Tigers

“We are seeing much more movement in the economy right now, and I am more confident in raising funds to open my new Shoreditch restaurant!
Adam Simmonds, Michelin Star Chef

“The city is still buzzing from the recent news of Bondholder Bombardier’s £1 Billion Crossrail Contract”
John Forkin, Marketing Derby

 

WDA are really looking forward to Love Business Donington Park on Wednesday. We are on a Legal Services Recce, and also plan to meet with Derby University and Marketing Derby in addition to being booked onto 2 workshops – Networking vs Social Media and Sales and Marketing Tricks of the Trade (to find out if we’ve missed any!). If anyone wants to meet up just message us.

WDA are delighted to welcome Julia Molcanova on board. Julia is a strong all round Creative Designer who will support the studio principally on digital media projects.

Julia brings a wealth of design skills to the team. Additionally she has very strong illustrative skills and has already been found adorning the famous WDA blackboard with her drawings. She also has a passion for typography, urban art and conceptual design.

Julia graduated from Derby having won the University’s Best Final Year Project Award, before gaining commercial experience with two local agencies, where she has gained a wide knowledge in creative design across a broad range of media.

Never one to miss out on an adventure, Julia has a thrill-seeking nature and when she’s not designing she can often be found on the slopes, hurtling down a mountain on her snowboard. She’s a very active person and loves dancing, sports and most importantly good food!

As Julia starts her new position with WDA she is looking forward to new challenges, pushing her creative boundaries and getting to know our clients. Julia has already been involved in an important re-branding project for a global adventure sports apparel company, which is being revealed at London’s ExCel later this month – watch this space!

Julia can be reached at [email protected] – Please feel free to send her a quick email to say “Hi!”