Share: How Brandworkz works

By Spencer Phillips

Last month the New York office met with VP Thomas Aabo of Brandworkz for our weekly Share. Brandworkz aims to streamline the branding process through brand management software.

Their program lets clients choose and fine-tune a series of existing modules to quickly launch a new brand or alter an existing identity.  

Here’s what it looks like:

Thomas Aabo walked us through the Brandworkz process using a faux brand deliciously known as “Frootini,” a fictional online market place for digital smoothies. As  “brand managers” for Frootini, we got to use Brandworkz for simultaneous education and application. 

The software’s defining factor has to be its ease of use. By allowing clients to navigate and customize an array of dynamic templates, Brandworkz allows for easy on-brand decisions and asset management. Additionally, the software manages analytics and tracks all changes that occur within the program, allowing a company to efficiently manage their brand choices. 

So what might an operation like Brandworkz mean for business?  Well, for one, customization provides clients the choice to alter and manage on the go. The ability to manage assets remotely is an attractive feature, especially in a world that is constantly in motion. 

While asset management is a crucial aspect of maintaining your brand, it’s hard to imagine that even the most integrated digital service will  ever wholly replace bespoke strategy and design and in-person implementation. Brandworkz will have to consider how their modules can flex with organizations over time, and adapt to new platforms as the market and media evolve. We look forward to seeing how these new methods will complement more traditional branding and implementation practices.

Thanks to Thomas for a thought-provoking share.

Spencer Phillips is an intern at Wolff Olins New York.

Share: Droga5

Advertising agency Droga5 recently visited the NY office for our weekly Share. Chief Strategy Officer Jonny Bauer shed a little light on how Droga5 operates: they’re creatively led, strategy driven, tech-friendly, and most importantly humanity obsessed. (Sounds familiar?!)

Jonny showed us several campaigns, which all left us either deeply moved (watch part of “Day One,” a retirement campaign for Prudential above) or in laughing fits. A personal favorite was the work they did for Newcastle, the “No Bollocks” campaign, which plays into some predominant beer marketing stereotypes.  Check out that advert below:

(Spencer Phillips)

WO on brand loyalty

The classic question: Pepsi or Coke? There is likely a lot more to your reasoning than “one tastes better than the other.” 

Why do we make the brand choices we make, and continue to remain loyal to those brands? Succinctly, we make choices like this everyday based on our previous experiences with a brand, emotions towards a brand (or towards a competing brand), and ultimately because of the brands’ usefulness in our lives.  (A little bit of really awesome advertising probably plays a role, too)

Our very own Mary Ellen Muckerman, head of strategy at Wolff Olins NY answered some questions on brand loyalty and the implications of technology in brand communication for The Makegood. Check out the full interview here!

(Spencer Phillips)

The 7-Election

By Spencer Phillips

Never mind a Gallup poll, 7-Eleven, the self-proclaimed largest chain of convenience stores in the world, has once again predicted the next president elect with its “coffee-campaign-turned-election-poll” called 7-Election. 7-Eleven admits that the poll is “unabashedly unscientific,” but it’s been correct for the past 4 elections.  

The process is simple: When 7-Eleven customers buy a cup of coffee, they are given the choice of either a blue cup for Obama or a red cup for Romney, to show their support (you can also purchase regular “nonpartisan” cups if undecided).  People are able to cast their coffee cup vote between September 6th and Election day. When the UPC code is scanned at the time of sale, the vote is counted. 7-Eleven keeps track of every purchase made across its U.S. stores and publishes the results to the 7-Election page at the end of each day.


In the last two elections, the  7-Election poll results mirrored data collected by statistically valid polls. This year, the 7-Election had Obama with 59% of the vote, and Romney with 41% where as the popular vote results were 50% for Obama, and 48% for Romney. Why is the spread greater than the legitimate results? Laura Gordon, VP of Brand Innovation for 7-Eleven explained that ”the majority of stores operated and franchised by 7-Eleven are in urban and suburban areas, compared to those considered rural, which are reported to favor the Republican candidate.” Regardless, she added that “bottom line, we have some fun with 7-Election and, if we reminded people of the importance of voting in the ‘real’ election, even better.” 

We think it’s a great move. The campaign imbues the 7-Eleven shopping experience with a little democracy, making the customer feel that engaging with 7-Eleven’s products can be an avenue to engaging with the American political process. It’s this kind of integrated strategy of transforming a standard activity (buying a cup of joe) into something greater than a transaction. It’s also a novel way for a brand to collect, leverage and play with data to delight an audience.

Spencer Phillips is an intern at Wolff Olins New York.

Brands helping out in hurricane aftermath

By Wolff Olins New York

Nearly 60 million Americans affected by Hurricane Sandy are still dealing with its physical and economic destruction. Here in NYC, we’ve been inspired by people’s and organizations’ resilience and willingness to help each other. Brands, too, are helping out in the aftermath, altering their behaviors, protocols, and models to privilege purpose over profit in this time of need.

Both The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times were quick to lift their online paywalls as Sandy approached, valuing their audiences’ access to information above all else. 

MTA pulled a similar move, running free transit for city residents, wherever transit has been possible.

The car-service booking app Uber at first took a wrong turn, by surging their prices in New York, but they soon made a wiser decision to drop their pricing scheme and instead fill a need by increasing the number of drivers they had on the road.

Airbnb, a social business dedicated to helping people find space in a pinch, was able to quickly adapt its infrastructure for good. The company waived all of their fees on apartments and homes near hurricane-affected areas. They also sent a note to their community urging property renters to reduce their charges during this period.

Chase Bank opened the doors of its 41st street branch to anyone so they could use the bathrooms, charge their electronics, and rest.  NYT said it unexpectedly became something of a “tourist attraction.” 

In a clever act of compassion, Duracell set up a “Rapid Responder” truck which gave people free batteries in Battery Park. Apple set up charging stations in its NYC flagship store. And it was a common scene to see groups of people huddled up against Starbucks windows to access their free wifi.

REI, whose mission it is to supply the rugged and adventurous, had a free bike tuning and repair station in front of its closed Houston and Lafayette location so anyone on two wheels could stop to fix a flat or tighten a loose chain.

And Home Depot, built to provide the DIY customer with materials and know-how, has coordinated with FEMA and Red Cross to aid in pre-storm and post-storm relief efforts from their Disaster Response Command Center

Last week, fees were temporarily lifted, banks were transformed into social centers, and help was brought to the street. It is one thing to lead with a concrete brand purpose, but these brands brought it to the next level, flexing their resources in inventive ways to be purposeful when it mattered the most. 

Were you moved by other brands this past week? Let us know which in the comments below. 

Edited by Spencer Phillips. 

Images via and New York Times

Beautiful, fast and fluid.

Times Square is always amazing; the lights, the motion, the vibrancy. Microsoft took it up another notch for the launch of Windows 8 last night, which coincided with the release of the Surface tablet. The team unveiled the holiday store and had an en plein air promenade where passers-by were able to experience the new Surface & Windows 8.

All of this while under the glow of Windows 8 adverts that dominated a majority of the larger screens in Times Square. Check out some photos from the launch below. Beautiful.

(Spencer Phillips)