Brand strategy exploration: Yves Saint Laurent | Girvin: 2007

For a presentation on entrepreneurship, branding and emotional content to the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

GIRVIN’S FOCUS has been directed to the concept of brand development and innovation in the Pacific Northwest, working internationally for nearly 35 years, in support of small emerging businesses, as well as larger global enterprises. This overview offers some general insights for consideration in the emergence of your practice modeling for entrepreneurship.

It’s important to realize that while technology and engineering have created extraordinary innovations during the course of the last 20 years, this has, as well, created a shift in the way in which content works, in terms of brand identity, messaging and visualizations; it’s no longer the typical A>B>C approach of business plans and marketing programs, but instead relates to strategies of community development, building networks and empowering communications between tiers of relationships. Reference.

Brand strategy starts with the human equation. When you consider the idea of building a brand, it’s crucial to consider the ultimate source of connection, your audience, first. What is the nature of your offering, what need does it fulfill, what competition might be in play, and what differentiation do you offer? Focus your strategy in the beginning on this foundation of relationship and build your story. The idea of relationship, in the history of the language of the west, is about “carrying back” — it is making an offer that is literally “inferred” or brought from one to another. It also has a distinct lineage to storytelling. To “relate” a brand is literally, to tell a story. The important component on this front is that there is an alignment to the human mind — people’s lives are inherently built on a string of stories, so framing your messaging in this construct is useful for your planning. References on brand and story.

The human connection
Leadership in branding is all about setting the foundation of your brand strategy.
Without leadership, the brand is adrift — that leadership is either inspiring a team, or moreover, the very spirit of the strategy of the brand. If you think of the idea of a circle, the brand becomes the centerpoint, surrounded by the leadership team and the group that supports the visioning of the brand. The innovation of the team — and the outer reach to market networks — will be distinctly linked to the brand spirit of the enterprise. References on concepts of human branding and product leadership in innovation.

Build a planning structure
When you’re considering the programming of a brand, it’s important to build a series of messaging platforms that range from the basic form of the “heart”, the leadership, extending out to everything from the website to experience design for working environments and retail brand street presence. Brands need to be framed in the context of holistic “spherical” planning — every point of connection to your relationships and marketing networks needs to be managed. References on experience design.

Concepts of reflectivity
There are two paths to brand development — one, wholly based on pricing modeling, or commodity driven; and two, based on strategies of differentiation, emotionally based. Brands that focus on commoditization run the risk of fighting an ever present pricing war and likely will be incessantly climbing an uphill impediment; there will always be other brands entering the market that will relate to the price reduction modeling and will eventually succumb to being “beaten down and out” of the marketing enterprise category. Brands that last decades tend to bring into play emotional relationships that empower a sustaining link to community. Reference on brand reflectivity | Kajeet technology.

The power of brand leadership
Working with Steve Jobs, in the early days of Apple, as well in varying transitions, ranging from AppleInternetLive!, merchandising and retail design, NeXT Computers, Apple Developers Conferences, event marketing, hardware marketing and messaging, there’s a legacy of Girvin experience in working with Apple.

The positioning of Apple is intimately tied to the innovation of Steve Jobs, but the grander mission is that Apple is driven by a passion of innovation that is inherently founded by Jobs’ visioning, coupled with manifold teams that build anything from new technology to retail that develops that exceeds the luxury standards of the most expensive brands in the world on 5th Avenue, NYC.

Analyzing the soul of brands: Apple.
The concept of the layering of brand communications is at once human and at the same time, driven by tiers of experience in graspable expression. Brands can build cultic presence in the global community, revered and evangelized by millions of people. There can be, as well a story — which can be centered on one person, as is the case with Apple’s relationship to Jobs, or Disney — and Walt, or a small retail shop around the corner that ships all over the world and is essentially based on the visioning of one person, perhaps even a friend of yours…Every brand is based on the premise that drives the power of the mission, that is fulfilled in promise finally being reflected in the reciprocity of relationships and networks. Referencing brand structures.

It’s all about passion, love, commitment to vision, and strength, in the long haul, in exploring your dreams of product development, service, beauty, contributions to humanity and the human condition and the life of our world together.

Looking forward to remaining in touch with you all. My profiles are referenced for the Chinese leadership team, as noted below. Email and mobile are also shown, below.

I finish with this, finding the ch’i of your brand…

good luck in your journey:

Brands | love | humans:


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Tim Girvin | GIRVIN | girvin@girvin.com
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New York City + Seattle | Tokyo