Branding

Levis x Google: Project Jacquard (Branding Magazine, Google, Levis)


Levis and Google have teamed up to create the stylish Project Jacquard, a piece of wearable technology that strives to integrate commuting and communicating, providing cyclists and travellers with easy-access to their smartphone device via interactive panels on the sleeve of a Levi woven jacket.

The jacket is a showcase from Levi and Google, indicating the technological trajectory of both brands. Project Jacquard serves as an effective PR stunt, opposed to a sustained or legitimate product launch. Levi provide the style, Google the substance.

Wearable technology is becoming increasingly more integrated in the daily lives of consumers. Since 2013 and the mainstream inception of the Apple Watch; brands have been attempting wearable innovation in its wake.

The Jacquard is very much a project in it’s initial stages and although the jacket is due to be released to the general public and will be available to the mainstream consumer, it’s production will be extremely exclusive and limited. Project Jacquard perhaps signals a kick-start for Levi, a brand that’s struggled in recent years to truly capture the zeitgeist and attention of lucrative millennial consumers. Brand Google brings obvious connotations of quality and evolution but Jacquard is a unique venture for the search engine giant, as they attempt to combat Apple by breaching the gap between style and technology. The Jacquard Jacket is truly stylish and aligns seamlessly with Levi’s product portfolio, the smart panels are intelligently subtle.

Wearable technology signals a movement towards intimate marketing, strategists need to be aware that consumers are consistently taking technological mediums closer to their personal space, meaning branding impressions must be more personal and tailored than ever. Pieces of wearable technology mean consumers are now engaging with their devices during parts of the day that they were previously absent, the Jacquard gives marketers potential access to a consumers commute, a valuable avenue to capitalise upon.

Patagonia: The Stories We Wear

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Patagonia is a vibrant, current and sustainable outdoor brand that encompasses an integrated marketing approach, appealing to everything I look for in a brands personality, reach and aesthetic appeal.

The campaign ‘The Stories We Wear’ uses an integrated approach to sell the idea of the Patagonia products as a narrative i.e. selling outdoor products (coats, hats, dungarees) as persona’s rather than just products; an effective way of using emotive appeal whilst simultaneously advertising the functionality of the products themselves, with legitimacy and accuracy, a dual approach that appeals to both the consumers logical and emotional approach to purchasing.

The use of short anecdotal YouTube videos combined with the #wornwear hashtag grabbed my attention, reaching me on platforms that I’m familiar and comfortable with. The core drivers of the campaign of storytelling and sustainability, were pushed through effective and varied touch-points. The actual aesthetics of the branding i.e. the white bold lettering set to a washed and filtered backdrop are very zeitgeist, this only added to the advertising appeal. I responded well to this campaign; the product was right and the strengths of the product were outlined effectively by a well produced and polished integrated marketing approach that utilised digital, social media and word-of-mouth marketing.

The company subsequently launched a second-hand range of products which they toured the United States with and despite this not being in the UK, the buzz around it reached my social media feeds. In terms of customer experience, I purchased a Patagonia coat from the online store and their service was efficient whilst remaining colloquial, there emails often prompted no hesitation if there was any issue with the product. This combines appropriately with the idea of The Stories We Wear because it allows Patagonia to build a consistent and strong brand equity and message; a brand personality that is warm, welcoming and well-experienced. Perhaps these are qualities that they wish to reflect in their products, also.

The brand also catered for those looking for retailers, opposed to ordering online. I actually visited one of the stores before purchasing online; so their store location facilities contributed to my purchasing journey, without being able to experience the product first hand, I probably wouldn’t have completed my end action.

LADIES’ NIGHT AT MEET BERNARD (Meet Bernard)

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Last week, we had a hoorah for all things Autumnal, celebrating female fashion in its finest form. We hosted ladies’ night here at our shop, and it was a hoot.

Our Autumn/Winter ‘17 collection has hit the shelves, and we invited some of our favourite ladies-of-London to our store to let us know what they think. Served up with a glass of Prosecco (or three), the event was rather spectacular.

Stylist and beloved friend, Federico Ghezzi was on-hand to glam up those who attended, braiding hair and offering beauty tips and tricks. Ghezzi gracefully added the finishing touches to some eye-catching outfits, as our ladies combined brightly coloured blouses with straight leg trousers.

We also set up a manicure station, courtesy of Greenwich Clipper (who are our neighbours next door), and they treated guests to fabulous nail treatments that had people ooing and aahing from every direction.

This season is all about bright and luxurious woollen jumpers. Delicate blends of merino and alpaca wool give a soft-to-the-touch feel, encompassing people in a true feeling of warmth and comfort. Dress the brightness down with a pair of understated tailored trousers and turn up the style with a strong pair of white sneakers, or keep them long for a more elegant 60’s look.

So ladies, it’s important to stay you this autumn. Don’t be daunted by the frost and the flurry’s, layer up and express yourselves.

A TOAST TO WINTER FASHION: WHAT TO EXPECT (Meet Bernard)

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The nights draw in, socks pulled up, collars fastened, boots laced, scarves tied and hats donned: winter has arrived.

With winter glistening on the near horizon and the frost biting at our toes, we want to ensure you’re prepared for the colder-weather but only in classic Meet Bernard style. You know what to expect. This winter it’s all about Scandinavian chic, sleek muted designs and luxurious pallets of colour providing warmth inside and out. Inspired by Northern Europe’s minimalist style that celebrates everything communal, our Winter 2017 collection features plenty of signature pieces.

We’re stocked with a stack of wool knitted jumpers made with 100 percent lamb’s wool, a blend renowned for its ability to keep you warm and toasty in frosty conditions, but also for it’s serious comfort and versatility. Pair together with military green trousersfrom YMC (which, by the way, are on sale right now) and a strong pair of ever reliable Alice Boots from Grenson, you’ll confidently stroll through this dark and mysterious season without a trip nor stumble.

For those oddly cooler days, where the London fog rolls in and the humidity sets, button up with one of our uber-stylish Rains jackets. The Rains Alpine gives a modern twist on what is frankly a timeless look, a knee-length mackintosh. We also love their colour range, select from Moon, Rose, Teal and Navy.

Winter is actually our favourite season here at Meet Bernard, it gives you the opportunity to layer up and dress down, stay snug and effortlessly stylish. We want to help you find those ‘you’ pieces this season, the ones where you feel completely at home but also completely on trend. Orange is in. Take a sneak peak at our Folk Clothing jumpers for an authentic look this winter.

Whether you’re strolling out, or wrapping up by the fire; we’ve got you covered. A stylish piece makes an ideal gift with Christmas just around the corner, encourage your loved ones to shine this festive season.

Prince’s Trust funds Photography business for Uni Drop Out

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The Prince’s Trust Enterprise is a UK initiative that looks to support and nurture 18-30 year olds looking to embark on their own business ventures. The fund encourages motivated entrepreneurs to kick-start their business concepts by providing financial sponsorship and relevant expertise.

Ross Andrew Powell is a Uni drop out turned professional photographer and his exciting brand of photography, under the name of Ross Andrew Photography is celebrating the close of its first year of trading. In a single year Ross has achieved a great deal; building an impressive social media following and using his Trust funding wisely, with smart investments in a Photobooth Rental Package and a strong brand identity. Ross, we’re loving the branded polo shirts.

There’s a story behind his rise. Like many great entrepreneurs before him, Ross decided to drop out from his creative writing degree; battle the external pressures of societal expectation, family misconception and his generally self-established high standards.

It hasn’t all been plain sailing but Ross knew where his heart was.

After rapidly realising Uni wasn’t for him, Ross faced a huge amount of personal turmoil. He witnessed university friends embarking on master degrees and others successfully completing their undergraduate experience. But Ross loved his photography and knew he could be the master of his own destiny, this was at the core of everything he wanted. He took the plunge.

Ross hopes others will reach out to the Princess Trust and take the courage to embark on their own entrepreneurial journey. Ross had an exciting concept and most importantly the self-belief to launch his own business, he just needed the “you know what, that’s a good idea, I’ll give you a chance” from the Princess Trust.

With the world at his feet, Ross has overcome the first and largest hurdle, getting started. His business now offers extensive photography packages and a quick glance at his Facebook reviews shows customers quickly turn to brand advocates, with high-praise flowing for his amazing snaps and professional service.
Keep killing it.

Stories are everywhere, you just need to look closer (The Writers Cooperative)

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This piece is both simultaneously a ‘how to’ on beating writers block but more importantly, this is a guideline on how to find great stories from your everyday surroundings. A story can be found during your everyday tasks or even just on your train journey home. There really is a narrative to be found wherever you look!

This is good news. Descriptive storytelling is a great exercise to maintain your daily writing practice or useful after a long day at work, when those creative juices might be drying up but you’re still wanting to finish the day with a quick medium article, or entry in the journal.

Besides, descriptive storytelling is some of THE best storytelling. Writers like Jack London, Jack Kerouac and even George Orwell built their trade on meandering narratives consisting of rich description, building wonderful stories from a slow bus journey to the mid-west, or brilliant characterisation from a greasy apron, an eyepatch and cracked-yellow teeth.

Practice makes perfect with this writing method but anyone can do it, so it’s important to write down everything you noticed in your day. That starts with paying closer attention to the aspects of your day which might otherwise have flown past. It requires mindful thinking. Try and notice the clatter of the traffic, or the humidity of the train carriage, or the sunshine yellow of your neighbours dress, or the tantalising aroma of salted beef in the local bagel shop.

Mindful description adds a narrative to even the most mundane situations and you can even start combining your anecdotes to create a bigger story, but that’s for another day.

Be meticulous. Everyday I catch the same train to my office in central London, my brain usually goes into automatic mode but if I really open up my mind, it’s a gold mine for descriptive goodness. This style of storytelling only works if you include every detail, so lets have a practice.

Attempt 1, start by simply describing where you are and what you see:
I board the train at Cutty Sark, Greenwich — I choose the right side of the escalator so I can descend quicker and squeeze my way through the crowds to a position just left of centre. The train arrives, it’s very busy as usual, but I manage to find a space in the corner to read the morning newspaper (the metro, it’s free and there’s always one to hand at the station entrance). The journey takes about 20 minutes, with a further 10 minute walk at the other end to my office.

Not the most riveting piece of prose but it’s a start, and already I feel my inner wordsmith waking up, lets try add some description and a bit more character to the same event:

Attempt 2, add some colour, some smell, some personality and spark up your creative juices: My usual commuter train pulls in to Cutty Sark Station, home of the world’s first tea ship the Cutty Sark, at exactly 8:10am. Fellow commuters shuffle past, fastening ties, rubbing tired eyes. I grab a creased metro from the mounting pile outside the station gates, the headline doesn’t grab my attention so I flick straight to the sports pages. As I enter the station, the crowds gather, so with a click of my heels I’m sidestepping the tailback, opting for the faster route down the right-hand side of the escalator. The platform is rammed. Amongst stuffy suits and irritable glances, I find my place on the platform, just left of centre. The carriage arrives, it’s heaving. I push through bodies and find a spot by the window, big enough to open my newspaper. After 20 whole minutes of this sweaty commute, I’m ready to emerge into the relatively cleaner air of central London, from there I walk a further 10 minutes to my office in sunny Shoreditch.

So there you have it, it’s easy to construct a short story from even the most trivial of instances. I find this a really constructive writing exercise for when I just have that burning urge to write but my creativity has let me down. Remember, if you can’t create, just describe; you’d be amazed by what you can document when you really use your senses. Happy describing.

Peace.


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