Tag Archives: Branding

An Unexpected Journey: To the heart of design influence…

My move to Adobe was unconventional. An unexpected journey in many ways. But I am certainly not alone. Not in Adobe or possibly many other organizations elsewhere.

For many years I dabbled with branding and communications – creating many brand identities and communication strategies to differentiate and position new entrants or incumbents in overcrowded and fiercely competitive marketplaces. Working cross media – in digital, print and 3D has its unique advantages and the need to constantly look at the big picture without losing sight Continue reading

Ploughing on…

My last post dwelled on the Fiat spreading its brand values too thin – and of some of the emails I have had from you, including one of my former students pointed me to the Dodge Nitro ‘planet’ advert. And my good old academic instinct of ‘compare and contrast’ finds the perfect springboard. Dodge and Fiat. Its all about cars – but these two brands are worlds apart.


Dodge knows it customers – and in every generation there are customers who seek out their Dodge machines. Dodge leverages on its military tradition – being suppliers of ‘tough’ vehicles to the army. Many of the customers know that these cars have nothing to do with the Dodge family – the brothers sold the company in 1925 and after several mergers and acquisitions, its currently part of the Diamler-Benz stables, who in turn have carefully kept the brand distinctive and as undiluted as it possibly could.

Some of you (esp the B-Schools types) may recall Prof. Porter’s theory of Competitive Advantage – its either differentiation or cost leadership – or the third, a tricky path, is to focus on a certain segment while maintaining cost leadership. The Professor warns of a certain consequence of not following either – “stuck in the middle”! Does that describe Fiat? And can its new logo, revisiting the past, et al help it come unstuck? Dodge, in the meantime keeps ploughing on – its entrenched itself into a position that seems like home. Environmentally friendly, it isn’t – and it isn’t trying to be. Not as yet. Ploughing through the depths of the earth, knocking a few of those extinct creatures unconscious, isn’t really much of a bother for the head strong brand.

Unlike the Dodge advert, the Dodge website – while being informative (and ever so slightly overloaded), lacks the imaginative touch or the creative spark of its adverts – or any ability to bridge the wide gap between media campaign and online communication.

2009 Dodge Viper

2009 Dodge Viper