Category Archives: Branding

Connecting Business, People and Technology from ‘Best of Dutch Design’ in Discover Benelux Magazine September 2015

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to give an interview about my company CREATIVE COMPANION. You can find the results of this talk in the September Issue of Discover Benelux in the section ‘Best of Dutch Design’.

CREATIVE COMPANION  on page 29:

CREATIVE COMPANION - Discover Benelux - Best of Dutch Design

Quote:
I work like a jazz musician: great music comes from great collaboration! Christof Zürn

Thank you 2013

Last year I had the pleasure to work on interesting projects with nice people.

Thank you all for working together and the nice time we spent. Curious what 2014 will bring.

Brand Patterns and Leitmotives – Music Thinking Inspirations for Branding and Design

When designing a brand it is necessary to have a shared understanding about the why, what and how of a brand. This can be written down and visualized in a manifesto together with the brand DNA, vision, mission, ambition and the brand values, personality, promis and expressions. But this is just like the musical score. To really ‘live the brand’ it has to be performed and adapted everyday together with  your audience.

Music Thinking:
Here are two musical concepts that could inspire and engage brand professionals to think about the brand consumer relation to add value to both sides: first to the consumer, then it will pay back to the brand.

Pattern

Marc Shillum is approaching the filed of branding from a pattern thinking perspective:  Brand as Patterns. He states the most important feature of a successful brand is not just consistency, but rather the ability to continually reinvent the brand image according to what is most relevant at the time. In short, a successful brand must have a long term goal, but the short term strategy of how to get there must be continually reworked to remain coherent and relevant in a contemporary context.

Besides patterns there are more concepts that can bring context and meaning. In the Wagner Year it is worth to have a look on the contextual building blocks Wagner is using in his compositions: ‘das Leitmotiv’.

Leitmotiv

Leitmotives are musical phrases like story elements that does not imitate the sound of – for example – ‘crackling logs’, but make you feel the heat, thread and magic of fire. If you want to enjoy the music you don’t have to necessarily know everything about it, but ‘the more you know, the more beautiful it gets’.

Watch a great ‘musical introduction’ to Wagner’s Götterdämmerung with Kurt Masur and Jessy Norman and learn everything about the coding and decoding with Leitmotivs in film music like star wars and Wagner’s music.

From a branding point of view many different elements should make a ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ so that the consumer can enjoy, be engaged and get an emotional bond with the brand without knowing exactly every detail.

But to create a brand it takes a lot of listening skills and contextual vision. Maybe the most importing thing: the music is not ready when the score is written. It has to be performed with real people for real people – again and again.

‘There is joy in repetition’ Prince

What the economy could learn from Richard Wagner – the man, the work, the brand

The world will celebrate the 200th anniversary of composer Richard Wagner, this makes 2013 ‘the Wagnerjahr’. In their last edition of the year german financial newspaper “Handelsblatt’ is also focussing on ‘all the things to come’ and dedicated the cover story to Richard Wagner.

The story illustrates the many perspectives of Wagner: the innovator, the storyteller, the free spirit, the entrepreneur, the marketing strategist and I would like to add the ‘Music Thinker’ (more on music thinking see below).

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The visionary Wagner was driven by his mission to change the world with his idea of the innovative music drama into a unique ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’.
To realize his goal he was able to ‘think as a musician and act as a designer and entrepreneur’. He used his many skills without any compromise against all odds and struggles along the way like a 19th century Steve Jobs. He designed the interior of his music hall in Bayreuth with the focus on acoustics above comfort: the simple chairs are made from wood (fabrics would absorb the sound), the musicians are hidden in a deep orchestra pit so the audience would not be distracted, there is no heating and no climate control.

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When Wagner began to write his masterpiece – the 16 hour lasting ‘Der Ring des Nibelungen” – he was 34, at the world premiere in Bayreuth he was 63. The story is about love, power, leadership, greed, betrayal, ruin and destruction; or as conductor Christian Thielemann put it ‘what happens when modern man is losing sight of himself while striving for property and wealth’.

There are many connections possible with our modern world and politics. Every year captains of industry and politicians like Angela Merkel sit side by side to experience the man, the music and the brand Richard Wagner –  hope they get inspired to hear, see and do the right things in the context of  our Gesamtkunstwerk.

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Trending in 2013

For inspiration and speculation I put 4 terms into Google Trends (2012 view):

  • Richard Wagner
  • Financial Crisis
  • Service Design
  • Music Thinking

Interesting that the Financial Crisis is on it’s decline (at least in search volume nota bene), Service Design and Richard Wagner are meandering through the year with two peaks for Richard Wagner; Music Thinking is still a ‘hidden secret’.

GoogleTrends-Wagner-MusicThinking

You can help to change this in 2013 with tweeting #musicthinking for inspiring ideas in music and beyond!

Music Thinking

“Music Thinking is the use of thoughts, learnings, ideas and inspirations that are derived from all kinds of music, sonic phenomena, sounds, musical instruments, tools, techniques, metaphors, patterns, brands, behaviours and music business to inspire and motivate in a new way of thinking to reach goals, solve problems or just to have fun.”

Christof Zürn  (www.musicthinking.com)

More than 10.000 views on SlideShare

Just got a mail from slideshare that my presentations & documents have been viewed more than 10.000 times,  wow that’s cool –  a moment to celebrate!

Here are the Top three:

and there are some more: http://www.slideshare.net/creacomp