DNA of Brands with riCardo Crespo
This fall quarter, on September 26, riCardo Crespo will return to UCLA Extension to offer his action-packed workshop, The DNA of Brands. In it, you'll learn to find the lowest common denominator of a brand in order to distill its core essence and drive brand continuity both internally and on a global scale. There are diagrams involved, FYI, but riCardo makes them easy to understand. I was in a meeting with him in Manhattan Beach (I know, fancy for a public servant, right?) when I first saw him draw his key diagram on a napkin. It made me feel a little like I was meeting with Don Draper (although this was before Don Draper existed, technically, but I'm retroactively fitting the meeting into a Mad Men framework).
riCardo Crespo has real-life experience (as compared to say, working at Sterling and Cooper) and is a Worldwide Creative Director for Hot Wheels(tm) at Mattel, Inc. He was formerly in creative leadership positions with McCann Erickson Worldwide Advertising, Saatchi & Saatchi, and Bozell Worldwide. The guy knows what's up on a seriously international tip, in terms of brand continuity and adaptation for other markets. It makes for an interesting talk.
So, here is a short interview about the world of advertising, which is also like a mini-preview for the workshop:
Tell us about a recent project that you are proud of, please.
Based on the applied principles of brand-mining, recently worked on the strategy and creative direction development plan for a marquee brand. The strategy was instrumental in aligning all cross-functional teams to end up in a single voice for the brand while fostering separate, yet collaborative development across all teams. All teams had a clear vision of the end result while having tangible and attainable development milestones, which were objectively reviewed with agreed metrics beforehand.
In 5 years, what major changes do you see?
Same as was forecasted five, even 10 years ago... that at the end of the day, brands are experiences and that those experiences need to be a direct result of what consumers want, not what we think, or hope the brands will be. Speak to consumers in engaging ways and when you tell compelling, persuasive brand stories, you are not selling, you are fostering dialogue back to your brand through their repeated and personal decisions to experience your brand. This dialogue leads to loyalty and relationships that are the DNA of successful brands.
What inspired you to get in the field? What keeps you motivated?
My inspiration? That someone wanted to pay me for the passion and creativity that was innate to solving communication challenges, and tell stories because of brands, not intentions of brands. Creative direction and strategic design is incredibly fulfilling, because no two challenges are the same; that diversity elevates our ability to progress and ultimately, our creativity. What keeps me motivated? Repeat my first sentence.
For more info or to register for the workshop, go to UCLA Extension.
For a sit-down interview with riCardo, go to YouTube.
For more insight from riCardo go to Accidental Creative.