Open Branding

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"Open branding: In the spirit of transparency, design firm Continuum is partly revealing to the public its creative process. The specific challenge is to create a brand identity for the Design Museum Boston, a nomadic institution that exhibits mainly in the virtual space. For six weeks, Continuum is partnering with Core77 on a blog series that will reveal the firm’s process and progress as it takes on the challenge. Readers are invited to comment but it is not quite clear to what degree they can influence the creative work. It’s a non-commercial client and a low-risk project but in any case, making a creative project transparent – even somewhat haphazardly – is an interesting experiment that is worth following. The more radical experiment would of course be to put the creative control over a project fully in the hands of the “smart crowd” and have the creative team steered by a disperse group of “remote creative directors”- beyond just input comprising of insights and ideas. Other, more radical formats are imaginable: For example, sharing a company’s entire communications (some, more or less tightly managed corporate Twitter accounts are in a way a precursor to this) with the public. This would be radical transparency indeed, and an experiment with unpredictable outcome – will the benefit of enabling reciprocal, collaborative relationships outweigh the risk of reputational landmines and IP violations? Is it IP, in the end, as proprietary “knowledge stocks” (The Power of Pull), that serves as a company’s greatest asset or isn’t it rather the ability to attract talent and grant access to knowledge and skills? There’s another, softer benefit to it: Brand personality comes from being personal. The more transparent and the more vulnerable brands are, the more personal, they more authentic they will appear. Transparency is a prerequisite for authenticity – an unmasked and immediate act of communication." (