“Disruptive brands are reinventing the way we work and behave . . . ”
-John Diefenbach, Disruptive Brands/Disruptive Leaders
For half a century, the global markets and the technologies that drive the global markets have been manifested and illustrated by brands. Today, we live in a wide world where we have come to expect internet brands to disrupt businesses, often changing the game by inventing or re-inventing the way we work and behave. One could say that brands like Amazon, eBay, Facebook and Google, not in existence less than 20 years ago, are now among the most important and well-recognized brands of today’s economy. How did we get to this place of expectation about the adventurous and positive role of new companies in society?
John Diefenbach, Chairman of MBLM, explores the history of branding in his web series, Disruptive Brands/Disruptive Leaders, transitioning through the 1980’s and 1990’s toward global consumer facing brands. A branding luminary, John has worked across the world and has a particular passion for brands where national culture is involved. His clients have included British Airways, Lufthansa, South African Airways, Kodak, Mercedes, Disney, Coca Cola, and the Alfred Nobel Foundation.
Google is innovating again, this time by introducing a new way for businesses of all shapes and sizes to raise their profile and connect with consumers on the web. Called Google Business View, the technology brings a business to life with a high quality, 360 degree, interactive virtual tour that lets consumers experience and explore panoramic views of retail shops, restaurants, clubs, galleries, event spaces, gyms, services, and facilities of all kinds. The virtual tour appears on the businesses’ website, and – here is the kicker – is visible on Google Search results, Google Maps, and Google+. The images can also be used for various other advertising and marketing purposes.
The prime movers of Google Business View are a small and select cadre of photographers – dubbed Google Trusted Photographers – who are stringently trained to take high-quality photographs of interiors and facilities, and certified to access the Google technology and know-how that turns the pictures into a dramatic panoramic interactive showcase for potential customers. It is their expertise, combined with Google’s power, that can make companies standout.
Recently, I had a chance to speak with a prolific and successful Google Trusted Photographer, Jeffrey Rosenberg, who has brought Google Business View to several businesses on the North Shore of Long Island, New York. His recent photographic shoots have run the gamut from large and extensive venues — such as a renowned golf club and a venerable catering hall — to more contained locations including a dental office, an eyeglass store, and a hair salon.
For every two graphic designers, it seems, there are three opinions. I’ve been studying answers to questions we pose each year to our People To Watch and Students To Watch — favorite book, fine artist, music, website, etc. — to mine for clues as to what you all are thinking, feeling, planning, doing. As usual, it is largely a fruitless and patternless task. For example, the 2014 design students cumulatively listed 55 favorite bands; not one single musician is mentioned twice. Another example: this year’s group of working designers mentioned 51 fine artists, with no overlap but for two mentions of Miro and Picasso.
Nonetheless, I did manage to find a couple of points of consensus. One relates to favorite gadgets: the Apple “i’s”, as in iPhone, iPad, iPod, are popular. Yawn.
Movies turned out to present a more intriguing accord. Among this year’s People To Watch cohort, Blade Runner is the clear favorite.