May 07, 2013
Urban Outfitters is spot on when it comes to their kitschy email blasts. They mix web graphics circa 1997, over-the-top animated gifs, hand-drawn type, wacky textures, and sassy subject lines. Their language is tongue in cheek and free of traditional retail jargon. Plain and simple: The “Get What You Really Wanted Sale” on December 26 and “Get Your Shit Together for 2013” on January 1. I can’t unsubscribe. You got me, Urban. You got me good.
Melting over a Brand for Grilled Cheese
If you’re a foodie and don’t know of Melt . . . what’s wrong with you? This grilled cheese joint itself is an experience—filled with Cleveland memorabilia and rock ’n’ roll antiquities (even their menus are old vinyl sleeves). If you get a Melt logo tattoo, you get a 25% discount for life! It doesn’t feel like a Panera chain with lame art on the walls; instead it has a great branded look. And this is all for grilled cheese. Crazy, right?
Being from Cleveland, I’m excited to see a local restaurant grow so fast in this economy. Combining simple food with an exciting environment and mission—that’s a brand success story. Amirite? Now we just need a chili and beer bar.
Microsoft Breaks Out the Windex
For years, Microsoft has been the ugly duckling of the technology world. Enter a completely redesigned visual language called Metro, with a flat, simple, square window design. Those squares are seen not only in the logo, but also just about everywhere within Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. Metro may be the key to Microsoft’s success in an age where a product’s visual appeal is nearly as important as its function.
Microsoft has always been at the forefront of programming innovation, but it’s starting to place more emphasis on product design. With Apple’s steady success and Google’s continual remodeling of Android, it’s clear that the consumer demands a product that is not just easy to use, but also easy on the eyes. Could Microsoft be at the forefront of design and programming with its flat, clean Metro language? Maybe. For iOS 7, the iPhone’s next operating system, Apple has told developers to ditch folders and icons in favor of a flat-interface design.
Give and Get
Roozt is an e-commerce site that empowers entrepreneurs to sell their products for a cause (and in turn help the world). The best part is the options it gives me: I can choose to shop by gender, article of clothing, or accessory, or I can get crazy and shop specifically for a certain cause.
The site knows who it’s talking to and how to talk to them. Every day it’s more apparent that my generation cares about causes that benefit the greater good. Philanthropy is really important to us. Roozt gets that and gives us the chance to give back and get something special all at the same time.
Celebrate Your Quirks
Brands have always attempted to stay ahead of the curve by trying things that are new and unfamiliar. But I’d propose that you can actually be much more memorable by being yourself. For example, Wes Anderson, the independent film director, makes no effort to be ahead of the curve. He simply tells stories the way he wants to see them—with crazy characters, hilarious storylines, beautiful sets, bright colors, and a very distinct style of filming.
Anderson has made a name (or a brand) for himself by paying close attention to the details of his movies. By doing this, he has built a cult following of fans who obsess over his signature style. Case in point: this supercut made from the array of overhead shots that appear in his films.