My First Ten Minutes

By Cornelius Hummel

As brand strategists, we are generally expected to be comprehensively informed about a brand. This can be challenging when the area is unprecedented and there is little time to do a thorough research. At MetaDesign, we’re lucky to count on a team of highly capable research analysts who can deliver amazing results at short notice. Their work provides the perfect ammunition to surprise clients with a comprehensive understanding of their market right off in the first meeting.


Coopetition: The Power of Many

By Arne Brekenfeld

Never before have markets experienced changes as quick or disruptive as they are today. Fast-paced technological progress, growing environmental and social awareness, and the megatrends of globalization and digitalization present extreme challenges for companies. At the same time, the growing transparency in markets allows people to compare products and services more easily than ever before, thereby totally changing consumers’ research and buying behavior.


Breaking Down the Walls

By Andy Giles

For decades, the way agencies like MetaDesign worked with their clients remained the same: The client defined what they needed and their deadline, and the agency structured a sequential engagement based on work phases over a number of months. During the course of the project, the agency would meet with the client periodically to conduct workshops and present work. Otherwise the two sides would work separately, within their own walls, communicating by email or phone when necessary.


Brand, My Friend

By Nora Schäfer

This was a first. Recently I used social media to contact a company. The lunch I ordered was 45 minutes late, and I asked for a status update via the company’s chat. The chat employee (no bot yet!) explained that the whole city was ordering food due to rain. He told me that I should consider cancelling my order because he could not promise a quick delivery. I was positively surprised by the honest answer from someone I would expect to rank quick revenue over long-term customer satisfaction.


Why So Many Movies Suck

By Matthias Höckh

“A puzzlingly confused undertaking that never becomes as cool as it thinks it is, Suicide Squad assembles an all-star team of supervillains and then doesn’t know what to do with them.” This quote from Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter was one of the more favorable reviews on Suicide Squad, DC’s latest installment of their movie franchise, and it illustrates Hollywood’s current status.


Disproving Ideas

By Cornelius Hummel

In my last post, I wrote about leveraging data to challenge assumptions, which for me as a strategist is crucial for gaining a deeper understanding of a brand or a market. Today, I want to build on this exercise and illustrate that it’s just as important to challenge the thoughts and ideas that we develop along the way.

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Don’t Bore Me

By Jennifer Przywara

Two of the key success factors of content marketing are the relevance and the value of the content being distributed. But how to create valuable content while achieving relevance for both the sending brand and the receiving audience?


The Expressiveness of X’s

By Hozy Rossi

The newsstand of the future has a name, and it’s Texture. Backed by some of the world’s largest publishers, Texture offers unlimited digital access to Vogue, Sports Illustrated, The New Yorker, and a hundred-plus other magazines for the price of a pint or two of beer every month. Neha Hattangdi, who helped design the Texture identity for MetaDesign San Francisco, discusses the project with Hozy Rossi.


Minimum Viable Branding

By Jonas Husemann

Is there a reason a young startup would want to invest in branding even if it hasn’t launched a finished product yet? Yes, there is. Startups still iterating their product offering and value proposition benefit from early branding processes because these help build business and identity to attract potential partners and investors. Classic long-form branding approaches are ideal, but they’re also time-consuming and can be expensive. Considering the special challenges startups face, they need a lean framework that saves time and money.


Is Quiet the New Loud?

By Anika Jessen

Silence: I love blank paper. Silence. Room for a new world. An imagined world to disappear in. Time to dive in and out of this world without anyone recognizing me. Bringing something new with me. I love lasting time periods without interruption.