Conran: Booty on Brands

“Who really wants to see the company portfolio on a hot summer’s Friday night?” I pondered as I planned my missive for a social event, ‘Glug’, I spoke at two weeks ago… Instead ‘The impossibility of imagining the future’ was my salty bar snack.

Glug organise once monthly ‘no agenda’ gatherings of designers, creatives, makers, clients and friends at a variety of locations – an unashamed after work Friday night lashing.

The narrative was how brands have to ‘kill their holy cows’ in order to stay ahead of the game and remain relevant to their consumers, (I’ve been feeling untouched by Apple of late). How to do this takes monumental creativity and rigour. How brands must remain truthful. How the to-do list needn’t stifle creativity, citing Picasso and Dumas as two vigorous list-makers. But how ‘the big idea’ doesn’t come from the to-do list. A simple and visual plot to present, or so I thought.

Arriving at the venue on the sea front I was hit by a huge sense of déjà-vu – the aromatic mix of spliff and cider. Straight back to my art foundation course in the late 80s. A dark and dingy club humming with lots of busy and interested chat it wasn’t quite the earnest powerpoint I’d anticipated. Behind the DJ decks the projector set up for abstract VJ motion wasn’t grasping focus of our collective presentations – my ‘pertinent’ slides became psychedelic mush.

The talk itself. The audience merrily chatted through our presentations, paying no attention at all. The microphone screamed with feedback and everyone else showed their company portfolio and looked glum up on stage. I was a bit baffled as to what to do, very apparent what I’d prepared was not going to get much attention, if only I had a show-stopper vaudeville up my sleeve.

The result was I was very grateful to the dozen or so of the cider crowd who stood attentively and listened to my bar rant and said kind words afterwards. What did I learn from it? The clue was in the title, ‘Glug’. I should never have practiced or performed with the gravity of sobriety but got stuck into the cider instead.

Emma Booty is Head of Branding at Studio Conran

More about GLUG

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Filed under Conran Columns: Booty on Brands, STUDIO CONRAN

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