Wednesday, October 28, 2015

What is left of Advertising?

“There will be fat years, and there will be lean years, but it is going to rain.” - Don Draper – Mad Men, Season three, Out of Town

What Is Happening To Advertising?

Ever since we entered the advertising world we have witnessed multiple waves of change and challenges, but somehow, this industry has managed to preserve its economic and social purpose.     

Advertising as a function has probably started with the early human societies, but it has only taken a formal description and a clear role as a profession during the last century. Since then, advertising was affected by different trends and movements yet it has evolved and adapted to different situations and innovations till the present time.

This is not meant to be a historical overview of advertising, but based on personal experience and some examples; change and challenges never seem to be the end of the line for advertising but just the sign and the trigger of a new era that brings a new approach and fresh thinking.   

In the 1980s and 1990s it was the expansion era for the multinationals that has gradually brought all the global advertising brand names to almost every market. That was a huge phase of change but the end result was a significant development of the industry in terms of tools, systems, knowhow, and exposure.

The arrival of the Media Buying Units (MBUs) at the dawn of 21st century brought another painful transformation for the ad agencies as it took from them their main source of income to put it under specialized “partner companies”.

Around 2005, we knew another wave of specialized companies that took another bite from the traditional advertising pie. We meant the branding companies, design houses and other specialized brand consultancies.

These are not the only events that influenced advertising over the past 25 years. The industry was always affected by all the economic, social and political events globally and on a regional level.    

The latest wave of change was triggered by the global and massive development of digital communication in its various forms (online, social & mobile). This trend has led to the creation of a new breed of specialized communication services and agencies.

However, this is going to be just another phase of the brand communication saga. New services and technologies will keep arriving and will reorganize the relationship between brand owners and communication specialists. New innovations will always create new services and new types of communication agencies and at the same time, it will make some older services less needed.

The continuous development and democratization of digital tools will eventually offer advertisers more control over their communication activities and budgets.

What Is Lost Of Advertising?

With every wave, the advertising industry has lost important elements and gained some other assets; but above all it has proven that it has plenty of new tricks up its sleeve.

Over the years advertising has lost important sources of income whether by relinquishing certain services to specialized companies or by losing the old comfortable compensation models and adopting more competitive and tight formula.  

Besides the financial question, advertising has lost a lot of its initial “mystique” and influence over clients and brands partly because of the creation of a plethora of consulting services often overlapping with the advertising expertise.

At the same level, advertising as a profession, has also lost much of its “cool factor” that for many decades has attracted the best talent to the industry – and sometimes the worst elements.

A lot of valuable assets were lost over the past three decades mainly because the industry does not have a coherent strategy in place to confront consecutive movements that threaten its existence.

What Is Left Of Advertising?

At this stage of the game, it's going to be, once more, up to the advertising and communication players to sort out what are the most viable options and mainly what makes them most valuable in the eyes of their clients and partners.

The various waves of change have deeply transformed how advertising and communication services are created and delivered but it did not affect the core role of this industry and its main contribution to the business community and to the economy and society at large. Technology and delivery channels will keep changing but the “core role” of communication continues to be relevant and in-demand.

If we take out all the tools, the techniques and the vehicles of communication that are subject to change, what practically will be left of the advertising business?

What is left is the talent and expertise in generating ideas and delivering them in compelling and attractive ways regardless of the production technique or the media channel that will be used.

Once we redefine the role of advertising as “the business of generating communication ideas” we will see threats and opportunities in a totally different light and we will be much more confident and enthusiastic about the future of the industry.

Technology, systems, and media channels with keep changing; but at the same time, Ideas will remain necessary for business and for the development of brands.

Ideas can move people, push sales, drive markets, and change the whole economy.

Ideas can build brands, connect consumers, and transcend cultures to create a shared understanding and a better way of life at a global level.

As long as Advertising will be able to generate unique and compelling ideas it will be able to defy time and change to stay relevant for today and tomorrow.

Jean-Claude Saade

Monday, June 22, 2015

Banking on the Brand

"Shining a light creates shadows” ― Michael Lewis, Flash Boys

The banking sector in the region is developing and facing multiple challenges and many opportunities at the same time. From growing customers’ expectations to the macroeconomic and technological context, change is affecting everything. Yet, the safest bet for banks remains unchanged and it is to build their brands.

Banking on the Brand is a strategic decision that can be implemented by addressing 4 key areas that will need the organization’s continuous attention and dedication:
Relationship, and

Facing constant change, banks need to put Renewal at the heart of their strategy and practice as this is the only way to keep up with changing markets and changing moods. In other terms, Renewal means a continuous drive to keep up with the latest trends to always offer better solutions.

The Renewal strategy does not only cover innovation in products and services but also a genuine renewal in the culture and attitude of the organization and its personnel. To mark major Renewal efforts, a refreshed identity or eventually a branding exercise can be considered only when necessary and required.

The Renewal efforts undertaken by banking institutions will lead to a systematic adoption of new technologies and tools and a continuous adaptation and improvement of products and services to match social and technological advancement.

Currently, banks are heavily focused on the digitization of their channels to improve efficiencies and customer satisfaction. From this perspective, Renewal needs a considerable investment in hardware, software and especially in people with the right profile and mindset who can embrace innovation and improve the brand image and competitive advantage.

From their side, customers expect their bank to adopt the latest technology and offer secure and easy to use services; but will be disappointed when faced with halfhearted innovations and low-grade products. For instance, when a bank is not ready yet to integrate a certain technology in its services it is better to wait and come up with a solid solution rather than offering inferior services that can bring more damage than satisfaction. If the bank is not ready to offer NFC (near field communication) enabled SIM cards, offering an NFC patch or sticker might look odd compared to the competition.    

When it comes to the technology aspect of the Renewal strategy we have to admit that some markets are ahead of others in adopting and implementing the latest technologies in banking. Therefore, what is the “latest incredible innovation” in a certain market is a several years old service in another market in the same region. Some humility and respect to the customer mind will pay off in these situations.

Moreover, market segmentations and diversification of products and services to better address the needs of specific customer groups will also fall under the brand Renewal strategy. Different customer groups will appreciate different services and banking channels.

The brand Renewal and innovation effort is an ongoing battle for excellence and higher customer satisfaction in the banking sector. This is also an area of great opportunity for the most visionary brands to excel and differentiate themselves from the competition to further build their image and reputation.

Reputation has always been a key competitive advantage in the banking sector. Nowadays, it is taking a different and more complex dimension; in other words, Reputation is the spirit of the brand.

Like brand value, Reputation in the digital and social media world is far from being controlled by the brand owners. Reputation is owned by the market and subject to change positively or negatively with every marketing activity, transaction and interaction with the bank. Reputation can also be affected by public mood, nurtured by some media and opinion leaders who sometimes disagree with the growing influence and wealth of the banks.

Reputation is heavily affected by the bank’s communication campaigns and re-branding efforts. Therefore, any communication activity should be well planned and strategically aligned. For the same reason, any branding or re-branding of the bank should have a solid base.

Satisfying customers and retaining their loyalty for a long period of time is a real challenge for banks in the current context. Customers are becoming more open for exploration and change in all categories including banking; and the saying that customers do not change banks is becoming just a myth.

Customers are more informed, demanding and especially sensitive to the idea of being under-serviced by some corporations and brands. Therefore, building a true relationship with the customers of today is a demanding task that would involve the full package of brand touch points. From the brand values and commitments to the daily interactions with employee and digital services, the Relationship with the bank is being built and tested every single minute.

Building a solid and lasting Relationship should not be any more just a personal initiative from the employees or branch managers; it has to be an intrinsic part of the brand strategy and the operational guidelines of the bank.

A true personal experience can demonstrate how easy it is to damage long customer Relationships. I have an account with an international bank that is much known across the region and I have been their customer for more than 15 years with a good satisfaction level in general. Last summer, my wife’s purse was stolen and we immediately tried to stop the credit cards including the one from the bank in question. With local banks, the process was smooth and quick, but contacting the call center of the international bank in question was a complicated and frustrating process that took more than an hour. By that time, the thief managed to use the credit card at a big name showroom (apparently he has a taste for expensive smartphones...) When we contacted the bank to file a claim, the bank refused to take any responsibility. You can imagine the level of disappointment with this particular bank and the learning that we can draw from this true story. Building a Relationship is a serious endeavor that covers all the points of interaction with customers and around the hour. Even if that bank had the best online banking in town and a top notch personal service, their useless and retarded call center made them loose the Relationship battle.

Building a strong Relationship with customers also relies heavily on the physical presence of the bank through its network of branches, ATM machines and eventually kiosks in malls and other selected locations. This is a serious investment. It is true that digital services are reducing the need for direct interaction with the bank, but presence and proximity to customers continue to be an important factor in building and maintaining the Relationship.

Customers (both individual and corporate), and all other stakeholders expect and demand Results. Therefore, in a well-managed banking organization all the previously mentioned strategic areas should work in sync to deliver Results.

Results are not limited to income and benefits. Stability, continuity, security and satisfaction delivered to all stakeholders are important Results.

We can mention two quick examples to elaborate on the Results strategy from banking perspective: one tangible and the other intangible.

A bank that consistently offers lower interest rates to saving accounts compared to other banks of the same size and stature is a bank that is low on Results in the eyes of customers even if it is delivering better Results for shareholders.

A bank that has low levels of customer satisfaction will be scoring low when it comes to Results considering the cost of losing customers and attracting new ones instead of having a smooth and steady relationship for a long time.

As mentioned in the beginning, the challenges of the banking sector are many, but the best marketing advice that could be given is to bank on the brand.

The above mentioned 4 strategic areas will need ongoing improvement and evaluation in order to build a solid and attractive banking brand that can create value to all stakeholders and stand in the face of fast change and fierce competition.

In the online and social media time, banking services would need to become much more easy to use, probably as simple as using any application but with a security fit for the digital age.

Let the best banking brands shine.

Jean-Claude Saade

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Advertising is changing and this time change is going beyond the tools and channels to the concept itself. With the kind of information available to consumers and their growing control over media and information consumption, is the advertising concept still believable? – What’s Next?

New Names for an Old Concept

Advertising agencies have been experimenting and diversifying into new disciplines and services for the past two decades. Digital, integrated, one-stop-shop, specialized agencies, local, glocal, social, traditional media, new media, media-neutral, and all the other names that have been used by an industry that kept changing skins instead of changing mentality.

Behind those different names and services, advertising is still keeping its old concept of using other people’s money to tell other people’s stories to a target audience that was always a mystery in order to achieve vague objectives and results that are rarely measured.

Growing Distrust

After the shameful role of “big-corporate” in the last global economic crisis and the growing availability of information and interaction provided by the internet, consumers are nurturing a growing distrust in big corporations and institutions. The individual consumer is gaining back her/his right for expression and action and voting every minute online and offline to support certain brands and to put down distrustful organizations and business models.

The old advertising concept based on designing and pushing promotional messages on people is being questioned with a growing pessimism and distrust. Beyond its entertaining aspect, the big award ceremonies, and the self-proclaimed gurus remains the naked truth: Advertising is a paid service destined to embellish the image of a company and a brand and to send a commercial message in a compelling and convincing way to the target customers inviting them to do business with that particular brand.

In a very similar situation, media is blurring the borders with political activism and in many cases it is being paid directly and indirectly to push the message of one group, one party and one ideology; therefore, it has lost its impartiality and the trust of the public.

At the same time, people are having continuous online and mobile access to huge amounts of data and will be able to search and share information and opinions about any brand or product. Bearing in mind that the online world is not immune to aggressive business strategies using traffic and data collection.

What is Next?

As far as brands are concerned, the second name of the internet age is “Truth”. Transparency is not an option anymore for brands and businesses; it is a must and a necessary condition. Any lack of transparency might have serious repercussions on the brand relationship with consumers.

A free and transparent flow of information between brands and consumers that is mostly done through the internet is quickly replacing the need for one-way brand communication. This will accelerate the need and the search for the Next form of advertising.

How “Nextvertising” would look like?

1 – Don’t Fear The Future, Create It.
If advertising is bringing real added value to the business table, it will always find new and better ways to deliver this value. To cope with the changing times, advertising should go back to the roots and reinvent its role. Advertising is not about writing copy, designing ads, servicing clients, creating websites, and mobile applications. Advertising is about connecting consumers with brands that have better solutions for their problems. People who are fit to be in the “idea business” should be able to reinvent this role and keep it relevant.

2 – From Telling the Story to Living the Story.
Let us be realistic, less and less people believe the stories that companies and businesses keep telling. It is not about the budget, the media choices, how big is the client company or how creative is the agency. Today’s consumers believe in brand experiences nothing else. In the Next era of advertising brands are going to be the message, and shared experiences are the reasons-to-believe. It is not anymore about storytelling it is about life testimony. Budgets can be shifted from creating a story to covering a real experience and brand contribution in a compelling and positive way. Being a good and caring brand goes beyond merely keep saying that through communication. It requires an authentic and positive experience delivered and shared in a transparent way. It is not the “brand promise” anymore; it is the “brand delivery” and “clear” is the new “clever”.

3 – Ideas before Ratios.
Accountants can manage agencies and run them by ratios to the satisfaction of the big holding groups, but real Advertising lives and dies by ideas. Vision, creativity, innovation, and problem solving are the materials for building solid bridges between brands and consumers. Good management systems are always needed to create the best conditions for ideas to come to life and to grow for the utmost benefit of brands and businesses.

4 – Measure More To Manage Better.
For many years, advertising decision were mostly based on instinct, personal taste, and relationships with limited reliance on measurement and scientific evaluation to guide the process. The big multinational brands have always been known for their heavy usage of research, but the rest of the market was shooting in the dark most of the time. Advertising is an important part in a big professional business chain, and has to deliver on clear marketing objectives. Understanding the brands relationship with consumers/customers on an ongoing basis is necessary for advertising to deliver. Advertising can work on these relationships to offer more choices and recommend better solutions without any conflict with the client’s objectives and interests.

5 – To Be An Industry, Behave Like One.
In the next advertising phase, it will be good to have dynamic industry bodies that can have an active role in regulating and developing the business. Possibly multiple professional organizations that can add value and improve standards in various areas; people can gather by interest, by profession, by cause, and work together to improve and advance the whole business.

As a final word, we believe that this wave of change could be a real advancement opportunity for advertising and its role in business and the economy if we know how to deal with it. One more thing, we hope that ideas and professionalism will finally overcome the circus.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

3Cs for Lebanese Communication

(First Published in ArabAd magazine - October 2013)
“A nation's culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.”
Mahatma Gandhi

Lebanon and Communication

A lot said and written about the Lebanese Miracle and the imaginary bird that rises from its ashes. We have not left any birds except those in supermarkets and the only miracle is that we still have an imaginary country and a passport for those who wish to return for retirement.

Why? – We can give you at least 128 reasons and more but this is not the intention today.

Lebanon and Advertising have a perfect fit made in heaven. If we want to define communication and advertising as using ideas and language to promote and facilitate business and trade, we can trace this practice back to the invention of the Alphabet by the Phoenicians in order to communicate with other peoples and to promote their business and trading activities. Do you think this stretched too much? – No. This is just being Lebanese. 

In the modern times, Lebanon and communication had again a very strong fit that manifested in so many ways. We can also use branding and communication terms to give our diagnosis for Lebanon’s ongoing dilemma. It is a brand with “confused identity” and lack of “unifying purpose” and “rallying promise”.

The Ingredients of Success
The current overall situation in Lebanon is affecting every single aspect of life and in particular an industry that relies heavily on a healthy economy and stability.

Let us try to forget for a moment the famous cliché about how we invented advertising in the Middle East and how we use to rule it and try to understand the real market situation in Lebanon and how can we still develop and boost the communication industry in the country. Is the Lebanese success in communication related to an era that is gone or to a number of necessary conditions that can bring this success again to life? 

We have to admit first that the “Lebanese personality type” has a special talent for communication of all sorts and this is a real piece of Lebanon in every one of us. However, this is not enough to have a healthy and successful industry that can grow and compete.

The proof of the above is the phenomenal success of other cities and countries in the region that managed to gather the right recipe and the right ingredients to create a very successful communication industry at a world-class level.

Let us explore these “ingredients” with the hope that we can use them to “reconstitute” our success in advertising and communication, a success that will last and grow in Lebanon and beyond.

The 3 Cs: Culture, Context & Creativity
If we examine the ingredients of success, we will discover 3 main areas that we need to focus on and we are going to call them the 3Cs.

#1 – Culture
A good advertising and communication industry needs a good culture, a culture rich with ideas and storytelling.

Culture is about the shared language and understanding that makes communication so easy and interesting.

Culture is about the values and the fights that rally groups of people if not the whole nation around certain ideas.

Culture means good education, better universities and more specializations related to advertising and communication. It means new specializations every day to be up to date with global development and to be ahead of the market so our story will be more interesting and attractive.

Culture is about instilling the spirit of entrepreneurship in the new generations so early in life they can learn to start a small business, such as creating a mobile application that can make them millionaires at 14.

Culture is the rich “national cloud” of ideas, stories, jokes, songs and slang expressions that connect people and make them smile and take action.

Culture is freedom to think and to express ideas through all media of all types: traditional, new and social.

Culture is watching much less of the poisonous local news and see international channels to learn and discover.

#2 – Context
Context is a healthy economy that can attract, generate and pump a good flow of capital and resources in the country’s system. The communication industry’s role is to be a catalyst for business. For this industry to grow, it needs other industries to keep creating and selling new products and services.

Context is infrastructure, good roads, good telecom services, excellent internet that connects people and companies inside and outside the country.

Context is favorable legislations to encourage business and favor an easy establishment of new companies and startups.
Context is Free Zones, business incubators and all the widely tested and proved formulas that encourage individual and institutional investors to put their faith and money in new projects in Lebanon.

Context means security, political stability and visibility for business to start, grow and develop.
Context means excellent foreign relations for Lebanon, starting with the all the Arab countries.

#3 – Creativity
Creativity is ideas. Ideas that make or break businesses, brands, countries and political parties.
Creativity is talent. First grade talent nothing less.

Creativity is expression without fear from any form of oppression. 

Creativity is motivation. Motivation to change, to come up with new ideas, new services and products that can change the world.
Creativity is innovation that gives us an advantage over the competition. Whoever was this competition.

Creativity is about knowing ourselves, our country, our strong assets and our limitations and how we are going to change the world.   

The Way Forward

The list can go on and on; but if we want to change and regain the shine of the Lebanese communication industry, everyone can start in her and his area and the collective effort will eventually cover all 3Cs and take us forward.
By the way, the Lebanese communication industry can also lose few Cs for a better future and better business.

The 4th C
The 4th C is a small Cedar tree, a virtual one that is in the heart and soul of every Lebanese, in Lebanon and outside. This is the “country” that is inside every one of us, and that we take with us everywhere we go. This is not about poetry, but about a solid reality built by all the Lebanese success stories around the world and in every industry. This is the very “Lebaneseness” that make us so good in communication, in creativity, in business, in arts, in culture, in survival, and in so many other things. The same Lebaneseness that can succeed everywhere except in building a real country in our homeland.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Branding in the Digital and Social Media Age

“It is not slickness, polish, uniqueness, or cleverness that makes a brand a brand. It is Truth.” ― Harry Beckwith

 Abstract: Every era brings a new set of challenges and opportunities. The current explosion of the digital space and social media has deeply affected the marketing scene and how brands are behaving. We wonder whether the core principles of branding have also changed.

Branding and the Digital Age

Branding, which is the art and science of building and managing brands to deliver more value for businesses and consumers is “in theory” media-neutral. However, the “how” we connects and interact with people and brands is practically defining many aspects of who we are and where our society is heading.

Strong brands are built on a foundation of meaningful brand strategy and distinguished identity systems that makes them attractive and unique to certain groups of people. Whether the interaction with customers is happening in the physical world or online, through one channel or many channels, the core principles of branding are not supposed to change. However, the manifestation of the brand and its connection with consumers have taken a totally new dimension in the digital age.

Suddenly it is the 1990’s again when every brand wanted a website. Now every brand is looking to have a presence on all the main social media networks and to have a smartphone application.

This is adding many layers of complexity to the brand communication system, but also creating new markets and adding new opportunities for brands to interact and connect with consumers and online communities.

With the new horizons that Digital and Social are opening for brands and businesses comes a clear challenge for these brands to be up-to-date, attractive, interesting, and consistent in all their online and social networks interaction with their target groups.

Control Shift
In the traditional communication world, brands and their advertising agencies controlled the communication process and TV had the central and most influential role in building brands and forming public opinion about various topics through the delivery of news, entertainment and advertising.

The theoretical distinction between the interests of advertisers and media was probably a myth – the same applies to the demarcation between politics and media where interference presents serious damage to the concept of democracy and free public opinion.

One of the main characteristics of the present online times is the shift in control from companies to the consumers and users. Brands and businesses do not control what they want to communicate about themselves anymore. Instead of the tightly controlled one-way and single-channel communication activities through traditional media, brands are now in continuous contact with consumers through a growing number of touch points and channels around-the-clock.

Moreover, it is not the brand that decide the time and channel of communication anymore; consumers are now taking more control and the initiative in searching for information and looking up brands online and offline. Besides the information aspect, consumers are having powerful means for sharing and forming opinions and experiences about brands in social media and across the online and digital space.

The Way Ahead
With the continuous development of technology and broadband, the digital world will continue to gain in importance and influence as the main source of information and interaction where brands have to exist and interact with their customers and consumers.

The near future will add another layer of complexity to the equation where the “Mobility” factor will be in sync with digital and online. More people are accessing the internet through their mobile devices and very soon, cars and all other mobility vehicle will be continuously connected to the digital world. People will be connecting their smartphones to smart systems in their cars that will put them “online” all the time with all the possibilities that will be added for social and work activities. To complete the picture, we need to add the “mobility” factor to the equation. Therefore, the future is going to be Digital, Mobile and Connected.

Businesses and companies will have very little control over their communication with customers, but will have to enter the game of digital-mobile-connectivity according to new rules that are based on more transparency and truth. Here branding will have to adapt and evolve to the dynamics of the new digital world. The schizophrenic approach between what brands use to put in their Vision and Mission statements and what they do in reality will have to end – This applies to all sorts of brands, commercial, artistic and political as well.

Brands are using a considerable part of their communication budgets to create an online and digital presence; but this will not necessarily secure for them online and digital success.

People and brands are spending more time online and on social media networks, which is expected to become the norm for an important number of people and for a whole new generation.
Brand Truth
In the new world, all brand activities have to be true to the brand 24/7 as consumers are continuously checking the brand and its activities. In this context, the best advertising for any brand is its true self.

The more touch-points we have, the more consistency, transparency and truth are needed from brands – this is the only golden rule.

Since “branding” has always been a very human concept, the answers to branding questions for the present times can be always found in very basic human behavior. The best strategy not to be caught lying, is to always say the truth.
Branding 3.0
Branding that flourished in the physical world of design and communication will discover unlimited opportunities to connect and build brands and communities online. Like advertising and other brand services, branding has to adapt to the digital world and embrace the great opportunities that are made possible.

In the Digital Age and Social Media reign, the role of branding is becoming even more important. Facing the proliferation of media and the fragmentation of the connection channels, brands will have an increasing need to have a very clear and differentiated strategy and identity to stand out and appeal to their various target audiences.

This clear and differentiated identity will be delivered by both the strategic and creative sides of branding. One clearly defined and expressed brand “Truth” will be able to create a stronger and more enchanting connection with customers and consumers across different media and social networks.

Strategic branding is not going out fashion in the digital world; on the contrary, it is becoming more important and needed to cut through the noise and the over-communication in the market place.

One more time, technological advances and market dynamics are working for the benefit of the consumer by forcing brands to be more transparent and genuinely good in order to be allowed to enter people’s life and their social environment.

This new and enhanced Branding will have a new set of rules to better deliver in the digital age.

The 7 rules of branding in the digital age

1 – Brands should be always ready to connect online and offline 24/7.

2 – Brand experience is the final judgment for brands – brands will always be as good as their last delivery on brand experience.

3 – Online, “Free” is not enough; you have to be “Interesting enough”.

4 – Unless you are already a mega brand, do not expect mega success online. For good brands, it will eventually happen.

5 – Online is Ongoing – brands need a very high energy level to cope and deliver 24/7. If you are not ready or do not have enough content and resources, better to be very selective.

6 – Always innovate, but always stay relevant to the brand core promise – It is possible.

7 – Brand identity and manifestations have to work equally good online and offline.

A brand that is always consistent, always delivering on its promises, and always true to itself and to its customers and consumers will be recognized and praised online and offline. This is a basic expectation from big brands, now it is only more urgent and necessary for their success and survival.

The core principles of brand building remain the same, but branding manifestation and applications have to adopt more transparent and innovative ways partly because of the huge development of the digital realm and social media.

It is true that the past few years have brought a lot new elements to the branding and communication marathon. However, we would like to remind brands and businesses that social media might have invented a very sophisticated running shoe, but it has not invented running.

manifesto is a consulting firm specialized in brand strategy, innovation and communication.