A Time for Reinvention



We are pleased to present our first blog issue of "CultureCue". For six years CC has been a mini publication with a website counterpart, featuring projects and sharing insights on the topic of branding and promotional business practices.


Like many businesses seeking to better connect with new and existing audiences, we’re creating a blog format. It’s a great way to raise the visibility and accessibility of CultureCue, integrating it with Riordon Design's new website. This initiative is to model what we see happening at large with many of our clients as a convergence of media. So while we'll continue to produce the print version, our intention is to build a larger audience online.


The trap with success is being so defined by a particular thing that you become owned by it. Paradoxically, success can have a crippling effect on reaching the next mountaintop or new breakthrough. Moving beyond one success to another seems to be what distinguishes the good from the great. Many companies and heroes become content with an exceptional accomplishment. Others are not content to be so defined, but are always in pursuit of something greater still. When I look at some of the most successful examples of this in the current era, I think of companies like Apple, or recording artists like Madonna. It takes great vision and discipline to prevail in spite of the ups and downs of history; great success, failures, setbacks, changes in perception and demand. Besides ambition and risk, I’ve noticed another aspect at work in the iconic performers of our time. Reinvention.



If I were to sum up the corporate landscape from my vantage point, I might call this an epoch of reinvention. The ability to adapt and have a heads-up on the next wave in the market, or in fact to help make that wave by being there first—it’s really what staying on top of your game is all about.


We have seen our industry go through exponential change in the last 15 years. Many have been lost in the shuffle. Our business of branding, communications and design has morphed into something quite unlike what it was in the early years. We're no longer afforded personal opinion when it comes to creative development of a brand expression, but rather calculated and informed strategies now drive all creative development. We're no longer just about designing static content, but rather “edutaining” with kinetic media such as video and interactive components. The momentum in our culture to engage within this context is pervasive, impacting the expectations of corporate communications and marketing in a significant way. Those who wish to remain competitive need to think in these terms. This is not only true for our business but for yours as well.


I personally get energized by change—I like to learn new things. Maybe it's the wannabe film director in me, but the idea of creating stories and information in motion represents exciting possibilities. Television advertisers have been using the power of film for years to get us all humming their jingles and mimicking their one-liners. Clearly the Internet affords the same medium to those who have the foresight to see the changing tides in corporate communication. What was only available to national advertisers is now possible for any business with the vision to do so.




Another evolving concept in our ever changing reality is the idea of “brand surround”. By that I mean considering a corporate environment to be a form of brand expression. More than signage, a workspace or location can create valuable perception—it projects who you are and what you’re all about—an opportunity to convey brand authenticity, often more vital and integral than getting that logo on a stationery package.


What do you represent? What are you about? How do you wish to express that through your environment and communications? These are the kinds of questions that lead to relevance. So enjoy the stories and share them with your colleagues and friends. Who knows, maybe we can create some stories together.


I trust you'll find this blog informative and inspirational. As always we look forward to hearing from you. I welcome your comments and response. ric@riordondesign.com