Google. Amazon. Microsoft – who will win the Cloud war?

We live in the most competitive times possible, especially in the technology and online markets, with knowledge and advances added daily. Cloud computing is the delivery of on-demand computing services — from applications to storage and processing power — typically over the internet and on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Instead of owning their own computing infrastructure or data centers, companies can rent access to anything from applications to storage from a cloud service provider. One benefit of using cloud computing services is that firms can avoid the upfront cost and complexity of owning and maintaining their own IT infrastructure, and instead simply pay for what they use, when they use it. And that, while providers of cloud computing services can benefit from significant economies of scale by delivering the same services to a wide range of customers.

source: RightScale

In January 2018, RightScale conducted its annual State of the Cloud Survey. The survey questioned technical professionals across a broad cross-section of organizations about their adoption of cloud infrastructure. The 997 respondents range from technical executives to managers and practitioners and represent organizations of varying sizes among many industries. Respondents represent companies across the cloud spectrum, including both users (19 percent) and non-users (81 percent) of RightScale solutions. Their answers provide a comprehensive perspective on the state of the cloud.

The full report can be downloaded here.

The Best 10 CSR Campaigns Of The Last Years

More than ever a company’s sustainability and CSR efforts are important and highly regarded by consumers and other brands in the market.

Although both clients and agencies let their creativity run wild on this type of campaign, looking for the most appealing, insightful, and emotional manner to get to the consumer, realizing a good, strategic, and creative CSR campaign is not such an easy task as some might think.

Therefore, in no particular order, we decided to present you 10 of the most interesting, smart, and beautiful CSR campaigns of the world in the last years, that really impressed us and hopefully will inspire you as well.

The Best 10 CSR Campaigns of the last years

1. Marks & Spencer – “Shwopping”

Every item you place in one of our Shwop boxes helps to put an end to poverty. Your Shwopped items are resold, reused, or recycled and allow Oxfam to fund all sorts of vital projects around the world.

Incredibly, since 2008 the M&S and Oxfam Shwopping partnership have collected over 20 million items, worth an estimated £16 million for Oxfam’s work.

So next time you’re clearing a space in your wardrobe, drop any unwanted clothes into your bag and drop them off in a Shwop box at your nearest M&S. It’s so easy.

2. National MS Society – “Off My Wave”

After decades of surfing, local legend Steve Bettis was diagnosed with progressive MS in 2006. While surfing is still central to his life, he hasn’t been able to get on the water in 10 years.

National MS Society and professional surfer Robert “Wingnut” Weaver worked together to create a virtual-reality experience to get Steve back on a wave.

Share your own experience with someone at WeAreStrongerThanMS.org.

3. Under Armour – “I Will What I Want”

The campaign speaks to women who do not need permission, advice, or affirmation from others in order to achieve their dreams.

Droga5 developed an extensive campaign that kicked off with a film featuring ballerina Misty Copeland who proves that inner strength and sheer will can trump adversity.

4. Misereor – The Social Swipe

This was the world’s first interactive advertisement display able to accept credit card donations.

All potential donors had to do to donate €2 to German international development charity MISEREOR was swiping their credit card through a specially designed poster. Once they’d done this, they received instant feedback on what their gift would achieve.

There were two creative executions. On one poster the credit card cut through the image of the bound hands of an imprisoned Filipino child.

On the other, the donors could use their credit cards to cut a slice of bread from a loaf. The bread represented the cost to provide a daily meal for a family in Peru.

Moreover, donors were given the chance to turn their one-off gift into a regular gift through a request on their bank statement.

5. Unilever – Farewell To The Forest

Unilever has set out to protect one million trees in Brazil and Indonesia.

This is all part of a wider scheme to halve the environmental footprint of their products by 2020 – a fast-approaching deadline.

Between them, London-based Ogilvy & Mather, and Argentinian Ogilvy spin-off DAVID have created a touching film to promote this goal.

6. Samsung – Bringing Light To Ethiopia

Samsung’s partnership with the Korea International Volunteer Organization has brought solar-powered lanterns to areas where electricity is scarce.

This resource has helped children, like Aster, help their family. With added light, she is self-sufficient and able to: make more baskets, save money, and provide for her family.

7. Ad Council – #IamAWitness

“I am a Witness” for Ad Council introduced the world’s first emoji created for a social cause.

The emoji, which is now on every iPhone and Android phone, is a way of combating not just bullying but also any apprehensiveness about stepping in that witnesses may be feeling.

Eighty-eight percent of teens that use social media reports witnessing others being mean or cruel on social networking sites.

There are a lot of anti-bullying efforts speaking to bullies and victims, but, one key audience is rarely targeted: those who are witnesses.

Ad Council’s “I Am A Witness” campaign activates the “silent majority” of teens who witness it each day, transforming them from passive bystanders into a united, empowered, and active collective that will speak up against bullying.

The target audience was teens, ages 11-17—a difficult audience to reach through traditional media efforts—with the goal of getting them to understand and use a new campaign emoji to shut down instances of bullying.

8. Nivea – Mom’s Touch

Skincare brand Nivea India touched our hearts with its recent social initiative #MomsTouch which brought forth stories of extraordinary mothers.

Nivea partnered with Aseema Charitable Trust, an organization dedicated to providing quality education to children from marginalized communities.

The social media-driven campaign portrayed the story of some extraordinary mothers who want the best future for their children, despite having faced adversities all throughout their own lives.

Viewers could join in the noble cause either by sharing the video on their social networks or by direct donations to the charitable trust. Each time one shared the film, Nivea contributed 100 grams of rice.

9.  Lenovo-Yuwa – #PitchToHer

Yuwa, a not-for-profit organization that teaches girls to play football to make their lives better, partnered with Lenovo for #PitchToHer – a social campaign that invited the brightest minds to pitch smart ideas that can impact the lives of these girls through technology. The idea that convinced them won a month-long sponsored internship.

The agency behind the campaign, Experience Commerce introduced the girls to the wonders of technology.

They placed their village Hutup on Wikipedia and Google Street View.

They played songs, learned to use Makey-Makey kits, and created music with them.

They also experimented with lighting up solar jars, GoPro cams, and light painting.

10. Jet Blue – Flying It Forward

The campaign asked consumers to submit where they would go if they had a free flight to spread good.

The best idea then won a free ticket.

Once awarded, the plane ticket was then passed on to the next do-gooder.

Top 10 Tips for Branding Yourself

source: Working Voices

Living in the era of social media power, when the information is the key and in everybody’s reach, finding oneself’s niche and becoming known is getting a more and more difficult task to accomplish. Even at first glance it seems the reality is exactly the opposite, the rapidity in which one can get into the public’s eye, but at the same time fade away, makes it even harder than before to make it last and create a strategic and smart path for one’s good brand positioning.

We’ve prepared some tips that we hope will help you on your road to success:

  1. Asses the market you are working on

Knowing the past, the competition and the market you are activating on is key in order to create a good positioning for your brand.

  1. Look deep within yourself and find your best features

According to Robert Half, branding yourself begins with self-reflection. Take stock of your strengths. What are your best attributes? What positive adjectives might a colleague use to describe you? Is there one particular talent or discipline in which you truly shine? What’s your personality? If you’re just beginning your career, choose a discipline or area of focus that truly interests you. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. Hard-working, focused and reserved people get ahead just as often as social butterflies.

  1. Work on developing them even more

Go to extra classes / courses, attend workshops and seminars that will help be become even better on your field of expertize and that will enhance your talents. Learning never ends, no matter the time in your career you are at.

  1. Of all of them find the differentiator, your USP (unique selling point), that makes you unique

The USP is the big idea that brands are always searching for. A USP gives a brand a compelling and unique value proposition with its target audience. “Likewise, you want to represent something special that sets you apart from others and establishes a value equation about your abilities when you are pitching yourself for a job, a promotion or a free-lance assignment,” says Catherine Kaputa in Huffington Post.

  1. Define your brand and become an expert

Take the time to do some soul searching and determine exactly who you are and what makes up your brand. Whether you’re looking to garner media attention, attract new clients or build your business, you should focus on becoming an expert in your field. Avoid establishing an expertise that’s irrelevant to your mission, goals, and vision. You’ll just be wasting your time.

  1. Be present in the market and make yourself known

Make sure you are present at the most important events in your industry and start conversations with the right persons, the ones with whom the association with will help your brand and your career. Ask questions, mingle, try and show your expertize as much as you can.

  1. Generate brand awareness through networking and promotion

You should be connecting with other professionals in the industry by using social networks and commenting on their blogs. Networking is one of the best ways to become known in the industry. By forming relationships with people in your audience, you can grow your business and your brand long-term.

In time, once you have a known and appreciated voice try using the PR tools available to you and get your name out there.

  1. Be a constant presence on the social media channels that are representative for your work

Depending on the industry you are activating on make sure you know what social media channel suits you the best. Not every industry fits you having a profile on Linkedin and Facebook at the same time, not every industry requires an Instagram or Snapchat account. Also, make sure that the content you are delivering is customized to that specific social media account.

  1. Always keep on expending your network, strategic partnerships and focus on the game plan

The networks are meant to evolve, not stand by. So is the industry you are activating on. Moreover, you can never know what the future holds. The more people you know, the merrier. The more connected you are, the better. Make sure that at the same time you don’t lose the focus on your “final” game plan.

  1. Don’t look focus, get rid of your ego and accept criticism

According to the AICPA specialists, the true measure of your brand is the reputation others hold of you in their hearts and minds. Notice how they introduce you to others. Ask them what your top brand attributes and core strengths are. If they can easily tell you, then you’ve succeeded in branding you.

“These days, branding the company you work for isn’t enough. The world wants to hear what you have to say as a professional within a company. The work involved in uncovering your brand may seem daunting, but your efforts can benefit you immeasurably. Your unique brand message differentiates the best you have to offer, gives a good indication of what you’re like to work with, and shows how you make things happen,” says the American Institute of CPAs.

When it comes to being the best the ego shouldn’t be standing in your way. Accept the criticism, as it will only make you better and help you achieve your goals.

Best packaging ideas for 2017

In the very competitive and full of inspiration and imagination year such as 2017, a good product is not enough for it to become a brand and capture the consumer’s attention. Let alone make him/ her choose it from the numerous similar products on the shelf and lead to a future buy. Therefore, a great packaging design, in sink with the product’s qualities, characteristics and what it stands for, will mark the path to a successful rise and growth of a brand.

Here are some of this year’s main packaging design trends and ideas:

1. Back to basics. Simple, bold and clear
source: skinn.be

This year, the trend is better articulated and more compelling to the customer. Minimizing the elements used in a package design can elevate a product… as long as it gets the point across. In our fast-paced world, shoppers don’t always have the time to study each and every product detail. Sticking to the essentials and making sure the buyer will make a more informed decision, a clean-cut design can convey information and make a product shine using simplicity.

According to thedieline.com, the designers understood the purpose of the object and the thought process of their audience. In service of this, they simplified the message and stated it clearly and boldly across the face of the packaging. These designs are text-based and say what they are in no uncertain terms. They realize the value of a simple message in today’s crowded world. The simplicity does not come off as lazy or incomplete but refreshing and honest. This is the manifestation of the idea: clarify not simplify. These designs identified exactly what the customer was searching for and expressed it simply. It comes off as powerful and trustworthy.

source: tapped

2. Putting focus on the custom lettering

Almost every designer loves to get crafty and create some of their artwork by hand.  According to Martin Lupus of 99designs.com this thing happens in order to get the organic effect: fluid imperfections—like irregular lines or natural texture fills— that can make a product stand out through warmth and set it apart from digital designs. “This warmth can create an emotional tie to the product, making it feel handmade and wholesome, or communicating a feeling of nostalgia. Either way, for 2017, we are seeing a massive comeback of hand-lettering,” added Lupus.

source: sweetyland

3. Letting geometry rule!

source: thedieline

Hand in hand with the previous trend, this theme is centered around expressing simplicity, approachability, and honesty through patterns and shapes. Circles, triangles, and squares are, as the specialists consider, an attempt to treat the mindset of a weary, overwhelmed consumer. Particularly in industries with over-the-top design, these reduced approaches standout. Familiar shapes, colors, and patterns communicate an awareness of the world and a sensitivity to the consumer.

  1. Old school with a twist

The past is haunting us, but in a good way, through a “idealization of the past—a longing for simpler times when things were cared for, made by hand, and detail-oriented”, as Grant Wenzlau from dieline.com would say. But these designs are not simply regurgitating old forms and techniques, they are modernizing them and combining them in new ways. “This new take on what is old is refreshing because it selects the best parts of different periods of our history and juxtaposes them. These designers realize the increasing rareness of endangered techniques like calligraphy, letterpress, and foiling. These artisanal practices grow more and more desired each year. In the mind of the consumer, they are increasingly novel and related to greater value. But far from merely being historical, these techniques are being re-imagined in the context of mid-century layouts and applied to a 21st Century, cutting-edge materials”.

source: ACH Vegan Chocolate

source: cocktail kit

Moreover, vintage package design brings back memories for people who lived through the original era and satisfies the curiosity of younger generations eager to explore the past. The key to going vintage is to find a balance. 

5.      Making the color a focus and priority

Colors evoke emotions and affect purchasing decisions. Because of this, color has always been one of the most important choices in packaging design, presenting in new, exciting ways. Bright colors and vibrant associations are beginning to make a scene on store shelves. More than that the colors and their special use are able to differentiate the packaging and the product at the shelf, making it to stand out and attract the consumer that will always choose exciting over common and boring. Also, it is proven that the consumer will always remember a product that is interesting and has the wow visual factor.

source: Pyramida

source: Resonance

6.     Be playful and multi-functional!

In each of us lays a child and we love to be given the opportunity to loose ourselves from time to time. So does the consumer. He appreciates a good, interesting packaging that can be joyful, playful and multi-functional.

source: Monstea

7.     Repeating a pattern

source: Helmes Workshop

We learn and remember through patterns, as our brain is built that way. Using well-chosen and beautiful patterns can also elevate a package design from ordinary to ethereal. Although the idea of repetitive shapes might seem simple, the technique can be dynamic and compelling when used correctly. Moreover, as it happens in writing a book or a play or a song, repeating a visual motif that captures the essence of the brand sends a strong message. Whether the pattern is bold or playful, patterning the package can create a strong identity that customers will always remember.

8. Storytelling & narrative

source: Smith & We All Need Works

People love stories and, as previously said, having a story behind everything one does it’s always a plus, giving it authenticity and creativity, at the same time. We seek out and cherish the stories that feel closest to our hearts, therefore the packaging design are starting also to incorporate narrative illustrations, trying to get closer to the consumer’s empathies and emotions. The place where the real sale and conviction start.

9. Putting it in the mail

source: Luxembourg

Internationally, there’s a strong comeback for the print and its values, for going to back to the roots, the life before the online. Coffee shops that are inviting their costumers to stop using the wifi and talk to each other, online magazines that are starting to get their first printed versions, people choosing books over kindles, etc. With faster, more efficient ways to communicate, the joy of receiving a letter via the post, in the real mail, not online, has started to disappear over the years. But there is a new trend that will take people back to that feeling. According to the specialists from 99designs.com, the packaging design is here to save the day with an emerging postal trend.

10. Going eco-friendly

The years to come will be more and more about sustainability. According to packaginginnovation.com, the new trends are about using green padding materials, with biodegradable bubble wrap and recycled paper being perfect eco-friendly alternatives. “One of the leaders in sustainable design, method sells bottles made with recycled ocean plastic. From using more renewable resources to keeping materials recyclable, more consumer brands are integrating eco-friendly design into their business. This is a trend that we hope to see grow with each year because it benefits everyone,” also added and concluded Martin Lupus.

source: Grow With Me

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