S03E012: Brand & Design
BRAND & DESIGN: FACILITATING GROWTH BY “FEEDING THE SHRIMP” IN GOODR’S ECOSYSTEM
In season 3, episode 12 of CULTURE goodr, Cory and Topanga realize their relationship is stuck in a rut. Seeking excitement, Cory attends a party at another school and pretends to be Shawn. It’s a blast, until he runs into Topanga, who’s pretending to be a French foreign student! After they...oh dear. Not again! This isn’t season 3, episode 12 of CULTURE goodr. It’s season 3, episode 12 of Boy Meets World! Let’s start over.
In season 3, episode 12 of CULTURE goodr, Shaun and Stephen do a deep dive on The Illuminati. No, not that elite, pyramid-loving secret society that controls the world. The goodr brand and design team. Are any of the members of the goodr Illuminati members of the real Illuminati? We can’t say. But it would be the perfect cover. The Illuminati are prolific creators at goodr, from content to product to social to web to wall graphics to t-shirts to sunglasses. Mike, the Flock Leader, joins the pod to explain how to keep your integrity and stay on brand without getting stale. While creating, the Illuminati focuses on being fun and authentic, rather than being “cool” and liked. When you show up with energy and authenticity, everything else will take care of itself.
In the lightning round, Mike says that he loves a good sleep and is a big ASMR fan. He prefers pens to pencils, stacks toilet paper rolls over, not under, and his spirit animal is a red panda. Stephen and Mike go way back. They used to work together at a sporting goods company, and yada yada yada, now they’re at goodr. Mike’s lame title is Head of Strategy and his actual title is Schemin’ Demon.
The Illuminati’s goal is to attract, engage and capture. For the Brand side, Mike asks, “When are we adding certain energy points to make sure we're growing and connecting with consumers?” That takes various shapes, like partnerships, new models, and product launches. Which ones should we pursue? Should the colorways be wild, styled or mild? Does this have effective storytelling and evoke the right energy? Meanwhile, for the Design side, he makes sure goodr stays authentic. Are we living into our values and remaining consistent to our look and feel? Mike gives feedback and guidance to the designers when needed, then gets the hell out of their way. Because they CRUSH IT!
The flock is called The Illuminati because they’re everywhere and nowhere at the same time. They strive to create connection and energy around the brand through next level designs and amazing partnerships (like Warner Brothers, The Rolling Stones & Pabst Blue Ribbon!). The team’s core values are resiliency and transparency. To avoid stagnation, we have to take risks. Failure is inevitable. When it happens, we learn from it, and come back stronger. The Illuminati’s areas of focus are Identity (defining the visual identity of the brand), Energy (creating hype internally and externally), Design, Partnerships and Cohesion (making sure all flocks are aligned so we can crush it).
While The Department of Dreams creates content (videos, photos, copy), the Illuminati handles visuals and graphics. For example, with Instagram Stories, the copywriters write copy (duh), and an outline of how the story unfolds. The designers bring the visuals to life, tweaking it as needed. They also drive the launch aesthetics and overall vision. If you’re on The Illuminati, you get to work on the product and the marketing. Marketing is primarily digital, and that medium is a blank canvas. No constraints. On the flip products have a ton of limitations. Graphic application processes can only do so much. You can only have certain color ways and certain styles. A pair of sunglasses doesn’t have much real estate. How do you tell a story in half an inch? These constraints force you to look at things in a new way. Ultimately, Mike loves working with these constraints, just like he loves dressing up like a possum and calling himself “Crazy Eddy.”
But enough about Mike’s disturbing possum alter-ego that haunts everyone’s dreams. What was his biggest f***-up at work?! He says it was the poorly planned Black Friday sale of 2018. He also mentions a recent sunglasses launch that drew cease and desist letters from a prestigious golf tournament.
In closing, he shares three cheat codes for people in the brand and design space:
1) Make friends with failure.
2) Make space for hard feedback.
3) And it’s okay to say no.
For example, can this blog be longer? No. See you next week!
THE SUNNIES THAT STARTED IT ALL
THE STORY BEHIND THE SHADES