Ahead of our hotly anticipated Brand Master workshop with Marty Neumeier in March 2019 we asked Andy Budd to give us some insight in why we’ve chosen to work with him on our Clearleft Presents series.
We first “discovered” Marty Neumeier through his excellent book, The Brand Gap. It’s in this book that Marty gives the best articulation I've ever seen of what a brand is and why we should care. Rather than a densely packed polemic, aimed only at designers, he draws on his immense storytelling skills to frame the gap between business strategy and design in a way everybody can understand. This book feels like you’re watching a well crafted TED talk, rather than a Medium article stretched to the length of a novel. It’s the perfect length for a short plane ride, and over the years we’ve given a copy of this book to more than one client to read over the weekend.
Following quickly on its heels was Zag, after the common marketing aphorism that “When everybody else Zigs, you Zag.” As you can imagine from the title, this book is all about creating stand-out products. It’s a must read for anybody involved in setting business or product strategy. Another highly graphic (as in design, rather than gory or x-rated) book, Marty does a beautiful job of mixing conceptual images with prose. His style made him an easy choice for a speaker slot at one of our conferences. So in 2010 he came and spoke at our dConstruct conference on the topic of his new book, The Designful Company. As you can imagine, the message resonated with our design loving audience, and became a firm favourite at the event.
At Clearleft we have always seen ourselves as a “designful company”. In fact our mission is to unlock and elevate the value of design, and help all the companies we work with become more “designful”. The majority of our client sponsors feel the same way, which is why they bring us in. But they often struggle to articulate the value of design to more traditional business people. This is where the The Designful Company comes in. There’s just something in the way Marty articulates these challenges that seems to land perfectly with leadership teams. That’s why we’ll often buy copies of this book for our corporate partners. We love seeing the way this changes their relationship to, and understanding of, design.
Marty has written a ton of books since first speaking at dConstruct. Metaskills looks at the skills people will need in a world of increasing reliance on robots and AI—a concept close to my heart. The Rules of Genius builds on the skills outlined in Metaskills, while The Brand Flip does the same for The Brand Gap. If you’re a fan of authors like Seth Godin, I highly recommend you check out some of Marty’s books. You won’t be disappointed.
There’s a clear thread through all of Marty’s books; helping business leaders understand value of design, while positioning designers as the people to help unlock that power. This theme is most evident in his new book Scramble, and its associated workshop series.
This March we are thrilled to be collaborating with Marty on his Brand Master Workshop, a two-day immersive journey into the fundamental disciplines of brand building, held at one of our favourite iconic venues, the Barbican Centre in London. The workshop is designed to empower you with dozens of proven principles you can apply immediately to your business.
This workshop will launch Marty’s latest venture Level C — a new professional development company featuring a progressive 5-tier series of interactive branding workshops. Each tier explores core branding principles and challenges you to apply them to hypothetical and real-world business scenarios, thereby bridging the gap between strategy and design, and earning the formal title of Certified Brand Specialist.
So if you’re a designer, a design leader, a product manager or designful marketing exec looking for tactics and techniques to help harness the power of design in your organisation, this is the workshop for you.
Tickets and more information about the workshop can be found on our events page. Looking forward to seeing you there.