Debranding: When Less is More

 

According to Michelangelo, sculpting David was simple. All he did was chip away the bits that weren’t David.  

Brands can benefit from the same approach - stripping a brand back to its very essence can help articulate its core qualities in a way that’s real, honest and simple. It’s an approach known as ‘debranding’, and it’s a much-needed response to brand fatigue.

Our world is loud enough as it is. By dialing back the volume on our branding efforts we can craft identities that speak honestly and meaningfully - without having to shout. Because as it turns out, a little bit of branding can go a long way.


The Art & Business of Design Thinking

 

Design is art with function: it’s elegantly purposeful. By applying design thinking to creativity, you can create things that make a meaningful difference in the world – and that are specifically crafted for an audience who truly wants them. When you apply that same kind of thinking to business, you get results that go beyond ideas and into the realm of the viable. 


STARMEN Work Recognized by SCA Awards

 

STARMEN is excited to announce we’ve received a pair of Summit Creative Awards for two unique client endeavors. Our website work garnered both a Bronze and a Silver from SCA's recent cycle. Both of these respective projects encompassed elements of both brand strategy and web design and development, and we’re proud of what we were able to accomplish on behalf of these clients.


Creativity is Magical, Not Magic

 

The most powerful expressions of creativity are the ones that effectively communicate to audiences outside ourselves, and our ability to collaborate and create with others is what sets us apart from other species in a world that’s constantly in a state of change. But what does that mean? And what is the root of the nature of creativity?


Stop Storytelling, Start Storydoing

 

 

Long gone are the days when running a really great marketing campaign involved, in sum, brilliant graphic arts and catchy verbiage. Indeed, it used to be that a carefully crafted execution of these two elements could allow marketing executives to sit back, and enjoy the ride. This is no longer the case.

Today’s consumers want engagement, and with the emergence of social media, the Internet is an open canvas. Brands that fail to make their mark pay the price in terms of lost engagement with potential customers, and trends show that effectively doing so is increasingly a kinesthetic process -- not a static one. This means that in order to form authentic, long-term engagement with users — the kind that drives referrals, publicity, and sales — your  brand strategy must make the shift from storytelling to storydoing.


Ideas Only Work If You Do

 

It should come as no surprise that having an idea is one thing, and actualizing that idea is entirely another. Take it from us; many are the things that serve to stand in the way of an idea coming to fruition, and what's more, these obstacles can be the difference between a truly game changing idea that comes to fruition, and one that never sees light outside your office walls. 

Ideas are what drive us forward as a people. They are paramount to progress in art, in science, and in moral society, and that’s why our team at STARMEN is pleased to share its foolproof plan for getting those ideas off the ground!


STARMEN Team Triumphs at American Web Design Awards

 

It is with great pleasure that we announce we’ve received honorable distinctions from the American Web Design Awards for some of our recent client work. This competition serves as an annual showcasing of the top 100 leading digital design and communications endeavors. Each year, more than 1,000 submissions are received, spanning a variety of platforms including websites, microsites, apps, social media campaigns, and more, and we’re truly honored to have not one, but two, of our initiatives recognized in this most recent awards cycle.


How to Make Your Brand Work for Millennials

 

Innovation is perhaps the cornerstone of our modern society, and for good reason. Innovation helps us progress; it heals us, enriches us, and entertains us. It connects us as a people in ways prior generations could never have dreamed. But all too frequently, marketers with raw ambition aim to catapult their campaigns into fresh, new territories simply to be the newest or the most different, all without a clear motive in mind.


New Media Awards Recognizes STARMEN Work

 

We’re innovators at heart, and our craft is one we’re consistently cultivating. As such, there are few awards more meritorious in our eyes than those that commend work that goes above and beyond the status quo in exploration of new technologies, as well as new ways of communicating with audiences the world over. 


STARMEN Scores at the Interactive Media Awards

 

It is with great gratitude that we share with you that STARMEN has received recognition from the Interactive Media Awards for two of our recent client initiatives. We were given the highest honor in the category of Advocacy -- the Best in Class -- as well as an Outstanding Achievement award in the category of Bridal and Weddings.


The Art of Naming a Brand

 

What’s in a name? Turns out, when it comes to branding, quite a lot. 

True, a name is not the substance of your company. But in a world where nearly every industry is experiencing inconceivable overcrowding, it simply doesn’t do your business any favors to have a misinformed brand name. 


STARMEN Recognized by Horizon Interactive Awards

 

Let us preface the forthcoming by stating that the meaning behind our recent win at the 2014 Horizon Interactive Awards is two-fold. First, over the course of its thirteen entry seasons, this award has become one of the most distinguished in the field of interactive and creative media. So it goes without saying that having our work recognized by an organization so renowned by our industry is truly the sincerest of honors. 


Own Your Word, But Own Its Meaning Too

 

In the business of branding, nothing speaks truer to the work that we do than industry legend, Al Ries’, immutable commandment: the Law of Focus. It is a pivotal point, one that allows the purpose of a brand to be actualized in a more tangible way. 

What makes your brand different from others of its kind? Is it more luxurious, or more at the cutting edge of technological innovation? Is it environmentally-friendly, or is it tightly aligned with a unique social purpose


STARMEN Awarded Platinum + Gold AVA Digital Awards

 

We’re pleased to announce our work on the Linda May Properties “Live Your Luxury” campaign has received recognition from the AVA Digital Awards. This project has previously been the recipient of awards from other organizations, including the distinction of Best in Class from the IMA Awards. We are deeply honored by this most recent recognition: a Platinum Award for excellence in website design and development, as well as a Gold Award for our “Live Your Luxury” video marketing campaign.


“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

 

Innovation is perhaps the cornerstone of our modern society, and for good reason. Innovation helps us progress; it heals us, enriches us, and entertains us. It connects us as a people in ways prior generations could never have dreamed. But all too frequently, marketers with raw ambition aim to catapult their campaigns into fresh, new territories simply to be the newest or the most different, all without a clear motive in mind.


STARMEN Wins Its First “Innovator” Award

 

We're honored to have received an Innovator Award from Summit International's Emerging Media Awards (EMA) in the Real Estate/Neighborhood/Community Website category for our re-brand of Linda May Properties. But the reason why we're proud to have received 'Innovator' might surprise you.


The Year Of Making Brands Work

 

We believe that the only way to predict the future is to create it. And at our core, we are an agency dedicated to the creation of positive change through strategic brand development.


STARMEN Wins the Prestigious MarCom Awards Platinum and Gold

 

We are deeply honored to have won MarCom’s Platinum and Gold in the website category. Our web branding of Linda May Properties — a consistent award-winner — took the Platinum, while our website for Anoush Catering —another frequent award winner — earned the Gold.


2015, the Year of Speaking Human

 

2015 promises to be an exciting (and disruptive) year. Everything is changing fast … especially, the way consumers interact with their online environments. Paradoxically, the digital age is requiring branding and marketing to become more human.

In reviewing what the branding and marketing gurus are expecting to happen in the New Year, we see some inspiring trends. Put on your helmet, and fasten your seatbelts. Here we go.


STARMEN’s Integrated Branding Campaign is Recognized by the Davey Awards

 

Winning the Davey Awards’ Silver for Visual Appeal is thrilling, but the visual appeal of our “Live Your Luxury” campaign for Linda May Properties — a top 1% international luxury real estate team in Beverly Hills — is only the tip of the branding-berg. Nine-tenths of the campaign lies in its cohesive strategy, designed to compel people to feel Linda May Properties' expertise within the luxury real estate industry, along with their personalized care, and their “always on” mentality.


Five Ways to Deliver an Optimal Brand Experience During the Holidays

 

The holidays are, of course, the busiest shopping time of the year. That means they’re also the time when consumers have the most contact with brands. In October, SDL published a report that found that 90% of holiday shoppers expect consistent brand experiences. How can you optimize your branding and offerings to engage consumers, and, in turn, sell your products? Here are five key elements to making your brand experience consistent — and excellent — this holiday season:


STARMEN Wins W3’s Silver for Creative Excellence on the Web

 

We’re exceptionally proud to have earned W3 Awards’ Silver for Creative Excellence on the Web for the videos we produced as part of our integrated branding campaign for Coldwell Bankers Realtors® Linda May Properties, a top 1% international luxury real estate team located in Beverly Hills.


Customer Service is the Next Brand Differential

 

There is no such thing as a 'customer for life.' Companies have to work hard to win, and keep customers. What used to be thought of as the customer’s loyalty to a brand has reversed to become the brand’s loyalty to the customer experience.


STARMEN Wins Summit International Awards’ Platinum for Marketing Effectiveness

 

We’re deeply honored to have won Summit International Awards’ Platinum for Marketing Effectiveness in the website category for our branding of Anoush Catering, Southern California’s premier Mediterranean caterer.


STARMEN Awarded IMA Best In Class For “Live Your Luxury” Campaign

 

We feel extremely honored to have won the 2014 Interactive Media Awards™ Best In Class Real Estate category for the website and video we created for Linda May Properties. Entries were judged by an impressive lineup of IMC members, and submissions were scored for their usability, feature functionality, content, aesthetics, and cross-browser compatibility. The Best In Class title is only awarded to contenders that receive a close to perfect score on every scale.


Context Matters

 

You won’t reach the people in your market if you don’t understand them, and you won’t understand them unless you pay attention to their context. Context is the compass that guides all successful branding and marketing. It’s about delivering the right content to the right people at the right time.


STARMEN Takes Home the Gold Hermes Creative Award

 

Client satisfaction is our gold standard, but being recognized by the prestigious Hermes Creative Awards for our digital advertising work for One Dress A Day feels pretty wonderful, too. While client satisfaction is our real reward, we’re deeply appreciative that our work won a Hermes’ Gold. 


Let’s Talk Strategy

 

Brands are beginning to wrap around people in every which way. Much like a first introduction to another person, a consumer's relationship with your brand is launched from the first impression. So, what makes this initial interaction so memorable and impactful? When crafting a brand experience that people can identify with, it comes down to the integrated combination of business strategy and design. 


Turn On The Telly: STARMEN Brings Home Two Trophies For Promotional Branding And Cause Marketing Video

 

The start of 2014 brought a wave of accomplishments at STARMEN. We’re pleased to share that our video for "Discover Your Path" won two Telly Award Bronzes for Best Promotional Branding and Cause Marketing.


You No Longer Have to Spend Big Bucks to Get a Great Commercial

 

Adweek.com
Photo credit: Adweek.com

Most people assume that extending their brand’s reach to the masses will be astronomically expensive, costing hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. General opinion suggests that the more embraceable the brand messaging is, the more it will cost. However, this is no longer necessarily the case.

In this day and age, brand messages travel at the speed of a click, with content being consumed on an array of different devices, and across platforms, including YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Google+. Create compelling messaging in the right format, and it won’t be your brand doing the heavy lifting. Instead, the people your message reaches will evangelize your brand through all of their own communication channels. 


STARMEN Awarded the Interactive Media Awards’ Best in Class and Outstanding Achievement Awards

 

Awarded Best In Class at the Interactive Media Awards

Creating award-winning work is always our goal here at STARMEN, but when two of our clients, Hampton Inn and Discover Your Path, each earned a distinguished accolade in the Interactive Media Awards we were particularly excited. Both organizations launched a revitalized website to highlight their refreshed brand identity, and we’re so glad to have been involved in each of these respective endeavors.


Creative Versatility Shines As STARMEN Wins Three Silver Awards at Two International Competitions

 


STARMEN's Story Featured in the Los Angeles Business Journal

 

Our Story Featured In The Los Angeles Business Journal

MARKETING: STARMEN ditches fixed-rate jobs for retainer relationships.

Story by Subrina Hudson, Staff Writer


MarCom Honors STARMEN Nonprofit Campaign

 

STARMEN is excited to announce that our work with charitable organization Discover Your Path has recently been awarded the Gold award in the latest cycle of the International Competition for Marketing & Communications Professionals (also known as the MarCom Awards). While this isn’t the first award this endeavor has received, the receipt of a Gold MarCom brings with it a very special, very gratifying sort of satisfaction.


Is Marketing A Science, or Art, or Perhaps A Bit of Both?

 

Marketing Isn't A Science?

The way you learn it in marketing school, marketing is a science. How could it not be, with all that jargon that puts everything into neat compartments? Unique Selling Proposition. Positioning. Niches. The four Ps. The Marketing Mix. All those rules of advertising and copywriting. Close fast and early.


Beyond Roulette: Rules For Winning At Conventions

 

Whatever day you go to Vegas, you can generally expect to find a flurry of activity in two specific places: the business convention circuit and the roulette table. Unfortunately, too many visitors think the same strategy for success applies to both.

We were in Vegas a couple of weeks ago, hitting the Consumer Electronics Show and a few roulette tables. (Just a few.) In both cases, if you don't play, you can't win. That is pretty much the only similarity – well, that and the engaging hosts and dealers to get you to stay and play. 

The key difference is that, with a convention, it's not enough to be in the right place at the right time — which is the fundamental rule of roulette.


Creative Director Anthony Wiktor Featured In Adonit's New "Create" Campaign

 

Through their "Create" campaign, Adonit, a cutting edge consumer creative-technology start-up, is redefining the way we think of "creators." By assembling a group of leading artists, designers, engineers, writers, educators and entrepreneurs, Adonit is seeking to highlight how people across the creative spectrum are using technology to expand productivity and creation in their respective crafts.


5 Design Tips That Will Make Your Visitors Remember Your Website

 

Can you remember the last website you’ve visited? Unless it’s Facebook or another website you visit often, chances are you don’t remember much about it. 

There are 644 million active websites on the Internet, but most of these websites are so poorly designed that people don’t want to revisit them. Don’t be one of those websites! You want to create a memorable online experience for your visitors, and to have them keep coming back for more. 


How Color Choice in Design Affects Your Brand

 

Yellow is a cheerful color. Ask anybody. It’s bright, warm, and refreshing, just like the sun. It’s an innocent color…

Or is it?


Designing for YouTube: DISH International

 

We were excited to be a part of DISH International's social media initiative by developing and launching a series of branded YouTube channels to target their long list of language communities. ‘DISH Filipino,’ the first of DISH International’s channels that we designed, includes a custom video slider, drop down menus, and custom banner feature. 


3 Strategies for Building a Stronger Brand in 2012

 

The New Year always sparks a renewed interest in making changes! As a business, this should include taking a closer look at your brand – both from your perspective, and from your audience’s. Some questions to consider: How do your customers perceive your brand? Is it aligned with how you see yourself? Do people hear and understand exactly what your brand is saying?

There’s always room for improvement. Starting with these three strategies, you can help strengthen your brand in 2012!


Your Logo Is Not Your Brand

 

It’s time to clear up a common misconception: the words "logo" and "brand" are not interchangeable terms. In fact, they are not the same thing at all! 

One of our industry's top mentors and brand gurus, Marty Neumeier, dispelled this myth in his book “The Brand Gap,” stating that "A brand is not a logo, an identity or a product.” A brand is a gut feeling, a consumer's emotions about a particular company or product. The logo is a visual representation of that company or product, one facet among many that culminate in the brand experience. However, it isn’t the brand itself. Your brand comprises everything that defines your company – who you are, what you do, where you want to be, and what you believe in. This is far more than a creative image, as an expertly designed logo is worthless if your brand is terrible.


Starbucks Evolves Logo Into Lovemark

 

Starbucks New Logo Coffee Cup

The world's largest coffee company, and one of its most beloved brands, just stirred up a bold new roast of its identity.  Starbucks unveiled an updated version of its iconic logo, which had remained unchanged since 1992. The simplified logo focuses on its mermaid symbol, and removes the company name from around the border of the "Siren." That's right, Starbucks no longer feels the need to reinforce its name.


Gap Drastically Changed Their Logo - Will This Change Their Entire Brand?

 

gap new logo before and after comparison

We at STARMEN are not ones to jump on 'bandwagons', whether the subject matter is politics, celebrity gossip, sports, or business. However, we're all aboard the latest bandwagon traveling along Gap's tracks to logo disaster. Gap’s new logo and branding campaign have widely been referred to as the “Gapgate controversy,” a questionable attempt at designing a new logo, and an even more tasteless approach at trying to market it. There has been way too much recent attention around the new Gap logo, and as a result, we've decided to come up with our own visual ‘solution.’


Facebook Marketing: Criteria for Success

 

8 Criterion For Facebook Page Marketing Success

Social media marketing has become a hot topic amongst brand marketers and businesses who are looking to establish themselves within a social network. As a means to promote their products and services at low cost, a lot of marketers are turning to Facebook. But it's knowing how to use the platform, currently the most popular social network out there, that really makes all the difference to your bottomline.


STARMEN Web Pick: HBO.com

 

HBO New Web Site

The newly revamped, flash-based HBO.com features enhanced interactive and video features, personal dashboard.

Our good friends over at HBO have relaunched their website, HBO.com, adding interactive features and enhanced video support. The HBO Go web site itself is visually stunning, with lots of full-screen visuals for each of the featured TV shows, movies, and other bits of programming that scroll once a user is logged in. Browsing through the different featured sections — Movies, Series, Comedy, Sports, Documentaries, and Late Night — is quick and painless, with each offering up an easy-to-navigate interface for choosing between titles. Users can customize the viewing experience by choosing between cover, grid, and list modes of viewing available content.


Brand Marketing Is Not a Science

 

During our daily industry readings, we came across a refreshing article titled “Our Biggest Brands Can No Longer Be Managed By Nerds,” by brand consultant Tom Hinkes. Companies have been scaling back recently on creatively-led brand solutions, and focusing more on the numbers approach. It was refreshing to hear from a well-respected and experienced brand marketer that great marketing requires a balance of both strategy and creative.


Our New Site Launches Today!

 

As an award-winning creative agency specializing in brand design, we are proud to announce the redesign of the STARMEN web site. But ‘redesign’ doesn't really cover it. We’ve made more than an aesthetic adjustment or surface-level change, we’ve ‘refreshed’ internally and externally. The new starmenusa.com reflects our new ideas, fresh thinking, and innovative approach to our clients’ brands, as well as our latest design work. 


Couture Glamour Returns to Hollywood

 

Before Angels became synonymous with lingerie, Hollywood’s elite wore intimates by Juel Park. Established in the Roaring Twenties, Juel Park designed luxury under garments for prominent female stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Joan Crawford, Ava Gardner, Mae West, Lauren Bacall, and Katharine Hepburn.  With Juel Park’s rich history and breathtaking lingerie, STARMEN is proud to sponsor Juel Park’s relaunch here in Hollywood.


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