brand value

Google Art Project and AGO Collaboration a Masterpiece

Innovation Insights
One of a series by Ken Tencer, Spyder Works CEO


A crucial part of the whole innovation process is celebrating the wins. Recognizing a brilliant idea can spark others’ imaginations and turn innovation into Win-novation™.

Is it possible to replicate the feeling you get when standing in front of a compelling piece of art? The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is willing to try. The Gallery has chosen to differentiate its brand by participating in the Google Art Project. This project gives viewers high resolution access to exhibits in more than 150 museums in 40 countries around the world. Currently the AGO is the only Canadian institution taking part.

Visitors can surf into the Gallery using Google technology and view artworks with brushstroke level detail. Creating a unique offering for users, the tool successfully reinforces the idea that the AGO is a fun place to visit filled with beautiful works of art. Google Art Project takes the best the Gallery has to offer and makes it accessible. It takes advantage of a visual technology that wasn’t even available a few years ago to completely re-define the appreciation and accessibility of fine art.

What innovative lesson does Google Art Project and AGO collaboration teach us? To me, it’s an artful example of innovation begetting innovation. Someone invents ultra high definition visual technology and Google realizes that the subtle genius of the world’s great works of art are suddenly visible to the virtual eye. And the innovation will continue. My guess is that there are emerging artists being amazed and inspired right now. We may see a revelation revolution.

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Most trusted brands start here.

Branding Insights
One of a series by John Paulo Cardoso, Spyder Works Chief Creative Officer & Founder


One of the guilty pleasures of being a branding professional is reading the annual parade of polls that list the world’s ‘most trusted brands’. If you’re a small or medium sized company, the chances are, you’re not on those lists. That’s why I tend to look at them for entertainment purposes only. But even though few companies will ever grow to the stature of Coca-Cola, Apple, Google or Mercedes Benz, there is a key lesson to be learned from ‘most trusted’ polling. And to me, that lesson is ‘know who you are’.

Understanding what is unique about your brand and why customers buy from you is the foundation of your success. If you stay true to those insights, they will guide you through your strategic planning, your product development and your market expansion. In other words, staying true to who you are will allow your customers to trust you.

When I ask my clients who they are, some have a tendency to translate the question into ‘what are you?’ And they might answer with something like, “We’re the second largest manufacturer of low-flow control systems in the tri-state area.” Then I’ll nudge them into telling me why. And that’s where we begin the brand building process. Whether they tell me that they have the most stringent quality controls in their industry, the lowest prices or the best after-sales service, what they’re really articulating is what makes them a unique brand and why their customers trust them. They are defining the active ingredient in their brand. And knowing that is the battering ram that opens the door to future possibilities. It gives both of us the plotline we need to tell the company’s story and grow into the number one manufacturer of low-flow control systems in the tri-state area.

Lesson learned is that you don’t need to have revenues in the tens of millions to be a most trusted brand. You just need to be true to who you are.

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Where loyalty becomes a part of corporate DNA

Branding Insights
One of a series by John Paulo Cardoso, Spyder Works Chief Creative Officer & Founder


Are points and travel miles cards the best way to spur customer loyalty? Or is there a better way by embedding a loyalty program in operations? Shoppers Drug Mart is about to find out. It has launched a new Shoppers Drug Mart Everyday App to build a stickier user community from its customer base. The app invites shoppers to gain real value by displaying online coupons at checkout, refilling prescriptions anytime, and creating a shopping list that customers can carry with them on their phone based on offers available at their preferred location.

To me, this is a different kind of loyalty program. Instead of being driven by collecting points or special promotions, Shoppers Drug Mart is building a trusted relationship with customers by designing programs intended to give customers ‘the most personalized health care experience possible.’ A well designed app can be a valuable extension of your brand at a time when in-store promotions and service offerings can be accessed on demand by anyone with a smartphone.

What’s more personal than that?

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