Discover Your Car4You

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  posted by 18 June 2014

Introducing the new car4you.ch mobile apps for iPhone, Android and iPad.

Car4you.ch is one of Switzerland’s largest online platforms for auto sales. Part of the Tamedia organization, car4you.ch is competing in a massively cluttered space, and one which is becoming more competitive every day.

As mobile continues to expand rapidly it is clear that mobile apps will play an important role in new and used auto sales. For large purchases, such as an auto, the critical research phase of the purchase decision takes place largely online. By the time the buyer gets to the dealership the purchase decision is largely already completed. This means the role and opportunity for online auto sale portals will continue to grow exponentially.

In Switzerland, the online auto sale category is dominated by a few large players all selling the same cars, on platforms that look and worked almost identically. Meanwhile all of the major auto brands are experimenting with online sales. Perhaps more daunting, for used car sellers, is the entry of large online retailers like Ebay, Google or Amazon who bring huge advantages of scale and experience. As in the offline world, big brands sell on brand loyalty, while used car sales remains a lowest price, emotion free decision.

“Discover Your Car4You”

“Discover Your Car4You” is a complete concept with the goal to meet the challenges of the mobile marketplace, and elevate the experience of used car shopping. It began with the order to develop a new mobile app. and then extended into a brand and communications concept.

We took a few key steps to try to reimagine the process of buying and selling a used car from your phone or tablet. While all car shopping apps focus on search, this presumes a user already knows exactly what they are looking for. We brought cars onto the home screen, giving users exposure to Recommended, Popular, or cars their Friends are discussing. We streamlined the process with a three-click fast search. In the end, no single app gets cars in front of buyers faster.
At the heart of the concept is the integration of social media. Car shoppers are invited to like, or share cars they find on the app., or save them to a personal My car4you area on the app., and on their Facebook page. This engages a discussion and feedback from their Facebook friends. As cars become more discussed, they will appear on the popular tab of the Car4You.ch app home screen.

Car sellers can complete the process of creating an ad for their car 100% from their mobile phone, including a unique 360 degree photo upload. Once they have posted their ad, they can share it with the world via Facebook and Twitter reaching the largest possible audience of potential buyers

Credit Suisse: Student Community

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  posted by 18 June 2014

Introducing the new Project Firefly website redesign. Since it’s inception almost four years ago, Project Firefly has emerged as a truly unique platform for young academics to distinguish themselves. Students can submit papers for evaluation by a group of university professors from around the world. Excellent papers are published on the website, and students can win trips to thought leadership events, and be considered for employment around the world.

The new website further embraces the vision of a community of academics. In the Thought Leadership section, you can read published essays and enter a dialog with the authors directly. In the community section, you can meet like minded students, and reach out to them for networking opportunities. Sponsored communities, such as the Credit Suisse HOLT community, are focussed areas for students interested in specific topics to meet.

At the heart of Project Firefly, are monthly and quarterly competitions which invite students to submit essays or videos for review by the academic review board.

Vifor Pharma: Iron Deficiency Awareness

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  posted by 18 June 2014

For Vifor Pharma, we created IronDeficiency.com, a comprehensive website devoted to providing consumers and healthcare professionals with information about iron deficiency and anaemia. Although, common and widespread, Iron Deficiency is often not correctly identified or treated. Another example of our full service approach, we developed the logo, website, tradeshow materials, and printed collateral.

For many more serious conditions, such as Cancer, Iron Deficiency is a side effect which, if treated, can greatly improve a patients quality of life. The website launched in India and is being developed in 12 languages for global use. The identity system is a friendly and flexible brand system supporting patients, professionals, womens health, and 6 chronic conditions.

Bilanz: Credit Suisse #1 in Social Media

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  posted by 18 June 2014

The August, 2013 edition of Swiss finance magazine Bilanz ranked Swiss banks, of which there are A LOT, for their use of digital media. ICON client Credit Suisse came out on top in the area of Social Media. For regulated industries like Finance, how to best use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the rest is a challenge. With the Roger Federer Fan Wall, Credit Suisse has, according to Bilanz, taken an innovative step towards putting the fan in focus:

“Thanks to a successful balance between current data from the financial sector and its (social and cultural) commitment Credit Suisse succeeds in consistently enlarging their fan base worldwide, the bank is praised in the first “digital fire check” for Swiss financial world. The study, authored by the communications agency Jung von Matt / Limmat, has exclusively compared the performances of the ten major Swiss Banking platform for the digital BALANCE each other.”

The Roger Federer Fan Wall succeeds in reaching fans in a fun, emotional forum and encouraging them to reach out with comments and posts- an action feared by most financial brands on Facebook. Once engaged, Credit Suisse is able to mix in messages related to their products, services, and further sponsorships.

Full article in German:
 
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Actelion Pharma Community Platform

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  posted by 18 June 2014

Basel based Actelion Pharmaceuticals is focussed on rare diseases such as Niemann Pick Type C which has approx 500 patients worldwide. As such, the number of doctors with real practical experience diagnosing and treating this disease is also quite small. In order to facilitate collaboration and shared knowledge, we created a digital directory where doctors can create a profile and reach out to other doctors treating similar cases.
In the world of pharma, community platforms are quite unusual due to regulatory issues. We believe this platform is a unique first.

Credit Suisse Federer Fan Wall

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  posted by 12 July 2013

In advance of the 2013 Grand Slam tennis tournament season, Credit Suisse has launched an update of its Federer Fan Wall Facebook app.  Last year thousands of fans congratulated Roger as he achieved a record 300 weeks at number 1. See:

As part of the 2013 update, ICON launched a new design with new functionality allowing increased customer interaction and, most importantly, the ability to cheer for Roger on mobile.  The new Credit Suisse Federer Fan Wall launched with the French Open.  For more about the development of Facebook Apps visit the ICON Blog:

Facebook Apps for Business

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  posted by 12 July 2013

Facebook Apps. are the essential tool to making the most out of your Facebook fanpage.  While Facebook continues to refine and optimize its advertising options, they remain limited and audiences are still generally resistant.  Facebook Apps., however, present tremendous opportunities to deliver rich brand experiences.

Facebook apps., are built as stand alone websites, hosted independently, and placed into a container on a facebook fanpage.  As a stand alone website, all normal website functionality is possible, but optimized because we know “who the user is” and can take advantage of the built in Facebook multipliers of “Like” and “Share”.

The Credit Suisse Roger Federer Fan Wall invites fans of the tennis legend to post a photo, message or video cheering him on to victory.

Each user action is amplified to their friends, in a very organic way, beyond the standard Facebook ads.  This generates referrals and increased user actions.

On Facebook, ignoring mobile is simply not an option.  We believe a minimum of 70% of app traffic happens on a mobile devise.  facebook apps. urls now recognize and redirect to mobile, so your site needs to be built with this option.

 

Season’s Greetings

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  posted by 12 July 2013

Your gifts are waiting under the tree! We’ve had a great year here at ICON Worldwide filled with work we are proud of, for customers we love! A special thanks to our clients, partners, friends and family for your support in 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facebook Global Fanpages

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  posted by 12 July 2013

In the continuing evolution of how global brands manage their Facebook presence there are some interesting new features for fanpages on the way.  Large global brands are well advised to prepare in advance.

The struggles global brands face managing their fan pages stem primarily from a lack of centralized control inherent to facebook as a community platform.  This has created multiple challenges for global brands who need to be able to connect with their customers on a local market level, including:

1. How to manage multiple fanpages set-up by local subsidiaries outside of direct corp. oversight

2. Confusing search results which can lead consumers to the wrong national or language page, or worse, to a un-official fan page.

3. Lack of consolidated analytics which makes it impossible to know how fans are engaging, and where.

In February, 2012 Facebook announced Global Fanpages on their blog.  Over a year later the product remains in Beta, and not available for most brands.  There are a couple of good examples of the beta functionality already live, including Dove.  When it finally does roll-out fully, the new Global fanpage product will resolve many of the issues mentioned above.

In it’s beta set-up, the Global fanpage product relies on brands having already put the fanpages in place for their important nations and regions.  This means there are steps that can already taken which will allow global brands to transition more quickly to the new Facebook product when it rolls out officially.  In the attached slides we have captured the first steps we are recommending to our clients.

Scribd Link: http://www.scribd.com/doc/138073934/FB-Brands-0413

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UNIVERSITY OF LUZERN

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  posted by 12 July 2013

Introducing a fresh new look for the Institute of Business Law at the University of Luzern.  The flagship of Executive Education at the University, the Institute of Business Law is rapidly becoming an internationally recognized expert in global business law.  Our rebranding of the Institute includes the branding, website, and print publications.

 

CREDIT SUISSE: ROGER FEDERER #1RF

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  posted by 12 July 2013

As Roger Federer advanced through this years Wimbeldon tournament it became slowly clear that tennis history was being made.  By beating arch rival Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals, and home-town favorite Andy Murray in the finals, Federer tied Pete Sampras for a record 7 victories at Wimbeldon.  The victory also secured the ATP #1 ranking for a record 187th week.  The previous record of 286 weeks at #1 had been held by Pete Sampras since 2000.

Credit Suisse approached us with a unique idea to capture the enthusiastic spirit of Federers’ fans around the world via a facebook celebration.  Fans were encouraged to send Roger photos, videos, and messages via facebook, twitter and instagram.  The celebration was captured on the facebook in the Federer Fan Wall.

As the day’s counted down to week 187, the facbook timeline was taken over with the countdown.  On the day he reached the record, Credit Suisse ran full page newspaper ads, and updated their main homepage to support the drive to the facebook promotion.

Thousands of fans liked and commented on the images, and began to upload their own personal photos and messages directly on the facebook app.  Eventually, congratulatory videos were added by tennis legends Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King and Rod Laver.  As Roger returned to Wimbeldon stadium to face Murray once more in the Olympics, the Credit Suisse fan wall became a perfect vehicle to cheer Roger on.

Four weeks into the program, the record continues to grow and so does the fan celebration.  Over 10,000 likes, and 1,000 unique user posts to date.

 

 

 

The Lazy User: Simplifying Interactions for the iPad

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  posted by 20 June 2012

I’m lazy.

I grew up in the Internet age, with books, movies, and now pizza just a few clicks away. This convenience provided me, and those of my generation, an extremely short attention span when it comes to user interfaces (among other things, but thats another article). The easier and more efficient an interface gets, the more the expectations rise for even simpler functionality.

A generation ago, keying in line commands was the norm. Computers were the province of those who either built them or programmed them. It wasn’t until the commercialization of the computer that any though was put into simplifying the user interface, with early efforts made by Xerox and Apple.

Today, the battle continues. Although usability on the web and with operating systems has taken immense strides in the last 10 years, there is a new battleground: mobile.

Mobile interface requires a whole new economy in interaction. Not only is a designer working with far less screen space (especially with a phone), they are also dealing with users who have less time, versatile interactive tools (like a mouse for example), and attention span.

Which is what brings us to the iPad, the crown jewel of the tablet market. Since it is larger than its cousin the iPhone, there is more opportunity for deeper and more meaningful applications. If the iPhone is a consumer, the iPad is both consumer and producer.

It is the producing aspects that make the iPad unique to mobile interaction, making the temptation is great to make an app do all the same things in the same ways as a desktop application. What this means, of course, is more buttons.

Matt Gemmell said the iPad should “look like a viewer, behave like an editor,” meaning that by default, the screen of an iPad should be free of most UI clutter. A great example is Apple’s own Keynote app, which streamlines the desktop version, and manages to deliver the same functionality, but tailored to a touchscreen device.

The keys to simplification are simple: combine and contextualize.

If an interaction can be accomplished by using a 2 finger tap instead of 2 separate taps separated by a menu, then remove that step. If the user isn’t editing text, don’t display text editing tools.

The iPad represents a new way of thinking about human-software interfaces. The touch revolution has showed us that we can simplify things even further by removing the mouse from the equation. However, sometimes the old rules of software usability tempt us developers, and it is at that point that we must put the Lazy User first.

The Mobile Imperative for Business

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  posted by 05 June 2012

The latest stats presented in the annual Internet Trends report by analyst Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byer dramatically confirms the critical role of mobile platforms for business.  Although mobile is increasingly intuitive for business these stats really bring it to the point.  Mobile internet as a % of website traffic has surpassed 10%, more than doubling in the past 18mos.  Imagine, 12% of US adults own a tablet.  Revenue from mobile, driven largely by apps., is growing at a 153% annual rate.  The complete presentation is available from Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers on Scribd.

The good news for business is that managing the transition to mobile is becoming easier thanks to advances in HTML5, Javascript and Responsive website design.  We have long encouraged businesses to embrace cross-platform development allowing customers to have a seamless experience from their office desktop, to their mobile phone, and eventually their tablet.  Our recently launched Course Navigator for the Executive School at the University of St.Gallen is a good example of how smart development can help ease the way for customers to engage with a brand.  Developed in mobile friendly HTML5, the Course Navigator allows candidates to dynamically search the University of St.Gallen’s Executive School Course Catalog based on a number of variables.  The platform works easily on tablets, and the iPad app is also available in the iTunes app store for an optimized tablet experience.

For the Credit Suisse Thought Leadership initiative Project Firefly, we developed the website using responsive web design which scales the content according to the screen size of the device of the user.  This means the live site is always displayed on any device, without having to customize for the every increasing number of smart phone and tablet screen sizes

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing Project Firefly

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  posted by 06 February 2012

We are proud to introduce Project Firefly, an exciting new platform for identifying global talent. Founding sponsor Credit Suisse has taken taken the lead with the Emerging Leaders Essay Competition. Students and recent graduates are invited to respond to any of four topics in an original essay. Winners will be invited to a thought leadership conference in Hong Kong.

Project Firefly is a concept that is easy to embrace. Selections will be made based solely on the merit of the intellectual contribution in blind judging by a panel of academic leaders from around the world. While corporate social responsibility is a timely topic, in many ways Project Firefly serves a more pressing business need. As business focus increasingly shifts beyond established western markets companies are challenged to build local teams. This in turn demands new recruitment channels beyond the well established universities. Ambitious students are given the opportunity to prove themselves and gain exposure to companies with whom they would perhaps struggle to be visible.

Over time Project Firefly will expand into a wider publishing platform for academics. Corporate sponsors will continue to host competitions on specific subjects, but open entries on any topic will also be welcome. In this way the platform will become a much needed new vehicle for fresh thought from all corners of the world.

One of our special skills is the ability to take big ideas and bring them to life, fast and at a high level. The ICON team developed the Project Firefly brand, designed and produced the launch site in under six weeks (over xmas) including name, logo, website, and the full social media program including: Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. Daniel Sabio gets credit for for nailing the name in the first round. The design team was led by Kate Ricci and Daniel Hernandez with Valerie Armstrong and Bianca Pettinicchi. Daniel Sabio and Ryan Davis led the development effort.

HSG Talents 2012 Smartphone App.

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  posted by 06 January 2012

For the HSG Talents Conference 2012 ICON has developed an innovative smartphone application, available for download fromwww.mobilehsgtalents.com. The app is currently available as a web app for all smartphones, an iPhone specific version will be available shortly in the iTunes store.

Over the course of Switzerland’s largest recruiting event participants will be able to access the latest information about events, sponsors, and recruiting company’s. The app serves as an essential added dynamic to this annual event allowing students to actively respond in real-time, as well as staying up to the minute on the latest updates from the conference team.

Yah? Das Blues

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  posted by 06 January 2012

It was friday, the end of my first work week.

Me and Daniel were trying to make the next train, rushing to turn out the lights, shut down the computers, eject harddrives, all that mess.

We had five minutes.

We hustled down the stairs where Lori stopped us for a few seconds to wish us an awesome weekend and suggest going to Ebenalp for some natural beauties.

Time was ticking.

There was only one option: take the new shortcut Jon had showed us earlier that day while walking Lucy and Napoleon.

It was dark.

Somewhat stumbling, I used my android phone’s backlight to see where my feet would land, swinging it around my body so Daniel could possibly see his behind me. I wasn’t sure if it was fully working, but neither of us completely fell, and my phone cut off when we hit the light.

We saw a train converging on the stop above us.

It was going in the opposite direction towards St. Gallen, but it was a signal that our train was coming at any second.

I started running. admittedly not the fastest I could run, but I had on a backpack and it was cold. As I emerged over the crest of the hill, our train was rounding the corner…it was up to me to cross the road and reach the button before it.

Here we go.

Fuck, a car blindsides me and decides to zoom by right at that clutch moment, forcing me to turn back.

Blinded by the headlight and whirring honk, I looked again to see if I could make it, but I didn’t really wanna be trackkill…or whatever they call it.

Daniel had just reached the top of the hill, as the train was passing, and mentioned maybe someone else pushed the button. (note:This is one of the smaller stops on the trainline where you have to push the button in order for the train to stop, or else it will just pass by.)

Nope. No one there to push the button, we concluded as it zoomed by.

As Daniel suggested, we would walk to Bühler, the next stop over, probably about a fifteen minute walk, to kill some time before the next train.

As we were walking there was a pop-up sign on the sidewalk that said “live musik”, and had a flashing light. it was at the front of a driveway leading to what appeared to be a woodchopping warehouse. I’m no warehouse expert, though.

I can’t lie, I was extremely asthmatic at this point in time, obviously underestimating how much running in the cold and high altitude could do to my little tim lungs.

Chest tightened, still breathing heavily, as we walked past it, I asked if Daniel had seen this sign before.
He said never, and when we were about fifteen steps beyond it, pausing to look up at the amazing palette of holes of light poked in the sky (yes, the stars) i said “sooooooo…do you wanna check it out?” He said alright, and we skeptically made our way down the little driveway, the smell of fresh wood arising around us.

We were at the bottom of the driveway, and all was dark. All except a little vine of christmas lights around what looked like an open doorway.

We crept toward it, where it lead us to a steep flight of stairs. About halfway down I heard the faint vibrations of electric guitar, but was still not entirely sure where we were going, or what it would be like. Almost at the bottom, a man was coming up the flight and greeted us in German, we responded saying “music?” and he pointed over behind him.

Safely at the bottom, floodlight flicking on, it appeared as though we were at someone’s house, but in the corner, behind a fenced door was a painted wall that read Blues Bar.

I smiled to myself.

It lead to one last steep flight of stairs, and a quick right into what I know now as the Buehler Blues Bar. It was a small kind of place, set up like an old-style cafe with tables and stools along the sides and a semi-circular stage at the end. The difference here, and part of its home-y aesthetic was that it was styled as a cave, with lanterns hanging along the walls above the tables.

The band, The Guitar Shop, was soundchecking as we came in. Aside from one or two others, we were the only ones there, and we grabbed a seat in the back, and took a peek at the menu. In usual Swiss style, the beer was a little pricey, but, being part of the adventure, at least one felt mandatory. The waitress quickly figured out we only spoke English, and surprisingly (for this area) knew it herself, and showed us some new options on the menu, which we ended up going with (a dark dunkel-style for those who are interested). A few minutes later, as the band started their run-through of a couple tunes, the waitress introduced us to her father and mother, apparently the owners of the bar.

Everyone was so welcoming, it felt great.

The band sounded great as well, a four piece playing classic American blues tunes, with a female vocalist with that soulful blues growl that’s ideal, and just good energy all around. They were fully enjoying their soundcheck, and as the waitress asked us where we were from and I said Georgia, the lead singer teased a little bit of “Georgia On My Mind” into the mic and winked at me. Too cool.
 About forty minutes later, as the room packed in with people, the real show started, which I have most of recorded, and I’ve included a few choice cuts below for your listening pleasure (in lo-fidelity).

Somewhere between the beginning of the second set, and the end of our “invited” beer, we decided it was time to go, but not without being pleasantly wished a good night and invited back in a couple weeks by all the staff.

As it turns out, the live blues only happens once every three weeks, so it could be said, in those times of rash decisions and/or when you feel that little tingling urging you back, DO IT, and you won’t regret it.

Oh, yeah, and sorry for cussing at you car, you secretly made my night.

 

Linkage through here to a long excerpt of audio [the second song is a Johnny Cash cover]: https://www.evernote.com/shard/s42/sh/4242806a-eb1d-4163-a7c4-66fe11ba5a09/18de0a57642e2886604a17cfdbdb3027

Introducing: St. Columbanus AG

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  posted by 21 December 2011

St. Columbanus AG is a new asset management company in Switzerland with a special focus on clients based in Ireland. Leveraging Switzerlands heritage as a safe and stable financial market, the founders of St.Columbanus AG provide a resource for small and large Irish investors concerned about keeping their money in Irish banks.

For ICON this represented a fantastic opportunity for craft a new financial brand. St.Columbanus was born in Ireland in 543, and travelled widely across Europe, including long stays in the St.Gallen region. Elements of the St.Columbanus logo and corporate design are inspired by the famous stained glass windows featuring St.Columbanus.

The website features images communicating security for families and small businesses in turbulent times. Social media is a integrated part of the marketing and communications strategy.  Twitter, YouTube and blogs provide a constant level of dynamic to the website, as well as cross-border reach for the St.Columbanus AG brand.

The board includes several prominent Irish based politicians and economists all of whom are active contributors to both blogs and twitter.  PR played an important role in creating buzz around the launch of the company particularly in Ireland (Link: Politics.Ie).  The IrisThe launch of the St.Columbanus company generated some interesting press across Ireland (Irish Journal) (Independent) , UK and Switzerland (FinNews).

STCAG

Switzerland Leads 2011 Global Innovation Index

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  posted by 02 November 2011

According to an the 2011 Global Innovation Index issued by INSEAD in collaboration with the UN, Switzerland is the most innovative country in the world, taking a leading position in important areas such as trademark applications, university & industry collaboration and science outputs.  When you think of Innovation, you think about new ideas, technologies and the ability to build businesses around this.  In these areas, related to Technology and Creativity, Switzerland ranked at the bottom of the list.  More details: JGlicksberg.com  New ideas and technologies connected with business are critical innovations that drive a large part of our society today. Nobody will deny the impact that technical attainments such as the iPhone, Google and Facebook had on our society in the last decade.

Unfortunately and unnecessarily, the small country in the heart of Europe needs to catch up in the field of creativity and technology, still facing high costs for startups, low online participation and creative services exports. Switzerland has proven its brainpower in research and science, but with more and more white collar jobs being outsourced to China and India, the competition is getting fierce. The actions of companies like Google and Yahoo!, which both established major offices in Switzerland, show that the country is attractive to business for many reasions, but if it wants to keep up, it needs to broaden its view and to put more effort into developing effective communication tools.

If Switzerland were able to establish itself as not only a leading force in the world in science, but then connect these achievements to technology and communicate them effectively through innovative, creative marketing, it could truly expand on the innovation promise.  Particularly in the current economic climate, Switzerland is well postitioned to promote investment in innovative platforms.  With strong govenment support, venture resources combined with the already present pharma and science leadership, a terrific platform is already in place for REAL innovation.

As a marketing and technology startup, this is an opportunity for us to help innovative Swiss companies to develop modern and creative marketing and communication methods.   And we see huge opportunities to partner with our clients in science, pharma and education to create innovative products and platforms to help Swiss companies compete effectively on an international level.

Amazon Fire

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  posted by 31 October 2011

This whole Amazon Fire has gone over much better than I think most people expected. They expected another sub par Android Tablet. What they got was a pretty good run a taking on and possibly creating an Android Market. The focus on this tablet seems to be entertainment. Reading books, watching tv and movies, and surfing the web (clearly that was high on the list). This is no iPad killer, it’s at best an iPad competitor.

What I think amazon has done best here is keep simple. Really this seems like a MVP (minmum viable product), it’s got the basics of what a tablet needs. It’s done those things very well (on paper at least, no one has one or has reviewed it). It seems Amazon wanted to play in the tablet game before it was too late. Smart. They aren’t shipping a crappy product or something sub par. They are shipping something that is basic, email, (take note RIM), a media player a browser and a way to read books. It doesn’t have a calendar or a way to take notes. It’s simple. They’ll ship something people will buy, listen to feedback, iterate, refine and ship an update or new tablet.

You can read the rest of Rigel’s thoughts on the Amazon Fire over on his blog.

Comments are closed.

Investor Relations 3.0: Social Media und Mobile Apps für regulierte Industrien

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  posted by 31 October 2011

Sowohl Social Media, als auch mobile Plattformen wie Smartphones oder Tablet PCs haben sich seit geraumer Zeit einen Platz in der Reihe der modernen Kommunikationstools gesichert. Nicht nur für die zwischenmenschlichte Kommunikation schaffen diese Geräte einen erheblichen Mehrwert, auch Unternehmen haben erkannt, dass sich diese Medien gut zum Informationsaustausch verwenden lassen. Sie bieten im Gegensatz zu klassischen Medien den Vorteil, interaktiv, zeitnah und zielgerichtet zu sein und bieten den angesprochenen die Möglichkeit sich am Kommunikationsprozess durch Feedback zu beteiligen. Für börsenkotierte Firmen ist Social Media sowohl eine Herausforderung, als auch eine Opportunität, auf jedenfall ist sie in Zukunft notwendig und darf nicht ignoriert werden. Der gesellschaftliche Wandel im Nutzungsverhalten von Technologien ist unübersehbar: 3G, der Standard für mobile Internetverbindungen, erreicht 20% der Weltbevölkerung, Smartphones und Tablet PCs werden in grösseren Stückzahlen verkauft als herkömmliche Computer. Mehr als 25% der Suchresultate, welche bei der Suche nach wichtigen Markennahmen entstehen, wurden durch unabähngige Privatpersonen generiert und sind somit inhaltlich weder kontrollier- noch verifizierbar.

Die Herausforderung, sich an diesem konstanten Dialog zu beteiligen, ist für viele Konzerne gross.Schon lange werden Geschäftsberichte von Unternehmen mit grossem Aufwand gestaltet. In jüngster Zeit werden viele Geschäfte auch interaktiv gestaltet und für mobile Geräte wie das iPad zugeschnitten.In Zukunft werden mobile Applikationen ideale Plattformen für Unternehmen sein, um zeitnah mit ihren wichtigsten Investoren zu kommunizieren.

Durch Social Media erwarten die Nutzer nun, Informationen kommentieren und weitergeben zu können. Der Druck dieser Anforderungen ist gross und Firmen können diese nur mit gemischtem Erfolg erfüllen. Während es nun leichter ist, negative und falsche Information zu verbreiten, sind die möglichkeiten für Firmen, bezüglich diesen Informationen Stellung zu nehmen, sehr limitiert, weil sie sich auf traditionelle Kommunikationswege wie Pressemeldungen oder Interviews beschränken.

Schwer haben es Betriebe, welche in regulierten Industrien wie dem Banking. Sie laufen Gefahr, in Konflikt mit dem Regulator zu kommen, wenn die veröffentlichte Information nicht gewissen Auflagen entspricht und die Auflagen sind schwer durchzusetzen, da unzählige Privatpersonen und Mitarbeiter für den Inhalt auf Social Media Plattformen verantwortlich sind, welche sich nur mit grossem Aufwand lückenlos kontrollieren lassen.

Aber auch hier wagen einige vorsichtige Gehversuche. So hat zum Beispiel Morgan Stanley 600 Brokern erlaubt, unter Aufsicht und gewissen Vorgaben Twitter und LinkedIn zu nutzen; hat das Pilotprojekt Erfolg, soll die Erlaubnis auf mehrere tausend Mitarbeiter ausgedehnt werden. Die preisgegebene Information wird vom US-Regulator FINRA als Werbung klassifiziert und hat

somit deren Vorgaben bezüglich Social Media zu erfüllen, welche im Jahre 2010 herausgegeben wurden, doch da die Information weltweit abrufbar ist, muss sie gleichzeitig auch den Vorgaben anderer Regulierungsbehörten standhalten, in denen die Bank aktiv ist. Um diese Richtlinien zu erfüllen kontrolliert Morgan Stanley den auf Twitter und LinkedIn veröffentlichten Inhalt vor der Publikation, zeichnet ihn auf und speichert ihn für drei Jahre. Ebenfalls bestehen gewisse Verhaltensregeln. Auf LinkedIn zum Beispiel dürfen Broker nicht mit beliebigen Personen in Verbindung treten oder sich und andere Personen weiterempfehlen.

Der Gebrauch von Apps auf Smartphones und Tablet PCs vermacht Grosskonzernen die Möglichkeit, mit den loyalsten Investoren in einen direkten Dialog zu treten. Pioniere wie Nestlé und Shell haben begonnen, ihre Applications mit einer Kombination von Geschäftsbericht, Pressemeldungen und Börsendaten auszustatten.

Diese ersten Gehversuche zeigen die unzähligen, unausgeschöpften Möglichkeiten auf, in Echtzeit auf Nachrichten und Ereignisse zu reagieren. Firmen unternehmen oft einen grossen Effort, um ihre Marke in der Welt der Sozialen Medien mit einem guten Image zu versehen und regieren aktiv auf Vorfälle, die ihren Aktienpreis beeinflussen könnten. Mobile Apps ermöglichen ihnen dies auf eine attraktive Weise.

PDF hier herunterladen

 

 

Case Study: Using Social Media to Support Rare Disease Research

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  posted by 31 October 2011

There is an enormous struggle to leverage the strengths of social media in the health care space.  This challenge is widely discussed in the media as pharma companies seek clear guidelines from regulatory agencies.  Regardless, the massive potential to use social media and community efforts to support pharmaceutical and disease research is real and patients and the medical community are slowly edging towards programs that work without violating regulation.  Driving the success is a real demand, on one side, are the patients and communities of those suffering from diseases who desperately, and actively, seek information and discussion.  On the other side are the foundations and pharma companies who are actively trying to locate people suffering from these diseases in order to get them to participate in the clinical research critical to advancing cures.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research recently launched the Fox Trial Finder project to help Parkinson’s patients find clinical trials in their area.  Only 1 in 10 Parkinson’s patients currently participates in the trial which are so vital to finding a cure.  ICON developed the social media platforms which provided a foundation for spreading the word.

The effort provides one example of a model which can have success, and demonstrates the huge potential of social media in this field when executed with a clear strategy and objective. Within one month of launch over 500 new clinical trial participants were signed up. The story was spread and followed by over 45,000 FaceBook Fans and 4,500 Twitter followers:
Fox Foundation Case

Social Media Strategies for Highly Regulated Industries

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  posted by 31 October 2011

Highly regulated industries such as pharma or finance face enormous challenges to use social media effectively, without violating regulatory restrictions. Clear, these companies cannot afford to wait for easy solutions. For both pharma and finance, the issues are similar. Broadly speaking, companies cannot be seen as making unsolicited recommendations such as “buy this stock” or “use this drug”. International regulatory issues are particularly challenging. As Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn etc. are effectively borderless, companies must be extremely careful not to violate a regulation in some far-flung nation. Finally, most daunting of all, how to respond to the mass commentary taking place about their companies and business areas without their input. The blogging public has created a large share of search results for major brands, in fact, 25% of search results for major brands are user content. For all companies the need to respond to this public discussion is critical.

Morgan Stanley’s recent announcement that 600 of its most elite brokers will begin to use Twitter and LinkedIn (See Bloomberg) demonstrates one potential solution, and a small step forward. In 2010 the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued the first guidelines for social media use.  Essentially, as all broker communication is already recorded and archived, so will the the social media activity. The same regulations regarding insider trading and recommendations apply to social media. Effectively all information has to be treated as sales literature for public distribution. On Twitter advisors will be limited to posting information which has been approved in advance by Morgan Stanley. On LinkedIn, brokers may not be allowed to randomly connect to people, they may not recommend themselves, or be recommended by others. And all activity will be archived on a custom Morgan Stanley system for three years. For more, see: Morgan Stanley Cautiously Wades Into the Social Media Waters – Will Others Follow.

For pharma, the regulatory issues are quite similar, in principal they may not promote their brands or products in an unregulated manner, and they must be wary of differences in international restrictions.  Unfortunately, here to, the regulators are slow to respond.  The first FDA hearings on social media were held in 2009, but formal guidelines are still, apparently, being developed.  The FDA has managed to remind pharma companies that, as with finance, the standard communication guidelines apply.  For example, any references to specific drugs must include the relevant risk information, and can only be advertised for it’s specific uses, etc.  But after that it gets tricky, what happens when a FaceBook user makes a comment implying broader benefits for a drug, and then this comment gets shared within a branded context?  Pharma regulations also require companies to notify the FDA in cases of “adverse events”, i.e. when a customer reports a negative effect from a drug.  This implies that if a patient complains about a drug in a FaceBook post, the pharma companies are obligated to be aware of the comment and report it.

On the other side, are the massive opportunities social media presents for both pharma companies and patients actively seeking out as much information as possible about their illness. We are closely connected to the cause of Rare Diseases through our work with CheckOrphan and Swiss Rare Disease Day.  Orphan diseases are diseases which affect less than 1 in 2,000 people, and therefore do not receive the research and funding they require to find a solution.  For these people, finding as much information as possible is hugely important, as is connecting to a global community of people who have experiences or information to share.  An additional challenge, since doctors so rarely encounter these sicknesses, they often do not recognize them, and fail to make proper diagnosis.

In this context, finding the right balance of utilizing the strengths of social media to share information and build communities, within the regulatory framework is a clear challenge.  It seems likely, regulation will adapt to meet challenges of this new media over time.

Mobile Apps. Are Revolutionizing Investor Relations

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  posted by 31 October 2011

Todays Investor Relations professional is living in a fast paced, highly reactive environment.  Gone are the days of the quarterly and annual report, the investor conference call and the occasional press conference. Global markets react to international news and events at lightening speed. The growth of blogs and social media releases massive quantities of uncontrolled information related to their companies.  Morgan Stanley reports that 25% of search results for the worlds largest brands are user generated content.  The need to control the conversation, and react dynamically to news and events has never been more important and challenging.

The mobile internet is mainstream

The mobile internet has become mainstream via the rapid expansion of 3G networks and the proliferation of mobile devices. Active investors, constantly on the move, are receiving a steady flow of information which impacts their decisions.  This demographic is highly likely to seek information on a mobile device.

Companies need to respond to news and events in real-time

Large, global corporations are under increasing pressure to guide the conversation about their brand, and to react in real-time to news and events which may effect their market performance on any given day.  Active investors, both institutional and private, are critical constituencies for these companies, and represent the most mobile demographic.  Mobile apps, provide an excellent vehicle for companies to react to news directly in the context of their companies market performance.

The Annual Report as a dynamic brand experience

The annual report is typically, the most important investor and brand document produced each year.  Already many companies produce rich html versions of their AR, and some companies have begun to make the first step towards tablet apps. of varying levels of effort.  By bringing this carefully created brand content into a mobile application, companies have a head-start towards creating a rich, interactive brand experiences, within a „Mobile CI“; i.e. a brand conform user interface and design concept for mobile apps.

The Annual Report is a natural starting point for companies building an Investor targeted app.  To transfer the AR experience, they need to consider ways to translate the content into the touch-screen environment, integrate updates and utilize rich-media, and the natural inclination to share the content via social media.

You can view the full presentation here:

The Emergence of Mobile Apps for Investor Relations

Behind the Growth in HTML5 Based WebApps for Publishers & Business

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  posted by 31 October 2011

Launched last week, the FT app has had 100,000 user downloads! Discussing the drawbacks of the iTunes App. Store subscription model for publishers, MB Christie, Head of Product Development for the FT (via: says, “By not knowing who are our customers are, we can’t give access to all devices, if you signed up. [Not giving the 30 percent cut of purchases] is a side benefit of not having to go through the Apple cycle. However, it would have been a different conversation if the data was available…. Only 50 percent of consumers who buy through the App Store opt to share their data with the publishers they are purchasing products from. “The metered model doesn’t work when you don’t get the info. Apple also doesn’t support corporate accounts.”
Some nice additional development notes:

- 15 percent of last year’s FT digital subscription downloads were through a mobile device
- The FT HTML app will feature video and other enhanced features.
- The content can also be read offline, as data can be stored offline via HTML 5.
- Through Web browser access, there are automatic updates to the app, as the product refreshes itself without user download, as apps through the App Store require.

13. June 2011

There are some interesting new developments related to iPad apps for publications. On June 9, the New York Times, reported that Apple will now allow publishers to sell subscriptions outside of the iTunes App store / newsstand. This is, in fact, a huge concession from Apple who gives up their 30% commission on all sales made through the store. The hitch appears to be that apps are not allowed to contain a “Buy” button linking to an external website for sales. This means, in effect that a publication app such as the New York Times iPad app may not link to the times site to sell a subscription directly from the site.

I have supported paying for publisher content in the past on my blog, see “All Content is Not Created Equal” for the simple reason that professional journalism is better content.  Indeed, regardless of your point of view on the subject, it does seem clear that you will soon have no choice except to pay for this content or give it up.

The more interesting development, however, is the emergence of HTML5 WebApps by publications such as NPR and the Financial Times. These webapps, have all of the same functionality as a native app, downloadable from the iTunes store, with none of the Apple imposed restrictions. It is no wonder that the first to develop are publishers with extremely loyal followings, and therefore do not need to leverage the massive reach of the iTunes app store for marketing and sales support.  The Nieman Media Lab as a good post related to this subject here: The FT sticks to its guns, won’t publish a ‘dumb’ iPad app The implications of this chink in the iTunes armor are potentially huge. One can only imagine how eager music publishers will be to get their 30% back to their own bottom-line.

WebApps are increasingly attractive for all types of businesses considering mobile app development.  Obviously, all clients and agencies are seeking opportunities to streamline and reduce development costs. Developing and maintaining a native app in the iTunes store can be a sizable investment for any organization.  And, of course, the iTunes store reaches only the OS users of iPhones and iPads, and not the sizable user base for Android and Blackberry.  HTML5 based webapps have a far easier ability to go cross platform, across iPhone, Android and Blackberry smart phones and well as tablets.   And managing content and analytics is far more customizable in a webapp environment built on the clients own content management system.  The WebApp becomes a fully integrated part of the IT infrastructure in a way a native app can never be.

This video demo is an excellent example of a fully functional HTML5 based WebApp:

Stat of the Day: Social Drives 25% of Search Results for World’s Largest Brands

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  posted by 31 October 2011

Why should large corporations take social media seriously? Consider this chart:

- 25% of search results for the world’s largest brands are user generated content
- “Share” is replacing email as a communication in time spent
- The fastest growing demographic on Facebook is age 55-65

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NPR’s Robert Kurlich, "If you can… fall in love, with the work…."

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  posted by 31 October 2011

So, after writing the post below, we wanted to think more about how young designers should actually proceed in practical terms.  And, then I stumbled on NPR journalist Robert Kurlich’s commencement address to the Berkeley School of Journalism.  Much of what he say’s to journalists enterring the market is equally relevant for designers. You can read his complete speech on the Discover Blog.

    “What if – and here’s a horrible thought – that because you were born in 1980, or 82, 85, 87, graduating into a job-stricken, wildly changing economy… maybe you’re just doomed. Some of you must be thinking that—and for you who are, and to your parents, I say: No, no, and no.
    I am here to tell you, that you are stepping into a world that is riper, more pregnant with newness, new ideas, new beats, new opportunities than most generations of journalists before you. You are lucky to be you, very lucky, though you may not be feeling it at the moment.”

This certainly holds equally true for designers who embrace technology such as website and app design.  These markets remain a boom.  But, the point is, what do you do in practical terms. Step one, I believe, is old-school “pound the pavement”.  Make a list of every single company remotely interesting.  Try to sort out an individual that you can reach out to via email, and…make your pitch.  And, follow-up, keep in touch, etc.

I always give the same advice, don’t obsess about whether each company is the right fit or you respect their exact type of work (advertising vs. design, etc.) etc. etc.  Play the odds, follow every lead, and then take decisions based on the options that appear.  The best advice I ever received in my own job searches was, “first get the offer”.  Once you have the offer in hand, you can decide if xyz position is really right for you at the given moment in time.

Still, the odds are against you, so what next?  And here, Kurlich’s advice to journalists are just as relevant for designers:

    “Some people when they look for a job in journalism ask themselves, What do I like to do and Who can take me there? Who can get me to a war zone? To a ballpark? To Wall Street? To politicians, to movie stars? Who’s got the vehicle? And you send them your resume and you say, “I want a seat in your car.” … And you wait.
    But there are some people, who don’t wait.
    I don’t know exactly what going on inside them; but they have this… hunger. It’s almost like an ache. Something inside you says I can’t wait to be asked I just have to jump in and do it.
    Suppose, instead of waiting for a job offer from the New Yorker, suppose next month, you go to your living room, sit down, and just do what you love to do. If you write, you write. You write a blog. If you shoot, find a friend, someone you know and like, and the two of you write a script. You make something. No one will pay you. No one will care, No one will notice, except of course you and the people you’re doing it with. But then you publish, you put it on line, which these days is totally doable, and then… you do it again.
    After they wrote, they tweeted and facebooked and flogged their blogs, and because they were good, and worked hard, within a year or two, magazines asked them to affiliate (on financial terms that were insulting), but they did that, and their blogs got an audience, and then they got magazine assignments, then agents, then book deals, and now, three, four years after they began, these folks, five or six of them, are beginning to break through. They are becoming not just science writers with jobs, they are becoming THE science writers, the ones people read, and look to… they’re going places. And they’re doing it on their own terms! In their own voice, they’re free to be themselves AND they’re paid for it!
    If you can… fall in love, with the work, with people you work with, with your dreams and their dreams. Whatever it was that got you to this school, don’t let it go. Whatever kept you here, don’t let that go. Believe in your friends. Believe that what you and your friends have to say… that the way you’re saying it – is something new in the world.”

You can read his complete speech on the Discover Blog.

Prolonged US Unemployment, The Non-Recovery & What it Means for Young Designers

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  posted by 31 October 2011

Paul Krugman’s op-ed in last weeks New York Times neatly summarizes the dire economic and political situation presently facing the United States and eloquently addresses the long-term impact of prolonged unemployment.

    “Unemployment isn’t just blighting the lives of millions, it’s undermining America’s future. The longer this goes on… …the more young people will find their prospects destroyed because they can’t find a decent starting job.”

At ICON Worldwide, we are very close to this issue, we see a lot of recent college graduates and have a very clear sense of how difficult the US job market remains.  And, we are committed to not letting the economic pressures of today, knock talented people out of the design business. For graphic designers the market is flooded with recent graduates, as well as more experienced designers competing for these very scarce job openings.

Amazingly, the most exciting growth area in marketing and design for the last several years has been interactive and social media.  Here there ARE jobs for designers who are trained and have real experience implementing programs, but university design programs do not teach these skills.  University curriculums have not kept up with the times, and are not providing designers with the skills they need to be employable.  It’s astonishing to think about a recent college graduate leaving a university design program without any formal training in website screen design.  From my perspective this is a real failure of design programs to prepare their students to be employable.  And, as a result, design firms like ours end up picking up some of the slack in helping to develop these marketable skills. (Related post: University Design Programs are Failing Young Designers.)

In the ICON internship program we typically see two types of applicants; recent college graduates, and those who have been in the job market for one to three years. The interns who have already worked as designers arrive here knowing how competitive the job market is and how hard they will have to work to succeed in the design business.  They use this internship as a time to develop new skills, especially in the interactive and social media area, and are extremely successful in finding full-time employment in big agencies when they return to the US.

For students preparing to enter the job market, so much of the news and messaging they receive is negative and anxiety provoking.  The HSG Talents Conference at the University of St.Gallen is the largest job fair in Switzerland, and for the past two years we have worked to bring a spirit of optimism into the design and headlines. We worked collaboratively with student teams to develop the marketing platforms each year. In 2010, we worked under the line “Choose Your Path” and in 2011, “Create Your Future”.  Both lines are reflective of our belief in inspiring recent graduates to rise to meet the challenge of this tough job market, without sacrificing their professional ambitions.

This economy separates the passionate and gifted from the rest of the pack.  We know if takes tremendous chutzpah for a recent graduate to move to New York, Chicago, Atlanta or San Francisco, to follow their career ambitions.  And, when they get there, they need to work harder and keep up the stamina for several years until they hopefully get settled. Long-term, it is important not just to the advertising and design industry that young talent is cultivated and supported, but to our society at large.

Engineering Success: RWTH Aachen University

Aachen

  posted by 31 October 2011

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The RWTH Aachen University is one of Germany’s leading engineering university. Executive Education is consolidated at the International Academy. ICON has begun a rebranding of the International Academy in order to help strengthen its position in the competitive field of executive education. The line, “Engineering Success” is designed to leverage the RWTH Aachen Universities known heritage as a top engineering university, with a motivational drive to enrol. The line is relevant to both companies, who book executive education courses for their employees, and for individuals looking for a competitive advantage in a difficult market.

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The rebranding project spans both web and print communications.  The new website, features a fresh modern design, highlighting both their business units, and uniques course formats.  Site visitors, can explore the complete course offerings via the dynamic course filter.

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Managing Social Media Evolution: Our Work for the Michael J. Fox Foundation & The St.Gallen MBA.

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  posted by 31 October 2011

Managing social media within small to mid-size companies requires ongoing optimization. Depending on how slow or fast an organization was to embrace social media, determines where they find themselves today. Many companies, for example, who were quick to implement Twitter, Facebook and YouTube channels, now find themselves faced with the challenge of harmonizing their brands appearance, and developing a cohesive strategy for each channel.

Likewise, companies who quickly added “Like” and “Twitter” buttons to the bottom of their website pages now face the challenge of creating fully integrated “Share” functionality without the delay and cost of a complete website redesign. Finally, are the brands who, having already experienced how critical social media has become for their businesses, begin to integrate it more fully into their core website, and marketing activities.

At whatever stage an organization finds itself in implementing social media, managing the evolution of these programs is of huge strategic importance to their businesses, and also an organizational challenge related to manpower and financial resources.  Our recent work for The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and The St.Gallen MBA gave us great insights into the challenges small to mid-size organizations face to make the most of social media.

1. Define Your Strategy, Align Your Social Media Channels

For The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research social media has quickly become an extremly active community with over 20,000 fans across two primary FB pages, the Official Foundation FanPage and Team Fox, a grassroots community of Parkinson’s sufferers, caregivers, supporters and the medical community. The Foundation, however, has clear business objectives focussed on raising funds for Parkinson’s research.  And concern had arisen that the disparent presence was hindering these objectives.

In order to refocus their efforts we zeroed in on the role of Social Media for the Foundation, and defined specific roles for each of their platforms. We created a consistent branding concept across the official pages.  The design elements include a single avatar, consistent background, and navigation structure across the FaceBookYouTubeTwitter and Tumblr blog.

Each social media channel has a clearly defined role.  On Facebook, for examples, we created a central hub for foundation activity under the title „Get Involved“, which drives people to the main website.  Fundraising is presented clearly and facilitated under a FB tab „Donate Now.“ The new Tumblr blog delivers behind-the-scenes photos and videos from fundraising events.

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2. Integrate Social Media Functionality to Your Existing Website

Like many organizations, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research website was designed before it was clear how strong a role social media would play.  Simple links to Facebook or Twitter, added in an ad hoc manner, had become insufficient, yet a full site redesign is clearly a large undertaking both strategically and financially, especially for a non-profit organization.

In order to help manage this transition we advised them to take an intermediate step, and work to integrate social media icons into their current site by updating key html templates including „Share“, „Like“, „Tweet“ functionality.  We created a standard set of icons, with the line “connect with us”, and placed it across four key page templates, including the “homepage”, a standard “landing page”, the “News & Events” page and a standard “text page”.

3. Host Your Community on Your Website, The Full Site Redesign

Ultimately, while sites like FaceBook and YouTube are powerful tools for companies and brands, it is a mistake to rely on them too heavily as destinations in themselves.  The early trend for companies to build robust Facebook fanpages resulted, in some cases, with declining site traffic on their own primary websites.  Increasingly, many brands are concerned about controlling their brand experience, and importantly having consumer data, when 3rd party platforms are relied upon too heavily.

Last year, our client The St.Gallen MBA recognized the amount of activity their students and alumni were engaging in, independantly, on Facebook.  Like all businesses, University MBA programs have their own unique goals and challenges.  Among them is the dynamic of recruiting candidates from around the world, over an extended 1-2 year time frame.  Then, after completing their programs, MBA alumni are extremely interested in all networking opportunities, including online communities.  These forces combine to create a large, active and international community of St.Gallen MBA prospects, students and alumni, all of whom actively seek out the program online

In a first phase implementation, The St.Gallen MBA sought to create a formal home for this community on FaceBook and began using Twitter as a way to spread MBA relevant news.  And, towards the end of the year, we developed a program whereby 5 students blog throughout their 2 year MBA program.  Finally, Faculty and administration blogs have been added as well.

In 2011 we redesigned the complete site, with an eye towards the seamless integration of social media.  Live feeds from Twitter, News and Blogs are prominent on the homepage.  As well, we worked to provide as much community content on the actual site itself in a community center and video portal, reducing the need for visitors to leave our site to visit FaceBook YouTube etc.  In this way, people who are on The St.Gallen MBA website, and want to watch videos, for example, can do so without having to go to YouTube, where they can then be distracted away from the brand or brought to competitive content from other University programs.

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Create Your Future! The HSG TALENTS Conference 2011

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  posted by 31 October 2011

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For the second year, ICON is pleased to support the HSG TALENTS Conference. The largest recruiting event in Switzerland, the conference is an opportunity for potential employers to connect with undergraduate, graduate and alumni of the University of St.Gallen.  This years theme, “Create Your Future” is designed to establish a sense of optimism for students preparing to enter a job market which promises to remain challenging.

ICON has extended the 2010 marketing concept into 2011, including a redesign of print, website and tradeshow signage.  New in 2011 is the active use of Facebook and Twitter to keep interested parties informed and involved.

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ICON Launches Social Media for Michael J. Fox Foundation

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  posted by 31 October 2011

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ICON New York has introduced a new social media program for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.  The Michael J. Fox Foundation is a leading fund raiser and community supporting research into Parkinson’s disease. ICON New York was approached to consider ways to take advantage of social media to increase awareness, interactions within their community, and increase donations.

The redesigned Facebook Fanpage, already with 16,000 plus fans, has special tabs for supporters who want to “Get Involved” and increases the impetus to “Donate”.

On the new Tumblr Blog followers can see behind the scenes reports from foundation related events around the world. Finally, Twitter, with 1,500 followers already, and YouTube help spread branded content further.

ICON Internship Travel Tips

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  posted by 31 October 2011

Without doubt, one of the perks of the internship program is the ability to travel intensively throughout Europe.  Our interns are on the move every weekend.  Big thanks to Jen Hajar and Chris Emmer for putting together this list of their favorite destinations:

Intern Trip Ideas


ICON Launches Three New Websites for University of St.Gallen.

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  posted by 31 October 2011

ICON has developed three new websites for the premier Masters programs of the University of St.Gallen.  The websites for The St.Gallen MBA, Executive MBA and Omnium Global Executive MBA are designed to meet the needs of three distinctive target audiences.  Each website features a clean, modern design, best practices in site development, and integrated social media and community features.

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The St.Gallen MBA: Developing Responsible Leaders

The flagship, English language MBA program has a special challenge to raise awareness and recruit among top-tier candidates from across the globe.  Within Europe, The University of St.Gallen is highly regarded, but outside of Europe awareness is low.  Following the advent of the financial crisis we sought to carve a position of relevance by going to the core of the curriculum.  “Developing Responsible Leaders” speaks to the MBA programs mission to educate individuals with a view towards sustainable, long-term, responsible management.

The website integrates the St.Gallen MBA community directly into the website, in order to maintain as much of the activity on the core website, and not rely entirely on social media sites.

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ICON Launches Swiss Foundation Against Anxiety & Depression

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  posted by 31 October 2011

The Swiss Foundation Against Anxiety & Depression (SFAD) is committed to raising awareness for mental health related issues in Switzerland. Anxiety, Depression and mental health issues tend to be minimalized in Switzerland. A recent study indicates that fully 60% of individuals suffering from a related mental illness do not receive the correct treatment, in large part because doctors may not be fully informed of the proper medical treatments available for these illnesses.  The foundation, founded by Gabriele Bär-Richner, is committed to raising awareness of mental health issues at large, informing doctors of the latest medical trends, and, most importantly, helping sufferers get the help they need.

The foundation works closely with the Zentrum für Angst- und Depressionsbehandlung Zürich who are the leading medical authorities in Switzerland.  Among the planned activities is the annual symposium in April, 2011 where the latest information in mental health treatments will be presented.  The foundation was introduced this weekend in a profile article in the SonntagsZeitung.

For ICON, we were immediately drawn to the project, in part because of the clear need in Switzerland, where people are hesitant to discuss mental illness openly.  We were asked to develop a brand platform which could support all of the necessary audience.  For SFAD, this includes three main targets: (1) Sufferers, (2) Doctors and (3) Supporters.

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As a first step towards bringing this new foundation forward, we looked at the cause and tried to find a symbol which would be at once recognizable, connected to the cause, yet hopeful and positive.  We spent some time with a simple image of a tear, which we then turned upside down into a positive exclamation point.  In the end, we hope the symbol is simple, yet representative of the mission of the foundation.  The strength of the symbol is its’ ability to dynamically adjust for each of the three audiences.  Over time, we are confident in its’ ability to continue to evolve within the planned marketing materials.  The full logo exploration is posted on our blog post: SFAD Logo Exploration

The official launch of the foundation is planned for January, 2011.  Our interim webpage, www.SFAD.ch introduces the logo and foundation, and allows people to “Get Help” via the ZADZ, join the cause or read the press announcement.  The full site launch is in production, and scheduled to launch in January, 2011.

Swiss Foundation Against Anxiety & Depression Logo Exploration

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  posted by 31 October 2011

We had a lot of fun exploring with visual identity of this brand new foundation. The brief challenged us to: (1) create a symbol which would be recognized as associated with depression and mental illness, while (2) bringing an spirit of optimism and (3) community to the cause. The logo should be able to support three very different audiences, Sufferers, which includes “Care-givers”, Doctors, and Supporters; i.e. fundraising. And the icon should be extendable as stand-alone with instant recognition.

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TEDx Zurich

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  posted by 31 October 2011

The first TEDx Zurich event was awesome!  The “x” in TEDx is important, and one has to abandon comparisons to the original TED conference. The TEDx concept is just different, independent from TED supervision and fueled by the enthusiasm of the local organizers and presenters- big thank you to both.

The TED conference is surprisingly not so well known over here, many people, organizers and presenters alike, admitted they had never heard of TED prior to the Zurich event.  To my mind, the missed opportunity was not reaching out to the broader Swiss business and social community.  Zurich is a small town, and TEDx tended to skew towards the internet/blogger crowd, which is somewhat insular.  Switzerland is a country with a disproportionate number of powerful business leaders, politicians and NGO’s such as the United Nations, World Health Organization, etc.  Surely these individuals would have leapt at the chance to reach a broad audience, and would have elevated the entire level of the event.  Next year ;)

The result, or overall impression, was a bit hit or miss, with huge points for effort and spirit.  The level of enthusiasm was high, the crowd was friendly and the best of the speakers delivered fresh, new ideas. Many of the videos are on YouTube. My highlights:

Robin Cornelius , the CEO of Switcher gave a fun presentation on the evolution of products.  And the importance of full transparency, meaning the ability to know exactly where, how, and under which conditions everything from a t-shirt to a table is produced.  He has led the movement by building respect-code.org where you can enter the bar code from your switcher shirt and get the complete production details.  The video is not yet on YouTube, but will be soon.  But, the idea of traceable products is great, has huge potential.

The students from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology who built the BallBot, were also great.  Basically, the Ballbot, it is a robot with massive rang of motion, and a single point of surface contact, capable of stable mobility of to 40kmph! Beyond the coolness of any robot, their enthusiasm was infectious and the local pride of having built this in Zurich to worldwide acclaim added to the fun.

TEDxZurich-Corsin Gwerder and Lukas Limacher-Show their one-wheeled robot

I also very much enjoyed the presentation by Abbot Martin Werlen from the Benedictine Abbey of Einsedeln who connected Twitter to the teachings of Saint Benedict from the year 950, “Listen to those from whom you expect nothing.”  The ICON fieldtrip to Einsedeln is in the works!  And I have become a loyal Twitter follower of @AbtMartin

TEDxZurich-Martin Werlen-Wants us to listen to those from whom we expect nothing

There were other “good” speakers, but many would have benefitted from public speaking training, and abandoning their power-point slides.  Too many of the presentations failed to deliver on the combination of a truly big ideal, delivered well, in the true tradition of TED.

Still, the overall effect was positive.  It is indeed important to step out of the day-to-day life of deliverables and timelines, and to assess the importance of Passion and Mission.  And, in this respect, TEDx Zurich did its’ job.

SBB to MTA: Whitney Goodell is Headed to NYC

Appenzeller_Bahn

  posted by 31 October 2011

ICON Designer Whitney Goodell is headed back to NYC, we’ll miss her!  Whitney is an incredibly talented, hard working designer.  While she was with us she worked on a wide variety of projects including print design, newspaper advertising, website design and social media programs.  Her portfolio is here: WhitneyGoodell

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Outside of the office, Whitney made the most of the experience of living and working in Europe.  Check out her blog, here: Designonrepeat

GE & Intel on Tackling Big Issues

  posted by 31 October 2011

Comments are closed.

How Universities & Companies Can Partner to Lead Innovation

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  posted by 31 October 2011

For a recent client presentation, we dove into the massive potential that exists for Universities and Corporations to foster and support the new technologies and businesses needed to drive the economic rebound.

Indeed, neither party was particularly fast out of the gate when the financial crisis arrived. And, both Universities and Corporations were, justifiably, blamed for much of the economic collapse and it’s impact on society. Universities, in particular MBA programs, were accused of embracing the culture of greed, and focussing on creating consultants and bankers with no real commitment to society. Likewise, many major corporations, over-leveraged themselves and faced massive drops in value, which in turn impacted the individual consumer with the resulting and continuing high unemployment levels.

Yet, many of the major corrections needed to spur the massive re-boot demanded for an economic rebound, such as new technologies, innovation and capital support can be most easily solved by bringing Universities and large corporations together. Universities, as traditional homes of research, youth-powered innovation, and forward-thinking, and corporations, who are motivated by the capital desire to grow and, hopefully, a sense of commitment to their communities.

The partnership between Universities and Corporations to drive innovation is a proven model. Consider the development of Google at Stanford (see Wired 13.08), or the entrepreneurial atmosphere at MIT.

Applying this spirit to meeting the economic, and environmental issues of today seems natural, responsible and a potentially very promising model.

We feel we are seeing the first moves of corporations stepping up to solve big issues such as the recent Ecomagination Challenge program from GE. That there is a marketing message here is clear, but bringing venture capital and the GE production engine behind the development of solutions to big problems seems tremendously promising.

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On the University front, there are several Universities with programs to promote, “Entrepreneurship”. The most interesting we found was Columbia University in NYC, whose Technology Ventures seeks to make the most out of the relationship between the University and the access to venture capital in New York. Columbia has done a good job of making the transfer from the academic environment to real, viable business possible.

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Mobile is Mainstream: The Two Most Important Slides of the Year

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  posted by 31 October 2011

So far this year, two slides have shaped our conversations more than any other. Both come from the Morgan Stanley internet trends report, see my earlier blog post: MS

The first slide demonstrates that Global 3G penetration has reached the point of inflection, whereby it is available to the mass market:

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The second slide charts the purchase growth of Smart Phones versus PC shipments:

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The combined effect of these trends is clear: Mobile internet has reached the mainstream and clients and agencies need to adapt their development strategies to accommodate this new user expectation. Users will increasingly access data across multiple devises. For example, a user searching for information on a product, may well, begin the browsing experience on a laptop, and then continue it on a iPhone while out of office. Therefore, not only does information need to be optimized and available across all platforms, it needs to be 100% synchronized.

This tends, to argues against apps, in favor of websites which are designed with mobile devises on mind from the start. As new sites begin to emerge, such as the recent Newsweek redesign, we feel we are seeing more use of horizontal boxes, reduced headers, and touch optimized navigation which simultaneously introduces a new look to desktop views, and morphs nicely onto a tablet or a phone.

ICON Awarded Redesign of University of St.Gallen Executive School Websites Including, MBA & Executive MBA.

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  posted by 31 October 2011

ICON Worldwide has been awarded the redesign of the University of St.Gallen Executive School website, including websites for The St.Gallen MBA and Executive MBA. Our proposal, with an eye towards the future, introduces a modern, elegant design which will work towards improving customer acquisition, integrating social media, and bridging tablets & mobile devices in and out of the classroom.

Three years ago, ICON introduced the current website design, built on the customers existing CMS. At the time of its’ introduction, the design concept was a departure for the University, prominently featuring “Leadership” faculty and a simple, photographic template system. The relevance of this design has proven itself, in measurable business performance for our customer, as well as extensions across traditional print collateral and advertising design.

The website has expanded tremendously over the years, without losing its fundamental design integrity. Modular expansion to include new sites and programs, such as the Executive MBA and Global EMBA, all featured innovative, custom flash animations which have stood the test of time.

New technologies, the advance of Social Media, and rapid adaptation of mobile technologies have created powerful new communication channels for Universities to engage with their customers, build relationships, and promote courses. Our recently introduced program for The St.Gallen MBA has engaged students and alumni with great success. The program reaches people where they are already active, including student and administration blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. We are tremendously excited to continue this exciting partnership!

Introducing the 2010 Supelco Seminar Series

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  posted by 31 October 2011

Sigma Seminar

Fall Campaign for the Executive MBA of the University of St.Gallen

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  posted by 31 October 2011

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ICON Worldwide is pleased to announce the launch of the fall campaign for the Executive MBA of the University of St.Gallen, the top ranked Executive MBA taught in German.

The new campaign challenges individuals to meet the demands of today’s difficult economic climate head-on. “Business is changing, trust in the proven leader.” reminds individuals selecting an EMBA, that The University of St.Gallen has a strong history of guiding individuals through changing economic scenarios.

The fall campaign will appear in top business publications in Switzerland and Germany, including the Neu Zürcher Zeitung, Handlesblatt, and the TagesAnzeiger.

Behind the Online Career Counselor

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  posted by 31 October 2011

The Executive School at the University of St.Gallen is one of the leading business Universities in Europe providing Executive Education to individuals and companies. With a portfolio of over 350 course offerings, they face a massive challenge in matching candidates with the right course to match their professional ambitions. Personal, phone based counseling, is a time-consuming task, and limits the number of candidates who can be managed. ICON was therefore tasked with developing an “intelligent” online alternative.

Career Counselor

Each of the University’s hundreds of courses is mapped to a series of answer sets. This data relationship allows for detailed, personalized, results on completion of the 17 question survey. On survey completion, the prospective student is given a listing of relevant courses from their completed survey information.

The front-end of the application is a multilingual interface, with the ability to switch from English to German text at any time, without impacting the survey’s progress. The survey is broken-up into three consecutive sections, and allows the user to complete the survey in any order. All interactions and animations are powered by jQuery, with custom JavaScript for sliding through sections, language switching and all form animations. The application is built on PHP using the framework CodeIgniter, separating all views and templates from the custom survey logic and large course data model. The application has two separate MySQL databases, one for the large course database and the other for all survey questions, answers, and user information.

For the University, the real strength of this application is the admin tool. The back-end tool allows for members of the University to manage all aspects of the application. Through this custom Content Management System (CMS), University members are allowed to update and edit all questions, their answers, and all relating courses. This provides for constant updating to the relevant course information, keeping all results truly accurate.

Another great strength of the application is the saved profile information. Each survey results is recorded and saved in a database. This gives the University’s career counselors a great asset when discussing student’s career goals, they are able to review their submitted survey to get a great overview of the prospective student.

2010 Sigma-Aldrich Hydranal Catalog

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  posted by 31 October 2011

Hydranal

The University of St.Gallen 2011 Executive Education Catalog

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  posted by 31 October 2011

ES-HSG

Performance is a Multiplier: Good Work For Good Clients Brings More of the Same

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  posted by 31 October 2011

Just this week we were called in by three clients, in new positions in new organizations. This means a lot: it’s a a recognition that, with their own personal success on the line, they come to us because they know, from past experience, that we will deliver.

And, in return, we WILL deliver, and put our best work forward. In these cases, budgets become a secondary consideration. We are thinking about our personal commitments to friends and colleagues, and investing in long-term relationships. This is formula for mutual success.

Good Work for Good Clients, Will Bring More Good Clients.

Good clients, in our experience, are the clients who truly care about their business and succeeding. They are passionately committed to their business, and therefore willing to work collaboratively towards the best strategic or design solution. If you help them to succeed once, they will turn to you again in the future. And this mutual loyalty leads to great work.

Read the original Blog Post: JGlicksberg’s posterous

The ICON Site Refresh

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  posted by 31 October 2011

We have spent much of the first half of the year working with our clients to develop marketing programs with a heavy focus on social media, mobile applications, blogs, etc.  We’ve brought some great programs to market, which are showing success for our clients.

Inevitably, this work led us to think about how to move our own site forward.  It is not a complete new site, rather a refresh with the goal of creating a central hub for the ICON activity around the world, and on social media platforms such as FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube and Instapaper.  As well, it reflects some of our evolving design and development thinking, especially with regards to mobile and tablets.

1.  Mobile Optimization

The arrival of the iPad has fundamentally changed the way we are approaching all site design.  Where traditional websites are point & click, tablets are swipe & drag.  And now, suddenly, all websites, need to be prepared to “Work Well” across mobile platforms.

Our new homepage features a hi-bred design which is equally relevant on a desktop, or tablet.  The Jquery hero-space, and work feature section, are both dragable on a tablet or iPhone:

2.  Live Feeds

Agency activity taking place in forums outside of the .com website has increased dramatically.  In our company, for example, there is tremendous cross over between our non-work interests, and our agency business.  So, we are experimenting with access to the complete feeds of our offices in Switzerland, NYC, and Madrid, as well as the personal Twitter feeds of the officers there.  We are also posting our Instapaper reading list, and most recent YouTube video.

We hope, it will show how active and engaged we are in marketing, technology, culture and the word in general.  All of which make us better equipped to serve our clients.  In the process, it will also let you get to know the personalities behind ICON either a little better (or perhaps a bit too well ;)

Nic Baumann: Let’s talk about web standards

nic_baumann

  posted by 31 October 2011

Let’s talk (or rant) about web standards. I recently read an old but still relevant article about web standards it explains the different standpoints (idealist and realist) and reminded me about the issue I regularly face with cross-browser compatibility. I always cared about HTML and CSS standards such as proper semantics, not using deprecated tags or attributes and in general clean and organized code. But what I never really paid a 100% attention to was how my stuff displayed in all the different browsers, if it rendered properly in IE 8, Chrome and Firefox (if it displays properly in those 3, you’re generally good to go with the other browsers), I was happy. I could afford this because I knew my audience, in most cases my audience was gamers and they’re usually on the cutting edge of software and hardware, and if it wasn’t gamers, it was my TA, and I knew my stuff would be graded with Firefox.

There’s a point after which you simply need to stop providing support for old browsers such as IE6, it’s not worth the time, the pain and the money. I do still check how my website displays in IE6 (great tool to view your page in different browsers), but do I really do anything about it if it doesn’t display well or barely? Honestly, no. I’m not going to support a browser which was released in 2001 and has had no major update since, especially when there are new versions of the browser available. The furthest I’m willing to go is slap this piece of JavaScript in. It does a decent job and has helped me out many times in the past.

Internet Explorer seems to be catching up a little, IE8 does a good job and it seems that IE9 will have good support for HTML5 and CSS3. This will, however, not solve our problem. We’ll have 3 browsers which won’t support HTML5 and CSS3; IE6, IE7 and IE8. IE users are notorious for not upgrading their browser for whatever reason, and those 3 aforementioned browsers will probably hold 20% of the browser market share for a while even with IE9 on the block, it also doesn’t help that IE9 will not be compatible with Windows XP (60% of the OS market share). So what are web developers supposed to do?

This post is continued on nbaumann.com: http://bit.ly/cH5MSo

Our Why Not Client on TeleZuri

whynotcater

  posted by 31 October 2011

PR Momentum continues to roll for our Why Not client:
To view all press and TV click here.

Best Practices: Time Magazine iPad App

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  posted by 31 October 2011

Time magazine is in V2 of their iPad app.  It’s elevating the experience to true interactive magazine.  The photo experience, integrated interviews and commentary all point to the first truly realized vision for interactive publishing.

TIME Magazine app 2.0 from SPD Videos on Vimeo.

Morgan Stanley Internet Trends: CM Summit Presentation Highlights

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  posted by 31 October 2011

This great presentation developed by Mary Meeker at Morgan Stanley and delivered at the CM Summit in NY this week gives an excellent overview of market trends, forces and where we stand now on technology and innovation.  Among the many important points re: current technology innovation are (thx @hblodget):

Android smartphone shipments almost now equal iPhone shipments: Apple’s app leverage may disappear fast, app developers need to focus on Mobile platforms beyond iPhone

Global 3G wireless penetration just hit 20%, which is usually the inflection point to very rapid growth

iPad Internet usage is more similar to desktop usage than smartphone usage (more pageviews)

We are also struck by figures confirming some important facts regarding the state of innovation.  US companies continue to drive innovation globally, no discussion.  Equally important, is the balance of innovation coming from established companies AS WELL AS new ventures:

You can view the entire presentation here:

iPad For Higher Education

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  posted by 31 October 2011

We have had lots of discussion this week regarding the potential for the iPad in a University environment.  The potential is clearly exciting, and a huge transformation in the classroom experience seems to be directly upon us.  Several universities have made a pr mark out of announcing that they will be giving their students iPads directly in September when the next classes arrive.

For Universities, the big opportunity is integrating course content into an awesome dynamic classroom experience, combining live lecture, interactive text books, note taking, video, and chat.  Students will be able to follow guided lectures, with dynamic text books, chat questions, etc.  Outside of the classroom the opportunity to replay lectures, integrated directly into the text book, and link to additional faculty research and publishing all works together to maximize the massive amounts of intellectual content most Universities struggle to package for their students.

While the first generation iPad makes all of these palatable, the possibilities posed by the very next generation of tablets, with video, etc., are huge. There have been several articles on the subject, the best from WIRED .  And a great video demo of the interactive text book on iPad:

iPad Practicality!

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  posted by 31 October 2011

We are already  hard at work on iPad applications for multiple clients, and its’ a lot of fun.  Our first official client sponsored iPhone app hit the app store on the same day the iPad launched in Europe.  We are already working on hi-bred app solutions.  Did we think/know the iPad would have the massive immediate impact that we are seeing today…sure!  In the midst of our research, we found this light-hearted parody:

Integrating Social & Mobile Platforms to Drive Acquisition

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  posted by 31 October 2011

Our marketing program for the Entrepreneur School is designed to leverage social media and mobile technologies towards specific business objectives. We worked closely with our clients to get a real understanding of the unique dynamics of their business.

The Entrepreneur School is specifically oriented towards Technology start-ups. One of the guiding principals of the Entrepreneurial business model is networking, and identifying the best resources available for any job. As a result, the network of Entrepreneur School Alumni is a marketable asset of the program. I.e. Access to the network is only available to program alumni, therefore a compelling incentive to enroll.

As a technology oriented program, our clients were motivated to develop one of the first iPhone apps by a European University. The alumni community is connected online via groups on networking platforms such as Xing and LinkedIn. And we introduced a YouTube video channel and Twitter page to provide richer, continuously updated content.

All of this combines to present a deep, active, and technology savvy University program. At any point in the interaction, the user may choose to engage, respond, or…make contact to enroll, the actual measurable business result we are after.

Introducing: Why Not?

why_not_affairs

  posted by 31 October 2011

why_not_news_v3We are extremely proud to bring the unique vision and style of Why Not Affairs online.  Together with our client, we realized a complete corporate identity, including: logo, corp. design and website.

The first business unit of Why Not Enterprises, Affairs provides private catering of metobolic diet meals.  Meals are prepared by expert chefs, according to the guidelines and certification of the metabolic diet system and delivered to homes and businesses.  Initially available by delivery in the Zurich area, it is already available at select locations in Munich and Monaco.

The website features unique and beautiful food photography capturing the essence of this new brand.  The business is off to a great start with a profile in this months Bilanz magazine: Bilanz. We are excited to be a part of this success story, and already working on the next page of the story!

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The Importance of Sales: the Agency’s Role

importance_of_sell

  posted by 31 October 2011

At ICON we have said from the beginning: “Strategic Thinking, Smart Design, Real Business Results.”  We felt early on that few agencies approach their business this way.  That the marketing work we deliver has to impact our clients sales…period.  To do that, you have to understand their business, in a real way.  I.e. How do you help your client succeed, how does HIS company measure success, and then work towards that.  Too many agencies simply do not get that.  Our success so far has been that our clients have felt our dedication to their business success. If you understand this principal, than in many ways this is the best economy to start a business in.  If you can demonstrate how your products and services make/save money, for a company you will do well.

This is old-school advertising sensibility.  Bill Bernback, founder of DDB Needham famously said, “It’s not creative if it doesn’t sell” and David Ogilvy, said, “We sell, or else!”  These guys had a pure understanding of the advertising agencies role, which has somehow been misconstrued in recent years.

You can read the rest of this post at: http://post.ly/g4iK

The St.Gallen MBA Social Media Campaign

Social_media

  posted by 31 October 2011

We’ve just introduced the first phase in a year long social media program for The St.Gallen MBA, with a branded Facebook fanpage and Twitter page: See ICON News.

The St.Gallen MBA is the flagship, English-language program of the University of St.Gallen, and a critical part of the Universities strategic objective to be more competitive internationally. The University of St.Gallen is one of the very top business Universities in Europe, but has a relatively low awareness level in English speaking markets. As a result, the MBA program has a special challenge in attracting top-tier candidates from markets such a the US, UK, Asian, the Gulf States, and India.

Together with our client, we developed an integrated concept designed to put a personal face on the MBA program, as well as delivering a vision for what life is like as an MBA student, life in the eastern Switzerland, and the future prospects for St.Gallen MBA graduates. Visit the Fanpage and Follow on Twitter: @TheStGallenMBA

In short video interviews on the St.Gallen MBA website, and hosted on YouTube, current students and faculty will discuss some of the critical themes most relevant to potential candidates, such as the curriculum and career prospects.

Over the course of the year, 6 student bloggers, will maintain a diary of their experiences, which will be shared across the Facebook and Twitter pages. The students and staff will make themselves available for comment and discussion.

As an additional element, the students will use Foursquare and Gowalla to identify places of interest on the campus and in the city of St.Gallen. This will help visitors get a better sense for what life is like as a St.Gallen MBA student.

Choosing an MBA program is a major life decision, and a significant financial investment. For the top-tier candidates, deciding which is the correct program is an complicated process. As a new program, The St.Gallen MBA has an extra challenge to provide the information students need to support their decision. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Foursquare and Gowalla provide the tools, but the content will be real, personal, and authentic.

We are excited to see where the program goes, and how it develops of the course of the year!

Thanks Alynn!

  posted by 31 October 2011

Talented, hard-working, smart, kind & fun! Alynn Ramoie worked with us in our Swiss office as a graphic designer and played a critical role on projects ranging from traditional print production, to website design, social media and iPhone app screen design. Able to comfortably cross these diverse mediums, she always managed to strike the right balance of classic design sensibility and new media aesthetic.

While at ICON she ran the fast-past retail University of St.Gallen business, including brochure & catalog design, website maintenance, and a newspaper campaign across the leading publications in the Swiss and German markets, including: the Neu Zurcher Zeitung, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Financial Times, and many others.

She has real experience developing, and launching Social Media programs across Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, as well as business blog design.  For the University, she played a key role in the design of the iPhone app, one of the first for a European University. Her designs, were smart, elegant, approved, implemented and are sucessfull.

We all (dogs included) already miss her, but we know the right (this means you) agency in NY, will not pass up the opportunity to hire this talented young designer. (Did I mention: she’s from Michigan, loves Switzerland, speaks German, and knows how to make fondue???)

Her resume is here: Alynn Ramoie (PDF)

Her email is here: alynnramoie@gmail.com

And here is her portfolio:

Alynn Ramoie Portfolio 2010

ICON Develops iPhone App for The University of St.Gallen

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  posted by 31 October 2011

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ICON Worldwide has developed an innovative iPhone app. for the University of St.Gallen.  Commissioned by the Entrepreneur School at the University of St.Gallen, the iPhone app is established as the mobile platform for additional programs.The app provides deep course information and testimonials of interest to potential candidates.  At any time, a potential candidate is encouraged to reach out and make contact with the program administrators to find out more information of to register.

Social Media provides a constant stream of fresh content including links to videos on the Entrepreneur School YouTube channel and info updates via Twitter. Visit: YouTube Visit: Twitter .

Designed to support the wide-ranging network of potential, current and former participants in Entrepreneur School programs, the app provides network updates about member activities, and opportunities for potential collaboration.  This networking is supported via links to popular networking sites including XING, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

The app is currently in beta and will soon be available in the app store on iTunes.

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The “Sigma Key-Chain” Innovative Sales Tools for Chemistry!

sigma_keychain

  posted by 31 October 2011

SigmaKey

ICON Launches Social Media Campaign for The St.Gallen MBA

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  posted by 31 October 2011

ICON Worldwide introduces the first step in a year long marketing program for The St.Gallen MBA.  A Facebook Fan-page, serves as a central hub for a large community of Students, Candidates, Alumni, Faculty & Staff.

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Social Media and Community platforms are an increasingly important tool for MBA programs seeking to maintain and support their networks.  For example, through the Fanpage, MBA alumni are able to find fellow alumni with similar interests or ambitions.  For prospective candidates, the Fanpage provides a channel for dialog with the University, as well as an additional level of real information which will support their decision making process.

The fanpage features a custom designed landing page with introductory information and links to essential information on the official MBA Website.  Additional features include a custom tab for student testimonials, and a dynamic wall feed which pulls the latest news and Twitter feed.

The Facebook and Twitter pages are the first steps in a year long, integrated Social Media program.

Agency Presentation April 2010

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  posted by 31 October 2011

Icon Apr 2010

University of Basel: Swiss Rare Disease Day

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  posted by 31 October 2011

Great cause, and a fun day at the University of Basel raising awareness for the unique challenges of funding research for the thousands of rare diseases . We played a small role, designing posters, flyers and developing social media applications. Social Media plays an important role in connecting a community of people who crave discourse, interaction and contact with others facing the same challenges. Its a positive and active community.

As important, this was a great excuse to catch up with old friends and clients! Thanks for the opportunity to participate.

Google This: How to Reach 106 Million Consumers

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  posted by 31 October 2011

As Google continues to eclipse its origins in the scope of business and ambition, and steps out of it’s role in what became a real-life “international-episode” in China, Google smartly reminded us where it all started…with “Search” and the original core benefit of the internet – the democratization of information. Source agnostic, and available with a click. What you need, when you want it.

In the meantime “Search” is big business and Google is a virtual monopoly on distributing and prioritizing information online. Our clients can make a direct and significant connection between their keywords and real bookings, nothing is more targeted, measurable or, importantly, manageable.

As agencies increasingly discuss (amongst themselves) the collision of digital and traditional media (See RG/A in AdAge, here is a nice reminder from the source that Mass Reach Matters:

Created by Google’s in-house creative team, with a first-time copy-writer. A spokeswoman for Google, said “The commercial was among a series of videos produced by “some of our creative people” demonstrating how Google search tries “to remove everything but the product and the user.” In the end, it’s important to communicate the simple product benefit.

International Internships as a Gateway to Work.

  posted by 31 October 2011

We know how tough it is these days for designers and developers entering the workforce to get good gigs. And we also believe that a tough job market shouldn’t discourage talent from pursuing their ambitions. Actually, it’s in the long term interest of the marketing industry to make sure that the best talent gets the support they need to stay in the industry and advance.

Although we want the ICON internship to be fun, and love to watch everyone enjoy the Appenzeller experience, we also do our best to put an emphasis on helping people develop new skills, and add international work to their portfolio as a way of setting themselves apart when they get home.

As this recent Chicago Tribune article points out, we agree, international internships indicate a level of confidence and a desire to work: Chicago Tribune

XEPTUNE Video-On-Demand: Homepage and Social Media Program

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  posted by 31 October 2011

For XEPTUNE Video-On-Demand, Switzerlands independent home cinema company, ICON developed an integrated homepage and social media program.  The program, which includes a dynamic content homepage, Facebook Fan Page, Twitter Page and Email Campaign, is designed to engage film buffs in a branded dialog with XEPTUNE.

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On the XEPTUNE website, the latest releases are announced on an ongoing, continuously updated basis.  From the homepage, visitors can easily link to the social media components of the program on Facebook and Twitter.

Weekly emails announce the latest releases on XEPTUNE to current and potential customers.  On Twitter, the brand keeps its followers informed of the latest releases, as well as relevant bits of entertainment related news.  All of this is then brought together on the XEPTUNE Facebook Fanpage, where fans are invited to comment and contribute to the conversation.

Creating An Online Wedding Experience For Europe’s Largest Retailer.

elcortes

  posted by 31 October 2011

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Madrid, Spain based El Corte Ingles is Europe’s largest department store chain with over €17 billion in sales. Worldwide, ECI is the second largest department store chain, although, incredibly, they remain present exclusively in Spain. In a challenging retail environment, El Corte Ingles has assigned ICON to optimizing the E-Commerce experience online. ICON will begin a phased redesign of the El Corte Ingles website aimed at improving the online purchase process. Our first phase is focussed on building out the wedding registry and services online.

Wedding registries are the holy grail of recession-retail, the only category that is not shrinking. Moreover, in a recession, where couples typically take a longer engagement period, thereby increasing the length of the wedding registry commerce window.

As the virtual monopoly on retail activity in Spain, ECI has a huge online commerce opportunity to corner the market. ICON has proposed a multi-layered program focussed on establishing ECI as an integral part of the wedding planning process. The website will include community features, expert wedding commentary as well as full commerce opportunities.

The perfect opportunity to expand my design skills, and curb my wanderlust!

  posted by 31 October 2011

“Interning at Icon Worldwide, I dove head-first into the world of international advertising. As a design intern I got to work for global clients, experience the creative process from start to finish, and live in the picturesque Swiss countryside. From day 1 the Icon team made me feel right at home. Under their guidance, I created work for real clients that I was proud to put in my portfolio.

Life in Switzerland wasn’t too shabby either. In St. Gallen, I was close to many awesome European destinations, including Munich and Milan. It was easy to travel on the weekends, or great stay in town and get to know the local culture (food, beer and more food — don’t forget to ask about the Käsespätzle).

The Icon Design Internship was the perfect opportunity to expand my design skills and curb my wanderlust. No way could I have imagined a better internship experience. And guess what? With the confidence I gained from working with a top-notch international creative team and a design book that put me a step ahead of my peers, I was able to use my internship experience at Icon to find a job.”

Pepsi Pushes Social Media into The Mainstream

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  posted by 31 October 2011

Social Media has been steadily gaining acceptance amongst traditional marketers as an integral part of their marketing mix. Still, the importance of a Big Announcement such as the recent headline: “Pepsi Cancels Superbowl Advertising for Social Media” seems to somehow add the final stamp of legitimacy to the medium. We can expect marketing managers to point to this headline in their planning meetings as a mandate to formalize their Social Media Programs. See the recent piece from Forrester: Pepsi Refresh and What It Means to Marketers.

Pepsi Co. has always been smart about seizing the right moment in time for this type of announcement. In 2001, I worked with atmosphereBBDO on the Doritos brand, owned by Pepsi Co. We made headlines by persuading Doritos to shift their media spending from the Supwerbowl to digital marketing. In place of the million dollar TV spots, we encouraged them to build a branded micro-site including viral video program, and a renegade unbranded microsite around the campaign character. The AdAge headline was, “Doritos Abandons Super Bowl For Internet: Will Triple Spending for Online Advertising”

doritos

From an agency perspective, the Doritos program was critical towards bringing other big brands into the Digital space, and, importantly, getting them to think about digital media in the same context as their traditional print and TV campaigns. In retrospect, this shift spelled the eventual doom for many of the so-called internet hot-shops that had been the early movers in digital marketing. As the medium grew in importance and spending, the clients turned to their trusted brand stewards at the big agencies. The internet shops who recognized the changing environment quickly attached themselves to big agencies or holding companies.

In the same way you can be sure agencies can now expect to spend much of their time discussing the role of Social Media with their clients. As traditional agencies are faced with reduced media and production budgets we can expect Social Media to move away from the realm of “Social Media Gurus & Consultants” and become a more integral part of the complete marketing mix.

Newsletter: Winter 2010

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  posted by 31 October 2011

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ICON Worldwide helps leading companies compete in a challenging economy by developing innovative marketing programs designed to uncover new revenue channels, and achieve real business results.
See our latest work: ICON Newsletter Winter 2010

ICON Worldwide to Create Online Wedding Portal & Social Media Program for El Corte Inglés.

elcortes-ingles

  posted by 31 October 2011

Madrid, Spain based El Corte Ingles is Europes largest department store chain with over euro 17 billion in sales.

In a daunting retail environment, where in-store purchases, around the world, continue to plummet, one of Europe’s largest family-run companies has assigned ICON Worldwide to revamp its online wedding registry by introducing innovative Social Media Marketing applications.

ICON has proposed a multi-layered program focussed on establishing ECI as an integral part of the wedding planning process. The website will include community features, expert wedding commentary as well as full commerce opportunities.

“It’s not just an ordinary web redesign,” says Sandro Gamazo, Managing Director of ICON Spain “this will become a completely new interactive social experience with personalized applications for couples and their guests.”

The Spanish retail giant  has realized that size doesn’t necessarily matter when it comes to harnessing the power of online social networks to drive e-commerce. As the virtual monopoly on retail activity in Spain, ECI has a huge online commerce opportunity to corner the market.

Wedding registries are the holy grail of recession-retail, and the only category that is not shrinking. Moreover, in a recession, where couples typically take a longer engagement period, thereby increasing the length of the wedding registry commerce window.

Online wedding websites have become an essential part of a couples wedding planning.  El Corte Ingles is in the unique position of being able to provide a complete range of planning services, as well as the complementary products, to guide a couple from the engagement, through the wedding, to the honeymoon, and eventually settling into a new home.

Putting Twitter to Work for Business

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  posted by 31 October 2011

We have spent much of the first business days of 2010 discussing with our clients the strategic role of Twitter, Facebook Groups, Blogs, etc. for their businesses.

The acceptance that Twitter is now “expected” by customers who want to engage with a brand or service, and can play an important role in maintaining a dialog, is well established. Increasingly, our clients are now elevating the seriousness of Twitter, and taking a more professional approach to managing the content towards a specific marketing objective. We are helping our customers bring their Social Media components into line with their traditional media strategies, and to achieve specific business objectives.

For the St.Gallen MBA, for example, we designed a page introducing their new program brochure, providing critical dates for application, and creating a stream of information replicating the stimulating University atmosphere. A separate student Twitter page complements the formal news with a “Participants Perspective”. For our Video on Demand client, XEPTUNE, we are using their campaign character Hugo to deliver real-time information about the latest service enhancements, new film titles and special offers. In another great example, we are supporting the cause of Rare Diseases Day in Switzerland, for whom Twitter is proving to be a great way to spread the word, raise awareness and connect a community.

For those who remain skeptical of the long-term viability of Twitter this recent piece in the NY Times addresses this point nicely: NY Times

There are two main arguments for the long-term viability. The first is the idea that the short message format is an integral part of internet communication:

“The history of the Internet suggests that there have been cool Web sites that go in and out of fashion and then there have been open standards that become plumbing,” said Steven Johnson, the author and technology observer who wrote a seminal piece about Twitter for Time last June. “Twitter is looking more and more like plumbing, and plumbing is eternal.”

The second main argument is that Twitter has become a tool for filtering the clutter of the internet, and helping the user find the most relevant and current information for their particular agenda. I.e. who you “follow” sets the stream of information you are exposed to:

“What could anyone possibly find useful in this cacophony of short-burst communication? Well, that depends on whom you ask, but more importantly whom you follow. On Twitter, anyone may follow anyone, but there is very little expectation of reciprocity. By carefully curating the people you follow, Twitter becomes an always-on data stream from really bright people in their respective fields, whose tweets are often full of links to incredibly vital, timely information.”

How Ford Gets Social Media Right

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  posted by 31 October 2011

While there seems to be much confusion about how to succeed in social media today – Ford got it right – 6.5 million YouTube views, 50,000 requests for information about the Fiesta — 10,000 cars sold in six days. Grant McCracken at Harvard Business Review has one of the BEST social media case studies on this.

HSG Talents Conference 2010: Choose Your Path

chooseyourpath

  posted by 31 October 2011

In a job market which remains challenging, we were tasked with the rebranding of Switzerland’s most important recruiting event.  The former Forum HSG, has shifted to the control of the Career Services Center of the University of St. Gallen, where it has been integrated into the HSG Talents recruiting platform.

Our concept for the 2010 event, “Choose Your Path”, strives to bring optimism to the process of transitioning from the University environment into the professional world.  The first job out of University often points a person in a direction they will follow for life.  Even if the market opportunities are, at this moment, limited, it remains essential to discover the career path which will be successful and fulfilling in the long-term.

A fully integrated marketing program, ICON developed the logo, tagline, website, print and advertising materials.

Merry Xmas From Texas!

  posted by 31 October 2011

hey guys,

i received a swissian package yesterday–thanks so much. it’s nice to see the things and hold them when you have been staring at them for so long on the comp. and they look great too! very happy with how they turned out, thanks for taking the time out to send it to me.

i’m happy to report also that i signed on with Origin full-time, i start in january as a designer. i actually had two offers thankfully, but i chose this one over a job at Waste Management (this job wouldn’t be challenging enough for me…even though it paid more..). Anyways, i appreciate your assistance in the job hunt, im going to stay in bush country for now and see what happens. i would like to end up on the west coast in a couple of years though.

hope ya’ll stay warm and have a great christmas, please tell napoleon and lucy that i won’t be home for christmas, but i will be thinking about them. ya’ll have a great holiday and new years!!

M

PLEASE DO (N’T) HIRE JAMIE KUECHENMEISTER!

  posted by 31 October 2011

(Because we can’t afford to have talent like her’s working for another agency.)

We know that in this economy every entry level design hire is critical to your business. You will be particularly interested to meet a PROVEN TALENT like Jamie Kuechenmeister.

Jamie worked with us in our Swiss office from September through November as a design intern. In this short time Jamie worked like a true professional, and brought real talent to every project she touched, including:

  • Collateral for Fortune 500 Companies and Major Universities. In multiple language versions, including pre-press production, and on-press supervision.
  • Print advertising campaigns which ran in major European newspapers in Switzerland, Germany, and Austria.
  • Online Banner Campaigns / Flash Banner Advertising
  • Corporate Website Design
  • User Interface Design

Jamie has the maturity to sit with senior level clients and the discipline to work independently.  We are confident that she will make a positive impact on any advertising or design firm.

You can view her CV.

You can contact Jamie here: jmkuech @ gmail.com

For a personal reference, please write to us here: Office @ icon-worldwide.com

Using Data Visualization For Customer Acquisition

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  posted by 31 October 2011

The challenge of sorting through, and making sense out of increasingly massive amounts of data has given rise to new discussions about the value of data visualization. Often the emphasis is limited to the clever graphic illustration of information, and not focussed on achieving a real business objective.

In a commercial context, smart data visualizations are, of course, an excellent tool for guiding customers towards a product purchase. The ability for customers to sort through product decisions via visual guides, can be useful in providing an added intuitive level to searching for a product, verses, for example, a standard search field. Having eased the customers path towards the desired product, the transition from to the purchase process becomes much more natural.

For the University of St. Gallen, the leader in Executive Education in the Swiss-German market, traditional customer acquisition and sales relied on direct mailing course information to a known customer base. New customers, would have to find their way to the University, and then received individual advise on which course is appropriate, available, etc. In sum, a very clumsy, inefficient, low-tech approach. In a down economy, where large companies reduce investment in Executive Education, and individuals have less financial resources, the University felt pressured to improve on this recruitment process.

The trend in data visualizations tend to fall into two categories:

1. Graphic tools to help consumers understand data trends, process large pools of data, and find a relevant insight. Here is a recent, popular example of a NYC demographic map:

NYC_Dem_Map

2. Helping consumers sort, and find relationships between information from a variety of sources. Classic examples include News visualizations, such as the Digg Labs “Arc” or the MSNBC “Spectrs News Reader”:

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For the University, who maintains a constantly changing database of over 350 courses for different target audiences, business areas, start dates, costs, etc., we wanted to make it (a) easier for a user to find the relevant information and (b) connect this process to a real sale.

We developed a visual tool to help potential “customers”, sort through the over 350 potential courses of study. Users can modify their search by defining themselves by either their current job position and industry, or their “desired” position and industry. Which allows them in a dynamic way to connect the education required to reach their professional objectives.

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Most importantly, from a business perspective, the path to registration and customer acquisition is rapidly increased. Having found the ideal course, users can contact the admin directly, or simply apply online.

Treemap_Course

Using Data Visualization For Customer Acquisition

  posted by 31 October 2011

The challenge of sorting through, and making sense out of increasingly massive amounts of data has given rise to new discussions about the value of data visualization. Often the emphasis is limited to the clever graphic illustration of information, and not focussed on achieving a real business objective.

Visit the: Developer Blog

Holiday Promotion for Xeptune Video On Demand Service

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  posted by 31 October 2011

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ICON has developed a Special Christmas Promotion to support the introduction of the Xeptune Video on Demand Service in Switzerland.  Xeptune, a product of the Swiss International Entertainment Group AG, is Switzerlands only independent video on demand service, currently offering exclusive current run titles via a set-top box.

ICON proposed a xmas promotion to launch the brand, and help drive box sales.  During the Xmas Season, customers who buy a Xeptune box will receive one month of free movies, for 30 days.  The campaign, which launches Dec. 4 and runs for three weeks until Dec. 25th, will feature flash banner advertising across major Swiss entertainment and commerce websites.  ICON designed the flash banner ad campaign, home-page and purchase pages.

See the campaign page: XEPTUNE Holiday Promo

Swiss Business Federation: Education as Key to Economic Revival.

  posted by 31 October 2011

Follow-up to our recent post about the responsibility of Universities to create employable students.  Today, the Swiss Business Federation urged the Swiss government to renew its efforts to get the economy back on track by focussing on education.  The federation’s director, Pascal Gentinetta, stated that education has a critical role in economic growth, and that it was essential to work to increase competition among Universities, and focus on giving students marketable job skills.

You can read the whole article here: http://bit.ly/8j9ElW

Bodensee bound

  posted by 31 October 2011

Fellow ICON team member and explorer Jamie Kuchenmeister and I recently hopped on a train bound for the town of Romanshorn, a 20 minute ride from the city of St. Gallen. Romanshorn is situated on beautiful Lake Constance and the foothills of the Swiss and Austrian Alps. A sleepy fishing town, Romanshorn offers a peaceful, quiet atmosphere for recreation, fresh air, and comfortable hospitality. Sailing, water skiing, and serene natural trails along the lakeside offer visitors plenty of activities to the adventure seeking naturalist. We boarded our ferry with ambitions of traveling to Germany for the afternoon and enjoying some delicious German/Swiss cuisine. Upon arrival in [Germany] the sun began to show its face from behind the treeline.  We had made it and we were stoked, or so we thought. We quickly learned that we had departed too early from the boat and were still in fact in Switzerland. We continued to explore, enjoying a nice promenade along the shoreline until we reached the town of Bottighofen, where we stopped to enjoy a beer, schnitzel, and some chips.

Are Universities Giving Students the Entrepreneurial Skills They Need to Compete and Succeed?

  posted by 31 October 2011

Among the impacts of this global recession has been the renewed examination of what it takes to, not just survive…but to thrive in the current economy.  Lots has been written about how recessions are moments to fuel innovation.  But another important factor is the training workers receive both at University and at home.  For the generation now in the middle-management level, or entering the job force, the need to compete in the professional environment is a relatively new concept.  In the boom economy, there has simply always been “work”.  And, once in the door of a market fueled company, many workers were able to move along with the success of their firms.

As we look back on this year we can see how, when the market got rough, the Entrepreneurs hit the ground running, and have been largely able to grow and even thrive in this rough market.  Very simply, Entrepreneurs, and small business owners,  already had the skills make business in a competitive environment.  The small business owner has that essential understanding of the direct-connection between “Hard Work” and the “Bottom-Line”.

Just as importantly, the entrepreneur is typically working with a passion that the salaried employee cannot summon.  Over a year ago we interviewed Professor Thomas Gutzwiller and Dr. Henri B. Meier as they founded the Entrepreneurial Management School at the University of St. Gallen.  They both spoke about the psychological mind-set of the Entrepreneur, the need for passion, as well as the special training required that only Universities can provide.  You can view the videos at the Executive School of the University of St. Gallen website here: http://bit.ly/1lhQKP

In the NY Times, Thomas Friedman recently wrote  about the failure of American Education to give workers the competitive skill-set they need to survive.  In a great example, he referenced a major law firm going through layoffs, “I asked him who was getting axed. He said it was interesting: lawyers who were used to just showing up and having work handed to them were the first to go because with the bursting of the credit bubble, that flow of work just isn’t there. But those who have the ability to imagine new services, new opportunities and new ways to recruit work were being retained.

Friedman calls these workers, with the drive to innovate and find new ways to work, the New Untouchables.  Read the article here: http://bit.ly/1S6QQG

I also highly recommend watching General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelts speech at the Detroit Economic Club where he also addresses how Universities have poorly served the US economy by shifting away from creating workers with competitive market skills. You can see it here on the ICON blog: http://bit.ly/3AVFXH

Auf dem Karriere Wanderweg: Our Alt. HSG Talents Concept

  posted by 31 October 2011

pathblogWe are involved in the rebranding of the Forum HSG recruiting conference, one of the most important recruiting events in Switzerland (see NZZ http://bit.ly/2Jbkpe ).  Along with a new logo, we are presenting new concepts for the complete event, including website, mailings, catalogs, event signage and advertising.

With a strategy designed to elevate the dialog above the current challenging employment market, we wanted to capture the unique Swissness of the event, as well as get both students and employers in the mind-set of thinking about the long-term possibilities behind their first steps into the job market.  And, of course, there’s no reason not to have a bit of fun with the view out our Appenzell windows….

El Corte Ingles Selects ICON Worldwide for E-Commerce Optimization and Website Redesign.

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  posted by 31 October 2011

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Madrid, Spain based El Corte Ingles is Europes largest department store chain with over euro 17 billion in sales. In a challenging retail environment, El Corte Ingles has assigned ICON to optimizing the E-Commerce experience online. ICON will begin a phased redesign of the El Corte Ingles website aimed at improving the online purchase process.

El Corte Ingles Wählt ICON Worldwide für das Website-Redesign.

  posted by 31 October 2011

Madrid, Spanien El Corte Ingles ist Europas größter Warenhaus-Kette mit über 17 Mrd. € Umsatz. Weltweit ist ECI die zweitgrößte Kaufhauskette, obwohl, unglaublich, bleiben sie derzeit nur in Spanien. In einem schwierigen Umfeld hat Einzelhandel, El Corte Ingles ICON zur Optimierung des E-Commerce-Erfahrung online zugeordnet. ICON wird eine schrittweise Umgestaltung des El Corte Ingles beginnen Website auf die Verbesserung der Online-Kauf-Prozess gefordert. Unsere erste Phase ist auf den Ausbau der Hochzeit Registrierung und Online-Dienste fokussiert.

Wedding Register sind der heilige Gral der Rezession des Einzelhandels, die einzige Kategorie, die nicht schrumpft. Darüber hinaus, in einer Rezession, wo Paare in der Regel einen längeren Zeitraum Engagement, wodurch die Länge der Hochzeitstisch Commerce-Fenster.

Als Quasi-Monopol für Handels in Spanien, ECI hat eine riesige Online-Handel Chance, den Markt Ecke. ICON ist ein vielschichtiges Programm zur Schaffung ECI als integraler Bestandteil der Hochzeit Planung konzentriert vorgeschlagen. Die Website wird auch Community-Features, Experte Hochzeit Kommentar sowie die vollständige Commerce Chancen.

The State of Swiss Design

  posted by 31 October 2011

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Although Switzerland has a strong tradition or art and design innovation, the current state of design does not necessarily match up to the history.  Too often, the conservative nature of Swiss design firms and the companies contracting the work inhibit the ability to realize excellent designs.  As a result, the home grown talent often leaves Switzerland to develop their work in more supportive markets such as London, Paris and NYC. See: Swiss businesses “not aware” of young talent”, and “Swiss Gives New York City Taxis a New Face“.

Here is a gallery of the recent winners of the Swiss Design Awards. And another good showcase of historic Swiss design: Lausanne showcases best of Swiss design.


New Work: Leadership Marketing Program for Sigma-Aldrich

  posted by 31 October 2011

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For the first time, Sigma-Aldrich wanted to create a brochure designed to reach senior executives at pharmaceutical companies in Europe and the United States.  The HPLC product line requires a major financial investment, which in the current climate is a more challenging decision for a company to make.  Sigma asked us to come up with an innovative marketing piece that would serve as a door-opener for the sales force.

The brochure leverages the main benefit of the HPLC product line, increased production and financial efficiency in the lab with the headline “High(er) Perfomance”.  The brochure was printed in Italy using a new process called cold-foil, which allows for foil printing in a 5-color process, and has been distributed to the sales force in Europe and the US.

New Marketing Program for English Masters Degrees at the University of St. Gallen.

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  posted by 31 October 2011

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ICON introduces a new international marketing program designed to reach the Middle-East and Asia markets in support of the University of St. Gallens International Masters Degree programs.  The new brochure features an original photography concept designed to present a modern and accessible face of the University of St. Gallen to the international market place.  The program is an important piece of the Universities long-tern strategy to increase international enrollments, and improve its’ standing as an internationally recognized top international University.

High Performance Marketing Program for Sigma Aldrich

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  posted by 31 October 2011

HPLC_Blog

ICON develops new marketing program designed to reach senior level decision makers in the pharmaceutical industry with a High Performance message. Innovative design will appear simultaneously across Europe and the US.

For the first time, Sigma-Aldrich wanted to create a brochure designed to reach senior executives at pharmaceutical companies in Europe and the United States.  The HPLC product line requires a major financial investment, which in the current climate is a more challenging decision for a company to make.  Sigma asked us to come up with an innovative marketing piece that would serve as a door-opener for the sales force.

The brochure leverages the main benefit of the HPLC product line, increased production and financial efficiency in the lab with the headline “High(er) Perfomance”.  The brochure was printed in Italy using a new process called cold-foil, which allows for foil printing in a 5-color process, and has been distributed to the sales force in Europe and the US.

The New Campaign for the Institute of Management

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  posted by 31 October 2011

IfB_Blog2

ICON Launches new integrated marketing campaign for the Institute of Management at the University of St. Gallen. With the headline, “Master the Fundamentals, Broaden Your Horizons” the new campaign is an integrates media effort including website redesign, printed catalogs, and print and online advertising across every major German-language business publication.

The campaign features the architecture of Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuraux, who built the Institute of Management building.  In the current economy it is increasingly challenging to convince large companies to invest in executive education.  This new campaign is designed to capture the University of St. Gallen leadership position in the German-speaking market.

ICON Launches new website for Europes oldest Alpaca breeder based in Toledo, Spain.

alpacas

  posted by 31 October 2011

Alpacas_news

New website design for Europes oldest breeder of Alpacas, based in Toledo, Spain. The highly visual website features award-winning photography capturing the unique character of the Alpaca animal and Spanish landscape.

Media moguls rethink web advertising in downturn.

  posted by 31 October 2011

Since the beginning of the downturn, we have been talking with our clients about the need to build more direct links between marketing efforts and measurable transactions. As advertising dollars grow ever more scarce, companies have been forced to rethink how they link their marketing investments to the bottom-line, reaching consumers and driving revenue. Reuters

Business Managers Embrace the Principals of Design.

  posted by 31 October 2011

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Interesting perspective on the increasing move towards bringing design principals into the business environment. The idea is that businesses are beginning to shift from transactional based interaction to more relationship based perspective, which makes the user-centric principals of design increasingly relevant. BusinessWeek

General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt on How to Reset the US Economy.

  posted by 31 October 2011

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gldr-YtYojc&rel=0

In an exciting speech at the Detroit Economic Club GE CEO Jeff Immelt discusses the way the US squandered its industrial manufacturing base, and the need to refocus the US economy on being not just the worlds largest market, but also the worlds largest manufacturer and exporter. YouTube

Twitter Best Practices for Brands and Companies.

  posted by 31 October 2011

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Having a Twitter profile doesn’t mean you’re a social media master, but it is a great tool for conversations, building community and finding the latest industry news. That’s why Hollywood is on Twitter, athletes are on Twitter, your competitors are on Twitter, and hopefully you are on Twitter too. But for brands, there’s an art to using Twitter, and the most successful at it follow an unwritten set of rules. The following are 10 important practices for brands to follow on Twitter. Mashable Post

ICON Launches New Corporate Design and Website for Leading Wind Farm Developer Luz de Viento.

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  posted by 31 October 2011

Madrid, Spain based Luz de Viento is one of Europes leading developers of Wind Farms. In order to position LdV for future international expansion, ICON developed a complete corporate communications program including, logo, website and positioning statement, Luz de Viento, “The Power of Wind”.

Comments are closed.

HBR On the Role of Business Schools in Rebuilding Corp. Trust

  posted by 31 October 2011

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The June Harvard Business Review has a series of articles addressing the challenge business faces to renew confidence, and the role business schools will have to play in fixing our dilemma (increased focus on values and ethics; and stop telling future CEOs to concentrate only on the big picture and not the details); and rethinking trustÑhow it has to be earned and what constitutes trust-building behavior. Harvard Business Review

How Consumer Shopping Has Changed in the Recession.

  posted by 31 October 2011

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With the recession in its 18th month and unemployment now topping 9 percent, even semi-conspicuous consumption is a distant memory. Consumers are hunkered down. But when they do venture out, chances are they’re on their way to places like Wal-Mart and other big discount chains. NY Times

ICON Launches New Website Design for the Career Services Center at the University of St.Gallen.

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  posted by 31 October 2011

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For the Career Services Center at the University of St. Gallen, ICON developed a complete new communications concept to guide users through the three phases of career counseling, Assess, Act and Achieve. The new design features a dynamic, interactive flash logo where users can explore the three tiers of counseling services. Finally, the services are customized according to individual career level, such as Student, Executive and Alumni.

ICON Launches New Website Design for the Executive School at the University of St. Gallen.

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  posted by 31 October 2011

ESHome

The University of St. Gallen boasts the most prominent economic faculty in the German-speaking region, as well as the most successful and innovation Executive Education programs. In order to increase the personal connection with the University faculty, as well as drive course applications, ICON launched a new website design featuring prominent faculty in class-room situations. The home-page allows visitors to quickly link to detailed course information and applications. Visit the Executive School website.

Recessions Are the Moment for Innovation

  posted by 31 October 2011

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London Business School Professor Lynda Gratton reminds us that Recessions often present one of the most dynamic moments of business change, opening up opportunities for new ideas and business opportunities. Recessions are a time of destruction of the old order, a time when assumptions are questioned and nascent practices and ideas are given space to flourish. That is little cheer for now but, in the longer term, an enormous stimulus for change. Financial Times

US Retailers Connect With Recession Consumers on Price and Value

  posted by 31 October 2011

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As shoppers remain reluctant to open their wallets, stores are still scrambling to adjust advertising and marketing strategies to play up the value aspects of what they sell. Even as retail sales data for March suggested improving results at some chains, consumers are hesitating to buy much beyond groceries, gasoline, vitamins and candy. Much of the focus on value defines the term in a way that will resonate with choosy shoppers. Value can mean more than low prices, but with unemployment high and consumer confidence low many are fixating on cost. New York Times

Great Recession Advertising from Berlin Based Lingerie Company, Blush

  posted by 31 October 2011

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsQQnlR3td8&rel=0

Fun new ad from German Lingerie company Blush. The tagline says, You Can Have a Stimulation Package for 787 billion, or for 99. You Tube

Swiss Architect Zumthor Wins Pritzker Prize

  posted by 31 October 2011

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Perhaps the project most closely associated with the architect is the spa he designed at the Hotel Therme in the Alpine village of Vals, Switzerland, which was completed in 1996. Using slabs of quartzite stone that evoke stacked Roman bricks, Mr. Zumthor created a contemporary take on a the baths of antiquity. The Pritzker jury praised Mr. Zumthors use of materials. In Zumthor’s skillful hands, like those of the consummate craftsman, materials from cedar shingles to sandblasted glass are used in a way that celebrates their own unique qualities, all in the service of an architecture of permanence, the citation said, adding, In paring down architecture to its barest yet most sumptuous essentials, he has reaffirmed architectures indispensable place in a fragile world. NY Times

Flash Preloader Museum

  posted by 31 October 2011

prettyLoaded

Although consumers are increasingly comfortable with the idea of waiting for a flash website to load, the industry is becoming increasingly creative with this underutilized communications tool. Pretty Loaded.com

Feeling Rough Around the Edges…

  posted by 31 October 2011

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvFSgXpyhoM&rel=0

Funny, funny UK ad for the Wilkenson Sword razor. We hear they had to make a tamer version for the US market, but who wants to see that. YouTube

Swing Into Spring, New Vienna Tourism Spots

  posted by 31 October 2011

[flv width="510q" height="338"]http://www.wien.info/media/video/video-fall-for-vienna-1.flv[/flv]

Without naming names, we can tell you that some ICON team members have an unnatural affinity for pop-ups, therefore our special appreciation for the fun new Vienna tourism commercials. Vienna Tourism

Skype Launches New TV Spots

  posted by 31 October 2011

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWscDEGPMK8&rel=0

We are big Skype fans in general, and like the new TV spots now running on CNN International. Lighthearted, consumer application focussed, with graphics true to the brand personality. The mix of animation and video perfectly captures, and explains, the Skype video experience. Most of all, we like the idea of mass market targeted advertising, our sense is the true breakthrough moment for voip and video over internet has arrived. YouTube

Harvard Business School Insights on Recession Marketing Strategies

  posted by 31 October 2011

Professor John Quelch of the Harvard Business School provides great perspective on the long term impact of the recession on corporate marketing strategies. Equally important are his reminders of fundamental business principals such as Focussing on true High Potential customers, who are cash-based, and long-term viable partners. Most importantly, he says, know your business. Most companies will not begin reinvesting until the Wall Street Journal or Ben Bernanke officially declare the recovery underway. Get ahead of the crowd. Craft your recovery plan now, and pull the trigger when your lead indicators say go. Harvard Business School

Google Cheat View

  posted by 31 October 2011

google_cheat_view

A FURIOUS wife has called in divorce lawyers after spotting her husbands car parked outside another womans house Ñ on Google. She saw the Range Rover while using the internet giants new Street View service to snoop on a female friends home. The hubby had claimed he was away on business, but his missus recognised his motor immediately because of its blinged-up hubcaps. The love cheat is not the only husband trapped by Googles controversial new 360-degree photo search which covers 25 cities and towns throughout the country. The Sun

How Walmart Owns the Concept of Value Online

  posted by 31 October 2011

walmart

There are not too many places where Walmart is not dominant. The digital realm is one of the relative few, but not for long, as it ramps up a host of programs to vault the chain — which has already distanced itself from value retailers in the offline world — further ahead in the online one. What makes the Walmart effort so interesting is its ability to own the concept of value online. It launched free classifieds last year, and its site, thanks to its blogger outreach and online message boards, is already crammed with content about saving money that will only grow as it builds out Save Money Live Better, a portal for penny-pinching strategies. In fact, amid all the talk of how digital has allowed marketers to be their own creators and distributors of brand content — some people would call this a media company — perhaps no one has the potential to be as big a juggernaut as Walmart. AdAge.com

What the Growth of Sites Like Wer-kennt-wen.de Means for Culture

  posted by 31 October 2011

adage-logo

Nielsen reported that Germany has shown the greatest increase worldwide for social networks for 2008. Germany traditionally ranked far behind in online networking. In 2007, the average national reach of social networks was 61%. Reach in Germany was only 39%, far behind comparable countries. In 2008 a seismic shift moved social networks in Germany forward to 51%. AdAge.com

Russian Obama ice cream ad stirs anger

  posted by 31 October 2011

obama

A Russian advertising agency has used an image resembling U.S. President Barack Obama to promote a new vanilla and chocolate ice cream, drawing the ire of human rights groups who said the ad was vulgar. The poster features a computer generated caricature of a broadly smiling figure resembling Obama standing in front of the U.S. Congress with the ice cream in the foreground. The strapline reads: Its on everyones lips the Dark is in the White We wanted to make the print amusing and cheerful, just as joyful and pleasant as the process of eating an ice cream, Yevgeny Primachenko, deputy creative director of Voskhod advertisement agency, told Reuters by phone from Yekaterinburg. Reuters

ICON Develops Innovative Treemap for the University of St.Gallen

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  posted by 31 October 2011

treemap

Innovative “Treemap” application delivers personalized course recommendations based on personal preferences, and speeds the application process. In order to streamline the process of driving potential candidates through the over 500 possible course and program offerings at the University of St. Gallen, ICON designed a innovative flash based application which allows the user to define themselves and their interests, generating the most relevant results. Course offerings are further narrowed according to availability, time-frame, cost and language. The visual design, and dynamic user experience all work towards positioning the University as a innovator and technology leader in University marketing communications. Visit the Course Navigator

Bill Clinton Advises Obama on the Importance of Positive Messaging to Stimulating the Economy

  posted by 31 October 2011

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w427JcYJKXs&rel=0

In a critical moment, former United States President Bill Clinton advises President Obama on the power of simple, positive messages, Any Bet Against the United States of America is A Losing Bet In the Long Run. Good Morning America

Why the ultra-rich continue to buy luxury

  posted by 31 October 2011

Luxury Goods - Chanel

According to a recent survey conducted by Prince & Associates, a market research firm specializing in private wealth, consumers with a net worth of more than US$30 million are not feeling the pinch of the recession. Calgary Herald

ICON Worldwide Awarded Rebranding of European Wind Energy Developer LDV.

LDV_Logo_thumbnail

  posted by 31 October 2011

Madrid based Luz de Viento is one of Europe´s leading developers of Wind Energy plants having built 5 plants in Spain and several more in development throughout Europe, including France, England, Scotland and Austria. In order to support its international ambitions, ICON Worldwide, will begin a strategic rebranding project with the redesign of its website.

ICON Worldwide Announces the Launch of AVIS Energy Corporate Communications Program.

avis

  posted by 31 October 2011

avis

For London based, AVIS Energy, a leading “Waste to Energy” developer, ICON has developed a unique international marketing communications program including, Corporate Identity, Website, and Company Brochure. In order to bring the new AVIS Energy brand to market fast, ICON developed the entire program in under six weeks. View the complete case study.

ICON Worldwide Announces the Launch of the Executive MBA Website for the University of St. Gallen.

  posted by 31 October 2011

EMBA1The leading German-language Executive MBA program, and sixth major website introduction for the Executive School. The EMBA website features a dynamic slide-show introduction which engages the visitor in the St. Gallen experience. For more information.