John Tanner & Nancy Gross Join Wallace Church
John Tanner and Nancy Gross have joined Wallace Church in newly created positions, the company announced on Monday. Tanner will serve as Vice President, Business Development, Client Services, while Gross comes to Wallace Church as Relationship Ambassador.
As Executive Vice President, Tanner will be responsible for new business, client services and marketing activities. He brings 18 years of brand building experience to the family of thought leaders at Wallace Church and has extensive relationships with brand leaders in the U.S. and internationally.
Prior to joining Wallace Church, Tanner led business development and client services efforts at Dragon Rouge in New York, where he helped double company revenues. Before Dragon Rouge, John held business development and account management positions at CBX and Sterling Brands. Throughout his career, he has worked with companies and brands around the world including Colgate-Palmolive, Mars, Kimberly-Clark and PepsiCo.
“John’s insight, knowledge, and leadership will ensure that Wallace Church continues to be a forward thinking partner for our clients,” says Rob Wallace, Managing Partner.
Nancy Gross also joins Wallace Church’s team of branding design experts. As their Relationship Ambassador, she will focus on creating, nurturing and growing relationships for the company. With 20 years of experience in creating meaningful partnerships with leaders across industries, Gross will be responsible for further growing the visibility and value of the Wallace Church family.
Most recently, Gross worked with Tanner at Dragon Rouge and, prior to that, with him at CBX. Her ability to identify partnerships through honest and thoughtful conversation quickly built the foundation for their new business team.
“Time and again, Nancy has shown that people want to be heard and have their needs met in the most personal of ways: through meaningful dialogue. Her ability to charm, disarm, connect and engender trust is only matched by her rigorous approach to research and due diligence of her customer (company). Her approach to developing relationships embodies the culture and legacy of Wallace Church. We are both excited to be a part of the agency and look forward to further enhancing Wallace Church’s current partnerships and creating new opportunities for success”, says Tanner.
About Wallace Church
Wallace Church is a forward thinking strategic branding and design firm specializing in transforming brands to achieve maximum performance in the marketplace. Founded in 1975 by Mr. Church, Wallace Church has been an award winning leading global brand partner and has worked with Fortune 500 brands across all consumer product categories and retail environments. The firm has offices in New York and San Francisco.
Lainie Zwecher, Business Development
p/ 212 755 2903
Rob Speaking at Shopper Marketing Expo, Tuesday, October 8th
For more information on the Shopper Marketing Expo, and to attend Rob’s talk on Architecting a Brand Experience from Concept through Retail please visit the Shopper Marketing website.
Hope to see you there!
Killing the Golden Goose - Stan Church, Founder & Chief Creative Director
The brands we work on are the life blood of our clients’ businesses; they are their golden eggs. Most of them have proven to be profitable for many years and maintain strong brand equities. But now we see competition – in the form of new innovations, private label competing for shelf space, new shopping initiatives, and even new consumers - challenging their future and therefore strategies must be created to ensure the well being of these trusted brands.
The marketing teams and the design consultants that have been nurturing these brands are now challenged with overall budget cuts and procurement-led projects that are looking for competitive and compromised rates for design. This poses a concern since now is the time to realize the importance of this issue and to make the investments with strong teams that can get ahead of the game. Today’s consumers are very attentive to the packaging of their brands. Gone are the days of packaging as an afterthought. Today’s consumer views packaging as an integral part of the brand experience. Truly great packaging serves this need, engaging and exciting the consumer at shelf and at home. Furthermore, research has suggested that companies that invest in design tend to be more innovative, more profitable and grow faster than those that do not*. Realizing this, and understanding the value great packaging design can add to a brand, businesses need to enable their marketing and design teams to invest in the design process, thereby elevating the brand experience for their customers. After all we don’t want to just end up with a cooked goose.
*from a European Commission Study quoted in a 2011 DMI Article by Anna Whicher, Gisele Raulik-Murphy and Gavin Cawood.
Rob recently sat down with author and brand consultant Robin Landa to discuss personal branding for her new book, “Build Your Own Brand”. In his interview, Rob shares his thoughts on creating difference and relevance in today’s fast-paced world. He stresses the importance of staying focused while also remaining curious:
"You can’t be an expert at everything, but you can focus on a few areas and remain ever curious about everything else. People flock to those who can discern meaning from information. A curious person has many perspectives from which to draw that meaning."
Read the full interview here.
To learn more about Robin’s book and pick up a copy, click here.
Happy Fourth of July from Wallace Church!
The WC New York office kicked off the holiday weekend with some lobster rolls from Luke’s Lobsters. We couldn’t think of a better way to start our celebrations.
Wallace Church will be closed Thursday, July 4th and will re-open on Monday, July 8th.
Happy Fourth of July!
— All of us at Wallace Church
Suit Yourself: With Style on the Rise, Will Brands Begin to Dress for the Occasion?
- Elizabeth Minton, Marketing
Casual Fridays are over. The art of dressing well has been on the rise of late, especially for men, whose attention to style was recently noted in the New York Times article, “The Rise of the Well-Dressed Man”. The article comments that, “a survey of the landscape suggests we may have entered an age of sartorial advancement…A generation raised on the insult-to-the-eyes that was casual Fridays has suddenly discovered a novel new uniform: the suit”.
From Barney Stinson on How I Met your Mother, with his catchphrase “Suit Up”, to the addition of a “style section” to the NBA website (the king of NBA style may well be Dwyane Wade, who had chosen all of his postseason walk-in outfits before The Heat even made the playoffs this year), there is a clear signal in pop culture that curation is clutch. Meaning, suits (and attention to detail) are in and sweats are out. They are so in, in fact, that the lead single off of Justin Timberlake’s latest album is literally called “Suit and Tie”.
And for women? While it can be argued that women have always paid more attention to style, influential shows like Mad Men and Downton Abbey have helped to focus our vision to a past world’s glamorous details. In fact, as I was researching this post, words like bespoke, haberdashery and sartorial kept popping up - all of which relate to tailoring and a considered style, and all of which had not been in common use for years until very recently.
So what can brands learn from these new tucked-in tendencies? Perhaps it is not a coincidence that our cultural fascination with curation has coincided with the rise of design. Our clothes, like our Pinterest accounts, are a reflection of who we are and how we express ourselves visually. Increasingly, our chosen brands are as well. As we, as a culture, continue to ramp up our style game, it’s only natural that we expect our brands to follow suit (pun not intentional, but awesome, so we kept it).
A friend of mine recently emailed me lamenting that she was craving, of all things, a fountain soda, but she certainly did not want to be seen around her office with a McDonald’s cup. In the same way that she wouldn’t wear sneakers to a business meeting, the brand and its touchpoints didn’t align with her office image. Frankly put, McDonald’s didn’t match her outfit, or her image. However, if Starbucks sold fountain soda I would venture to guess that she would not have had the same qualms about the cup. It would be a no brainer, because Starbucks has succeeded in turning their cup into a status symbol. With this in mind, it may be time for Mickey D’s to put away its mom jeans.
In a world where we spend time choosing the perfect designer iPhone cover and add a pocket square to complement our bow ties, it is safe to say that, more and more, we are choosing everyday consumer goods to match our lifestyles and tastes as well. The question is: as our tastes evolve for the better, how will brands react? What we do know is: the results better go well with our outfit.
- Rich Rickaby, Studio Director
Apple Computer, or Mac, is everyone’s darling when it comes to naming brand mentors. They seem to do everything right when it comes to imagery, consistency and innovation. They have the products to back up all their efforts as well, a big help in any market.
They’ve had some setbacks: the introduction of the iPod was amazing until the battery ran out and couldn’t be recharged, their second iPhone got bad reception if your finger was in the wrong place while calling, and now, it seems that by putting an office in Reno, Nevada, they’ve avoided paying billions in taxes. In the end however, Who cares?, seems to be the attitude. MacAddicts love their products (now trading at $449.68/share) and the web is always atwitter when a rumor of a new iProduct or upgrade is coming.
My frustration is probably more with myself than with the iPhone, but here it is: for a brand that seems so design savvy, why are Mail, Safari, Voice Memos, App Store, Weather and Photos all the same shade of blue? Why do Weather and Photos look so similar? Blue square with yellow circle? They are hard to differentiate at a glance. Why are the Phone and Messages the same shades of green? Why is Music orange when iTunes was always blue, but now it’s purple on my phone?
As these technologies are designed to make everything easier and faster - and we’ve adapted well since we can apparently walk, text and eat simultaneously while listening to music on our phone - won’t these close color combinations cause confusion? I mean, am I the only person who has selected Message instead of Phone? I was looking to communicate. Or Safari instead of Mail? I used to go on Safari to get to my mail, so I suspect there are Pavlovian trace elements at work. So far, I think I’ve avoided hitting Weather instead of Photos.
While it may seem like an easy thing to switch, the issue now is that we’ve been trained to associate these colors with these apps (myself not fully included obviously) and so switching their colors for easier differentiation may just cause more iConfusion…and so, iVent.
PS Of course, now that this is posted, it looks like iPhone is revamping their icons. iVent some more.
THROWBACK THURSDAY – 70s Daft Punk Edition
We’re not even a week past Memorial Day and Daft Punk’s dancy, disco-inspired, “Get Lucky” has all but clinched the coveted title of 2013’s Song of the Summer, according to the powers that be. Which, in case you are curious, are The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Variety and Vulture. Oh, and Wallace Church… because we are definitely playing it on repeat in the studio.
The Saturday Night Fever-esque track has us thinking about all things 70s, from Annie Hall to Zeppelin and also the formative but highly creative days of our company. We’ll be back again next week with a few retro designs from the era. For now though, just press play, turn up the volume and enjoy the start of summer.
THROWBACK THURSDAY - VIVA
1993: The year Jurassic Park was released, Michael Jordan’s Bulls won a third straight NBA championship, and Prince dropped his name in favor of a symbol. And, while it may not have generated as much national buzz as the confusion over what to call Prince, it was also the year the Scott Paper Company approached Wallace Church to redesign the brandmark and packaging graphics for their Viva Paper Towel line.
Prior to engaging us, the look of Viva was characterized by bright, primary colors with a solid black brand mark. In the redesign, Wallace Church utilized a more art deco look, incorporating a feminine combination of rich and cool shades of teal, purple and red. We also used bold shapes combined with a V super-graphic and dynamic elements (dropshadows, gradations and zebra line-work) to help communicate the strength and high-end character of the product. Gradations especially, were just starting to come on-line in flexo printing at the time and using them was costly.
Looking back now, the muted color palette of the brandmark and package are very evocative of their time. Indeed, they can be found in other products from companies as diverse as Gillette (for the Sensor Excel), Netscape (for its original logo) and Clearly Canadian (in it’s sparkling water that is, sadly, no longer in production).
Seeing this, we have to laugh as it reminds us once again that what is old will always be revived and re-imagined at some point. For example, while gradations are current, they have become so prevalent that the emerging design trend will be flat blocks of color (not dissimilar to the use of color on Viva before our redesign). At the same time, 2013 heralded Emerald as Pantone’s choice of color of the year, one not far on the color wheel from the distinct shade of teal so prevalent twenty years ago. Regardless of time, both shades symbolize sophistication and clarity as well as a sense of richness and luxury. Today’s fashion world has certainly been inspired by Pantone, sending shades of emerald down the runway in both the spring and fall collections this year.
The interesting question for us is how will our industry now evolve? We don’t necessarily expect Starbucks to drop its bold green in favor of a more Netscape-inspired color anytime soon. However, as the look begins to define this decade – as these elements helped to define the 90s - it is likely that brands will be required to incorporate an updated take in their products in order to feel fresh. You know, just like Jurassic Park 3D.
Spotlight on Wallace Church
We are excited to announce that this month, Wallace Church is being featured in Avery Dennison’s Designer Showcase, a select spotlight on the world’s leading design firms. The showcase has included an impressive group of studios and luminaries within our industry and we are thrilled to be included.
Inside, Stan speaks about some of his favorite work and shares insights and inspirations from his 40 years of design experience. Rob also gives his thoughts on the impact design can have and why Wallace Church is driven to spread this message.
Explore the Showcase and learn more about Wallace Church’s experience and perspective and how we’re shaping the potential that design can have.