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The Top 5 Brand Stories of 2015

Google Logo

Google’s New Logo

With the arrival of a new year, it’s a perfect moment to reflect on the major trends and developments that made a mark in our world in 2015. Several compelling brand stories made headlines, some for their creativity and others for the controversy they inspired. Here are the top 5 brand stories that caught our attention:

What brand stories captivated you in 2015? Feel free to share your thoughts and reflections in the comments section below. As we welcome 2016, best wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year!

Looking to start your New Year right with custom branded promotional products that can make a difference for your brand? We’d be happy to share some recommendations and creative ideas with you. Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook or call us at 877-881-6845 and we’ll be glad to advise you on branding ideas that can represent your company with style and grace.

As Seen on the Streets of New York

Rain guard for bike made of plastic bottle

Some of us (and we’re not naming names or anything) can be a little cynical. The perfect antidote to cynicism is coming across something that renews one’s faith in the creativity and inventiveness of fellow human beings.

Hats off to whoever invented this plastic bottle rain guard for the back tire of a bike.

Gadget Clutter and Sushi Rice that Doesn’t Stick

OK, we all know that clutter is something to avoid, and that piles of unopened mail is a major cause of clutter.

But what about gadget clutter? For some, this is an issue.Too many devices, too many different chargers, too many tangled wires. Where is that phone, pod, pad, kindle anyway?

Mashable recently ran a post on multiple-device charging stations. They come in a range of prices and styles, seemingly inspired by everything from Tupperware to Star Trek to the lawn out back. Functionally we might not be ready for a gadget declutterer, but aesthetically, we’re voting for the grass.

Mention something and we may think of its opposite. Black white, hot cold, tall short…clutter organization. On that note, we’d like to share the Sushi Memo Block, featuring egg, salmon, tuna, and fatty tuna. Once you eat through the top third or so, you have only rice left. And while sushi rice is sticky, the Sushi Memo Block is not. Each sushi is a small pad of paper, not adhesive post-it notes.

via Acrylo via Colossal via Matomeno

Mapping It Out

Design is an important part of what we do here at Branding Ideas℠. Coming up with new and creative promotional ideas that help communicate your message and brand is essential, but the design of your promotional items, your logo, and your product packaging are just as vital. The New York MTA will unveil their new NYC subway map design in June and, being the New Yorkers that we are, we’ve got an opinion! The new design is cleaner and clearer, and the color contrasts are a nice improvement, but we preferred the city parks in the bolder emerald green of the 1998 may design, as opposed to the new olive color. We think parks should err more on the side of tree color than dog urine, and they’ll be easier to find on a map. The subway lines now have a dark gray shading, intended to make them stand out more, but that could potentially cause confusion for people who use the MTA subway map to look for streets and intersections too. But these are minor complaints, and overall the map is an improvement over the last incarnation, and a big improvement over the grid maps used back when polyester bell bottoms were chic. Check out The New York Times for a more detailed look at MTA subway maps past, present and future!

Experience Is Everything

Walk around Manhattan these days and you’re likely to run into one of many “green” sitting areas, where pedestrians can eat lunch, meet with friends or colleagues, or just sit and rest. On Earth Day last year, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg announced PlaNYC, a plan to enhance the city’s urban environment by focusing on five key areas (land, air, water, energy and transportation) shaped by local members of the environmental, business, community and legislative communities. One aspect of the plan is to increase access to open spaces. PlaNYC also aims to create 800 new “greenstreets,” a citywide program launched back in 1996 by the Department of Parks & Recreation and the Department of Transportation to convert traffic islands and medians into green spaces.

This initiative is not only vital to the environment (the city hopes to decrease global warming emissions by 30%) but to the overall quality of life of New York City’s residents, employees and tourists. A more pleasant environment ultimately means happier workers and shoppers, and that leads to better business and a boost for the city’s economy. It makes us wonder what sprucing up the environment at work or in your home office could do for your bottom line. Chefs learned ages ago that presentation can actually make food taste better and marketing executives have long known that attractive packaging can make products more appealing to consumers, so why not enhance your work experience and the world by going green or increasing the comfort level in other ways? We’ll be brainstorming new ideas to help create a more enjoyable work environment and posting them right here, so check back regularly!

Coca-Cola & Ultra Records Unveil Olympic 2008 Promotion

The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games started on Friday and Coca-Cola, a proud sponsor of the games for the last 80 years and whose partnership with the International Olympics Committee will continue until at least 2020, has invited artists from all around the world to depict what the Olympics means to them. Eight Chinese graphic designers and design teams have been invited to create limited-edition aluminum contour Coke bottle designs celebrating the Beijing Olympics, while eight music artists—electronic dance music label Ultra Records’ Tiesto, Benny Benassi, Kaskade, Jes, Serge Devant, Lucas Prata, Cezar and Jay-J—have each composed a song expanding on one of the eight themes corresponding to the games and Coca-Cola’s Coke Side of Life brand marketing campaign. Branding Ideas thinks this partnership is a unique opportunity to bridge East and West, music and sports, and consumer and business. Visit the Beijing 2008 mini-site at for more information on this cool promotion and fun added features including games, e-cards and free downloads. The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games air on the networks of NBC through August 24th.