Wednesday, December 05, 2001

Renaissance: An emerging European alternative to the American model of marketing.

By Simon Mottram & Neil Gibb

Published by Wiley. Available: Autumn 2002
Format: Approx 300 pages. High quality production. Full colour. Price: tba


In a time when markets are increasingly crowded, profits and margins are being pushed, and customers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and “mobile”, businesses are suffering a paradox. They need to be increasingly innovative and imaginative to stand out from the crowd. But are increasingly strangled by cultures that are unimaginative and risk averse, seeing research, technology, process and consistency as the answer to their problems.

It’s a situation analogous to the music scene of the mid-seventies. Bloated progressive rock bands knocking out increasingly processed and anodyne fare with their audience becoming increasingly bored and on the look out for something else.

The classic model of marketing is failing, but it’s unclear what should replace it.

But, if you look hard enough, you can see a new group of individuals, companies and brands emerging, leading a renaissance in innovative thinking and creative execution in the way that brands are built and marketed. Skilled, intuitive, individualistic and driven. Catching customers’ and the medias attention with their imagination and flair.

While conventional marketing orthodoxy is ‘American’ in its genesis and spirit, the approach of these new mavericks is distinctly ‘European’.

Renaissance showcases the companies and individuals, on the client side and within agencies and consultancies, who are challenging the status quo and kicking back against complacency. People who instinctively get their audiences, who ignore “the rules”, who take risks. An uprising of creativity and imagination. And an uprising of extraordinary results.

This book comes at a time when the integration of Europe is gathering pace and a genuine European sensibility to marketing, design and brand building is emerging.

It celebrates diversity and in doing so answers the implicit question raised by Naomi Klein in No Logo. Is there an alternative to the crushing power of globalization?

There is. And it is already happening.

What makes this different from all the other branding/creative books on the market ?

Firstly it is an anthology. Most books in this area are the opinion of one individual or company. Renaissance brings together the very best of the opinion leaders and movers and shakers from across the creative community and its various disciplines in one place. If you only buy one book, this is it.

This book is Euro-centric. Showing a viable and exciting alternative to the worthy but rather dull US style books. And tapping into a burgeoning desire for an alternative. As its name implies, Renaissance will be as much ‘art criticism’ as ‘business book’.

A potent mix of leading opinion mixed with real visual examples and anecdote – the best of both worlds.

About the authors

Simon Mottram

Simon is a branding expert who has worked with clients such as BP, Volvo, Microsoft and Virgin. A respected commentator on branding issues, he has contributed to a number of books on the subject and is a frequent speaker at conferences and in the media.

Simon has wide experience across the marketing mix including managing projects featuring graphic and interior design, PR, Direct marketing, advertising and interactive media.

Simon is Marketing Director at Sapient, the business and technology consultancy. Prior to joining Sapient, Simon was a Partner at communications company Circus and Director of brand strategy and identity at Interbrand.

A self-confessed Europhile, Simon is currently developing a cycling apparel business.

Neil Gibb

Neil has an eclectic past: Abattoir worker, Management Consultant, Copywriter, Novelist, and more recently Creative Director of User Experience at both Sapient and Scient.

Prior to the two “ients”, he worked at Shandwick where he led the team that helped Shell use the internet to strategically reposition its brand. Before that he was a consultant at Siegel & Gale where he helped organisations such as Cordiant and Novartis redefine their brand identities, and clients such as the Royal Mail, Barclays and DHL better use communications to build deep relationships with their customers.

He has published two novels, a play, and numerous pieces on all aspects of how the creative process can be applied to business. His novel Bleached White is currently being adapted by Carlton for TV and he currently has a screen play in progress “Riding High”.

Neil is obsessed with how stories and communication can be used to bring about change, and coaches both individuals and companies on how to develop leadership through the power of authentic and compelling communication.