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Ad Chat / Simone Lagares

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It's been a minute since we've had an Ad Chat. And this one comes from Brazil. Simone Lagares is an amazing designer. And not only that, she's founder and creative director of Blackbird Branding, which is already winning some serious awards. We caught up with Simone to get her thoughts on the state of design, being an entrepreneur, and what makes Brazilians so damn good at advertising.

What was the hardest thing about starting your own shop? What has been the best thing about it?

I used to say that Blackbird Branding's just turned 2-years old, but it was born with more than 25 years of experience between designing and communicating for all sorts of brands. With that said, it's pretty clear I've dedicated more time to being an employer over the experience of being in charge of a business. So I'd have to say that the hardest thing about it, so far, is unlearning the employer mindset in order to learn new skills to better run and grow my business.

Now, the best thing was receiving the IF Award, one of the most prestigious design awards in the world, for the Agência UM rebrand. The fact that it was for my own shop felt completely different than the previous awards I won during my career. It was like a validation for the reason why I started the business and the amount of love that I put in each and every work I make. To know that at this very moment my work is being shown in a design museum in Germany surrounded by kick ass design projects from all over the world feels really good.

You paused a successful career as a designer to study at the Creative Circus, in Atlanta. How did that time studying abroad affect your career?

It still resonates to this day. The year I spent in Atlanta made me look at design and to my own potential in several different ways. I learned that after a while we tend to rely on certain formulas in order to get the job done and the best way to avoid it is to look at your work as a whole, trying to approach each and every project in a different way. I apply that to how I deal with Blackbird's projects. Another lesson I learned that year was that although I came from a different country, the more I add my personal experience or the way I perceive life to my work, the better it communicates with people from all nationalities. At the end of the day, emotion pretty much speaks the same language everywhere.

Design, like advertising seems to change every hour on the hour. In your opinion what will always be at the heart of design?

Process. Always the process. With product design, there will always be a human-centered problem to be solved in a better way, whereas in graphic design there’s a message or information to be communicated in a better way. The thoughts, and concepts will always be there but the form changes a lot.

How would you define good branding?

Good branding as in brand management is about coherency. It’s when what you say, look and do as a brand meets what people value or think about you over and over again. It's a never ending process. Good branding is about making clear what the company is as much as what it isn't so it’s also about clarity. Now when it comes to how design in general supports a good branding strategy, then I must say it's all about how easier it makes the brand to be perceived with the desired associations by everyone: from employees to consumers. It can be translated by a furniture design for the retail environment, by the logo itself, by the sound of a website button and so on, and how it all makes sense together. It shortens the amount of time and effort for the brand value to be understood, increases the longing to be around the brand and consequently builds brand equity. And personally to me, it must be simple, singular and gorgeous.

When people think Brazilian design and advertising, São Paulo is the name that comes to mind. What’s Rio have that SP doesn’t?

That's a great question. In the past the design difference per se was clearer. Rio's style was more “vernacular” and “experimental” than São Paulo’s, mostly because the cultural market in Rio was stronger back then. But currently this difference is not so dramatic anymore. Rio is still a smaller market than São Paulo, so it tends to be more familiar and personal in a way. I remember when this friend of mine from Brasília was searching for a job here and he was impressed by how friendly people were because for every interview he went he always left with new contacts of people they knew from other shops.

On the same subject, Brazilian advertising tends to be simple, impactful and almost always visual. Why do you think this is? And what do you think Brazil has in a design language that other countries don’t?

Brazilians are very visually oriented, loud and affectionate. I remember when I was in Atlanta people would point it out about my work and I had no idea about it. It's impossible to talk about the Brazilian culture without considering soap operas. It's the kind of thing that builds the storytelling in our DNA. So probably that has a lot to do with it.

What’s the one piece of advice you wish someone had told you when you were starting out?

This changes according to the moment I'm going through. Currently it would be something like: "You know that paper written by the account executive with the brief of a new job that “magically” appears in front of you when you work at an agency? Start tracking down how and why it got to the agency. Start understanding the design business now!“


Entrevista para o site AdLand
em  09 Sep, 2017 By kidsleepy

voos sobre o branding #005

Posicionamento: "my precious"

Posicionamento de marca é o espaço que se conquista na mente do seu público. Idealmente, é a maneira como você gostaria que a sua marca fosse percebida, com os valores e potenciais corretos. O objetivo final é o de a sua marca ser a primeira a ser lembrada (de maneira positiva) quando se pensa naquela categoria. Não necessariamente o posicionamento leva à compra. Ele pode atingir outros públicos construindo valor de marca, ou "brand equity", que é um dos bens mais preciosos das marcas fortes. É só pensar a quantidade de marcas que você não consome mas conhece, sabe a sua finalidade e pode até defender como sendo a melhor naquela categoria.
Um bom posicionamento deve ser distinto, relevante e ter credibilidade para ser sustentado. A entrega tem de ser possível. Sem isso não há viabilidade de ser perene e de ter uma comunicação clara e coerente da intenção da marca. 
O posicionamento diz o que a marca faz, para quem faz e como se diferencia. Parece simples, mas não se engane. Posicionar uma marca é uma das tarefas mais complexas que uma empresa pode ter. Mas também uma das mais interessantes e valiosas.

"voos sobre o branding" são vídeos (curtinhos) que expressam pensamentos randômicos que guiam a blackbird branding.

voos sobre o branding #004

A internet e a sua forma de se comunicar com o mundo.

A internet trouxe mudanças estruturais para o mundo dos negócios estabelecendo uma dimensão digital que vai além de ter um site na web. Ela está na forma e rapidez que se responde a um email, na interface e usabilidade dos aplicativos, na confiança que a mercadoria vai chegar na data prometida, ou seja, todos os pontos de contato da marca são oportunidade de criar associações positivas para a empresa. Ela é essencial para gerar visibilidade, proximidade e abrir o diálogo, tudo fermento para aumentar valor de marca. As possibilidades são ilimitadas. E o alcance de público também. 

As mudanças causadas pela internet são irreversíveis e as marcas precisam de atenção sistemática na consistência e coerência entre todos os pontos de contato – digitais e não digitais. Isso é branding.

"voos sobre o branding" são vídeos (curtinhos) que expressam pensamentos randômicos que guiam a blackbird branding.

voos sobre o branding #003

Singularidade, sim, por favor.

Singularidade é o "Santo Graal" pra quem tem uma empresa. Ela é aquilo que não se explica muito bem na diferenciação de uma marca. A diferenciação pode ser um atributo funcional ou até mesmo um benefício emocional que um produto ou serviço podem oferecer. Mas a singularidade é aquilo que é tão intrínseco, tão individual que mal se consegue expressar em palavras. É um jeito de fazer. Algo único, original, excêntrico, excepcional ou raro. É Einstein com a língua pra fora. Irresistível.

"voos sobre o branding" são vídeos (curtinhos) que expressam pensamentos randômicos que guiam a blackbird branding.