Iconic Brand Building in Competitive Industry of Beauty Services Industry

THE CHALLENGE

My friend Margaret and I go back to the 7th grade where she was a Cindy Lauper/Depeche Mode/Madonna Mod queen and I was a budding break dancing BBoy. We weren’t really friends back then but we knew of each other and since then life’s ups, downs and criss crosses we grew into the same circles and have become life long friends ever since.

So one day Margaret contacts me about doing a logo for her newly purchased beauty salon. However, starting out in a new business she had no real budget to put behind a logo design. Since we were old friends I told her I’d do it for free. She balked at the idea at first but eventually agreed.

She wasn’t picky as she trusted me to deliver something fantastic and fantastic was surely my goal.

THE JOURNEY

I wanted to create something elegant and classy as I imagined that would be the environment of her salon.

To gather ideas I toyed with her first and last initials but didn’t really find anything that came together well. Then I had a slight memory of her middle name Michelle. I asked to confirm and I was correct. I settled on the name Margaret Michelle and began to create from there. What made the most striking impression is the double-line “M” that depicted the Margaret Michelle moniker in clever fashion. As a result, that day the Margaret Michelle Salon was born.

THE ARRIVAL

The logo was used on all merchandise, signage and promotional items throughout the salon. The destination became a staple of Southern Silicon Valley and well known through-out the central coast region. Years later her and her husband returned the favor buy cooking for a birthday gathering I had at my home in the East Bay. He was and still is quite the cook. Good food and Good friends forever.

Iconic Brand Building in Competitive Industry of Beauty Services Industry THE CHALLENGE My friend Margaret and I go back to the 7th grade where she was a Cindy Lauper/Depeche Mode/Madonna Mod queen and I was a budding break dancing BBoy. We weren’t really friends back then but we knew of each other and since then […]

Building Gamer’s Trust with Server Reliability

THE CHALLENGE

Supermicro is a designer and manufacturer of desktop and server main boards along with servers and desktop chassis. They decided to dip their toe into the gaming board market to see if they could get some traction. However, this is not Supermicro’s expertise. Neverless they managed to have some success in the realm of overclocking which is a very desirable feature in the gaming industry. Unfortinately, Supermicro gaming boards lack much of the desirable features that are popular among customers and provided by much of their competition.

THE JOURNEY

The first challenge was to figure out what the true value proposition was for the product. It wasn’t speeds and feeds. It wasn’t blingy good looks with brushed metal and bright colored LEDs and it wasn’t low cost. After much deliberation the most differentiating factor of the Supermicro gaming motherboards was that they are built with server board construction in mind. This means they have a higher level of durability to withstand long run times at higher speeds. Essentially the team agreed on the positioning statement “Server Grade Quality Built for Gaming”.

The next challenge was the low budget gaming marketing team had for the line. In this case, we needed to devise a campaign that can grow legs and walk on it’s own as we would not have the budget to push it any further. It needed to resonate with the audience in a manner that they would be willing to tote it on their back and take with them. What we believed represented the strength of the product, as well as the interest and enthusiasm of the audience, was the phrase “Play Harder”. Nothing resonated with hard core gamers better. This phrase was carried out on all the collateral and advertising.

THE ARRIVAL

For the very first time a video created by the inhouse video team received an enthusiastic ovation from the marketing team and went on to be the most viewed gaming video with an audience retention level of 91.%–More than 20% over the channel average. The slogan has been well received laying the ground work for Supermicro to be taken seriously in gaming industry proving that outright performance is more important than frivolous features. As a matter of fact the Z390 series board is, currently ranked #1 by Hwbot.org for the top bin Intel® Core™ i9-9900K processor clocked at 7.511 GHz and chosen for Best of Show at the CES 2019.

Building Gamer’s Trust with Server Reliability THE CHALLENGE Supermicro is a designer and manufacturer of desktop and server main boards along with servers and desktop chassis. They decided to dip their toe into the gaming board market to see if they could get some traction. However, this is not Supermicro’s expertise. Neverless they managed to […]

Satisfying Block Buster Aspirations on a Home Made Movie Budget

Docufilm video delivered on desktop, laptop and mobile devices in digital and social media channels across the internet.

THE CHALLENGE

So the VP came to my desk and said he wanted a movie poster for the video projects he assigned the team. Little did he know, I already something in the archives that would fit the project perfectly so that wasn’t the challenge. The true challenge was to satisfy his blockbuster movie aspirations despite having home made video resources.

THE JOURNEY

So the project was to produce a Docufilm discussing the effects of the energy consumption of the increasing count of compute servers around the world, as well as their effects on the environment. Initial concepts included a Mission Impossible type theme but CLevel management did not want to lose focus of the core message. Supermicro is a leader in server efficiency and passionate about using that efficiency to save energy and ultimately reduce the amount of natural resources needed to power servers around the world.

The challenge was to bring awareness to the increasing power consumption of the server industry while also shining a light on Supermicro as the energy efficient server solution without the video looking like a sales pitch.

So what we decided to do was to bring in NASA climate research experts that, not only simulate climate change using large datacenter clusters, but also use Supermicro servers to execute the simulation.

We also included Intel’s CTO to discuss the architecture needed to optimize the minimization of resources in the datacenter environment.

This was all complimented with Supermicro’s CEO explaining his passion to help save the earth and the technical innovation Supermicro has created to lead the way.

THE ARRIVAL

An Integrated Digital campaign was delivered through social media and other digital media channels. To give the docufilm that blockbuster film flare the music sound track was produced in
collaboration with Lalo Schiffron the original composer of Mission Impossible. At the time of this study the video had reached 1.6 Million views and counting on YouTube.

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Satisfying Block Buster Aspirations on a Home Made Movie Budget Docufilm video delivered on desktop, laptop and mobile devices in digital and social media channels across the internet.THE CHALLENGE So the VP came to my desk and said he wanted a movie poster for the video projects he assigned the team. Little did he know, […]

Choosing Substance Over Sexy in Advertising

( Concept I )Inside Every SuperServer is a Super Story

( Concept II ) We Power...

( Final Campaign ) Application-Optimized Server Solutions

THE CHALLENGE

The CEO wanted to turn the corner on the company brand. To do so he came up with Supermicro 3.0–An internal reference to reflect that the company’s maturity yet still reminiscent of fresh, new and improved.

To compliment this refresh I embarked on a journey interviewing employees, customers and partners, to not only see what Supermicro 3.0 meant to them, but what the true core value of the company was.

THE JOURNEY

After weeks of interviews, evaluations and analysis we tried to come up with a warm and fuzzy campaign showcasing the many ways Supermicro touched the lives of regular people. We even tested portions of the concept in our Superbowl Ads. However, that did not seem to fit the tone of management who preferred to lead with innovation. We even tried clever statements depicting us as the Power behind vertical markets however, we found that to be too narrow of a message.

So after further consideration and days of circling back we concluded that the core value to our customers and the reason customers chose Supermicro over our competitors was the company’s ability to specifically optimize product performance providing the best performance-per-watt, per dollar and/or per sq. ft. for each and every application. This was the differentiating factor for the company moving forward. As a result, the campaign became Application-Optimized Server Solutions. It wasn’t new, fresh or exciting. However, it was the first time that the value of the company had been concisely communicated that was in line with how we opened up dialogue with customers as well as closed the deal.

THE ARRIVAL

For the very first time we had received feedback that we finally got it right. That, along with a more comprehensive click-through plan in web banner advertising, we improved online ad clickthroughs and reduced bounce backs more than 30%.

Application Optimized Server Solutions. It’s not sexy but it has pertinent substance that drives the bottom line.

Choosing Substance Over Sexy in Advertising ( Concept I )Inside Every SuperServer is a Super Story ( Concept II ) We Power... ( Final Campaign ) Application-Optimized Server SolutionsTHE CHALLENGE The CEO wanted to turn the corner on the company brand. To do so he came up with Supermicro 3.0–An internal reference to reflect that […]

12 Years of Building a Brand in an Environment of Culture Unawareness

2018, Fully Integrated Campaign--Print, Online, Social, Radio, Television, Outdoor

2017

2013

2010

2016

2012

2009

2014

2011

2006

THE CHALLENGE

Supermicro is a company made up mostly of Taiwanese immigrants including it’s Cofounders. While they have tremendous insight in developing cutting edge technology the understanding of marketing the product in a manner that is more accepting of western culture where the larger portion of their customer base is was quite a challenge First the company had been growing, although slowly, quite steadily. This made it difficult to justify change, albeit, to improve the effectiveness of the company’s branding efforts.

THE JOURNEY

For the sake of illustrating the evolution of the Supermicro brand we’ve focused on the advertising as a representative of all of the branding efforts. Rightfully so, since most often the advertising was used as the foundation for creating much of the creative assets of the brand once the advertising creative was released.

Being that the majority of the culture at Supermicro is influenced by Taiwanese culture, colors, images and words used in brand assets are influenced as well. It’s been quite the challenge to move the company away from the Blue Sky and Yellow/Gold Type despite these color combinations being more associated with toys and other less critical industries. The reach for improvement over the last 12 years has been relentless but you can see each time some improvement was made we’d get a bit of push back the next time around. Nevertheless we were able to move from advertising with a smorgasbord of product images, blue sky and yellow/gold type to just one hero image. We were also able to move from lots of technical spec to a simple clean message, subhead and brief sell copy. This was utilized across all brand assets.

Much care was put into determining the core value of the company to its customers and making sure that message is delivered first and foremost.

THE ARRIVAL

Today both customers and partners can see that the brand has matured in its messaging and sophistication in delivery. Ads are no longer stand alone. They are part of an integrated effort that cross platforms, including outdoor, environment and social channels that drive interest to action and measurable metrics growing the customer base and brand value. As a result, a brand that was valued at just $500M 12 years ago is now valued at $3B.

View Landing Pages at
https://www.supermicro.com/application-optimized

12 Years of Building a Brand in an Environment of Culture Unawareness 2018, Fully Integrated Campaign--Print, Online, Social, Radio, Television, Outdoor2017 2013 2010 2016 2012 2009 2014 2011 2006 THE CHALLENGE Supermicro is a company made up mostly of Taiwanese immigrants including it’s Cofounders. While they have tremendous insight in developing cutting edge technology the […]