The brand-customer relationship no longer purely focuses on the product or service but also on the experience — or perceived experiential element — that the brand or product can give. And I firmly believe that the focus of en masse social events and networking (both real and virtual) will now start to shift back to being about the individual. In response, brands will need to find ways to holistically design new experiences to truly immerse us in the brand and nurture the relationship — on a more meaningful and one-to-one level.

Togetherness is high on both the cultural and commercial agenda as businesses and brands come together to ‘partner’ the Olympic Games. Just how these partnerships will play out come the middle of August is anybody’s guess. But if profile has been raised and sales figures have increased then this association has served its purpose. Short-term partnerships are popular branding exercises to create excitement and exposure. But ultimately so is building long-term value and finding the right brand fit to maximise this is not always easy.

The article is written by Darren Foley, Managing Director at Pearlfisher, London

This month we are welcoming some new additions to the Pearlfisher studio gallery space in London: a beautiful old letterpress (courtesy of the brilliant Mr Kelvyn Smith and a revolutionary three-dimensional printer. From opposite ends of the same discipline, these two machines led us to think about a new movement in design that is uniting previously detached points of the same spectrum.

The article is written by Darren Foley, Managing Director at Pearlfisher, London

Today, everyone is a writer, a designer, an authority and an expert. In this highly connected world we all have the ability and the resources to be a creator. If we don’t find what we require, we can simply make something new. The internet allows us to instantly share our designs, publish our narratives amongst millions of blog posts, and build our own brands on sites such as Kickstarter or Shapeways. An entertaining article by Matt Dolphin on Creative Review recently demonstrated how logo design is being offered for as little as £25.

The article is written by Darren Foley, Managing Director at Pearlfisher, London

Happy January 2012! With questions on how to feed the growing global population, the obesity crisis and focus on the diets of this year’s Olympian athletes, the subject of food will be big in 2012. And of course, for consumers and food brands, the start of every year brings the inevitable “new year, new start” mentality as we see the influx of diet and healthy food ranges communicated to the max.

The article is written by Darren Foley, Managing Director at Pearlfisher, London

December. Presents are lit up in every shop window, emblazoned across every advert and in the front of everyone’s mind. Every magazine and editorial page recommends the best Christmas gifts. Over recent years, we have seen the rise of the alternative ‘charity gift’ and, as Present Aid states, «it’s the gift that keeps giving». However, more recently, an extended range of brands have also woken up to an altruistic approach, challenging the traditional charity giving language and aesthetic.