Time to downsize your brand or time to up brand fun?

Never before have we had so many ways to express ourselves. The opportunity to personalise, to say something about yourself, to stand out from the crowd is almost limitless. Technology has, of course, driven our ability to make a personal statement. Whether that is through manufacturing, custom fitting our need for individualism, or through social media to broadcast our self-centeredness.

It’s no longer good enough to hunker down with sand bags, hoping to stem the tide. Or to deck the house out with a year’s worth of IKEA candles in preparation for power cuts. As the rain here in the UK begins to retreat for the first time in eight weeks, it’s time to put away our Canute-like pretentions and think seriously about finding smarter, more creative ways to protect our neighborhoods from the increasingly frequent dangers of climate change.

A couple of things collided last week that started me noodling: a Met Office warning, and the eventual winner of The Apprentice. First came the news that the UK was experiencing a heatwave. For those of you in sunnier climes, hitting 32 degrees for a couple of days running might not seem a big deal, but here, it’s worthy of a level 3 warning.

A couple of weeks ago Elmwood held its first Hoo-ha! It’s our new members-only event where FMCG brands and retailers get together to creatively come up with their next big innovative ideas, using design. Custom-designed to poke, stoke and provoke, we took 35 top-notch FMCG and retail clients, as well as entrepreneurial guest speakers and global Elmwood people, on a 48-hour ride of non-stop stimulation and freewheeling observation.

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to go to Planning-ness 2013 in Boston. It’s an alternative event for planners who like to do as well as think, with the big idea being that you ‘get excited and make things’. So instead of just sitting in a big room scribbling on your pad as the Keynote presentations roll by, there are loads of practical workshops and you actually get to be creative with the people there. (Not just stand next to them drinking coffee.)