NEWS

"  Circle Culture
AUG 20 - 01

Unfold Bio

Building a new global vertical farming company from scratch

We were commissioned by Leaps by Bayer and the investment company Temasek from Singapore to develop the complete branding (name, CI, messaging, webpage) for a new company in the vertical farming sector. As always for these kind of challenges, our starting point has been our elaborated questionnaire where we prepare the central features of the vertical farming segment, create worlds of associations and use our classical “thesis”, “antithesis”, ”synthesis” approach to determine the desired direction of the communication content and the connotation of messaging. With this questionnaire (or call it "interview booklet"), we then conduct in-depth stakeholder and expert interviews recruited from our global thinkers network to generate insights for the name-, brand- and CI development. Our first ideas that we derived from the insights are then evaluated in a joint workshop in Singapore with all stakeholders and further developed together. The response after the launch was overwhelming - after 2 hours there were already 205 articles with a potential reach of 468.40 Million, none of it negative. We are proud that the branding, webpage and naming approach all turned out incredibly: www.unfold.ag
"  Circle Culture  Circle Culture  Circle Culture  Circle Culture  Circle Culture
MAY 20 - 01

INNOVATOR OF THE MONTH

CANOO: Tacking the hassle out of having your own car

When it comes to electric cars, everybody seems to immediately think of Tesla and its clear energy business model. Yet, there are other players in Tesla’s lee that appear to go even further in creating electric vehicles. One of them constitutes the LA-based car company Canoo, which has managed to quickly assert itself within the electric drive community not only by inventing a competitive electric vehicle, but also by engineering an ambitious business model. Instead of selling their cars to the end consumer, the Canoo vehicles are exclusively available by subscription, thereby aiming at “freeing customers from ownership”. Consistently following the Japanese approach of wanting to simplify the customer’s life, Canoo’s minimalistic mindset translates into a design that is reduced to the bare essentials, offering no distraction. This strategy is pushed so far that Canoo invites its subscribers to bring their own device and use it as the cars’ main display. Similar to the experience of a connected home, Canoo users can hence seamlessly leverage their personalized and thus both intuitive and secure smartphones whilst driving around the city. Another proprietary feature represents Canoo’s skateboard platform, which encompasses the batteries and electric drivetrain and serves as independent underpinning of each Canoo model, thereby allowing for not only more interior space, but also for reduced research and development costs. We at Cc simply love Canoo’s approach to timeless and pure, yet differentiating and entertaining electric vehicles, which is not only reflected by the modern appeal of their webpage, but also by the company’s actionable core values (Keep it simple – Be bold – People first). Canoo constitutes a perfect case in point of a brand whose successful positioning does not rely on any “horse and pony show”, but on a clear mission which deeply resonates with a widely shared need within today’s societies.
"  Circle Culture  Circle Culture
MAR 20 - 01

THE HEYDAY OF SCIENCE

Why it is more important than ever to trust scientific experts

When we first started to collaborate with leading start-ups within the biotech and life science industry back in 2012, their long-term goal to develop effective cures for, amongst others, global pandemics appeared highly aspirational, yet still somehow abstract, if not even downright impossible to relate to for us western industrialized nations. With the current COVID-19 crisis, many of us learn for the first time ever what it really feels like when our daily lives, which we have been taking for granted so far, are turned upside down in ways that we could not have imagined just a few months previously. Hitherto rather representing a niche milieu that had not many points of contact with the way we organize our everyday life, the scientific community has become – from one day to the next – the pivotal, guiding voice in our attempts to leave the pandemic behind us. Or to put it in the words of author and futurologist Yuval Noah Harari: “In recent months, humankind learned how important it is to listen to scientific experts when they warn us about epidemics. We should also listen to scientific experts when they warn us about ecological collapse.” Also thanks to our own constant exchanges with leading scientific talents and environmental experts, we feel that both their in- and foresights based on empirical data, objective measurement tools and avant-garde technologies are not only a true blessing in our current state of emergency, but maybe the only true knowledge institution capable of leading us into a better and healthy future.
"  Circle Culture  Circle Culture  Circle Culture
JAN 20 – 01

CROSS-POLLINATION

Collaborations are about relationships

“The foundation of all foundations, the base of everything is cross-pollination” emphasizes Drieke Leenknegt, Nike's former Global VP of Influencer Marketing & Collaborations when talking about the delicate art of collaborations with Jeff Staple in the latest edition of his podcast “Business of Hype”. After having spent the last twenty years in various roles at Nike, Drieke is about to set out to new shores and eventually provides unparalleled insights into what she believes makes art collaborations truly successful: The goal of each collaboration should be a so-called cross-pollination (the notion originally stems from botany where cross-pollination describes the transfer of pollen from the flower of one plant to the flower of a plant having a different genetic constitution) where the cooperating partners create something completely new together while mutually pulling each other into their distinctive, often disparate universes. The outcome or, to put it in Drieke’s words, the “seed” of this kind of collaboration will then possess characteristics of both partners, resulting in really aspirational products and unique brand experiences. We at Cc could not agree more with Drieke since, with our latest art collaboration service (www.cc-artcollaborations.com), we pursue the exact same approach, as declared in our mission statement: “We build on the freedom, creative power and incorruptible perspective of the arts and provide support for joining forces with brands, corporations and institutions of all kind in a truly connected, cross-pollinating way.” But we are also simply proud, when listening to Drieke’s wisdom on collaborations, because she had been our very first client at Nike when we initially started to work for them in 2002. Back in the days, Drieke was based at Nike’s European headquarters and embodied a great inspiration to us: Under her guidance we not only developed the field of energy marketing, but also exported our concept for Nike’s Spirit Room to Milan, Paris and London. Go listen to the podcast yourself if you feel like deep-diving into the challenges of accomplished art collaborations: https://hypebeast.com/2020/1/drieke-leenknegt-nike-interview-business-of-hype-jeffstaple-episode-62.
"  Circle Culture
June 20 - 01

INTERGENERATIONAL DIALOGUES

What the global pandemic makes us rediscover

At the occasion of the latest online meet-up of the global community Arts & Nature Social Club (ANSC), Peter Schwarzenbauer, former manager and member of the board of BMW, and climate activist Luisa Neubauer deep-dived into an inspirational talk with the ANSC’s members on how the Covid-19 pandemic might represent a unique opportunity for eventually building a sustainable and future-proof world. Since Circle Culture Consulting’s managing director forms part of ANSC’s advisory board for all things innovation and communication, we had the chance to carefully listen to these experts’ instructive contributions – and felt that, besides the panel’s core topic, there has been another pivotal idea coming to our minds during the discussion: The idea of the strength and power that intergenerational dialogues are able to unfold. Which, with the sincere exchange taking place between the senior and junior speakers, was perfectly executed during the ANSC session, is currently also manifesting on broader societal levels: With the younger generations taking care of the older ones since the break-out of the pandemic, with the millennial generation offering help and orientation to their (great-)grandparents in all things digital, but also with the “silver” generations, most of whom had experienced some sort of war experience, providing reassurance and perspective to the youngsters during these new and uncertain times, we feel being at a critical moment in time in regard to the necessary and long overdue recovery of the intergenerational respect and appreciation that seemed to have disappeared at some point in recent years due to the ever-accelerating race for eternal youth.
"  Circle Culture  Circle Culture  Circle Culture
APR 20 - 01

IT WORKS

Why digital communication tools are currently experiencing their bloom

While the degree of digitalization of companies’ internal structures and processes has long appeared as a rather unpersonal and “cold” key figure, the current COVID-19 crisis has, all at once, revealed both the proper purpose and true meaning of technological tools aiming at facilitating remote working and remote communication. But it is not only about enabling people, thanks to modern enterprise video communications providers such as Zoom or Google Hangouts, to stay in direct touch while being physically apart from one another. These past weeks have shown that it is also especially about creating and offering a real added value to your specific audience by providing, for instance, talks with exclusive interlocutors and, in a sense, “first-hand” experiences on-site through augmented respectively virtual reality applications. Being currently collectively deprived of almost all exciting opportunities to actually experience something within the physical, analogue and sensual world, we all desperately yearn for communicative input and nourishment. The current crisis enables us to focus our senses and consume truly inspirational content both individually and collectively. Just to cite one beautiful case in point: The Arts and Nature Social Club, a non-profit initiative that we support and were our founders are board members, has just organized its first online meeting with members, key creatives and business leaders and managed to feel close to the participants of the event, even though they are common in several countries. After an intensive 6-week-long “training”, we at Cc also feel that if truly embraced in all their creative potential, digital communication tools are currently unfolding their distinctive uniting essence instead of just representing a formal means to a (formal) end.
"  Circle Culture  Circle Culture  Circle Culture
FEB 20 - 01

BOOK OF THE MONTH

Neo.Life: 25 Visions for the Future of Our Species

We at Cc have long been following Jane Metcalfe's web-based and email magazine Neo.Life to stay tuned to the latest developments in neuroscience, genetics, food, biohacking and synthetic biology. The former president and cofounder of Wired Magazine has successfully managed to establish herself as one of the leading media voices when it comes to in-depth reporting on people, companies and ideas shaping mankind’s neobiological future. Metcalfe’s latest venture has led her into the analogue world of print. With her crowd-funded book “Neo.Life: 25 Visions for the Future of Our Species”, she offers a collection of 25 essays, interviews, and works of fiction and art that all draw “a big-picture perspective on the profound changes made possible by the merging of biology and technology”. These unique outlooks by today’s brightest and most creative thinkers, inventors and scientists allow to project ourselves onto possible futures that might, sooner or later, be awaiting us. It is with a strong feeling of connectedness that we discovered that many minds who are featured in Metcalfe’s book have merged with, and played a pivotal role in the projects that we are running at Cc. If you too think it is worth a read, head over to https://neo.life/visions/.
"  Circle Culture  Circle Culture  Circle Culture  Circle Culture
DEC 19 - 01

EXPERT INTERVIEWS À LA CIRCLE CULTURE CONSULTING

Our proprietary approach to gaining unique insights

We at Cc are proud of our proprietary approach to gaining relevant, meaningful and actionable insights, which sets us up apart within the creative insights industry since our beginning in 2001. When commissioned to name, position and design a new company, we always start by researching, identifying and recruiting powerful experts that ideally work themselves at the intersection of art/culture, commerce and technology/science and are therefore able to deliver both unique and global insights into the industry the upcoming company will operate in. Detecting significant, resonant insights is only possible in this day and age if we successfully integrate worldwide trends and opinions and especially if we are capable of decoding and truly understanding them. Only by doing so, we can guarantee genuine sense and purpose, a strong foundation of shared values and a design that gives the new company a fresh and modern appeal while echoing with all relevant target groups. A perfect case in point for our distinctive research approach constitutes one of our latest projects for an upcoming vertical farming venture. In order to come up with a name, logo and overall CI design that inspire both modernity and tangibility, we spoke with renowned experts from Europe, Asia and the United States. They included amongst others one of the top 20 most successful investors in consumer products according to Forbes Magazine, a Director’s Fellow from MIT Media Lab, a goal keeper for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a Young Leaders Circle member from the Milken Institute, an aerospace engineer as well as a design anthropologist trained at Harvard and Stanford.