If you were a brand, what would you be?

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By: Andres Poch

When applying for my position as event designer at ember, Kathy asked me “If you were a brand, what would you be?” This question left me stunned and I had to ask Kathy for time to think my answer over and promise I would get back to her with an answer later. I had heard a similar version of that question when trying to think of marketing strategies and design aesthetics for a brand; but this version of the question was “if your brand were a person, what brands would they buy?”. This question gives a huge amount of insight into what the brand would look like, what the core target audience would be, how niche specific the brand is, among many other things. Kathy’s question instead, asked a for a really precise answer; I had to figure out what brand would be able to encompass all of the abilities I wanted to show ember and tell the story of who I am as a designer.

            After lots of pondering and deep family conversations, we came to the conclusion that LEGO should be the brand to represent me. LEGO had started from the humble beginnings of a carpenter toy maker who realized that the quality missing from all toys was their ability to fit with each other regardless of what set they come from or what year they were made. By creating a system of compatibility between products they were able to turn a simple plastic brick into a boat, a castle, and even the Millennium Falcon. The reason why I resonate so much with LEGO, is due to their ability to provide a simple system of blocks to open the gates to a universe of infinite possibility, and a catalyst to creativity and curiosity. No matter your age, what you do, what your passion is; if you’re given a set of LEGO bricks you can find a way to build something that is special to you that you can play with.

            Coming from the world of theater and diving into the world of event design, it has been useful to translate the teachings from LEGO into real life projects. And I’m not talking about making all of our events out LEGO (which personally would be a project I would love to work on), but instead looking at the different materials that we use and how by rethinking their use or embracing repetition a whole new creative structure can come alive and showcase the clients brand in a unique way. This reinvention of materials could mean painting a flat to making it look like wall of brick to creating a ‘Shoenado’ by hanging shoes from the ceiling.

Taking it one step further, we could also take a look at the building blocks that are the team members who bring an event together and see how - by creating a reliable system - these bricks can be switched around and placed in different ways to create a myriad of possibilities when it comes to the gatherings we offer our clients. Creating a solid team of Gathering producers, Brand Managers, Designers, and Vendors will ensure that, no matter how the client decides to shuffle the system or build a whole new structure, our building blocks will still be there to lock into place and produce an amazing gathering.

Coming full circle now, I have been able to come to Kathy with a solution, but I’ve also been able to understand what it is that I can supply to the team and the perfect brand to exemplify it with. At ember we are here to provide unique solutions rooted in a reliable system with the insight of looking at materials under a new creative light. The most important lesson to be learned from LEGO is, not only to be playful and have fun, but, in the words of its founder Ole Kirk Christiansen, "leg godt" or in English "play well."

Chris Gasbarro