Why Brands Redesign Logos and a Preview of the World's Most Ambitious Conversation About Diversity | Non-Obvious Insights #252

Dear karl,

Mind reading bikes. Redesigned corporate logos. Blockchain and the story of a postage stamp that saved the Panama Canal. This week's stories include a good amount of random inspiration thrown in. I suspect you like that sort of thing. I do too. So read on for all those stories, and an inside look at "the world's most ambitious conversation on diversity" coming up in less than two weeks at our Non-Obvious Beyond Diversity Summit. If you are at all interested in the topics of diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging - but sure to register for the event here >>

What's Getting the Most Buzz from CES 2021 This Week?

Last week I shared an advance look at the world's biggest tradeshow in my interview with Steve Koenig from the CES organizing team - but the event actually happened this week and as usual there has been buzz about mind reading bikes, a rapid freezing appliance to make instant soft serve ice cream, a video doorbell that can tell if the person on your doorstep has a fever and personalized perfumes that fit your mood. Reading about these alongside your usual stories about self-driving cars or foldable TV screens, it's easy to feel skeptical about just how realistic (or useful) these things are -- or how far away they seem from practical application. That's what I thought about a decade ago when I first saw wireless charging mats. They were fiction. About four years after I saw them at CES, they were everywhere. Verge has a great recap of past CES products and where they are now. Yes, CES seems like fantasy. But much of what is first presented there also turns into reality ... eventually. 

Can Blockchain Save "Made In The USA"?

How could we certify that something is actually "Made In America"? This question has always been a hard one. If the buttons on a shirt are made in Turkey and the cloth comes from Vietnam and it's stitched and assembled in America, does that qualify? Blockchain often gets discussed primarily in the context of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, but the technology has huge potential as a tool to verify the authenticity and heritage of products. It could, in other words, validate and legitimize any claim of "Made In America" - to ensure it was actually truthful. 

Why Are So Many Brands Redesigning Their Logos?

This was a busy week in logo design. Burger King updated their logo and GM rebranded their logo too. Anytime a redesign happens, there are plenty of narratives to explain why it was so necessary. Perhaps the pandemic and free time that needed to be filled was at least partly to blame for these. What's interesting, though, is how the Burger King logo doubles down on the brand history and goes retro to a logo that looks much more like what they used decades ago. GM, on the other hand, reimagined their logo to look much more futuristic, perhaps to "emphasize their pivot to electric vehicles." 

Inside the World's Most Ambitious Conversation About Diversity

Earlier this week I shared an article on LinkedIn about the work that our team has been doing over the past two months to pull off a huge virtual summit that now has more than 175 speakers (and counting). We'll be covering all sorts of topics: Women in tech. Ageism at work. Racial literacy. Neurodiversity. Diverse casting. Hiring equity. Shared parenting. Racial justice. Political representation. Algorithmic Bias. Diverse corporate boards. Robot citizens. Inclusive Gaming. As I wrote in my article, "these are not separate issues. They are one big one." I'll be sharing more about this summit over the next two weeks as it takes shape - but for now, make sure to register for free and put it into your calendar to join us for the summit!

How a Postage Stamp Saved the Panama Canal

One of the more brilliant marketing stories I read this week was the historical tale of French engineer Philippe Bunau-Varilla and how he successfully lobbied the US Government in 1902 to move their plans to build a canal from Nicaragua to Panama. How did he do it? This stamp featuring a smoking Momotombo volcano in Nicaragua ended up being enough to change minds. Bunau-Varilla made sure members of congress saw the stamp and then helped them imagine the worst case scenario of an eruption if they went ahead with Nicaragua. They picked Panama instead and the rest is history. Literally. 
 

Join the Non-Obvious Insights Show this week ...

This week on my Non-Obvious Insights Show I'll be interviewing writer and director Aneesh Chaganty, director of Searching and Run. We will be talking about how to maintain your creative vision, his unique approach to storytelling and lots more!
Want to watch past episodes? Just visit my YouTube channel to see a full archive of all my previous guests. Watch the full playlist on YouTube >>
How are these stories curated?
Every week I spend hours going through hundreds of stories in order to curate this email. Want to discuss how I could bring this thinking to your next event as a virtual speaker? Visit my speaking page >>
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