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Branding Essentials for Designers

Lesson 13 of 14

Evolution of a Brand


Branding Essentials for Designers

Lesson 13 of 14

Evolution of a Brand


Lesson Info

Evolution of a Brand

Tether, you know, I said we want to do everything. We want to be that creative playground to bring everything to life. Sometimes we get this question. So we go in and present to clients, and we show our case studies, and we show our capabilities, and they go, "Oh, okay. "So you do branding and strategy and packaging "and photography and videos and advertising and all this, "but what are you really good at? "So I know how to peg you. "I know how to use you." And we say, "Well, kind of all of it. "We're good at all of it, "and we're good at all of it because we have the people. "We have creative directors over each of those disciplines, "and they have teams. "They have teams that are really good at doing those things. "And we all work together in an interdisciplinary way." So this is an example. That's why I call Tether a creative studio, 'cause we don't just do design. We don't just do interactive. Or we don't just do advertising. So we do all those things. At any one time, you'll turn ...

on the TV, and we'll have national TV spots running. We'll have print ads. We'll have radio. We'll have outdoor. So more of the advertising world. Go in the grocery store, we'll have products on the shelf. We'll have social media programs going on. We'll have websites that you go to that we've designed. We'll have, as Scotty mentioned with Red Bull, we have a multi-part series that we've shot for them. A TV series that we worked on for them. So really broad, but they're all doing the same thing. They're all telling that story in one way or the other. And this is fun because it's using your personal interests and your passions. At the break we we're talking about motorcycles. So I'm a passionate motorcyclist. I ride my motorcycle everyday to work. My dog rides on the back He has a little carrier, a little case that he goes in. But that's something that's a passion for me. And it has been since I was a little kid. How you can use those passions is when BMW Motorcycles came to us, and they were looking at a couple agencies to do their advertising. TV imprint. So when they came to us, it was like, "Oh! "I've been waiting for this moment my whole life." I knew what to do, I knew what to do. So I gathered fellow passionistas at Tether, and we put together some concepts that basically won us the work. They looked at other agencies that had much more experience in power sports, motor sports area, and much more in the advertising as well. We were able to show them our story. And actually, it's kind of a fun story. They are based in New Jersey. So I flew out there, me and Neil Webster. Remember Neil? He was back from Nike Entertainment, Legos, Starbucks, and now at work at Tether. So we flew out there, and they just had a snow storm. And so we showed up, and there was no power in their headquarters. What do we do? We went to the conference room, pitch black. It was night. Pitch black outside, snowing like crazy, and presented by the light of a laptop. And we won the account. It was very memorable. This is a TV spot that's running right now. We were dying to get a, this is for the 1200-GS, we wanted to get something memorable, that really had that story angle to it. So you'll see. (peaceful folk rock music) It's life's journey really. Finding what moves you. And of course not all of us can do what we want, whenever we want. Or can we? Make life a ride. (horns honking) (upbeat folk music) Some have to tell you about how fast they are. About narrow escapes. Or who you just won't believe they've ridden with. Others prefer to let the bike do all the talking. The new 9-T from BMW. (engine whirring) The challenge, of course, in that space: you have 30 or 60 seconds to tell a story. You have a little mini story. You saw the one on the 1200-GS. You saw the one on the raft. This couple going out and they're going off to somewhere remote that you can't get to by a bike, so they're gonna put it on a raft and take it there. On the next one, that whole thing about escape. That's very much of the industry, escape. But the way that we did it wasn't. Usually, it's a little bit about just showing someone riding and the camera just hovering over that bike and showing all that. We wanted to build story in. For the first two years, we did this Feed Your Restless campaign. And that came from insight about the riders. If you're a motorcyclist, there's nothing that you want to do but get on your bike. When you're not on your bike, you think about getting on your bike. When you're in your car, you're thinking about riding a bike. It's feeding that restless. You have that restless itch, and you want to feed it. What our challenge was is that they wanted to increase their market share. They have major market share in Europe, but in US, they're not one if the major players, compared to some of the other brands. We wanted to get the awareness out there of who BMW is. Go back to brand as a person. When you're buying a Harley-Davidson, everybody knows Harley-Davidson. You know the persona of Harley-Davidson. You can describe Harley-Davidson. There's an embodiment of Harley-Davidson. Let me look at the riders that ride Harley-Davidson. But BMW didn't have a persona. You couldn't describe the brand. You could the cars, perhaps, but not the motorcycles. When people are considering buying a Triumph, or a BMW, or a Harley, they didn't know what club they were joining they looked at BMW. So, what's a club? And that's any brand. What club am I joining when I buy that phone or I'm holding that beverage. And the same with motorcycles. Our challenge was to create that identity for them. That persona for them. We did that through Feed Your Restless. These are some print ads that we did. Here's one more, here's another spot that we did right here. (rock music) (alarm beeping) Restless starts early. Restless starts often. Restless got needs. Feed it. We did these three spots and we wanted to end every one of them with that Feed Your Restless. We wanted it to be that storytelling thing. It was on a napkin or it was left at a hotel room. Like this one. (engine whirring) Restless doesn't make reservations. Or excuses. Or anything else that might get in its way. Savvy? Sleep on that. If you can. I mean, motorcycles, c'mon. I just wanted to show, before I move into this final segment, let me just grab a quick example here. This is a Northwest brand that's pretty fun. This is Keen. Keen footwear. A lot of people heard of Keen. That's an example of a brand that started off with one product. Very similar to Gatorade. They kind of created a category. That sandal, that Newport sandal. It's a protective sandal that you could wear while you're hiking and all that, breathable. They had moved into other footwear. You know, hiking, boots and all those things. They had a lot of brand fans, but they didn't really know why they were loyal. That was part of our opportunity was to look at why they were loyal to them, and then see if they had the runway to move into other things. Clothing is one thing they wanted to launch. Move beyond footwear, socks, up into clothing. We came up with this positioning for them that turned into a tagline for them. And it was Follow Your Feet. They started off with footwear. So footwear, follow your feet sounds very footwear-centric, right? But if you follow your feet, what we followed that up with was: you'll find your heart. Follow your feet, you'll find your heart. Your feet will take you to places you want to go whether you're wearing, as you're wearing their clothes and equipment, backpacks and all those things. What we did is we created a brand book for them, and we created a brand video. I mentioned the brand video. This is example of one that was shown. They showed it online, but initially they showed it internally to get people excited, like at sales meetings. And then they showed it to the retailers like REI and others to get them excited about that emotional push. For some of us, they'll always be something new around every corner. Something worth seeking out. Where no one else would think to look. It's what keeps us up late around the fire. What wakes us before everyone else. What keeps us asking, "Why not?" To us, that's a path worth taking. A path worth making. Because when you follow your feet, you'll find your heart. We put that into a brand book for them that brought in all the things that they're passionate about. Their giving programs and their products. Why they make certain products and their mission and their promise. All those things were put into that brand book. We moved that into the communication. This was print ads that were shown in Outside Magazine, et cetera. It has that same attitude, that same sense of adventure, and following your feet and finding your heart. This is outdoor and radio. There's a radio here: Seattle, it's time to put your feet in a pair of American-built Keen Durand hiking boots. And then onto a few places the rest of the world's probably never heard of. And probably never will. Like Pretzel Tree Trail. (crunching) Mmmm. Poo Poo Point. (sniffing) Ew. And why not hit Squawk Mountain while we're at it. (bird squawking) Keen Durand hiking boots deliver durable comfort from the first step to the millionth. C'mon, ol Marmot Pass is a callin'. (squeaking) Just follow your feet. Keen Durand hiking boots. Head to your local Keen retailer today. What we're leading up to is the launch of the clothing. They made clothing pants and jacket and things. They wanted us to create something. They weren't sure how the customers would, if they'd love the clothing, the pants especially. Or if this was gonna be a risky thing. They wanted us to create something that would give them a little leeway there. What we came up with was the world's largest wear test. If you think of a wear test, you're given something to try to see if you like it. And then you give comments, what could be changed and adjusted. With the pants we did this world's largest wear test where we seeded it with some if these ideas of global helping hand giver, long distance traveler, garage clean-up guy. We talked about the lifestyle, how it meets the need for those, the clothing. The anatomically correct and protection and durability. And all those things. (cheerful ukulele music) Today we're here to talk about pants. As most of you know, Keen started with a simple design challenge. Can sandals protect your toes? The answer is the Newport Sandal. All about fit, comfort, and durability. And as we started to go up, we started thinking about well what about socks? Left and right specific. You have left and right gloves. Makes sense right? And then as we went from sandals to socks, we started thinking about well what about pants? Can we make pants comfortable? Can we make pants that you can play in? We saw an opportunity. Look at pants today. One big straight line. Your body's not straight. We want to make pants that are comfortable and you can move in. When we make shoes, we make it with a last. For your toes, your arch, and your heel. So we have a last for our shoes. To create a last for our pants. We went out to factories, that thought we were absolutely nuts. Can't be done. Not gonna happen. People don't do that. And that's the moment when we knew we were onto something. We wanted to create pants that you could play in. Pants that fit like Keens. Coming out of that video, it was a lot of fun to create that experience around the pants. You can see that we were building on their legacy of shoes. And moving up the leg to the pants. We did a series of three videos to introduce the pants. We put them online. What we did for the wear test part of it is that when the pants went for sell we gave away a coupon for a free pair of shoes up to $200 value pair of shoes. That's a pretty good giveaway. What we did is we had people lined up around the block to buy the pants 'cause they got the shoes. Curious about the pants, but also wanted the shoes. We had them sign a faux contract, and it said: you have to post at least three times to social media about how you use these pants. We had a lot of fun. As you see, a lot of fun posts about people using the pants. On Instagram and Facebook and Twitter. It got the word out about the pants. The launch was very successful. They sold out. In fact, they approached us afterwords, "Can you do a video about why we ran out of pants?" That's a good example of an evolution of a brand and also successful use of all the tools that we have. We did all the retail presence there.

Class Description


  • Bring a unique human touch to a brand story
  • Define brand attributes, vision, and strategies for naming
  • Employ tactics to ensure brand consistency across all platforms


A great brand is the culmination of strategic thought, experience, and a little magic. It all results in a story that creates brand fans. A logo, a name and identity are starting points, but by themselves don’t create successful brands. Learn what it takes to build a lasting and meaningful brand in Branding Essentials for Designers with Stanley Hainsworth.

Stanley is the the former creative director at Nike, Lego and Starbucks and now founder of the multi-disciplinary creative juggernaut – Tether. In this class he teaches the role stories play in developing a strong brand identity and how to create a strategic roadmap for sharing a brand story with the world. You’ll learn tools and methodologies for creating brands that can be applied to projects of all sizes.

Through this class you’ll develop the skills you need to offer clients the complete package when it comes to branding – not just a logo. Deepen your branding know-how and infuse meaning into your design work with branding whiz, Stanley Hainsworth.


This class is for design professionals, entrepreneurs, startup founders, marketing and branding managers, and creatives interested in learning more about branding.


Underneath that highly unorthodox shock of follicular iconoclasm lies the turbocharged brain of a highly attuned branding machine. Stanley mastered the art of brand storycraft while serving as the creative-in-chief at three of the great brands of our time: Nike, Lego, and Starbucks, where he was VP of Global Creative during an era when the now-ubiquitous brand matured into the cultural icon we know today. His creative influence extended from products and campaigns to all consumer touch points. Prior to that, as Global Creative Director for the Lego Company in Denmark, Stanley directed a total visual overhaul of the brand, including advertising, interactive, packaging, retail and brand stores. At Nike, Stanley worked on everything from the Olympics to creating Nike Entertainment. He has written books on branding, is an educator, a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, and is a sought after speaker on branding and design worldwide. 

Connect with Stanly online: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Huffington Post


  1. Personal Journey

    By telling his story, Stanley models personal branding in action - how did a small town western Kentucky boy come to realize that he, himself, was a brand? Stanley addresses the fundamentals here: what exactly is branding? How are brands like people? What are the key questions to ask when developing a brand?

  2. Defining the Brand: Nike

    How is joining a brand like joining a religion? What is the power of listening to the consumer? How do you set up a sell-out new product launch? Stanley takes you through his process in building a stand out brand as creative director at Nike: you get an inside look at his branding strategy that brought the original product line to the full 360-degree consumer experience it is today.

  3. Brand Visuals: Lego

    Stanley takes his personal brand to the next level and creates his own role at Lego. He explains the process of rebranding - taking a well known corporate brand beyond its logo - and the roles of a brand book, brand promise, and developing visual language in this process. He answers important questions: What is the relationship between the emotional and practical in successful branding? How do you develop a reciprocal relationship with your brand fans, or most loyal customers?

  4. Fine Tuning the Brand: Starbucks Part 1

    A good brand develops a “gut feeling” identity throughout the years; as a newcomer to a team, how do you learn this so-called “tribal knowledge”? What are brand guidelines and how are they essential to brand building? Stanley explains how to codify the ephemeral “feeling” of a brand in order to produce consistent brand messaging.

  5. Fine Tuning the Brand: Starbucks Part 2

    You’ve established brand guidelines and you’ve created a brand book; how do you use these tools to bring your brand to every touch point with a consumer? Look inside Stanley’s process of redesigning product packaging and his reasoning behind decisions made. Learn how to go beyond traditional ad campaigns to create a memorable brand experience with your customers - to deepen their emotional attachment.

  6. Building a Creative Environment

    The creative process gets messy in the best way - how do you create a work environment that fosters creativity? Why is it important that brand messages and core values are reflected in a workplace itself? Designers often work together across disciplines, but how do you involve executives in the creative process? From t-shirts to competitions and design camps, Stanley discusses how to cultivate creativity in the workplace.

  7. Inside Tether: Behind the Scenes Studio Tour

    Take an exclusive tour within Tether, Stanley’s own branding agency to see a real-life example of a creative playground. From big-name clients, to developing a new brand, to personal projects, Stanley gives you behind the scenes access.

  8. Brand Case Study: Gatorade

    How do you reposition a company to remain relevant in a shifting market? What do you keep, change, and enhance in your brand strategy? When do you listen to consumer feedback, and when do you just make decisions? Stanley models how to expand beyond a specific product to create a line of customer offerings.

  9. Brand Case Study: Awake Chocolate and Swans Island

    Coca-Cola and Pepsi rely on big name recognition, but what about the smaller players in more niche markets? In this class, Stanley demonstrates the power of effective product packaging coupled with strategic marketing. Learn creative ways to harness social media to not only advertise, but also drive public relations. This is Marketing Techniques and Brand Storytelling 101.

  10. Brand Case Study: The Grove School

    Tether brand manager Kari Strand outlines the process of a unique project: a new brand involving many stakeholders in students, families, the company,and its teachers as essentially brand ambassadors. From developing a brand name to a myriad of marketing materials, you’ll see multi-use touch points that not only communicate important brand messaging, but also represent the brand’s core values. Kari models how to develop common language to dialogue with potential customers.

  11. LIVE Brand Case Study: Live Love Snack

    How do you reposition a brand to enter the mass market? Tether designers take us deep into the world of product packaging: learn how to problem-solve and watch as their designs evolve with each iteration. The Tether team answers essential design questions: how do you lead an effective brainstorming process? How does narrative fit into design? Why is hierarchy of information important?

  12. LIVE Brand Case Study: Squatch Watch

    What does a multi-disciplinary approach actually look like inside a creative agency? The Tether team demonstrates the benefits of non-work order projects by participating in a soapbox derby.

  13. Evolution of a Brand

    Long-term success requires evolution. Learn about the power of storytelling and the role of compelling taglines in the evolution of BMW motorcycles and Keen footwear. How do you build upon an existing legacy to expand into different markets? You do you re-ignite brand buzz?

  14. Create Your Own Opportunities

    Stanley dips into the not-for-profit arena; what does branding for a cause look like? How do you create consistent identity throughout the many arms of an international organization? Stanley returns to an old pet project that stuck - a concept he couldn’t shake. He closes with an affirmation: trust your journey.


Lily Raz

Stanley's branding class was packed with so many actionable takeaways!! I learned so much about the thinking behind how branding is important for companies to differentiate themselves from their competitors. One of the biggest things I learned was when he said describing a brand is like describing a person to someone. He talked a lot about the process that it takes to build successful brands and keep them true to their promise. I really loved when he did a tour of his agency Tether. This class is filled with lots of creative material and great energy. I definitely recommend it! Thank you Creative Live!!


I am LOVING this class. I have heard "brand" explained in a lot of different ways, but Stanley's metaphors and examples made such sense to me that I actually feel like I have a firm grasp of what it means, and how I can make my own. Describing and showing his process with various brands was especially helpful. I feel empowered and excited (rather than overwhelmed, nervous, or uncertain) about strengthening my brand. Without Creative Live, I would not be able to take a class from an expert like Stanley Hainsworth, so I am especially grateful for today's course. Thank You! - Alexis (a.k.a. Free Range Al)


He is fun and engaging... This class has given me a whole new perspective of how to build my brand and keep it consistent as I go. The videos he shows are soo fun, and they show off his great sense of humor, and fun personality!!