posted on February 21, 2017
Plaza Desain 2017: Esensi was a 4-day exhibition/workshop event held by Binus University School of Design. We basically got this poster delivered to our office and I decided to give it a go.
On a Sunday afternoon I arrived at Senopati 79 - a Qubicle Center, an exhibition/workshop space for creative, passionate minds— and I found a great many there. A seminar about Good Design & Creative Campaign was under way in front of a fully-packed audience of graphic design students.
Acting as speakers were Handoko Hendroyono and Hari Prast, the producer and the graphic designer of a little movie about a coffee shop called Filosofi Kopi. Not only it drew a great deal of revenue during its screening, it also picked up a cult following by establishing itself as a brand through having an actual coffee shop as well as merchandise. Fittingly, a small table with different kinds of coffee was set up at the corner.
The discussion brought many great insight about the importance of good design in the success of any campaign, but it was the Q&A session which I found most enlightening. Especially towards the end when they started talking about collaboration as a trend in business. Taking notes on a few points that they mentioned here and there, here’s my take on the matter.
Subjectivity is outdated
Consumer nowadays are not thinking vertically anymore: they don’t regard one brand as better than another, but only as having different traits from each other. Although knowing that they prefer one brand better for having characteristics that match their liking, they are also aware that there are also other groups of people that choose differently for the exact same reason as theirs. There’s no higher or lower taste; it’s just different ones.
Filling in the gaps
Brands are becoming more aware of this trend. While superiority is still important to pursue, it’s no longer the key message that needs to be conveyed in promoting their product. Product development and marketing communication nowadays start to focus more on achieving a unique attribute that hasn’t been touched by any other brands. Instead of kicking out competitions, they choose to coexist. This way, the category becomes richer and its position stronger in the eye of the consumers.
Collaboration is the new competition
As a result, industry players are more appreciative of each other than they used to be. They visit and learn from others alike as much as they invite and share knowledge with them. By doing so, everybody knows where everybody else stands in the market and how each one can expand and thrive on their own without having direct competition. It’s a huge win-win, really.
After all, collaboration is part of human nature and connecting dots is the essence of business. By adding names to our network, we connect with more and more people and in turns we can help each other’s businesses to coexist comfortably and grow together in the industry. This spirit is very well captured by Fast Company in their campaign: Co.Design, Co-Exist, Co-Create.
It was also refreshing to see fresh works that are well thought and well done by fresh, young minds from Binus as well as other colleges alike. This really brought me back to my college days, and also to my point above about collaboration. Way to stay on topic.
All in all it was an afternoon well-spent at Plaza Design 2017. I genuinely wished I had taken some other seminars and workshops they had there since there was so much to learn and to see. Kudos to the people who planned the event and brought it to fruition. Looking forward to pay you guys another visit in 2018.
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