TMCnet Feature
March 02, 2021

Branding at the Speed of Technology

Having a creative mind is a gift only a few possess. Creativity allows the mind to stretch out and do exciting and new things that help people reach their potential goals. It has no bounds when it comes to thinking about unique and innovative ideas. Such minds have the potential to do something big. Since they view everything from a different perspective, it becomes comparatively easy for them to think of something in a new way. They do not restrict their thoughts and allow them to flow, which helps them cultivate ideas that can later turn into inventions and developments.

The world needs creative people in almost every sector and field to add life, color, and vibrancy to their work. Many disciplines hire people specifically for their creative talent. Just like the creative heads at marketing firm offer innovative solutions to advertise the brand in better ways; similarly, Aquiles Este, an international researcher and practitioner on branding and reputation management has come up with fresh ways to promote a brand and innovative ways to transform a business into a brand. Aquiles believes that everything can be presented with a twist if thought correctly.

Innovative Approach for Everything

Aquiles Este studied journalism and advertising at Universidad Central de Venezuela and later went to Universidade de São Paulo. Intrigued by the idea of marketing and business promotion, he obtained a doctorate degree in Semiotics in São Paulo, Brazil, a city that is regarded as one of the most sophisticated creative hubs in the world. Having a creative mind helped Aquiles to think out of the box, particularly as an early researcher and practitioner of what is known today as viral communications and content shareability. His ideas on these topics were appreciated by many. Alejandro Piscitelli, one of the leading international authorities in digital communications, listed Dr. Este as “one of the most serious experts in the study of cultural replication.

In 1992, Aquiles stepped into his professional career and started off in Caracas by directing ProDiseño, one of the most celebrated design schools in Latin America. As the dean of ProDiseño, Aquiles shared his profound knowledge with the school and helped them win the prestigious ‘International Design Magazine Annual Design Review’ in 2000. He also taught corporate branding at ‘Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración’ (IESA), one Latiamerica’s leading business schools.

Este traveled to New York City in 1999 as a visiting scholar to collaborate on Computational Linguistics with New York University’s linguist, Ray C. Dougherty. He conducted a research project at NYU’s Department of Media, Culture, and Communication on the interrelation between Charles S. Peirce’s concept of sign replication and Marshall McLuhan’s media theories. The project was completed under the supervision of media critic Neil Postman, one of the founders of Media Ecology studies.

As Aquiles was constantly learning and evolving, he found himself inclined towards the growing ad industry. He began his career in the industry as the Creative Vice President for the Lowe network, now known as MullenLowe. He worked with this firm for a few years but soon got disappointed in the field and resigned. Aquiles says, “Admen only deal with three audiences: customers, shareholders, and competitors, while Branding is about devising a message for all the audiences involved in the complex process of corporate communications.

Because of his extensive portfolio and vast experience and knowledge in more than a single field, Aquiles moved to the United States of America in 2009 with EB1-A. This is an extraordinary ability green card, which is offered to only a select few who pass a certain level of special testing and are deemed valuable to the country.

Creativity is Intelligence Having Fun” – Albert Einstein

Being true to the quote, after a few months of observation and studies, Aquiles laid the foundation for his branding firm ‘SEMIoTICS’ in 2010.  As a learned individual, he comprehended the need to merge technology with branding. It found it absolutely necessary to integrate the two to devise invincible branding techniques. His firm dealt with data-driven branding, which was a fresh approach and was not commonly used by many ad agencies. In 2016, Social Data Intelligence, a British consultancy, was able to predict the United States National Election results using one of Aquiles Este’s social listening models.

Going off-track and doing something that others did not do was indeed a bold and risky move. But his brand was off to a good start as Aquiles targeted the political leaders and their campaigns. He has advised many governments, corporate and political leaders, and organizations on branding, crisis management, and marketing related matters. He created the term ‘polimercial brands,’ which literally means branding and promoting commercial brands that need to deal with intricate political issues. While writing for the NYT- Este says, “We have fully entered the age of ‘polimercial’ marketing in which most service and product companies will be forced to position themselves on political and social issues and politicians, in full exercise of the office, will shamelessly embrace the topics and techniques of commercial promotion. I truly believe - that the irruption of ‘polimercial’ brands is the most challenging aspect of contemporary marketing practice.

Over the years, Aquiles has positioned, implemented, and monitored brands in North and South America, Europe and Asia, and in almost all categories such as commercial, political, personal, and destination brands. His thirty years of experience can be seen in his firm’s operational techniques. He is the first choice for many governments, corporate and political leaders, and organizations around the continent to seek advice on branding, crisis, and reputation management. He has also become a permanent contributor to The New York Times, writing on political marketing and polimercial branding.

Currently, Aquiles resides in Miami, where he teaches Brand Content Management at Miami Herbert Business School while growing his branding company by using the unique combination of technology and branding. With his esteemed clientele, which includes Regional Brands (J&J, DirecTV (News - Alert), Renault); Place Brands (Belize, Panama), Political Brands (Danilo Medina, María Corina Machado), and Polimercial Brands such as Fluent, Aquiles’ firm is on the right path to success.

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