Client Number 4

Two deals in two days — March is shaping up well.  A few months ago I re-connected with an old friend whom I admire greatly.  I used to work with him in Sydney, Australia, and what emerged was an opportunity to help license a sensational idea.  I love the concept so much we're going to create a temporary logo and name until we are ready for the big reveal.

There is a theme emerging in some of the deals, and to be honest I had always hoped this might be the case.  Koru earned its name for a number of reasons, but one reason was the hope that, as part of it’s overall service and business model, I wanted to be able to help companies and brands from Australia and New Zealand here in the United States, whether it be in consulting or licensing.

Client Number 3

For the last 18 years I've had the amazing privilege of working for Anne Geddes.  Anne and her husband Kel, and indeed their family, have been an important part of my journey for the past 28 years and as I embark on this next chapter in Koru, I'm happy to report that will still be the case.  I, through Koru, will consult for Anne Geddes.

What I enjoyed immensely about my role with Geddes was the variety that each day could bring.  And of course the people I met and worked with, many of whom I now consider friends.  To be able to continue to work with such an amazing brand, as a consultant, is the best I could hope for.

I like traversing a day, going from marketing to licensing, from contracts to ideas, to solving problems, to philanthropy and to doing a dealing with the unknown.

And that variety is what drove the evolution of Koru in it’s short existence, and with the deals we have done so far.

In Deep Thought

Geoff, the CEO of our client, Our Place Publishing, just sent me this picture which I love. It's from the UNESCO Bio Reserve wildlife sanctuary, Kilim Geographical Park, in Malaysia.  There is something really magical about it.  You can see his full blogs and pictures here - there are plenty of amazing images.

A True Destination

Random thought 1002: Starbucks should embrace taking historic places and restoring them to their glory and making them Starbucks stores that are true destinations.  What a legacy for the brand, and I am sure people would visit more often.

Client Number 2

Thrilled that today we signed our second client, and one that I am incredibly excited and honored to be a part of.  Koru will represent the photographic collection of Our Place Global, the official documenters of the UNESCO World Heritage sites globally.  

In a world where these treasures can disappear in a heartbeat, or as the result of warped beliefs and doctrines, our mission will be to bring this wonderful collection of photographs to a wider audience and in turn, raise awareness for these global treasures.  

This opportunity came from an old friend and colleague from many years ago.  Geoff Steven and I used to work together in the early 90’s at TV3 Network New Zealand. Geoff oversaw all local productions and I oversaw the network schedule.  I quickly learned enormous respect for Geoff’s talent in finding ideas and bringing them to life in a commercial environment.  He is the person that came to me and begged me to sign on to a movie called Once Were Warriors.  The concept was amazing and a big risk but we did it and not only was it the highest grossing movie in New Zealand history at the time but was one of the highest rating programs I ever put to air.  

It is great to be back working together again.  More to come ...
 

WI-Gogo

When I fly, I love the onboard WIFI you can be productive and not face endless emails when you have to land.  I figured out that you can also Skype message and text message but you can’t do video calls ...  I'm sure that will change soon.  

My question is this; why do I get charged $39.95 on a transcontinental flight (5-6 hours) and yet I read United are planning to charge $17 for the entire Los Angeles to Sydney flight (14 hours).

That is a massive price difference and good on United for taking an aggressive approach to building customer loyalty by getting the price right.  The domestic providers ought to sit up and take notice.

Revolution

What do the Zika virus, WIFI, wind, and a cell phone charger have in common?  they will all be part of the next generation of streetlights.  Great article in Fast Company this week on the evolution (I would suggest revolution) coming in streetlights.

Read the article here.
 

THE CRUELTY IN IRONY

Do you often think there is a certain cruelty in irony that really came home to me today on a visit to Alcatraz Island.  We did the night tour or more accurately the twilight tour, which was quite beautiful to watch the sun go down with the fading light streaming through the iron bars of the old prison library.  Just beyond the far side of the library were the solitary cells.  We were told prisoners were kept in there for a week at a time and there were two solid doors for each cell.  The prisoners with both doors closed would have been in pitch black.  The cruel irony was that this was the spot in the prison where the cells got the most sun.  I couldn’t help wonder whether a designer with a cruel sense of humor was behind it or if it was a just a cruel coincidence.  Glad it is nothing more than a tourist attraction now.

Is There Anything Else I Can Help You With?

Random thought 1001: Why when you call customer service and they are not able or willing to help you, why at the end of the conversation do they always say, “is there anything else I can help you with today”.  Arrggghh!  Throw away the scripts and have a sign that says three things to every call agent;

1) What can I do to solve the issue?
2) If I were the customer what would I want to happen?
3) Be a human being
 

Why Start?

Why did we start Koru?  To be honest life's twists and turns required us to, but as so many people say in life it was the best thing that could ever happened.  

I feel alive, hungry, anxious and excited all at the same time.  One of the best things to come from this process has been connecting with old friends and  colleagues again.  Thanks to LinkedIn and Facebook for making that an incredibly easy and fluid process.  What has astounded me is the result of re-connecting with people that have always been important to me on so many levels and the opportunity that has emerged from this process.  You will see this unfold over coming posts.

I will be forever grateful for this.

Insight

When I look at a logo I often wonder what is behind it the thinking and process that led to the end result.  So here is some insight to the Koru logo.  

The inspiration for the Koru logo comes from a tree as it grows with new life into the Silver Fern.  I grew up in New Zealand and my husband has the Koru as a tattoo - both very significant elements of my life.  

The contemporary interpretation of this is contained within the center of the O, also being the center of the company.   In the photographs of the Koru on this site there appears to be a number of independent wheels moving and unfolding under a protective arm of strength.  We think this is also the essence of the company.  Each wheel to us represents an element of business and an element of what we have to offer, and the protective arm represents the overall strategy.

In the logo you see the circle and square surrounding the “O” in Koru but together there is a subtle nod to DiVinci and the The Vitruvian Man.  Da Vinci excelled at a diverse and eclectic range of skills and also epitomizes what Koru stands for.  

And a huge thank you to graphic designer Reuben Barrett for bringing our vision to life and adding some vital creativity to the project.  He can be contacted at barrett.reuben (AT) gmail.com 

The logo for Koru is full of subtle meaning some of it was there from the beginning and some evolved as the logo was born and grew to what it is now.  The most surprising thing of all is the finished logo was nothing like we had imagined at the beginning, but now cannot imagine it being anything else.

Our first client!

Koru is no longer just a name, a piece of paper, a dream, a goal.

It is now a reality as we have our first client — a dynamic San Francisco company that we will help develop a marketing and PR strategy.

The first is always special and a thank you for the confidence shown in Koru.

What is Koru?

Koru is different things to different people.   In a career that has involved creating media plans, buying television advertising, brand licensing, writing contracts, negotiating deals, acquiring content, running a television network programming department, creating and driving marketing campaigns, philanthropy, project leading a new retail store with Disney, re-imagining a business, and now starting a new company, what ties all these elements together in a meaningful way to a client?

A common sense approach to connecting the dots to create intelligent solutions.

I often find society tries to fit everything into neat compartments.  A round peg fits only into a round hole.  I just don’t think it is that easy.  Life is not like that.  And neither is business or the solutions to the challenges and opportunities that business presents - it requires thinking that brings ideas from every corner and joins them together in a coherent strategy.

So can a round peg only fit into a round hole? not if it’s smaller than the square.  A concept reflected in the Koru logo - the idea, and nerve to be different.