Architecture as Brand Content: CARBONDALE, Thought Leadership and ISCOM

Brand content has become one of the pillars of strategic communications programs today. Advertising, public relations and digital teams are converging to create and manage the various forms that this content can take, including blogs, white papers, eBooks, movies, native advertising, promoted posts etc. But what about buildings?...

Can a flagship store or restaurant be considered brand content?


Brand content : the pillars of strategic communications

Indeed it can, and such is the specialty of the luxury architecture services firm CARBONDALE and its founding architect, Eric Carlson. With such projects as the Louis Vuitton flagship store on the Champs Elysées in Paris, the flagship store Tag Heuer in London, the Tiffany & Co. façade in Tokyo and the Tre Bicchieri Restaurant São Paulo in its portfolio, this firm is recognized as a creative leader in designing buildings, spaces, installations, and objects that perfectly tell the brand's story to their customers around the world. They also work with private individuals to design homes and furniture that uniquely reflect their personality and values.


The world of ultra-luxury

This focus on the customer above all highlights an important paradox at the heart of CARBONDALE 's communications program: When the final project is in perfect resonance with the brand, how does the creator of the project get recognized? When one's work is closer to art than to business, how can one celebrate the end result without moving too closely to commercial aspects? Needless to say, in the world of ultra-luxury, one certainly doesn't use the same kind of promotion tactics as in the mass market.


A series of communications actions supporting a well-thought-out strategic approach.

These were the challenges the fourth-year international global communications class at ISCOM faced in their first professional competition of the school year. Each student agency (there were 10 in total) had to come up with a unique, compelling and creative approach to positioning CARBONDALE and, particularly, Eric Carlson, its chief architect, as a thought leader in the field of luxury architecture worldwide.
They also had to propose a series of communications actions supporting a well-thought-out strategic approach.
Eric Carlson was also hoping for fresh, new ideas from a younger audience. And they delivered.


And the winner is...

In early November, four pre-selected teams presented their ideas to CARBONDALE, followed by an intense discussion with Eric Carlson and his colleague about those ideas. Afterwards Mr. Carlson commented, "I was impressed with the high level, well-rounded reflection as well as the general professionalism from all the teams.
The experience was certainly a learning experience for me."
At the end, the jury conferred and CARBONDALE decided unanimously on a winner: Diamante. This agency was comprised of five students: Alan LEMES BENTO, Naomi BUFFET, Sarah BOURACHDI, Clémence CHANOZ and Mariem GASSAMA.