All posts by Hajj Flemings

24 Aug 2016

The Rebrand Detroit Neighborhood Brand Business Accelerator Application

 

The Rebrand Detroit Neighborhood Brand Business Accelerator Application

The Rebrand Detroit — Neighborhood Business Brand Accelerator is designed for neighborhood retail businesses. The inaugural Spring Session…

The Rebrand Detroit Neighborhood Brand Business Accelerator Application

The Rebrand Detroit — Neighborhood Business Brand Accelerator is designed for neighborhood retail businesses. The inaugural Spring Session of the Brand Camp Accelerator is a 6–8 week program launching in the Grandmont Rosedale community and the deadline to apply is May 16th.

“We believe building brands is more than creating beautiful logos it is about systems that create amazing customer experiences that drive traffic to the business and convert visitors into customers.” — Hajj Flemings, Founder of Rebrand Detroit

 

Grandmont Rosedale Business Brand Accelerator Informational Meeting.

Demographics of the Targeted Business Owner

The business owners we are targeting in the Grandmont Rosedale business community look like this…

  • Working Hours: Upward to 10+ hours per day
  • The business owner is the primary employee
  • Part time employees are typically family, friends and volunteers (there are exceptions)
  • There is no full time marketing staff
  • There is little to no marketing budget=
  • The business is located in a neighborhood business corridor that isn’t pedestrian friendly
  • There is low foot traffic to the business

Application Information

  • Application Deadline: Monday, May 16, 2016 11:59pm
  • Average Time to complete Application: 12 min 52 sec
  • Number of Questions: 23
  • Link to Application: http://rebranddetroit.co/accelerator

The Brand Curriculum is developed by Brand Camp University based upon human centered design. Design thinking and service design thinking are at the core of our approach customer experience that drive the bottom line.

 

 

24 Aug 2016

Designing a Brand School for Neighborhood Businesses

 

Designing a Brand School for Neighborhood Businesses

The idea of tech accelerators like Techstars and YCombinator is sexy but could it work for neighborhood businesses. Y Combinator has 1,000…

The Evolution of our Brand School for Neighborhood Businesses.

Designing a Brand School for Neighborhood Businesses

The idea of tech accelerators like Techstars and YCombinator is sexy but could it work for neighborhood businesses. Y Combinator has 1,000+ companies with a valuation of $65B and Techstars has 762 companies with market cap of $5B. These accelerators attract highly educated founders who can move to Silicon Valley, Boulder or the various cities the accelerators exist in and dedicate 3 to 6 months to focus on their idea.

How do tech accelerators translate to neighborhood businesses? They don’t and they weren’t designed to. The retail brick and mortar businesses that exist in urban cities with underrepresented owners who are typically disconnected from the capital resources and the density that exist in midtown or downtown areas that drives sales. Their ideas as constructed aren’t scalable, there is no funding from family and friend’s and they don’t have teams (the business owner is usually the primary employee) with complementary skills, but their ideas are important to a city. I am not throwing shade at Techstars or YCombinator I personally know partners and founders of these organizations and I love what they are doing!

Common Challenges for Local Neighborhood Businesses:

  • Limited Bandwidth: Oftentimes, owners are their only full-time employee working 10–12 hour days, so they spend the majority of their time on core business operations, such as finding and negotiating with suppliers. They are also active in their community during non-work hours — renting out their space for community events, teaching around the community, etc.
  • No Financial Resources: Owners don’t have the resources to hire additional full-time or part-time employees or can’t justify the cost of specialized help (e.g. PR person, corporate accounts person). Typically, owners do not have an in-house social media marketing manager, corporate accounts manager, publisher relations manager, etc. that are needed to drive branding and marketing operations
  • Automobile Traffic Challenge: Traffic in commercial corridors like Grandmont/Rosedale, Livernois Avenue of Fashion and Corktown (all Detroit communities) need traffic calming measures to help the businesses in their communities. The cars are driving 35–55 mph and the businesses have poor signage that have little to no visibility.
  • Lack of Foot traffic: Foot traffic is a major barrier for sustainability with neighborhood businesses. Primarily because many neighborhood business corridors aren’t walkable, density of businesses is almost, there is poor lighting and safety is an ongoing concern.

Design Thinking in Neighborhoods

 

#BrandTank on March 24, 2016 focused on Detroit — Now and the Future

Really interesting things can happen when empathy exist and a design thinking approach to complex problems is utilized. We are tackling this problem as a part of my Rebrand Detroit project which is funded by the Knight Foundation’s — Knight Cities Challenge. We are working on a learning experience that infuses a mix of:

  • Collaborative and interactive learning
  • Minimal group sessions with business owners
  • One-on-one coaching (during their downtime)
  • Micro learning: Digitally delivered content

The ultimate goal is to help business owners build awareness and drive revenue growth which is a challenge.

 

 

24 Aug 2016

Rebrand Detroit: Can Neighborhoods Revitalize America?

 

Rebrand Detroit: Can Neighborhoods Revitalize America?

All across America there is a revival of urban cities. There is a vibrancy that reverberates from the commercial corridors of the Midtown…

 

Rebrand Detroit: Can Neighborhoods Revitalize America?

All across America there is a revival of urban cities. There is a vibrancy that reverberates from the commercial corridors of the Midtown and downtown areas in cities like Detroit. Once you get a mile or two away from the main corridor, the energy,opportunities, business density and access to capital dissipates. Can the city of Detroit expand economically and battle gentrification at the same time? How can we ensure there is equitable development in neighborhoods with underserved commercial corridors, disconnected business owners and existing residences. We believe it is possible.

Detroit’s future requires connecting the worlds of design, technology and innovation to neighborhoods.” – Hajj Flemings Founder of Rebrand Detroit

Rebrand Detroit, a civic design and brand project that is led by Brand Camp University, is looking to tackle this difficult problem. The Knight Foundation launched the #KnightCities Challenge in 2015 and Hajj Flemings, Founder of Brand Camp University, was selected as 1 of 32 winners out of a pool of over 7,000 applicants to launch this big idea. It is a multi-disciplinary collaboration with the residents, community stakeholders, and local government.

Why is Rebrand Detroit important to the future of city of Detroit? We believe creative placemaking can’t be limited to one segment of the city but that every neighborhood could benefit if design, technology and innovation were integrated to the DNA of Detroit neighborhoods. This initiative will help brand the great things that are already happening in neighborhoods.

The Four Elements of Rebrand Detroit

To help carry out the mission of Rebrand Detroit we have developed four basic elements of this project called SEEE.

  • Storytelling — Share stories of the neighborhood and its businesses, including their progress during Rebrand Detroit.
  • Experience — Creating a visual brand experience inside neighborhood commercial corridors.
  • Education — Provide brand training and education to neighborhood business owners, assisting with the execution phase. .
  • Engagement — Community engagement with residents and the business community

Can rebrand Detroit be a catalyst for the city of Detroit? Can we help change the narrative of Detroit and help drive the economic development of Detroit into neighborhoods? We know these ideas only work if residences and business owners have a say. This idea involves the residents, community stakeholders and local government. Once proven that this idea can work in one neighborhood, it can be scaled for other Detroit neighborhoods and other cities around the world.

For more information about Rebrand Detroit: http://rebranddetroit.co