Grants/Dream - open brand
Describe the project you are proposing as clearly as possible in just five sentences.
My project is to build and foster an open brand called “Dream” (“Dos Sonhos” in Portuguese), that will benefit anyone who has a dream and need little financial support to accomplish, sustain or even chase it.
Its objective is to help people getting [extra] money by creating meaning for products or services they can temporarily sell to enable their dream - something they can do well, that is not very time consuming, and that others appreciate (eg. baking cookies, teaching something, etc).
Instead of attesting the quality or source of the product/service that is being sold, “Dream” will represent the purpose behind the brand and help sales by touching consumers through the satisfaction of helping others accomplish their dreams.
The grant will be used to build and scale a bilingual open community for “dream-entrepreneurs" to customize, promote and exchange knowledge regarding their "dream-products" or services.
Detail the tangible project output (e.g., paper, blog post, written materials, video/film, etc.; this would be in addition to the final written report that successful grant recipients will be expected to deliver to CC at the conclusion of the project).
Project key outputs:
1) Brand Visual Identity System: a simple and straight-forward guide for “dream-entrepreneurs” to apply the brand correctly on their products’/services’ packages or any other promotional material. The objective is to ensure consistency among every “dream-application”, guaranteeing they will all build for the brand and benefit from its meaning. Yet, to guarantee more flexibility during the customization process, different background colors for the logo and examples of varied labels’ formats and promotional items will be available online.
- A bilingual open community for “dream-products” customization, promotion and knowledge exchange: A bilingual community that can be hosted in an open social network, such as MySpace, in which “dream-entrepreneurs” will be able to (1) customize and download the brand’s logo with the specific product/service they will commercialize and with the dream they are pursuing (eg. Dream Cookie: helping me open my own business); (2) share and learn tips from/to other "dream-entrepreneurs" and Creative Commons initiatives; (3) create a personal page where they can publish their offers, stories and dream’s evolution in order to strengthen their relationship with their “dream-clients” and boost the word-of-mouth around their “dream-products” or services. All for free, online and available in Portuguese and English - with the possibility of future translation for other languages.
- A PR Plan focused on Brazilian market: a plan that will identify people, institutions and vehicles that are strategic to spread “Dream” open concept and to foster its adoption, especially within Brazilian market (but not restricted to it, as the platform is bilingual and the proposal targets a universal desire). This plan is crucial not only to build the brand meaning and strength, but also to encourage the culture of developing and using open brands – which I believe that has a great potential to generate spontaneous media, as it can provide good and fresh content for those who spread it; new, social and empowering content.
- Brand Promotional material: videos, images and other material developed to explain the brand concept and to engage the audience. These materials will be available on Dream Community and will be used on the PR plan.
Describe the community you are targeting. How would the project benefit the community?
This project has different targets:
1)“dream-entrepreneur”: those who will produce and sell dream-products or services in order to gain some [extra] money to accomplish, sustain or even chase a dream.
2)“dream-clients”: those who will buy dream-products or services
3)“dream-communicators”: those who will spread “dream” open concept
4)“dream-audience”: those who will engage with the concept, but not necessarily consume, produce it or share it.
Anyone who has a dream, need little financial support to enable it and is willing to invest time and effort behind it is a potential “dream-entrepreneur”. The project can benefit this target by building the brand “Dream” – that will mean that there is a sincere effort to make a dream come true behind that dream-product or service – and sharing it through an open social network (as described above) under the “Creative Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Commons” license.
As people are touched by the idea of helping others chasing a dream, the brand will help dream-entrepreneurs to sell their products/services – what represent an empowering and encouraging possibility. After all, the [extra] money gained from this sales may simply fund a teenager dream to be financially independent from parents’ allowance, but it can also be crucial to prevent anxious entrepreneurs from giving up their business hastily - or even to encourage those who dream about dedicating their career to something they really love, but are paralyzed by the fear of not being able to pay their bills.
Dream-clients also benefit from this project. Not only through the satisfaction of helping someone, but by doing this by consuming an authentic and high quality service/product. Although “dream” does not attest the source or quality of the product, dream-products and services tend to be extremely good, once the brand meaning only helps stimulating the first purchase and repurchase depend mostly on the quality of the offer.
Dream-communicators benefit from the project once its relevant and innovative concept represents fresh and cool content for them to share and support. As per our broad dream-audience, I am sure many will be benefited just by becoming aware of Creative Commons existence all the possibilities it opens; some may even get inspired and build over “dream”, creating, for example, another open brand that will attend different targets and needs.
Quoting Chris Anderson, “in an age of open source, custom-fabricated, DIY product design, all you need to conquer the world is a brilliant idea” (The new industrial revolution;Wired Maganize).br />
My relationship with the community I am targeting? None and all.
I have already engaged many friends and family member with this idea and will engage many others after the launch of the project – and that is the bit of the community I have deep relationship with: maybe hundreds of people. With the other bit - millions of potential dream-entrepreneurs-clients-communicators-and-or-audience, I might only share the fact that I have a dream that need financial support to be sustained and the fact I get really excited with creative, open and/or social initiatives.
I think I am the best person to lead this project not because I have created it or because I gained brand and project management skills in prior experiences. I think I am the best person to lead this project because I am absolutely passionate about it.
After 6 years working with brand management in The Coca-Cola Company, I left my job to start my own business, where I could have more freedom to do what I love – but it wasn’t (actually, it isn’t!) ready. So, I started to think about alternative ways of making money that would not compromise much of my time. And that is how “dream” was created.
For me, “dream” represents much more than a way of gaining extra money. It represents the possibility of fostering creativity in the commons – a movement I truly admire – and helping others by doing things I love. And what I love doing is creating concepts and experiences that make a difference in people’s lives…
How will you measure and evaluate your project’s impact - on your main participants? Other contributors? On the larger community?
I will measure project’s relevance for dream-clients and viability for dream-entrepreneurs by tracking the number of people joining the community to download/customize the brand and by analyzing their feedbacks regarding sales – in addition to my own experience selling dream-products.
The impact on dream-communicators and audience will be measured by the analysis of media & word-of-mouth repercussion, by the number of unique visitors accessing the community and, eventually, by the creation of other open brands.
How many participants do you expect to be involved in your project? How will you seek and sustain their involvement?
I expect to involve more 4 people to launch the project: a designer, a lawyer, a producer, and a PR consultant. As this is a very new proposal, especially in Brazil, I cannot predict precisely how many people will be impacted, but given the increasing number of internet users, the Brazilian entrepreneurial profile and the power of the concept, I believe we have the potential of reaching millions of people (dream-audience) in a year, only through spontaneous media – thousands of them engaged as dream-entrepreneurs.
After the launch, the project is sustained by the crowd: the dream-entrepreneurs who will feed the community with their stories and, eventually, the inspired audience that can evolve the concept. That is why a good PR plan is crucial for brand’s adoption. The more dream-entrepreneurs use it, the more dream-clients recognize it; and the more dream-transactions are made, the more dream-entrepreneurs join it...
Describe how your project will benefit Creative Commons' mission to increase the amount of creativity (cultural, educational, and scientific content) in "the commons".
The project increases the amount of creativity in the commons because it is an open creative proposal itself and, most importantly, because encourage the culture of collaboration and open business among ordinary people. This is possible because “dream” proposal is about universal desires – making and helping a dream come true – and is flexible enough for anyone to join. No special skills required: COMMON people.
Describe what technologies and tools your project will use. What kinds of technical skills and expertise do you bring to the project? What are your technical needs?
As the plan is to host the community on an existing open social network, the only technological tool the project requires is a simple gadget for image edition, enabling dream-entrepreneurs to customize the brand within their proposal of product/dream.
In terms of technical skills, the project will demand marketing, design and legal support: a designer to evolve the brand logo and develop its application guidelines; a lawyer to ensure there is no legal conflicts or gaps on the proposal; and marketing skills to guarantee we positions and promote the brand correctly and that we scale it within its full potential.
The expertise I bring to the project is related to brand and project management, but I still might need to hire a producer to create promotional materials (eg. inspiring videos explaining the concept) and a PR consultant to be able to access all strategic people and vehicles that can start a “positive epidemy” around the brand, as Malcolm Gladwell described in his book “The Tipping Point”.
What challenges do you expect to face, and how do you plan to overcome them?
I expect to face many challenges to build and scale “dream”.
The first one is common to every brand: to build and manage its meaning. This is critical for “dream’s” success, once in order to help dream-entrepreneur sales, the brand must mean that behind that dream-product, there is a dream being chased.
This meaning management is challenging because, as Kevin Roberts says in his book “Lovemarks”, brands belong to consumers – not to producers – what is especially true for an open brand, as you do not control even the quality of the product. “Dream” real meaning will depend on what people think, do and talk about it. And although I do not control that, I can highly influence it through a consistent and authentic proposal and through a good PR plan.
The other challenge is to generate adoption. Even if “dream” meaning is correctly perceived by the community, there is still a considerable effort behind its adoption by dream-entrepreneurs. After all, “dream” only adds meaning for products or services - it is not a magic money maker. People still need to produce and sell products. To stimulate people to invest time and effort behind it, “dream” will have a user friendly and flexible interface with inspiring and empowering stories and a persuasive promotional material.
The final and the most difficult challenge the brand will face is to reach the “tipping point” – the moment when it becomes a mania and spread like a virus, described by Malcolm Gladwell in his book “The Tipping Point”. To do so, I will use Gladwell tips to build a strong and effective PR plan, reaching those people with “rare social power” and getting advantage of the “power of context”, in which Creative Commons mission to foster creativity is the “commons” is gaining relevance and being adopted very fast.
How do you plan to sustain your project after the Creative Commons funding has ended? Detail specific plans. How do you plan to raise revenue to continue your efforts in the future?
As the plan is to host the community on an existing open social network, after the launch period (including the time to scale it through PR), the brand is sustained by the crowd: dream-entrepreneurs who will feed the community with their stories and, eventually, inspired audience that can even evolve the concept.
Yet, if future assessment points to the need or opportunity for further investment, a very feasible way of raising revenue for this project is by applying for sponsorship, once many brands wants to be associated with values “dream” carry: freedom, collaboration, innovation, hope…
How can this project be scalable, or have a scalable impact?
There are many reasons why this project is scalable:
1) It is universal: making a dream come true and helping someone are universal and timeless needs. In archetypes jargon, it would represent the hope of the innocent (dream-entrepreneurs) and the generosity of the caregiver (dream-clients).
2)It is accessible: it is free and does not require any specific skills; only time and effort.
3)Its iconographic: the logo can be understood in every country, regardless the language.
4)It is cheap to scale: free to share/maintain and very cheap to adapt to other languages
5)It is content: new news that are valuable for communicators
What resources and support do you expect Creative Commons to provide to your project to ensure its success (if any)?
Creative Commons partnership is crucial to scale this project, by endorsing the brand and helping promoting it in Brazil and abroad. In addition, it would also be very helpful to count on Getulio Vargas Foundation CTS legal support to ensure there are no issues or gaps in the proposal.
Describe how your organization currently communicates with its community members and network partners. (100 words)
This project hasn’t been officially launched yet. The idea has actually come to life only 20 days ago and, since then, I´ve evolved it to the point that I have a blog, a logo (designed by my cousin Beatriz Leite), some friends and family members willing to engage as “dream-entrepreneurs” and many ideas of how to scale the concept. I´ll start selling dream-products in my neighborhood as soon as I figure out the best way to package my “dream-brigadeiros” – or as soon as I stop spoiling my potential “dream-chocolate-swiss-role” (family recipe):).