Rolling Out

Brand strategist Ian Ford is influencing everything

Photo courtesy of Ian Ford

Ian Ford is a planner, creative and strategist. Read on to find out how he and Bem Joiner built their brand, The Tomorrows, and how they create “dope stuff that people like.” As in the “stuff” depicted in the photo above and the photo gallery below.

How did you develop the idea for your brand?

The Tomorrows [stylized as Tmrrws] was created and developed by Bem Joiner and Ian Ford. The “Atlanta Creative Economy” has always existed. After much research and observation, Bem realized that Atlanta’s version of a creative economy had not been clearly defined, so he began to discuss the concept with peers … thus gradually defining the movement. In 2016, Ian created the “Atlanta Influences Everything” meme to describe Bem’s movement and the input of Atlanta’s Creative Economy.

How do you define innovation?
Intentional, passionate collaboration.

What is your brand’s social media strategy?
Atlanta Influences Everything… social media is our primary distribution network, and we plan to show that this statement is true with our updates.

How do you forecast trends in the marketplace?
Ear to the streets and listening to the people. Bem prides himself on riding Marta and being among the “everyday people” — something that most people take for granted. The entire team consists of amateur cultural anthropologists and sociologists. We love people because we are the people, so it makes it easier to understand the people and forecast trends in the marketplace.

Why are music and comedy often used by brands to market their brand identity?
Both are universal languages that relate to everyone, but broad and deep.

Name two musicians whose brands are memorable and instantly recognizable.
OutKast and Notorious B.I.G.

Name and describe two brands whose marketing approach appeals to you.
Fast Company: This brand is inspirational and relates directly to creative thought leaders.

Apple: This brand created a lifestyle based on technology decades before the world knew that technology brands would be important.

Finish the sentences:

My brand’s message … is intentional and believable.

Brand marketers are … responsible for using their unique gift of creating and/or recognizing trends to reinforce the brand message. We’d like to believe we continuously do or at least aim to do it by taking a thought provoking and innovative approach.

Six assets every brand needs?

Reliable technology
Direct access to young talent

Photos courtesy of Ian Ford

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