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MIRIELLO|brand expression

What is brand expression anyway… brand expression tweaks the marketing conversation – away from “the doing” – toward “the reason for the doing.”We ask the question, “What does the brand promise?”  When we visualize our success and the purpose, “the doing” crystallizes – and a brand comes alive.

Brand expression helps brands move – with the power of intention behind them.

7 thoughts about brand expression:

A good idea trumps a great design.

Smart brands come with a story inside.

The best ideas usually have no owner.

Simplification is a way to clarify what we mean.

 The magic arrives when work and play merge.

Ideas will always be the most valuable currency.

They say the mind only retains 6 thoughts.


When proud Maxfli joined the TaylorMade | adidas family of brands, that meant repositioning Maxfli in the crowded aisle of golf balls. Maxfli became the nontraditional, maverick ball (a la Maxfli devotee Arnold Palmer). With its refreshed attitude,  repositioned and repackaged, Maxfli was back with renewed energy and a halo of moxy and defiance.

100 Worlds Project

100 Worlds Project began with the idea of using the globe as canvas and applying brand-smarts to create a socially engaging arts project. While the globes came from Ron’s sketchbooks, 100WP invited participation in the too often private creative process. By the time the exhibition opened, several worlds had willingly collided. Photographers, art students, welders, software developers, had all become part of the 100WP constellation of creativity.

While the fine art are bounded only by the limits of the artist, design and craft function within the narrower limits of the marketplace. The contexts are different, but the processes are similar. The 100WP book documents the artwork, the process and the collaborators, to help recognize the artist in each of us. It blurred the line between art and design, and toyed with the definitions of artistand authorship.

Caffè Calabria

Coffee has become trendy. Tattoos, black hats and you’re in the coffee business. But when you buy your trash bins and pizza oven in Italy, you’re not riding a trend, you’re learning from the masters. The Calabria “do it the right way” mindset is all old-world. A blend of Italian tradition and SoCal innovation. The Calabria story was already lingering in the coffee-fumed air, waiting to be told in a nuanced third-wave-coffee-brand kind of way.

An obsession with Italy … and espresso made the exact right way.


Sometimes your strength is also your weakness. Everyone has warm-fuzzy feelings for San Diego – a strength. But with a kick-back reputation, it may not be the place to stage your convention on productivity. San Diego Travel Authority wanted to update the City’s reputation as strictly sun-minded, to one of open-mindedness and collaboration. A coastal hub where scientists surf with artists and entrepreneurs thrive. San Diego as a place where new ideas emerge as a matter of course.

Pack the flip-flops, and get some serious work done.

Decisions on where conventions and business conferences are held, hold big economic impact for the chosen city. Getting the story right – having a story – was essential to help San Diego separate from the crowd. And with dozens of marketing channels to now integrate, telling a clear and real story became fundamental to marketing the city where ideas emerge.


SONY steps back every so often and embarks on a “what if” exploration of new possibilities. What if … packaging could do more, be smarter, use less. Origami “unfolded” as an idea with potential. Paper that performs as a protective barrier, and unfolds to also instruct and inform. A reflection of the traditions of SONY and its rich design origins. Being an innovator requires more than just a new tagline.

Putting aside the limits of cost, distribution and a dozen other reasons -  and opening up an exploration of what-if’s. Sea urchins and bamboo fronds now had new potential.

Metro Transit

Consistency helps build trust. For Metro Transit, consistency meant bringing their bus, trolley, ferry and rail lines into a unified family. Our Metro Transit re-brand relied on color and a bold graphic language to connect all modes with the attributes of the beloved red San Diego trolley. Operational brand-alignment included ending on-vehicle ads, daily washing, and one-card access to the now syncopated “red network.”

Moving the perception of mass transit from Swiss-cheese to Swiss-watch.

A transit system citizens are proud to climb aboard. That reflects their city.


This private Christian university helps students find their own path. No lecture classes or mass graduations here. The story of Point Loma Nazarene University had to be more clear and resonant if it was to expand locations. A simple drawn line served as a metaphor for a student’s growth and life-path. Replacing a formal logo-mark, the PLNU-line was a flexible and social approach to branding, one that thrives on fresh executions. Operating from the same brand playbook, PLNU colleges could now align around their central story.

The PLNU – line became a way to unify new-student orientations, to create event messages on campus, to spark participation, to…

A brand premise is akin to a short poem – a bold idea open to interpretation. Brand guidelines are like a novel, explaining step-by-step how the brand looks, feels and will unfold over time.

Designing selected PLNU pace-setting communication pieces brought the brand guide to life and demonstrated that guidelines are there to enhance, not handcuff.

With the PLNU brand story and guidelines in place, each department played their role in the new university-wide website. PLNU marketing was now able to use their website as a tool to consolidate their message.

About Ron

I recall explaining to grade-schoolers about my work, “You’re naturally curious and creative right now. As you get older, people tend to become less curious. So they ask people like me to be curious and creative for them. That’s my job.”  MIRIELLO | brand expression is a consultancy providing the thinking and creativity to help organizations realize their fuller potential.  We clarify the story (the strategy part). We’re experts in the creation of the communications (the design part). And we provide the “road map” (the brand guidelines part). brand expression provides the strategies and creative that distinguishes a business, puts soul in inanimate objects and at times, even brings callous adults to tears. In a world numbed by globalization and statistical-sameness, creativity is now central.

brand strategist | creative director | speaker | fine artist | design traveler

Contact Ron




100 Worlds Project


The Logan


MIRIELLO | brand expression
San Diego | Siena
1 619 234-1124

Random inspirations from unlikely places.

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