James Sommerville Elevating Branding and Marketing with KnownUnknown
Branding and marketing are highly competitive fields with millions of professionals in specific categories like brand design, brand strategy, digital communications, product innovation, and so on. Nowadays, it’s challenging to come up with concepts that offer anything truly original. Still, one thought leader in branding hopes to challenge that status quo by creating a platform that will continue delivering innovative ideas, that challenge the boundaries of the traditional marketing model and provide opportunities for thousands of unknown designers to share, learn and grow. His name is James Sommerville, legendary brand leader and founder of KnownUnknown.
On the surface, KnownUnknown seems like another creative online community, but there is more than meets the eye. Behind the simple website and almost cryptic invitation is a community of over five thousand members from spheres like design, fine arts, visual engineering, user experience design, brand consulting, and many others. At the core of KnownUnknown’s strategy is a plan to celebrate designers around the world of all ages, locations and disciplines to new realms and promote the power of a strong visual brand communication and consumer experience.
KnownUnknown dives into more nouvelle design and branding applications, tinkering with some of the latest in business applications, such as automations, artificial intelligence, non-fungible tokens, and cryptocurrency, to name a few. Amid the pandemic, the community has been busy inspiring one another to disrupt traditional industries and agencies by creating a launching pad for the next new type of model and other creative trends that will push marketing to new eras over the next decade.
James Sommerville crafted the vision for KnownUnknown after leaving a highly successful senior leadership role in Coca-Cola as Vice President for the company’s Global Design efforts. Sommerville was behind some of Coke’s most enormous branding efforts this last decade, including the “Taste the Feeling” push that would land on multiple billboards, inspire television commercials, world sporting events, digital channels, print publications, and many other extensions. His work has become pivotal and “biblical” for Coke marketing executives and other global conglomerates who inspired his vision and design direction for “Taste the Feeling” and many other branding initiatives. In 2012, James also took the helm in designing Coke’s London Olympics brand presence as well as the last four FIFA World Cup campaigns. His works have been seen by billions of consumers.
Before spending seven fruitful years with one of the globe’s biggest brands, James spent most of his career on the agency’s side of the conversation. At the young age of nineteen, he founded a creative agency called ATTIK, which would eventually grow into a multinational firm serving clients like Virgin, Adidas, Sheraton, and Heineken, on top of many others. From his grandmother’s attic bedroom, James Sommerville would take the creative firm worldwide and establish locations in Huddersfield, Leeds, London, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Sydney. The company would employ over 250 professionals before being acquired by marketing firm Dentsu.
All this to say, James Sommerville has spent the great majority of his career leading the way for creative professionals everywhere. Today, he has shifted much of his focus to preparing the next generation of creatives who will redefine the branding and marketing industry in the future. By propelling KnownUnknown to greater levels, James hopes to inspire a whole epoch of top-tier design and help formulate experiences that will elevate the consumer journey.
James also consults for some of the world’s biggest brands such as Ford Motor Company, Kellogg’s and General Mills and serves as a keynote speaker in various conferences and lectures around design, branding, and marketing. In addition, he has traveled to over 250 different cities to speak and educate professionals in his industry and beyond. Learn more about James Sommerville by visiting his LinkedIn profile and Known Unkown’s website.