Strategy is the Art
of Embracing
the Unknown

25A0 is unicode for black square and a boutique strategy office at the intersection of culture, arts, technology, and science.

We conduct commissioned and self-initiated ventures and projects, partnering with clients from the public and private sector.

Ventures

Strategic Foresight

Deutsche Telekom AG

Europes biggest telco wanted to identify emerging trends at the intersection of art and technology. We conduct seminars, a podcast, and a publication exploring weak signals in art and tech.

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Brand Strategy / Portfolio Integration

Carlsberg

Carlsberg acquired the German beer brand Wernesgrüner. We help to maintain the brand’s local authenticity while preventing brand cannibalization within the existing portfolio.

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Brand Strategy / Organizational Development

Schmitt + Sohn

Schmitt + Sohn, a family owned enterprise in its 6th generation, needs to update its brand. We develop the strategic framework and install a new department.

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Strategic Narrative / Award Logic

Polyton

POLYTON is a new platform and music award to highlight the social impact of pop music. We create the strategic narrative and the participatory award mechanism.

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Systemic Change

Agents of Transformation

AOT bridges the gap between the next generation in arts and design and European policy making. We connect students with high-level decision-makers in politics and industry.

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Brand Strategy

Cariad

The biggest automaker in the world converges the separate software divisions from its brand portfolio in a new companywide department. We develop the strategic framework with a focus on employer branding.

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Employer Branding Strategy

Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric reshapes its employer value proposition in the DACH region. We provide the strategic direction and create alignment across the board.

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Organizational Transformation

Reeperbahn Festival

The leading international music festival evolves from an annual event series to a holistic music platform. We develop and implement the strategic framework for this transformation.

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Growth Strategy

Krautreporter

A young online publisher with an industry-leading business model faced challenges in user acquisition and retention. We developed a purpose-driven loyalty strategy that led to sustainable growth.

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Brand Strategy

TD Reply

A marketing innovation consultancy transforms its business model and service portfolio. We develop a purpose-driven new brand identity and restructure their service offerings.

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Journal

Interface Critique

Interface Critique is an academic platform, that facilitates trans-disciplinary dialogues about human-computer interaction.

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Partners

 

If you want to know more or request a case study, please get in touch:

hello@25a0.com

Cases

Polyton

Background

Pop music extends beyond mere entertainment; it serves as a reflection and catalyst for social change, revealing and negotiating social issues, challenging the status quo, and shaping public awareness about alternative lifestyles and new realities. The ‘Akademie für Populäre Musik’ (Academy of Popular Music), along with the POLYTON platform and an annual musician-voted music award, aims to establish a foundation for recognizing, connecting, and amplifying pop musicians in the public sphere. POLYTON signifies social transformation and highlights the plurality of voices that shape today’s musical landscape.

We develop the strategic framework in close collaboration with Studio YUKIKO.

Challenges

Strategic Positioning
Developing a new platform that not only supports but also amplifies the diverse voices in pop music, reflecting its role as a societal catalyst.

Pricing Mechanism
Creating an award structure that avoids traditional commercial biases and gatekeeping, ensuring a democratic and inclusive process.

Brand Narrative
Crafting a compelling and unique brand identity that resonates with both musicians and the public, emphasizing the harmonious interplay of diverse musical identities.

Approach

The approach to launching POLYTON involved a comprehensive strategy encompassing naming, visual identity, and the creation of a democratic award system. This collaborative effort included musicians, mental health advisors, sound engineers, and creative directors to ensure an inclusive and authentic representation.

Strategy Development
In collaboration with the Academy of Popular Music, a strategic framework was established to underpin all aspects of POLYTON. This included defining the platform’s mission, values, and objectives, with a focus on inclusivity, artistic appreciation, and socio-political relevance.

Democratic Award Mechanism
A key component was the development of a novel voting system for the POLYTON award. Unlike traditional industry or public prizes, this award is decided by musicians and music professionals, for musicians and music professionals, thus eliminating commercial gatekeeping and ensuring that the criteria for evaluation are centered on creativity and peer recognition.

Solutions

Inclusive and Reflective Strategy
POLYTON’s strategy emphasized its role as a platform for social change and diversity in pop music. By focusing on the intersectional impact of music and providing a forum for underrepresented voices, POLYTON positioned itself as a progressive force within the music industry.

Innovative Pricing Mechanism
The award structure was designed to be transparent and democratic, reflecting the values of fairness and peer recognition. This approach not only bolstered the credibility of the award but also encouraged broader participation from the artistic community.

Compelling Brand Narrative
The visual identity, rooted in the concept of cymatics, effectively communicated POLYTON’s ethos of harmony and diversity. This narrative was consistently integrated across all brand touchpoints, reinforcing the platform’s unique position in the music industry.

Outcome

The successful launch of POLYTON culminated in the first-ever POLYTON awards ceremony on November 17, 2023, at Atelier Gardens in Berlin. This event showcased the platform’s commitment to recognizing and celebrating artistic achievements and the socio-political relevance of today’s pop music. By involving musicians directly in the evaluation process, POLYTON fostered a sense of community and mutual appreciation within the industry.

POLYTON’s launch demonstrates the power of a well-crafted strategy, innovative pricing mechanisms, and a strong brand narrative in establishing a new and impactful presence in the music industry. By aligning with the values of inclusivity, diversity, and artistic integrity, POLYTON has set a new standard for music awards and platforms, highlighting the enduring significance of pop music as a force for social change.