Category Archives: Brisbane

Top 5 Australian Photographers

Such an art… So much talent required… Something I definitely appreciate.

I’d like to share with everyone my top 5 Australian photographers (this was hard to pick!)

WEDDINGS: Marcus Bell, Studio Impressions.

PORTRAITS: Stephen Walker, Grapeshot Studios.

 COMMERCIAL: David Collins, Blackbox Photography.

FASHION: “It’s a tie..” Between HenryK


Georges Antoni.

 Who’s your favourite…?


Yours in photography,


The Future according to Mike Walsh

Mike Walsh, author of ‘Futuretainment’, presented at a recent AIMIA Brisbane event: “Yesterday the world changed. Now it is your turn” which I attended. For the one-hour session I felt Mike covered a lot of ground, but not once did I feel “overwhelmed” by the information being given to us.

Working in an industry focused on “The Internet” I often find myself disillusioned with the internet and we share a love / hate relationship. When Mike said that we get lost in the “stuff”, the day-to-day routines of our internet patterns and forget the magic of it all I knew what he meant. We do forget the magic of the internet. We focus too greatly on the devices or platforms and forget just what the internet and technology in general can provide us.

I’ve been reading a lot about design thinking and service design lately and Mike’s presentation only further served this area of obsession for me. The most prominent lessons from his talk being:

  • Content is the most important thing. Brands must begin to thinking like media companies – publishers of their own content.
  • Data will very shortly be the most valuable asset a company owns.
  • Your digital behaviour is and will increasingly be an indicator of your likelihood to behave in a certain manner. For example, bank loans in the future will not only take into account your credit history but also things such as Klout rankings.
  • Our jobs as digital marketers is to understand the structure of connected audiences.
  • Gamification is the behavioural logic of how people expect to interact with the world.

Here is a selection of video’s from talks Mike has given.

Yours in futuretainment,


TEDx Brisbane

The second TEDxBrisbane was held at the State Library of Queensland last weekend. More than 450 people attended the event.

It was a great day and a few firm favourites shone through. My top moments of the day include:

Gordon Hamilton’s Toy Story 3 = Awesome

Composer Gordon Hamilton’s video takes random Facebook status updates (an idea he said was born out of laziness as he procrastinated) and turns them into a song. Watch the results below.

Eva Cox her talk, presented via Skype, was logical, to the point and fascinating. Her talk (which I hope is posted online) brought up many great points including “Why do we assume that working longer hours equals more productivity?”

Personally, however, as great as the long-form talks were what caught my attention were the 3 minute brain bursts. My favourite? Paul Songhurst’s talk on how we can reinvigorate the 1m x 1m space around trees on the sidewalk. During a trip to New York he catalogued how these spaces were used – gardens, bike racks, fenced areas. The possibility to transfer this to our own city is quite exciting!

And it goes without saying the day wouldn’t have been half as good without the people. I was surrounded by old friends and new friends who only served to enhance the experience. Thanks to Carl and Paul for their efforts in bringing the day together.

You can see photos from the day on Flickr. The photos were taken by Brisbane-photographer Mark Lobo.

You can read all the tweets (and there are plenty) from the day on Twitter.

Yours in TED Talks,


Spare Ticket announced as AMI National Finalist

Ok shameless plug warning! We’re super excited to see our client Spare Ticket announced as a National Finalist for the Australian Marketing Institute’s Awards for Marketing Excellence in the ‘New Brand’ category. We’re up against some ‘stiff’ competition: Warnie’s underwear brand SpinnersSimplot’s Quorn and Queensland winner Mater Mother’s Private Redland; so fingers crossed!

The awards are a part of the AMI’s two day conference, Focus on the Future, held at the Hilton Sydney from October 19-20. The conference will showcase a number of high profile speakers from Microsoft, Commonwealth Bank, Spreets, Telstra and Nestle, to name a few, bringing together some of the world’s greatest marketing minds.

Will you be going?

Yours in marketing coolness,

Brio Reads #1

Welcome to what we hope will become a regular Friday fixture on Brio Daily – Brio Reads. Each day our team stumble upon the cool, quirky, inspirational and creative online. This is our opportunity to share those finds with you. Enjoy!

This week the technology, creative and business worlds lost a true pioneer. Steve Jobs was and shall remain a force to be reckoned with. He was a visionary with the courage and support to make his ideas a reality. One of our favourite Steve Jobs talks is is Stanford College Commencement speech from 2005.



Journalist Walt Mossberg tells us about the Steve Jobs he knew

A solid reminder that flash mobs are dead. Ok? | Mumbrella

Coffee turned into a $4 splurge – Debbie Millman on how brands have shaped our times | Fast Company

Cold calling for new business can be like trying to score a first date. Chris Savage shows us how it is done | Wrestling Possums

Dreamworks launch their first personal art publication, Moonshine

In praise of slow, Slow Labs list projects that inspire the art of slow design

And we leave you with this fantastic image by Brisbane-based photographer Damien Bredberg


What is Good Customer Service?

Good customer service is all about bringing customers back, about sending them away happy – happy enough to pass positive feedback about your business along to others. It is the livelihood of all businesses.

Good customer service must be provided to customers before, during and after a purchase or service. You can offer promotions and slash prices to bring in as many new customers as you want, but unless you can get some of those customers to come back, your business won’t be profitable for long.

I recently watched an episode of Undercover Boss Australia where I saw what I believe to be one of the best examples of good customer service. I enjoy watching this program, as I like to observe the different operational and management styles of the companies and executives featured. Each week a different high-flying executive leaves the comfort of their office to take up a highly pressured job at the forefront of their businesses. Completely immersed in their undercover role, these bosses must relinquish control, buckle down to follow orders, and prepare to hear some home truths about their head office strategies and plans and to also see how these strategies and plans are being implemented. Working alongside their employees, they see the effects their decisions have on others, where problems lie within their organisation, plus get the chance to discover the “unsung heroes”, who ultimately make their company a success.

The featured executive who went out to work in some of her brand’s franchises in disguise, was Pippa Hallas, CEO of Ella Baché Australia. Ella Baché was Pippa’s great aunt who originally founded the company in Paris in 1930.

One “unsung hero” featured in this episode was the manager of the Ella Baché Salon in Carindale, which is one of Ella Baché’s top performing salons in Australia. I was very impressed with the operational and management style of this lady, and it was easy to see how the salon achieved this status. Personal grooming and presentation of the therapists was of the utmost importance. The hygiene standards and cleanliness of the salon was second to none. Even the topic of conversation with the client was under scrutiny as Pippa soon discovered what was appropriate and what wasn’t, as the conversation lead to Pippa asking if all four of the clients grandparents were still alive. The manager suggested to always steer away from personal questions, as in this instance, you don’t know whether one of the grandparents may have just passed away the day before, and you don’t want to upset them as they have not come to the salon to get upset. The conversation should always be kept on a professional level, and should centre around the services or products. The overall salon etiquette and professionalism was of the highest standard and all procedures were followed “by the book”. Nothing was left to chance. The client was the main focus of attention from the moment they stepped into the salon to the moment they left. The client is never left unattended. They are personally greeted by the therapist in the waiting room on arrival, then, at the end of their appointment, they are accompanied by the therapist back to the reception area and introduced to the receptionist, who then takes over to check the client out.

You may watch this 11 minute segment of the episode via this Undercover Boss Australia link by selecting the yellow taxi one.

Have you observed an example of good customer service recently?

Yours in Good Customer Service
Angie Rapisarda

The Rabbit Hole Ideation Cafe opening soon…

I’ve recently stumbled across the Facebook page for a new cafe and it caught my eye. Set to open soon, the West End cafe combines my two great interests: design and coffee. The Rabbit Hole Ideation Cafe will be a space for creative types to meet, share ideas, tackle briefs and brainstorm concepts.

The cafe will provide individual workstations of three varieties:

  • drop in desks for once off visits
  • semi-permanent desks if you go there on a part time basis
  • long term desks, booked per month.

All desks are equipped with power to plug in your laptop, internet connection, but best of all… $2 coffees! And it’s not just any coffee, it’s specialty coffee brewed by champion barista, Tim Adams.

The Rabbit Hole Ideation cafe also includes a board room, which can be booked to meet with clients, brainstorm ideas or collaborate with a team of creatives. The board room will have blank walls and designers will be encouraged to use the walls as a blank canvas to write/draw/scribble their ideas and thoughts.

I love that this new concept cafe is encouraging creativity in Brisbane. Can’t wait for it to open!

Yours in ideas and coffee,


What’s your work philosophy?

At Brio Group we have the pleasure of being a part of the Hear and Say Centre’s weekly play group sessions where we have the chance to witness so many beautiful families interact.

Last week’s play group was a great chance for me to capture some amazing images for the Hear and Say Centre Annual Report (see the images below) while this week’s play group was super special as it was the launch of Loud Shirt Day.

Loud Shirt Day is a fun one day event on Friday 21 October when you can wear your brightest clothes and raise money to help give the gift of sound and speech to deaf children. Wally Lewis and Romelda Aiken (Firebird Champion) kicked off the festivities and were a great inspiration to us all.

Visiting these play group sessions has really shown me the meaning of ‘industriousness‘ – which is about encouraging ‘focused, hard work’ rather than ‘workaholism’. Really it’s about quality – not quantity.

The small amounts of quality play time that these children receive each week is imperative to their development and teaches them so many life skills. It’s not about how much play time they have together, but how good that playtime is – their parents, their siblings and the magical people at the Hear and Say Centre work very hard to ensure that every minute counts. Wally Lewis and Romelda Aiken have such busy schedules but take time out for the things that matter – and they’re always there giving 100%.

At Brio Group I always try to make the most of every minute of the day. Time is precious, deadlines are tight and I value my personal life so I always give 100% to make sure I can go home at a reasonable hour and have a little balance in my life.

What’s your work philosophy? Do you work hard (and play hard)? Or would you prefer to take things a little slower? Do you live to work, or work to live? Keen to hear your thoughts!

Yours in industriousness,


SmartClinics opens at Westfield Chermside on September 19

I’m impatient, work long hours and not loyal to any particular doctor – I guess I’m fitting right into the Gen-Y stereotype! But seriously, when I need a basic prescription or need some basic medical care I just want to pop in and out of the doctor’s as quickly as possible – and I’d think many working Australians would be much the same (gee, that was a bit ALP wasn’t it…”working Australians”).

This is why I’m excited about SmartClinics – the new medical clinic run by Nurse Practitioners, opening at Westfield Chermside on September 19. Now full disclosure, SmartClinics is a client of ours and we’ve been busily working on their design and advertising in preparation for the launch, but really I can’t wait until it’s open.

I think SmartClinics is going to be a really great service for those of us who are fed up with trying to sneak out during lunch and then suffer the long wait in reception before our 10 minute appointment (although I love the trashy mags, do we really need to spend 45 minutes in the waiting room?). SmartClinics will open from 7am-9pm, 7 days a week – thank you weekend and night trading! Plus the appointments are quick and cheap – only $28 for a basic consultation. Now they just need to come to the south side of Brisbane!

Clinics like this have been operating in the US and UK for quite some time now so I’m not sure what all the fuss is about but obviously some GPs think SmartClinics is a teeny bit controversial…check out this piece on Channel 10

Check them out at

Yours in innovative health care,

Amazing Local Talent at the Brisbane Writers Festival

Image: Betty Churcher’s Notebooks

It’s Brisbane Writers Festival time again and Brisbane is in for a real treat when local born and one of Australia’s best loved art critics, Betty Churcher showcases her most beloved works, including masterpieces by Rembrandt, Goya, Velzquez, Courbet and Cezanne, with her own amazing illustrations in her latest book, Notebooks, at the Brisbane Writers Festival this week. Betty Churcher will talk about Notebooks and her experiences in creating the drawings at the Festival on Friday 9th September 2011.

A 2006 trip to London and Madrid to see the paintings that had captivated her since childhood resulted in the writing of this book.

Notebooks is a collection of Betty Churcher’s own illustrations. A trained artist, Betty’s sketches reveal the secrets within the artworks and the processes of their creation.

Betty has been an art critic for The Australian and wrote and presented several television series on art including, Take Five and Hidden Treasures. She holds an Order of Australia and is an Officer of the Order of Australia.

This book is full of the magic of great art, and through it, Betty Churcher has achieved her belief that art has the power to transport the viewer to another place and time.

Yours in Great Art
Angie Rapisarda