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The BackLash Against Black Friday: Less Spending, More Purpose

The BackLash Against Black Friday: Less Spending, More Purpose

A Big Deal It’s no secret that to many consumers and companies alike, Black Friday is the most important shopping day of the entire year. And this year proved no different. Millions of shoppers prepared to wait in line for hours – camping on sidewalks, rushing through doors at the crack of dawn, and sometimes even literally clawing at each other to get what they want – discounts, new goods, more, more, more… In 2015, 74 million shoppers shopped on Black Friday, and this year, even more shoppers were counted. For many companies, online sales are exponentially larger than...
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Business Transformation: How to Drive Successful Change

Business Transformation: How to Drive Successful Change

The Need for Change There are many reasons why an organization might come face to face with the need for a business transformation. Increasing competition, new seemingly unattainable prospects, large growth goals, or not meeting the expected return on investment are among many of the most common we see. And these reasons and warning signs are by no means mutually exclusive. A business transformation generally involves large shifts that dictate change at every level of the business and brand – small and large scale. And managing a change of this scale is no easy task for businesses or leaders...
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What Media Means to Brands in the Digital Age

What Media Means to Brands in the Digital Age

Blurred Lines in Media If anything is for sure, the role of media is in constant flux. Consider what it meant to people before the entrance of social media, or even pre-Internet. In so many ways, user-generated content and social platforms have altered the meaning of media as we know it. And because of the endless messages, mediums, and messengers, it means different things to different people – as well as different things to different brands today. The lines between content and advertising are unclear. And media no longer has to be professionally produced to go viral. News outlets...
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The Power of Saying Thank You

The Power of Saying Thank You

Tis’ The Season for Thank You The Thanksgiving season is the perfect time to not only reflect on what we’re thankful for, but also, to consider the power of saying ‘thank you.’ For businesses, it’s a time to think about how to show appreciation for employees, customers, partners, and stakeholders alike. Caught Up in Business For many reasons, ‘thank you’ isn’t said enough. It’s easy to get wrapped up in daily business obstacles, work dynamics, or simply, an overloaded email box. And it’s natural to get sucked into our own business-as-usual worlds. But as a result, many people find...
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Brand Positioning: Why Now?

Brand Positioning: Why Now?

Reasons to Invest in Brand Positioning There are many reasons why a brand might need to invest in brand positioning. In our work, we see businesses thinking about repositioning for many reasons. Sales might be declining. Your target audience may have shifted. You may have realized you’re targeting the wrong people. Your product roadmap has evolved. Competitors may have entered your space and you can’t seem to differentiate your value. Maybe, customers even perceive your brand as outdated or irrelevant. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a number of ecosystems overcrowding. As a result, it’s almost impossible to...
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2016 Design Trends

2016 Design Trends

2016 Design Trends: Observations and Thoughts “As long as the work is appropriate, distinctive, and (ideally) emotive, you won’t go far wrong. Trends come and go, again and again. If you try to avoid what’s popular today, you’ll probably find yourself creating something that was popular ten or twenty years ago. Stick to the brief, and only show your best ideas to the client.” – David Airey, Graphic Designer Aware and Informed Disclaimer: As designers, we take trends seriously. Not to follow, but to ensure we are acutely aware of the trends that are shaping the world we live...
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Why Business Leaders Must Address the Big Picture

Why Business Leaders Must Address the Big Picture

Business Leaders, Caught in the Small Picture It’s easy for business leaders to get caught up in the details of everyday business, assuming the role of micromanager, not leader. And because leaders may not be focusing on big picture questions surrounding the vision, meaning, and value of their business and brand, many leaders end up feeling stuck – trying to figure out how to implement behavior without any strategy to guide these decisions. All while employees, middle managers, customers, and stakeholders all suffer as a result. Too often, big picture questions are dismissed as ‘important’, but not necessarily ‘urgent’...
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Today’s CMO: What It Takes to Drive Growth

Today’s CMO: What It Takes to Drive Growth

We work with CMOs every day, developing brand strategy and positioning businesses to enable growth and build brand strength from within their organizations. We have seen a role shift for CMOs over the past few years and have deep empathy for these leaders as they look to keep pace with an ever changing set of skills – more complex and more digital by the day. Because we have a front row seat of today’s CMO, we see more and more of our clients responsible for delivering both top line revenue and profit. CMOs are not only expected to keep...
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Female CEOs We Admire and Why

Female CEOs We Admire and Why

The Gender Gap It’s no secret that gender disparities and inequalities still exist. And gender inequality in the workplace today goes beyond the pay gap. The wage gap has narrowed to less than 5%, but this isn’t enough. 59% of women still feel like they have fewer opportunities because of their gender. 88% of women say they feel as though they are addressed differently than male colleagues. And only 4.2% of CEOs in America’s fortune 500 are women. And as a company with two female CEOs, we are acutely aware of this and believe in closing this gap. We...
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Building the Business Case for your Rebrand Project

Building the Business Case for your Rebrand Project

Recognizing the Need for a Change Why build a business case for your rebrand? You know when your business needs one. There are lots of warning signs that indicate the need for a new brand. Whether it’s new, high-performing competition, an outdated look and feel, uninspired employees, dropping engagement and productivity within the workplace, trouble recruiting or retaining top talent, or a brand that’s simply fallen behind its own positioning, you need a change. Often those in HR and marketing are the first to notice the need for a change. The current brand is just no longer doing the...
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Integrating Company Cultures After M&A

Integrating Company Cultures After M&A

High M&A Activity Mergers and acquisitions are at an all time high, with $4.7 trillion of global deals signed last year according to a recent M&A report by KMPG. And although the payoff of a successful M&A is great, these are high risk deals. It’s not just about the financial gains. Reputations are on the line. Stakeholders observe nervously. And in order to ensure the expected return on investment is delivered, a great deal of planning around integrating company culture must go into the preparation. Cultural Integration Issues After an acquisition, the merger is a difficult undertaking – and often...
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Brand Strategy: What is the Role of B2B Branding?

Brand Strategy: What is the Role of B2B Branding?

What is the role of B2B branding? How is it different from sales and marketing? Why should B2B enterprises be adopting purpose-driven brand strategies? What benefits will they accrue by adapting themselves to the changing requirements of the Purpose Economy? It’s no longer business-as-usual in the B2B marketplace. Long-held beliefs are giving way to new opportunities. Many of the reliable tools of the past are no longer as effective as they used to be. All of this is prompting more and more B2B leaders to explore the idea of transforming their businesses into purpose-driven enterprises. Here, we explain why...
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Why Investing in Brand Enables Growth for Professional Services

Why Investing in Brand Enables Growth for Professional Services

Professional service companies, categorized as mid-market, might be looking towards 2017 with a bit of trepidation. According to the National Center for the Middle Market 3Q 2016 Indicator, business growth has been identified as a top challenge for these firms. And mid-market or not, business growth is a real challenge for every sector of professional services in today’s hyper-competitive economy. The Role of Brand in Professional Services Even when personal brands are strong, as they often are for professional services, an overarching brand is necessary. Your brand is your firm’s most valuable asset. It sets the tone for the...
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San Francisco Branding Agency Chimes in: 2016 Trends and What to Expect for 2017

San Francisco Branding Agency Chimes in: 2016 Trends and What to Expect for 2017

As the end of FY16 comes to a close and earnings reports come in, it’s time to review the past year and prepare for the year to come. In this interview,  co-founders Bella Banbury and Tracy Lloyd of San Francisco branding agency Emotive Brand weigh in on what they have seen in branding in 2016 and what brands and businesses should expect in 2017. As an agency, what was the main shift you saw between 2015 and 2016? It’s important to remember that, in the end, the age-old question is always the same. It all comes down to “How...
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Why Millennials Love These Brands

Why Millennials Love These Brands

Millennials: Center Stage for Brands Millennials now represent the largest group of consumers within the U.S., and thriving brands today are highly aware of this. When millennials are wielding over $170 billion per year in purchasing power, there’s no ignoring this group of consumers. Brands don’t win over millennials easily. In fact, in many ways, they hold higher expectations of the businesses they work for, the brands they buy from, and pledge loyalty to. Big Demands Millennials stand at the forefront of technology – demanding that brands offer more efficiency, innovation, convenience, and quality than ever before. And at...
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