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Blog Posts by Chris Ames


Unifying Vision, Mission, Strategy, Brand, and Culture

Unifying Vision, Mission, Strategy, Brand, and Culture

It’s very difficult to work hard when you don’t understand what you’re working toward. We’re all capable of putting our heads down and grinding it out – but that behavior generally leads to burnout, apathy, and updating your LinkedIn. A recent study from global employee engagement company, Reward Gateway, which surveyed 1500 workers and 750 senior decision-makers across the UK, US, and Australia, has revealed that only 25% of employees feel completely informed about their employer’s corporate mission and only 32% of employees feel completely informed about the values of the organization they...
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Is It Possible to Ever Truly Be Brandless?

Is It Possible to Ever Truly Be Brandless?

There’s No Brand Like No Brand at All At its heart, branding is about clarity. When we do our job right, we deliver clarity of purpose, message, and design. In this space, minimalism is something that is hard earned. The paradox is that it takes decades of tireless work to reach a stage in which your brand is so ubiquitous, it’s nearly invisible. Brands like Nike, Mastercard, McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Shell all utilize wordless logos, the end result of a process that’s sometimes called “debranding” or “decorporatizing.” The benefits of reaching this iconic tier are innumerable:...
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Brand Essence Is the Heart and Soul of Your Business

Brand Essence Is the Heart and Soul of Your Business

The Miracle of Brand Essence To begin, we turn briefly to the world of basketball. The Los Angeles Lakers, a once-beloved franchise, have not won a championship in nearly a decade. This year, they will not make the playoffs for the sixth year in a row, the longest drought in team history. Yet despite this, every year, the Lakers sell more jerseys than just about anybody else in the league. How is this possible? Even though the team is weak, its brand essence is incredibly strong. If branding is the heart of business, then brand essence is the heart of branding. Think of it as a tool, often...
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The Latest, Greatest Thing in Digital Is Print

The Latest, Greatest Thing in Digital Is Print

Print Is Dead, Long Live Print Every year, we hear print is dead. And every year, it proves us dead wrong. The fact is, digital transformation has its upper limits. There are some analog experiences – like the genuine discovery and delight of wandering through a great bookstore – that technology is currently incapable of replicating. Between 2009 and 2015, what’s known as the Amazon-fueled “retail apocalypse,” independent bookstores grew by 35 percent. Perhaps it’s the tenacity and resilience of print that has led many companies to start publishing their own magazines. Uber, Airbnb, Casper,...
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How to Successfully Emerge from Stealth Mode

How to Successfully Emerge from Stealth Mode

Can You Keep a Secret? Stealth mode is a business strategy in which your product, service, or entire brand is intentionally hidden from the market until a predefined date. It is the fine art of keeping a secret, especially in highly competitive markets. And in many ways, it goes against every piece of advice entrepreneurs normally give. Educating your users, generating feedback, building product love, cultivating a community – these are all best practices that require some element of exposure. How can people fall in love with your brand if they can’t see it? But under the right conditions,...
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