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Blog Posts by Chris Ames


Challenger Brands: A Primer

Challenger Brands: A Primer

Are you up to the challenge? Starting today, we’re launching a three-part series on challenger brands — who they are, how they behave, and why your brand could benefit from adopting their disruptive mindset. As this is the first blog in the series, let’s start with the basics. The beginning, as they say, is always a good place to start. What is a challenger brand? “A challenger brand is defined, primarily, by a mindset — it has business ambitions bigger than its conventional resources, and is prepared to do something bold, usually against the existing conventions or codes of the category, to...
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Enabler Brands Are Inspiring, Too!

Enabler Brands Are Inspiring, Too!

Disruptor vs. Enabler Brands These days, disruptor brands get all the attention. Companies like Airbnb, Netflix, and Uber have each skyrocketed into popularity by rattling the industries they came from. We get it. There’s something inherently inciting, even American, about the idea of taking down the big guys with your off-kilter vision of the future. It’s easy to root for. But here’s the thing about trailblazers — if everyone blazes their own unique trail, customers are faced with a dizzying network of singular (and often incompatible) solutions. In the course of one day, a person might...
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Branding Is the Heart of Demand Generation

Branding Is the Heart of Demand Generation

Demand Generation for B2B Marketers In the dark old days of 2012, the process of tracking a lead through a sales cycle was a slow, manual process. With the rise of automation platforms and integrated CRMs like Salesforce and HubSpot, our pipelines are now routinely filled with promising leads. The only problem? Everyone else has access to the same toolkit. What might have been considered a competitive advantage is now table stakes. Demand generation might fill the barrel with fish, but it’s the strength of a brand that hooks the lead.  Refresh Your Brand According to Forrester Research, 68...
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The Balancing Act of Creative Direction

The Balancing Act of Creative Direction

The Journey Is the Destination When I was studying fiction at San Francisco State University, I had a professor that used to say, “If you know exactly what you want to write about, then why are you writing it?” It was a soft-ball criticism aimed at a particular kind of writer. Those that came in overconfident, inflexible, and usually with their entire story already mapped out beat for beat. In their rigid defense of what they thought the story should be, they missed the opportunity to truly discover what it is or what it could be. If there’s no journey of discovery, no unanswered questions...
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Educate, Activate, Accelerate: Three Tips for Bringing Design to Life

Educate, Activate, Accelerate: Three Tips for Bringing Design to Life

Working on a brand project can feel a lot like being back in school. You do your homework, you research, you drink coffee late into the evening. And just like graduating, there comes a crucial moment at the end of the journey where the agency hands off the assets. This hard-earned diploma might be a new visual identity, a new website, or even just a new logo. As far as the SOW is concerned, the “work” is over — but of course, this is where the real work begins: activation. Sure, you may have a framed degree on the wall, but if you’re not taking active steps to bring those lessons to life,...
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