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Talking Purposeful, Global Leadership in a COVID-19 World: Interview with Emily Chang, Senior Executive

Talking Purposeful, Global Leadership in a COVID-19 World: Interview with Emily Chang, Senior Executive

An Interview with Senior Executive, Emily Chang: Purpose and Profit, Meaningful Global Leadership, Commercialization, Innovation, and Mentorship in a COVID-19 World We sat down with Emily Chang, a Senior Executive with 20 years of global experience in Customer Experience, Business Strategy, Cross-Cultural Team Leadership, Change Management & Organizational Renewal, and Brand Building at enterprise organizations such as P&G, Apple, IHG, and Starbucks. Emily is in the midst of writing a book that focuses on ideas of purposeful leadership, community, and culture. In this interview, she...
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Kick the Door Down with Your Brand Manifesto

Kick the Door Down with Your Brand Manifesto

Building a successful brand can feel like building a ship in a bottle. There are so many delicate and interlocking pieces to monitor and keep safe within a defined system. It’s a process that rewards research, meticulousness, measuring twice, and cutting once. Yet in nearly every project I’ve been part of, there comes a time when the kid’s gloves come off. People get restless, get sick of being extra careful, and want to kick the door down with their idea. Maybe everything feels technically right, but nothing is resonating in an impactful way. The fact is, when it’s time to go to market,...
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Talking Marketing Strategies in a COVID-19 World: Interview with Joshua Schnoll, Marketing VP

Talking Marketing Strategies in a COVID-19 World: Interview with Joshua Schnoll, Marketing VP

An Interview with a VP of Marketing: Marketing Strategies, Growth, Innovation, & Teamwork in a COVID-19 World We sat down with Joshua Schnoll, VP of Marketing at AppDirect, a subscription commerce platform that gives businesses the freedom to grow, to talk about marketing strategies in a COVID-19 world and beyond. Joshua shares insights and thoughts on how strategy has shifted, the implications of this time on growth, brand, innovation, and teamwork, as well as what kind of mindset leaders should be adopting as this crisis continues to unfold. Obviously, our world has been greatly...
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Return on Meaning: Five Evaluation Criteria for Your Business

Return on Meaning: Five Evaluation Criteria for Your Business

Brands Rooted in Meaning Win Big Return on meaning for businesses and brands is a compelling notion. In today’s competitive world, it’s hard to stand out in ways that matter to people. This is why savvy leaders are taking a different approach to brand strategy. They are embracing the ideals of purpose and meaning. They are creating newer, deeper, and more enduring connections with the people vital to their brand’s success, both within and outside their organizations. In this approach, the keys to success are honesty and authenticity. In other words, the meaningful claims...
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The Meaningful Workplace: Employee Engagement for the 21st Century

The Meaningful Workplace: Employee Engagement for the 21st Century

The meaningful workplace is an idea which seeks to address many of the pain points businesses are feeling as they try to get their enterprises fit for the future. This white paper will set out the advantages of building a purposeful, values-driven workplace with a meaningful culture that better balances the needs of both the employer and the employee.  It will explore how businesses can reach out to their employees on a new and more engaging human level that reduces the static inherent in typical company/employee interactions.  It will argue that when senior management seeks more meaningful...
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Brand Strategy for Turbulent Times

Brand Strategy for Turbulent Times

Business is in Flux Brand strategy matters now more than ever. COVID-19 is a health crisis first, but also, an economic one. Many businesses that we work with are feeling uneasy about the current economic situation and the long-term effects of COVID-19 on business. Financial markets are no doubt showing extreme symptoms. There is an unignorable sense of shutdown and although the world has faced other economic crises before, this time is different. Business leaders, VC funders, investors, consumers, and employees are unsure how long this will last and to what extent they must shift...
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Emotional and Meaningful Brand Connections Matter Right Now

Emotional and Meaningful Brand Connections Matter Right Now

The Time for Emotion and Meaning Is Now Battling the arduous winds of COVID-19 will take more than a shift in your communications. It will require a real change in behavior. Right now, people are experiencing a whole slew of complex and contradictory emotions. Some of these feelings are ephemeral and are changing every day; others like uncertainty are staying around for the time being. So to truly connect with people where they are, you have to speak their emotional language. That’s why having your brand behave in a more emotionally charged way and putting the focus on building truly...
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Transforming Business Through Empathy

Transforming Business Through Empathy

Empathy and Business? Some say no, we say yes. There are many factors that add meaning and purpose to a brand, and they all stem from a single source: empathy. Empathy is the ability to walk in another person’s shoes. That is, to see and experience the world from a perspective different from your own. Here we explore how empathy plays a vital role in shifting brands from a bland and vulnerable position to one that is robust in meaning and purpose. Empathy as a driver of brand strategy When you’re close-in to a business’s daily operations it’s hard to see how your brand is perceived by the...
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Fast Forward Your Narrative: Crafting Your Response to COVID-19

Fast Forward Your Narrative: Crafting Your Response to COVID-19

Crafting your response to Covid-19 As recognition sets in that the COVID-19 crisis will not be short-lived, companies must respond appropriately by communicating in ways that are empathetic and relevant, contextually aware, human and sensitive. Leaders, brand stewards, and their teams must be extremely focused, keep up with the new normal of uncertainty, and have the ability to rapidly re-evaluate what their company stands for, how it communicates, and why it matters. Making sure your Corporate Narrative resonates with customers, partners, and employees requires an agile strategy and clear...
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A Letter From Our CEO

A Letter From Our CEO

These are the words I shared with our team at our last in-person meeting before we air-hugged our goodbyes until who knows when. Our carefully thought-out plans for 2020 were instantaneously put on hold as COVID-19 took its grip. Like everyone else, we’re now creating plans for the unknown, but our approach to this pandemic is the same approach we’ve always practiced as a business. People first, empathy always. Every decision we make is made through the lens of: what is the right thing to do for our people? Our employees, clients, partners, friends, and families? I believe there has never...
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Adopting a Human Mindset

Adopting a Human Mindset

Over the past weeks, we’ve transitioned to a new life at home, the place where everything now happens with little exception; a blurred, ever-shifting diagram dividing work, our relationships, family life, and rest. In this way, coronavirus has become the great equalizer. The pandemic has also clarified the differences between how we live our lives and the support we’re able to receive, or not. It has swiftly and single-handedly altered our needs as people. It has forced us to prioritize what matters most and accept what’s out of reach. As a result, we have competing practical needs;...
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Cultivating Empathy: Essential in Uncertain Times

Cultivating Empathy: Essential in Uncertain Times

Empathy in Uncertain Times These days, everything feels unsettled. We’ve watched travel discontinue, lively offices expeditiously shift to remote work, restaurants and small businesses shut their doors, cities still and quiet, as the landscape of our global economy shifts on a daily basis. Recognition that this COVID-19 state of living, working, and doing business will not be ephemeral is settling in. We’re seeing first hand as our clients are forced to quickly adapt—make swift decisions, innovate new solutions, and reimagine the way they’ve always done business. It’s clear that the weight...
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Global Growth, Local Success: Your Employer Brand Can Do Both

Global Growth, Local Success: Your Employer Brand Can Do Both

Level Setting: Employer Branding Is a Must-Have As a brand agency whose work revolves around transforming business by changing how people feel about brands, we’re naturally true believers in the impact of employer branding. We think of employer brand as the practice of ensuring a company’s external branding efforts are supported by a corresponding and complementary internal brand that speaks to current and prospective employees. When companies do succeed at successfully articulating an emotionally meaningful proposition of what it means to work for their company, recruitment, retention, and...
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Do You Guys Do Messaging?

Do You Guys Do Messaging?

Do You Guys Do Messaging? When clients ask us to share our ‘typical’ brand strategy process, we are careful to respond that there is no typical process as all client needs truly are different. The right-for-this-client scope of work comes as a result of a deep process of inquiry into our clients’ circumstances, budget tolerance, depth and expertise of team, and an assessment of what we think they will need to really make their brand perform in the market. Invariably, the question comes, “what about messaging, do you guys do that?” Indeed, what about messaging? A classic component of the...
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Shedding Ego in The Branding Process

Shedding Ego in The Branding Process

As creatives, we believe deeply in our craft and put ourselves fully into what we make. Our humor, our creativity, our problem-solving gets baked into the product. So, when work is rejected, it can feel like you’re being rejected. Add tight deadlines and multiple projects to the mix, and emotions are even higher. The key to keeping a level head is all about leaving your ego at the door and keeping a healthy authorial distance between maker and product. This is a guide for designers of all skill levels, clients, strategists—anyone taking part in the design process. Assume Good If...
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