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How to Find the Right Product-Market Fit

How to Find the Right Product-Market Fit

Since the dawn of man, every entrepreneur believes they have the magical product that is going to change the game, revolutionize the market, blaze the trail, and yes, make the world a better place. It’s the type of hyperbolic startup language we’ve come to quickly identify and dismiss because we know at the end of the day, venture capitalists don’t really back products – they back winning business models. So, how do you skip the tech jargon and get straight to a hair-on-fire business model? There may be no better litmus test than that of the elusive “product-market fit.” Coined by Marc...
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Innovation: You’re Thinking About It Wrong, Part II

Innovation: You’re Thinking About It Wrong, Part II

Let’s Reimagine How to Innovate: A Thought Piece by Robin Goldstein, Part 2 Robin Goldstein has been a part of some great teams learning and thinking about innovation and disruption at companies like Apple, Zoox, multiple startups, and now, the Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign. In this continuing series, she offers her accumulated wisdom around how to reimagine innovation, shift your mindset from ‘what and how’ to ‘why and who’, build the right team, and create a future that isn’t simply the past with fewer bugs. This week is the second installment in her feature. Please keep posted each...
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From Failure to a Future: Bella Banbury on Our Agency’s Plan For Equality and Representation

From Failure to a Future: Bella Banbury on Our Agency’s Plan For Equality and Representation

A Note From Bella Banbury, Co-Founder, On Equality and Representation. Six weeks ago, following a weekend of protest and unrest in response to the murder of George Floyd in the hands of the police, I facilitated our weekly Monday morning team meeting. I did a terrible job. Aiming to facilitate a meaningful dialogue around what action we should take, I stumbled through the conversation not finding the right words or actions to address our team. The meeting ended, we agreed to make a donation to the BLM movement, and simply proceeded with business as usual. That was a failure. As I look back,...
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The Case for Supreme Honesty as a Precursor to Killer Brand Strategy

The Case for Supreme Honesty as a Precursor to Killer Brand Strategy

Like anybody who’s worked in the industry for longer than two decades, I’ve enjoyed my share of deeply satisfying client engagements across multiple industries. There is one engagement in particular, however, that I will never forget, and not for the right reasons. It will actually go down in the books as one of my worst professional experiences. And this is why. We got fired for being dishonest. Let me explain. I was working for a large branding firm at the time. The kind of branding firm that everyone in the business knows and respects. Not one that often gets fired. We engaged with...
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A Black Perspective On Discomfort, Design, and Doing Something

A Black Perspective On Discomfort, Design, and Doing Something

A Thought Piece from Keyoni Scott, Designer at Emotive Brand. Demanding Change Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, the list goes on and on. The murder of George Floyd has been a trigger for a lot of people to finally stand up and demand change. People are flooding the streets and protesting. Signing petitions and sending emails to government officials. Sparking conversations they used to avoid. Donating money to Black Lives Matter and other impactful groups like Campaign Zero, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the ACLU, Black Visions Collective. Racial...
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Innovation: You’re Thinking About It Wrong

Innovation: You’re Thinking About It Wrong

Let’s Reimagine How to Innovate: A Thought Piece by Robin Goldstein, Part 1 Robin Goldstein has been a part of some great teams learning and thinking about innovation and disruption at companies like Apple, Zoox, multiple startups, and now, the Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign. In this series, she offers her accumulated wisdom around how to reimagine innovation, shift your mindset from ‘what and how’ to ‘why and who’, build the right team, and create a future that isn’t simply the past with fewer bugs. This week is the first installment in her feature. Please keep posted each week for new...
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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 world, it’s important to reconsider the ways you matter to people that are authentic to your brand’s purpose in the larger world. Now is the time to return to core human needs and evaluate where your brand fits in. This is why savvy leaders are taking a different approach to brand strategy. They are embracing the ideals of purpose, empathy, and meaning. They are creating newer, deeper, and more enduring connections with the people vital to their brand’s...
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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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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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