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Employer Branding Trends for 2020

Employer Branding Trends for 2020

Today, we’re continuing our deep dive into the most important trends affecting your business, brand, and culture heading into 2020. Following our look at content strategy, let’s examine employer brands. Remember when the common sentiment toward millennials was laden with disgust? Who were those entitled young people and their outrageous demands for flexibility, remote working, and—gasp—having a greater purpose in work than making money? It wasn’t that long ago, but oh how the tides have changed. Now, as we all know, those “millennial” demands have not just become normalized, but meeting them...
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Content Strategy Trends for 2020

Content Strategy Trends for 2020

As the decade winds down to a close, we’re taking a look at the most important trends affecting your business, brand, and culture heading into 2020. First up, we’re examining all things content strategy: tone, technology, and personalization. Let’s do it. Mobile > Everything Else The simple truth is if it doesn’t work on mobile, it doesn’t work. There can be no compromise when it comes to the look, feel, or content strategy of the mobile experience—considering it is the dominant experience. In 2020, even more emphasis will be placed on increasing mobile user interaction. If your...
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Accessible Design Must Be the Rule, Not the Exception

Accessible Design Must Be the Rule, Not the Exception

In the nascent days of computing, the highly sought after feature we now call “dark mode” was the standard. Cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors got their green-on-black look from the phosphor inside of the screens. While this technology was long-ago abandoned, dark themes have re-entered the zeitgeist as the latest “new innovation.” “It’s thoughtfully designed to make every element on the screen easier on your eyes,” Apple claimed in its announcement of the feature for iOS 13. But here’s the thing: there’s no real evidence that’s true. For people with astigmatisms (approximately 50%...
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Stop Worrying About Getting Attention and Start Paying Attention

Stop Worrying About Getting Attention and Start Paying Attention

The most valuable currency in the world is the fact you’re reading this right now. Your attention is like a scarce mineral and companies will blast mountains with dynamite for the tiniest trace element of it. It’s safe to say we live in the attention economy. In exchange for everything being “free,” we have transitioned from being customers to the product. The phrase “time is money” has always rung true, but never before has it been so monetized or measured. As a result, naturally, brands desperately want to know one thing above all else: how do we get attention? How do we differentiate, go...
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Don’t Let Your Product Ruin Your Brand

Don’t Let Your Product Ruin Your Brand

It’s a tale as old as time. You can’t sell product without a brand; you can’t sell brand without a product. Product designers and brand designers are sometimes viewed as adversarial disciplines, but in truth, both sides are working toward the same goal with different tools. But what’s the right balance? And how can you get the best of both worlds? To begin, a bit of level-setting. Product Designers Product design is commonly defined as the approach to building a new product from start to finish. This encompasses market research, identifying problems, product development, designing informed...
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Eight Questions to Evaluate the Strength of Your Brand

Eight Questions to Evaluate the Strength of Your Brand

Do you ever wonder about the strength of your brand? And its impact on your business? Do you monitor it and measure it? Do you evaluate it like you do for your business? If you wanted to know how it’s doing, would you even know what questions to ask? We’ve put together a quick diagnostic test to help CEOs assess when it’s time to for a strategic brand check-up. Eight Questions to Ask Yourself to Evaluate the Strength of Your Brand Does your company have a purpose that your employees live up to every day? Is it meaningfully activated in your corporate strategy, inspiring how your business...
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What Makes a Perfect Concept Statement?

What Makes a Perfect Concept Statement?

Over the course of a branding project, there are thousands of micro-decisions to make along the way. As much as possible, agencies try to establish a common way of seeing and evaluating work to minimize decision fatigue. In our case, we create an Emotional Impact and a Brand Idea. We start by identifying four emotions we want to evoke in our target audiences, and then craft a big idea that brings these emotions to life across business, brand, and culture. The thing is, as much as you try to establish frameworks and lenses and litmus tests, you can only ask a client to hold so much in their...
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Three Key Advantages of a Strong Brand Strategy

Three Key Advantages of a Strong Brand Strategy

Active Brand Management A brand strategy can take what people know and believe about your business to new levels. Active brand management takes a valuable asset that may now be largely underused and turns it into a powerful competitive weapon. Regardless of how sophisticated your current approach to branding is, your business has a “brand” today, though you may have acquired it by default. Simply by being active in the marketplace, your business will have accrued a reputation, a level of fame, and a degree of notoriety (for better or worse) with your customers, and within your industry. A...
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Business Imperative: Socializing Strategy

Business Imperative: Socializing Strategy

One of the first things we learn in business is the importance of “having a plan.” Preferably, it should be a strategic plan, complete with milestones, action items, KPIs, and other important measures. This is definitely true. You need to have a plan, and you need to be socializing strategy. As someone who’s been in the consulting game for many years, I can’t count the number of times I’ve sat down with new clients only to discover that while there may, in fact, be a carefully (and expensively) constructed strategic plan, it’s a mystery to most employees. Chances are, they learned...
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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, mission, and value of their business and brand, many leaders end up feeling stuck—trying to figure out how to implement strategies without any real framework to guide these decisions. As a result, employees and middle managers can often suffer. Too often, big-picture questions are dismissed as important, but not necessarily...
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Non-Business Books to Improve Your Brain and Brand

Non-Business Books to Improve Your Brain and Brand

When I worked in a bookstore, I would often help young businesspeople find the books their bosses wanted them to read. This assignment was to help them expand their thinking, get a new perspective, and stand out from the crowd. But invariably, they would always ask for “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” or if they were in sales, “The Art of War.” To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with these titles! But in the words of Haruki Murakami, “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is...
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User-Generated Content and Why You Want to Be a Usage Brand Today

User-Generated Content and Why You Want to Be a Usage Brand Today

Are Users the New Billboards? Historically, brands relied heavily on marketing and advertising to drive awareness and engagement with products and services. But in an era of general mistrust of big corporations, ever-heightening consumer expectations, and a no-bullshit view on unsubstantiated claims, even a killer ad might not be enough to drive your brand forward. That’s why smart and strategic brands realize its customers have the potential to be the biggest trust, credibility, and value builders (or destroyers) out there. And that nailing brand experience today means tapping into the...
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Is Revenue Hiding in Plain Sight? Six Steps to Refocusing on the Customer

Is Revenue Hiding in Plain Sight? Six Steps to Refocusing on the Customer

Leading a B2B organization is a lot like trying to change the wheels on a bike while you’re still riding it. Half of the time, you’re rethinking internal systems and how to assemble them in new ways. The other half, you’re just trying to keep the business running and avoid any major potholes. There are many different ways to drive an organization, but if you’re not thinking about customer experience at every touchpoint, it might be time for a tune-up. Sales, Engineering, or Marketing? If you’re a sales-led organization, you’re primarily focused on revenue, deals, price, and...
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What’s in a Name? An Interview With a Brand Naming Expert

What’s in a Name? An Interview With a Brand Naming Expert

Anthony Shore names things. For 25 years, he has wielded his linguistics and varied marketing background to introduce more than 200 product and company names to the world. Even if you don’t know him from this New York Times Magazine article, you’ve probably come across his work: Fitbit Ionic, Virgin Voyages, and Jaunt to name just a few. From novel descriptors to taglines and slogans, Shore specializes in succinct, inspired brand expressions of six words or fewer. As one of the world’s foremost naming experts, we’re thrilled to partner with him. Today, we sit down with Shore to discuss...
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Introducing the Art of Symbols: How Ancient Symbols Inform Brand Design

Introducing the Art of Symbols: How Ancient Symbols Inform Brand Design

After successfully completing the #100DayProject, Emotive Brand is thrilled to launch the Art of Symbols, a website exploring how ancient symbols inform contemporary brand design. Check it out! The Art of Symbols As previously discussed, the 100DayProject is a free art project started by Lindsay Thomson that takes place online. Every spring, thousands of people all around the world commit to 100 days of exploring their creativity. “It’s a lot to commit to, 100 variations on a theme,” said Jonathan Haggard, Senior Designer. “Just like creating anything, the first 90 are the expected and...
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