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Embrace Constraints to Unleash Creativity

Embrace Constraints to Unleash Creativity

Breaking the Conventional Wisdom of Creativity Creativity is often idealized as something that flourishes within a boundless environment and thrives under a lack of regulation. As creative thinkers ourselves, we’ve often fallen into the trap of dreaming of empty days with nothing to do but create, no person or particular task or restriction to attend to, no strict directions to follow…Without rules and impediments, the world of creativity and innovation would be our oyster…right? But, contrary to popular belief, constraint can actually power creativity. HBR, based on 145...
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Branding for Internal Alignment

Branding for Internal Alignment

Much has been written about the power of brand and its role in successful businesses. Brands can help a business build relevance and loyalty, but the process of brand building has value in and of itself. One of the most overlooked advantages of the process is how it can create internal alignment along the way. Uncovering Difficult Truths  Whether we are creating a new brand or refreshing an existing one, our first step is to gain a deep understanding of its dynamics among both internal and external audiences. We examine the various perspectives that exist within an organization through...
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Strengthen Your Health Care Brand During Your Digital Transformation

Strengthen Your Health Care Brand During Your Digital Transformation

Room for Digital Transformation for Health Care Brands You’ve probably had a friend tell you about her amazing physician. But did you ever hear anyone brag about their health insurer? Unlikely. Overall, individuals are pretty happy about the quality of care. What they complain about is customer service. According to the Advisory Board, the top patient complaints include: communication (53%), long wait times (35%), medical practice staff (12%), and billing (2%). Fortunately, powerful organizations—companies who see shortcomings in today’s system—recognize the room for improvement. The...
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How to Prepare for Successful Business Transformations

How to Prepare for Successful Business Transformations

There’s a well-worn saying in business that the only certainty is change, and this year has proven that to be true by exponential levels. Entire industries found themselves faced with the need to plan and transform their businesses in the face of tremendous unknowns. Now, as we enter September of 2020, with the initial abrupt disruptions behind us, what does it mean to look ahead, and begin planning for the future? Business transformation matters now more than ever and agility and forward-thinking scenario planning have never been more important. Building a Roadmap for the Future in Times of...
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Navigating Between Good and Bad Failure

Navigating Between Good and Bad Failure

Silicon Valley loves the idea of failure. In the world of tech startups, messing up is practically a religion. People wield that Samuel Beckett quote – try again, fail again, fail better – like it’s a Louisville Slugger. As Adrian Daub writes, “People take jobs and lose them, and go on to a new job. People create products that no one likes, and go on to create another product. People back companies that get investigated by the SEC, and go on to back other companies. In Silicon Valley, it seems, there is no such thing as a negative experience.” But the thing is, not all types of failures are...
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Designing and Maintaining an Emergent Brand

Designing and Maintaining an Emergent Brand

When the Emotive Brand design team creates a brand system, we design it to last for many years. In order for a brand system to last that long, it needs to be consistent with a specific core idea, yet flexible enough to grow over time in order to accommodate changes in the landscape, growth into new sectors, building out sub-brands, etc. Let’s explore two different methodologies in conducting brand design and the end result of each: modernist design and emergent design. Modernist Design: One Solution Modernist design methodology is built on the practice of digging to find the golden nugget of...
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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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