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The Value of Outside Creativity on In-House Work

The Value of Outside Creativity on In-House Work

As an agency, we have the benefit of outside perspective on client work. Our distance allows us to see situations with a more objective lens. But what happens when we get too close to our own work or get caught in a creative slump? As Design Director Robert Saywitz tells us, sometimes the best solution to in-house problems is outside inspiration. We sat down to discuss how his background in illustration, graphic novels, and mixed-media informs his design thinking. Tell us a bit about your artistic practices. I do a little bit of everything: painting, drawing, ink, mixed-media works on paper,...
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A 5-Step Action Plan for Sales and Marketing Alignment

A 5-Step Action Plan for Sales and Marketing Alignment

B2B Sales and Marketing Alignment 2.0 A former colleague of mine just started a job where she was required to stand up and deliver a sales presentation to the sales leadership team. That wouldn’t be unusual for a new salesperson – but she’s a marketer. And the experience of walking in the sales team’s shoes made her a better one. B2B companies talk a lot about sales and marketing alignment, but talk will only get you so far. Companies need to take action to get their sales and marketing teams empathizing with each other, strategizing together, and working from the same playbook. It’s a...
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Branding Agency, Emotive Brand, Turns 10 Years Old: An Interview with Bella Banbury

Branding Agency, Emotive Brand, Turns 10 Years Old: An Interview with Bella Banbury

Last week, Emotive Brand, Oakland-based branding agency celebrated its ten-year anniversary. To mark the occasion, we sat down with Co-Founder Bella Banbury to discuss her experience starting a business with her best friend, the importance of culture, and what it will take to be successful moving forward. What accomplishments are you most proud of? Ten years ago, Tracy Lloyd and I were working together at another agency that abruptly closed its doors. We found ourselves unexpectedly without jobs and we needed a plan. So, on the first day of our newfound freedom, we met for breakfast at the W...
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What Does the Agency of the Future Look Like?

What Does the Agency of the Future Look Like?

Last week, Emotive Brand celebrated its ten-year anniversary. Naturally, the milestone has led all of us here to reflect on the last decade and ask what it will take to continue to be successful moving forward. Today, Founding Partner and Chief Strategy Officer Tracy Lloyd and Creative Director Thomas Hutchings tackle that very question. What does the agency of the future look like? How does it behave? And how do we continue to push the envelope of what’s possible? How have you seen the agency space shift over time? Thomas Hutchings: Gone are the days of real arrogance, where an agency could...
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A Deep Dive into Designing for Accessibility

A Deep Dive into Designing for Accessibility

Today’s blog is about our recent work with the Galt Foundation, an organization that provides, promotes, and expands employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. You can view our full case study here. The following post is available as both a text and audio experience.   Designing for Accessibility Is a Duty, Not an Option As designers, we have the opportunity to create experiences that bring people together, but we also have a responsibility to create work which can be experienced by everyone, regardless of ability. That’s not to say that everyone will perceive or...
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How to Launch a New Brand Category

How to Launch a New Brand Category

Launching A New Brand Category The decision to join an existing category, or to launch a new brand category is not an easy decision. Evaluating your product maturity, the product roadmap, and overall market maturity is critical. Once the decision is made, the strategy shifts to creating the right budget and plan to launch the new brand category. Building momentum is paramount to both the category’s success, and by proxy, your own brand’s position as the category leader. As we’ve previously discussed, timing is critical for launch. You need to consider factors of competition, messaging,...
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Maintaining Brand Relevance in a Fast-Paced World

Maintaining Brand Relevance in a Fast-Paced World

Brand Relevance Amidst New Expectations In a time of constant change and heightened customer expectations, the greatest danger facing most brands today is loss of brand relevance. People are ultra-connected. Markets constantly shift. New trends emerge. Competitors enter and shake things up. And customers expect more from the brands they buy from. As a result, many businesses struggle to stay relevant – trying to get ahead of competition, adapt fast enough, and maintain their position in the market. In order to survive, brands need to evolve in a way that differentiates them from their...
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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. 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 an unknown mystery to most employees. Chances are they learned about the Strategic Plan via an online WebEx,...
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Brand Relevance Is The New Differentiation

Brand Relevance Is The New Differentiation

We believe brands need to stand out, not just by being different, but by being both personally relevant and emotionally important to people. We came across this statement by Elliot Schreiber, Ph.D on his blog “Brand and Reputation” that sums up the key difference between “differentiation” and “relevance”: Relevance is More Important than Differentiation: Business strategists, Marketers and brand managers have been fixated on differentiation. Customers, however, are drawn to relevance – the things that “connect with them emotionally”. As I...
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Why Brand Positioning is Critical to Sustained Growth

Why Brand Positioning is Critical to Sustained Growth

The Power of Brand Positioning Strong brand positioning has a great impact on the success of your business. But many high-growth companies struggle with how best to position themselves and communicate why they matter. Getting this right is hard, but critical. And if you fail at this, your customers won’t know whether to buy from you or your competitors. In short, positioning is the process of distinguishing your brand from your competitors in meaningful ways. It’s about what you offer, what value you deliver, and what place you hold in your target audience’s mind. Defining...
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Will the Future of HR Still Be Human?

Will the Future of HR Still Be Human?

Ironically, the biggest forces shaking up the HR industry these days aren’t human at all. Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and natural language processing (NLP) are all drastically transforming the world of recruiting and hiring. Just look at the Artificial Intelligence Index 2018 Annual Report by Stanford University, which shows that the number of active U.S. startups developing AI systems has increased 14-fold since 2000. There is clearly a hunger for this type of technology, but we’re only just starting to grasp what’s possible with these shiny new toys. While we’ve...
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Getting all the Stakeholders on the Same Page

Getting all the Stakeholders on the Same Page

In America, there is a strong belief that the success or failure of your venture comes down to individual drive. It’s you, and you alone, that can turn the tide in your favor. In reality, as even the most steadfast founders learn, much of your time will be devoted to appeasing external stakeholders. Sometimes, those who know the least about your vision will have the most influence over its chance of survival. Navigating the C-suite requires knowing how to engage stakeholders by building and nurturing relationships. The meaningful enterprise has moved from a transactional foundation — where...
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Let’s Get Political: Can Brands Stand for More Than Profit?

Let’s Get Political: Can Brands Stand for More Than Profit?

These days, when you see a brand trending on Twitter, it can only mean one thing: they got political. Brands aligning themselves with a cause is no new thing, but there’s something about the social media age that makes it electric. Even a low-risk cause, like suggesting that men should aim to be the best versions of themselves, is enough to start hashtag boycotts and video challenges of people destroying their own property. For better or worse, we’re in an era where if people don’t like a particular cause you’ve supported, they will actively search and destroy your ad partnerships. The...
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Brand Salience Is the Lifeline Between You and Your Customers

Brand Salience Is the Lifeline Between You and Your Customers

How Are Purchase Decisions Actually Made? Let’s say you need to buy a toilet brush. You’re at the store with your partner, and they say, “The brushes are just down that aisle, do you mind grabbing one?” Suddenly, you find yourself in front of a wall of toilet brushes. Never in your life have you actively thought about toilet brushes, toilet brush brands, or the state of the toilet brush market. But now, somehow, you find yourself in the position of trying to form an emotional connection to an object that arguably has the worst job in your house. Do you grab the cheapest one? Or maybe just...
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An Audience-Centric Approach to Communications

An Audience-Centric Approach to Communications

The Curse of Knowledge When you work in the business of ideas, things are bound to get complicated. At Emotive Brand, we mainly work with high-growth, B2B tech companies. Our clients are experts at building big, technical, complex systems that solve real human problems. What they aren’t always experts at, however, is explaining those ideas in a way that feels human and approachable. We don’t blame them. It’s something that’s often called “the curse of knowledge.” It’s when you’re so immersed in the universe of your product that you have a hard time remembering the rest of the world hasn’t...
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