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VR: Gaining Momentum as We Enter 2017

VR: Gaining Momentum as We Enter 2017

Rising Normalcy in 2016 2016 was a big year for virtual reality. Facebook’s Oculus Rift and Oculus Touch released this week. HTC’s Vive and Sony’s PlayStation VR made a splash. Google’s Cardboard and Samsung’s Gear VR kept progressing in mobile. And although there are bigger years to come, this year indicated a rising normalcy around VR. Deloitte Global predicts VR will reach a billion dollars in profits by the end of the year, and by 2020 the VR industry is expected to have shipped 30 million headsets globally. VR dominated the discussion at SXSW this year – indicating that virtual reality...
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The BackLash Against Black Friday: Less Spending, More Purpose

The BackLash Against Black Friday: Less Spending, More Purpose

A Big Deal It’s no secret that to many consumers and companies alike, Black Friday is the most important shopping day of the entire year. And this year proved no different. Millions of shoppers prepared to wait in line for hours – camping on sidewalks, rushing through doors at the crack of dawn, and sometimes even literally clawing at each other to get what they want – discounts, new goods, more, more, more… In 2015, 74 million shoppers shopped on Black Friday, and this year, even more shoppers were counted. For many companies, online sales are exponentially larger than on any other day of...
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What Media Means to Brands in the Digital Age

What Media Means to Brands in the Digital Age

Blurred Lines in Media If anything is for sure, the role of media is in constant flux. Consider what it meant to people before the entrance of social media, or even pre-Internet. In so many ways, user-generated content and social platforms have altered the meaning of media as we know it. And because of the endless messages, mediums, and messengers, it means different things to different people – as well as different things to different brands today. The lines between content and advertising are unclear. And media no longer has to be professionally produced to go viral. News outlets are only...
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The Power of Saying Thank You

The Power of Saying Thank You

’Tis the Season for Thank You The Thanksgiving season is the perfect time to not only reflect on what we’re thankful for, but also, to consider the power of saying ‘thank you’. For businesses, it’s a time to think about how to show appreciation for employees, customers, partners, and stakeholders alike. Caught Up in Business For many reasons, ‘thank you’ isn’t said enough. It’s easy to get wrapped up in daily business obstacles, work dynamics, or simply, an overloaded email box. It’s natural to get sucked into our own business-as-usual worlds. But as a result, many people find themselves...
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2016 Design Trends

2016 Design Trends

2016 Design Trends: Observations and Thoughts “As long as the work is appropriate, distinctive, and (ideally) emotive, you won’t go far wrong. Trends come and go, again and again. If you try to avoid what’s popular today, you’ll probably find yourself creating something that was popular ten or twenty years ago. Stick to the brief, and only show your best ideas to the client.” – David Airey, Graphic Designer Aware and Informed Disclaimer: As designers, we take trends seriously. Not to follow, but to ensure we are acutely aware of the trends that are shaping the world we live and design in....
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Today’s CMO: What It Takes to Drive Growth

Today’s CMO: What It Takes to Drive Growth

We work with CMOs every day, developing strategy and positioning businesses to enable growth and build brand strength from within their organizations. We have seen a role shift for CMOs over the past few years and have deep empathy for these leaders as they look to keep pace with an ever changing set of skills – more complex and more digital by the day. Because we have a front row seat of today’s CMO, we see more and more of our clients responsible for delivering both top line revenue and profit. CMOs are not only expected to keep pace with the changing digital landscape, but also...
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Female CEOs We Admire and Why

Female CEOs We Admire and Why

The Gender Gap It’s no secret that gender disparities and inequalities still exist. And gender inequality in the workplace today goes beyond the pay gap. The wage gap has narrowed to less than 5%, but this isn’t enough. 59% of women still feel like they have fewer opportunities because of their gender. 88% of women say they feel as though they are addressed differently than male colleagues. And only 4.2% of CEOs in America’s fortune 500 are women. And as a company with two female CEOs, we are acutely aware of this and believe in closing this gap. We thought it a fit time to celebrate some of...
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Building the Business Case for your Rebrand Project

Building the Business Case for your Rebrand Project

Recognizing the Need for a Change Why build a business case for your rebrand? You know when your business needs one. There are lots of warning signs that indicate the need for a new brand. Whether it’s new, high-performing competition, an outdated look and feel, uninspired employees, dropping engagement and productivity within the workplace, trouble recruiting or retaining top talent, or a brand that’s simply fallen behind its own positioning, you need a change. Often those in HR and marketing are the first to notice the need for a change. The current brand is just no longer doing the work...
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Brand Strategy: What is the Role of B2B Branding?

Brand Strategy: What is the Role of B2B Branding?

What is the role of B2B branding? How is it different from sales and marketing? Why should B2B enterprises be adopting purpose-driven brand strategies? What benefits will they accrue by adapting themselves to the changing requirements of the Purpose Economy? It’s no longer business-as-usual in the B2B marketplace. Long-held beliefs are giving way to new opportunities. Many of the reliable tools of the past are no longer as effective as they used to be. All of this is prompting more and more B2B leaders to explore the idea of transforming their businesses into purpose-driven enterprises....
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Why Investing in Brand Enables Growth for Professional Services

Why Investing in Brand Enables Growth for Professional Services

Professional service companies, categorized as mid-market, might be looking towards 2017 with a bit of trepidation. According to the National Center for the Middle Market 3Q 2016 Indicator, business growth has been identified as a top challenge for these firms. And mid-market or not, business growth is a real challenge for every sector of professional services in today’s hyper-competitive economy. The Role of Brand in Professional Services Even when personal brands are strong, as they often are for professional services, an overarching brand is necessary. Your brand is your firm’s most...
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Co-Founders On Brand Strategy Today

Co-Founders On Brand Strategy Today

Co-founders, Bella Banbury and Tracy Lloyd, weigh in on what matters in brand strategy today. It’s important to remember that, in the end, the age-old question is always the same. Client needs all come down to “How do we differentiate our brand?” It’s just the way people ask the question and the way we answer the question that evolves. Here’s what we’ve been seeing more specifically in the market: 1.Heightened attention around data security: Since 2016 was all about using data, now it’s all about safely storing and accessing that data. Gartner predicts that by 2018, 50% of business ethics...
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Why Millennials Love These Brands

Why Millennials Love These Brands

Millennials: Center Stage for Brands Millennials now represent the largest group of consumers within the U.S., and thriving brands today are highly aware of this. When millennials are wielding over $170 billion per year in purchasing power, there’s no ignoring this group of consumers. Brands don’t win over millennials easily. In fact, in many ways, they hold higher expectations of the businesses they work for, the brands they buy from, and pledge loyalty to. Big Demands Millennials stand at the forefront of technology – demanding that brands offer more efficiency, innovation,...
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Why Lack of Internal Alignment May Be Holding Back Your Business

Why Lack of Internal Alignment May Be Holding Back Your Business

When Internal Alignment Is Holding Back Your Business The sky’s the limit. The future is full of opportunities. Until internal alignment becomes a dark cloud that prevents your business aspirations from being realized. What happens when the brand is ready to grow and thrive, but there is no internal alignment from leadership about where the business is going? Nothing. The brand is paralyzed by competing visions and nothing happens. And a lack of decision making due to misaligned leadership is a problem that will hold up your business. Strategy Without Alignment A brand strategy is hard work...
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How Creative Design Brings Strategy to Life for Businesses

How Creative Design Brings Strategy to Life for Businesses

Embarking on a brand strategy project is an investment. We know it takes dedication, time, resources, planning, and a collaborative, open mindset. And in order to get true value from a strategy project, businesses have to be able to clearly explain the strategy, its meaning, and its value to people across their organization. This is where the power of creative design comes into play. Powerful Strategy Isn’t Just a Deck A strategy that simply sits in a presentation deck with a small group of people holds no real value for your business – no matter how smart the strategy is. It needs to come...
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Brand Narrative is a Necessary Part of Brand Strategy

Brand Narrative is a Necessary Part of Brand Strategy

Here we explore the brand narrative as a key element of brand strategy, by explaining what constitutes a brand narrative, demonstrating how it supports the overall brand strategy, and showing the brand scenarios which call for a strong brand narrative. What is a brand narrative? A brand narrative is a central building block of a meaningful brand strategy. It is built upon the insights and information gleaned during the kickoff process, with a particular focus on the business-related shifts the brand seeks to make. A brand narrative contains five elements: Truths – four to five high-level...
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