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This Is Not Another Blog Post: The Power of Differentiation

This Is Not Another Blog Post: The Power of Differentiation

Somewhere in a humid conference room right now, someone is adding the phrase “disrupt the status quo” to a bulleted list titled “our values.” Can you smell the whiteboard marker? Can you hear the crackled audio of the one remote employee dialing in to suggest that we “shatter the status quo,” since the word “disrupt” is so overdone? I’ve been there, you’ve been there, you might be there right now. One thing we all know deep down as we finish our third coffee of the morning: this is not how you differentiate your business, brand, or culture in a meaningful way. You can’t just say, “I’m not...
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Why Curiosity Fuels Business Innovation

Why Curiosity Fuels Business Innovation

Where’s the Curiosity? Children thrive on curiosity. People grow up asking questions. Many young children ask “Why?” almost excessively, wanting explanations for everything—unafraid to ask, always curious, and fiercely inquisitive. Why? They are in a phase of intense learning, absorbing information, and widening their capacity for new information at a rapid pace. But studies have found that curiosity peaks at around age four or five and takes a steady decline from there. As people grow up, they become more self-conscious, more fearful about asking questions, and are increasingly...
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How to Hire the Right Branding Agency

How to Hire the Right Branding Agency

The Business Case for Hiring a Branding Agency In all the years of working with tech companies, we have heard the same story time and time again about the trials and tribulations of VPs and marketing executives trying to secure a budget to invest in hiring a branding agency with limited success. On top of that, how to hire the right agency can be just as confusing. We hear about them making strong and compelling business cases to invest in the brand to leadership teams and hitting a wall. It happens at every budget cycle, management meeting, and discussion around disappointment in growth,...
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Adopt a Growth Mindset to Drive Business

Adopt a Growth Mindset to Drive Business

Growth vs. Fixed MindsetWe believe an organization that adopts a growth mindset can position itself to thrive. But what exactly defines a growth mindset?At Emotive Brand, we define a growth mindset as a set of attitudes and behaviors that reflect the belief that an individual’s talent is not set in stone. Talent can be developed. Intelligence can be fostered. Creativity and innovation can be strengthened. Leaders can emerge. People hold potential.This means every employee within an organization has to have the ability to develop, grow, and learn. And organizations who believe this seek out...
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A Designer’s Guide to a Successful First Presentation

A Designer’s Guide to a Successful First Presentation

Presentation Is Everything The Emotive Brand design team had the pleasure of attending First Round San Francisco, a one-day showcase of original client presentations showing initial design explorations for logo, identity, and branding projects. Twelve different design studios presented on a variety of client projects – everything from a global healthcare non-profit to a menstrual cup company. The crowd was filled with eager designers – some from design studios, others from tech companies, and some freelancers. We’ve gathered a few key takeaways – a checklist of sorts – to make sure all the...
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Turn Your Instagram Into a Playground for Experimentation

Turn Your Instagram Into a Playground for Experimentation

Instagram is incredible. All in one app, you can feel jealous of other people’s lives, hungry for other people’s food, and intimidated by other people’s makeup routines. When it comes to brand strategy agencies and design studios, Instagram tends to be used for either sharing polished client work or photos of employee’s dogs (equally important). But more and more, we’re seeing studios break out from the norm and utilize the platform as a playground for design experimentation. Turning the web into their own personal focus group, agencies are sharing weird sketches, creative side projects, and...
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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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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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Five Ways a Meaningful “Why” Creates a Compelling Workplace Experience

Five Ways a Meaningful “Why” Creates a Compelling Workplace Experience

Our experience shows that many brands have been crafted with only the customer in mind and that the resulting “customer experience” does not in any way parallel the “workplace experience.” As a result, the brand – as it is now articulated – is relatively meaningless internally. We believe every brand has a meaningful “why” hidden within. This hidden “why” is powerful because it can do as much internally as it can externally. Our job is to dig that out and shed new light on it, all with the ambition of delivering these five benefits. 1. Increase...
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If You Want People to Fill Out Surveys, Make Them Beautiful

If You Want People to Fill Out Surveys, Make Them Beautiful

Two true things about decision-making in business: 1) You should collect information from all the key stakeholders regarding their thoughts, feelings, hopes, and expectations. 2) People hate filling out surveys about their thoughts, feelings, hopes, and expectations. In an ideal world, there would always be enough time to conduct qualitative data in-person through one-on-one interviews or focus groups. Everyone would feel heard and everyone would have a voice at the table, which would be perfectly reflected in the end product. Unfortunately, we live in this world; the one where you’re...
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Blurring the Line Between Physical and Digital

Blurring the Line Between Physical and Digital

What’s better: shopping online or in-person? Short answer: yes. We’re in a new type of era where the spheres between online and off are blurry, interconnected, and strengthen one another. We’re all trying to meet the consumer where they are. If they can interact in both spaces indiscriminately, shouldn’t your brand? “Phygital” is the concept of using technology to bridge the digital world with the physical world with the purpose of providing a unique interactive experience for the user. While the buzzword is relatively new (and awful), many of the technologies required to fuse a...
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Defining What a Brand Is: Why Is It So Hard?

Defining What a Brand Is: Why Is It So Hard?

The History of Brand A lot of people – even those in branding – struggle with answering the question: So what’s a brand, anyway? The term “brand” first emerged more than half a century ago as a way for cattle ranchers to identify their animals. In the late 1880s, packaged goods like Coca-Cola started taking off. Brands were used to differentiate them from the generic competition. But as branding progressed, marketers realized there was more to the brand of Coca-Cola than just a non-generic name. David Ogilvy, the “Father of Advertising,” defined brand as “the intangible sum of a product’s...
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A Mid-Year Check-Up Across Business, Brand, and Culture

A Mid-Year Check-Up Across Business, Brand, and Culture

The half-way point of the year is always ripe for reflection. We all survived Q1, the budget isn’t completely spent yet, and with any luck, we’ll live to see Q3. It’s a perfect time to kick the tires of your business, brand, and culture. What’s working? What’s failing? How can you fail better? How can you push things forward and end the year on a meteoric rise instead of a trickle? Let’s run a brief diagnostic check. 1. How is your brand positioning? Are you top of mind? Is it clear, competitive, differentiated? Maybe your sales have declined, your targeted audience has shifted, or your...
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Bridging the False Divide Between B2B and B2C

Bridging the False Divide Between B2B and B2C

Business is made of people trying to sell each other things. That’s it. And yet, there is still this massive gulf between business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C). You feel it immediately in the design and language used. You don’t need a branding vocabulary to know when you’re seeing a B2B ad, because it will probably feature code, a weird bar chart, and copy like, “Adding code coverage with Slather to Zendesk’s iOS SDK build.” Here’s what I want to know: high-level B2B decision-makers are still people – people with hearts, minds, and feelings who make decisions based on...
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The Myth of Likability and Other Lessons from Font

The Myth of Likability and Other Lessons from Font

Last month, we were visited by the good folks at Dalton Maag, an independent font foundry with offices in London and São Paulo, Brazil. They make type for branding, retail, and corporate clients that perform beautifully across print and digital environments. After running us through some of their work, including an amazing demonstration of variable fonts – responsive type that can store multiple variations of a type family into a single font file – we got into a discussion on the differences between three components of evaluating type: legibility, readability, and likability. And what we...
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