How to Get the Most Out of Strategic Messaging
Traditional Messaging Isn’t Working For as long as people have communicated, we’ve had messaging. Many of the most well-known messengers are religious figures — the usual suspects like Moses, Muhammad, and Jesus. In business, messaging has always been part of some corporate function like marketing, communications, or investor relations. Messaging is not going away. What’s changed is the way we communicate. We and other agencies have for years delivered messaging in a one-page, multilevel framework. While still useful, these one-page grids are no longer valuable tools on their own. So we’re...Read more >
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...Read more >
Why It Pays to Aim High: Reflections on the Inauguration
I’ve not always been American. I moved to the United States at the age of 13, reluctantly at first, because who wants to move anywhere at age 13? But in a very short time, and especially by the time I started college, I was fully bought into the proposition of America. At the tender age of 17, my friends back in the UK were finishing their A-levels and already having to close the aperture on their future careers by declaring what they would study at University. I, on the other hand, was looking at a veritable smorgasbord of classes and majors offered by Barnard and Columbia Colleges—two...Read more >
Branding Project: Do You Actually Want Something Bold?
Make it Bold There is a four-letter word that gets said during every branding project. No, not that one. The word is “bold” and no one knows what it actually means. Perhaps it’s the word’s own sense of daring and fearlessness that has allowed it to march undaunted into every creative brief and client meeting, even when it is not requested. Enterprise software companies want to be bold. Insurance adjuster services want to be bold. Startups and law firms and logistic companies want to be bold. But do they really? What it Is and What it Isn’t Here’s what bold is: it’s uncomfortable. It’s...Read more >
B2B Brands Can Be Emotive and Should Be!
B2B brands deserve the same level of effort as their B2C counterparts We were talking with someone the other week about emotive branding and they said, “Sounds great for consumer brands, but I can’t see it working for a B2B brand.” Well, we begged to differ! Indeed, we believe B2B brands have tremendous opportunities to differentiate and grow their businesses based on an emotive proposition. Note that we didn’t say an “emotional” proposition. Through “emotive” propositions we talk about B2B brands that reach out to people in a way that not only...Read more >
Mission, Vision, and Values: But First, Executive Alignment
Start with Executive Alignment Vision, mission, and values give a company direction. They describe what a company stands for and what it doesn’t. Solid mission, vision, and values statements give guidelines for a brand’s behavior, help distinguish a company from its peers, and serve as a foundation for the brand’s ultimate personality. Without them, a company is rudderless. So, when’s the right time to write these statements? Some companies don’t launch before they have a mission, vision, and values. Others develop them when time allows. With COVID-19 changing so many things from the way we...Read more >
Unwrap a Moment of Zen: Happy Holidays from Emotive Brand
Whew, what a year. We’ve laughed. We’ve cried. We’ve stared at our own faces during Zoom calls while pretending to follow along. This holiday season, we wanted to give you something that’s been in short supply: a little bit of peace. From all of us here at Emotive Brand, we’re officially giving you permission to turn off your video, mute your anxiety, have a laugh, and (try to) enjoy the holidays. If you’re ready for a different kind of cloud service, click here to clear your mind....Read more >
Challenger Brands: Design that Disrupts
Challenger Creative This post is the last in our three-part series on challenger brands. You can read a general primer to challenger brands or a deep dive into B2B challengers right here. Previously, we chatted about the power of adopting a challenger mindset, how to compete against your category, and what the B2B world can learn from B2C disruptors. In these examples, most of the strategies were internal. It was a question of knowing how to recognize the pressure for change, creating a shared vision, having the capacity to execute, and building out a realistic work plan. But still, the...Read more >
Challenger Brands: B2B Challengers
Continuing the Challenge This post is the second in our three-part series on challenger brands. You can read part one, “Challenger Brands: A Primer,” right here. Previously, we spoke about adopting a challenger mindset. It’s one defined by ambition, agility, and a willingness to take risks. Most importantly, we noted how businesses are no longer competing against each other – they are competing against the category they are in and the expectations of what a customer experience feels like. At a glance, these personality traits naturally lend themselves to the B2C world. Ask anyone to rattle...Read more >
Challenger Brands: A Primer
Are you up to the challenge? Starting today, we’re launching a three-part series on challenger brands — who they are, how they behave, and why your brand could benefit from adopting their disruptive mindset. As this is the first blog in the series, let’s start with the basics. The beginning, as they say, is always a good place to start. What is a challenger brand? “A challenger brand is defined, primarily, by a mindset — it has business ambitions bigger than its conventional resources, and is prepared to do something bold, usually against the existing conventions or codes of the category, to...Read more >
What Generation Z Values From Brands
Just a few years ago, Millennials were the hottest and most talked about generational cohort on the block, driving consumer behavior and value trends in the market. But in 2020, Generation Z has noticeably taken the wheel, accelerating actions and demanding accountability for brands to live and breathe diversity & inclusion, authenticity, and social responsibility. Who is Gen Z and why are they so influential? Gen Z, ages 8-23 today, are true digital natives. The first generation to be fully foreign to life before the digital landscape, Gen Z accounts for 20.46% of the total U.S....Read more >
Brand Campaign: Emotional vs. Emotive Brands – What’s the Difference?
The Power of an Emotional Brand Campaign Have you seen a brand campaign lately that made you laugh? Cry? Smile? There are a lot of campaigns out there that pull at people’s heartstrings. And often the most shared campaigns are the ones that rely heavily on emotional content. As a result, a lot of brands today are hyper-focused on creating emotional advertisements. People rely quite heavily on emotions to make decisions. Anyone in branding today knows this, but just because your brand produces one emotional campaign, doesn’t mean it’s positioned for long-term success. Today, to really connect...Read more >
Are You Rethinking Your Logo Design?
So you need to rebrand, but you’re attached to your current logo. You worked hard to get your logo crafted and have likely spent a few fond years building equity into it. The thought of changing your logo might sting, it might even make you a little nauseous. Not only the tactical work of changing out all of your swag, marketing collateral, event assets, PowerPoint presentations, etc. But also that anxious feeling of “What if the new logo isn’t as good?” First, you need to understand what role the logo plays in a brand system. The logo represents the core of your business. It’s the...Read more >
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...Read more >
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...Read more >