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Aligning Business Strategy to Brand Strategy for Long-term Growth

Aligning Business Strategy to Brand Strategy for Long-term Growth

Planning for Tomorrow We’ve written a lot about the importance of aligning brand and business strategy. But many leaders dismiss the business strategy as something necessary for the brand strategy. However, without understanding where the business is going, the brand can’t help the business grow in strategic ways. Aligning Leadership It’s obvious to work with the marketing team when developing a brand strategy. But gaining clarity on the business strategy can’t happen in a silo. You can’t develop a coherent brand strategy without internal alignment around the business strategy. That means...
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Finally Create Marketing Materials Sales Actually Uses

Finally Create Marketing Materials Sales Actually Uses

Marketing Materials: Is Sales Using Them? If you’re in marketing, you’ve probably created some awesome campaign assets only to find out that the sales team never used them. Or maybe you planned a customer event with a meaty agenda, but no one in Sales sent invites. You spend tons of time creating marketing materials and executing events and campaigns only to find Sales finds no value in them – and doesn’t share them. So how do you create marketing materials Sales actually uses? You work with Sales as much as possible. Know the Sales Strategy First, you’ve got to bring Sales into the...
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The Balancing Act of Creative Direction

The Balancing Act of Creative Direction

The Journey Is the Destination When I was studying fiction at San Francisco State University, I had a professor that used to say, “If you know exactly what you want to write about, then why are you writing it?” It was a soft-ball criticism aimed at a particular kind of writer. Those that came in overconfident, inflexible, and usually with their entire story already mapped out beat for beat. In their rigid defense of what they thought the story should be, they missed the opportunity to truly discover what it is or what it could be. If there’s no journey of discovery, no unanswered questions...
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Is it Time for a Brand Refresh?

Is it Time for a Brand Refresh?

What Got You Here Sometimes it’s hard to recognize that it’s time for a brand refresh. Why embark on a brand refresh if your business is successfully growing? Many high-growth companies grow organically, without any strategic direction. Things takeoff. Your team expands. New offices open. Your product line multiplies. And growth mode may happen without making plans for how the brand will accommodate and flex as the business develops. At these times, decisions are often made that help an internal team manage change. In many cases, this means that some of the key brand components end up...
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To Every Marketing VP: How to Talk About Brand so Your CEO Will Listen

To Every Marketing VP: How to Talk About Brand so Your CEO Will Listen

The Role of VP of Marketing – It’s Not Easy Is VP of Marketing one of the hardest corporate jobs? We think so. As a Marketing VP, you have a set of responsibilities that varies dramatically day-to-day – and company to company. You touch every area of an organization and engage with almost every member of the leadership team to solve your business’s most pertinent problems. People look to you to drive demand gen campaigns, build awareness for products and the overall brand, support sales teams, support the company’s HR, and fuel recruitment efforts. And, of course, no technology marketing job...
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Is Revenue Hiding in Plain Sight? Six Steps to Refocusing on the Customer

Is Revenue Hiding in Plain Sight? Six Steps to Refocusing on the Customer

Leading an organization is a lot like trying to change the wheels on a bike while you’re still riding it. Half of the time you’re rethinking internal systems and how to assemble them in new ways. The other half, you’re just trying to keep the business running and avoid any major potholes. There are many different ways to drive an organization, but if you’re not thinking about customer experience at every touchpoint, it might be time for a tune-up. Sales, Engineering, or Marketing? If you’re a sales-led organization, you’re primarily focused on revenue, deals, price, and market...
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Redefining What It Means to Be a Sustainable Brand in 2018

Redefining What It Means to Be a Sustainable Brand in 2018

An Interesting Time for Sustainability We’ve reached an important pivot in sustainability – one that puts a bit more pressure on businesses and brands to step up and fuel change. As the world sees the negative effects of climate change, water scarcity, species extinction, etc. play out in real time, brands have the opportunity to play a huge role in actively championing better policies, transforming markets, and changing consumer behavior at scale. And many are stepping up to the plate. For example, over 1,200 companies are now calling for a price on carbon, and many, including Unilever, are...
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A Corporate Narrative: Convincing the Skeptics

A Corporate Narrative: Convincing the Skeptics

The Case for a Corporate Narrative CEOs often doubt the necessity of a corporate narrative. As a marketing or sales person, you see messaging and storytelling as strategic tools. But what if they’re only fluffy buzzwords to whomever signs the consultant’s check? How do you convince someone who sees the world in revenue and profit to invest in a positioning process? You speak their language and you support your arguments with numbers. We’ve listed some quantified benefits of a corporate narrative to convince even your toughest negotiators: 1. Drive Corporate Value McKinsey & Company found...
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Health Care Brands: How to Strengthen your Brand While You Wait for Your Digital Transformation

Health Care Brands: How to Strengthen your Brand While You Wait for 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 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...
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Mission, Vision, and Values: But First, Executive Alignment

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. Though timing varies, the most important element in...
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Educate, Activate, Accelerate: Three Tips for Bringing Design to Life

Educate, Activate, Accelerate: Three Tips for Bringing Design to Life

Working on a brand project can feel a lot like being back in school. You do your homework, you research, you drink coffee late into the evening. And just like graduating, there comes a crucial moment at the end of the journey where the agency hands off the assets. This hard-earned diploma might be a new visual identity, a new website, or even just a new logo. As far as the SOW is concerned, the “work” is over — but of course, this is where the real work begins: activation. Sure, you may have a framed degree on the wall, but if you’re not taking active steps to bring those lessons to life,...
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AI and Machine Learning: A Future Forward for Brands?

AI and Machine Learning: A Future Forward for Brands?

The Future, It’s Here: AI and Machine Learning It’s easy to think of an AI-led world as a thing of the future – that movie-like image where robots run hotels, TV ads know your name, and data is more valuable than the gold people ran to California for decades ago. Yes, the future is blurry, exciting, full of fear, and countless unknowns. Yes, it is changing every day – and fast. But the future is happening, now. In fact, AI is already integrated into the way each of us experience brands every day – even if we don’t know it. You wake up in the morning and ask Alexa what the weather is. You...
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Unrealized Business Value? Build It With Brand

Unrealized Business Value? Build It With Brand

Unrealized Business Value If you’re feeling thwarted by business value that’s falling short of its potential, the answer may well lie in your brand. It’s true that brand lives under marketing, not finance. But a sharp, well-aimed brand strategy can address critical business results from lagging market capitalization to margins. At Emotive Brand, we believe that brand isn’t just about what you say. It’s also about how you behave, how you serve each of your audiences, and, fundamentally, what you believe. That means your brand strategy is a foundation you can use to build value holistically,...
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The Power of Debate in Meetings to Drive Business Forward

The Power of Debate in Meetings to Drive Business Forward

Meetings: Valuable or Valueless? What’s more frustrating than sitting through endless meetings and coming out on the other end asking: What was the point of those? As technology introduces even more ways to communicate offline, you would think we’d see the quantity of meetings decreasing. However, the opposite has been shown. Research shows meetings increasing in length and frequency. In the 1960s, executives spent less than 10 hours in meetings. Now, executives spend about 23 hours a week in them. And although no one loves a day jam-packed with meetings, what’s really at the heart of the...
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