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Challenger Brands: B2B Challengers

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...
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Challenger Brands: A Primer

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...
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What Generation Z Values From Brands

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....
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Brand Campaign: Emotional vs. Emotive Brands – What’s the Difference?

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...
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Embrace Constraints to Unleash Creativity

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...
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Branding for Internal Alignment

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...
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Strengthen Your Health Care Brand During Your Digital Transformation

Strengthen Your Health Care Brand During 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 the 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 improvement. The...
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How to Prepare for Successful Business Transformations

How to Prepare for Successful Business Transformations

There’s a well-worn saying in business that the only certainty is change, and this year has proven that to be true by exponential levels. Entire industries found themselves faced with the need to plan and transform their businesses in the face of tremendous unknowns. Now, as we enter September of 2020, with the initial abrupt disruptions behind us, what does it mean to look ahead, and begin planning for the future? Business transformation matters now more than ever and agility and forward-thinking scenario planning have never been more important. Building a Roadmap for the Future in Times of...
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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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Designing and Maintaining an Emergent Brand

Designing and Maintaining an Emergent Brand

When the Emotive Brand design team creates a brand system, we design it to last for many years. In order for a brand system to last that long, it needs to be consistent with a specific core idea, yet flexible enough to grow over time in order to accommodate changes in the landscape, growth into new sectors, building out sub-brands, etc. Let’s explore two different methodologies in conducting brand design and the end result of each: modernist design and emergent design. Modernist Design: One Solution Modernist design methodology is built on the practice of digging to find the golden nugget of...
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How to Find the Right Product-Market Fit

How to Find the Right Product-Market Fit

Since the dawn of man, every entrepreneur believes they have the magical product that is going to change the game, revolutionize the market, blaze the trail, and yes, make the world a better place. It’s the type of hyperbolic startup language we’ve come to quickly identify and dismiss because we know at the end of the day, venture capitalists don’t really back products – they back winning business models. So, how do you skip the tech jargon and get straight to a hair-on-fire business model? There may be no better litmus test than that of the elusive “product-market fit.” Coined by Marc...
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Innovation: You’re Thinking About It Wrong, Part II

Innovation: You’re Thinking About It Wrong, Part II

Let’s Reimagine How to Innovate: A Thought Piece by Robin Goldstein, Part 2 Robin Goldstein has been a part of some great teams learning and thinking about innovation and disruption at companies like Apple, Zoox, multiple startups, and now, the Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign. In this continuing series, she offers her accumulated wisdom around how to reimagine innovation, shift your mindset from ‘what and how’ to ‘why and who’, build the right team, and create a future that isn’t simply the past with fewer bugs. This week is the second installment in her feature. Please keep posted each...
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From Failure to a Future: Bella Banbury on Our Agency’s Plan For Equality and Representation

From Failure to a Future: Bella Banbury on Our Agency’s Plan For Equality and Representation

A Note From Bella Banbury, Co-Founder, On Equality and Representation. Six weeks ago, following a weekend of protest and unrest in response to the murder of George Floyd in the hands of the police, I facilitated our weekly Monday morning team meeting. I did a terrible job. Aiming to facilitate a meaningful dialogue around what action we should take, I stumbled through the conversation not finding the right words or actions to address our team. The meeting ended, we agreed to make a donation to the BLM movement, and simply proceeded with business as usual. That was a failure. As I look back,...
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