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Mindful Leadership Leads to Meaningful Business

Mindful Leadership Leads to Meaningful Business

Mindful Leadership “I believe leaders are most inspiring when their message is deeply personal and yet resonant with the concerns of others.” – Gianpiero Petriglieri, INSEAD There’s a parallel between what makes a strong leader and what defines a meaningful business. As my recent interview with Mindful leaders combine a strong sense of self purpose with a capacity to make that purpose meaningful to others Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior at INSEAD underscores, a key driver of effective 21st Century business leadership will be mindfulness. Mindful...
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Is a Misunderstood Brand Holding Back Your Business?

Is a Misunderstood Brand Holding Back Your Business?

  There’s a price to pay when your brand simply languishes. It’s the cost of lost opportunities. First, you are missing the opportunity to change the way people feel about your brand, and hence, what they can do to make your brand more successful. By people, we mean customers, employees, partners, investors, communities, influencers, and so on…. Indeed, we mean all the people who are vital to your brand’s succcess. It’s their decisions and actions that determine your fate. They think and act based on what they feel. If your brand doesn’t make them...
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The Language of Meaningful Brands

The Language of Meaningful Brands

“Actions speak louder than words.” This adage is at the core of our beliefs about great branding. As we say, our most valuable contribution to a brand’s strategy is nothing but a set of words until the brand and its people act upon them. Indeed, we believe success is only achieved when a brand’s behavior, driven by a purposeful promise, leads to new meaningful outcomes. Of course, language is part of behavior. What brands and their people say is important for the creation of meaningful outcomes. As such, the move toward a more meaningful brand presence invariably calls for new...
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Purpose-Led Brands: Is Purpose Only Created by Adopting a Cause?

Purpose-Led Brands: Is Purpose Only Created by Adopting a Cause?

There is a fantastic post from PR company Edelman on their notion of “purpose”. They see purpose as the next evolution of cause marketing. They point to 1983 as the start of cause marketing, when American Express sponsored the restoration of the Statue of Liberty by having each American Express Card purchase trigger a donation to the cause. They now claim we are in “Cause 4.0”, which leads to what is called “Social Purpose”. This is all about business doing well by doing good, but is it really only cause marketing? We don’t believe that a business...
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Should You Aspire to Have a Meaningful Brand?

Should You Aspire to Have a Meaningful Brand?

The idea o a  “meaningful brand” is taking industry by storm as more and more enterprises look for ways to prevail in the 21st Century, a time of great change and innovation. Should you join this bandwagon? Not before you fully understand what it means to be a meaningful brand, what it entails from an organizational change point of view, and what it can do for your business. Here, we provide top-line answers to a few of the most commonly asked questions. What is a meaningful brand? A brand transcends the market when it decides to look beyond the profit agenda and see its business...
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How Strongly Do People Want Your Brand to Be Meaningful?

How Strongly Do People Want Your Brand to Be Meaningful?

Based on our conversations with brand-owners (including our own clients), brands need to work harder than ever. There are many reasons for this. Brands want to get their employees aligned to a new vision, but their employees are unengaged. Brands want to attract new customers, but can’t find ways to break through the clutter. Brands want to hire good people, but don’t seem to attract people with passion. This list (which goes on and on) speaks to the gap between a brand’s rational business needs and the emotional human desires of people. When brands are self-absorbed, stuck...
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Why Brand Strategy Needs to Start in the C-Suite

Why Brand Strategy Needs to Start in the C-Suite

For brand strategies to have any real traction, they need to be born – at least in spirit – in the C-suite. Here are three reasons why: 1.  Capture and reflect vision The leadership team sets the vision for the enterprise. This vision informs the tone and spirit of the brand strategy. 2.  Engage senior management ownership A new brand strategy is a moment of transformation for the company. As active participants in the development of the brand strategy, senior leadership takes an ownership position in this change process. 3.  Signal senior management buy-in When it is well known...
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The Eighth Deadly Sin of Marketing

The Eighth Deadly Sin of Marketing

Image by Tom Fishbourne. The eighth deadly sin is “indifference”. Indifference to the changing values, needs, interests and aspirations of the people formerly known as consumers. Indifference to their need to be connected to meaningful ideas. Indifference to their desire to do meaningful things.Indifference to the fact that people matter more than budgets, promotions, social media, etc., etc. In our paper, “The Meaning Gap”, we explore how the interests of businesses, and the people formerly known as employees, are going in separate directions. We also explore the consequences...
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Is Your Brand’s Biggest Threat…Your Brand?

Is Your Brand’s Biggest Threat…Your Brand?

  Someone once asked Larry Page what presented the single biggest threat to Google. “Google”, he said. That’s right. Larry Page believes his own company is a threat unto itself. Is your brand’s biggest threat… your brand? It is, if people don’t understand why your brand matters. It is, if people don’t feel your brand is emotionally important. It is, if by “people” you mean not only your customers, but also your employees, partners, suppliers…indeed all the people vital to your brand’s success. Turn what might possibly be...
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Branding in a World Full of Screens

Branding in a World Full of Screens

A world full of screens Joel paints a picture of a world that’s filled with screens – far more than the four business currently focuses upon: “The basic dilemma for marketers is this: there are now too many screens to count. Set aside PCs, tablets, smartphones, and TVs (connected or otherwise), for a moment. Your car, your thermostat, your washer and dryer, your refrigerator are all on their way to being “smart” as well – connected to the internet and to each other, featuring screens that offer up all sorts of information, from usage data to content, like a fridge that suggests recipes based...
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Does Your Business Need a Brand Narrative?

Does Your Business Need a Brand Narrative?

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 four elements: Truths – four or five...
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Using Company Values to Build Engagement and a Meaningful Workplace

“People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou The goal of employee engagement is to drive employee attitudes, behavior, morality, and ethics in such a way as to improve their productivity, morale, satisfaction, and usefulness within the organization. However, many companies have struggled with converting their proclaimed values into compelling, work-changing experiences for their employees that reach through to their brand strategy.  Often, the problems have been that the values are typically...
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Brand Promise: The What, Why, and How of Great Brand Strategy

Brand Promise: The What, Why, and How of Great Brand Strategy

There’s a lot of talk about the concept of brand promise. But, what is a brand promise? Why does my business need one? How would it make my business stronger? How does it relate to my brand strategy? Here we explore the answers to these pressing questions. What is a brand promise? And perhaps more important, what kind of a brand promise does your business need in today’s world? A brand is a promised delivered. A contemporary brand promise articulates an idea that goes beyond the rational benefits that worked in the past, and extols a higher-order emotional reward. A brand promise is...
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Connecting the Dots Between Brand Strategy and Brand Moments

Connecting the Dots Between Brand Strategy and Brand Moments

In one of our white papers, “Brand Behavior Drives Results”, I write about how emotive branding extends from high-level aspiration (that is needed for differentiation and appeal) to down-in-the-trenches action (that is needed to generate ideas, product,s and profits). Rather than being precious about the strategy element of our offering, we seek true brand transformation by delving deep into the interactions between your brand and the people vital to its success. We dig in, get our hands dirty, and invest considerable time in deconstructing the many ways in which your brand and...
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Your Brand Strategy for the Purpose Economy

Your Brand Strategy for the Purpose Economy

According to Aaron Hurst, we are moving from the Information Economy to the Purpose Economy. He states that this is a natural evolution, which is taking us from the first levels of human organization, the hoe-and-plow Agrarian Economy, through the smokestacks of the Industrial Economy, to the data farms of the Information Economy, and now to the human-centric Purpose Economy. Each of these economies been built on top of the proceeding, and represent evolutions more than revolutions. In his book, The Purpose Economy Hurst states: “When I say purpose, I mean more than serving others and the...
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