Topics

Subscribe

Blog


Bridging the Meaning Gap

Bridging the Meaning Gap

A great post by Tom Fishburne talks about the risks of going too far in your efforts to matter to people. He cites the example of the “Dove Campaign For Real Beauty”, a notable example of a meaningful brand presence, which started as a concept many steps up the brand ladder. When those “too grandiose” ideas were shot down by real people (formerly known as consumers), the focus turned to building meaning from the product up. The lesson: in your pursuit to bridge the meaning gap, and to create more meaning around your business, product, service or brand (a smart thing...
Read more >

Gaining Customer Trust Through Both Experienced and Sensed Empathy

Gaining Customer Trust Through Both Experienced and Sensed Empathy

Barclay’s Bank wanted to create a more empathetic understanding of customers with mobility issues. In this video, a Barclay’s office manager is outfitted with a special suit designed to recreate the physical world of his own elderly Mother. The suit includes weights that make it hard for the manager to take steps, or to raise his hands. Goggles dim his vision and cast a yellow light over the scene. Headphones distort his hearing. Electric sensors make him feel the pain of arthritis in his joints. In this way, the manager literally “walks in the shoes” of his mother – and every other...
Read more >

Purpose-led Business Leaders Gain Competitive Advantage

Purpose-led Business Leaders Gain Competitive Advantage

We recently came across this Fast Company article about purpose-led business leaders who are changing the way business works by embracing purpose. Here we recap its main points, and add additional perspective. Generation Flux is a group defined less by age than by attitude. According to the article’s author, Robert Safian, Generation Flux “refers to the group of people best positioned to thrive in today’s era of high-velocity change.” Safian continues, “Fluxers are defined not by their chronological age but by their willingness and ability to adapt. These are the people who are...
Read more >

Winning Leaders Change the Conversation

Winning Leaders Change the Conversation

We recently came across an interview with Lee Clow, who has been responsible for a slew of famous ad campaigns, including the landmark 1984 Apple commercial. In the interview he talks about how he now describes his role: “Finding a voice as a tone for a brand is the art of what I do. I want to consider myself now as a media artist, not an advertising person, because advertising is kind of defined these days and has a negative stigma attached to it. But to be a media artist is to take a brand and find its voice and tell its story and make it interesting and likeable. I think brands are...
Read more >

Build a Stronger Business by Embracing Your Brand’s Hidden Truths

Build a Stronger Business by Embracing Your Brand’s Hidden Truths

Behind every brand there stands a set of as-yet realized or appreciated truths. These truths have the power to change the way you, and everyone vital to your brand’s success, think, feel, and act with respect to your brand. These truths emerge when the many things your brand does are seen in light of their meaningful outcomes. This means analyzing the actions, attitudes, and behavior of the organization. It also means assessing the organization’s policies and procedures. In each case, the search is for the positive and meaningful outcomes that result. Not only true, but...
Read more >

Win by Going Beyond Features and Benefits

Win by Going Beyond Features and Benefits

Convincing minds by capturing hearts: the new brand-building approach What comes first? The rational decision to take the next step on the path to purchase, or the emotional trigger that gets them started on that path? Aren’t we humans cool? We pride ourselves on our cognitive skills, our ability to weigh pros and cons, and our decision-making power. After all, these factors separate us from other life forms. We also prefer to emphasize our thoughts because we are able to talk about them, explain them, and defend them. However, what is clear is that we are emotional beings. We navigate...
Read more >

Brand Strategy: Why Are Purpose and Feelings so Important Now?

Brand Strategy: Why Are Purpose and Feelings so Important Now?

Brand Strategy: Why are purpose and feelings so important now? An emotive brand is the persona-driven presence and experience of an organization that has proactively decided to orient itself around a meaningful and purposeful promise. Such brands do so with the intent of emotionally connecting to people on a deep level, by addressing core human needs. Most significant, an emotive brand strives to forge these attitude and behavior changing connections both inside and outside their organizations. To summarize, an emotive brand is:  – Proactively meaningful across all its actions  –...
Read more >

How to Mindfully Lead Change

How to Mindfully Lead Change

Empathy in leadership In this thought-provoking video, KPCB* partner John Maeda reminds us of the importance of empathy in leadership. He suggests that leadership is a design problem, and notes that the best design comes from people who ask and listen before putting forward their ideas. Mindful leaders are, by nature, empathetic. They know that failing to listen first creates irrelevant communications and misunderstood gestures from leaders. As John Maeda says, “The people are there in the room, but nobody’s hearing what you say.” Connect more meaningfully To connect meaningfully to...
Read more >

Brand Strategy Without Brand Behavior = A Car Without an Engine

Brand Strategy Without Brand Behavior = A Car Without an Engine

Brand strategy is step one. Defining the shifts to the brand required to live the new brand strategy is step two. We call that brand behavior. It’s becoming increasingly clear that brands need to run deep if they are to prevail in today’s world. This is because modern brands need to compete with not only each other, but also with an overwhelming number of ideas, considerations, and issues that flood the minds and hearts of the people important to any brand’s success. To cut through this noise, and to stand out in a meaningful way, brands need to exude a holistic and deeply...
Read more >

Human Friendly Brands

Human Friendly Brands

Should brands be more like humans? Or is the real goal to be “human-friendly” in form, behavior, and function? It’s something worth thinking about. Most of us in the advertising/marketing/branding biz tend to anthropomorphize brands. We think and write about them as if they were living, breathing people. However, in a thought-provoking piece, “The Human Paradox”, Gareth Kaye, Chief Strategy Officer of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, questions if that is the right approach: “I’ve come to believe that this failure of brands is down to us blindly believing that brands that are more human...
Read more >

The Next Wave of Brand Strategy

The Next Wave of Brand Strategy

The role of brand strategy What makes your brand unique? How does it stand out in your category? What “significance” gets people flocking to your brand? What “stickiness” keeps people coming back to your brand? We wouldn’t be surprised if these questions keep you awake at night. After all, it’s clearly getting harder for brands to differentiate themselves. Categories are becoming commoditized as competitors mimic each other in both products and communications. Brand advantages based on innovation are short-lived as others rapidly copy technology, benefits,...
Read more >

Need to Scale Fast? CEOs Can’t Just Focus On Engineering Benefits

Need to Scale Fast? CEOs Can’t Just Focus On Engineering Benefits

Scale Fast to Beat The Competition Why do so many engineering-led CEOs have a hard time scaling their company? I’d estimate more than 90% of our clients are engineers first and become CEOs later. An engineering background is of great value today – inspired ideas, technical abilities, and intense drive bring great products into the world. Unfortunately, the problem is that many of these products fail to scale fast, and dreams of  becoming the next unicorn are quickly squashed. Sadly, when this happens, the world doesn’t derive the benefits of the product the team has worked...
Read more >

The Role of Patience and Fortitude in Branding

The Role of Patience and Fortitude in Branding

The business world is tough out there It’s only natural, especially given today’s pressure cooker environment, to want instantly actionable ideas and immediate results. This is especially true the closer you are to the marketing machine within your business. At the same time, more and more businesses are realizing that they need to transform themselves in order to remain competitive, if not stay viable, in the 21st century. They are recognizing that their traditional strategies and tactics simply no longer work as expected. Also, the commoditization and price/value pressures they...
Read more >

The Meaningful Workplace – Help Them Create Good

The Meaningful Workplace – Help Them Create Good

Disillusioned by the age of conspicuous consumption, worried by the state of the planet and its people, rocked by war, corruption and financial crises, and immersed in a swirl of information, news, opinion, and gossip, people are searching for meaning in their lives. Today they feel a need to align with people, ideas and companies that make them feel they’re part of something bigger than themselves. People are seeking a sense of purpose, a reason for being and the answer to the questions, “Why is this good?” Today their idea of “good” is shaped by an increased awareness of their own needs,...
Read more >

Brand Truths That Focuses on What’s Truly Meaningful

Brand Truths That Focuses on What’s Truly Meaningful

Brand Truths In our latest white paper we list five fundamental principles that drive our efforts to help your brand thrive in the 21st century. Here, we explore one of our drivers: “truth, authenticity, and credibility.” This is what we refer to as brand truths. Here’s an explanatory extract from the white paper: “Emotive brand strategies are built out of what is already true about your brand. As such, the new purpose and behaviors we propose are authentic to what your brand is, and are welcomed by customers and employees as credible offerings from your brand.”...
Read more >