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Should Your Business Embrace a Purpose-led Brand Strategy?

Should Your Business Embrace a Purpose-led Brand Strategy?

Purpose-led The notion of purpose-led  does more than make brands appealing to people – it makes money for the businesses that embrace the concept. So claims the chairman of Deloitte, an active evangelist for the “squishy business attribute” called purpose. Why invest in a woolly, emotional, and squishy idea like purpose? Won’t it be hard to get everyone in my organization and all my customers to understand and embrace it? What is it really beyond a set of words? What value does brand strategy deliver? These are the questions I often confront as a proponent of empathy, purpose, and emotion....
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Is Your Brand Holding Back Your Business?

Is Your Brand Holding Back Your Business?

There’s a price to pay when your brand simply languishes. It’s the cost of lost opportunities. Are you 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 feel something,...
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A Brand’s Purpose is Not a Tagline!

A Brand’s Purpose is Not a Tagline!

Once again drawing from our white paper, “Transforming your brand into an emotive brand”, we explore another of the key drivers of our thinking, “Purpose Beyond Profit”. Here’s how we recap this idea in our paper: As an emotive brand, your brand lives to a promise that embodies a purpose that goes well beyond profit. As such, you use your brand’s promise to establish and reinforce the higher-ground connection that customers and employees find emotionally meaningful. By thinking beyond profit, you reveal your commitment to connecting with people in truly...
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A Brand Strategy that Focuses on “Truths”

A Brand Strategy that Focuses on “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.”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.” But exactly what “truth” are we seeking?...
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Where Does Brand End and Reputation Begin?

Where Does Brand End and Reputation Begin?

Confusing Branding Terms It seems so many ” branding terms ” are being rendered meaningless these days and we tend to blur the difference between them. We use specific words in a broader context than originally intended. Often, we use words as umbrellas to bring together a multitude of ideas. But, among us, we’re not consistent in the way these words are used. As a result, if you ask three business people what a particular word means, you’ll get no fewer than five answers. Take these two words as examples: “Brand” and “Reputation” What does...
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What it Means to be a Meaningfully Different Brand

What it Means to be a Meaningfully Different Brand

Youngme Moon teaches business at Harvard and is the author of “Different – Escaping The Competitive Herd”. In her closing she points to three characteristics of the brands of tomorrow – as they are driven to differentiate in order to succeed. Here we summarize: “They will offer something that is hard to come by…restraint will be the new desire; whisper can be the new shout; there will always be a place for brands offering something that is hard to come by.”  “They will reflect a commitment to a big idea…which is to say they...
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How Do You Create a Product that Matters?

How Do You Create a Product that Matters?

Whatever industry you are in, whatever kind of buyer you target, whatever distribution system you use, whatever your promotional budget,you can’t afford for your product to be a lemon. It needs to stand out from the field in unique and meaningful ways. This can be hard to accomplish when you’re working to business-as-usual. After all, your competition is generally using the same technology, same ideology, and same processes to create, distribute, and promote its products. And, even if you are able to jump ahead of the competition in some significant way, they’re able to...
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The Greatest Story Never Told?

The Greatest Story Never Told?

  Based on our experience working with clients, we believe there are thousands of companies out there sitting on a very valuable asset. This is an asset that could generate new revenues, build customer loyalty, enthuse and motivate your workforce, recruit top talent, help quickly scale your business, truly differentiate you from competitors, and help you business and brand thrive. The asset is a meaningful story, a brand narrative about your business that’s waiting to be told. It’s a story based on meaningful truths about what you do and how you do it. It’s a story...
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Why All the Talk About Purpose and Brand Strategy?

Why All the Talk About Purpose and Brand Strategy?

A HBR blog post by Graham Kenny details the difference between the increasingly popular idea of purpose and the traditional corporate drivers of vision, mission, and values. His conclusion echoes our beliefs about the role and impact of a company purpose: “If you’re crafting a purpose statement, my advice is this: To inspire your staff to do good work for you, find a way to express the organization’s impact on the lives of customers, clients, students, patients — whomever you’re trying to serve. Make them feel it.” Mr. Kenny’s closing statement, “make them feel...
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Meaning in the Workplace?

Meaning in the Workplace?

We came across an excellent article on Fast Company about worker happiness (and the startling lack thereof). It starts with the story of an employee who, after two decades of service to a financial institution, decided he couldn’t take it any more: “I felt like no one cared about me as a person there, and finally decided to extricate myself from the grind. I know many of you feel the same way now in your jobs…trapped and unappreciated.” The article calls for significant changes in the intent, attitude and behavior of business leaders and makes the following observations and...
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Why Every CEO Should Pursue a Purpose Beyond Profit

Why Every CEO Should Pursue a Purpose Beyond Profit

It’s textbook management practice to formalize a company’s “mission, vision and values.” And while these are important steps in helping form a direction and way of being for a company, many CEOs are nonetheless challenged with a litany of business issues: Unengaged employees An inability to attract the new talent needed Customer defection Lack of marketplace differentiation Dissatisfied shareholders This list goes on and on, doesn’t it? Behind each of these business challenges is a big question: How can my business matter more to people? When your business truly...
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How Global Enterprise Tech Companies Can Re-brand

How Global Enterprise Tech Companies Can Re-brand

In the San Francisco Bay Area, it’s impossible to escape the blinding pace of technology. Ideas, innovations, and companies emerge like skyrockets, lighting up the sky and sometimes the world. We’re used to the speed because we live here, and because many of our clients are start-ups. We build meaningful brands to guide their stratospheric growth. Then there are companies that have been around for a while. Venerable tech brands that have stood the test of time. Some dating back to the days when Silicon Valley was populated not by software geeks on corporate campuses, but by apricot and prune...
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Are We in the Age of Meaning?

Are We in the Age of Meaning?

In our white paper, The Age Of Meaning, we explore the challenges and opportunities this new era presents to business and brand strategy. Referring to economist Umair Haque’s contention that we’ve left the “age of opulence” – a time of hyper-consumerism based on the mantra of “bigger, faster, cheaper, now” – we make the point that the age of meaning didn’t suddenly appear. There was no “Breaking News” story, no Twitter trending topic, and no planned downtime for a total system upgrade. It crept up on us, through current events...
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Culture Shock – Will McInnes Envisions Truly Meaningful Work

Culture Shock – Will McInnes Envisions Truly Meaningful Work

The power of meaningful work is  topic we have been writing on for years. When Culture Shock was released, we were more than intrigued. Culture Shock: A Handbook for 21st Century Business is a fascinating read from Will McInnes. McInnes provides an insightful and helpful guide to leaders who are challenged by today’s turbulent environment. Exploring the concept of the “social business”, he covers a breadth of topics relevant to leadership in the 21st Century, including “purpose and meaning”, “conscious leadership”, “change velocity”, and...
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Preparing for Transformation

Preparing for Transformation

One of the big themes for business is constant change — transformation. With globalization making markets more volatile and cross-border financial flows making bondholders and investors more powerful, companies have to keep evolving to keep up. So they change their business model or their brand strategy. If they keep doing the old things, they do them in new ways. Or they do entirely new things in ways that haven’t been invented yet. For our parents, IBM was a computer company. For us, it’s a consulting company. Time Warner was a media company; now it’s a content company after selling...
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