The Power of Brands Doing Good
One has to applaud how the Dove brand, under the guidance of Ogilvy & Mather, has become a vivid example of emotionally meaningful branding. They seized a fertile ground – women’s insecurity about their own bodies – and, rather than exploiting it as the industry typically does, set out to do something about it. In this brilliant film, Dove reveals two drawings by a forensic detective to each woman featured. The first is a drawing based on how the woman described herself to the detective. The second shows the drawing the detective drew of the woman, based on how another person described...Read more >
San Francisco Brand Strategy Firm Celebrates Anniversary
This month San Francisco Brand Strategy firm, Emotive Brand celebrated our fifth birthday. We wanted to say THANK YOU to each and every customer, prospect, partner, friend and everyone who shares our beliefs about how to help brands matter more! We started Emotive Brand as a way to approach brand strategy in a different way. • To help transform how brands reach out to people. • To encourage our clients to embrace the idea of Purpose Beyond Profit. • To push the belief that emotionally meaningful brands drive business results. Five years later, it is gratifying to see research by Deloitte,...Read more >
Connecting the Dots That Produce All Around Results
In a brilliant blog post, Tom Asacker posed a series of questions, the answers of which add up to two surprising results. http://www.acleareye.com/sandbox_wisdom/2014/03/theres-your-brand-strategy.html] “So ask yourself, what are we doing to motivate people, to feed their hungers and desires? Are we helping them achieve? Are we feeding their hungers to be recognized, to be liked and loved? Are we connecting them with like-minded people and empowering them to empower others? Are we providing a beautiful, pleasurable, and engaging experience? Are we providing a sense of control, full...Read more >
Which Comes First? A Strong Corporate Culture or a Meaningful Workplace?
There’s a virtual cornucopia of so-called “culture decks” finding its way across the web today. These glitzy slideshows present the values that supposedly drive each respective company’s workforce. A quick scan of these decks shows that many of the companies are mimicking another. They are using clever language to make things sound really sexy. And of course they employ design that makes your mouth water. These cultural displays are all well and good, however one has to question them on several levels: To what extent are they honest, credible and accurate...Read more >
Meaningful Workplace – Getting Employees to Respond Positively
Meaningful Workplaces are built by companies that aim to produce a more meaningful outcome from, and for, their people. To become meaningful, these companies adopt a new stance vis-à-vis their relationship with their employees. They strive to reduce the distance that’s been imposed through organization structures and prevailing attitudes. They seek stronger emotional connections up, down, and across their enterprise. They see their task as making their company fit for the future by making it fit for humans. They create a Meaningful Workplace master plan that defines their compelling reason...Read more >
I’m Engaged. You’re Engaged. Not.
It’s official: we don’t care. According to the latest results from Gallup’s employee engagement index, half of U.S. employees admit they’re disengaged at work. Not all the time, but often enough to know it consciously and be willing to say so in a telephone interview. That’s bad enough, but here’s what it breeds: 18% of those surveyed are “actively disengaged.” That means they are actually working against their company’s values and culture, while taking a paycheck and benefits from it. Kind of like a double-dip, only with a dagger instead of a spoon. A total optimist might point to the other...Read more >
What Really Matters to your Brand’s Success? Empathy.
If I asked you what really matters to your brand’s success, you would probably only talk about things that can be explained rationally and measured empirically. Nothing wrong with that, after all that’s the way we think and talk as business people. However, if I asked you what really matters to you as a human being, I bet you would find yourself talking about things that are hard to explain rationally and virtually impossible to measure. You know, messy things like the need for safety, the desire for connectedness, and the joys of love and beauty. What really matters to your brand’s...Read more >
Love Your Critics
Nobody likes being criticized. This is one of the least productive of human traits, because few things are more effective than good criticism when it comes to changing our results or our ways. If you went to schools that gave out report cards, you’ll remember how few critical words it took from a teacher to alarm your parents. “Not focused in class” or “Tends to talk out of turn” were enough to get mom and dad engaged in a hurry. As adults, most of us get criticism from only a small handful of people: family, bosses, and spouses. Friends could be a great source of criticism, but the implicit...Read more >
The Value of Values
Why don’t companies value their values? This question comes up for us often because we’re engaged with brands at an emotional level, not just intellectually or strategically. We’re working hard to connect brands to humans who make lasting emotional decisions a lot faster than they can come to logical ones. One of the strongest emotional binders for human beings is shared values – they’re the basis of religion, among other things – so it’s logical to conclude that companies with strong brands put a lot of value into their values. But often, they don’t. More likely, they neglect them for long...Read more >
CEOs – If You Had to Write an Employee Letter Explaining Your Vision, What Would It Say?
As a CEO, you have a challenging job. You carry an awesome level of responsibility. You have to balance vision and reality across a diverse spectrum of activities and people. You have to make sure everything your business does leads to a profitable outcome. Most important, you have to lead your products, processes and people toward that outcome. Translating leadership vision into organizational action isn’t easy. You know where you want your business to be, but it isn’t easy getting other people to see what you envision, to feel your passion, or to be as deliberate and focused in...Read more >
Why Brands Should Invest In The “Messy” World Of Feelings
Business management thrives through almost obsessive measurement, quantification and control. Algorithms drive decisions. Data informs conversations. Dashboards display results. But where does human emotion – the driver of all decision making – factor into these business practices? How do algorithms know how people feel, and how that impacts on how they act? How do metrics – however precise – give you insight into the deep-felt needs, wants and aspirations of your employees and customers? How does your dashboard – however glitzy – convey the fluid world of brand decisions that sway one way...Read more >
For Employees, Employee Engagement Starts With The Letter “C”
If one thing marks the companies with highly engaged employees, it is that the top people of the company – the “C-suite” – are in sync with the idea that “people matter”. Working together, these leaders put forth ideas, hopes and aspirations which their employees, in turn, use to fuel their personal desire to create more meaning in their lives. The leadership “walks the talk” by acting and speaking in ways that demonstrate their intent, their positive attitudes and their shared purpose. What sets these engaged workplaces apart is that the...Read more >
If Grandma Could Do It, Why Can’t The CMO?
My grandmother used to tell stories to the kids in my neighborhood. She would gather us around, get this far-away look on her face, and start in on a tale of some kids in the woods or a rabbit in the meadow or whatever. They would always be just as long as they needed to be, no longer. We would hang on her every word. Once I asked her to retell a certain story we had heard from her years before, and she agreed. But as she told the story, it kept taking twists and turns I did not remember from the first time. ‘That’s not the story, Grandma,” I objected. She nodded with certainty. “Yes it is,”...Read more >
Releasing The Pent Up Meaning Within Brands
One of the joys we have in our work is watching as our clients, who run highly successful companies, are surprised and delighted to see how their brands can matter more to people. We’re not in the business of creating illusions. We dig deep into our client’s business to uncover “meaningful truths” that are already operating below the surface. By shedding light on the rational and emotional value of these truths, we are able to show our clients just how much they can matter to people on both a rational and emotional level. What is most interesting to us is how our...Read more >
Going Beyond The Numbers of Employee Engagement
We were reminded about the sign Albert Einstein had hanging in his office: “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” We’re not here to say that the measurable dynamics of employee engagement don’t count. But we do believe that what really counts in employee engagement can’t really be counted. That’s because employees are inevitably driven by how they feel. There’s nothing strange in that; all rational thought and action is driven by emotions. So what drives how employees feel? More important, what...Read more >