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Emotive Branding: The Path to Meaning (and Kick-Ass Creative)

At Emotive Brand our goal is to make brands truly meaningful through emotive branding. Emotive branding is about transforming the way a brand reaches out to people and the way people respond back to that brand. The key is meaning. As we add meaning to the things a brand does, the people vital to that brand’s success start to care, think, talk and do more for the brand. As a result, emotive brands thrive across all business measures. But what is meaning? And, perhaps more important, how do we add meaning to brands through emotive branding? We focus on meaning because we noticed the remarkable...
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Rational vs Emotional: With Brands, It’s Not “Either/Or” It’s “Both/And”

Rational vs Emotional: With Brands, It’s Not “Either/Or” It’s “Both/And”

Neuroscience is telling us that every “rational” decision is surrounded and influenced by emotions. As such, brand decisions are neither rational or emotional – they are invariably both. But how do you work with an insight like this? How do you bring an emotional dimension to your brand, especially if today it is emotionally neutral? How do you change the behavior of your brand – and the people behind it – so that every interaction is either striking, or responding to, a relevant emotional chord? How do you do this in a way that isn’t seen as exploitative,...
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Happy 4 Year Anniversary Emotive Brand

Happy 4 Year Anniversary Emotive Brand

Anniversaries are a great time for reflection. As Emotive Brand celebrates its fourth birthday today, I feel compelled to share some of the lessons learned and observations I’ve made a long the way. I hope it inspires. If you are going to start a business and have a partner, choose wisely. Ultimately, choose someone who really understands and shares your vision, has complimentary skills to what you can do well, and a person you can laugh with. It’s not easy starting a company, but you will make it easier by partnering with someone you deeply respect. Quickly articulate why your...
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Five Key Elements of a Good Sustainability Report

Five Key Elements of a Good Sustainability Report

Not all corporate sustainability reports (CSRs) are created equal. Some reports are glossy marketing brochures that lack substantive data. Others are so data focused that reading them requires a strong cup of coffee to resist boredom-induced sleep. The best reports provide a balance of accessible, engaging text and comprehensive, material data presented in a well-designed format. It is both art and science. But what are the elements that go into making a good report? Which reports should you look to for inspiration? A good place to start is the list of finalists for the Ceres-ACCA North...
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Because People Matter…

Because People Matter…

Every once in a while, between the pitches, the briefs, the meetings, the workshops,the strategy docs, the ideas, the revs, the budgets and the timelines, a breath of fresh air finds its way to us. We open our lungs, minds, hearts, and minds, and let it all sink in, and are reminded why we do all this. We do it because we are human and we believe that if you can connect to, and tug at the emotional side of people, they will behave in ways that will benefit us all, including the businesses we run, the products we make and sell, and the services we offer. But first you have to remember what it...
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What Steve Jobs Learned from the Buddhists (About Brands)

What Steve Jobs Learned from the Buddhists (About Brands)

At Emotive Brand, we’re big on the concept of purpose beyond profit. Apparently, people interpret this phrase in interesting ways. Some jump to the conclusion that it means “purpose instead of profit.” That’s a valid approach for Benefit Corporations, perhaps, but most companies – including this one – would prefer to make some money. Some people think the phrase means “profit plus being good to the environment.” We’re okay with that definition, but it’s still too easy for many brands to dismiss for one reason or another. The deeper definition applies to all brands, if they can make a simple...
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Millennials. Baby Boomers. Can Brands Reach Both?

Millennials. Baby Boomers. Can Brands Reach Both?

Yesterday, I heard some folks having a conversation about how hard it is for brands and employers to engage millennials as consumers and employees. The litany of popular complaints was on full display. “They’re so spoiled, and they don’t even know it. Their parents showered them with everything and they think it will always be that way.” “No attention span, because someone else has always run the agenda for them.” “Superficial, just bouncing from one fad to the next.” “No work ethic. No drive. They want work to be enjoyable – what a fantasy!” “Hopeless consumers. Can’t make an individual...
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When People See Their “Best Selves” Reflected in Your Business

When People See Their “Best Selves” Reflected in Your Business

I recently had the opportunity to interview Gianpiero Petriglieri, Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior at INSEAD, Europe’s top business school. Following our fruitful talk, I reflected on a thought from our interview. We were talking about how people identify with leaders, when Professor Petriglieri said: “Leadership happens when you attract others through your thinking, your beliefs, and your behavior. Or more precisely, when others come to see their best self reflected in your thoughts, beliefs, and actions.” I related Gianpiero’s observation to the...
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Employee Engagement with Sustainability? Hard, Yes. Impossible, No.

Employee Engagement with Sustainability? Hard, Yes. Impossible, No.

You care about sustainability. Your company publishes a corporate responsibility report and has a pretty good website. But people at the company just don’t seem to care. If they’re knowledgeable, they’re skeptical. If they don’t know much, they’re not curious. Take comfort: You’re not alone. Many companies struggle to engage employees with sustainability. And while that sounds scary for the planet’s future, given the abundant resources corporations have and how many people they employ, there’s also a silver lining. Anything this common must have common causes we can identify and act on. Here...
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How I Learned to Love “Emotive”

How I Learned to Love “Emotive”

When a couple of long-time associates asked if I wanted to get involved with their agency, Emotive Brand, I said “Sure, but what’s up with the name?” I was already allergic to “brand” – for all the reasons blogged here before by Jerry Holtaway. My only exposure to “emotive” was from a pompous college psychology professor who liked words nobody else used. Putting the two terms together did not improve either one, IMHO. Well, as my parents used to say, don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it. Given that Jerry has already nailed “brand,” in my first post I’ll handle the other term in the...
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What is Really the Matter With Your Business? Thoughts for CEOs

What is Really the Matter With Your Business? Thoughts for CEOs

Business is hard. Companies face a never-ending stream of challenges. Ask a CEO, “What’s the matter?”, and he or she is likely to talk anxiously about stalled growth, employee lethargy, lagging innovation, disgruntled customers, growing competition, the threat of commoditization, investor concerns, and a litany of other issues. These are real issues and concerns. They are often complex issues that are difficult and expensive to address. And, try as they may, many CEOs have trouble implementing the changes needed to counter these disruptive and destructive ailments. Why?...
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Brand Strategy: How To Escape Commodity-Ville Through Emotions & Meaning

Brand Strategy: How To Escape Commodity-Ville Through Emotions & Meaning

We spotted a nytimes.com report that highlighted the fact that cars today – across the board – are more dependable than ever before. To quote David Sargent, spokesman of J.D. Power and Associates, “There are no really bad vehicles anymore.” This hasn’t always been the case. Ask anyone over 40 and they’ll probably know this definition of “Ford”: Fix Or Repair Daily. But, as with so many things, it’s getting easier and easier for competitors to level the playing field. Standing out today is harder than ever. Welcome to Commodity-Ville, next stop...
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Brand Strategy for Professional Services Can Be Emotive

Brand Strategy for Professional Services Can Be Emotive

Professional services, like law firms, would do well to move beyond the rudimentary basics of branding such as identities, symbols, and colors, according to a blog post on Forbes.com. We couldn’t agree more. Like all businesses, professional firms face a challenging future with hyper-competition, commoditized knowledge, and accelerating change all looming on the horizon. These firms clearly need to get fit for the future – and their preparedness plan needs to include a major tune-up for their brands. However, we believe professional firms need to also leapfrog over the traditionally...
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Exactly How Does Your Brand Make People Feel?

Exactly How Does Your Brand Make People Feel?

Every minute of every day your brand’s future is influenced – for better or worse – by the way people feel after experiencing your brand’s way of doing business. Ask yourself, “What is driving the intent, attitude and manner of the way our brand does business right now?” Or, more to the point, “How do we want to leave people feeling as a result of dealing with our brand? Oddly, despite all the innovation and advances in the branding process, few brand-owners have a clear vision for the emotional connection they could seek that could transform their...
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Must Read: David Grey’s “Connected Company”

Must Read: David Grey’s “Connected Company”

High on our upcoming Holiday reading list is “The Connected Company” by David Grey. We’re adding it to our list because we came across an interesting #HRBBookChat Twitter stream in which David held court. These chat extracts, some from David, others from readers, provoked our interest: “You’re in a connected company when everyone feels connection between the job they do and the purpose of the company.” “Leaders need to build relationships and trust, it is always a work in progress, never done in my mind.” “HR must help them connect their...
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