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Shaping Brand Experiences to Avoid Alienating People

Shaping Brand Experiences to Avoid Alienating People

Cartoon by Tom Fishburne. Every brand moment matters. How often have you found yourself filling in a form that simply asked too much? Where you could not imagine how the information being asked was going to be used? Or worse, the only thing you could imagine was that the information would be used against you. No, not by some dreaded department deep inside the government. But, by something worse: the brand’s marketing department. OK, that’s a bit of an overstatement. But hopefully it has provoked you into thinking about how your brand is reaching out to people. How the experience...
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People Respond to Meaningful Brands

According to a recent study by Havas Media, only 20% of brands have a notable positive impact on our sense of wellbeing and quality of life. The study further reveals how the expectations, judgements and behavior of people are evolving in ways that must make brand-owners rethink their current strategies: For the 4th year running consumer expectations of companies’ responsible behaviour continues to rise Nearly 85% of consumers worldwide expect companies to become actively involved in solving these issues (an increase of 15% from 2010) Those prepared to reward responsible companies by...
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Let’s Get Real: Navigating a World of Meaningless Expressions

We loved this look into modern language by Dan Pallotta from his recent Harvard Business Review blog post, “I don’t understand what anyone is saying anymore.” Another term that has lost its meaning is “Let’s exceed the customer’s expectations.” Employees who hear it just leave the pep rally, inhabit some kind of temporary dazed intensity, and then go back to doing things exactly the way they did before the speech. Customers almost universally never experience their expectations being met, much less exceeded. How can you exceed the customer’s...
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In This World of Decision Fatigue, Does Your Brand Still Matter?

In This World of Decision Fatigue, Does Your Brand Still Matter?

Image from Fast Company Just look at what the average Joe faces when looking for a headache remedy.  It goes on: will he pay with Visa, MasterCard or American Express (and which of the twelve or so he has in his wallet will he choose – the points one, the rebate one, the…)? Will he Tweet about his experience, update his Facebook status or share a picture of the mess through Instagram? And to recover from the shock, will he walk into Starbucks and order a coffee using six or more variables? We love having choices.  But choices can overwhelm us. We quickly become victims...
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Has Dilbert Summed Up Your Brand’s Attitude Toward People?

Has Dilbert Summed Up Your Brand’s Attitude Toward People?

How does your brand reach out to people? Is it “pretending to be interested”, or is there a genuine effort to connect meaningfully to the people vital to your brand’s success? Is it stuck thinking about facts, figures, categories, segments, markets, etc., etc., or is is focused on “human beings”? Is it acting like it has the upper hand because of the economy, or is it treating people in the way they deserve? Is your brand’s brain about to fall out of its yawn hole, or is it imagining how your brand can truly matter to people? ...
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What’s Happened to “Human” Resources?

What’s Happened to “Human” Resources?

Metrics. They’ve taken over business. From the C-Suite to the front-line, everything is measured, evaluated and judged. Why? Mostly because we can easily measure things now. But there are limits to the value of metrics. You can only measure what is evident or what people are willing to divulge. You cannot measure the intangibles that drive people to believe in, or act on behalf of, an idea. As some wag put it recently, “You can’t measure the ROI of your mother.” So as HR departments pore over spreadsheets, and C-Suiters sweat over the results neatly presented in their...
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If You Believe Your People Are Engaged, Think Again

If You Believe Your People Are Engaged, Think Again

We recently came across an old, but provocative article in The Economist entitled, “Corporate culture: The view from the top, and bottom”. It detailed findings from the “National Governance, Culture and Leadership Assessment”, a survey based on thousands of American employees “from every rung of the corporate ladder”. Key findings from our perspective: “41% of bosses say their firm rewards performance based on values, only 14% of employees swallow this.” “27% of bosses believe their employees are inspired by their firm. Also only 4%...
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Why Emotive Branding Prompts Tension – And Why That’s Good

Why Emotive Branding Prompts Tension – And Why That’s Good

The process of emotive branding takes our clients to a new and unexpected place. It’s a real eye-opener. Our clients suddenly see new possibilities for themselves, their colleagues, their customers and their brand. At the same time, they feel tense. And that is good. Why? Consider this extract from Viktor Frankl’s book, “Man’s Search For Meaning”: “What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwile goal, a freely chosen task…i.e., the existential dynamics in a polar field of tension where one...
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Part 15: The Meaningful Workplace – The Future Is Here

Part 15: The Meaningful Workplace – The Future Is Here

Summary Armed with engaged and motivated employees – housed in a meaningful workplace – a business becomes a powerful force against what Gary Hamel calls, “the threats of accelerating change, hyper-competition and commoditized knowledge.” The meaningful workplace is the workplace of the future. Its clearly stated ambition serves as a beacon to everyone in the workplace. The way it leaves employees feeling makes them eager to participate, collaborate and create. The behavior of the employees creates a meaningful culture that serves as a magnet to prospective recruits,...
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Part 14: The Meaningful Workplace – Self-propagating Meaning

Part 14: The Meaningful Workplace – Self-propagating Meaning

A process of self-discovery and self-identification “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” –Vince Lombardi The focus in the development of a meaningful workplace really needs be on self-discovery and self-identification. It is about helping employees to be aware of, to identify with, and to connect to the ambitions, feelings and behaviors the business seeks in its workplace.  The efforts to build a meaningful workplace must not result in dictates, mandates or rule books....
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