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What Does Purpose Look and Feel Like for Your Brand

What Does Purpose Look and Feel Like for Your Brand

Sometimes It’s Not What You Add To A Brand, But What You Take Out We were reminded of the story of the sculptor who was asked how he managed to fashion a beautiful elephant out of a piece of granite. He replied, “By chipping away all the pieces that didn’t look like an elephant”. What elements of your brand strategy “don’t look (or feel) like your brand”? Does your brand’s purpose look (and feel) right? Your brand’s purpose, its reason for being or ambition is the key to the meaning you create (or fail to create) in this world. If your...
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Emotional Design Principles Build Meaningful Brand Interactions

Emotional Design Principles Build Meaningful Brand Interactions

Emotional Design We recently came across an older, but interesting article about the use of emotion in design. The piece takes us through the premises of two books on website user interface design, “Emotional Design” by Don Norman, and “Designing for Emotion” by Aaron Walter. We were drawn to this recap of Norman’s 3-level approach to creative design: The visceral level – the appearance of a design The behavioral level – how the product works The reflective level – the long-term impact of the design By combining these three levels in the right...
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Employees Love Brands That Truly Matter

Employees Love Brands That Truly Matter

Brands that truly matter It’s amazing how a focus on emotion and meaning can change the way employees approach their work. They feel like doing more. Employees are eager, motivated and driven. They wake up looking forward to their work day, and return home feeling a sense of purposeful accomplishment. They care more for one another. The workplace is civil, considerate and supportive. Employees are empathetic and compassionate about their bosses, their peers, their reports and everyone in the business. They work better together. Employees are more open to collaboration, teamwork and sharing....
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Meaningful Brands evoke “Of Course” Moments

Meaningful Brands evoke “Of Course” Moments

Meaningful brands make people feel good. We came across a reference to Christian Lindholm, of the design firm Fjord, and his “of-course principle of design”. “Most companies, he said, are looking to ‘wow’ with their products, when in reality what they should be looking for is an ‘of course’ reaction from their users.” We’re not opposed to brands creating a “wow” sensation, at least when there is a genuine reason to make people feel that way. Often, it is better for brands to strive to create numerous “of course” moments with...
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The Naked Brand: Coming To A Screen Close To Your Customers And Employees

The Naked Brand: Coming To A Screen Close To Your Customers And Employees

One day soon, people both inside and outside your company, are going to sit down and watch this film. For some people, it will simply reaffirm what they already know and feel. For others, it will spark an awareness that there’s more to brands than one tends to think: It will alter their perception of themselves and the brands in their lives. It will change their expectations about the brands they use today, and choose to use tomorrow. It will make them think twice about how they spend their money and where they earn their wages. It will make them decide they are either dealing with a...
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Reconstructing the Bridge Between Your Brand and Your Employees

Reconstructing the Bridge Between Your Brand and Your Employees

Right now, there’s some sort of bridge between your brand and your employees. That bridge defines the nature of the relationship between your brand and the hearts and minds of your employees. Think back, when, how and why was it built? Ask yourself, does it serve the needs you have today? Are you aware of what crosses that bridge every day? Do your employees act as though the bridge only goes one way? To seize today’s opportunities, and to be better fit for the future, you need to rebuild that bridge. It’s time to add more lanes going in both directions, so there’s...
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From Morning Expectations To Evening Reflections, Emotionally Meaningful Workplaces Rule

From Morning Expectations To Evening Reflections, Emotionally Meaningful Workplaces Rule

What makes a workplace emotionally meaningful? It’s a place where people feel their work is worthwhile. They feel that what their company does, how it does it and why it does it is both respectable and admirable. As a result, they feel proud to be associated with the company. They also feel that what their company does is both helpful and valuable to people. As a result, they feel part of something purposeful. It’s a place where people feel their work experience is gratifying. They feel that they and their colleagues work in a committed and focused way. As a result, they feel...
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Balancing the “Give and Take” Between Your Brand and the People It Needs

Balancing the “Give and Take” Between Your Brand and the People It Needs

Commerce is all about give and take. Your brand holds out a bundle of value, people offer their time (as employees) or money (as customers or investors) and your brand takes. The game, of course, is to ensure your bundle of value is seen as something desirable, and well worth the time or money to be invested. But what happens when your bundle of value isn’t seen as being especially desirable? Even worse, when people start to question whether it’s worth their investment? It can happen easily. Your competitors are constantly playing catch up with whatever you do (welcome to the era...
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If You Don’t Have Anything Meaningful To Say, Social Media Won’t Help You Say It Better

If You Don’t Have Anything Meaningful To Say, Social Media Won’t Help You Say It Better

We loved this rant about the idea that social media is a “brand strategy”. Repeat after me, urges the presenter, “Social media is a channel”. So, if you’re struggling to make social media work for your brand, maybe it’s time to look at what your brand is saying through social media. How is it creating a better “give and take” between your brand and the people vital to its success? How is it helping people generate new meaning in their lives? How is it creating a new relationship, not simply deploying the same messages used elsewhere? Read the...
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How To Completely And Utterly Destroy An Employee’s Work Life

How To Completely And Utterly Destroy An Employee’s Work Life

 We came across a fascinating workplace story in The Washington Post by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer, authors of The Progress Principle. Over the past 15 years, the team has tracked diary entries of 238 executives in 7 different companies. Their bottom line:  What we discovered is that the key factor you can use to make employees miserable on the job is to simply keep them from making progress in meaningful work.  Consider this: on one-third of those 12,000 days, the person writing the diary was either unhappy at work, demotivated by the work, or...
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Tempting Recipe For An Emotionally Meaningful Product Or Service Launch

Tempting Recipe For An Emotionally Meaningful Product Or Service Launch

Your brand plans to launch a new product or service, code-named BigHope, with the goals of increasing revenues and expanding your customer base. To this end, you have asked Emotive Brand to describe how it would approach this challenge. We believe that the most successful brands and products help people get what they want and need – ways to create new meaning in their lives. We are in the business of finding relevant meaning within brands, products and services, and bringing that appealing and differentiating power to light. For BigHope, our goal will be use the kitchen of emotive...
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Truly Meaningful Brands Are Born From The Inside Out

“Nowadays we want so much more from brands than just promises or stories. Brands that manage to create better relationships dominate the marketplace”. Hernán Sánchez Neira, CEO Havas Media Intelligence. Havas recently released their meaningful brand index, and note that the 50,000 people they surveyed globally find that less than 20% of the brands they use have a positive impact on their lives.   Furthermore, 70% of brands would not be missed, should they suddenly disappear. According to Havas, people are fundamentally changing the way they...
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Customer Moves But Stays With Bank 1,000 Miles Away – That’s Loyalty!

Customer Moves But Stays With Bank 1,000 Miles Away – That’s Loyalty!

We recently came across this great story about bringing corporate values to life inside and outside a brand. Frost Bank is in Texas, but when Terri, a customer of ten years standing, moved to San Francisco, she kept her accounts in place at Frost Bank. This is just one of the many stories Frost Bank uses to substantiate it’s claim for superior customer service. Frost Bank employees are guided by a manifesto of short, but telling, statements about things that truly matter to customers: Bankers should know their customers by name and vice versa. Courtesy should not be based upon the size...
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Turning Strong CSR Stories Into New Meaning For Your Employees

Turning Strong CSR Stories Into New Meaning For Your Employees

Building meaningful CSR stories A strong CSR report provides an excellent starting point for your brand to achieve a meaningful position in the hearts and minds of your employees. There is even greater value when those reports lead with strong CSR stories. That’s because, according to a recent Forbes report, CSR and employee engagement work hand in hand: Hewitt & Associations found that, “the more a company actively pursues worthy environmental and social efforts, the more engaged its employees are”. The Society for Human Resources Management found that for companies...
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It’s Time To Give People What They Need To Create Meaning

It’s Time To Give People What They Need To Create Meaning

We enjoyed reading Tom Asacker’s recent post, “Does your brand impute.” As usual, Tom makes important points with grace: “Leadership brands understand that brand success is not about winning a debate; it’s about signaling meaning. It’s not about convincing people with well-reasoned arguments. It’s about unearthing what people need to feel good, smart and special, and then giving it to them.” The message is clear: there’s a gift you can give people “that just keeps giving”. We believe that gift is already hidden inside your brand. It’s...
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