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Where Is Your Brand on People’s “Trajectory of Life”?

Where Is Your Brand on People’s “Trajectory of Life”?

In a recent New York Times article, philosophy professor Todd May suggested that life has a trajectory which can be conceived narratively.  “A human life can be seen as a story, or as a series of stories that are more or less related”, he wrote. And then he asked, “What makes a trajectory a meaningful one?” This is important, May writes, because we find ourselves in an age of commerce, in which people “are currently encouraged to think of the themselves as either consumers or entrepreneurs”. May points out that this drive to be “shoppers of...
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Part 13: The Meaningful Workplace – Going Beyond Selling

Part 13: The Meaningful Workplace – Going Beyond Selling

Going beyond sending “messages” “The words printed here are concepts. You must go through the experiences.” – Saint Augustine It was earlier noted that people today – including employees and prospective recruits – are looking for more meaning in their lives. This shift has not only prompted companies to reconsider their business models, product offerings and workplaces, it has made them rethink the terms on which they engage people.  This is especially true when trying to build a meaningful workplace. It becomes far more involved than simply...
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The Talent Challenge

The Talent Challenge

The talent challenge for CEO’s is real. According to a recent study by PWC, CEOS are hot on the issue of talent management with more and more seeing it as a tool to deliver real competitive advantage. Consider the drivers: 66% of CEOs fear talent shortages will strangle their company’s growth. Developed-market talent pools are ageing. Millennial generation of workers is bringing strikingly different expectations. Growth is now being driven by far-flung emerging markets, where top talent can often name its own price. No wonder 83% of CEOs asked told PWC they intend to make “some” or a...
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Part 12: The Meaningful Workplace – Making It Happen

Part 12: The Meaningful Workplace – Making It Happen

Making it happen: the meaningful workplace master plan A meaningful workplace is built from the company’s master plan – a “strategic platform” used exclusively by senior management – that defines the three core elements of “ambition” (purpose), “feelings” (values)” and “behavior” (building a culture).  This master plan drives all subsequent activities, which include: Macro Plans – how the business itself will be evolved,  Group Plans – how groups of employees will be engaged, and  Solo Plans...
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Corporate Culture Becomes Behavior

Corporate Culture Becomes Behavior

“Behavior” is the new “corporate culture” “If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.” – Albert Einstein A business’s fate is determined in large part by its culture. A “business culture” is the reality created by how people act, react and interact with each other based on their attitudes, beliefs and ambitions. The most damaging business cultures are those in which aggression, neglect and punishment leave employees feeling they have no reason to commit their energies and skills, share their ideas or help the company...
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For Brands, Being Human Is The New Black. And…

For Brands, Being Human Is The New Black. And…

Fast Company recently featured a story about IDEO’s Elle Luna’s talk to the Design Fair at which she declared: “Today, brands are becoming more and more like humans. They’re taking on more and more human-like traits.” Clearly, with our concept of emotive branding, we believe the same thing. Emotions are human traits which brands, as abstract concepts, do not literally possess. However, what a brand says and does can be designed to evoke specific human emotions. And when a brand consistently evokes the same set of emotions, it goes a long way to elevating the brand’s...
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Part 10: The Meaningful Workplace – Values Become Feelings

Part 10: The Meaningful Workplace – Values Become Feelings

“Feelings” are the new “values” “People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou The goal of employee engagement is to drive employee attitudes, behavior, morality and ethics in such a way as to improve their productivity, morale, satisfaction and usefulness within the organization. However, many companies have struggled with converting their proclaimed “values” into compelling, work-changing experiences for their employees.  Often, the problems...
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Attracting Talent To Your Business – Recruiting The Emotive Branding Way

Perhaps the most significant outcome of the emotive branding process is the new story you’re able to tell. It’s a story that engages people on a different level than most recruitment communications. Why? Because it answers that very question… it explains why it is particulary worthwhile to work for your company. It marries the necessary rational information with a strong dose of emotion. It transforms work from something one has to do, to something one wants to do. It attracts top quality people who bring the kinds of values and behavior that will make your company stronger...
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McGuire Indoor 2011

McGuire Indoor 2011

See the full gallery on Posterous The 2011 refresh of the McGuire Furniture Collection uses a documentary style to showcase existing clients proudly sharing “their McGuire” in the context of their own homes. Showing the product in real, lived-in environments helps illustrate the potential of the brand and help new users to become inspired. The collection of photographs and stories is followed by a statement of relevancy on design, collections, quality and craftsmanship. Proud to say “My...
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Part 8: The Meaningful Workplace – Rethink Old Tools

Part 8: The Meaningful Workplace – Rethink Old Tools

Making your workplace more meaningful. “How do you build an organization where people are willing to bring their gifts of initiative, creativity and passion?” – Gary Hamel You can’t build a workplace that is meaningful to people using the old mentality and out-dated tools that have rendered your current workspace meaning-neutral or, at worst, meaningless. To forge meaningful alliances with meaning-seeking employees requires new ways of thinking and acting. Familiar business constructs that have formed the foundation of employer/employee relations are being...
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Tom Asacker On “Broken Brands” – Music To Our Ears

Maybe we should promote ourselves as a “brand repair shop” after Tom Asacker’s brilliant post, “The World Is Littered With Broken Brands” Here’s an extract. A broken brand is a business that has no idea where it’s going; has no way of communicating its purpose (since none exists); and therefore cannot align its activities nor inspire its people. It’s in disorder. And this disorder leads to people walking around concluding that no one cares and that no one is in charge. Employees may see problems or opportunities, but they stop complaining and...
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Why The Greatest Impact Of Emotive Branding Happens At the Lowest Point

As we have written before, it is inspiring to us when our clients show their surprise and delight as they first view the results of our emotive branding exploration of their brand. Suddenly they see how dwelling somewhere below the “why” of what they do now seems a bit shallow and obvious – and too much like what the other players are doing. They see how their presence can be altered, enhanced and made more meaningful to more people. Quite naturally, they start by thinking of all the tangible manifestations of their brand which they can either fine-tune, change all together...
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Part 7: The Meaningful Workplace – Pointless Workplaces

Part 7: The Meaningful Workplace – Pointless Workplaces

Why workplaces aren’t meaningful now “Where do you find people, our most important asset, on a balance sheet? Under expenses.” – Paul Herman, HIP Investor Business has long been focused on producing widgets, growing market share, managing costs, and delivering shareholder value. And, while employees are a very costly factor, both in terms of monetary and management time, the process-driven, measurement-hungry and org chart world of business has been lacking in human respect, empathy and meaning. As such, businesses have been far more focused on the “what”...
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MillerCoors SDR 2010 – Success the Right Way.

MillerCoors SDR 2010 – Success the Right Way.

See the full gallery on Posterous With two powerhouse parent companies looking over its shoulders, MillerCoors makes a big leap in sustainable reporting with Success the Right Way. For their 2010 report, we helped bring a new level of transparency and depth, as the company established internal protocols and moved towards international standards. This report highlights employee contributions to sustainability efforts and takes an interesting look at MillerCoors’ nine 2015 goals with photographed product charts. Printed by Hemlock Printers using 100% recycled and 100% post-consumer waste...
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HR Director Is The New Marketing Director?

HR Director Is The New Marketing Director?

Our friend Tom Fishburne once again creates a clever cartoon to make an important point: “the best brands and businesses market from the inside out”. To quote Tom, “We all work in marketing, no matter our functional expertise.  Everyone in the company has the ability to impact the brand, whether they work in accounts payable or marketing. That means that the HR Director is the new Marketing Director.  Recruitment is as important to how a brand is marketed as creating a marketing plan.” In our parlance, the best brands grow from the inside out by fostering a...
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