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Branding 101: How Avis Has Thrown the Baby Out With the Bath Water

Branding 101: How Avis Has Thrown the Baby Out With the Bath Water

The controversial decision to drop the 50-year-old Avis tagline of “We Try Harder” has made us wonder why people give up valuable ideas in the pursuit of new marketing strategies. There are what we call “meaningful truths” about companies. These are characteristics, beliefs, and methodologies that are true and actively alive within a business. Often, these are valuable gems that are operating below the surface, which, when seen in the light of day, show how the business can truly matter to people. Avis had such an idea in “We Try Harder”, which has become...
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In the Age of Meaning, Owning Becomes Passé

In the Age of Meaning, Owning Becomes Passé

According The Atlantic, young Americans aren’t buying cars. The horror! As the auto industry goes into a tailspin, every other industry needs to pay attention. Values and behaviors are changing in ways that challenge traditional business models, marketing approaches, and the ways in which you deal with customers and employees. So, what do people want these days, if they don’t want to own stuff? In a fascinating Fast Company post, “Why Millennials Don’t Want to Buy Stuff”, consultant Josh Allan Dykstra explains: “Humanity is experiencing an evolution in...
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Blanding 101: How Not To Matter

Blanding 101: How Not To Matter

We came across this superb graphic in an old Fast Company post on the debacle at Best Buy. After considerable effort, the management of the troubled retailer announced a new tagline: “Making technology work for you.” Ho-hum. The post’s author, David Brier, quotes David Ogilvy: “You can’t bore people into buying your product.” Being bland is easy, but damaging to your business, product, and/or service (aka “brand”). Mattering to people isn’t that hard, and makes what you do emotionally meaningful. When what you do is emotionally meaningful...
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3 Drivers For A Meaningful Workplace Conversation

3 Drivers For A Meaningful Workplace Conversation

In our published paper, “How to Talk to Employees in Turbulent Times”, we encourage CEOs to establish a new dialog with their employees and offer key drivers to have a meaningful workplace conversation. The recent economic climate has been enough to unsettle any employee. Even if they are working for an apparently stable and growing company, employees are nonetheless influenced by the world around them. They are naturally concerned about what effect the turbulent environment will eventually have on their lives. In the past, it has been normal for CEOs to issue high-level reports...
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White Paper: How to Talk with Your Employees in Turbulent Times

White Paper: How to Talk with Your Employees in Turbulent Times

Employees can easily become rattled and worried when things shift in shifts in down cycles. As a result, CEOs looking to keep their people in focus and motivated, need a new way of reaching out to their employees. In our White Paper, “How to Talk to Employees in Turbulent Times”, we offer CEOs practical tips on how to create a meaningful conversation in the workplace that reduces anxieties, instils hope and helps employees feel they are doing work that truly matters. Emotive Brand is a brand strategy and design...
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Bridging the Gap – Work Becomes Less Gratifying As People Seek Meaningful Gratification

Bridging the Gap – Work Becomes Less Gratifying As People Seek Meaningful Gratification

These are uncertain and unsettling times for workers. The institution of employment has been broken apart, made increasingly conditional, and, for many workers, emptied of meaning. At the same time, businesses need people to help them compete, grow, and prosper. For that to happen, employees need to be engaged, motivated, and aligned. And add to this the growing need of the people to do work that matters to themselves, the society, and the planet. How can your business bridge the gap between the reality of your workplace today and the meaningful desires of your employees? We’ve...
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Good Leadership Character Leads to Good Brand Character

Good Leadership Character Leads to Good Brand Character

Tough time call for strong leaders As recognition sets in that the COVID-19 crisis will not be short-lived, companies must respond appropriately by communicating in ways that are empathetic and relevant, contextually aware, human and sensitive. Leaders, brand stewards, and their teams must be extremely focused, keep up with the new normal of uncertainty, and have the ability to rapidly re-evaluate what their company stands for, how it communicates, and why this matters now more than ever. Leadership Character An excellent post at IMD.org speaks to two attributes that the writers, Professors...
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Businesses That Matter Do Well By Doing Good

Businesses That Matter Do Well By Doing Good

When fueled by a Purpose Beyond Profit, a business does good things for employees, customers, society, and the planet. How businesses that matter, matter to people: They help employees create meaning in their lives by making their work matter. They give customers solid reasons to admire, respect, and be happily associated with their business and their offerings. They help build a stronger society by being a good corporate citizen, respecting laws, and helping improve lives. They strive to limit their impact on the environment by conserving non-renewable resources, curtailing pollution, and...
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In B2B, It’s Not “What”, It’s “Who”

In B2B, It’s Not “What”, It’s “Who”

B2B is often dominated by features and benefits, industry-standard claims, and a surprising lack of emotion. Why? We ask you to think, for a moment, about people. Those people in companies who buy your products. Those people within your own company that imagine, build, sell, and service your product. Those people who invest in your business. Those people who open new opportunities by agreeing to partner with your business. Those people who supply your business and decide if what you need arrives on-time and on-budget. Those people who let you build your facilities in their community. Those...
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People Searching for Meaning Present Opportunities for Businesses That Matter

People Searching for Meaning Present Opportunities for Businesses That Matter

Toni Morrison is a great American novelist who, in a recent interview, pinpointed one of the reasons we are entering the age of meaning. For all sort of reasons, life in the Industrial Age of opulence lacked meaningful nourishment. It left people feeling empty, which lead them to try to fill the gap with junk food, junk clothes, and junk ideas. But today, people no longer find it easy to toss off meaning; rather, they are actively navigating to find those things which offer nourishment. Among other things, they are searching out businesses that share their values with respect to social and...
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Visualizing the Root of Your Most Pressing Business Problems

Visualizing the Root of Your Most Pressing Business Problems

Your business’s performance suffers when people don’t do what your business needs them to do. So why aren’t they doing what you need them to do? To help you understand why you are enduring increasing customer dissatisfaction and employee lethargy, we have prepared a paper, “The Meaning Gap: What it Means to Your Business.” The meaning gap represents the distance that’s growing between your business and the people vital to it’s success. As your business becomes more sophisticated, measured, and managed – in other words, less human – it...
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What Do Employees Truly Want? A Job That Matters

What Do Employees Truly Want? A Job That Matters

According to a recent study, over half of workers – and an amazing 72% of students – list “a job where I can make an impact” as very important or essential to their happiness. What does this mean to employers? It means that they would benefit from establishing a meaningful workplace for their employees. They would define a “purpose beyond profit” – a statement that sums up how what your company does, and how it does it, makes an impact in which employees play a vital part. They would infuse their workplace with this purpose beyond profit by...
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How the Age of Opulence Set Us Off on Mindless Consumerism

How the Age of Opulence Set Us Off on Mindless Consumerism

We came across this 1930 quote from the post “This isn’t happiness”, which was featured on the Explore blog. We believe it shows the point at which things started to get ugly. This was a call for a time of mindless consumerism. A time when people “had to be trained”. And boy, were we ever trained. Whatever it was, as long as it was “more, faster, cheaper, now”, we bought it. We filled our houses, then our garages, and then rented storage pods, with stuff we didn’t really want or need. Everything got cheaper and cheaper at a time when we made...
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Businesses That Matter Reward Loyalty in Ways That Matter

Businesses That Matter Reward Loyalty in Ways That Matter

Add a meaningful dimension to your loyalty offering to make it matter more to your best customers, your business, and the world. Your most loyal customers are no doubt financially important to you. But, is your loyalty program just a transactional system, or is it also a rewarding hug for the people loyal to your business? In other words, does your loyalty program have both an ROI and an ROM (return on meaning)? Something for Nothing Everyone loves to be rewarded for being a good customer. Points and perks are powerful ways to say “thank you”. The strongest loyalty programs...
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Feelings Are the New Values in Workplaces That Matter

Feelings Are the New Values in Workplaces That Matter

Aligning employees, getting them engaged, and creating a workplace that people not only love to work in, but strive to get a place in, is the “holy grail” for many companies. And with good reason. Without a workplace that people find gratifying, a company runs the risk of having employees working at cross purposes, working at half speed, and spending more time looking for a new job than doing their current job. In our “Meaningful Workplace” paper we talk about the need for companies to change the way they reach out to employees in the age of meaning. No doubt, your...
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