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The Power of Debate in Meetings to Drive Business Forward

The Power of Debate in Meetings to Drive Business Forward

Meetings: Valuable or Valueless? What’s more frustrating than sitting through endless meetings and coming out on the other end asking: What was the point of those? As technology introduces even more ways to communicate offline, you would think we’d see the quantity of meetings decreasing. However, the opposite has been shown. Research shows meetings increasing in length and frequency. In the 1960s, executives spent less than 10 hours in meetings. Now, executives spend about 23 hours a week in them. And although no one loves a day jam-packed with meetings, what’s really at the heart of the...
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Using Benchmarking Research to Track Growth and ROI

Using Benchmarking Research to Track Growth and ROI

Many of our clients count on their brand strategy to be a springboard for growth. Whether they’re falling short of ambitious goals or have truly hit a wall, brand strategy can help create the shifts they need to move ahead. But how do you measure success beyond hard numbers like revenue and inbound queries? How do you get insight into whether, how, and how much your brand strategy is fueling your growth – and what more it might be able to do? Brand perceptions, after all, are a squishier metric than dollars. Right? Benchmarking Research Demonstrates ROI Not necessarily. Brand perceptions can...
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Storytelling Is the Best Bridge Between Customers and Solutions

Storytelling Is the Best Bridge Between Customers and Solutions

Once Upon a Sales Deck Salespeople want to sell. This much we know. Often, in our conversations with clients or in our perusing of sales decks, we hear a similar refrain. How do we cut to the chase and get to the meat? We don’t blame them. In today’s millennial-influenced age of purpose, you could sit through a narrative, a manifesto, a history lesson, a personal testimony, and a video on corporate social responsibility all before learning what someone is actually selling you. That’s the balancing act. You’re only as strong as your story — but if your story goes on too long, meanders, or...
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Enduring Brand Lessons from the Worlds of Retail, Restaurants, and Other First Jobs

Enduring Brand Lessons from the Worlds of Retail, Restaurants, and Other First Jobs

Is there anything as formative as our first jobs? It’s a magical time when the newfound autonomy of getting a paycheck is immediately countered by an ugly truth: making money is hard work. For many of us, first jobs start in the worlds of retail, restaurants, and other seemingly unglamorous customer service gigs. There are, by definition, entry-level positions, but don’t let that fool you. Any job that puts you in front of people — people with highly-specific desires, big expectations, and virtually no patience — requires a herculean amount of smarts and emotional intelligence. There is a...
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Brand Growth in a Saturated, Competitive Market: Yes, It’s Possible

Brand Growth in a Saturated, Competitive Market: Yes, It’s Possible

Brand Growth Despite Growing Competition Brands saturate our world. They are all looking to innovate faster, compete harder, and disrupt bigger. Why? Competition is tough – from both emerging and established brands. This forces companies to always be on their toes. But competition isn’t always a bad thing. Competition is what gives brands the motivation to do better and be better. If your market is crowded, it doesn’t mean your employees must work 18-hour days or that you have to outspend on advertising. Instead, what you really need to do is work smarter. Here are some ways you can grow...
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Emotive Design Is Felt in the Gut

Emotive Design Is Felt in the Gut

This week, we had the pleasure of adding Beth Abrahamson as a Senior Designer to our team. She is a multidisciplinary graphic designer whose practice challenges the distinction between art and design. Constantly shifting in and out of different mediums – collage, ceramics, photography, drawing – she’s an expert at imagining how these forms can live in the digital world. With an MFA in Design from California College of the Arts, Beth has recently worked with AirBnB, Southern Exposure, San Francisco Art Institute, and many others. We sat down with Beth to discuss her work, the importance of...
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Brand Affinity: The Discipline of Choosing Who Loves Your Brand

Brand Affinity: The Discipline of Choosing Who Loves Your Brand

Want Everyone to Love Your Brand? Think Again. Don’t build a brand for everyone. Build a brand for the people who will become your most loyal and loving customers. You can’t be a match for everyone – especially if you’re at the earlier stages of growth. You don’t have the time, energy, or resources to successfully connect with such large, indistinct groups. A “let’s-make-everyone-love-us” mindset will only dilute what some people could really love about your brand. When we work with clients on developing target audiences, they often want to become like Nike or Apple – a brand that...
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Mistakes to Avoid When Activating Strategy

Mistakes to Avoid When Activating Strategy

Activating strategy is an integral part of moving your brand and business forward. Your brand strategy is a road map for success that positions your business for the future. It’s the set of tools meant to bring your brand to life and move your business forward. Activating strategy means you need a strong go-to-market plan in the hands of a motivated, aligned marketing team to steer how the brand looks, behaves, and speaks – inside and outside your business walls. Strategy is Set. So, What’s next?  The value of a strong strategy can’t be fully realized until the strategy comes into real life...
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The Role of B2B Messaging and How to Get it Right

The Role of B2B Messaging and How to Get it Right

Disruptive and Transformational Technologies Technology is advancing like never before. With disruptive technology advancements in AI, machine learning, iOT, analytics, and so much more, it’s becoming more and more difficult for businesses to keep pace. Industries are being transformed and the world we live in is changing before our eyes. So how can you develop more compelling and differentiated B2B messaging for marketing and sales teams? As an agency, we work with many tech clients who are in the midst of this change – racing the clock to get to market before the competition....
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Brand Is the Best Foundation for Growth

Brand Is the Best Foundation for Growth

Emotive Brand Experts #6: Kelly Morgan Continuing our Emotive Brand Experts series, we’re interviewing past and present Emotive Brand clients to discover what they do better than anybody else — and how that expertise can be used to embolden your brand today. Kelly Morgan is Head of Marketing at Lyra, a startup that’s transforming behavioral healthcare. We’ve been working with Kelly to rebrand Lyra, and they just launched their new brand last week. In addition, they’ve secured their next series of funding! Kelly spoke with us to discuss key learnings from the rebranding process. What was the...
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How to Grow and Maximize Employee Engagement

How to Grow and Maximize Employee Engagement

Employee Engagement Is More Than an HR Benefit Since Gallup began tracking employee engagement in 2000, employee engagement averages haven’t budged. A recent Gallup survey shows that indeed, work could be more fulfilling for most Americans. The percentage of U.S. workers whom Gallup considers “engaged” in their jobs averaged 34.1% in March. As it stands today, over two-thirds of the American workforce is disengaged at work, and it appears that no amount of HR benefit, wellness programs, or incentives can make a dent in this number. So how does an organization build a culture of...
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Category Creators: Creating a New Brand Category to Drive Growth

Category Creators: Creating a New Brand Category to Drive Growth

Category As A Frame Of Reference A brand’s frame of reference is the foundation of its positioning. It will determine the points of parity the brand has to meet in order to be considered a legitimate player, and highlight opportunities to differentiate. As such, your brand needs to fit into the framework of a brand category that people understand and relate to in order to really ‘get’ your brand. As UC Berkeley Professor George Lakoff explains, a frame of reference is absolutely essential, get it wrong and your difference may be ignored: “Framing provides a mental structure that shapes the...
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Investing in Corporate Narrative During Transition: Essential Tool for CEOs

Investing in Corporate Narrative During Transition: Essential Tool for CEOs

Transformations and Transitions The corporate narrative is an essential tool for CEOs. Persuading them to invest in one is hard sometimes. Competitive pressures on businesses today are stronger than ever. And as a result, many companies are taking new directions, which are leaving CEOs to reevaluate their position, redirect employees, and build new identities and strategies that are going to fuel business forward amidst important transitions and transformations. As many businesses today shift and flex to changing market demands, it’s easy for a large transformation or transitional period to...
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Brand Belonging, Essential to Building Better Brands

Brand Belonging, Essential to Building Better Brands

A Belonging Deficit We all want to belong. It’s part of what makes us human. The need for belonging isn’t new, but how we connect with others has changed, and not necessarily for the better. We have shorter attention spans. We glance from screen to screen so we often don’t feel completely part of any given experience. Not surprisingly, studies show feelings of anxiety, loneliness, and disengagement increasing, especially amongst younger generations. Many people blame this sense of isolation solely on technology. But there are other fragmenting factors in addition – decreasing levels of trust...
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How to Get the Most Out of Strategic Messaging

How to Get the Most Out of Strategic Messaging

Traditional Messaging Isn’t Working For as long as people have communicated, we’ve had messaging. Many of the most well-known messengers are religious figures – the usual suspects like Moses, Muhammad, and Jesus. In business, messaging has always been part of some corporate function like marketing, communications, or investor relations. Messaging is not going away. What’s changed is the way we communicate. We and other agencies have for years delivered messaging in a one-page, multilevel framework. While still useful, these one-page grids are no longer valuable tools on their own. So...
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