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How to Attract and Assemble Top Talent

How to Attract and Assemble Top Talent

What Makes a Real Business? You write for years before you call yourself a writer. You play music for thousands of hours before you call yourself a musician. So, what does it take for a startup to be called a “real business?” Is about funding? Awareness? One definition from Inc. – and one that speaks to just how many moving parts it takes to reach sustained success – is when a company’s founder no longer relies exclusively on his or her own skills to manage the business. It’s the point when a CEO can truly delegate a task without worry. (Or, at least not too much worry.) Faster Alone,...
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The Value of Outside Creativity on In-House Work

The Value of Outside Creativity on In-House Work

As an agency, we have the benefit of outside perspective on client work. Our distance allows us to see situations with a more objective lens. But what happens when we get too close to our own work or get caught in a creative slump? As Design Director Robert Saywitz tells us, sometimes the best solution to in-house problems is outside inspiration. We sat down to discuss how his background in illustration, graphic novels, and mixed-media informs his design thinking. Tell us a bit about your artistic practices. I do a little bit of everything: painting, drawing, ink, mixed-media works on paper,...
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A 5-Step Action Plan for Sales and Marketing Alignment

A 5-Step Action Plan for Sales and Marketing Alignment

B2B Sales and Marketing Alignment 2.0 A former colleague of mine just started a job where she was required to stand up and deliver a sales presentation to the sales leadership team. That wouldn’t be unusual for a new salesperson – but she’s a marketer. And the experience of walking in the sales team’s shoes made her a better one. B2B companies talk a lot about sales and marketing alignment, but talk will only get you so far. Companies need to take action to get their sales and marketing teams empathizing with each other, strategizing together, and working from the same playbook. It’s a...
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Branding Agency, Emotive Brand, Turns 10 Years Old: An Interview with Bella Banbury

Branding Agency, Emotive Brand, Turns 10 Years Old: An Interview with Bella Banbury

Last week, Emotive Brand, Oakland-based branding agency celebrated its ten-year anniversary. To mark the occasion, we sat down with Co-Founder Bella Banbury to discuss her experience starting a business with her best friend, the importance of culture, and what it will take to be successful moving forward. What accomplishments are you most proud of? Ten years ago, Tracy Lloyd and I were working together at another agency that abruptly closed its doors. We found ourselves unexpectedly without jobs and we needed a plan. So, on the first day of our newfound freedom, we met for breakfast at the W...
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What Does the Agency of the Future Look Like?

What Does the Agency of the Future Look Like?

Last week, Emotive Brand celebrated its ten-year anniversary. Naturally, the milestone has led all of us here to reflect on the last decade and ask what it will take to continue to be successful moving forward. Today, Founding Partner and Chief Strategy Officer Tracy Lloyd and Creative Director Thomas Hutchings tackle that very question. What does the agency of the future look like? How does it behave? And how do we continue to push the envelope of what’s possible? How have you seen the agency space shift over time? Thomas Hutchings: Gone are the days of real arrogance, where an agency could...
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A Deep Dive into Designing for Accessibility

A Deep Dive into Designing for Accessibility

Today’s blog is about our recent work with the Galt Foundation, an organization that provides, promotes, and expands employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. You can view our full case study here. The following post is available as both a text and audio experience.   Designing for Accessibility Is a Duty, Not an Option As designers, we have the opportunity to create experiences that bring people together, but we also have a responsibility to create work which can be experienced by everyone, regardless of ability. That’s not to say that everyone will perceive or...
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How to Launch a New Brand Category

How to Launch a New Brand Category

Launching A New Brand Category The decision to join an existing category, or to launch a new brand category is not an easy decision. Evaluating your product maturity, the product roadmap, and overall market maturity is critical. Once the decision is made, the strategy shifts to creating the right budget and plan to launch the new brand category. Building momentum is paramount to both the category’s success, and by proxy, your own brand’s position as the category leader. As we’ve previously discussed, timing is critical for launch. You need to consider factors of competition, messaging,...
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What Is a Brand Idea?

What Is a Brand Idea?

How do people make business decisions? Whether you’re debating a specific word choice or overhauling an entire brand, there’s always a tension between the rational and emotional, the aesthetic and strategic. It’s easy to have a gut instinct over the things that inflame your curiosity, but what about the minuscule? As decision fatigue sets in, how do you ensure your choices are aligned, consistent, and ultimately laddering up to something greater than the sum of its parts? This is where the concept of brand idea shines. A brand idea is an essence or embodiment of what you stand for. Think of...
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Maintaining Brand Relevance in a Fast-Paced World

Maintaining Brand Relevance in a Fast-Paced World

Brand Relevance Amidst New Expectations In a time of constant change and heightened customer expectations, the greatest danger facing most brands today is loss of brand relevance. People are ultra-connected. Markets constantly shift. New trends emerge. Competitors enter and shake things up. And customers expect more from the brands they buy from. As a result, many businesses struggle to stay relevant —trying to get ahead of competition, adapt fast enough, and maintain their position in the market. In order to survive, brands need to evolve in a way that differentiates them from their...
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Brand Relevance Is The New Differentiation

Brand Relevance Is The New Differentiation

We believe brands need to stand out, not just by being different, but by being both personally relevant and emotionally important to people. We came across this statement by Elliot Schreiber, Ph.D on his blog “Brand and Reputation” that sums up the key difference between “differentiation” and “relevance”: Relevance is More Important than Differentiation: Business strategists, Marketers and brand managers have been fixated on differentiation. Customers, however, are drawn to relevance – the things that “connect with them emotionally”. As I...
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Will the Future of HR Still Be Human?

Will the Future of HR Still Be Human?

Ironically, the biggest forces shaking up the HR industry these days aren’t human at all. Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and natural language processing (NLP) are all drastically transforming the world of recruiting and hiring. Just look at the Artificial Intelligence Index 2018 Annual Report by Stanford University, which shows that the number of active U.S. startups developing AI systems has increased 14-fold since 2000. There is clearly a hunger for this type of technology, but we’re only just starting to grasp what’s possible with these shiny new toys. While we’ve...
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Getting all the Stakeholders on the Same Page

Getting all the Stakeholders on the Same Page

In America, there is a strong belief that the success or failure of your venture comes down to individual drive. It’s you, and you alone, that can turn the tide in your favor. In reality, as even the most steadfast founders learn, much of your time will be devoted to appeasing external stakeholders. Sometimes, those who know the least about your vision will have the most influence over its chance of survival. Navigating the C-suite requires knowing how to engage stakeholders by building and nurturing relationships. The meaningful enterprise has moved from a transactional foundation — where...
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Let’s Get Political: Can Brands Stand for More Than Profit?

Let’s Get Political: Can Brands Stand for More Than Profit?

These days, when you see a brand trending on Twitter, it can only mean one thing: they got political. Brands aligning themselves with a cause is no new thing, but there’s something about the social media age that makes it electric. Even a low-risk cause, like suggesting that men should aim to be the best versions of themselves, is enough to start hashtag boycotts and video challenges of people destroying their own property. For better or worse, we’re in an era where if people don’t like a particular cause you’ve supported, they will actively search and destroy your ad partnerships. The...
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Brand Salience Is the Lifeline Between You and Your Customers

Brand Salience Is the Lifeline Between You and Your Customers

How Are Purchase Decisions Actually Made? Let’s say you need to buy a toilet brush. You’re at the store with your partner, and they say, “The brushes are just down that aisle, do you mind grabbing one?” Suddenly, you find yourself in front of a wall of toilet brushes. Never in your life have you actively thought about toilet brushes, toilet brush brands, or the state of the toilet brush market. But now, somehow, you find yourself in the position of trying to form an emotional connection to an object that arguably has the worst job in your house. Do you grab the cheapest one? Or maybe just...
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