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Brand Strategy


How to Mindfully Lead Change

How to Mindfully Lead Change

Empathy in leadership In this thought-provoking video, KPCB* partner John Maeda reminds us of the importance of empathy in leadership. He suggests that leadership is a design problem, and notes that the best design comes from people who ask and listen before putting forward their ideas. Mindful leaders are, by nature, empathetic. They know that failing to listen first creates irrelevant communications and misunderstood gestures from leaders. As John Maeda says, “The people are there in the room, but nobody’s hearing what you say.” Connect more meaningfully To connect meaningfully to...
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Brand Strategy Without Brand Behavior = A Car Without an Engine

Brand Strategy Without Brand Behavior = A Car Without an Engine

Brand strategy is step one. Defining the shifts to the brand required to live the new brand strategy is step two. We call that brand behavior. It’s becoming increasingly clear that brands need to run deep if they are to prevail in today’s world. This is because modern brands need to compete with not only each other, but also with an overwhelming number of ideas, considerations, and issues that flood the minds and hearts of the people important to any brand’s success. To cut through this noise, and to stand out in a meaningful way, brands need to exude a holistic and deeply...
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Human Friendly Brands

Human Friendly Brands

Should brands be more like humans? Or is the real goal to be “human-friendly” in form, behavior, and function? It’s something worth thinking about. Most of us in the advertising/marketing/branding biz tend to anthropomorphize brands. We think and write about them as if they were living, breathing people. However, in a thought-provoking piece, “The Human Paradox”, Gareth Kaye, Chief Strategy Officer of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, questions if that is the right approach: “I’ve come to believe that this failure of brands is down to us blindly believing that brands that are more human...
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The Next Wave of Brand Strategy

The Next Wave of Brand Strategy

The role of brand strategy What makes your brand unique? How does it stand out in your category? What “significance” gets people flocking to your brand? What “stickiness” keeps people coming back to your brand? We wouldn’t be surprised if these questions keep you awake at night. After all, it’s clearly getting harder for brands to differentiate themselves. Categories are becoming commoditized as competitors mimic each other in both products and communications. Brand advantages based on innovation are short-lived as others rapidly copy technology, benefits,...
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The Role of Patience and Fortitude in Branding

The Role of Patience and Fortitude in Branding

The business world is tough out there It’s only natural, especially given today’s pressure cooker environment, to want instantly actionable ideas and immediate results. This is especially true the closer you are to the marketing machine within your business. At the same time, more and more businesses are realizing that they need to transform themselves in order to remain competitive, if not stay viable, in the 21st century. They are recognizing that their traditional strategies and tactics simply no longer work as expected. Also, the commoditization and price/value pressures they...
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Asked by Marketing: “Who Else Should We Target?”

Asked by Marketing: “Who Else Should We Target?”

Marketing suffers when it seeks to appeal to everyone, brands thrive when they appeal to more than customers. One of our favorite cartoonists, Tom Fishbourne, takes a poke at eager marketers who dilute their efforts by vainly attempting to appeal to everyone. Of course, most marketing is an outbound effort, designed to maximize sales at the lowest possible cost. It is a complex and dynamic game, and it’s little wonder some marketers “go big and wide” in their view of the market. Sharp focus has multiple rewards At the same time, highly focused marketing efforts often prove...
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Is a Misunderstood Brand Holding Back Your Business?

Is a Misunderstood Brand Holding Back Your Business?

  There’s a price to pay when your brand simply languishes. It’s the cost of lost opportunities. First, you are missing the opportunity to change the way people feel about your brand, and hence, what they can do to make your brand more successful. By people, we mean customers, employees, partners, investors, communities, influencers, and so on…. Indeed, we mean all the people who are vital to your brand’s succcess. It’s their decisions and actions that determine your fate. They think and act based on what they feel. If your brand doesn’t make them...
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How Strongly Do People Want Your Brand to Be Meaningful?

How Strongly Do People Want Your Brand to Be Meaningful?

Based on our conversations with brand-owners (including our own clients), brands need to work harder than ever. There are many reasons for this. Brands want to get their employees aligned to a new vision, but their employees are unengaged. Brands want to attract new customers, but can’t find ways to break through the clutter. Brands want to hire good people, but don’t seem to attract people with passion. This list (which goes on and on) speaks to the gap between a brand’s rational business needs and the emotional human desires of people. When brands are self-absorbed, stuck...
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Why Brand Strategy Needs to Start in the C-Suite

Why Brand Strategy Needs to Start in the C-Suite

For brand strategies to have any real traction, they need to be born – at least in spirit – in the C-suite. Here are three reasons why: 1.  Capture and reflect vision The leadership team sets the vision for the enterprise. This vision informs the tone and spirit of the brand strategy. 2.  Engage senior management ownership A new brand strategy is a moment of transformation for the company. As active participants in the development of the brand strategy, senior leadership takes an ownership position in this change process. 3.  Signal senior management buy-in When it is well known...
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Branding in a World Full of Screens

Branding in a World Full of Screens

A world full of screens Joel paints a picture of a world that’s filled with screens – far more than the four business currently focuses upon: “The basic dilemma for marketers is this: there are now too many screens to count. Set aside PCs, tablets, smartphones, and TVs (connected or otherwise), for a moment. Your car, your thermostat, your washer and dryer, your refrigerator are all on their way to being “smart” as well – connected to the internet and to each other, featuring screens that offer up all sorts of information, from usage data to content, like a fridge that suggests recipes based...
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