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Brand


Defining What a Brand Is: Why Is It So Hard?

Defining What a Brand Is: Why Is It So Hard?

The History of Brand A lot of people – even those in branding – struggle with answering the question: So what’s a brand, anyway? The term “brand” first emerged more than half a century ago as a way for cattle ranchers to identify their animals. In the late 1880s, packaged goods like Coca-Cola started taking off. Brands were used to differentiate them from the generic competition. But as branding progressed, marketers realized there was more to the brand of Coca-Cola than just a non-generic name. David Ogilvy, the “Father of Advertising,” defined brand as “the intangible sum of a product’s...
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A Mid-Year Check-Up Across Business, Brand, and Culture

A Mid-Year Check-Up Across Business, Brand, and Culture

The half-way point of the year is always ripe for reflection. We all survived Q1, the budget isn’t completely spent yet, and with any luck, we’ll live to see Q3. It’s a perfect time to kick the tires of your business, brand, and culture. What’s working? What’s failing? How can you fail better? How can you push things forward and end the year on a meteoric rise instead of a trickle? Let’s run a brief diagnostic check. 1. How is your brand positioning? Are you top of mind? Is it clear, competitive, differentiated? Maybe your sales have declined, your targeted audience has shifted, or your...
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Back to School: An Interactive Presentation at Orinda Intermediate School

Back to School: An Interactive Presentation at Orinda Intermediate School

This past October, Design Director Robert Saywitz and Production Director Jonathan Fisher found themselves back at Orinda Intermediate School for the second annual “Power of Branding” workshop. Similar to last year, students were given a brief history of branding – the power of symbols in our culture, logo design, and how brands can evolve over time. Students were then broken into teams and tasked with either creating a new brand identity for a fictional educational startup, or rebranding Amazon’s existing identity. More than ever, it showed the importance of teamwork in problem-solving and...
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Make It Sexy: The Big Impact of Branding “Boring” Things

Make It Sexy: The Big Impact of Branding “Boring” Things

Branding and advertising are infamous for making us covet things we don’t actually need. The super sleek sheen of a Tesla or an iPhone or a bra designed by NASA’s top scientists are alluring, but at the end of the day, they are merely luxuries. The question of getting people to need something they want is sales 101. But more and more, branding agencies are tackling the inverse. How do you get people to want the things they need? Is there a space for surprise and delight in the most boring, pedestrian motions of daily life: applying a bandage, brushing our teeth, wiping our bums? Welcome to...
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How to Tune-Up Your Bullshit Detector


How to Tune-Up Your Bullshit Detector


In the immortal words of Jon Stewart, “Bullshit is everywhere. There is very little that you will encounter in life that has not been, in some way, infused with bullshit.” As a brand strategy and design agency, we live in the intersection between people and brands. This is perhaps one of the most fertile, organic spaces for bullshit to thrive. The speed of technology has created a sizeable gap between those who know what they’re talking about and those who don’t. Our job, to the best of our abilities, is to eradicate the nonsense, the fluff, the jargon, the overpromising and...
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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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Challenger Brands: Design that Disrupts

Challenger Brands: Design that Disrupts

Challenger Creative This post is the last in our three-part series on challenger brands. You can read a general primer to challenger brands or a deep dive into B2B challengers right here. Previously, we chatted about the power of adopting a challenger mindset, how to compete against your category, and what the B2B world can learn from B2C disruptors. In these examples, most of the strategies were internal. It was a question of knowing how to recognize the pressure for change, creating a shared vision, having the capacity to execute, and building out a realistic work plan. But still, the...
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Happy Holidays from Emotive Brand!

Happy Holidays from Emotive Brand!

Thanks for a Brilliant Year It’s the most wonderful time of the year. A time when our team frantically rushes to put the finishing touches on all our projects before taking a break to spend time with loved ones. It’s a time when our brainstorms are frenetic, our delivery is lightning fast, and the drinks are strong. So, really, it’s business as usual. We wanted to take a minute to thank our amazing clients for giving us the opportunity to transform their brands. We have the supreme privilege of working with some of the brightest, most driven, whip-smart people all over the...
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Brand Writing Trends for 2019

Brand Writing Trends for 2019

There’s a good reason why it’s said we consume content. Because content, like other treasured objects of consumption, can make you queasy if not served properly. Continuing our preview of 2019, today we’re examining the crucial content trends your brand needs to master heading into the new year. If you’re looking to overcome challenges, build a stronger employer brand, or disrupt your visual design, you can start there. Authenticity Over Everything Whenever we discuss how a brand expresses itself, we must always ground ourselves in embracing authenticity. Trust is the yardstick by which all...
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We’re Grateful for Our Amazing Clients

We’re Grateful for Our Amazing Clients

Here in the U.S., it’s Thanksgiving. Which means it’s a perfect time to pause and reflect on what we’re grateful for. We’re grateful for strong coffee. We’re grateful for stronger cocktails. We’re grateful for the passionate, creative, curious people who come to Emotive Brand every day to make brands matter more to people. And of course, we’re incredibly grateful for our growing list of clients that give us their time, expertise, and trust to help them transform their brands. We couldn’t do it without them. As we sign off for the rest of the week, we wanted to do a quick roundup of some of...
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