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Brand


Too. Many. Choices. Yes, Over-Branding Is a Thing.

Too. Many. Choices. Yes, Over-Branding Is a Thing.

I walked into my favorite hair and body care store last week, looking for my usual hair product — you know, the one that protects hair before you heat-style it. I couldn’t remember the name of the product but I figured I’d easily recognize it once in the store. I couldn’t have been more wrong. As it turns out, the product I use is just one member of a family of products prone to over-branding that all have adjacent but different uses. The family has a common name but each sub-product has a distinct name to indicate its use. Easy, right? No, not easy. A knowledgeable and patient...
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Move On: The Magic Quadrant Should Not Guide Your Brand

Move On: The Magic Quadrant Should Not Guide Your Brand

If you’re a startup CEO/Founder/Marketer, you might have read that headline and thought, “What do you mean I shouldn’t care about the Magic Quadrant? I’ll take a Vendor Briefing call on vacation if I have to!” Sure, tech companies strive for a mention in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant—or better yet—placement in the top right corner as a “Leader”. Gartner’s Magic Quadrant will tell you who’s product sits on the cutting edge of the technology, identify the ankle biters, show who’s falling behind, and identify the leaders in a category. That recognition matters as you develop your product. But, the...
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Entering Your Growth Stage: Position Your Brand, Not Your Product

Entering Your Growth Stage: Position Your Brand, Not Your Product

You just closed your Series A and you’re ready to share your story with the world. You built revolutionary technology that will be better, faster, cheaper—or all three—than anything else in the market. Now you need to hire top talent, build brand awareness, and equip your sales team to drive revenue. You know how innovative your technology is and you’re ready to create a new category. With customers in beta and limited clear competitors, you’re likely tempted to focus solely on your product and how much better your product is than anything else on the market. But a strong product vision,...
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Why It Pays to Aim High: Reflections on the Inauguration

Why It Pays to Aim High: Reflections on the Inauguration

I’ve not always been American. I moved to the United States at the age of 13, reluctantly at first, because who wants to move anywhere at age 13? But in a very short time, and especially by the time I started college, I was fully bought into the proposition of America. At the tender age of 17, my friends back in the UK were finishing their A-levels and already having to close the aperture on their future careers by declaring what they would study at University. I, on the other hand, was looking at a veritable smorgasbord of classes and majors offered by Barnard and Columbia Colleges—two...
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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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Branding for Internal Alignment

Branding for Internal Alignment

Much has been written about the power of brand and its role in successful businesses. Brands can help a business build relevance and loyalty, but the process of brand building has value in and of itself. One of the most overlooked advantages of the process is how it can create internal alignment along the way. Uncovering Difficult Truths  Whether we are creating a new brand or refreshing an existing one, our first step is to gain a deep understanding of its dynamics among both internal and external audiences. We examine the various perspectives that exist within an organization through...
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How to Prepare for Successful Business Transformations

How to Prepare for Successful Business Transformations

There’s a well-worn saying in business that the only certainty is change, and this year has proven that to be true by exponential levels. Entire industries found themselves faced with the need to plan and transform their businesses in the face of tremendous unknowns. Now, as we enter September of 2020, with the initial abrupt disruptions behind us, what does it mean to look ahead, and begin planning for the future? Business transformation matters now more than ever and agility and forward-thinking scenario planning have never been more important. Building a Roadmap for the Future in Times of...
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Igniting Growth and Pushing the Envelope for SaaS Brands

Igniting Growth and Pushing the Envelope for SaaS Brands

SaaS Brands These days, it’s a SaaS world and we’re just living in it. From infrastructure and identity to platforms and productivity, Everything-as-a-Service continues to reign supreme. But what does it take to succeed and become one of the SaaS brands that can achieve the annual recurring revenue (ARR) required to drive predictable growth in an ever-crowding market? According to Gartner, worldwide public cloud services are predicted to grow by 17% this year, from $227.8 billion in 2019 to $266.4 billion in 2020, with revenue forecasts for SaaS brands (cloud application services) expected...
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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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