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Emotive Branding


Rebranding in 2024? Move fast to go slow.

Rebranding in 2024? Move fast to go slow.

As 2023 winds down, odds are you’ve already set your goals for 2024 and are taking these last couple of weeks to tie up loose ends and get ready to take a running leap into Q1. But before you turn out the lights on the year, we have one piece of advice: if a rebrand is something you’re considering before the end of Q2, the time to start is now. “Starting now” doesn’t mean kicking off the project. But it does mean you need to socialize the endeavor with your leadership team, clarify the goals, secure budget, identify internal teams and resources, define the brief or create an RFP, find the...
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Welcome to the Generative Generation

Welcome to the Generative Generation

Generative AI is all the rage these days. While it feels like something brand new, this technology has been in the works since machine learning’s generative models emerged in the late 2000s. The use of advanced mathematics to generate content has always been part and parcel of a developer’s mindset, but the tools weren’t widely available. Now, the doors to Generative AI have blown wide open with ChatGPT, Midjourny, DALL-E, Adobe Firefly, AlphaCode, Bard, and GrammarlyGO, among others, and Apple’s impending release of Ajax that will no doubt inspire the cherubs to blow their horns and...
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Infusing a brand with big heart begins with big thinking: How small design cues can generate great big feels

Infusing a brand with big heart begins with big thinking: How small design cues can generate great big feels

“We need to make our brand feel human. It needs to reflect our people and our customers. We need to tell a human, emotive story.” This is how a lot of our conversations about brand design begin. If we were designing for packaged goods that sit on a shelf and give people a tangible representation of your brand, we’d have a well defined experience to address. But most of our work takes place behind the scenes in the B2B and tech space. There are no shelves or stores mediating the process, no physical objects or packaging. There’s sparse or no direct interaction with the end-user. And the...
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From Strategy to Storytelling: Realizing the Bay Area of 2070

From Strategy to Storytelling: Realizing the Bay Area of 2070

In our line of work, we’re constantly thinking about the future. What’s the vision? What’s the ceiling? How does it scale? But seldom do we get the opportunity to engage with the future on a deeply human level. How will the Bay Area — this complex region we call home — actually look, feel, move, and grow over the next 50 years? In the Spring of 2020, SPUR, a non-profit public policy organization based in San Francisco, had just completed their Regional Strategy research. The body of work was a 50-year horizon project that proposed ideas and actions on everything from revamping our...
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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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Brand Campaign: Emotional vs. Emotive Brands – What’s the Difference?

Brand Campaign: Emotional vs. Emotive Brands – What’s the Difference?

The Power of an Emotional Brand Campaign Have you seen a brand campaign lately that made you laugh? Cry? Smile? There are a lot of campaigns out there that pull at people’s heartstrings. And often the most shared campaigns are the ones that rely heavily on emotional content. As a result, a lot of brands today are hyper-focused on creating emotional advertisements. People rely quite heavily on emotions to make decisions. Anyone in branding today knows this, but just because your brand produces one emotional campaign, doesn’t mean it’s positioned for long-term success. Today, to really connect...
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The Case for Supreme Honesty as a Precursor to Killer Brand Strategy

The Case for Supreme Honesty as a Precursor to Killer Brand Strategy

Like anybody who’s worked in the industry for longer than two decades, I’ve enjoyed my share of deeply satisfying client engagements across multiple industries. There is one engagement in particular, however, that I will never forget, and not for the right reasons. It will actually go down in the books as one of my worst professional experiences. And this is why. We got fired for being dishonest. Let me explain. I was working for a large branding firm at the time. The kind of branding firm that everyone in the business knows and respects. Not one that often gets fired. We engaged with...
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Return on Meaning: Five Evaluation Criteria for Your Business

Return on Meaning: Five Evaluation Criteria for Your Business

Brands Rooted in Meaning Win Big Return on meaning for businesses and brands is a compelling notion. In today’s world, it’s important to reconsider the ways you matter to people that are authentic to your brand’s purpose in the larger world. Now is the time to return to core human needs and evaluate where your brand fits in. This is why savvy leaders are taking a different approach to brand strategy. They are embracing the ideals of purpose, empathy, and meaning. They are creating newer, deeper, and more enduring connections with the people vital to their brand’s...
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Emotional and Meaningful Brand Connections Matter Right Now

Emotional and Meaningful Brand Connections Matter Right Now

The Time for Emotion and Meaning Is Now Battling the arduous winds of COVID-19 will take more than a shift in your communications. It will require a real change in behavior. Right now, people are experiencing a whole slew of complex and contradictory emotions. Some of these feelings are ephemeral and are changing every day; others like uncertainty are staying around for the time being. So to truly connect with people where they are, you have to speak their emotional language. That’s why having your brand behave in a more emotionally charged way and putting the focus on building truly...
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