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5 Common Mistakes in Brand Design Today

5 Common Mistakes in Brand Design Today

The Brand Design Journey If you’re looking for a brand design or redesign, you’ll need more than a logo or a new website. Brand design is bigger than that. Designing a brand entails designing every moment and experience people have with your brand. It’s about every touchpoint, and these days nothing goes unnoticed. Brand design reflects how your brand looks and how it feels. This means colors, graphic language, typeface, photography, and your logo. In the end, brand design is what brings the brand to life. It’s what makes your brand recognizable and powerful to the people that matter...
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Writing: When Do You Just Start Over?

Writing: When Do You Just Start Over?

Step #1 to writing better: Chuck your first draft. Step #2 to writing better: Start over. The next time you write something, at that exact moment when give yourself a figurative pat on the back for “finishing” a first draft, close the document, drag it to the trash bin, and empty the trash. Seriously. Then take a much-deserved break and forget about that piece of writing for awhile. When you’re ready to try again, open a new document with its proverbial clean slate. And start anew: rewrite from scratch. You will soon notice this reality: You won’t be rewriting from scratch. The document may...
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Everyone’s a Writing Critic: Dealing with Writing Feedback

Everyone’s a Writing Critic: Dealing with Writing Feedback

Everyone’s a Writing Critic: Dealing with Comments and Corrections when Receiving Writing Feedback Writing a solid first draft of something is genuinely difficult. It’s a herculean triumph of creativity and endurance over self-doubt (and procrastination – though the strategies I set forth in the first two posts in this series can make it easier to start writing and plow through to the first draft). Unfortunately, “a solid first draft” is not the same as a finished, publishable piece. You have bosses, reviewers, and editors to deal with before your ultimate audience reads your deathless...
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What’s the Right Wellness Program for Your Brand?

What’s the Right Wellness Program for Your Brand?

The New Rules of Wellness Programs The EEOC recently issued new rules for employer wellness programs that have made a big splash in the media. With all the recent buzz around wellness, we began thinking about the overall value of these programs and how to build programs, as Obama hopes, that benefit employers and employees alike. What are the best practices for businesses as they incorporate wellness programs into their benefits packages? How can employers encourage wellness, while simultaneously respecting and protecting individual’s personal privacy and making sure employees never feel...
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Meaningful Millennials: On Brand Loyalty

Meaningful Millennials: On Brand Loyalty

This is the third installment of our weekly series entitled “Meaningful Millennials”, where we interview millennials on a variety of different subjects that are top of mind for us in the studio. As a brand strategy firm, we work with our clients to help create and roll out strategies that enable their brand, their business, and their workplaces to be more meaningful. We believe that with meaning comes loyalty. And with loyalty comes sustained and successful business. This month, we have been focusing on how brands can build loyal relationships with millennials that inspire connections,...
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Does Your Brand Exude Meaning?

Does Your Brand Exude Meaning?

An emotive brand can’t simply advertise its way into being meaningful. It has to exude meaning at every opportunity. All too often brands seeking to appear more meaningful rely purely on tactical communications like an ad campaign. We are as likely as anyone to say, “that’s nice” after viewing an emotional commercial or a touching video on a company website. There’s nothing wrong with that, is there? Well, there can be. Sadly, these brands often come off as being superficial. They wear their feelings on their sleeves. And they use advertising to claim to be something...
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Bridging the Meaning Gap

Bridging the Meaning Gap

A great post by Tom Fishburne talks about the risks of going too far in your efforts to matter to people. He cites the example of the “Dove Campaign For Real Beauty”, a notable example of a meaningful brand presence, which started as a concept many steps up the brand ladder. When those “too grandiose” ideas were shot down by real people (formerly known as consumers), the focus turned to building meaning from the product up. The lesson: in your pursuit to bridge the meaning gap, and to create more meaning around your business, product, service or brand (a smart thing...
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Commerce Without Morality

Commerce Without Morality

Fans of Mohandas K. Gandhi will recognize today’s title as one of the “seven social sins” that Gandhi published in 1925. (The full list appears below.) Gandhi wrote that a friend had given him the list. But after he spent decades speaking and writing about the big themes on this list, people just naturally assumed he was the originator. The point for us is not who described “commerce without morality” as a social sin. The point is how deep the concept goes. First, the idea that businesses should be responsible to society is totally not new. We live in an age of constant invention, so it’s...
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I’m Engaged. You’re Engaged. Not.

I’m Engaged. You’re Engaged. Not.

It’s official: we don’t care. According to the latest results from Gallup’s employee engagement index, half of U.S. employees admit they’re disengaged at work. Not all the time, but often enough to know it consciously and be willing to say so in a telephone interview. That’s bad enough, but here’s what it breeds: 18% of those surveyed are “actively disengaged.” That means they are actually working against their company’s values and culture, while taking a paycheck and benefits from it. Kind of like a double-dip, only with a dagger instead of a spoon. A total optimist might point to the other...
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CEOs – If You Had to Write an Employee Letter Explaining Your Vision, What Would It Say?

CEOs – If You Had to Write an Employee Letter Explaining Your Vision, What Would It Say?

As a CEO, you have a challenging job. You carry an awesome level of responsibility. You have to balance vision and reality across a diverse spectrum of activities and people. You have to make sure everything your business does leads to a profitable outcome. Most important, you have to lead your products, processes and people toward that outcome. Translating leadership vision into organizational action isn’t easy. You know where you want your business to be, but it isn’t easy getting other people to see what you envision, to feel your passion, or to be as deliberate and focused in...
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