San Francisco branding agency shares POV
As co-founder and CEO of Emotive Brand, a San Francisco branding agency, Bella is committed to the Agency promise of helping to transform brands and making the greatest impact possible through our work.
Bella works to maintain the highest standard of client services and delivers strategic solutions that meaningfully connect brands with people. We sat down with Bella to get the latest on what’s happening at Emotive Brand and her perspectives on brand strategy globally. In the following, she gives her insight on daily challenges, high-paced growth, and how to inspire and sustain meaningful business in the midst of it all.
Emotive Brand has created a new offering – Fast Forward – designed for high-growth startup clients that need to make strategic shifts to quickly address product, industry, competition, alignment, and other issues.
How does EB help companies move FAST?
Developing brand strategy can be a long and expensive engagement. People get frustrated with the amount of time it takes to reap the benefits. Our new Fast Forward offering is about delivering a quick win. It’s great for a company that needs lots of work, but can’t prioritize what is needed most or what will make the most impact fastest. Fast Forward allows us to engage in an intense, immersive phase of work. Together, we help our clients identify what their priorities should be in real-time and then create a deliverable during our working session with them. It’s like instant gratification. This agile approach also creates the opportunity to get to know each other and provides a real feel for our process and what working together on a larger project would look like. Clients see the value of what a more robust process would be because they’ve experienced the accelerated impact of a Fast Forward. This is often just what a team needs in order to gain internal alignment around the level of investment needed to continue to move forward.
As a branding agency, why are you always recruiting?
We’re in growth-mode right now at EB. We’re constantly looking for where the talent is as we expand our team. And talent is much more mobile than it ever was before. People aren’t looking for a job for life. They want rich experiences that they can fill up on and then move on to new ones. People want to be constantly learning. They don’t want to be doing the same thing again and again. I think that’s one of the benefits of working at an agency. The work is always changing. But there’s a trend in the Bay Area where a lot of creative talent is moving in-house and out of agencies. This means it’s more competitive than ever to find and grab those great people.
In terms of client services, how do you build and maintain meaningful client relationships?
At EB, we recognize that people buy from people. And clients, quite simply, want to deal with people – people who understand them and are empathetic to their problems, needs, and emotions. They want people who listen. At the end of the day, we are people and we strive to engage with people as people and not just clients or business partners. We understand what it means to juggle the challenges of a corporate environment, of reporting to a Board, of satisfying different stakeholders, and of managing office politics. We understand what it means to take risks and that it can seem scary. We know how hard it can be to stand behind something different. It’s not easy to be a client and we recognize that.
What are the latest and greatest EB successes in your mind?
As a brand strategy firm, we continue to lead the conversation about what it means to be a purpose-led company and how brand strategy can support that. When companies seek us out for that kind of work it feels good. The types of companies that we work for in the B2B, technology, and professional services recognize that being purpose-led can give them an edge. I’m proud that we continue to pioneer the thinking around purpose-led brands. And our clients keep coming back for more. We hold valuable, long-standing relationships and our work continues to grow.
In your opinion, what are the main challenges facing brand strategy today?
Time. Time is the biggest challenge. Everyone wants to move really quickly, but doing great work takes time. However, if you take too much time, things move on. The industry you’re in moves forward without you. It’s about finding a balance between moving too fast and being too slow. You can’t cut all the corners. As an agency, we have to find the balance of dedicating the right amount of time to our work and building flexibility into our process. We take the time where it is needed most and look to move quickly though areas that need less time. It is the same for our own brand. We are growing as an agency and it’s important that we continue to invest in our own brand and behaviors. We have to practice what we preach and that does take dedication, hard work, and practice.
Emotive Brand is a San Francisco branding agency.