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Brand Strategy


Challenger Brands: B2B Challengers

Challenger Brands: B2B Challengers

Continuing the Challenge This post is the second in our three-part series on challenger brands. You can read part one, “Challenger Brands: A Primer,” right here. Previously, we spoke about adopting a challenger mindset. It’s one defined by ambition, agility, and a willingness to take risks. Most importantly, we noted how businesses are no longer competing against each other – they are competing against the category they are in and the expectations of what a customer experience feels like. At a glance, these personality traits naturally lend themselves to the B2C world. Ask anyone to rattle...
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Challenger Brands: A Primer

Challenger Brands: A Primer

Are you up to the challenge? Starting today, we’re launching a three-part series on challenger brands — who they are, how they behave, and why your brand could benefit from adopting their disruptive mindset. As this is the first blog in the series, let’s start with the basics. The beginning, as they say, is always a good place to start. What is a challenger brand? “A challenger brand is defined, primarily, by a mindset — it has business ambitions bigger than its conventional resources, and is prepared to do something bold, usually against the existing conventions or codes of the category, to...
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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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Kick the Door Down with Your Brand Manifesto

Kick the Door Down with Your Brand Manifesto

Building a successful brand can feel like building a ship in a bottle. There are so many delicate and interlocking pieces to monitor and keep safe within a defined system. It’s a process that rewards research, meticulousness, measuring twice, and cutting once. Yet in nearly every project I’ve been part of, there comes a time when the kid’s gloves come off. People get restless, get sick of being extra careful, and want to kick the door down with their idea. Maybe everything feels technically right, but nothing is resonating in an impactful way. The fact is, when it’s time to go to market,...
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Brand Strategy for Turbulent Times

Brand Strategy for Turbulent Times

Business is in Flux Brand strategy matters now more than ever. COVID-19 is a health crisis first, but also, an economic one. Many businesses that we work with are feeling uneasy about the current economic situation and the long-term effects of COVID-19 on business. Financial markets are no doubt showing extreme symptoms. There is an unignorable sense of shutdown and although the world has faced other economic crises before, this time is different. Business leaders, VC funders, investors, consumers, and employees are unsure how long this will last and to what extent they must shift...
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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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Positioning Testing: Is It Worth It? 

Positioning Testing: Is It Worth It? 

Now that data-driven decision making has become the norm in marketing, it’s shocking when a brand misses the mark so badly. As the Twitter-sphere implodes, everyone is wondering ‘What happened? Why didn’t they test with customers?’ Most brands do rely on some form of testing before launching an advertising campaign…and the ones that don’t pay the price. But what about brand strategy? Is testing necessary before deploying a brand positioning? The answer isn’t one that data-driven organizations like to hear: it depends. For some brand teams, it’s absolutely necessary to pause and gather...
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Looking for a Better Client-Agency Relationship? Look No Further

Looking for a Better Client-Agency Relationship? Look No Further

Sara Gaviser Leslie is a brand marketer, creative consultant, and former Emotive Brand employee. After years of thriving on the agency-side of the equation, she recently took an interim position at Course Hero to experience the client-side of things. If you’re looking to improve your client-agency relationship, here are her five tips to make sure every project is a success. *** The Client-Agency Relationship Until recently, I’ve never experienced a brand creative project from the client-side. I was always the consultant. But, recently, when I took an interim but full-time role with a client,...
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Content Strategy Trends for 2020

Content Strategy Trends for 2020

As the decade winds down to a close, we’re taking a look at the most important trends affecting your business, brand, and culture heading into 2020. First up, we’re examining all things content strategy: tone, technology, and personalization. Let’s do it. Mobile > Everything Else The simple truth is if it doesn’t work on mobile, it doesn’t work. There can be no compromise when it comes to the look, feel, or content strategy of the mobile experience—considering it is the dominant experience. In 2020, even more emphasis will be placed on increasing mobile user interaction. If your...
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