Emotive Brand San Francisco brand strategy firm Wed, 02 Dec 2020 17:05:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.1 /wp-content/uploads/2019/05/cropped-EB_SocialMediaIcon_03.10.17-45x45.png Emotive Brand 32 32 Unwrap a Moment of Zen: Happy Holidays from Emotive Brand /merry-meditation/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss /merry-meditation/#respond Wed, 02 Dec 2020 17:00:05 +0000 http://staging.emotivebrand.flywheelsites.com/?p=47909

Whew, what a year. We’ve laughed. We’ve cried. We’ve stared at our own faces during Zoom calls while pretending to follow along. This holiday season, we wanted to give you something that’s been in short supply: a little bit of peace. From all of us here at Emotive Brand, we’re officially giving you permission to […]

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Whew, what a year. We’ve laughed. We’ve cried. We’ve stared at our own faces during Zoom calls while pretending to follow along. This holiday season, we wanted to give you something that’s been in short supply: a little bit of peace. From all of us here at Emotive Brand, we’re officially giving you permission to turn off your video, mute your anxiety, have a laugh, and (try to) enjoy the holidays.

If you’re ready for a different kind of cloud service, click here to clear your mind.

#MerryMeditation 

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Challenger Brands: Design that Disrupts /challenger-creative/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss /challenger-creative/#respond Tue, 01 Dec 2020 14:00:12 +0000 /?p=41266

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 […]

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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 question remains: what does this actually look like in the real world? Today, we’re going to dive into some examples of challenger brands that use design to disrupt. While there’s no one definition for challenger creative, you tend to know it when you see. Most recently, it’s an aesthetic that incorporates clean branding, catchy names displayed in modern fonts, bright pops of color, and sleek packaging. It’s unapologetically bold, playful, and unafraid to subvert the expectations of the form. It’s a design that knows how to transform positives into negatives and creates a lasting impression.

Thanks for the Warm-Up

Sometimes you’re fighting against the market, and sometimes you’re fighting against people’s perceptions. From a marketing and viewership point of view, the relationship between the Olympics and the Paralympics is a contentious one. On Channel 4, the Olympics airs first, with much more attention and ad-budget. So, how do you respond when everyone thinks of your offer as secondary?

With a bold commercial that repositions the Olympics as merely the “warm-up,” Channel 4 asserted that the Paralympics is where Super Humans do battle. Even the way the commercial starts – leading the viewer from the firework show to a tunnel underground – demonstrates that this is an alternate, grittier world we are entering. It sets the tone for the whole games. Anyone can run on two feet – come see a real show.

Challenger Brands Design that Disrupts Paralympics

The Perks of Being a Couch Potato

In a world of Amazon, Walmart, Target, and Overstock, is there anything gutsier than trying to sell furniture online? Burrow, a sofa startup, is up to the challenge. Incorporating gorgeous photography, cheeky copy, and a deep understanding of millennial behavior, they have created a campaign that is capturing attention. Their tagline, “Good for Nothing,” is a perfect self-deprecating turn of phrase that speaks to their sense of humor and willingness to disrupt the status quo.

“‘Good for Nothing’ positions Burrow as the sofa brand that’s serious about leisure,” says Red Antler Co-founder and Strategy Chief Emily Heyward. “And the goal of our out-of-虚拟币合约平台_虚拟home campaign in New York is to remind everyone who’s rushing by and commuting in the busiest city in the world that it’s OK to go 虚拟币合约平台_虚拟home tonight and do absolutely nothing. Hopefully on a comfortable Burrow sofa.”

Challenger Brands Design that Disrupts Burrow

Repairing the Male Ego

Challenging giant corporations is one thing, but using design to challenge stigma and vulnerability is another. Hims, a personal wellness brand, is fueled by one challenger belie – men are allowed to want to take care of themselves. The question is, does the market agree? Well, by March of 2018, Hims had already sold roughly $10 million in product and reached $200 million in valuation. (They only launched in November 2017.) So, that’s a big yes.

“These brands have an aesthetic that appeals to millennials,” said Allen Adamson, Brand Consultant and Co-founder of Metaforce. “It’s smart design without being ostentatious or too snooty. All these products are stylish, and they don’t necessarily pick up on the cues of the category. They pick up on the design language that surrounds young people today.”

Hims’ product line reads like a short list of things that should be difficult to market to those who are uncomfortable talking about it – hair loss, erectile dysfunction, skincare, and vitamins. Instead of shying away from stigma or taboos, they’ve turned it into a massive business opportunity.

Challenger Brands Design that Disrupts Hims

Bird Is the Word

E-scooters are a controversial business, but don’t expect Bird’s founder, Travis VanderZaden, to back down from a challenge. Bird was named Inc’s business of the year, and with good reason. In 14 months, they have expanded to 120 cities and notched a $2 billion evaluation.

The design of Bird feels both professional and whimsical at the same time. The black and white look of the scooter is sleek and clean, but the animated landing video on their website looks like something out of Pixar, full of color and imagination. They seem to capture the childlike freedom of riding a scooter and the Uber-like vision of transforming how a city runs. Their design leaves them poised to take on anyone, whether that’s fellow e-scooter brands, ride-sharing, or even automobile makers.

“He told me the idea of adult scooters and explained how riders would just leave them on the sidewalk, and I was incredulous. I thought he was crazy,” says David Sacks, an early PayPal executive who invested in the company’s seed round. “Once I went to Santa Monica, I realized it was magical,” he says, after he scootered to his destination, without waiting for a cab or sitting in traffic. “I started thinking about how big this idea could become and realized that it’s transformational. You could have millions of these, and start displacing car trips for commuters – and eventually redesign cities.”

Challenger Brands Design that Disrupts Bird

Time to Face the Challenge

Now that we’ve covered strategy, mindset, and design, it’s time to adopt a challenger mindset for your own brand. Every year it gets harder and harder for brands to stand out from the pack. Meaning, there’s never been a better time to be bold, fired-up, and willing to take a risk to differentiate yourself.

To learn more about how your brand can benefit from adopting a challenger mindset, contact Tracy Lloyd at tracyl@vtrep.cn.

Emotive Brand is a brand strategy and design agency in Oakland, California

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Challenger Brands: B2B Challengers /b2b-challenger-brands/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss /b2b-challenger-brands/#comments Wed, 25 Nov 2020 14:00:29 +0000 /?p=41030

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 […]

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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 off a few challenger brands and you’ll invariably get the same answers: Uber, Netflix, Spotify, Airbnb — and it makes sense. When you’re trying to rewire people’s preconceived notions, B2C is, by definition, the shortest path to the customer.

But it is by no means the only path. The worlds of B2B and B2B2C are being transformed by challenger brands. Just look at ZipRecruiter, Zoom, Slack, or even Salesforce. If you can’t see it on the surface, it’s most likely occurring behind the scenes in their business strategy.

B2B Challengers

Founder of 500 Startups, Dave McClure, notes that 

“The next bubble is not in tech where innovation and capital are never in short supply. Rather, the real bubble is in far-too-generous P/E multiples and valuations of global public companies, whose business models are being obliterated by startups and improved by orders of magnitude. As more Fortune 500 CEOs recognize and admit their vulnerability to disruption, expect them to hedge their own public valuations by buying the very same unicorns that keep up awake at night.”

Many legacy B2B companies end up following a similar lifecycle. They start off small and hungry, build a legacy off of their early innovations, ride the wave for as long as possible, then go out and acquire innovation when they start to stagnate. The daily churn of operating a business makes it very difficult to ignite the same innovation that got you started. So, you import. To be clear, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But it’s a strategy that ultimately puts your future in the hands of other creators.

虚拟币合约平台_虚拟homegrown Innovation

Regardless of size, if B2B brands want to truly adopt a challenger mindset, they need to take active steps to continually foster their own innovation. Famously, Google has a 20% rule. Implemented by Google Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 2004, it’s designed to give employees one full day per week to work on a Google-related passion project of their choosing or creation. It’s the same strategy that created Gmail, Google Maps, Google Talk, Google News, AdSense, and many others.

The point being, words like agile and innovative don’t have to be words that are only synonymous with startups. B2B companies can instill a challenger’s sense of agility through the behaviors and culture they nurture. If you’re wondering how a B2B brand knows if it should adopt a challenger mindset, there’s a wonderful diagram created by Michael Hay, a business leader with fifteen years at IKEA, that can help. Outlining four essentials for driving a successful change of strategy, it acts as a checklist for recognizing and delivering change.

need for change

Good Artists Copy; Great Artists Steal

At the end of the day, there are many lessons that B2B brands can steal from the challenger world. Are you leading with a strong story that unequivocally answers the question, “Why do you do what you do?” More than meet a singular need, are you meeting the needs of today and tomorrow better than anyone else? Are you talking with lead adopters at the front of the innovation curve and making them evangelists for your brand?

Perhaps the most important lesson that B2B brands can glean is in how they hire. As Adam Simons writes,

“Employees at challenger brands require different qualities. They need to be mission-driven. They need to know why they get out of bed and go to work every morning and they need to be passionate about the problems the company is trying to solve. Being a maverick is also of far greater importance at a challenger, the opposite of at a larger organization where dissent is considered a flaw. Employees need to ask the provocative questions and not just take risks themselves, but also to be tolerant of risks that others might take.”

To learn more about how your B2B brand can benefit from adopting a challenger mindset, contact Tracy Lloyd at tracyl@vtrep.cn.

To finish reading our three-part challenger series, check out: Part Three — Challenger Brands: Design that Disrupts

Emotive Brand is a brand strategy and design agency in Oakland, California

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Challenger Brands: A Primer /challenger-brands/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss /challenger-brands/#respond Thu, 19 Nov 2020 14:00:57 +0000 /?p=40093

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 […]

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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 break through.” — The Challenger Project, by eatbigfish.

Even if you’re not familiar with the term “challenger brand,” you’ve certainly experienced its narrative cousin: the underdog story.  It’s David and Goliath. It’s Rocky. That oft-romanticized vision of a plucky innovator running a business out of their garage and taking down the big guys. Think of Ben & Jerry’s vs. Haagen-Daz, Sam Adams vs. Budweiser, or Apple vs. Microsoft.

Category is the new challenge

While in the beginning being a challenger brand often meant slaying one particular dragon — Pepsi vs. Coke — modern challenger brands are more focused on what they are disrupting instead of who. It’s not about me versus you; it’s about me versus the category, the industry, and the expectations of what a customer experience feels like.

From Airbnb to Blue Apron to Warby Parker, challenger brands are redefining the ways we travel, eat, shop, and more. As Adam Morgan says, “Being a challenger brand today is less about business enmity, and more about an often mission-driven desire to progress the category.”

Criteria for challenger brands

To be clear, there are no rules set in stone about what makes a challenger brand. By definition, it’s a fluid position. You might start out a challenger and be so successful at taking out the competition that you become the next target on top of the hill. It’s a Shakespearean cycle of ascension and dethronement that leaves only the most innovative companies standing.

“A challenger brand can take many forms; it’s more of a mindset than a specific set of rules,” says Kohlben Vodden, founder of StoryScience. “These brands tell stories that by proxy make us feel empowered. They tell us real success lies in breaking away from the pressure of social norms, challenging ity, and being disagreeable. These brands represent character strengths that we humans universally hold up as positive and admirable qualities — bravery, perseverance, fairness.”

In essence, to be a challenger your brand needs to:

  • Be somewhere in the middle of the market. You’re not first, but you’re not last. You have enough experience and validity to get in the ring and start punching above your weight.
  • Have an insatiable hunger and big ambitions that go beyond hitting your numbers. You and your employees need to share a fundamental belief that you are unlike any other company on the planet.
  • Understand what it takes to close the gap between good and great. When you talk about something as aspirational as a company’s vision for the future, you should never limit yourself to making something merely good. This isn’t a task to work on; it’s a shared vision to work toward.

Culture is the lifeblood of challenger brands

All things considered, this is as much about emotion and personality as it is about strategic priorities. If there’s a straight line through challenger brands, it’s the infectious culture they cultivate and maintain through the ups and downs. And how do you shape culture? Through your mission, vision, beliefs, and behaviors. “Clarity around what a business believes in, and what change it’s trying to bring about, acts as both inspiration and filter for the kinds of disruption it will pursue,” says Mark Barden. “Without that clarity, disruption becomes chaos pretty quickly.”

To continue reading our three-part challenger series, check out: Part two — Challenger Brands: B2B Challengers & Part three — Challenger Brands: Design that Disrupts

Emotive Brand is a brand strategy and design agency in Oakland, California

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What Generation Z Values From Brands /blog-generation-z-brand-values/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss /blog-generation-z-brand-values/#respond Thu, 05 Nov 2020 19:07:47 +0000 http://staging.emotivebrand.flywheelsites.com/?p=47858

Just a few years ago, Millennials were the hottest and most talked about generational cohort on the block, driving consumer behavior and value trends in the market. But in 2020, Generation Z has noticeably taken the wheel, accelerating actions and demanding accountability for brands to live and breathe diversity & inclusion, authenticity, and social responsibility. […]

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Just a few years ago, Millennials were the hottest and most talked about generational cohort on the block, driving consumer behavior and value trends in the market. But in 2020, Generation Z has noticeably taken the wheel, accelerating actions and demanding accountability for brands to live and breathe diversity & inclusion, authenticity, and social responsibility.

Who is Gen Z and why are they so influential?

Gen Z, ages 8-23 today, are true digital natives. The first generation to be fully foreign to life before the digital landscape, Gen Z accounts for 20.46% of the total U.S. population (67.17 million), represent the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in history, and together with Millennials account for $350 billion in spending power in the U.S.—an impact impossible to deny for today’s leading brands and businesses.

Gen Z is a generation who leans into the value of self-expression from a non-binary lens, leverages voice and action to force change, and cares deeply about ethical and sustainable consumption.

The generation behaves completely differently from the generations before. Hyper digitally intelligent, Gen Z, and the brands they buy from, have a completely dynamic customer journey—whether the journey begins with an enticing Instagram ad or a pop-up event. Gen Z has made it clear that a hard-hitting, consistent, and relatable brand narrative, online and offline, plays a huge role in winning their attention, hearts, and pockets.

So, what should brands pay attention to when thinking about resonating, connecting, and engaging Gen Z?

1. Diversity & Inclusion

To start, if you’re looking to attract Gen Z, your brand’s diversity & inclusion has to run deeper than performatively plastering words on your careers page or adding more stock photos of people of color on your digital platforms. It’s about being authentically who you say you are. Gen Z’s can tell the difference between the posers and those authentically disrupting the status quo—with ease.

For example, when Rihanna launched Fenty Beauty in 2017, she completely shook the beauty industry. Her line offered 40 shades of foundation (now 50), ranging from the lighter shades typically in abundance in any given makeup aisle to deeper and darker shades that Black and Brown people have struggled to find for decades.

In my 24 years of life, the arrival of Fenty Beauty was the first time I’d ever seen any brand launch a campaign that depicted such a wide range of skin tones and that clearly celebrated people of color who weren’t predominantly lighter-skinned or racially ambiguous. And it didn’t just appeal to me because it was a clear representation of diversity. It was also raw, real, and relatable. It was content I’d never been exposed to. It was content I’d never seen so much of the world witness.

The Fenty Beauty brand, then and now, celebrates and normalizes what it looks like to be a HUMAN. But, it doesn’t stop there. Rihanna has continued this brand narrative across all of her brands including Savage X Fenty, her lingerie brand that recently added pieces for her male audience, and now Fenty Skin which is completely gender-neutral. She’s built her brand around diversity & inclusion and continues to deliver that promise at every touchpoint which is why it’s believable, truly authentic, and here to stay in people’s hearts and minds.  

2. Sustainable Consumerism

It’s imperative for any retailer looking to connect with Gen Z, Millennials, or Gen X to focus on ethics and sustainability. Immense access to digital information has educated and impassioned Gen Z and Millennials to become more environmentally conscious, influencing their consumer behavior and their parents.

As the rejection of fast fashion brands continues to grow, second-hand fashion retailers like ThredUp and peer-to-peer online shopping platforms like Poshmark and Depop continue to gain and maintain popularity. It’s clear that Gen Z wants to consume more while wasting less. In fact, ThredUp’s 2020 resale report estimates that the second-hand market will hit $64 billion by 2024 and is expected to grow to 69% by 2021.

Increased desire to consume more sustainably has also made room for niche household brands—Caboo bamboo toilet paper, Unni biodegradable trash bags, and Blueland eco-friendly cleaning products—to enter the market and appeal to both younger and older generations. This trend is likely to continue as Gen Xers come into more financial maturity and have the means to spend more money.

3. Authenticity

The civil unrest following the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor earlier this year sparked BLM protests around the world and pushed brands to speak out on Instagram to express their solidarity for Black lives. Anthropologie, who posted a quote by Maya Angelou highlighting the importance of diversity and equality, received backlash and public callouts by former and current employees. It became viewed as hypocritical and performative across audiences when it was unveiled that the brand, including brands like Urban Outfitters and Zara, had racial profiling practices within their organizations (racist behaviors like using internal code names for people of color who enter their stores).

Nike on the other hand is a great example of a truly authentic brand. They get their hands dirty in abundance when it comes to corporate social responsibility whether it’s partnering with grassroots organizations to help bridge opportunity gaps for youth in urban communities, responsibly sourcing materials for products, or taking a stand in support of socio-political issues and not just when it looks good. No wonder they’re a Gen Z favorite.

Why do brands need to embrace Gen Z values?

This generational cohort is young, but they have the power of influence when it comes to behavior and value. Not just on themselves, but on all generations. This is why brands must pay attention to this generation. To be a lasting brand, you have to focus on authentic and ethical brand behavior to build brands that Gen Z’s are going to trust, value, and love.

Emotive Brand is a brand strategy and design agency in Oakland, California

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Brand Campaign: Emotional vs. Emotive Brands – What’s the Difference? /brand-campaign/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss /brand-campaign/#respond Thu, 29 Oct 2020 13:00:36 +0000 /?p=35362

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 […]

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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 meaningfully with people, your brand must be emotive, not just emotional.

The Requirements of Emotive Branding

Emotive brands are rarer than emotional brands for many reasons. Emotive brands don’t just create emotional ads. They forge meaningful – and valuable – emotional connections at every touchpoint. They are consistent with the emotions they elicit and make sure that these same emotions ring true through everything they do. Every touchpoint counts: the tone of voice your employees have on customer service calls, how your packaging and website make people feel, how people within your office talk with one another, how leaders welcome new employees, the emotions customers have when they first visit your store, office, warehouse, etc.

Being a truly emotive brand requires building an emotional experience that resonates with the customer at every point of their journey, which is no easy task. It requires a strategic mindset and complete alignment around what emotions your brand wants to elicit and how you plan to create and foster those emotions across all platforms, touch points, and brand engagements. When brands do figure out how to successfully behave as emotive brands, they are able to connect more meaningfully with their audiences. This means people are more likely to remain loyal and engaged, and ultimately feel bonded to the promise of the brand in the long-term.

An Emotive Brand Campaign Must:

1. Behave authentically:

Some emotional brand campaigns feel as if they are trying to elicit emotional responses purely to leverage their own business. These never work out in the end because they feel inauthentic. Being credible and authentically bonding with people through shared values, attitudes, and behaviors has more long-term hold today. Especially since consumers are more distrustful of businesses than ever before. Make sure the emotions that your brand is trying to elicit feel true to who you are as a business, what you promise people, and where you see your brand going. Your brand must behave authentically at every touchpoint in order to create an emotional impact that sticks with people in the right ways.

2. Focus on consistency:

Consistency doesn’t mean boring or always predictable. Building guardrails for emotions can be particularly helpful here. Give your brand room to play, experiment, and be innovative without confusing consumers or behaving in ways that are off-brand and dilute your emotional impact. This means diving deep into what kind of relationship you really want to build with people, whether they be your employees, consumers, other businesses, or competitors. How can you connect in ways that feel consistent, but still flex to people’s unique needs?

3. Build meaningful experiences:

Every brand moment is an opportunity to build further meaning and should be approached as so. Whether it’s an internal meeting, an external presentation, a small or big event, a phone call, an email, or a board meeting – there is always space to convey the unique meaning of your brand and evoke the feelings that are distinct to it. Truly emotive brands are continually thinking of new ways to reconfigure, reshape, redefine, and enhance these brand moments – infusing emotions and meaning at every moment in subtle, yet powerful ways. This requires creativity and dedication to making every moment meaningful.

4. Be human:

As technology advances faster than ever before and digital becomes the new norm, being human is even more important for brands looking to connect with the people who matter so much to their success. A key part of behaving as a human brand – relatable, connected, lovable – is being emotive. Humans are both rational and emotional creatures, so connecting on a human level requires both the rational and the emotional. Marrying these in an authentic way is what gets people on board. Behaving as a human brand today means being flexible and dynamic. It’s about being in-tune with how your brand is making people feel, and being able to adjust accordingly.

More Than an Emotional Fix

Emotional brands may give consumers a 30-second emotional fix, but emotive brands forge meaningful connections that withhold time, shifts in the market, and even new competitors. Our work developing brand campaigns has proved time and again that emotive brands are better positioned to behave authentically, meaningfully, and humanly – and as a result, better positioned to thrive. No matter if you are a B2B or a B2C brand, your success hinges on how you connect with the people who matter to your business. These connections must be meaningful. Learn more about the power of emotive branding to power your brand campaign and create a more emotive, and therefore meaningful brand campaign.

Emotive Brand is a brand strategy and design agency in Oakland, California

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Are You Rethinking Your Logo Design? /are-you-rethinking-your-logo-design/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss /are-you-rethinking-your-logo-design/#respond Thu, 15 Oct 2020 13:00:52 +0000 http://staging.emotivebrand.flywheelsites.com/?p=47832

So you need to rebrand, but you’re attached to your current logo. You worked hard to get your logo crafted and have likely spent a few fond years building equity into it. The thought of changing your logo might sting, it might even make you a little nauseous. Not only the tactical work of changing […]

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So you need to rebrand, but you’re attached to your current logo. You worked hard to get your logo crafted and have likely spent a few fond years building equity into it. The thought of changing your logo might sting, it might even make you a little nauseous. Not only the tactical work of changing out all of your swag, marketing collateral, event assets, PowerPoint presentations, etc. But also that anxious feeling of “What if the new logo isn’t as good?”

The breakdown of a brand system and where the logo design comes into play.

First, you need to understand what role the logo plays in a brand system. The logo represents the core of your business. It’s the superliminal distillation of your company’s positioning in the marketplace. It’s the cornerstone that everything else builds upon. In a great brand system, it should help inform decisions in typography, graphic system, photography, color system, photography, copy, etc. This is all to say, the logo is pretty damn important.

Let’s break down some scenarios where it’s beneficial to change your logo and when it’s better to keep it the same.

When should you change your logo?

The fabric of what makes your company has changed.

This can happen in a lot of different ways. Your company could have gone through a sudden growth spurt and has changed its narrative during an intense wave of iteration in order to drive sales—effectively changing the core story your company is telling. It can also happen as a result of being in the same market for decades—changes in leadership, processes, regulations, and customer base all add up to make a big change in what the core of your company truly is.

This type of change typically results in a full rebrand—not just a logo and identity change, but a new strategic positioning and name that supports the story your company is telling now and will tell many years into the future.

How to refresh you logo design without completely changing it.

Sci Fi changed their name to Syfy and dropped the planet from their logo to signify that they are more than just a fantasy and science fiction channel. Their underlying core changed and because of it, their logo needed to change as well. A couple of years later they realized that their strength was actually in fantasy and science fiction. Their core changed back to their original position, but instead of opting for going back to their old logo, they chose to craft something retro-futurist that looks like it’s straight out of “Total Recall”.

Your company has changed its name due to legal reasons.

Previously our client “Newmark Realty Capital”, was in a legal conflict with their name and required a name change. This was an opportunity for a codification of their positioning and a new logo and brand to go along with it. They’re still the same company with the same offering but communicated much more clearly and elegantly.

Our agencies client work for a full rebrand, including a new logo and new brand name.

Your company is “growing up” and selling to enterprises.

Your company might be in a transition period where you have an existing brand that works for your current customer base, but it looks a little immature when you’re going to meetings with the likes of IBM, Oracle, and ABB. You want to dress correctly for the party you’re attending. Flip flops and board shorts are comfortable and rad, but they look embarrassingly out of place if everyone else is wearing knitted sweaters draped atop their shoulders.

The core truth of your company may remain the same in this case. Your offerings aren’t changing, and you’re still the same company inside. However, as brand designers, we need to go back to that core to reestablish who you are and make sure that we are representing it faithfully. In a lot of ways, this is a much more difficult job to accomplish, as there are more concrete constraints that we have to work within.

The work we did for Snow Software was to help them grow up. They needed a brand that looked like a billion dollars so that they could sell billion-dollar solutions. Their old brand wasn’t doing their product justice when they were speaking to enterprise prospects.

We understood that the core of Snow was staying the same, so when constructing the new logo we retained the original geometry and structure of the logo. This maintained a consistent story throughout the rebrand and made it so that going from the old brand to the new brand was seamless and easy for existing customers and new prospects.

Our agencies client work for a brand refresh project, including a logo refresh.

You’ve merged companies or restructured.

This is where things get really tricky and are guided by both the politics of the organization and federal regulations.

Let’s take the Bell/AT&T logo systems as an example. The bell was the main mark of AT&T for 80 years until the company was required to split into separate divisions—regional bell companies and a parent company of AT&T.

AT&T being the parent company, took a higher position in the brand architecture to encompass all electronic communications, so with this new core, a new logo was needed.

Your company has done something terrible.

In the same way that you should always have a change of clothes if you’re going to commit a crime, a company can rebrand after they’ve done something terrible in order to distance themselves from what they’ve done.

Two years after it spilled 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, BP spent $500 million to rebrand and distance itself from the catastrophic damage it caused the world.

In order to distance themselves from their atrocity, BP needed to change the most fundamental form of its brand: the logo. The fact that they are still a company being traded is proof enough that it works.

When should you keep your logo the same?

Your core is the same but you’re trying out new markets.

Joyable was in a situation where they needed to sell their existing product to employers rather than directly to consumers, while still maintaining the same brand for consumers. Since the core of the business was staying the same and they were adding a new market on instead of outright switching markets, it made sense to keep the logo and existing consumer brand intact and build upon it to create an enterprise brand that could speak to employers.

Your logo is on hundreds of thousands of pieces of hardware.

At a certain point, it becomes a logistical nightmare to change your logo. The costs of losing existing equity in installed hardware across the world combined with the uphill climb of building new equity in the new logo start to outweigh the benefits of the rebrand.

For Verkada, it was top of mind as we were designing their rebrand to keep the existing logo intact, and that any alterations were minor in order to match typeface geometry. This ensured that all existing hardware still remained valid and is never part of the older generation and that there is consistency across all branded assets.

So, do you need to change your logo?

Honestly, it’s a case-by-case basis. But if you’re considering a rebrand, logo redesign, or completely unsure and keep flipping back and forth, reach out and we’ll take a look at what you’re looking to solve. To schedule a free 30-minute consultation, contact Founding Partner Tracy Lloyd at tracyl@vtrep.cn.

Emotive Brand is a brand strategy and design agency in Oakland, California

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Embrace Constraints to Unleash Creativity /embrace-constraints-to-unleash-creativity/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss /embrace-constraints-to-unleash-creativity/#respond Wed, 07 Oct 2020 02:55:59 +0000 http://staging.emotivebrand.flywheelsites.com/?p=47816

Breaking the Conventional Wisdom of Creativity Creativity is often idealized as something that flourishes within a boundless environment and thrives under a lack of regulation. As creative thinkers ourselves, we’ve often fallen into the trap of dreaming of empty days with nothing to do but create, no person or particular task or restriction to attend […]

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Breaking the Conventional Wisdom of Creativity

Creativity is often idealized as something that flourishes within a boundless environment and thrives under a lack of regulation. As creative thinkers ourselves, we’ve often fallen into the trap of dreaming of empty days with nothing to do but create, no person or particular task or restriction to attend to, no strict directions to follow…Without rules and impediments, the world of creativity and innovation would be our oyster…right?

But, contrary to popular belief, constraint can actually power creativity. HBR, based on 145 empirical studies, found that people, teams, and companies benefit from the right dose of constraints. Similarly, psychologists have found that limitations force new perspectives. And Tess Callahan, in her TED Talk, calls the relationship between constraints and creativity ‘an unexpected love affair.’

This data and research have huge implications for teams, companies, and brands leaning on creativity and innovation during this year where change has established itself as the new normal. Constraints, when embraced and leveraged, can be productive, enlightening, and even exciting.

Creativity Within Our Studio

When we moved our studio to remote work in March, we were unsure of how we would continue to create with the agility, passion, and creativity that’s always lived within our studio walls. At first, it was easy to think only in terms of new limitations and unwelcome rules. Lack of in-person collaboration. The inability to meet clients in person. The pressures and constraints from forces of disruption all around us: economic and beyond.

Now, months later, creativity within our studio is thriving. We can see that the constraints of ‘stay-at-虚拟币合约平台_虚拟home’ have forced us to rethink how we work and why we work that way. We’re thinking outside the norms to figure out challenges like collaboration, building client trust, and workshopping strategy, and creative work through emotive, digital experiences.

Our Clients’ Creativity is Soaring Too

We’ve seen in real-time that our clients have been pushed to think differently as well. The value of creativity is skyrocketing and teams are relying on creative, strategic problem solving, and solvers more than ever before. HR teams that have relied on in-person college fairs to recruit are building immersive, digital experiences that compel candidates further, with less budget. Product teams are using their data technology and applying it to solve new problems like health, wellness, and virus tracking. C-suite executives are embracing this time of transformation, using it to reassess their position and establish relevance in a market that values trust, purpose, and empathy more than ever before. 

Creativity in the Brand and Business World at Large

The world is watching as today’s brands prove their creativity under dynamic constraints. Dyson saw a need, identified a capability outside their usual application, and brought 15,000 ventilators to the world. Small, local restaurants are reinventing the dining experience with QR codes and other technology. Technology companies like Whoop are working with researchers from leading health organizations and universities to help populations with earlier detection of the virus, repurposing their fitness tool as a detection tool.

Although we might not hope for the continuation of many of these limitations or challenges, embracing them as mechanisms for change, seeing things anew, and pushing what’s possible forward is proving to be one of the silver linings of these challenging times.

Emotive Brand is a brand strategy and design agency in Oakland, California.

Photo Credit: https://icons8.com/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

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Branding for Internal Alignment /branding-for-internal-alignment/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss /branding-for-internal-alignment/#comments Thu, 24 Sep 2020 19:16:24 +0000 http://staging.emotivebrand.flywheelsites.com/?p=47746

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. […]

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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 stakeholder interviews. We then talk to customers, read analysts’ reports, and dive deep into the reality of the product experience. Based on the learnings from this process, we land on a diagnosis.

This research often uncovers previously unknown and difficult truths that need to be faced about a business’s brand. Most of the time, the learnings will give voice to issues that everyone knows but no one has found a way to properly address. Recognizing this misalignment is where the real work begins.

Reconciling Differences 

A crucial part of creating a powerful brand comes from clearly articulating what your company does, how it provides value, and why it should matter (to customers or the world)… Sounds like it should be a pretty simple task, right? If it is easy for you, consider yourself lucky. For the rest of us, the branding process highlights different, opposing perspectives.

As organizations grow and mature, it is natural for groups to become laser-focused on their own unique view of the company. Recently we were working with an international company that creates software for project management and visual collaboration. As we talked with the cofounders, head of marketing, and other key stakeholders, we noticed something wasn’t matching up. We quickly realized that there wasn’t a clear mission statement that employees could point to when asked about their purpose as an organization.

Before moving forward with articulating their positioning in the market, we worked with the CEO to express the company’s mission in a way that would help unify efforts across departments. Despite everyone’s best efforts to do their job and build success for the company, teams were getting caught in our own echo chambers. Sometimes it can be helpful to get an outside perspective.

A well-known case study of a brand with internal misalignment is Uber. In 2016, the ride-hailing company launched a new visual identity that left many users scratching their heads. The new design system had different app icons depending upon whether you were a driver or a passenger. Every city had its own system of colors, patterns, and photographic style. For those of us who were watching from the sidelines, it looked like they were saying nothing by trying to be everything.

In 2017, Uber’s dirty laundry was exposed for all to see. The company was accused of misleading regulators and taking advantage of customers with surge pricing. At the heart of the problem was a culture where mismanagement and competing interests threatened the future of the company. After purging leadership and thoroughly improving their culture, the company signaled its change by introducing the clean, simple, and transit-informed visual system they continue to use to this day.

Alignment Fosters Empathy

Once you are able to identify the different views that contribute to the misalignment, the first result is increased empathy. Maybe executive leadership didn’t understand how the broader organization was resistant to their vision for the future. Maybe product teams felt uncomfortable with claims being promised in-market. Whatever the case may be, this newfound understanding creates an environment where teams can start creating a better path forward together. Empathy proves to be the most effective way to communicate and foster change.

Once teams are on the same page, work like brand positioning, messaging, visual identity, and other programs can come to full fruition. More importantly, aligned teams create a singularly-focused brand that gets expressed consistently on the outside. And the more consistent the brand is externally, the more powerful it becomes.

Emotive Brand is a brand strategy and design agency in Oakland, California.

Photo Credit: https://icons8.com?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

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Strengthen Your Health Care Brand During Your Digital Transformation /healthcare-brands-digital-transformation/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss /healthcare-brands-digital-transformation/#respond Thu, 17 Sep 2020 13:00:15 +0000 /?p=38932

Room for Digital Transformation for Health Care Brands You’ve probably had a friend tell you about her amazing physician. But did you ever hear anyone brag about their health insurer? Unlikely. Overall, individuals are pretty happy about the quality of care. What they complain about is customer service. According to the Advisory Board, the top […]

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Room for Digital Transformation for Health Care Brands

You’ve probably had a friend tell you about her amazing physician. But did you ever hear anyone brag about their health insurer? Unlikely.

Overall, individuals are pretty happy about the quality of care. What they complain about is customer service. According to the Advisory Board, the top patient complaints include: communication (53%), long wait times (35%), medical practice staff (12%), and billing (2%).

Fortunately, powerful organizations—companies who see shortcomings in today’s system—recognize the room for improvement. The triumvirate of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase say they want to disrupt healthcare and we all eagerly await their solution.

Of course, the existing system operates at a disadvantage to the growing cohort of startups. These companies have no legacy technology baggage and are digital-first. Fitbit, Apple, and Omada Health offer individuals new ways to manage their overall fitness and health. Others focus on corporations and companies—the major healthcare payers – that watch the costs of care for their employees rise exponentially. For example, Collective Health helps self-insured companies manage their healthcare investment and support operations. Another, Lyra, helps companies and their employees connect directly to mental health providers.

Don’t Wait Around for Transformation, Start Strengthening Your Brand Now

Not all health care companies have the luxury of starting with an all digital approach. In fact, the biggest, most important players don’t. It’s why traditional healthcare providers, insurance companies, hospitals, and clinics are all in the midst of a digital transformation. This doesn’t mean, though, that they—or you—should wait until after a this transformation is complete before you start making changes to your brand.

Take the opportunity to strengthen your brand so your customers are still there when you make that transformation a reality. Here’s how.

1. Make the Process Feel Good

A great place to start when looking to build a better process is to think about how you want to make people feel. Maybe your customers now feel frustrated? Unconfident? Even anxious? How can you make them feel optimistic? Even calm and confident?

The midst of a transition is the perfect time to start thinking about this. Focus on building a more frictionless process and making quick changes across the board that make for a more positive experience.

Ask questions like: How can we make it easier for customers to access the information they need? How can we better understand how they can prevent illness? Get in touch with a doctor or nurse when they need? Or even pay a bill more quickly and easily? Can we communicate with less complicated, more human language? Can we better train our people to act with empathy and patience?

It’s these small changes that will help build the frictionless experience people now demand from the brands they pledge loyalty to. And making the experience feel good can sustain your brand and ensure you keep your customers while you’re in the midst of a digital transformation. They’ll be committed to you, and delighted when you do transform.

2. Behave Consistently

It’s great when a health care brand says they “care about their patients”. But when a customer calls and has to go through multitudes of layers just to get a terse answer to their question and can’t even understand the coverage they signed up for months before, the brand loses credibility.

So while you’re in this transition, ask yourself what promises you make your customers. Are you living up to those? How can you better behave at every touchpoint? How can you really act like you care?

People don’t want the health care brands they buy into to be unpredictable. And businesses in the middle of change tend to let all rules go to the wayside. Just because you’re in the middle of digital disruption, doesn’t mean you don’t need guidelines for the present. Behave in line with your core values and make sure your behavior at every touchpoint lives up to what you promise the people you want by your side when you do transform.

3. Employees – Activate Small Wins

As your company invests in cutting-edge technology, dedicates time and resources to innovation, and prepares itself for a digital transformation, it’s integral that employees know and understand what’s important right now.

Leaving employees behind for a future state that is yet to come is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. When you are clear and transparent with employees about what they should be focusing in on and why, they can activate small wins.

It’s easy to think that change comes in one fell swoop. But small, incremental changes can make worlds of difference—especially in struggling industries with low trust, low convenience, and low brand loyalty. Employees are the people who are going to build that trust, leverage that convenience, and help build loyalty. Look to them and communicate with them about what matters.

There’s Always Need for Improvement

Health care is ripe for disruption because people want something more. Whether it’s a frictionless experience, a more empathetic brand, or a clearer and easier way forward, you can start delivering people what they want while you’re in the midst of a digital transformation. Ask yourself what should happen while you wait. What can you do to make improvements today?

Consider how you can better behave, better connect, and better build meaning with the people most important to your business. And dedicate time, energy, and resources to making those changes. Small changes can bring big rewards. By focusing on what you can change now, you’ll be more ready for digital disruption later—with a better process, a better way of communication, a better strategy, and better people behind you.

If you need help creating and implementing strategic change, please reach out.

Other posts you may enjoy on the subject are Digital Health: A Future With Millennials, and Why Digital Health Brands Need a B2B2C Strategy

Emotive Brand is a brand strategy and design agency in Oakland, California.

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