This article was originally written for and published in IABC’s CW Bulletin, September 2011.
Brand communicators today have a unique opportunity: We can get our messages into the marketplace at a cost and speed that would not have been possible a few short years ago.
However, we are also not alone anymore. Today everyone is in advertising and in PR. Social media has allowed everyone to have their own megaphone.
Continue reading Getting your brand story heard in a social media world
March madness and the spirit of the NCAA basketball tournament are everywhere. But there’s one particular bracket no one wants to be on. For the past six years, the website The Consumerist has held a tournament for readers to decide the Worst Company in America.
The site takes nominations to determine the initial selection of 32, then round by round readers vote to determine the winner.
One company on the list this year has decided to do something about it. Not about the reasons why they made the list, or why they “won” the competition last year–but about making sure their competition wins first.
Continue reading When authenticity matters most
Branding is about articulating the clearest, truest expression of who you are. For most brands, that expression is summed up in the logo identity.
If you’re a new company, a new logo is a chance to introduce yourself to the world and make a good first impression. But when your logo and brand are already in the marketplace, it presents a different challenge. What do you want your brand to say about you? And is that the message your logo is sending your audience today?
The fantastic book “Recycling & Redesigning Logos” by Michael Hodgson is all about redefinition–when your logo no longer represents who you are or who you want to be. Hodgson is the principal and creative director of Ph.D, a design firm in Santa Monica, Calif.
Continue reading When it’s time for change: Recycling and Redesigning Logos
Last week I was asked to speak about brand and culture to a group of visiting MBA students from the Mason School of Business at the College of William & Mary. They came to Red Hat to learn more about the company, and I gave a talk on how brand and culture align at Red Hat.
I love telling this story.
Continue reading Sharing the story of Red Hat’s brand and culture
Essential products. Minimalist sensibility. Restrained beauty and effortless simplicity. MUJI may just be the world’s most poetic brand.
And it’s not a brand at all. Or at least they reject all of the traditional definitions. MUJI is a Japanese company whose name means “no brand quality goods.” For MUJI, it’s not about being a brand, but about promoting a philosophy.
Continue reading Lessons from my favorite brands: Be more than a brand. Be a philosophy. – MUJI
Here’s a quick story:
A friend of mine and I had stopped at a gas station for a soda on a summer afternoon. I was probably about 10 years old. As we were drinking, I was mindlessly tearing the plastic label off my bottle and shredding it into pieces. He watched me do this for a few minutes, then said, “I hate tearing off the labels because it makes the soda taste bad.”
This was my first lesson in branding.
Few ways of communication are more universally human than storytelling. Stories give full-color context to black-and-white facts. They’re designed for sharing: Easy to tell, easy to remember. Simply start at the beginning and let the story unfold.
Continue reading Building brand through storytelling: Seven elements great stories have in common