Brand Cohesion

Internal Branding Campaigns: Why Success Starts With Research

We recently found ourselves in the following conversation:

Client: We need to engage employees in our company’s new mission. We need your help with the execution of the communications campaign. We already have the positioning and messaging. The CEO wrote it.

DB: Oh, that’s great. What kind of research was conducted in developing…

How to Hire a B2B Branding Agency

Getting the green light to undertake a rebranding project is a moment to savor. You’ve got a mandate and a budget: time to hit the ground running. But you’re going to need an agency partner — even companies with in-house capabilities often go outside for fresh perspectives and expanded resources. So you’re…

‘Lumbering Giant’ or Game-Changer?

In 2015, a year marked by unprecedented M&A activity in the technology industry, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (itself a spin-off) made headlines with its announcement of plans to spin-off its technology services operations and merge them with those of Computer Sciences. As then-Chief Executive Meg Whitman told it, the deal was…

All Aboard: Building Consensus Around a Global Branding Strategy

Successful B2B brands are built from the inside out. A company’s own people are the living embodiment of the brand in a way that is rarely the case with consumer businesses. How a B2B company’s people act, speak and even think will be far more effective in communicating the brand’s promise than…

Identity Issues: Why Brand Can’t Be Ignored During Corporate Break-Ups

As behemoths are built, so do they separate. Corporate spinoffs are often in the news these days. From Bayer, to HP Enterprise, to DowDupont, many major conglomerates are spinning off divisions in hopes that narrowed focuses will result in easier management—and thus, higher profits. Siemens AG is one of the most prolific dismantlers, carving…

Brand Behavior: Does Your Company Walk the Walk?

What is brand behavior? Simply put, brand behavior is how your brand interacts and reacts with real customers in the real marketplace. While your positioning statement may say one thing about your values and strengths, truly demonstrating them is another matter.
A missed opportunity
Picture this. You’re sitting at your desk flipping through a…

Rethinking Brand Identity After a Merger: A Visual History

With M&A activity at record levels, marketing thought leadership is abuzz with tips and tricks for maximizing the effectiveness of brand mergers. Such pieces often center on how to align corporate cultures and boost internal engagement. Without a doubt, these are vital issues that demand consideration. But is today’s culture craze sidestepping…

The Curious Case of Yahoo’s (Missing) Identity

A lot has been written about the ‘prolonged demise’ of Yahoo, which is still puttering along, despite its purchase by Verizon Media in 2017. The internet company has suffered a tumultuous and tiring 25-year identity crisis. This was perhaps most famously crystalized in the leaked “Peanut Butter Manifesto,”an internal memo from 2006 that…

Envisioning Your Brand: Unlocking the Power of Visual Cues

The ironic thing about your brand’s image is that you can’t actually see it. Image as it relates to your brand is a metaphor, an idea meant to conjure up the assured sense of truth that comes with witnessing something concrete (and hopefully positive) with your own eyes. Your customers can’t see loyalty, trust, or any other quality, but an effective brand strategy can help them make the connection. First though, you’ll need to learn to see these qualities yourself.

Four Principles to Ensure Your B2B Brand and Culture Align

The legendary management consultant, educator, and author Peter Drucker liked to say that “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” The best-laid strategic plans invariably hit a wall if they are not aligned with the organization’s culture — the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company’s employees and management interact and handle business transactions…

Seven Principles for M&A Branding Success

From a business perspective, few things are as critical to get right as a major merger or acquisition — and few things are as challenging. On the long list of considerations during M&A activity, merger branding is one of the most crucial. Not getting brand right is a key reason that, according to the…

Cutting Through the Sea of Sameness: Creating a Stand-Out Law Firm Brand

For decades, law firms went to market with stale messages that did little to create compelling impressions in the minds of their audiences, let alone lasting ones. To a large extent, they got away with it — relying on the strength of their bench, their personal relationships, and the knowledge that big companies had big budgets…

Stronger Together: How Brand Drives M&A Success

According to the Harvard Business Review, “study after study puts the failure rate of mergers at somewhere between 70-90%.” More often than not, brand is not promoted or leveraged to provide unity, clarity and solidarity during this critical inflection point, yet brand can make all the difference between success and failure for the companies…

Brand Storytelling: Why It Works to Boost Marketing Impact

A tale as old as time
From early humans drawing pictures on walls to parents telling bedtime tales; from ancient civilizations that invented myths to modern creators who create sagas on the screen and plots on the page — storytelling is a tradition as old as humanity. Today, it’s also one of the most popular…

Post-Merger Branding: Why Good on Paper is not Good Enough

Mergers and acquisitions are most often viewed from a financial perspective. However, as brand strategists, we have seen firsthand that success often relies on less tangible factors.  The “fit” may look great on paper, but achieving that promise requires more than a rationalized product portfolio. Success requires a rationalized workforce that understands the how’s…

Aligning Brand and Culture: Where Should a Company Begin?

It’s the classic chicken or egg question — which element comes first when aligning brand and culture? Leadership teams often ask us this question during transformation initiatives. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, there are three critical questions that any leadership team must answer to understand how to begin optimizing the relationship…

Color Series: The Proportional Color Palette

The visual aspects of a brand are what creates the overall “brand identity,” a way for audiences to create perceptions about your brand based on the consistency of images, language, font, design, and of course, colors. Color plays a crucial role in both the creation of an identity and a logo as it creates consistency…