Brand Cohesion

Five Ways to Activate Brand Authenticity

In a crowded market, it can be tough for brands to find whitespace. Identifying an ownable market positioning while maintaining brand authenticity is infinitely harder — but doing so is imperative for a brand’s ongoing success.

Our client, CDISC, was facing this challenge. CDISC began as a grassroots, nonprofit organization determined to develop and advance…

Pancakes and Purpose: What IHOP Teaches Us About Legacy Branding

Much has been written about brand agility, the idea that a strong brand needs to remain true to core principles while always remaining open to new ideas. But this is easier said than done, especially for legacy brands. When a brand conjures up an indelible image in the minds of its customers, deviating from that…

The Four Essential Elements of a Winning B2B Brand Strategy

Companies rebrand for myriad reasons, and each resulting brand is — or should be — unique. But there are four essential elements shared by winning B2B brand strategies: authenticity, individuality, cohesion, and adaptability.  
1. Authenticity: Stay true to your brand foundations
All brand strategy engagements should result in an authentic brand. And brand strategy is not always…

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…

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…

Building an Online Brand Experience

What is brand experience? Yashumi Kasumi, Innovation and Creative Manager at IKEA, says,“A brand experience resembles the experiences you have with the people in your life…[it is] literally everything you have seen and heard — or even felt or smelt or tasted — about a brand.” This reflects a shift in the meaning of the…

‘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…

When Brands Collide: How to Ensure a Successful M&A Brand Merger

In 2018, there were more nearly 50,000 M&A transactions around the world. From tech to healthcare, consolidation is on the rise, and companies small and large are placing their bets on M&A activity as a strategic driver of growth. In this environment, it’s safe to assume that most B2B…

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…

How Brand Architecture Informs Brand Naming

To rename or not to rename? Clients often want to answer this question early in the project. And it makes sense. A new corporate or sub-brand name is not only very exciting, it’s also a huge investment. However, for this very reason, it’s may be best to postpone a naming decision until…

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…