Employee Engagement

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…

B2B Brand Positioning: Five Big Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Brand positioning. It’s a concept pioneered by branding legends Jack Trout and Al Ries in the 1960s that has since become the essential foundation upon which all of an organization’s marketing is based —from print campaigns to digital engagement, sales outreach to recruitment efforts, content strategy to customer journey mapping. Defined as the…

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…

The 10 Essential Components of a Successful Technology Brand Strategy

Technology has been a business game-changer at every level — revolutionizing customer experience, enabling groundbreaking innovations, and accelerating the speed of business. Technology giants are expanding their reach while companies with decidedly non-tech histories like Maersk and even McDonald’s have reinvented themselves to excel in the digital era.

B2B tech companies need to…

‘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…

Branding Employee Volunteerism: Building Culture and Community

When it comes to maximizing the impact of corporate volunteer programs, a well thought-out branding and communications strategy can be your most powerful tool. This whitepaper shares seven principles for leveraging communications to enhance the long-term success and impact of your employee volunteer program.

Building a Recruitment Brand for Gen Z

Although it seems like just yesterday we were reading about the rise of the millennials, a new generation is hovering outside the threshold of the corporate world. Generation Z is about to hit the workforce, and their unique motivations will force brands to reevaluate their internal and external strategies. While businesses have a few years…

A Tale of Two Announcements: Communicating Big News at Large Organizations

Two regional banks’ futures are on the line, and all stakeholders await the decisions of the top brass: will a merger-of-equals result in lay-offs? At large firms today, most communication happens through email, and that’s how a lot of news is delivered (hopefully employees never have to learn company news via…

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…

From Measurement to Improvement: An Agile Approach to Employee Engagement

Few would dispute that the world in which we live and work is changing at an extraordinary pace. In this dynamic landscape, business executives face immense pressure to not only survive – but thrive. In other words, they have to keep up with the pace while bumping up profits.

Continuous innovation is a strategy we hear…

From Employee to Brand Ambassador: Maximizing the Value of the Professional Services Brand

Last year we published a whitepaper that examines how professional services firms can leverage the power of branding to stand out in an increasingly competitive industry. It’s a fairly comprehensive look at the process of building a solid and differentiated brand, from conducting internal and extensive research to identifying core brand attributes and developing…

Got the Message? Creating Consistency in Professional Services Branding

While a comprehensive verbal and visual system forms the foundation of a brand, it’s only the beginning of executing an effective branding strategy. To be successful, a brand needs to be expressed consistently across all internal and external touchpoints. Consistency is critical to establish a well-defined brand and eliminate confusion in the marketplace…

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…

Archetype Series #3: The Ruler, the Caregiver and the Creator

In the second post of our archetype series, we looked at how a brand team can successfully identify which archetype their brand is and why. Once they’ve aligned around the role the brand plays in its customers’ lives, that information will serve as a guide as they develop brand strategy and express it through…

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…