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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.


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Logo Spotting

A great logo hits hard. It has a solid impact with the impression of an untouchable work of art that stays with you whether you like it or not. The best logos tickle your brain a little bit and that brain tickle is what we in the design biz call superliminal design.

What Is Superliminal Design?

Superliminal design is something that brand designers specifically strive for in their work. It’s the distillation of an idea down to its most obvious form which might sound a little heady so let’s break down the philosophy behind superliminal design and explore it in the following visual examples.

From Subliminal to Superliminal


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Silicon Valley loves the idea of failure. In the world of tech startups, messing up is practically a religion. People wield that Samuel Beckett quote — try again, fail again, fail better — like it’s a Louisville Slugger.

As Adrian Daub writes, “People take jobs and lose them, and go on to a new job. People create products that no one likes, and go on to create another product. People back companies that get investigated by the SEC, and go on to back other companies. In Silicon Valley, it seems, there is no such thing as a negative experience.”

But the thing is, not all types of failures are treated equal. A wholesale embrace of failure misses the point. From our point of view, there’s a big difference between good failure and bad failure. …


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When the Emotive Brand design team creates a brand system, we design it to last for many years. In order for a brand system to last that long, it needs to be consistent with a specific core idea, yet flexible enough to grow over time in order to accommodate changes in the landscape, growth into new sectors, building out sub-brands, etc. Let’s explore two different methodologies in conducting brand design and the end result of each: modernist design and emergent design.

Modernist Design: One Solution

Modernist design methodology is built on the practice of digging to find the golden nugget of a single solution, then testing and polishing that nugget into something that is refined and workable for the specific problem at hand. The rules for the solution are codified and set in stone. The specific problem is continually solved using the same set of rules. However, this often leads to the same solution being applied to multiple different problems as a way of short cutting the design process. Why wouldn’t businesses be trying to use the same solution? It’s what they have in their toolkit — but they aren’t aware that this method is ill-fated from the start. …


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An Interview with Senior Executive, Emily Chang: Purpose and Profit, Meaningful Global Leadership, Commercialization, Innovation, and Mentorship in a COVID-19 World

We sat down with Emily Chang, a Senior Executive with 20 years of global experience in Customer Experience, Business Strategy, Cross-Cultural Team Leadership, Change Management & Organizational Renewal, and Brand Building at enterprise organizations such as P&G, Apple, IHG, and Starbucks. Emily is in the midst of writing a book that focuses on ideas of purposeful leadership, community, and culture. …


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As recognition sets in that the COVID-19 crisis will not be short-lived, companies must respond appropriately by communicating in ways that are empathetic and relevant, contextually aware, human and sensitive. Leaders, brand stewards, and their teams must be extremely focused, keep up with the new normal of uncertainty, and have the ability to rapidly re-evaluate what their company stands for, how it communicates, and why it matters.

Making sure your Corporate Narrative resonates with customers, partners, and employees requires an agile strategy and clear communications that reflect your company in a way that is authentic and appropriate for this moment. …


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Empathy in Uncertain Times

These days, everything feels unsettled. We’ve watched travel discontinue, lively offices expeditiously shift to remote work, restaurants and small businesses shut their doors, cities still and quiet, as the landscape of our global economy shifts on a daily basis. Recognition that this COVID-19 state of living, working, and doing business will not be ephemeral is settling in. We’re seeing first hand as our clients are forced to quickly adapt-make swift decisions, innovate new solutions, and reimagine the way they’ve always done business.

It’s clear that the weight communications hold has heavied. Executives are reaching out to their employees, eager to instill both calm and action. Businesses are connecting with stakeholders aiming to secure trust. Brands are reaching out to customers, motivated to emotionally resonate with consumers’ current state of mind. These connections, big and small, have never been more critical. …


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Do You Guys Do Messaging?

When clients ask us to share our ‘typical’ brand strategy process, we are careful to respond that there is no typical process as all client needs truly are different. The right-for- this-client scope of work comes as a result of a deep process of inquiry into our clients’ circumstances, budget tolerance, depth and expertise of team, and an assessment of what we think they will need to really make their brand perform in the market. Invariably, the question comes, “what about messaging, do you guys do that?” Indeed, what about messaging? …


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These days, it’s a SaaS world and we’re just living in it. From infrastructure and identity to platforms and productivity, Everything-as-a-Service continues to reign supreme. But what does it take to succeed, and become one of the SaaS brands that can achieve the annual recurring revenue (ARR) required to drive predictable growth in an ever-crowding market?

According to Gartner, worldwide public cloud services are predicted to grow by 17% this year, from $227.8 billion in 2019 to $266.4 billion in 2020, with revenue forecasts for SaaS brands (Cloud Application Services) expected to reach over $116 billion alone.

And while, as the SaaS market may seem mature after nearly two decades, according to a study by Synergy Research Group, it still only accounts for about 20–25% of total enterprise software spending, meaning there’s plenty of room for growth for both established players and new market entrants. There are challenges-but there are also plenty of opportunities to rise above the fray. …


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Sara Gaviser Leslie is a brand marketer, creative consultant, and former Emotive Brand employee. After years of thriving on the agency-side of the equation, she recently took an interim position at Course Hero to experience the client-side of things. If you’re looking to improve your client-agency relationship, here are her five tips to make sure every project is a success.

The Client-Agency Relationship

Until recently, I’ve never experienced a brand creative project from the client-side. I was always the consultant. But, recently, when I took an interim but full-time role with a client, I was asked to run a creative project. I had expected mine would be the easier assignment; someone else was doing the work, right? What I learned, though, is that the client-and their relationship with the agency team-can improve the outcome of a project but also sabotage its success. I noticed some things that helped drive the success of these projects. …

About

Emotive Brand

Emotive Brand is a strategy and design firm: We work with executives to drive growth in revenue, brand, and culture #b2b #tech #b2c #product #growth #branding

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