In praise of thinking

American culture has a bias towards action—we like a can-do attitude. We revere rags to riches stories. We are people that get things done. The 45th president just signed a record 14 executive orders during his first seven days in office. Yet, the resulting chaos is deeply concerning. Is this national bias towards action actually impeding our ability to think?…

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Three Real Life Business Lessons from Mariah Carey’s meltdown

At first I thought it was a part of the act, and slowly, I realized it was not. Mariah Carey’s performance on live television New Year’s Eve went totally wrong. And millions of people saw it, not only live but repeated over and over again; on the New York Times website, YouTube, Twitter, and every other newsfeed. I don’t particularly…

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What corporate communicators can learn from Time’s Person of the Year—President Elect Trump

Full disclosure: the man was not my candidate. And frankly, the tenor and tone of his communication troubled me—almost daily. While it gave me pause, I had to admit it was damn effective. I forced myself to see what could be learned from his tactics. Donald Trump had a message that was clear, concise and so simple a three year…

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Becoming the Employer of Choice: Diversity Matters

    Gender Equity has become a top business issue. Companies are discovering their employees and potential employees want more than just state-of-the-art work environments and free lunch; what they really want is greater diversity, inclusion and support. These organizations are also learning that by delivering on these ideals they can actually gain a higher return on investment. This correlation…

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AIGA Gender Equity Tool Kit

  Lynda Decker is co-chair of AIGA Women Lead, an initiative created to connect, celebrate and cultivate the achievements of women in the design industry. This post is adapted from Lynda Decker’s presentation on Monday, October 17, 2016. Feminist and Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently remarked, “To today’s youth, judgeship as an aspiration for a girl is not…

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Brand Responsively

As an experienced marketer I am exposed to the latest branding maxims. If your career is as long as mine, you find a great deal of the dogma repetitive, and the advice, simplistic. It is tiresome. Yet some brands break through our attention deficit world and create tremendous buzz. I decided to interview a number of leading marketers over the past…

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Different is better than better

Branding is the oxygen of marketing communications. We all bring biases to the brand development process, including the idea that our brand must be the “best.” After all, most of us grew up believing we have to be better than the competition. But “better” is fickle—and a poor long-term positioning strategy. “Better” puts us on a never-ending treadmill—with everyone else…

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Are you moved by statistics?

One of our clients, a leader in the financial services industry came to us to create a compelling report on their small business economic development program. Sounds relatively straightforward, right? Here was the challenge: we were confronted with a massive amount of data that only an economist could love. How on earth would we get anyone to care? In business, complex…

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Is the annual report dead?

The answer is no, but many are missing a major communications opportunity. It’s time to stop producing the simple 10K wrap that turns out to be not so simple and very painful to read through. I recently launched a book called, Responsive Branding and the one major theme throughout all the research I conducted was that brands succeed when they…

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Responsive Branding—the book—available next month

Consistency is the first law of corporate brand building—at least that is what all of the experts say. Branding principles evolved out of post World War II economic prosperity and the emergence of the mid twentieth century consumer. Major companies such as Campbell’s, Proctor & Gamble and General Foods systematized package design to help shoppers recognize their brands on shelves…

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