Don’t Cut Your Brand-Marketing Budget. Rethink It.

Brand marketing is an easy target when CMOs face pressure to shrink budgets in times of uncertainty. CMOs often struggle to resist such cuts because most companies lack an unequivocal answer to this long-lingering question: Can brand-marketing spending be dialed down as needed to shore up financials, or is it an essential, always-on investment that must be safeguarded to avoid devastating long-term impacts on the … [ Read more ]

26 Universal Questions for Brand Positioning (and Creating Your Brand Story)

An analysis of over 1,000 case studies from around the world of successful brand building has found that there are 26 different “approaches” to telling a brand story, each representing a different but proven opportunity to positioning your brand and telling your brand story. Each approach can be summarized by a key question (or set of questions), which I share below.

How to Make Your Brand’s Storytelling More Compelling

In recent years, it’s become fashionable for marketers to describe themselves as “storytellers” for their brand. But many brand narratives are deadly dull. That’s because they lack the one element that every good writer uses: conflict.

How to Build a Brand Pyramid

A vital tool that will help you define the very essence of your brand.

This Brand Strategy Can Make Your Startup Look Bigger Than It Is

When Leslie Ziegler joined the founding team of Rock Health in 2010, she had an enormous task ahead of her: make the intimidating world of institutional health care approachable for startup founders. No matter what the firm did next, its brand was going to have to do this heavy lifting, and as a veteran art director with the likes of McCann Erickson and DDB, this … [ Read more ]

Authenticity’s Paradox: If You Flaunt It, You Lose It

Stanford professor Glenn R. Carroll discusses his decades of research into the origins, advantages, perils, and future of “authentic” branding.

What I Learned From Developing Branding for Airbnb, Dropbox and Thumbtack

Since leaving YouTube in 2009, Julie Supan has become one of the most sought-after branding experts in Silicon Valley, helping companies like Dropbox, Airbnb and Thumbtack craft their positioning prior to launch. Her first step? Identifying their target user—the high-expectation customer. In this exclusive interview, she explains who that is, how to find them, and why every startup needs to ditch generic platitudes and start … [ Read more ]