How Social Media is reframing the perspective on "brands"

“If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” This famous philosophical riddle by Alexander T. Jackson, one of the 20th century’s greatest minds, reflects one’s perspective on reality and hearing and is inspiration for this post. If your brand is never spoken of, is it really a Brand? I believe response to this question is in great part due to two key factors: 1) one's definition of a brand 2) perception of “brand engagement.” Ironically, if you survey the conversations marketers are having today regarding social media for brand-building, you will see both factors surfac ...

Seven Strategies for Humanizing Brand Storytelling

Many of the brand storytelling themes that were once regarded best practice and believed to be meaningful, we know now is relatively ineffective in generating enduring customer interest and trust. This article provides seven strategies for how to evolve beyond mere information to a more human-centric approach to storytelling.

Why Social Media IS Professional Development

“Communication Can Be Hard to Get Into” by Alan Levine / CC BY Flickr "Communication" is Key! Communications has a bad rap. Long (and wrongly) suffering a “soft skill” or lower priority taint, it – at the same time – is considered a key leadership strength. What? The disconnect has harmed the practice, and even seeing it as a “practice” or separate role has harmed the integration of communication into EVERYONE’s job. Not to discount at all the importance of deeply trained marketing and communications professionals, but the power of their work is only further enhanced by more corporate leaders who can authentically (an ...

Leadership: Evolving from Authority to Influence and Vision

This is the fifth post from our brand storytelling series. It explores the rise of social networks and how this has not only democratized communication between business and people, but also the topic of leadership. True leaders have the ability to inspire the mind and embolden the heart to take action.

Why Employee Engagement Needs to be Infectious

Why is employee engagement often regarded as a “nice-to-have” vs necessity, when in reality it is not unlike the challenge of building external community and engagement. This post takes a deep dive into the biases and the reasons why the misconception and lack of support and investment.

FROM Demographics TO Understanding People and Communities

We synthesize what we learn and observe in order to better understand and connect. Contrast this approach to what happens in business. Ironically, the default response is to break down through analysis. This process of re-interpretation is meant to simplify information – but in the long run it produces a distant and simplistic understanding of the customer. The difference is not only philosophy and methodology. More importantly it is proving to be a significant business disadvantage.

Corporate Storytelling From Size & Stats TO The People Within

Many of the story themes that were once regarded best practice and believed to be useful, we now know via social media as ineffective in generating meaningful and enduring interest. The new tradition of storytelling is less about what “THEY (corporation) want people to know,” and more about the stories that people can relate to on a human level.

Why CSR brand and culture may become "unsustainable"

We see the terms “brand” and “sustainability” mentioned together more often today than ever before. Since brands usually function as the connection between business and people, their role has evolved beyond marketing to also represent corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts. But when a corporation's sustainability commitments become unfulfilled promises, or fail to engender broader support - the future of a sustainable brand can ultimately become "unsustainable."

DJ Spooky: Introduces a new language for CSR & the environment

Paul D. Miller, a.k.a., DJ Spooky (That Subliminal Kid) in an artistic and multi-media inspiration. He is a composer, writer, editor, conceptual artist, DJ, and app developer, who is creating music and inspiring not only appreciation for the arts, but appreciation for the environment and the impacts of climate change. Read this exclusive interview and access free downloads, compliments of Paul.

Why humanizing brands begins with a state of mind

We all know how much we can learn about ourselves through the eyes and feedback of others. The same holds true for brands when seen through the eyes and exchanges happening between people. Conversations are going on every second about a brand - but the majority of these conversations are happening amongst people - not brand to people. Whether topics are introduced by the media, influential voices or consumers, brands for the most part are either the outsiders listening-in or completely disconnected from such conversations.

Missing link to building a beloved and socially engaging brand

“WHY” is a”socially engaging brand” different from “the social marketing of a brand? “ And “why” must marketers alter their marketing strategies and communication tactics for the sake of social media? The biggest challenge marketers face regarding social media has less to do with what and how, but “why?” build a socially engaging brand. The answer defies the very notion of “marketing” itself.

Beyond courage or brains, a brand needs a heart

Why brand communication fails to actually "communicate" to people Do you remember the classic story of the Wizard of Oz? Well if you don’t, then I highly recommend you rent it soon. I say this not only because I’m nostalgic, but moreso because it offers a particularly great lesson in branding. Take for example the Tin Man. He plays a key role in Dorothy’s journey. He’s eager to participate but is handicapped because of his inability to feel, relate and build relationships. These shortcomings he attributes to his lack of heart (and I mean this literally) because he is built without one. When a man's an empty kettle, He should ...

Bridge Knowledge Gaps

Cross pollination and the sharing of inspired and forward thinking is key for building a truly compelling brand. Providing knowledge and training that goes beyond conference event or seminar is not a privilege, but an essential investment in employees and culture.

Build Internal Engagement

According to Gallup in 2013, Businesses with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%. The reasons for why employees are not engaged is not an issue of apathy, but more so about lack of support and enablement of interest.

Nurture Employee Passion

Social networks enable employees from varied organizational roles to become influential voices in building brand interest/loyalty. Building community and engagement can be learned and mastered, but it is not intuitive. Relationships must be set-up and supported to succeed.

Brand Storytelling

The changing shifts in media/communication requires brands to have an even greater understanding of who they are. Unfortunately, most brands today define themselves in ways that limit their identity, relationship-building potential and story.

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