As an organization grows, there are inflection points that require urgent organizational alignment. Of these, organizational size is the simplest rough measure, but there are others.
What is your organization? Most clients struggle to answer the first question from the Brand Pyramid. You'd expect that any company would have a good answer, but they almost never do. Why is this?
There are three main reasons.
In our work with healthcare organizations, there are a few emergent challenges that are worth noting. This post relates only to healthcare service brands like hospitals and nursing services and is not meant to apply to healthcare product brands or pharma or medical device companies, which operate differently.
Keith Cartwright provides an analysis of how advertising agencies will need to move forward if they intend to reap the benefits of greater inclusivity.
“Sympathy is fine. Empathy is better. Sacrifice is hard.” he says.
This struck me as a very succinct—if on further consideration problematic—summation of the journey we will all need to go on if we are to overcome the racism that infects much of American business.
It is unnecessary to mention that a lot is happening in America right now. We are in the middle of both the pandemic and the national mobilization around Black Lives Matter. It is an act of will not to speak up, not to enter this conversation. But it is so easy to be thoughtless or to think of one's innocence in all this … only to be reminded not so quietly, “But it is not permissible that the authors of devastation should also be innocent. It is the innocence which constitutes the crime.” —James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time, 1963.
Empathy has become a management buzzword, but having facilitated its implementation and witnessed its power firsthand, we strongly advocate for its widespread adoption, and even more so in light of COVID-19. When elevated to a core value, empathy has the power to shape individual and team behaviors, improving workplace morale and overall well-being.
It’s mind-boggling that Seoul has had 4 deaths while New York City has recorded over 16,000 deaths from COVID-19. Both densely populated metropolises (8+ million inhabitants in NYC and 9+million in Seoul), each had the first reported case on the same day with widely diverging outcomes. Why have the results been so different between the two cities and countries?
As I check the numbers each day on the New York Times map of the virus, it’s hard to comprehend the sadness this data illustration represents. The numbers grow, often adding zeros. Behind each zero are thousands of individual names, fascinating stories, dearly held passions, truncated hopes, an end to the delicate ripples each human life sends out into the world.
There’s a tension that arises so frequently in museums that it seems natural and almost unavoidable: the curatorial team and the marketing (communications) team struggle to get along. Both groups are intimately involved with the customer but what they do with the customer and the nature of that interaction, however, are very different. This can lead to conflict between the two teams that are theoretically working toward the same goal.
In a recent workshop, the following discussion with a curator, in response to my setup that highly functional teams actively work to achieve shared goals, exposed a work dynamic with substantial consequences for organizational effectiveness.
While we've seen a small set of core values brought to life with our clients in the nonprofit and cultural sector, the reality is that core values are for everyone. We were able to test this principle recently running our workshop for the docuseries “Hustle” depicting the struggles of small business entrepreneurs in NYC.
In Friday’s New York Times, David Brooks invokes both marketing and branding as the opener for a column on the Michael Cohen hearings. It is certainly appropriate to invoke these terms in relation to the current President, who is a kind of brand savant, but what troubles me about Mr. Brooks’ use of branding is the unfortunate tendency to equate branding with pretense, to define it as a kind of falsehood that you prepare and wear to cover up the truth.
The promotional campaign for Black Abstract, a recent exhibition at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, shows our work philosophy in action. Whether we are refreshing a visual identity, launching a brand awareness campaign, or promoting an art exhibition, strategy comes before design, placing a premium on including the voice of the customer.
In this follow-up to "Why rebrand?" I’d like to highlight some reasons that do not pass muster. I have seen all of these serve as the primary reason for a rebrand. If you happen to see them, please take it as a warning that the question of “Why” needs closer examination.
Why rebrand? Thoughts prepared for the Chicago Museum Exhibitors Group on the topic of Rethink, Rebrand: Why, When and How Museums Reinvent Themselves
This article is written with museum examples in mind, but the principles apply much more broadly. Experience shows us that the sequence of these three questions is important. Only initiate a rebrand with a solid why. Then explore when and how.