2019 | Spencer Brenneman, LLC

March 2019

St. Patrick’s Day may officially memorialize Ireland’s foremost saint, but it’s expanded to celebrate Irish culture in general, all over the Western world. In our hometown of Boston, the holiday is especially popular. This year, we thought it would be fun to look at the similarities and differences of doing business in Ireland and the United States.   To aid us in our quest, I reached out to our friends in the Boston office of Enterprise Ireland and spoke with Amy Robinson, Trade Development Executive for Life Sciences & Digital Health. Enterprise Ireland is the government organization responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets. They partner with Irish brands to help them start, grow, innovate, and

A Cornerstone of Any Successful Brand Competitive differentiation. It’s something we stress a lot here, and if you’ve been following us and our work on how to brand your business, you know that we urge brands to make themselves as relevant and competitively differentiated as possible.   Sure, the product or service you are offering right now may be the only show in town, but that will not always be the case.   Past Examples Just look at Netflix, back in the day they were a footnote to industry-giant Blockbuster. They were even laughed out of the room when they proposed a partnership.   But oh, how the times change. Netflix is now ubiquitous and Blockbuster very much a thing of the past (except in

For many companies, the internal communications function is a necessary annoyance. They’re missing out. It can connect directly to the bottom line. On March 12, I will speak to a group of internal communications professionals at the Internal Comms Pro Morning Brew about the connection internal communications can and should have to the bottom line. During the presentation, I will lay out my premise, where the brand strategy can most easily support internal communications, and most importantly, how to make it all happen. [tweetshare tweet="If you’re doing both brand management and internal communications correctly, it would be impossible for the brand not to be a part of all employee messages." username="SB_Branding"]   To tease it out a bit, here are three ways internal

Last week I had the opportunity to sit in on a Founder’s Live pitch event in Boston, held at the CIC (where we have our offices). As always, these entrepreneurs were smart, passionate, and promoting incredible ideas. However, of the five participants, three of them received the comment from the judges: “I have no idea what you do.”   On the one hand, this is surprising. The entire point of a pitch is to explain what you do in a way that excites potential investors to learn more. A clear description of what one does would seem to be the first thing these founders would master.   On the other hand, as a brand strategist, I was not surprised at all.  Established,

Changing a Name Brand. A name brand you recognize decides to change their name. The world is shocked, right? Dunkin’ Donuts goes to just Dunkin’. Weight Watchers goes to just ‘WW.’ Kentucky Fried Chicken is just ‘KFC.’ Well, annoyances aside, changing a company name can be a smart move, if aligned with the brand strategy. Changing a name brand in a vacuum is never a good idea, and the result will be a piecemeal company with glaring inconsistencies.   Real World Examples. Take the above example. Dunkin’ Donuts changing their name just to Dunkin’. When this move happened, I saw numerous comments on the internet about how stupid this was. How this would be regarded as one of the biggest branding blunders in history. [tweetshare tweet="Changing

You know the feeling. You’ve just left another meeting where there’s a half-hearted agreement about a course of action that, much like those before it, will either never come to fruition or if it does, it will simply fail. It doesn’t matter what, really. A marketing campaign, a client retention effort, or a new way to build morale. Deep down, everyone knows that it won’t work, but it’s better than doing nothing at all. When Groundhog Day happens every day, you have a problem and we are willing to wager the problem lies with your brand strategy. After all, the brand strategy has one goal: nurture and protect the relationships you have with those most important to your success. Namely,

On our own website, we state that no logo can exist in a vacuum. To create a new logo, without any clear marketing or differentiated branding strategy behind it would, as we say, require magic. Meredith Verdone, Chief Marketing Officer at Bank of America, seems to understand this well. She says that Bank of America’s recent logo and brand strategy are going together hand-in-hand. The new campaign’s focus? “What would you like the power to do?” [tweetshare tweet="To create a new logo, without any clear marketing or differentiated branding strategy behind it would, as we say, require magic. " username="SB_Branding"] By focusing on the fact that their new campaign is empowering the consumer, they are thus making their consumer base care about their

New video capabilities were one of the major CES themes. AI and robotics was, of course, the other. Artificial intelligence (AI) is here to stay—and—it’s much further along than most people realize. From bots to robotics, AI will quickly take over soul-crushing and back-breaking work. As that work shifts, so too will our relationship with our customers and employees. Brands will have to stay ahead of those changes to ensure they stay relevant and competitively differentiated.

All businesses, particularly small ones, need to work as efficiently as possible, which is why tech for agencies is an important subject for me. It doesn’t hurt that I love technology: gadgets, software, AI (artificial intelligence). It brings out the inner geek that’s not so inner. Here’s what we use at Spencer Brenneman to deliver branding services as efficiently and effectively as possible. >>> G Suite as the foundation First, we use Google G Suite as the foundation of our communications and data storage. “Growing up” professionally, I was chained to Microsoft Office as most are and were to this day, I still don’t understand why one would choose to live that way. For me, using Office was like working after eating a

Winter. Love it, hate it, tolerate it, the season brings out a lot of emotions in people. If you’re lucky enough to live in Southern California, then you have a bit of a different definition of what winter is compared to those of us who live in New England.   Winter up here can be cold, snowy, and emotionally draining for many people. The most important thing on people’s minds during the season: staying warm.   Now, this may not seem like an opportunity to retune your brand strategy. Why would you bother getting people to care about your brand when they’re busy caring about staying warm?   Well, winter can actually be the perfect time of year to engage your consumer base