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An Event Steeped in History In 2016 I had the honor of completing the Boston Marathon. It was an experience I won’t ever forget and I truly learned why Marathon Monday is a special date for Bostonians since it was first run in 1897. Its symbolism of strength, hope, courage, and endurance has resonated with people across generations and decades. The site of runners starting their journey in Hopkinton and finishing across Boylston Street 26.2 miles later is one that brings the whole city together and is a celebration that many people come from all over to see. I won’t ever forget seeing the crowds of people cheering everyone on and coming out in droves to watch the race. [tweetshare tweet="From Dana-Farber

How will Apple’s shifting business model impact the Apple brand strategy? Great question!   On March 28, 2019, Apple announced its plans for news distribution, content creation and distribution, and money distribution (vis a vis a new credit card). These announcements are the latest signs of the company’s shift from a device to a content strategy. Does that business strategy require a new brand strategy? No, I don’t think so. [tweetshare tweet="Focusing on storytelling as a core function is quite relevant and competitively differentiated for the Apple brand. " username="SB_Branding"] To explain why, let’s remind ourselves of the Apple brand promise: “Make a dent in the universe by challenging the status quo and thinking differently. We believe equally in art and technology.”

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

What are your new year’s resolutions for your brand? Sure, as we start another trip around that big yellow dot in the sky, you may be thinking about breaking up with Netflix, actually going to the gym and not just paying for it, or trying that meditation thing everyone’s talking about.   Those are all great and best of luck! But given how important your brand is to your business and career, doesn’t it deserve some resolutions of its own? Here are some suggestions. [tweetshare tweet="Given how important your brand is to your business and career, doesn’t it deserve some resolutions of its own?" username="SB_Branding"] I resolve to drive consistency. Inasmuch as inconsistency is enemy #1 of a strong brand, resolving to

A few months ago, I overheard a friend talking about something called, “View.” Whatever it was, he was in love with it. Something about cutting the cord and an alternative to SlingTV. Thus begins our cautionary tale of product naming. A few weeks later, in my semi-regular rant against cable, I texted him for more information. “What is this ‘View’ of which you spoke?” “No, it’s PlayStation Vue,” he wrote, “but it has nothing to do with PlayStation. It’s incredible.” [tweetshare tweet= "Never assume everyone knows what you know."] It seems that I was not the only one in the dark about PlayStation Vue. As Jared Newman writes in his TechHive CORD-CUTTER CONFIDENTIAL, Sony’s streaming TV service earns high marks from users but is

Storytelling is not: “Our product does X, and you should buy it because Y.” Storytelling is a much more powerful way to help people understand what you’re all about other than simply explaining "this is what we do, here's why you should buy." As consumers expect more from the companies with whom they do business, storytelling is the key to getting through to them. At Spencer Brenneman, LLC, we are helping a European company introduce its product to the U.S. market. Storytelling will play a central part in how we position the offering in a way that is relevant and competitively differentiated from the other choices consumers have. [tweetshare tweet= "Storytelling is not: “Our product does X, and you should

Our recent white paper on making data-driven design decisions was born from a presentation I was asked to make at the 2018 HOW Design Live conference. The presentation, “From Gift Wrapper to Strategic Partner: How Creatives Can Elevate the World’s Perception of Their Work,” focused on how using data and improving the relationship between Creatives and Executives, can lead to a better creative process. Since the white paper covered the first part, data-driven design decisions, this blog post will cover the second: improving the relationship between Creatives and Executives (i.e., the people who make the final decisions on a project). In building the relationship, we talked about four main areas: Walking in their shoes Taking your seat at the table Bringing

“I don’t have an opinion. I don’t know their rebranding strategy.” That’s the answer I usually give when someone asks me what I think of a high-profile rebrand, such as the 2016 rebrand of Uber and last year’s rebrand of Accenture and Mozilla. Of course, I always have my personal, visceral reactions to some rebrands, but for the most part, what do my personal opinions matter? As for my professional opinions, one can argue that those may matter; however, only in the presence of the company’s rebranding strategy. Rebranding doesn’t or shouldn’t happen out of boredom, but rather, out of some experienced, expected, or desired change in the business, market, or customers’ needs. How can anyone judge a rebrand if

The well-designed annual report with the strategic intent of communicating with ALL of a company's audience goes well beyond your investors and pages of financial and legal notes to serve as a signature channel for your brand. In fact, the Annual Report is an important tool in your brand arsenal. Delivering that information and your story is critical, but many brands don't yet seize the opportunity by integrating their annual report in their overall brand strategy. While mandatory for many organizations and a powerful tool for others, this single communication presents information about your organization to many different audiences. How those readers engage with your Annual Report content influences their perceptions of your company in powerful ways. While an annual report is

As 2017 wrapped up, we asked some of Spencer Brenneman, LLC’s favorites to share their thoughts on what’s to come in 2018 in terms of marketing and branding trends. Here they are! Don’t be shy! Add your thoughts, either in agreement or disagreement! We can take it! Reply here or contact us! Kim Vanni LinkedIn Designer, Art Director, and all-around Creative Chick Kim Vanni, designs While Millennial Pink may not disappear, bolder color palettes will be everywhere and juxtaposed in unexpected combinations, especially in photography and typography (Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2018 is Ultra Violet). Likewise, look for double-exposure treatments in graphics and type and a continuation of the geometric–print trend with new and bold textures/backgrounds. The counterbalance: hand-drawn graphics and fonts, and