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Branding Conferences

Brand Leadership: The New Brand Management


Marketing Conference

Top tier marketers today have made one career-changing decision that has extended the reach of their success. They’ve elected to lead rather than manage. Those seven words represent the new requirement for high performance in an age where the customer drives the conversation about brands and where the proactive thrive.

Don’t Manage. Lead.

To manage means to bring about, to accomplish a task, to be responsible for a deliverable. Brand management mattered when the rules were set and when repetition formed the crux for success. But today’s marketplace is so much more dynamic and today’s consumers too social and demanding for managing alone to be enough anymore.

Marketers today must be leaders – because if your brand is not driving the conversation and changing the rules, you’re always going to be beholden to someone else’s playbook. Leadership is about influence, guidance, innovation and following a unique path.

The differences between management and leadership are most apparent in the contrasting behaviors of decision makers:

•  The manager administers; the leader innovates.
•  The manager replicates; the leader is an original.
•  The manager is focused on structure and systems; the leader is focused on people.
•  The manger relies on command and control; the leader inspires trust.
•  The manager thinks near-term; the leader has long-term vision and perspective.
•  The manager has their eye on the bottom line; the leader has their eye on the horizon and sustained wealth.
•  The manager invests in the status quo; the leader challenges it.

For marketers and brands to achieve their highest potential in the marketplace, stewardship, integrity, authenticity and trust must be infused in every action. These are qualities that brand leaders possess and bake into their strategic brand building efforts.

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Branding Conferences

Marketers Will Evolve At The 2015 Un-Conference


2015 Branding Conference

As the role of marketers continues to expand, so do the pressures. Some marketers will rise to the challenge while others will slip behind. Why will they slip? Because change is hard. That’s why the future can look so much like the past. And why brands and the marketers who manage them often lose their edge. For those marketers who see comfort zones as a dangerous place, we have designed a very unique experience around brand strategy.

Enter The Un-Conference: 360 Degrees of Brand Strategy for a Changing World.

On May 18th through the 20th, 2015 a small group of progressive marketers will gather together with the senior partners of The Blake Project and others at the opulent Versace Mansion on Ocean Drive in South Beach, Florida for a one-of-a-kind learning and networking experience dedicated to all aspects of building successful brands for the 21st century. Intensive, fun and illuminating, The Un-Conference will equip you with the insight, tools and techniques required to evolve and release the full potential of your brand in a new era where consumers drive and own the conversation about brands.

No Attendees. Only Participants.

The best pathway for learning is through participation, Not observation. The Un-Conference: 360 Degrees of Brand Strategy for a Changing World will challenge your thinking about brands and brand management. And will put you in a unique competitive-learning environment on a team of 10, competing and learning with other marketers from around the world.

Uniquely Designed For High Impact:

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Brand Language

When Branding Projects Require Rebranding


Brand Purpose

Branding Strategy Insider helps marketing oriented leaders and professionals like you build strong brands. BSI readers know, we regularly answer questions from marketers everywhere. Today we hear from Ken, a VP of Marketing in Boston, Massachusetts who writes…

“I’m trying to get internal buy-in for an extensive re-brand. The terms brand or branding are not well received here. How else can I talk about this project?”

Thanks for your question Ken. As brand consultants we have seen this situation before and the reasons vary. Those less marketing oriented or less appreciative of marketing as a revenue generator might see terms like brand or branding negatively while others simply want projects like this to be communicated as more than a marketing project. Whatever the case replacing the word ‘brand’ with promise or purpose works well.

At its core branding projects are about discovery and can be effectively communicated as such without marketing jargon. Consider presenting the initiative in the context of what will be discovered and the outcomes that will lead to…

  • What unique value can we own in the minds of our prospective and existing customers?
  • What is our purpose? It’s not what we sell; it’s what we stand for.
  • What is our organization’s raison d’être, or its reason for being?
  • What promise is our organization making to our customers? Employees? The world?

Ken, I hope you find these thoughts helpful. As you continue down the path of trying to gain buy-in (seemingly a part-time job for marketers) I think you will find these additional thoughts meaningful. While brand cultures are built on language, it’s fitting I share this as well.

Do you have a question related to branding? Just Ask The Blake Project

Sponsored By: Resonate. Reach audiences based on why they choose brands.

Sponsored ByThe Brand Positioning Workshop, the Brand Storytelling Workshop Series and Brand Strategy and Customer Co-Creation Workshops

Branding Strategy Insider is a service of The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy specializing in Brand Research, Brand Strategy, Brand Licensing and Brand Education

FREE Publications And Resources For Marketers

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Brand Strategy

Branding Strategy Insider: Our Greatest Hits 2014



Thank you all for making this another highly successful year for Branding Strategy Insider. Of the many posts we brought you over the last 12 months, these were some of our most popular (listed here in alphabetical order):

10 Reasons To Rebrand – change your brand identity only if it will make your identity more fascinating and relevant for your consumers.
10 Things A Brand Must Have – ensure your brand has the distinctive attributes it needs to  take on a life of its own.
50 Things Successful Brand Managers Know – the must-have knowledge base for those looking to successfully and profitably manage brands today.
Are You A Strategic Thinking Marketer? – the five key characteristics of strategic thinkers. Is this how you work?
Brand Building Through Customer Experience – brands need to think big but at the same time they need to sweat the small stuff.
Brand Voice In The Social Media Age – in an age where content marketing is often nothing more than disguised advertising, your brand’s ability to speak with clarity and authenticity is critical.
Brands Need Big Insights Not Big Data – data can deliver powerful understandings of consumers but it is still subject to the beliefs and expectations of those who analyze it.
The End Of The Unique Selling Proposition? – has the USP had its day? Should we ditch this bastion of marketing theory in favour of the Unique Brand Perspective?
Top 4 Brand Loyalty Mistakes – marketers need to adapt to a relationship building environment where the hunt for top of mind has been replaced by the search for front of heart.
Why Brand Management Will Replace Marketing – the shift from brands as products to brands as assets is prompting big changes among brand owners like P&G.

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New Product Ideation & Co-Creation

New Product Co-Creation Workshop


New Product Ideation and Co-Creation

When Nielsen analyzed over 3,400 new consumer product introductions launched in the U.S. market in 2012, it found just 14 managed to generate at least $50 million in sales in their first year and sustain that momentum into their second. Out of some 17,000 new products launched since 2008, just 62 of them have had that kind of success.

According to Taddy Hall, “Breakthrough Winners don’t rely on luck or genius. The hallmark of successful innovation is that they resolve struggles or fulfill aspirations; they perform jobs in consumers’ lives.”

With that in mind The Blake Project developed a unique workshop based approach to new product co-creation.

Business context: New product development is vital to maximizing brand value and building consistent market share. But it’s tough to do right. For every four new product ideas that enter development only one will succeed in the marketplace.

Success requirement: Framing new product opportunities and challenges around an insightful understanding of unmet consumer needs. The New Product Co-Creation Workshop provides a dynamic, real-time ‘framing’ where consumers visualize and articulate use, need, desire and core motivations.

What makes our process work where others fail? The Blake Project brings consumers into the ideation process and unites them with product designers, marketers, engineers and manufacturing experts. Through guided facilitation, in-person and in a unique workshop setting, we help consumers articulate the emotions, passions and real-life experiences that will define unmet needs and where new product opportunities have the greatest chance for success. Working with this shared vision, consumers and product experts co-create new product ideas based upon unmet consumer needs, manufacturing capabilities and brand fit.

The Blake Project’s New Product Co-Creation Process:

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