The brand architecture exercise that saved a social venture millions of dollars by Anne Miltenburg

We often see startups and growing companies make mistakes in their brand architecture decisions. They can be extremely costly yet are relatively easy to avoid. If you are considering creating a second brand or subbrand for a new partnership, product or market, you are in brand architecture territory and we want you to read this post before you pull the trigger. Creating multiple brands can come at a cost of millions of dollars over time and is a huge drain on your team’s resources and headspace. The theory can seem a little daunting, so we'd like to share a recent example from one of our clients to bring the material to life and share a visualisation method that give you a practical way of making better decisions.

Read More

To change the world, we have to change the words by Anne Miltenburg

I am in the middle of a brand thinking course for professionals in the social sector and today NGO-speak came up. It can dictate the voice of some of the most reputable players in the social sector. "X supports social entrepreneurs who are leading and collaborating with changemakers in a team-of-teams model that addresses the fluidity of a rapidly evolving society." For real? To change the world, maybe we need to change the words. Here are ten brands that get it right. 

Read More

Navigating a pivot - absolute playground or total hell for your brand? by Anne Miltenburg

Are pivots an absolute playground or total hell for a brand, its owner and the brand developer? This March, Gautam Shah and Anne Miltenburg spoke to Adam Force at Change Creator Magazine about the progress of startup Internet of Elephants and how they navigated the unexpected twists and turns that are inherent to any startup. 

Read More

Friday Inspiration: using events to grow your brand by Pauline Taks

A brand is only as strong as the meaningful ways in which you bring it to life. In the daily trenches of entrepreneurship it can be tough to generate fresh new ideas to build your brand, when there are so many options and you never know what will move the dial for you. So we are starting a series of  blogs to inspire you with things that we know work for our clients, friends and like minded entrepreneurs. We'll do that according to each category of interactions as we have defined in our Brand Thinking Canvas. This week: events.

Read More

Six ways to make your brand swag more sustainable by Juliette Schraauwers

Many organisations (whether commercial or not-for-profit) are addicted to producing t-shirts, banners, notebooks, key cords and pens with their logo on it, to give away as gifts and/or to build brand recognition and visibility. More often than not, these items are produced under bad working conditions and with harmful materials. Have you ever wondered what happens to your promotional products after you give them away? Do people actually use the pen with your logo, or wear the shirt you made for your event? Does it end up in a drawer, or worse, does it end up on the landfill?

Read More

Let's #brandthechange by Anne Miltenburg

In our work with clients and during workshops, we often do a manifesto exercise. Drafting a manifesto together is a great way to get aligned with each others vision and the ethics that guide your behaviour. It builds a sense of company culture. It is a way to get your internal team rallied behind a shared sense of purpose and to attract like minded people out there in the world. We had wanted to do this for two years but it kept being de-prioritised. Like so many things, it seemed important but not urgent. But recent events in the world made us realise, no: it is important and very urgent, as a matter of fact, we've already lost time. So we decided to eat our own dog food. Here's the result. Let us know what you think...

Read More