We’ve covered a lot of ground in the past few weeks. The topic? What makes a remarkable brand.

So far, we’ve established three traits that are integral to any remarkable brand: Purposeful, authentic, and responsive. Here comes 4/5.

I’m sure we can all think of some pretty non-remarkable brands. As a consumer, what’s one of the first things that comes to mind when you think of a less-than-impressive experience? Anything stand out?

I can tell you something right off the top of my head. Take a look at the ad below:

Look at the “no” button. “No thanks, I hate free money?” Really? Way to make me feel bad about myself because I’m not excited about your offer. And is that really my fault?

From . . .

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When was the last time you were on a support call…for a really long time?

Now imagine that your call is stretching past dinnertime. You’re getting hungry. You’re probably frustrated. And there’s no end in sight.

Ding dong.

There’s a pizza guy at the door. You didn’t order a pizza.

This is exactly what a customer of the global leader in website hosting services, Rackspace, experienced during a support call. Who ordered the pizza? The Rackspace rep.

Picking up on the customer’s frustration and hunger, the Rackspace rep (without any prompting) ordered a pizza and had it delivered to his customer. Now THAT is remarkable.

And this brings me to the third (of five) trait that makes brands remarkable.

 

Number 3: Responsive

As we’ve studied remarkable brands, this . . .

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So, remarkable…

That’s a huge concept – one that my partners and I have been continually defining since we started Resound in 2009. When it comes to brands at least, I’ve noticed that five traits are typically present in brands that I (and the rest of the world), call remarkable.

They are: Purposeful, authentic, responsive, empowering, and transparent. Last week, we unpacked purposeful – now let’s tackle authentic.

Number 2: Authentic

Ok, I know this word gets thrown around a lot, but hear me out:

Authenticity flows naturally from the purpose: a truly purposeful brand must live what it preaches.

It’s way too easy to throw values on a poster or list them on your website. Remarkable brands work incredibly hard to instill their values into every action . . .

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I talk a lot around here about remarkable brands. I also realize that’s fairly vague.

As I’ve worked with hundreds of brands and studied hundreds more, I’ve become very aware of a handful of traits (literally…a handful…five) that the most remarkable brands share.

Purposeful | Authentic | Responsive | Empowering | Transparent

These are the backbone of every remarkable brand on the planet. Brands that don’t have these five characteristics – or are not at least actively and consistently striving to live out these five – cannot become remarkable.

Yes, there are certainly other characteristics found in remarkable brands. In fact, I’d argue there better be more, as every brand should have unique qualities and traits that reflect their unique views, leadership, culture, and behavior.

But these five . . .

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“We don’t worry about the competition. We just worry about being the best we can be.”

Honestly, that sounds really awesome.

It’s also, honestly, the worst advice I’ve heard in awhile. Customers are constantly bombarded with offers and better offers in a desperate flurry to “win the sale”. And let’s not pretend that humans aren’t constantly shopping around.

Still, you’d be surprised at how many companies take an “ignorance is bliss” approach when it comes to competing for the attention of their target audience. But let’s take the same advice and apply it to a couple different situations:

A coach who doesn’t watch the other team’s game tapes to beat their strategies
A general who literally doesn’t care about the enemy’s numbers or weapon advantage
The . . .

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Think about the McDonald’s logo right now.

What color is that M?

Yup, it’s yellow. Or, gold, if you prefer. (Ya know…Golden Arches?)

I’ll bet it took you .3684 seconds to come up with that answer. Why? Because McDonald’s has been very purposeful in their use of color over the years. When you’re driving down the road and you see that yellow M, there’s no doubt that a Big Mac and Coke are within reach (and if you’re hungry…they just bought themselves some business).

Why do you think they chose gold/yellow? Could it be because yellow is very easily seen? How about because yellow denotes friendliness/happiness? With a tagline like I’m Lovin’ It, they’d certainly want to stay away from colors like sludge green . . .

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The internet is awash in ‘proven marketing strategies’ and the latest trendy tactics to grow your business. But with so many ideas, it can be hard to know which ones are worth pursuing and which ones are not a good fit for the way your business runs and the market you’re in. And many tactics just don’t translate to every business. So which ones to pick?

Well, let’s start with the fundamental.

Communicate your big ‘Why’…clearly.

As Simon Sinek says: “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.” For most businesses, the story of why the owner or founder started the business and the mission the business continues to carry out . . .

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Oh boy have things gotten heated in the world of advertising and marketing!

Political ads and radical brands are certainly on the rise in our new American political order, as FastCo recently discussed. It is becoming quite ‘en vogue’ to use politics as yet another tool in the marketing tool belt.

I’ve certainly seen this confirmed in recent events, not least being the various politically-tinged ads during the last Super Bowl. And of course there’s the politically-fueled feud that erupted between Uber and Lyft the weekend of Trump’s immigration policy announcement a few weeks ago. This was a particularly interesting episode in the saga of brands dealing with politics that directly affect their staff and customers. (If you haven’t heard much about this . . .

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The details are not the details. They make the design. — Charles Eames

As some of you already know, Resound is going through its own brand redesign. If you haven’t been following us, here’s our new logo roll out.

After branding so many companies, we figured we should practice what we preach. We’re finalizing brighter colors, creative fonts, and foundational values (among many other things). And that brings us to our topic today…textures!

Kelsey Jones — Instagram: @ms_j77

A couple months ago, the very talented Kelsey Jones (Instagram: @ms_j77) painted some beautiful watercolor and oil paintings for us to use as textures. We’re so stoked to introduce them to you in our new look!

There are so many creative people in this world — think . . .

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