Brand boldly. Create confidently. Connect deeply.

Great questions make great brands.


Four Pressures every business faces:

  • Choices
  • Confusion
  • Commoditization
  • Constriction

“A product provides a function. A brand provides a meaning.”

Jim Signorelli

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There are two keys to understanding branding.



Mingji... Etching or inscribing an experience in our minds.


Strive for humanness. Great brands achieve a high level of humanness.

Guy Kawasaki


Humanized brands have greater

  • Connection
  • Loyalty 
  • Complexity/Depth
  • Emotion

Brand Personality

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This entire section is all about getting a glossary to work, in an accordion or toggle fashion.



cross-channel consistency


target audience


examples web, in-store, events, facebook, instagram, video, tv, print, signage, etc


same-channel predictability and repetition


Latin for “mask”.

A superficial, and super trendy marketing tool.


examples web, in-store, events, facebook, instagram, video, tv, print, signage, etc





Brand Relevance:


Brand narrative:

Brand story. Communications framework. What you say. How you say it. What you focus on.

Your narrative is the communication plan your brand wants to stick to as often as possible. It combines elements from your brand personality (like your attributes, voice, tone and volume) with your communications framework.


Audi talks about progress, engineering, speed.

Jeep talks about exploring, limitless life, no boundaries.


(Also see message mix) This is your most prominent message. Your lead is the foremost communications point that you want embedded into the minds of your target audience.


The Publix tagline is “where shopping is a pleasure.” Walmart’s tagline is “Everyday low prices.” Public can also talk about having low prices, but they won’t lead with that. Low prices is one of the messages inside their messaging mix.

Brand experience:

Message mix:

(Also see Lead)


Brand Experience


Brand Relevance


Target Audience Authenticity

Who is the target audience for the latest iPhone X ads?

The production values on Apple's latest iPhone X ads are top-notch! (Apple's production quality is never going to be in doubt.) However, iPhone X is the most expensive mass-market phone available today. With a price tag over $1000 I am wondering why Apple is making ads targeted at such a young audience.

Who is the Target Audience?

Clearly this ad is aimed at high schoolers, and it makes good sense if high school students drive demand for this expensive product. However, does appealing to this age really drive overall market demand for this phone?

Does teenager-appeal translate to adult purchases?


The Power Of Your Face

The messaging in these ads is clear: Your face is powerful.


Your face can unlock phones and make purchases. Lockers, doors, chains reveal the power of what your face can unlock. And clothes, shoes, accessories (and even a chair) demonstrate how easy it is to make purchases with your face and the iPhone X.

But the question remains: are the ads "right"?

Students, most likely, do not have the disposable income to make this level of purchase. Instead, they will need to convince their parents that this is the phone they can't live without.

So, do these ads sway adults that do have this level of purchasing power?

Time will tell.


What's The Difference?

The recent "Homework" ad by Apple shares similarities with the iPhone X commercials:

  • All three ads feature a younger talent pool
  • All three ads highlight the technology

However, what makes the "Homework" ad successful, in my opinion, is Apple's appeal to both the student and the parents (who will need to make the purchase). 

In the iPhone X commercials parents won't resonate with opening lockers and chains, and the quick outfit purchases don't translate the typical buying-Apple-makes-me-cool vibe. But the Homework ad hints at what the iPad can do for students... and it's powerful!


Brand Separation


Brand Offer


Brand Narrative


The impact of personalizing your brand:

  • Higher margins

  • Increased customer loyalty

  • Better recall

  • Increased Marketing ROI

  • Higher employee retention

  • And more...


Brand boldly.

Create confidently. Connect deeply.