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How to Identify the True Equities of your Brand


How to Identify the True Equities of your Brand

It is important to know your true equities as a brand. It strengthens the brand and customer relationship and identifies the individual characteristics that make your brand unique. Begin this process by identifying what makes your brand recognizable, memorable and distinctive.


Identify what makes your brand recognizable. The more recognizable, the more trust can develop between brand and consumer. When customers recognize a name they are more likely to reach for that product. Get your name out there. Advertising and publicity should reinforce brand voice.


Continue on to make your brand memorable. It is important for buyers to associate your brand as the top choice. Consumers base decisions on price and past experience with a brand. Build a quality emotional and functional value for your product.


Determine your brand promise and how it answers to the customer. Appeal to the personality of your ideal consumer and craft your promise accordingly. Customers respond to a strong brand identity. The more distinctive and unique the more you relate to your ideal customer

By identifying the true equities of your brand you determine what value you bring to your customers. It helps you to answer: Who are you as a brand? What your brand story is? What strengths your brand has? and What your relationship to your customers?



Millennial Women Series: Getting More Personal


Millennial Women Series: Getting More Personal

Over the next couple weeks, we’re launching a 5-part series of blogs focused on the Millennial woman. Today’s feature: Getting More Personal.

Millennial women are revolutionaries. Demanding change and forging new paths for younger women coming after them, Millennial women are inspiring change. Whether or not this affects marketing is not a question. These women expect to be treated as individuals and that includes how marketers and brands speak to them. There are several ways brands can get more personal with Millennial female customers to make them feel valued and take action.

Treat Them Special

Go beyond simply ‘liking’ or commenting back. Giving a little attention goes a long way.  Creating loyalty programs, recognition events, special access to sales and promotional events allows a personal relationship to develop between the brand and Millennial woman. Simply appreciating anyone builds trust. In this case it also leads to increased ROI.

One Size Does Not Fit All

Millennial women want to engage with a brand that they can relate to and see themselves. Companies like Primark do this well.  Primania is an online fashion playground for their customers to post, share and get inspiration from. This site shows a range of individuals who engage with the brand, mainly by taking selfies. It allows old and new customers to picture themselves in the products with more of a sense of reality. These women look just like the customer, they are relatable. Instead of forcing women to believe they have to look a certain way in order to participate, brands can be inclusive, showing that Millennial women of all types are welcome to interact with and benefit from the brand. Do this.


What better way to personalize than to use sophisticated websites that analyze cookie data and self-service platforms? Using this information actually helps to connect with Millennial women. This group desires to be seen as unique and authentic. The information these platforms provide allows that to develop. Personalized advertising will grow in importance for this generation as they continue to be the earliest adopters of new technology.

As the buying power of Millennials increases, brands must respect that members of this generation expect to be treated as individuals. Go get personal.


The Millennials' Most Significant Relationship: Social Media


The Millennials' Most Significant Relationship: Social Media

Millennials are challenging the status quo within marketing and advertising--forcing new tactics within the industry. There has been so much reported, researched and written about the habits of this generation. But one thing stands out: the significant adoption of social media into their lives.

Millennials barely watch television but sleep with a mobile under their pillows. For them, the mobile device is an extension of the body, mind, mouth and heart.  Socializing and connecting is in the palm of their hand. Whether it is through Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr or Yelp--starting a conversation has never been more instant. These social media sites allow millennials to like, hashtag, repost and share content.  They are given the freedom to create their own online archive. 

But what aesthetics are millennials actually looking for in social media? Here's what our research and work tells us:

  • Mobile content
  • Consistent themes, both written and visually
  • Clear and accurate content that is impartial
  • Various viewpoints and recognizable names
  • High quality videos and photos
  • Brands with a sense of community
  • Interactive platforms

These qualities attract Millennials. They help to deliver concise, digestible messages and create a personal experience online. When crafting any content, to engage your millennial audience it helps to keep the following in mind:

  • Reveal the human side of your company
  • Write short status updates (recommended under 100 characters)
  • Respond to each comment or post on your page promptly
  • Produce content that is relevant to your audience/followers (know who they are)

Brands need to act like Millennials to attract them. In doing so, brands reduce the distance from themselves to their customers. That gap is now replaced with a personal connection the customer feels towards the brand.

Questions? Give us a buzz or send us an email. We’d love to discuss our insights and what’s worked for us. 


What We Can Learn From Millennial Behaviors in the Alcohol Market


What We Can Learn From Millennial Behaviors in the Alcohol Market

Millennials have changed the drinking culture. Alcohol brands have four generations to consider; the Greatest Generation (68+), the Baby Boomers (49-67), Generation X (37-48), and the youngest, the Millennials. In this article we look at alcohol preferences of Millennials to outline behavioral patterns of this group that can be applied across industries.  

Social Is Important:
Drinking alcohol is much more of a social activity than with any other generation. Millennials associate drinking with outdoor activities and holiday occasions while older generations think of drinking as something to do alone. And why wouldn’t they? Being social is a fundamental behavioral trait for people age. It’s also mirrors the digital experience Millennials have today. 

Authentic Identity and Storytelling Are Critical:
Millennials look for more authentic and flavorful experiences with their alcohol. They prefer to support brands they feel could make a difference in their own lives. What they choose to drink, is an extension of their identities. “Traditional American” beers, like Budweiser, are seen as bland so they choose craft beers, like San Francisco’s own Anchor Steam. Craft beer brands have found success by creating niche stories and designs that connect authentically. This type of experience has become the standard of trustworthy marketing to Millennial audiences. Simply put, Millennials are receptive to this flavor of content campaigning. 

Event Marketing and Blogs Rule:
When it comes to alcohol, Millennials respond best to in-person events and online blogs. Traditional marketing can be seen as untrustworthy and unnecessary. They take pride in finding a brand they love and discovering it on their own.

Brands from all industries can learn a lot from these preferences when it comes to connecting with Millennials. Baseline opportunities: 

  • Provide opportunities for the consumer to engage with and get-to-know the personality and values of your brand.
  • Align with the storytelling, authentic and adventurous spirit of millennials (How does your brand act as an extension of their respective identities?)
  • Create unique environments for to connect with your brand on a human level, whether it’s in person or online. 

If you’d like more information about how to better connect with Millennials, contact us.  We’d love to discuss how we can help you with your goals. 


Fresh Perspectives: Tarah Feinberg, CMO & NY Managing Director, KITE


Fresh Perspectives: Tarah Feinberg, CMO & NY Managing Director, KITE

Welcome to the FRESH Perspectives series. FRESH Perspectives is designed to give top insights from VIPs, industry influencers, marketing leadership, and all around amazing people. 

This week, we're profiling Tarah Feinberg, or as we call him, one of the most amazing people in New York. We're not just making that up. Tarah's spent 15+ years in entertainment and marketing as a translator, creator and ambassador for emerging technologies. He's launched new divisions and practice areas, like the Digital Studio at NBC Universal and iCrossing's social media and real-time content marketing group. Currently, as CMO and NY Managing Director of KITE, he leads communications and customer development as well as KITE’s NY operations. 


FRESH: What are the two biggest issues marketers are facing today?

TF: Growth and disruption. Fortune 1000 isn't seeing the double-digit growth that they got used to before the Lehman Brothers crash, but their shareholders expect greater performance and increased profits more than ever. That requires marketers to find new ways to differentiate and to capture the attention and affinity of consumers at every point along the purchase journey. Innovation is vital to long-term marketing success as well as customer and consumer relevance. Large enterprises tend to move quite slowly, so it's essential that they look outside of their own walls to invigorate the growth they need. 

Disruptive innovation relates to the companies that might steal large market share and/or drastically change industries. Enterprises have historically been pretty bad at predicting or recognizing these threats (which could be great opportunities) before it's too late. 

One of my favorite tweets when Google bought Nest came from Aaron Levie, CEO of Box: "The future will confuse lots of companies: one day you make home appliances, the next day you're competing against a search engine."

Just think: Uber never would have come out of a taxi or transportation company; Airbnb would never have come out of Hilton or Marriott. Leading corporations are starting to recognize that disruptive innovation rarely starts (or flourishes) within, so they are looking to startups for growth, competitive advantage and to strengthen all aspects of their business, from the most intractable problems to existing initiatives. 

FRESH: What did you learn from your big brand experience (HBO, NBC, iCrossing)

TF: I believe that a lot of success comes down to timing and the willingness to do things that have never been done before. I feel incredibly fortunate that my career has afforded me the opportunity to work at a range of progressive companies within which I was able to launch new divisions and capabilities. This gave me a lot of insight into the nature of entrepreneurialism within enterprises, which has led me to where I am today. 

At HBO, I learned storytelling from the masters and worked with a marketing team that rarely used the same playbook twice. At NBC Universal, I helped to launch the Digital Studio, exploring and defining how to tell stories and create interactive entertainment experiences across the many screens and devices that were just starting to emerge. Then, I saw a huge opportunity to help brands connect to more fragmented audiences through content and social, so I dove into the world of digital marketing, producing competition reality shows for Neutrogena, documentaries for pharmaceutical companies, casual games for CPG brands, launched many brands' social media channels, and more. 

Over time, my big brand clients began to express increasing demand for "innovation", which usually meant that they knew they needed something new, but weren't quite sure what that was. This required us to approach marketing with approaches that don't necessarily fit into traditional media or creative briefs -- an area where startups were becoming increasingly important. I found myself often playing the role of "innovation strategic planner" or creative technologist, an emerging tech ambassador tasked with seeking novel solutions to marketing challenges. This led to some really interesting campaigns and partnerships, but there were tons of silos within our organizations, it was really tough to stay on top of trends and constant developments in this dynamic ecosystem alongside the other 10 day jobs we had, and it was taking too long to get partnerships done. That was the impetus for building KITE -- if we were recruiters, we'd be using LinkedIn. If we were realtors, we'd be using Zillow. We needed software to make innovation partnerships scalable.

FRESH: Tell us a little about what you're working on these days.

TF: I'm helping marketers and corporations to solve their business problems with emerging technology partnerships. At KITE, we're building a software platform that makes it much easier for big companies to  discover, evaluate, socialize and partner with tech companies with a lot more speed, precision and scale. It's not easy to change existing business processes and incumbent models. Our software is engineered to accelerate enterprise innovation efforts, from discovery and evaluation to selection and management, implementing concrete partnerships that solve an organization's most important business challenges.

FRESH: What's your proudest accomplishment at KITE?

TF: It has been amazing to facilitate some of the most brilliant alliances between enterprises and startups through our platform over the last few years. Companies that probably would have never found each other, or would not have considered working together in that context, have secured partnerships because KITE removes adverse selection and helps drive the decision-making process. Large corporations that were somewhat paralyzed by a lack of process and unified internal communication around emerging tech are now addressing business priorities all across their businesses. Startups that were having trouble finding the right decision-maker layers deep within a potential customer are now locking in deals that give them the market fit validation, case studies and revenue they need to grow and succeed. It has also been extremely fulfilling to see our solution apply across a range of industries and verticals, including our first non-profit/NGO, as we just helped USA for UNHCR to secure a startup partner for its efforts to address the refugee issue in this country. 

FRESH: Where do you think Marketing is headed?

TF: Innovation is at the top of the CMO agenda. Because the CMO is responsible for growth, digital business models for marketing and business transformation have entered the enterprise through marketing. The marketing function has developed some of the most sophisticated models and processes for testing, learning and evolving investment in emerging media, platforms and technologies. Leading marketers in Auto, CPG, Finance, Health and Telecommunications are adopting a “golden ratio” for embracing, investing, resourcing, measuring and committing to innovative models and platforms: 

  • 70%: traditional & existing
  • 20%: digital and mobile
  • 10%: new and experimental

The "new" is the opportunity for true differentiation. A lot of these efforts begin in the incremental space, solving immediate business problems; more and more, though, enterprises are beginning to explore more transformative and disruptive innovation, which is where much larger growth potential lies. The explosive growth and diversity of startups solving immediate business problems and disrupting incumbent models—backed by over $50B/year in venture funding— challenges every business to lean into this ecosystem with their most trusted partners.

FRESH: How has Minty Fresh played a role? 

TF: Desmond has been one of my most trusted colleagues and partners since the beginning of our careers, producing a wide range of content together over the years. In Minty Fresh, he has created a highly valuable marketing company that has helped KITE to capture, promote and communicate our clients' and our own accomplishments. I have seen Minty Fresh develop unique, winning marketing strategies for a range of brands and see them as an essential extension of KITE's marketing department as we grow, bringing core expertise, a flexible model and unwavering creativity to our business. In short, they make us look really, really good. 

FRESH: What's next on your agenda?

TF: In a study KITE conducted at the beginning of the year, we found that about 77% of Fortune 100 companies already work with startups in some capacity.  We've learned a ton from our early customers, which has helped us to continuously improve our software. Now it's time for me to step up our marketing and business development efforts to capture more of that 77%, not to mention the many more companies beyond the top 100 that are hungry for tech partnerships. There's a huge addressable market out there for us, so it's time for me to make sure that everyone knows that any serious marketer should be using KITE to power his/her innovation efforts. 

To connect with Tarah or KITE, please him find him here on LinkedIn


Storytelling in Design: How to Identify It and Bring It Into Your Brand


Storytelling in Design: How to Identify It and Bring It Into Your Brand

We're hiring for a few positions so I spent about 4 hours yesterday reviewing resumes, portfolios and LinkedIn profiles. I stopped at the ones with big brand experience in their portfolios and looked at the ads.  For the most part the ads...looked like ads...with a big famous brand logo on them. "Okay, this is someone who knows the system, who is capable of creating for our clients."

But the few that really caught my eye were designers who were able to tell stories. They highlighted their love for storytelling in their portfolios, even in their approach to creating their own portfolios-- how they told their own stories of who they were, what they did, and why they loved design. It was an entirely different approach to design and self-identity, which made me feel like I was breathing different air. 

Behind every design is an amazing story. Great brands don't hire designers and say, "Design us an ad that tells a story." Storytelling is part of the way the brand THINKS. It's part of brand DNA. Designers follow brand guidelines when creating. Therefore, storytelling must be derived from brand guidelines and brand visual centers that emphasize storytelling. Here are some steps to bring a storytelling approach to your brand:

Write a Brand Manifesto: Great writing is something we can all get behind. The Declaration of Independence is a great example. "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness...inalienable rights..." We each see something powerful when we say those words. Brands are no different. A brand manifesto conjures up an emotional connection. It defines the purpose of the brand--the why, when and where for audiences. Most importantly it creates a bridge from POV to visuals that a great designers can feel and manifest visually.

Create a Visual Center...No Really Do It. Brands need more than visual guidelines that align folks on font types, logo lockups and colors. Great brands that tell great stories need visual centers that show more than use cases. The visual center is where the manifesto and brand values marry the visuals. The story, mood, and purpose of the brand appears with photos, drawings or other stimulating visuals.

Change Your Creative Process: If you're looking at this and wondering why storytelling isn't a big part of everything that is produced, take a step back at the creative process. Is your creative process designed to prioritize storytelling? Does your creative process take into account the hard work that's been done on the visual center and brand guidelines. Are sales goals and deadlines preventing the creative process from actualizing? Take all of these things into consideration and map the process to the importance of storytelling.

If you'd like more info on how to bring better storytelling to your brand, we're happy to help. Yaaas!  Feel free to reach out to us directly. 


3 Steps to Become a Great Storyteller


3 Steps to Become a Great Storyteller

Don't let the title fool you. You were born a great storyteller. Storytelling is the fundamental way human beings communicate. Everything we say tells a story.  You do it already in every aspect of your life. So, baby, you were born this way. 

Storytelling for brands is no different. Every brand, product, offering, service, thing-a-ma-jig and whatchamacallit has a story to it--a history, a purpose, a reason why it's important.  As creatives, our job is to make that story come alive and then make it matter to the other person at the receiving end of each touchpoint. So how do we tell great brand stories that make a difference? 

An Example:

We worked with DocuSign to create testimonial videos. Instead of following the corporate interview template that so many other brands do, we were inspired to tell a story of DocuSign use in the out-of-the-office setting of Hawaii, with real customers. The result was an an attractive story that brought DocuSign's product offering to life in a meaningful way. Audiences loved it. The steps we took to tell this story were simple, and we're sharing them with you today. 

3 Steps to Become a Great Storyteller

First, get your facts straight. Great storytelling starts with a thorough understanding of what you're talking about. It involves research and a complete comprehension of the subject matter. It also requires a great understanding of your audience and their preferences. Think about what facts are important for your audience to understand, what reasons they have to believe, and what statistics will make your offering different. If you do this, you're already on the path to creating a great story. 

Set the mood. Having the facts straight on the audience and subject matter will allow you to develop story types that could best resonate with your audience. For instance, the Millennial audience who has a greater mistrust of brands, might trust a brand story that features real people instead of actors. If that's the case, you can start to create relevant stories that feature real people and go from there. In essence, setting the mood is about sculpting the personality of the story, so that your audience can consume it better. 

Finally, be fearless. Creative development is tough, not because it's "hard to do," but often because rejection is hard. Great brands are fearless storytellers. They take on tough issues, and tell tough stories that others shy away from. They may add a flavor of social discourse at times, or take a stand on how things truly are in the world. It's risky to take a stand for something, but the end result is that you're able to differentiate your brand, offering, or products from the other noise that we regularly tune out. 

If you're looking for more insights on how to tell great stories for your brand, connect with us today, or reach out to me directly at


It's the Mood, Stupid.


It's the Mood, Stupid.

Remember your first camping trip? When you were sitting by the fire, late at night, and Uncle Karl was telling scary stories that made you shriek with fear? That's mood. Take away the fire, the darkness, and you've got uncle Karl just telling a bunch of stories. (Don't be weird, Uncle Karl.)

Great products are awesome on their own. But market-leading products are supported by a strong brand, great design, and powerful storytelling. Great products are able to change our outlook on life and transcend merely being something optional, to being a vital component of our existence.  So how do we create the perfect mood for our audience? At Minty Fresh, we believe this is shaped by a few key components: Audience insights, brand consistency, and design. 


Uncle Karl wouldn't tell the same campfire story to a bunch of seniors because he throughly understands his audience. He's spent enough time knowing that they can be shaped by his storylines and what he has to say. The same is true for brands. Brands must first do a very thorough job of understanding who their audiences are, what they do, what compels them to make choices and what moves them emotionally. Often times, this comes in the shape of audience personas. We've worked with many of our clients to develop these personas, which ultimately help designers design better, marketers market better and companies close more deals. 


Uncle Karl doesn't start the story off screaming. He's not laughing all the way through it either. He's very consistent and deliberate in presenting the story. He uses eye contact regularly, moves his hands and gestures. Consistency is key for brands too. This might be referred to as the big picture of "storytelling." Among many things, brand also includes, voice and story. We work with our clients to land on the central brand story and a central brand voice. This defines how you talk to your different audiences, and how you communicate why you exist and why your offering is important. Having a central voice and story creates consistency in all messaging, and it empowers brands to move forward in unison. 


Knowing his audience and knowing the central story and voice he should speak in, Uncle Karl adds in his own flavor to the campfire story. He throws another log into the fire so that his face is illuminated. He sits you in a tight, close circle, and adds an occasional BOO! here and there to make you jump. This is storytelling design at it's finest. Brands can learn here, too. Each element that composes the story must engage design at the highest levels, so that each particular detail resonates with the audience. This is what being FRESH in design is all about. It keeps old stories new and makes them seriously resonate with the audience. To stay competitive in an extremely noisy forest, brands need to continually refresh designs to engage audiences better, whether it's in the shape of additional video, improving UX or simply adding photos that engage better in social. 


When audience insights, design, and brand meet, they create a mood that shapes the decisions that audiences will take, whether it is to dismiss, engage, or even share. As Forbes reports: 71% of buyers who see a personal value in a B2B purchase will end up buying the product or service. Creating a mood that resonates with your audience helps them see personal value. Building personal value over the long run results in customer loyalty. Thus, yes, it's the mood, and thank you Uncle Karl. 

To build a better mood for your customers, connect with us. We'd love to sit with you and share our experiences in creating better moods, designs, stories, and brand voices for some of the most awesome companies out there. Until next time, keep things FRESH