Why You Shouldn’t Separate Strategy From Execution

When you think of strategy and/or execution, do you think of them as two sides of a yin-yang or two things you need in that order (strategy, then execution) to meet a goal? And do you believe that strategy is the magic brilliance that comes from the hilltop and execution is the tactical busy work to make strategy’s brilliance shinier? Of course you don’t—but this thinking is a little more common than you may believe.

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Content Planning Jumpstart Guide

We’ve all lived it, both at home and at work. We know getting started is always the hardest part. That’s why we created the Content Planning Jumpstart Guide. This guide will help you plan content in support of your marketing goals by thinking through the necessary planning to get the most out of your investment in content creation.

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The Evolution of Marketing:  Think Like a Human, Not a Brand

There is no such thing as “winning” loyalty — no matter how big the contract or sale. It’s just a single moment of earned loyalty. Brand loyalty is a temporary state of being, while “winning” denotes completion. To succeed during this precarious evolution of marketing, brands can best demonstrate their value by reminding people of their own.

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UX vs. UI: What’s the Difference?

If you work in a business that aims to get its customers to do something, like buy a product or use a service (hint: that’s all of us), User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) are equally important. But, what’s the difference between UX and UI?

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Information Architecture Requires Research, Data & Empathy

It’s easy to overlook things that are critically important until they start failing. Just like we don’t notice the structure of a house until it’s in question (“Hmm, should I be walking on this?”), a site’s information architecture typically goes unnoticed until it fails at its job (“Why can’t I find what I need?!”). But information architecture is critical: it’s the manifestation of a brand’s focus on people, not just themselves, by seamlessly connecting users to the content they need.

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Doubt is Better Than Certainty

The designer Milton Glaser is an advocate for inquiring about meaning, and encourages us to be mindful of slipping into surface-deep observations and assumptions. Designers, writers and marketers (or any creator, really) should embrace doubt. Welcome it. Because certainty leads to stagnation. Doubt leads to iteration.

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More Than A Logo: Why We Care About Rebrands

When American Airlines revealed their first brand refresh in 45 years, a lively debate followed. Some people loved the new look while others thought it sacrilege to change a classic logo by a legendary designer. Maybe you, too, followed the lively online debate. As content creators and designers who support large brands, we believe there is no “right” or “wrong” opinion, just different ways to interpret what a brand is attempting to communicate.

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The Value of Invisible Data

There’s much we can learn about user behavior by looking at voids in data. I call this “invisible data.” Gleaning value from invisible data requires a slight yet pivotal lens adjustment. It’s less about what people did, and more about what they didn’t do. The absence of evidence is evidence.

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Why “Overthinking” is a Commodity for Designers

Contrary to its unfortunate reputation, being an overthinker is actually a commodity for designers, because it means you like connecting things, constantly wear other people’s glasses, and always ask, “Why?”

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The Expiration Date on Authenticity

There’s a lot of talk these days about brands and authenticity. Part of me understands why this conversation is necessary. A bigger part of me thinks “brand authenticity” has been overblown into a trendy idea, as if someone had an Aha! moment and decided being genuine was a clever way to get people to like them. But authenticity isn’t an idea or a skill or a tactic. It’s an expectation. How well a brand meets this expectation will determine its success.

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