Brand Architecture

The Immaculate Conception of Virgin’s Successful Sub-brands

In lieu of an epic Arthurian poem, consider this blog our ode to Sir Richard Branson. 25 years after establishing his Virgin brand, Sir Richard seems pretty content – we’d be grinning too if we were in his position – but never complacent. And for that, we extol our man as a master of perpetually growing the Virgin brand, a tricky endeavor even for the most adept mogul-billionaire.

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Does FedEx Still Absolutely, Positively Mean Fast?

For over 35 years, Federal Express (NYSE: FDX) has relentlessly delivered the most time-sensitive documents and parcels throughout the world. FedEx famously built its brand around a singular idea:  by coming through when something "absolutely, positively has to be there overnight" (an immortal line first deployed in 1979) as dramatized by John Moschitta, Jr. speaking at 450 words a minute in this 1982 television spot:

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Brand, Identity, Consistency, and Orange Juice

At BrandCulture, we're vehement believers that brand is about a lot more than rigidly adhering to corporate identity guidelines. We love when organizations recognize that stakeholders are loyal not to colors or letterforms, but to the connections those colors and shapes evoke. And we absolutely swoon when we see organizations take that knowledge to flex, adapt, and keep their identity fresh in the marketplace. Some moves, however, just don't make a lot of sense. Take Tropicana. Not l

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Baptizing Your Brand: It’s More than Throwing Darts

Is naming a science or an art? We’d like to think it entails a multitude of intelligences: an aptitude for poetry, a hefty internal word bank, and a knowledge of cultural and business connotations. Choosing a name is fun, but it can be a tough and nuanced challenge. Every two-bit flack with a bottle of tequila and a white board thinks, “How hard could this be”? In reality, coining the perfect name is really, really hard. It must be memorable without being obnoxious; evocative, but not to the

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One Earnest Brand: Leavitt Delivers

We’d never advocate anything other than leaving branding to the professionals, but we do have to admit that it’s nice to see organizations succeed in building strong brands and cultures without outside help. One company that is getting this right is The Leavitt Group. Leavitt is 46-year-old multi-line network of insurance agencies that has grown to 115 locations, and has reached annualized premium revenues of $1.3 billion.

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When it doesn’t pay to advertise

With Republicans accusing Obama of buying the vote and the uproar over $150,000 wardrobes just subsiding, it’s a dangerous time for an expensive half-hour infomercial. While the Obama campaign has largely been a model of branding perfection, its occasional outsized confidence (Berlin? Greek Columns? Thoughts of delaying the Phillies’ victory when Pennsylvania is a game-changer?) may have limited its success in closing the deal with the moderate middle. Can Obama’s messag

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Acquisitions and branding: Merrill in Peril?

Let us begin with an understatement: The economy is in a bad way. No doubt you’re aware that one of the first casualties was Merrill Lynch, whose acquisition by Bank of America was just the first of several since. With our brains perpetually attuned to the branding and cultural implications of such events, we got to thinking about what the buyout means for Merrill’s culture and id

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Building Brand Equity: Think Orchestration, not Fragmentation

A tweet does not a brand make. Well, maybe it does if you’re a high school student trying to create a personal ‘brand’ for the consumption of your fellow math club members. But not if you’re a business or organization interested in establishing and nurturing its brand. There’s more and more talk these days about the opportunities that blogs, podcasts, and YouTube afford any Tom, Dick, or Sarah to

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