Does creativity require freedom or constraint?

brandfiercely1Branding, Creative Process

When we create a new brand at Fierce, one of the very first tools we provide to our clients is a brand standards guide. A rulebook, plain and simple. A way to navigate and control the use of their new investment carefully within their organization so that it can immediately benefit from consistency. Our brand standards guides are precise and detailed and exact so that the designer using it can have the freedom to design, yet not hurt the equity of the brand with improper use. So are we providing freedom–or constraint? Teams experiencing the right kinds of constraints in the right environments, and which saw opportunity … Read More

Fierce Excerpts: Creativity depends on a conceptual shift in thinking.

brandfiercely1Branding, Fierce Excerpts

Now reading | Fostering creativity. A model for developing a culture of collective creativity in science. This article on fostering creativity is truly fascinating. It was hard for me to know which paragraphs and quotes to highlight as the entire article had my rapt attention. Growing up in an academic home with a father who is a Ph.D. in Chemistry, I have always loved the connection of science to creativity. Working with scientists in the creative process is always an interesting experience because they approach ideas and concepts in completely new and innovative ways. It’s refreshing. Scientists are always seeking out new relationships and connections. They, … Read More

Fierce Excerpts: A focus on powerful ideas has more impact than relentless activity.

brandfiercely1Branding, Ideas

I’m fascinated with what’s happening with the McDonald’s brand as we head into 2015. I like the way they’re pulling out the concept of love from their tagline but the verdict is still out for me on the execution. I respect and admire the philosophy from McDonald’s CMO, Deborah Wahl: “A focus on powerful ideas has more impact than relentless activity.” And “Never best, always better.” Both of these are powerful and true statements when it comes to working with any brand. I’m still not ready to eat at McDonald’s, but I’m paying attention to what the year holds for their brand. You can read the article … Read More

Fierce Excerpts: The importance of brand valuation when it comes to brand architecture.

brandfiercely1Branding, Fierce Excerpts

Now Reading | The Brand in the Boardroom | OM Brand architecture and naming are two critical areas of expertise for Fierce Strategy + Creative. I spent the weekend doing some reading on how other agencies approach this important subject and loved this particular excerpt from “The Brand in the Boardroom.” It resonated most with my personal philosophy on the significance of this process. Tying its success to brand valuation first is brilliant: Decisions about brand architecture and brand naming can have major business consequences. This is certainly true at the level of individual brands. Eliminating a strong brand can drive away customers and lead to declining … Read More

Swiss Miss 2.0.


I love the little village of Burtigny, Switzerland, and I am thrilled to have been invited back to teach again this year at the U of N. I am a geek in that I love collecting definitions of brand. Everyone sees branding slightly differently, especially people from different cultures. These were some of my recent favorites from a few of my university students in Switzerland this year: A brand is an impression you want to create in the heart of your consumer. Creating a brand is creating an image that you want people to associate with your product. Creating a brand is creating a viewpoint that you … Read More

Chapsmackers, now available at Whole Foods.

brandfiercely1Branding, Client Highlights

Just learned today that Chapsmackers can now be found at Whole Foods. Rock on and congrats to our client! Check out this fun blog feature by my friend from the 2014 Southern C Summit: “Chapsmackers, till death do us part.” We totally understand, Sweet Peach. We’re in love with Chapsmackers too. Thanks for the post—we are so happy to know you too! Thanks for sharing the work. xo

16 Boardwalk still takes the cake.

brandfiercely1Branding, FS+C

We are loving these creative work spaces featured in Fast Company. But we love 16 Boardwalk the best. Check out the awesome workspace designed by Beckie Manley here:

The answer is no. But yes.

brandfiercely1Advertising, Branding, Creative Process, Featured, From the CEO

Flashback Friday. Previously a guest blog post on the Black Sheep Agency blog. One of the questions new clients always love to ask in that first meeting is: “Do you have any prior experience in our particular field?” In the early days of my career, this question would easily intimidate me, especially if my answer was no. These days it no longer frightens me, because after 20 years of experience, I know the secret to success with great brands, products, services and ideas is the creative process. One of my favorite things about the creative process is that it’s constantly evolving. It’s a living, breathing magical force … Read More

Swiss Miss: 2013

brandfiercely1Branding, From the CEO, FS+C

I’m excited to be packing my bags for Switzerland this weekend! I have a classroom full of students from over 7 different countries at the University of Nations ready to learn about branding and I’m eager to learn all that I can from them. I have been fortunate enough to teach previous classes in Hawaii and one via Skype in Nigeria—both of which were amazing experiences. We are preparing notebooks full of branding materials, case studies, and tools for the students as they venture out into the exciting world of marketing. I know I will bring home lots of new international friends, an introduction to the beautiful … Read More