A brand is a bond between people.

I have always had trouble with the word "brand". It sticks in my throat. It feels too cold, too commercial, too manipulative. "Brand" smells of meetings, powerpoint presentations and sales targets. It is a word that feels too smarmy for the nuanced concept that I have come to understand it to mean.

The oft cited origin story rubbed me the wrong way too: burning a brand in to the hide of one's live property, the cattle — there is nothing to be nostalgic about there. Who wants to invoke a top down, one-way communication model of yester-year that treats the consumer like cattle to be milked, owned, and targeted?

We all want to feel bonded

I recently attended The Art of Marketing conference here in Vancouver. I was left inspired, with my thoughts churning. There was a pretty consistent message coming from all the speakers. In a nutshell, this is how I interpreted it:

People want to feel bonded with other people. We bond through stories, generosity, candor and shared experience. This leads to trust, gratitude and delight. When we feel bonded, we are healthier, happier, and freer to be our best, bravest selves.

Can you imagine what would improve if we all were healthier, happier and being our best, bravest selves?

Only everything.

How to choose a design company that fits you best

As design entrepreneurs, we don’t want to work with just anyone — we are always looking for a good fit. We think you should too. A good fit makes the work meaningful, constructive, and enjoyable — a bad fit makes everyone involved very cranky.

Comparing apples to dumptrucks: Why price doesn't equal cost in choosing a design company

So, you just got three estimates from three design companies and you’re trying to decide which one to pick. The temptation is to flip to the back page and look at the price tag. Making a choice based on the bottom-line makes sense, right? After all it’s an objective, straightforward and fiscally responsible strategy … right?

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