Special Episode: Data Untangled with TEKsystems

Every organization has a not-so-secret weapon: data. It’s incredibly valuable information generated from every aspect of the enterprise, including research and development, sales and marketing, supply chain and customer service. Every activity in every facet of the business provides data. And it goes well beyond the organization’s four walls.

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Greg Kihlstrom
Episode 19: What is an Agile Brand?

Having discussed what agile is and means, let’s talk more specifically about the current state of branding, and what I’ve defined as the Agile Brand. Agility is built on principles of sprints and optimization discussed in the previous chapter, and on the fundamentals of branding. There are five key things agile brands do which sets them apart.

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Greg Kihlstrom
Episode 16: Brand as Relationship

The fourth and current stage of the evolution of brands. As more and more brands have adopted the experience approach, it has become clearer that a one-off moment in time is not enough to cement brand loyalty. This takes us to the current stage in the evolution of brands: brand as relationship.

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Greg Kihlstrom
Episode 15: Brand As Experience

The third stage in the evolution of brands. With increased competition, and consumer preference for more tailored products and services, brands were forced to differentiate themselves beyond occupying an idea. They needed to insert themselves into key life moments and become part of our experience. Apple’s brand experience extends all the way from the initial sale (either in one of its branded stores or its online presence), through the packaging you open to first use your product, through the ease of setup, through usage of the product every day. And if you have problems, you can go to the Apple Store to ask questions. In more recent times, brands have used experience to cut through the clutter of marketing and advertising, which creates deeper engagement with customers.

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Greg Kihlstrom
Episode 14: Brand as Idea

The second stage in the evolution of brands. With increasing competition from mass production, mass advertising, and mass media in general, the need for brands to be more than an object came along. Brands now needed to compete for mindshare. As consumers and marketers have grown more sophisticated, it is not enough to simply be known. Companies and products must stake out a claim on an area of the popular imagination and exist as an “idea.”

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Greg Kihlstrom
Episode 13: Brand as Object

The first stage in the evolution of brands. Our use of logos to represent companies, organizations, or individuals is based on a long history that originates with the very beginning of written communication. The moment we used a drawing, an image, a symbol to represent something else, we’ve been essentially branding things. From cave paintings to hieroglyphics, to the first logo representing a company, we’ve been using graphic representations to give meaning to ideas.

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Greg Kihlstrom
Episode 10: Branding and Focus

“Our audience is everyone.” If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that sentence after asking a marketer or executive, I’d be a very rich man. Instead, in order for a brand to be successful, it must focus its efforts on defining its ideal audiences, even if it ultimately wants to appeal to a broad set of potential customers. I use Apple as an example of this.

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Greg Kihlstrom
Episode 5: Great Branding Differentiates

While it may seem obvious, setting your brand apart from the competition is often easier said than done. Successful brands think beyond purely aesthetic or surface differentiation and find ways to meaningfully occupy an idea in their consumer's minds.

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Greg Kihlstrom
Episode 3: Your Brand is a Relationship

Successful brands understand that customers have unlimited choices, and a two-way relationship keeps you top of mind with consumers. This is not far-fetched or unrealistic when brands approach it by solving real challenges that their clients have, and positioning themselves in a way to solve those challenges better than their competitors.

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Greg Kihlstrom
Episode 2: Your Brand is More Than a Logo

As Jeff Bezos famously said, "your brand is what people say about you when you're not in the room." While much effort is spent on logos, brand guidelines, and messaging structures, if your brand doesn't resonate with your audiences, they will write their own version for you.

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Greg Kihlstrom