2022: Our Brand of Year

Posted in News

Sometimes it takes years to put a year in perspective. We gave ourselves 2 weeks.

That’s barely enough time to quantify what happened, let alone predict what it may add up to when we look back on it all years from now. But that won’t stop us from reflecting now.

The economy and world felt a bit tumultuous; perhaps they always will. But the forces of creativity and productivity remained strong as we:

  • marked our 29th year in business. Always with a beginner’s mindset.
  • completed 731 projects. Some were small, but we made them count.
  • broke new ground for compensation transparency. Everyone should try it.
  • challenged our collaborative ways, reworking our org to center more of our talented folks.
  • Slacked 430,867 times, of which about 2 a day were dedicated to "praise and accolades".
  • opened 4,000 tickets; closed 2,500 of them (so far).
  • welcomed 24 new clients across industries of strength, new and old.

Where Brand Led Us
The best way to be best in the world at something is to be the only in the world at something. If we have that kind of claim to fame, it’s Brand-Led Business Building® - a model that uses brand as a lens to help companies be their best selves, from guiding vision, to operationalized experience, through customer adoption. This year, that model helped us:

  • Further deepen hospitality and place branding, partnering with clients to solidify global leaders and new concepts alike. We saw the lines between residential, hospitality, commercial, place brands continue to blur and benefit even more from brand thinking as a means to define highest and best use through the value of customer experience.
  • Transform venerable brands to finally reflect what’s made them great for so long, and what promises to advance their growth from here. From core brand expression through digital destinations, industries that haven’t always embraced branding--advanced manufacturing, private equity, wine and spirits, or B2B professional services--can use brand to add more value than consumer packaged goods.
  • Expand and amplify marketplace traction in paid, earned, and owned channels that drive our client’s growth in measurable, powerful ways. We went deeper in the digital proving ground, where brand vision and expression are on full display in the effort to win customers and markets, inspire action, earn affection.

Who Drives The Bus
Our own company reminded us all year where brands increasingly need to focus to drive success; talented people who care about the work they do and people they do it with, who dig to come up with ideas and connect with others, who take every opportunity in the 525,600 minutes of a year, to (as we say) be human, awesome, and make big happen. Our work increasingly hinges on branding purpose-driven companies inside and out. The value in creative/emotional intelligence will grow as we learn to keep the machines busy with superficial intelligence.

Years are weird. The calendar packages them with a fresh start and a hard stop so each can be viewed as its own discrete brand. Last year may be hard to quantify, but we do know it all added up to exactly 2022.

But in hindsight, it's already revealed the opportunity for some grand plans to emerge in 2023. And beyond.

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