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Brand & Innovation Digest – March 2017

Tracking Wonder - Brand and Innovation

Once again, over this past month, Tracking Wonder’s research assistant Gianna Kaloyeros and I have gathered and curated some of what we deem the most relevant studies, stories, and news that will help you and your team excel at having the most impact and influence via storytelling, brand and innovation. I wanted to share some of them with you.

Jeffrey, Chief Tracker & Lead Consultant at Tracking Wonder

Small Branding Flubs That Can Make A Big Difference – From Inc.

Branding and marketing strategist Karen Leland, who works with entrepreneurs on building stronger teams and leadership, pinpoints in her recent book the three biggest mistakes that can make or break a company’s cohesive image and brand. One she warns of is failing to develop a personal brand strategy. Successful strategy should include considering the executive’s natural skill set, writes Inc. journalist Lolly Daskal, and finding an appropriate channel (blogs, keynote speeches, etc.) with which to present and promote those leader’s talents. Lolly Daskal @LollyDaskal

Connecting With Brands Is More Emotional Than You Think – From Buffer Social

By studying primates, writes Belle Cooper, evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar discovered that the larger the brain in these animals, the larger the social group. In this, he also discovered that humans top out with an emotional connection group of about 150, and that managing a group larger than this becomes difficult without booting other connections out of it. What does this have to do with branding? Well, brand marketers should keep in mind that when a customer has trouble connecting with your brand, it’s a byproduct of this 150-emotional connection cap. And when they do invite a brand into their grouping of emotional connections, it may result in other emotional connections getting booted from the bottom of the heap.  Belle Cooper @bellebcooper

Creativity Suffers with Too Much Structure – From Eurek Alert

Although research has suggested in the past that structure boosts efficiency and reduces complexity, the other side of it results in decreased cognitive flexibility and creativity. In a series of experiments conducted by The Rotman School of Management at The University of Toronto, researchers found that participants who were asked to complete tasks using categorized information sets displayed less creativity and reduced persistence, a key factor in creative thinking. These findings apply across a variety of industries where business leaders have the ability to broaden task constraints to see how it impacts creative flow.  @rotmanschool

The Life and Death of Personal Branding – From Forbes

Forbes’ William Arruda breaks down the myth that personal branding is dead as well as why, now that it’s a priority of professionals of all industries, it’s more important than ever to understand how powerful it can be. The first of his three reasons is a general misunderstanding about what personal branding really is and is not – and what it’s not is a popularity contest. Second, myopia contributes to lack of career drive and a clear picture for the future. And third, the ubiquity of personal branding gives the illusion that it requires no effort.  William Arruda @williamarruda

Going Against the Grain by Embracing Creativity – From Quartz

Creativity is celebrated when exhibited by young children and students, but in the professional world? Much less so. Although it’s listed as one trait executives look for in job candidates, it seems they’re also threatened by it. Because creativity doesn’t fit a mold or standard, it becomes the antithesis of correctness, and that’s at the expense of generations bombarded with a constant flow of stimuli. For those individuals, striving for simplicity means searching for simple answers among the chaos. It seems bleak, but Jennifer Mueller writes that the silver lining is the option to fight biases and recognize when we seek self-affirming ideas.  Jennifer Mueller @jennsmueller

Fighting the Effects of Perpetual Busyness – From Inc.

Simply put, being busy all of the time damages your brain. It saps creativity and reduces your ability to rest and recharge. For those who are necessarily busy and can’t take time off for R&R, Jessica Stillman breaks down some very do-able tips. Among them: Take 5-minute breaks at work, spend time in nature, go on a media detox and try your hand at short meditation sessions. In each of these, you’re actively quieting your mind and opening it up for more productivity throughout all those responsibilities that keep you so busy. Jessica Stillman @ entrylevelrebel

Creative Types and Their Better-Connected Brains – From Duke Today

A new Duke University study reveals it’s not right- or left-brain dominance that determines creativity, but how the two sides of the brain collaborate that sets highly creative people apart. The analysis of the white matter in 68 regions of the brains of healthy college-age students showed that making predictions about how creative a person is, just by analyzing the amount of connections in the frontal lobe, may be possible.  Robin A. Smith @dukeresearch

Engage Them with Psychology – From Entrepreneur

Brands will go to great lengths to get some audience engagement on social media. Big brands make it a priority to engage psychological principles so they can effectively send their message. Wade Hartman of Entrepreneur offers up easy-to-digest psychological tactics that encourage engagement on social platforms of all kinds, starting with making brand messages simpler. Humans can make choices more easily when the options are simple. Second, it’s okay to pattern your brand after successful ones. Chances are, the engagement tactics that work for them will work for you too. Wade Harman @wadeharman

De-brand: Sometimes, PR Goes Too Far – From PR Week

Former branding director Jakob Lusensky opens up about the psychological and emotional effects of his career experience. A study he calls “Brand Psychology” dives deep into how mental health is affected by branding, from anxiety, stress and burnout to losing a sense of self when surrounded by a world in which everything is heavily branded. He issues a call to de-brand, reminding of the importance of maintaining integrity and individuality when brands attempt to do that for us. Jakob Lusensky @stillpoint_uk

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