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Common Ground: Shaping Brand Strategy to Avoid the Quicksand of Social and Political Melee

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Common Ground: Shaping Brand Strategy to Avoid the Quicksand of Social and Political Melee

The social and political turmoil of recent months have highlighted a sea change in what’s expected of organizations operating in the public square. Consumers are hungry for a better world. They want organizations (private and public companies, non-profits) to have clear positions on important social and political issues and be willing to use their muscle to help drive things in a better direction. Those who waffle, equivocate or simply respond randomly to the “melee of the day” risk damage to their reputation.

In working to respond to these changes, traditional marketing practices and reputation management that rely on control, consistency, and stability have collided headfirst with forces of the digital age. In particular, the democratization of information, with its ever-shifting and multiplying channels of engagement have amplified the voices of political and social melee. The result? A new paradigm for marketing that urges companies to align their brands with a purpose.

In this time of uncertainty, Heart & Mind Strategies’ clients are asking us to provide strategic guidance on how to meet these changing expectations. We have a long history of providing counsel to political, government, association, corporate and non-profit leaders, giving us a unique and comprehensive perspective on these complexities. Additionally, our approach to uncovering and mapping the values that drive decision-making is rooted in more than 40 years of research among business leaders, consumers and policy-makers. Our clients have benefited from guidance on how on how to define and instill organizational values that will help them effectively navigate the quicksand of rapidly shifting social, political and economic change.

It’s important to have a framework for thinking about challenges this complex. Common Ground is the structured approach we have developed to help marketing and communications leaders identify, map and create strategies that account for the full spectrum of values that must shape their response to these challenges.

As marketing guru John Gerzema observed:

“A values revolution is reshaping the consumer marketplace. Companies, regardless of their size or target market, must understand the significance of this social trend. Those who grasp it and adapt will find extraordinary opportunities.”

To learn more about about the Common Ground approach, click here for a brief (6 minute) audio booklet:

Mark Wirthlin, President + Partner

Heart+Mind Strategies Expands Leadership Team

Restructuring a Result of Seven Years of Record Performance

Heart + Mind Strategies LLC, a rapidly growing research-based consultancy, has appointed Mark Wirthlin as its new President and newest Partner. Mark will be responsible for implementing the organization’s five year strategic plan, managing newly formed client teams, and working with the Partners to continue the trend of past record business performance into the future.

“Mark’s hire denotes a critical evolution for our company,” said Mike Dabadie, CEO and Managing Partner of Heart + Mind Strategies. “While we’ve enjoyed phenomenal success over the last seven years, we must continue to look forward. We’ve made several strategic, structural decisions that will enable us to better serve our clients through more specialized practice areas and strategic partnerships aimed directly at delivering clients new growth opportunities for their organization’s success.”

  • Heart + Mind Strategies has achieved seven consecutive years of profitable, double-digit growth and now has nearly 50 employees.
  • The company has restructured into expertise and client centered teams to deliver on the disciplines of advanced research and analytics, incisive business strategy, and compelling narrative – the three core areas that underpin the mission of Heart + Mind Strategies. Andrew Cober is promoted to Vice President and will lead the Values + Communications Strategy Team, Maury Giles (SVP) will lead the Brand, System + Journey Strategy Team, and Shawn Wade (SVP) continues to lead the fast growing Healthcare Practice Team.
  • Dee Allsop and Mike Dabadie now assume the roles of joint CEO and Managing Partner to focus on future business opportunities. Beth Forbes becomes Chief Experience Officer (CXO) and Partner to ensure internal and external delivery continuity, and Jennifer Airey, Partner, will incubate new business areas and remain focused on deepening and expanding client relationships.

Mark Wirthlin has over 30 years of proven success across many industries and businesses. He was previously the President of The Modellers, COO of Wirthlin Worldwide, and started his own retail franchise, The Woodworkers Club.

“It’s extremely impressive to see the growth and profitability Heart+Mind Strategies has achieved since its founding, commented Mark Wirthlin. “I’m thrilled to be joining them as they restructure the company to continue to grow, innovate and better service their client relationships.”

Dee Allsop, CEO and Managing Partner of Heart + Mind Strategies said, “I am so excited to have Mark onboard. His thought leadership and experience coupled with our shared history make him the ideal President to propel us forward in this next chapter of our company. The business consulting and market research industries are rapidly changing, and our new five-year strategic plan charts the course forward to help our organization, our employees, and our clients enjoy the confidence of their accomplishments through our guidance.”