Quite a few years ago, long before Wells Fargo began fleecing their customers, I gave a speech to Wisconsin executives affirming that the single most compelling market differentiation for businesses and organizations was trust. There’s little doubt, at least in the last 13 months, that trust has been whittled down to pencil-point levels.

  1. Gradients. Yes, gradients. They were right out, like the number five for the past several years when flat design was king. Now they’re back, with brighter and bolder colors that flow together seamlessly.    
  2. Drop Shadows. Another mainstay that had all but disappeared. These are now best used sparingly for a dramatic added dimension, rather than in every single shape and button on a website.

Our thanks to Pamela Sosnowski, at   for her recent article on our agency.  

Why does it need to be so complicated? We’ve all seen it time and again. Branding projects that lasted so long the brands actually changed, not once, but twice before the initiative was ever completed. The branding process, for many of us, has changed, and that change has provided the client with what is long overdue; pragmatism. 

We may not be psychologically ready for the new year yet, but it’s time to take a look at the prevailing web trends for 2015.

As I prepare to speak at the American Marketing Association’s Branding Conference, one of the questions that was presented to me was besides Apple and Nike, name a brand that you really admire and why. Fair enough.

Meet Larry Alsum, the face of Alsum Farms & Produce, and learn how this TMA+Peritus client transformed their brand from the inside out. Like Orville Redenbacher, Jimmy Dean and Victor Kiam, when does it make sense to have the company’s leader be your brand?

Sure, the tiny details can be important enough that the gods may live there - but don't forget to step back from your brand occasionally and view it from a distance.

Talk to a few business or marketing people throughout the year and you will find that the word “branding” has nearly as many definitions as the word “love.” Some organizations understand branding to be their logo and tagline, their graphic standards, or their product names. Sure, but if you consistently fail in delivering value to your customers, does your clever tagline mean anything? 

Actually, quite a bit. There’s the obvious; just because you expose yourself doesn’t mean you can’t be overexposed.