The name for your company, big or small, could make or break you. And how you name your products and services could help or hinder your ability to grow. Picking a name for a business / product / service can be the most challenging yet exciting thing you do. But how do you know if your name is right?

First, let’s talk about brand. When deciding on a name for your company, think about your company’s brand. Does that name fit your company’s goals? Attitudes? Values? Business Plan? Mission? Vision?

As Certified Brand Strategists, we believe a company’s brand should be defined by what makes that company unique. A company’s uniqueness could be its employees, services, products, etc. It is about who you are, not just about what you do. Products change and so does your company’s focus, so make sure that your name can grow with the organization.

Create a list and begin to rate them against each other. Here are some quick questions to ask:

  • Does it relate to your uniqueness or products?
  • Does it sound and look good?
  • Does it separate your company from your competitors?
  • Does is celebrate your mission?
  • Can you explain it easily and is it memorable?
  • Does it inspire and create connections?
  • Does it establish value?

Your name should differentiate your company in the marketplace, celebrate your uniqueness and begin to build your brand. The right name can help you connect with customers, and set you up for success. Therefore, choosing the right name to build your brand around is extremely vital and a huge step in creating a successful business.

Your name is the first step in building your brand, it is your personality and you have to embrace it fully so that your can fearlessly live your brand every day.

Brand Architecture

Naming doesn’t stop there. How do you begin to name your products and services?

First, your business and brand strategy have to align. You could name your products like Apple: iPhone, iPad, iMac or like P&G: Tide, Swiffer, Crest.  And there are many other types of architecture. Each has its merits but both align themselves to the business and brand strategy of the parent company.

Apple’s products all support the overarching Apple brand. All the products live the central brand experience of Apple. iPhone can not stand by itself but needs the Apple brand to be relevant.

P&G and it’s family of brands is set up differently. Each brand stands on its own. Each brand supports the portfolio of P&G but it’s allows each brand to establish specific and targeted audiences separate from the overarching brand. P&G can buy, create or sell brands in it’s portfolio to make it’s business stronger.

These are questions you have to ask. Should each product have it’s own brand? Should they be generic names? How close should they relate to the company name? The solution? A strong brand strategy founded on the uniqueness of each product and a well-defined brand architecture that provided clarity, leveraged brand equity and made a meaningful connection with customers and stakeholders.

How do you get there? Start by asking these questions:

  1. What differentiates each of your products – what are its unique value propositions and the evidence to support your claims?
  2. Are the different brands and sub-brands in your portfolio sufficiently differentiated from one another?
  3. Do your customers understand the differentiation?
  4. How does each of your products relate to and support each other?
  5. How does each product relate to the corporate brand?
  6. How does each product support the company’s goals?
  7. How well do the existing brands support the corporate positioning and company name?
  8. Is your brand portfolio greater than the sum of its parts?

Since brands and their strategies can’t be developed in a vacuum, use consumer research and insights, competitive analyses, market insights and your understanding of your company’s business goals when you think about your responses. Remember, it all starts with discovering your differentiation. That’s the foundation for all of your brand strategies and architecture – and the messaging and creative tactics that follow.


Darcy Zehe is a Certified Brand Strategist and Chief Operating Officer and Matthew Blazer is a Certified Brand Strategist and Chief Creative Officer at BrandPivot. He leads a team to develop brand strategy, direction and creative execution, and she oversees the client’s projects and directs the agency operations.


The answer is – employee satisfaction. Just ask Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna. While recovering from a near-death neck injury, Mark learned that recovery is a state of mind. “If your mind is in the right place, you can do anything,” he shared during a CBS news interview. Bertolini found healing in yoga and meditation to deal with the pain of his injury, and that inspired him to bring a new mindset to Aetna.

He pointed out that employee engagement is everything in a service economy, so he reimagined a workplace that could improve the health and mindset of his employees.  His concept includes fair pay, work-life balance, onsite doctors, exam rooms, massage therapists, healthy food options, nutritious Meals To Go, and a fitness center where employees have permission to exercise any time of the day. Aetna also offers yoga classes and virtual classes in mindfulness like Managing Activities to Prevent Burnout all creating a more compassionate workplace.

“Companies should invest time into having a brand that extends beyond their external recognition- Their brand should be deeply rooted internally as well. 

 Aetna invests in its people to get them engaged every day, Mark explained. And, since 60% of Aetna’s operating infrastructure is people, why not invest in them? This type of investment is okay with investors too because it not only affects the bottom line, it impacts the sustainability of the business over time.

As a result of Bertolini’s ideas, Aetna employees reported a 28% decrease in stress levels and 20% improvement in sleep quality. Employees also claim that this employee-focused way of doing business has saved marriages, and even lives. A happier workplace is a more productive workplace, so imagine the effect of 50,000 employees being more productive and inspired. That might explain the steady rise in Aetna’s stock price over the past five years from $29.16 per share (May 2010) to $110.08 per share (May 2015).

Just like all good brands, Aetna is guided by principles that provide clarity and focus:

Integrity – Do the right thing for the right reason.

Excellence – We strive to deliver the highest quality and value possible through simple, easy and relevant solutions.

Caring – We listen to and respect our customers and each other so we can act with insight, understanding and compassion.

Inspiration – We inspire each other to explore ideas that can make the world a better place.

As a Certified Brand Strategist through The Brand Establishment, I help brands identify ways to engage employees so they can embrace the brand as it relates to job function and the greater good. While many organizations have guiding principles, Aetna got it right by aligning its business and brand and making the commitment to help its employees live the brand every day. And that creates one big, happy family!



Michelle Taglialatela is Tag’s brand strategist, one of 35 nationally who is certified by The Brand Establishment.
Michelle applies Tag’s proprietary process to create one-of-a-kind brand strategies that transform cultures and improve the bottom line. Tag has brand depth rivaled by few; and has been working with clients for more than a decade helping them exceed their objectives and stand out!

Recently an associate of mine passed along an article to me from one of my favorite thought leaders – Jim Collins, of Good to Great fame. In this Harvard business review article titled Building Your Company’s Vision (which he co-authored with Jerry Porras back in Sept. 1996), the authors describe the two components of any lasting vision: core ideology and an envisioned future. They state that “enduring companies have clear plans for how they will advance into an uncertain future”. The article put forth a profound insight that “while a company’s practices and strategies should change continually, its core ideology should not”. Collins and Porras define core ideology as “a company’s timeless character – the glue that holds the enterprise together when everything else is up for grabs”. They go on to share that “core ideology is something you discover — by looking inside. It’s not something you can invent.” (Those of us who are brand strategists certified through the Brand Establishment wholeheartedly echo this truth. We call looking inside “Turning the Telescope™”).

Core purpose is defined by the authors as “an organization’s most fundamental reason for being”. Simon Sinek, renown TedTalk speaker (The Golden Circle) and author of Start with Why, refers to this fundamental reason for being as a company’s “WHY”… its purpose, its cause, its reason to exist. He reveals that people don’t buy (or buy into) what we do or how we do it; they buy into why we do it and what we believe. If you haven’t yet viewed Simon’s TedTalk or read his book, I consider them a must-see and a must-read, and highly recommend that you do so.

In my experience as a consulting brand strategist, working with companies of all shapes and sizes, I find that most, if not all, entrepreneurs, business owners, and company leaders truly want to develop a vision that will stand the test of time and make a significant difference. It comes with being a leader, because for those who lead, status quo is unacceptable, intolerable, unimaginable, and…. well, you get the point. Leadership is about leading your organization to a higher, loftier, and better place. This journey begins with a strong and compelling vision – one that can be painted verbally and visually.

In Collin’s article, he states: “Companies that enjoy enduring success have core values and a core purpose that remain fixed while their business strategies and practices endlessly adapt to a changing world. While many company leaders readily embrace the need to build their company’s vision, they struggle in the science of how to do it. They have been challenged in taking their organizations to an inspiring place, a place that will rally the troops, drive and sustain their behavior, and garnish their whole-heartedly given blood, sweat and tears to complete the journey.”

As I absorbed the insights of this article, I was struck by the obvious and essential relationship that exists between developing an organization’s Master Brand and the development of the company’s envisioned future. Your Master Brand is the essential ingredient necessary to develop the right lasting vision to carry the company forward towards sustained success. Your Master Brand is your organization’s DNA. It’s how you roll – what you stand for – and who you are. It’s the heart and sole of your organization and definitely includes your core ideology and core purpose, as well as your unique value propositions and your “why”. It is defined as your competitive evidence of distinction.

Let’s look at some elements that make up your master brand.

They are:

    • Your why
    • Your company’s evidence of distinction – revealed and built from the inside out
    • The powerful and crystalline articulation of your distinction and its associated promises
    • Your internal audiences (employees, managers, C-suite leadership, and stakeholders) now emotionally hardwired into the brand in heart, mind and behavior
    • Your external audiences (customers, prospects, your marketplace and community) adopting and embracing your brand and its promise

A classic example is the United States Marine Corps; their Master brand is voiced in their tagline: “THE FEW… THE PROUD… THE MARINES.” Their famous brand is steadfast and never changing. It embodies their organization’s core ideals and core purpose, coupled with their evidence of distinction. Who they were and who they remain today came before their tagline was developed. Finally, their brand charts the direction for whatever vision they set for themselves to drive and ensure their continued success and esprit de corps.

I’ll close with one last insight from Collins and Porras: “Vision provides guidance about what core to preserve and what future to stimulate progress toward”.  As your Master Brand remains steadfast and fixed, your strategies can and will change and evolve as situations and times dictate – but now your strategies will be on point and rooted in something that empowers and compels – Your Brand! Definitely something to consider developing as you work to build your own company’s lasting and compelling vision.

Let’s go Fire Up our brands!



 screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-3-27-31-pmRichard Gripp is a member of the Brand Establishment and is the only certified brand strategist in Northeast Indiana. He is a recognized expert on building brands that sustain and elevate companies, a keynote speaker on the subject, and is founding president of Ignite, LLC, a brand consultancy group.




If you’ve ever broken an object and relied on glue to combine the broken pieces, you’re familiar with the power of cohesion. Once united, the object is whole again.

Similarly, brand strength relies on cohesion, or maintaining a positive image that “sticks” with customers. To strengthen your brand, you must remain consistent. And to do that, you should focus on these six things.


Your voice is the language and tone you use when describing your brand. When you talk about your brand—whether on social media accounts, in person, or on your website—you should always use the same tone.


This is your mission statement. Keep this as simple, concise, and clear as possible. The more clear and consistent your message—i.e. the more cohesive—the stronger your brand.


Your brand identity is who you say you are, who you actually are, and who your customers say you are. Good reputations depend on the unity of these three. In other words, what you say about your brand should match what your customers say.

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 2.49.16 PM


You want your colors to match, no matter what you are designing. Keep everything consistent – your website, your ads, your business cards and your shoes – maybe not your shoes, but that’s strong commitment to your brand, and that’s what we like to see.


All the images, buttons, forms and content on your website should match your colors, font and tone. Have these carefully selected and custom designed to remain consistent.


Last but definitely not least, you’ll want a professional logo. This is the face of your brand. Have an original logo created that best expresses your brand identity, a logo that people will remember.

If all this information overwhelms you, no sweat. We excel in Brand Development. With the help of our brand development team, you’ll achieve a cohesive brand that “glues” your identity and image together. Check Kelsey Advertising‘s website for additional information and more offers.


Brant Kelsey is principal and founder of Kelsey Advertising & Design, a brand marketing and strategy firm in LaGrange, Georgia. He is a Certified Brand Strategist through the Brand Establishment. You can find Brant on and Twitter.

Whether your technology company is a startup or a global powerhouse, your brand will grow if you can consistently communicate the story behind it. One of the most difficult concepts for technology innovators to move beyond is the notion that their science, engineering or technology is their brand. It’s not. Engineers often have an especially hard time coming to terms with this fact. So I’ll spell it out.

“Great technology brands arise from the dreams their technology inspires.”

The only way your technology will ever inspire such dreams is for someone—you or perhaps a Certified Brand Strategist—to develop your story. This story is the essence of your brand, and it takes skill and experience to put into words what your technology does, how it’s different, and why it’s better. We once worked with the head of a technology group for a global manufacturing company to put together a presentation for her CEO and his executive team.

We began by meeting with the team of lead engineers to discuss their needs. They referred to the upcoming event as a walk-through. “Our executive team will fly in, and we’ll present the key tech initiatives we’re working on. They’ll be in and out in four hours and we need to make a big impression.” They were planning four hours of densely packed slides in their conference room , but we worked with them to deliver a dynamic walk-about—tightly scripted and choreographed to showcase their engineering teams—as each explained and demonstrated their individual technologies. We helped them focus on and clarify the future impact of their work, rather than getting bogged down with technical details.

During the final demonstration, one of the executives leaned over to another and whispered, “I’ve heard all this before, but this time I actually understand it!”

That is a highly desirable outcome in so many ways …

As technology brand strategists certified by The Brand Establishment, this is just one of many brand challenges we have faced during twenty years of working with technology companies.

Here’s a proven method for crafting your story:

1. Articulate your technology so non-technical people can understand what it does, how it’s different, and why they should care.

2. Demonstrate your technology using a planned, choreographed script that proves to potential customers that what you’ve already told them, is in fact accurate and true.

3. Replicate your demonstration for different scenarios, applications, and different industries for which your technology is applicable.

4. Scale your demonstration to showcase the benefits of one instance of your technology—then compare it to the benefits of a million instances!

Remember, the story behind your technology comes from you and your people. It will take patience, hard work and some trial and error, but learning to tell your story and show it in action is the essence of your brand.


Larret Wright, Technology Brand Strategist, Roundtable

Larret Wright is a Certified Brand Strategist and an early adopter with an affinity for all things tech. When he’s not helping clients increase the value of their brands, you might find him at the iMax telling the manager how to tweak the audio or he might be on the golf course trying to find his one true swing.

Business-to-business companies tend to underinvest in their brand due to misperceptions about the role brand can play in their business.

These organization often attribute their successes or failures to the parts of the business they believe to be more relevant to the customer purchasing decision. As a result, B2B companies frequently let their brands age to the point of obsolescence – and it costs them.

In my work as a Certified Brand Strategist, I have heard many of the misgivings B2B companies have about the role of brand in their business performance and have boiled them down to five key myths. There is plenty of research available to tear these myths down, but I chose to focus on studies that can apply to any B2B company – small or large, public or private – in any industry to keep it relevant to as many organizations as possible. If you work in B2B markets, you’ll likely nod your head in acknowledgement on a few of these.

Myth #1: B2B is All About the Sales Relationship

Until recently, the sales relationship was king. Buyers were largely reliant on suppliers for information, specifications and pricing to help them evaluate possible solutions. And the sales person controlled much of the process. The digital age has completely blown up that dynamic.

Today, the business-to-business buyer is going online to investigate solutions, develop a list of requirements, gather specifications, and narrow down their options without any involvement of a sales person. A 2012 survey by the CEB Marketing Leadership Council and Google shows that customers are more than halfway (57%) through the sales process before they engage a sales representative. This is regardless of the price point of the product or service.

So what are the buyers doing to get that far down the purchasing cycle on their own? They are learning about your brand online, investigating your brand reputation with third parties, connecting with peers about your brand through social media, and otherwise having a conversation about you – but without you.

This makes it vitally important for a B2B company to have a strong sense of its brand and know how to deliver the right experience through every available customer touchpoint. The prospect of today needs to understand the value of your brand before you even know who they are. Or you might never know who they are.

Myth #2: Brand is Not an Important Factor in Selecting a Vendor

A second major misconception that I frequently encounter is that brand is a minor consideration in the B2B decision-making process. This could not be further from the truth.

A 2012 McKinsey & Company survey shows business buyers consider the brand to be a central element in selecting a supplier, ranking slightly higher than the performance of the sales team. This is largely due to the fact the stakes are often high with B2B purchases, so confidence in the brand is critical and buyers will pay for peace of mind.

“Decision makers are willing to pay a premium for strong brands because they make their lives easier, primarily by aggregating information and reducing risk,” wrote McKinsey. When all of the analysis of a solution is done, it is often the strength of the brand that separates a company from its competitors to win the business.

Myth #3: Product Attributes are the Most Important Factor in the Purchasing Decision

To be fair, the McKinsey survey mentioned above shows price and product are the top two factors in the decision-making process – ranked just ahead of brand. But what happens when the competitive offerings are not that different in the eyes of the buyer? It happens more than you think.

A 2014 CEB survey of B2B buyers reveals only 14% of customers perceive enough of a difference in vendor offerings and value to be willing to pay for it. This means the other 86% of buyers view the offerings as commodities – not good news for margins and sales win ratios.

This is where the brand plays a huge role. The same survey shows the emotional and personal values of the buyer have significantly more impact (42.6%) on the purchasing decision than product values (21.4%). Decision-makers are buying what a company stands for more than they are buying the products or services it sells. People are buying the brand.

Myth #4: Building a Brand is an Expense that Decreases Profitability

When brand building is viewed only as marketing spend, this is probably perceived to be true because the brand is being undervalued. That is why the member agencies of the Brand Establishment advocate for using brand as a corporate strategy – not a marketing tactic – that drives the entire business and actually increases profitability.

Each year, McKinsey & Company examines the correlation of brand strength and financial performance in business-to-business companies –and it continues to find the difference to be statistically significant. For example, in 2012, companies with brands that were perceived as strong generated EBIT margins that were 20 percent higher than brands that were seen as weak.

The superior margins can be attributed to the impact a strong brand has on marketing performance, leads generation, close rates, average selling prices, lifetime customer value, customer satisfaction and a host of other metrics. Improvements in all of these areas go straight to the bottom line, which in turn, helps build a stronger brand.

Myth #5: Brand has Nothing to do with the Value of the Company

Not only does a strong brand improve profit margins, but it enhances the overall value of the company. The easiest place to see how this works is with public companies because the data is readily accessible, but the same concept applies to private companies.

Harvard Business Review studied 450 public B2B companies over a 16-year period to assess the relationship between brand perception and performance measures like revenue, profits and cash flow that are linked to stock performance. HBR determined corporate brand equity is responsible for an average of 7 percent of market capitalization in the 47 industries it follows. The leaders in each category were closer to 20 percent.

The same is true in private entities. A study published in the Journal of Marketing examined 133 mergers and acquisitions involving private companies. The study concluded that, on average, the brand value of the target company accounted for 7.3% of the transaction value. In some cases, that can be much higher.

Know the role of brand in your business.

The research debunking these five myths is solid, but as with anything there are exceptions. In the early stages of a company, the sales relationship and product attributes may very well be the primary drivers of the business. But, as the company grows, the brand becomes increasingly important to the sustainability of the business.

So the bottom line is every B2B company needs to understand the role brand plays in its business at each stage and plan for how it will evolve in the years to come. It’s a matter of becoming a market leader or one of many followers.


Grant Kimball
Certified Brand Strategist
Brand Incite
Portland, Oregon

The membership committee of Fine Line Creative Arts Center, a non-profit I participate in locally, determined one of its goals was to “rebrand membership.” As a certified brand strategist, I get excited about participating in any aspect of brand development. However, it turned out that what the committee really meant by rebranding membership was simply finding a more compelling way to describe the benefits of membership, while deemphasizing the discounts members receive on classes.

Evidence of Distinction Remains Key

I assumed that any rebranding of membership would be done in conjunction with a rebranding of the organization itself. At minimum, I expected we would ensure that the messaging surrounding membership fully aligned with the organization’s brand.

In fact, the committee had not intended to review the membership drive in the context of the overarching brand. They simply wanted membership to be more about participating and donating, rather than just getting a cost break on activities. At my urging, we collected input from the board’s executive team and key staff members and also reviewed survey input from members explaining why the organization was important to them.

Value Does Not Equal Cost

What was the recurring point of distinction that came through from every single source? The sense of being part of a community of like-minded people. Not one person suggested discounts were a primary motivation. That doesn’t mean no one appreciates the discounts, just that Fine Line was missing the real value that people find in becoming a card-carrying member of the organization. We were able to craft the message in a manner that appealed to people’s sense of community – not only the larger, local community, but also the individual communities within the organization – art lovers, potters, weavers, jewelers, painters, blacksmiths, wood carvers and more.

All Roads Lead to Brand

Regardless of the membership committee’s original intent, people’s reasons for choosing membership inherently revolved around the Fine Line brand – the evidence of distinction that makes Fine Line a shining gem for anyone from the surrounding area interested in supporting or participating in a community of art lovers, art dabblers and artists.



Jane Cooper, President of Cooper Hong Inc. is an accomplished businesswoman and published author of fiction and nonfiction, Jane is a certified brand strategist with more than 25 years of experience in brand communications, business-to-business PR and marketing communications. 

Brand development is a process that, when properly executed, can produce results that drive both top and bottom line expectations inside the c-suite, AND better position your company in the minds of your customers.

However, conditions must be right (notice I didn’t say perfect) in order for your new brand building venture to be successful. Before you begin, you need to get real and ask yourself these five important questions.

1. Do you have total buy-in from everyone in the c-suite?

If the CEO, CMO, and CFO don’t believe in the branding process and the tangible financial outcomes, you’ll never get it off the ground. Brand development is something that needs to start from the top. It’s a culture change. Everyone in the company needs to know how important the process is, and only the CEO can make that crystal clear.

2. Do you know why your brand matters, or should matter in the eyes of the consumer?

You should know why you’re in business in the first place. Is it just to make a profit? Probably not. Behind every great brand is a story of why they are in business. Find yours. It’s worth its weight in gold.

3. Do you know what differentiates your brand from your competitors?

Many companies are in a price-driven commodity-type business. Why drive to Walmart when I can go to Target? Why go to Burger King when I can go to McDonald’s? Every brand has something that makes them different than the competition. (hint: don’t say “best service” or “lowest prices”) Your differentiation is your brand essence. Protect it and be true to it.

4. Can you prove it?

If you can prove those points of how and why you are different, you’ll be better positioned in the eyes of your customers. Perhaps you say you have the best selection of auto parts in the industry, yet customers consistently can’t get the parts they need from you, there’s a disconnect. If you make a claim of distinction around your brand, you better be able to follow through on it.

5. Can you continue to prove it?

Big deal, you proved it. Can you keep proving it? If you claim to have the best-trained group of plumbers in Atlanta, then you better keep training them, over and over. If not, your competition will overtake you before you know it and your claim of distinction will become antiquated – and your customers will notice. Make it a point to continue to prove your claim(s) of distinction and stay true to your brand essence.

So, did you pass? Are you ready to embark on the brand development process? Branding your business is a difficult job, but if you’ve asked the right questions, you’ll be well on your way to building a company that is successful in both your P&L and your customers’ eyes.


Brant Kelsey is principal and founder of Kelsey Advertising & Design, a brand marketing and strategy firm in LaGrange, Georgia. He is a Certified Brand Strategist through the Brand Establishment. You can find Brant on and Twitter.

It’s always good to take a fresh look at your brand to ensure you’re doing everything possible to deliver on your brand promise.

We believe that strong brands live at the intersection of management’s vision, internal culture, and audience motivation. To understand if your brand is positioned properly and delivers consistently on your promise, resolve to ensure it upholds the following three attributes.



Your brand position must be distinctive and defendable in the marketplace.  The vision for the company and the claims you make must differentiate you from your competition and be wholly supported by your internal staff. Ask yourself…

  1. Can anyone else stake your claim?
  2. Do your employees believe it?


Your brand experience needs to be deliverable each and every day in a consistent way and at every touch point. Your products, services, marketing and especially your employees (internal culture) must communicate the same points whenever they interact with your audience. Ask yourself…

  1. What programs do you have in place to consistently cultivate your brand experience among your internal stakeholders? (e.g., onboarding, training, rewards programs, etc.)
  2. Do your internal stakeholders and external communications consistently deliver the same core message?


The position you take, the culture you build, the messaging you create… none of it matters if the audience isn’t engaged and motivated to buy what you are selling. Ask yourself…

  1. Have you identified and prioritized your key audience(s) that need and want to engage with your brand? (Don’t say “everyone!”)
  2. Have you segmented your audience beyond demographics, taking into account their attitudes and motivations?

When you’ve mastered these three areas, you know you have a rock-solid brand! If you puzzled over any of the questions or aren’t sure if you’re doing as much as you could be, give me a call and we can help you hone your strategy to build the strongest brand possible.


Christine Tieri, President and Certified Brand Strategist at Idea Agency, is driven to unleash her clients’ greatness to build amazing brands. She founded the agency nearly 20 years ago based on the philosophy that combining strategic thinking and imaginative ideation results in smart messaging that cuts through the clutter.

The Brand Establishment:

We are professional advisors and counselors, who offer the benefit of advanced training and thinking, plus proven proprietary brand development processes that will build your brand and your organization’s value. Learn more about how you can be trained to become a Certified Brand Strategist.

As a recent college graduate, I’ve spent the better part of my last four years wired on coffee, cramming to study for finals or finish a group project, and fueling my body with the cheapest and most convenient food I could find. Add this all up and it’s a recipe for a stressed out college student who could benefit from some R+R (and a gym membership).

There are thousands of health regimens out there promising to get you in shape and turn you into an Instagram model. I was in the market for a practice that would bring flexibility, stability, and balance into my hectic life.

Enter yoga. The most relaxing, yet challenging, workout you could ever endure. It didn’t take much for the yoga community to convince me to give it a shot. I’m not sure if it’s the overwhelming sense of peace in every yoga studio or the obligatory shopping spree for yoga gear once you decide to become a yogi, but there was something about yoga that spoke to me and I knew it was the right path for me.

I’m certainly not the only one joining the yoga movement. In fact, the number of yoga practitioners in the U.S. has increased by 16.3 million people just since 2012.  As Michelle Taglialatela discussed in “The Secret to CEO Happiness”, yoga was a practice that even the CEO of Aetna implemented into its workplace to keep his employees engaged and healthy. Most often people cite flexibility and stress relief as their primary reasons for beginning to practice yoga. The brand of yoga is strengthening each day, positioning itself as one of the most desirable and fastest growing forms of exercise available.

Successful companies often times have a large group of brand loyalists. These individuals are devoted to the brand and will engage with and purchase new products frequently. Developing this strong “fan base” is extremely helpful not only for a company’s brand identity but their growth as well. Take a look at Lululemon, the activewear company that has taken the yoga and fitness industry by storm.  The Lululemon brand is constantly evolving and growing along with the yoga industry. Lululemon’s SVP of global programs, Eric Peterson, says “The most efficient business practices happen when we actually let go,” proving that being flexible (no pun intended) with your business can be beneficial for sustained success.

With International Yoga Day taking place this week, I encourage all of you to join the yoga practice if you have not done so before. Many studios offer two weeks of unlimited yoga at an introductory price. You are able to take each movement, pose, and class at your own pace, making it a truly personalized fitness and health experience. If you are in the Philadelphia area, I highly recommend checking out my yoga studio of choice – Yoga Home. You will find that the staff and instructors are nothing short of inviting and the refreshing experience will leave you hooked.



Michelle Taglialatela is Tag’s brand strategist, one of 35 nationally who is certified by The Brand Establishment.
Michelle applies Tag’s proprietary process to create one-of-a-kind brand strategies that transform cultures and improve the bottom line. Tag has brand depth rivaled by few; and has been working with clients for more than a decade helping them exceed their objectives and stand out!