Big Idea Brochure by Black Dog


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Big Idea Brochure by Black Dog

  1. 1. B I G ! D E A
  2. 2. Strategy & Brand Est. 2006 We see our own fulfillment as entangled in that of the people around us. As we find our true calling and live it out, others prosper; and as others fulfill themselves as a community, they provide us with an irreplaceable context for our own unfolding and self- discovery... Community arises when we discover the interesting, if radical, alternative: finding guidance for our own lives by giving attention to the desires and intentions of others. This is not an obligation; it’s a way of being that invites soul in place of ego. Thomas Moore 3BlackDog Strategy & Brand
  3. 3. Our working understanding of Bullshit, and use of the term, must be credited to Princeton’s own moral philosopher, Dr. Harry Frankfurt, author of the classic essay “On Bullshit”. Frankfurt verified what we at BlackDog have suspected all along, Bullshit has no attachment to, regard for, or interest in accurately representing the truth, facts, or realities of any given topic. Bullshit is a perspective substantiated only by an agenda. True or false, informed or uninformed, “by accident or by design”, Bullshit is the calculated decision to postulate an idea or set of assumptions for the purpose of achieving indulgent ends. Absent of credibility or moral conviction, Bullshit schemes, distracts, perverts, distorts, misrepresents, and confuses. Bullshit is a vulgar term for a vile, though unspoken practice that we won’t do. Not for love, money, or fame. *Bull•shit (bŏŏl•shĭť ) - vulgar slang 4 BlackDog Strategy & Brand 5BlackDog Strategy & Brand BlackDog contributes to justice, peace, diversity, order, unity, humanity and the quality of life through our work and service. we don’t brand bullshit*
  4. 4. BI ID G EA When BlackDog refers to brand, the brand, or branding, you can be sure that we’re not talk- ing about your logo. When we talk brand we’re talking about a much bigger inspiration: The Big Idea. The Big Idea that possesses the psyche and trig- gers the zeal of a working community. The Big Idea that inspires change, grabs hold of an op- portunity, and purposes to do what no one else had the courage to do. The sort of Big Idea that wins over the last skeptic, pushes the limits, makes something bold happen, and escalates en- thusiasm to a visceral level. The kind of Big Idea that has the power to turn heads, change minds, and re-order the hierarchy from who has the business to a more just system of who deserves the business. The kind of Big Idea that’s deserv- ing of a little attention, please. The Big Idea isn’t hype, spin, or hoopla. The Big Idea very often begins with a ques- tion. “What do we want this company to look like when it grows up”, or “What organizational flaws are clues to our true strengths”, or “Giv- en our expertise and proximity to other area businesses what need can we meet (locally, re- gionally, nationally, or internationally).” While explanations get bogged down with details, the Big Idea, vividly painted in clear strokes of purpose and outcomes, has the power to clar- ify. The Big Idea is easily understood, passed on, and carried forth. The Big Idea is clear and compelling, serves as a unifying focal point of effort, and acts as a catalyst for team spirit. The Big Idea isn’t to be something else, but rather to identify and position the best of yourself. The Big Idea engages meaning by restoring a sense of purpose beyond the operational, the material, and the financial. The Big Idea is the difference between your working goals and becoming committed to a daunting, inspired challenge. Big Ideas should not be confused for bland mission statements, platitudes, or a list of goals… Big Ideas are compelling and inspirational objectives. Big Ideas are worth talking about, listening to, and supporting. 6 BlackDog Strategy & Brand 7BlackDog Strategy & Brand
  5. 5. BlackDog Strategy & Brand8 9BlackDog Strategy & Brand A Bold Brand Is A Necessity A Vague Brand Is A Liability
  6. 6. 10 BlackDog Strategy & Brand 11BlackDog Strategy & Brand it’s what they say it is. Brand is not what you say it is, Marty Neumeier Your brand is every real or imagined trait, nuance, story, impression, quirk, process, delay, sound, sneeze, perspective, dimension, sell tactic, experience, perk, odor, texture, feeling, and connection that makes the radar of your customer. The amalgamation of those experiences either add significance, authenticity, style, and perceived value to what you have to offer…making your brand more valuable than the version that everyone else is offering. Or not. Your customer decides what is relevant. Or isn’t.
  7. 7. The margins are tightest in the fight for mediocre: the most competitive spot in the game is at ‘holding our own’; inefficiencies are the fruit of ‘good enough’; market shares are busting at the seams to produce the unimaginative, inconsistently, at a competitive price. Mimicking the programs and strate- gies of the bored and lifeless that are buckling down, backing off, and playing it safe is a dangerous bet and a lousy excuse for not doing what you really want to do. Committing imitation wasn’t ever a form of flattery; it’s always been boring and it’s really overdone. The middle-of-the-road is the likeliest place to get passed by or taken out. It’s time to take yourself seriously. You’re never gonna fake brand rel- evance; it’s not cheap or easy; it can’t be copied or bought. Brand relevance is an earned honor of dis- tinction bestowed upon companies committed to knowing who they are, what they do, why they do it, and why anyone should care. It’s going to take meaningful solutions, genu- ine connections, designed experienc- es, and inspired messages that you keep on bringing on for the long haul. The goal is not to be something else, but rather to become the best of yourself. 12 BlackDog Strategy & Brand 13BlackDog Strategy & Brand
  8. 8. 14 BlackDog Strategy & Brand 15BlackDog Strategy & Brand You do not merely want to be considered just the best of the best. You want to be considered the only ones who do what you do. Jerry Garcia We have all paid more, driven farther, and waited longer for a brand that we trust, for a brand that we believe has no substitute. Competitor’s promises, discounts, perks, and conveniences are powerless to lure us from our position. We are intrigued by spirited brands that won’t settle for good enough or jump aboard the next aimless trend. We are persuaded by authentic brands that know their difference must make a difference. We are inspired by passion, engaged by innovation, and commit- ted to brands that see us as people, not consumers. We are enthused by brands that refuse to be homogenized, have found their voice, and fearlessly parted from the herd with resolve to never look back. We are invested in interactive brands that share our perspective, engage us in conversations, admit when they are
  9. 9. 16 BlackDog Strategy & Brand 17BlackDog Strategy & Brand wrong, deliver more than they prom- ise, and offer meaningful experiences that tantalize our minds and indulge all of our senses. We are drawn to brands that are un- daunted by the popular world view; brands that refuse to pay lip service to lofty missions or shallow pursuits. We admire the rare renegades that come together to explore the limits, play at the boundaries, and harness their unique competencies to disrupt business as usual, doing what they do best…create new possibilities. We recognize brands that look good because they are good. Brands that decided to live and reflect their eth- ics, champion the high road, and serve the greater good through their life’s work. Brands that are invigorated and invigorate us in the game, take us with them, challenge us, and invite us to play with the community that they call their own. We are compelled by sustainable brands that address their impact on the condition of the world; brands that understand that what and how they contribute is how they will be remembered. We are committed to relevant brands that keep it fresh and real; brands that connect their Big Idea to what truly matters. You don’t need more money just more guts!
  10. 10. A Brand Is Not An Advertising Roll Out A Brand Is Not A Promotion A Brand Is Not A Gimmick A LOGO !S NOT A BRAND 18 BlackDog Strategy & Brand 19BlackDog Strategy & Brand
  11. 11. 20 BlackDog Strategy & Brand Your multi-million dollar advertising roll out is not a brand. Fireworks generate a lot of “Oooohs” and “Aaaahs” but they don’t last. Ad campaigns promoting programs and selling add-ons ensure that next month you will be devising programs and selling more add-ons that need a newer, fresher ad campaign because your uninspired competitors keep stealing your uninspired gimmicks. Cost cutting, give-a-ways, and how- do-you-like-me-now tactics will drive short term sales, for a while. They will also deteriorate your brand equity faster than the speed of light flashing across the sky. Without an indelible and believable brand identity your advertising campaign just bursts and fades from the sky along with your name, your message, and your investment.
  12. 12. 22 BlackDog Strategy & Brand 23BlackDog Strategy & BrandBlackDog Strategy & Brand Use this score card to evaluate your own brand from three critical perspectives: Your in-the-know vista. The lens of your customers. The view from your most-feared competitor.. Think about your brand as an ongoing narrative; like a series or a sequel. An evolving story that moves your customer closer and closer to knowing who you are, what you do, and why you do it.
  13. 13. Our brand has a timeless guiding philosophy.• Our strategic partners, affiliates, and service pro-• viders have been chosen carefully. They reflect our brand values. We understand how customers perceive and• experience the brand. Our decision-makers understand customers’• conception of the brand. We know what our customers like and don’t like• about our brand. We have a very clear understanding of who our• customer is and why. We have very specific, research-based profiles of• our target customers. We are aware of the associations most com-• monly related to our brand. We understand exactly what our customers value• about our brand. We know exactly what our customers are buying• when they buy our brand. Our prices reflect our brand’s value.• It’s easy for customers to share feedback with us.• We do an excellent job of responding to cus-• tomer feedback. We do an excellent job of getting customer feed-• back into the hands of decision-makers. Our brand is the solution to our customers’• problem. We consistently improve our brand’s products• and services. We consistently uncover unmet consumer needs• and wants. We consistently innovate new, customer-centric,• user-friendly processes. We focus relentlessly on maximizing our cus-• tomers’ experiences. We keep our eyes on the broad market con-• ditions that are relevant. We track market conditions and trends that cre-• ate new opportunities. Our marketing strategy reflects relevant cultural• and market trends. We have a process in place to evaluate our• brand’s value. We track industry offerings to be sure that our• brand offers competitive points of parity. Our brand features desirable and deliverable• points of significant difference. Our brand is positioned sensibly.• Our brand is supported with qualified people• and resources. Our marketing programs are measured and• tracked for ROI. We conduct brand audits regularly to determine• the vitality of our brand. We conduct strategic and competitive assess-• ments to determine our strategic direction. Our brand narrative is consistent over time.• Our brand narrative is consistent across the• organization and all departments. Our brand narrative clearly communicates our• story, purpose, and capabilities. Our brand connects across diverse channels and• mediums that we know our customers engage. Our brand narrative really connects with our• customer. Our brand speaks in a voice that really reflects• our brand. Everyone in our organization knows how to• represent our brand. Our brand image is crisp.• Our brand image has not dulled over time or• been diluted by expanded or discontinued ser- vices. Our brand image has not been tarnished by a• scandal. We have a strong reputation. We know our brand’s weaknesses.• □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ Yes N o M aybe □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ Yes N o M aybe □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ 24 BlackDog Strategy & Brand 25BlackDog Strategy & Brand
  14. 14. 26 BlackDog Strategy & Brand 27BlackDog Strategy & Brand To create a matchless strategic advantage with a clear and cohesive identity. To excavate your Big Idea and your authentic story. To develop a clear and meaningful strategic course. To close the gap between your identity and the image your customers have of you. To differentiate by more than price and function (the easiest differentiators to copy). To make your message worth talking about, worth listening to, and worth supporting. To develop the company culture and attract like- minded, zealous, inspired talent that shares your values and purpose. To increase the value and effectiveness of your marketing strategies. To build trust with your customers. Because a brand shaped on the Big Idea returns your investment. whybrand?
  15. 15. 28 BlackDog Strategy & Brand 29BlackDog Strategy & Brand A new competitor with a value-loaded proposition is storming your market, reducing your once “owned” differentiation to a cost-of-entry benefit, and usurping your brand position and diluting your relevance. Your organization is readying to enter new markets with a disruptive and powerful proprietary advantage that changes the strategic game. For a long time customers have accused your brand of being “outdated”. You were hoping to ride out your retro look long enough to earn a classic distinction that would endear you to the nostalgic market. Your products perform better in independent testing against your two biggest competitors. Yet, they smoke you in sales. How can you have lagging sells with a winning product? You have acquired two companies. One of them was larger than yours. But you kept your name. The lack of unity and identity is getting to everyone. You are hoping to secure venture capital for your start up. But the feedback indicated that you had a confusing message and a vague image. Brands weren’t necessary in your industry. Your reputation was your strategic advantage for years. Things have changed. A new player is pushing a sharp brand. Your brand has been gauging your carbon footprint up and down the value chain: adopting minimal packaging standards, innovating efficient delivery and advertising models. You are now recognized as a forerunner in the sustainability economy. This opens whole new worlds to you...if you let people know. Your brand is recognized as a great employer; your superior work culture has been honored with national awards. You want to build your employee engagement, programs, and success into your brand story in the hopes of attracting top talent and recognizing your people. The world has changed, the people involved have evolved, and the business has morphed. You need a cohesive brand to align the new direction, the evolution, reflect the relevance and introduce your Big Idea.
  16. 16. 30 BlackDog Strategy & Brand 31BlackDog Strategy & Brand Given that they could go either way... we can’t help but imagine brands in the role of a good citizen exercising a healthy perspective; positioning their influence, products, and service for the betterment of society without any hid- den agenda… !MAGINE Some brands mirror society.• Some brands prescribe,• provoke, and reinforce cultural attitudes, social norms, mindsets, and values. Some brands have the power• to influence behavior. Some brands are an effective• and pervasive medium of influence. Some brands have a subtle• and cumulative influence. All brands have the power to elevate society. All brands have the freedom to objectify the human experience.
  17. 17. 32 BlackDog Strategy & Brand 33BlackDog Strategy & Brand are not imagined, leveraged, or opera- tionalized deeply enough. Authentic Brands that serve as a wit- ness and purpose an ideal should have the telling power of ancient myths handed down for untold centuries. The brands of rugged individualists that value their work, perspectives, and his- tory should spark intrigue and provoke new ways of interpreting the world. Innovative brands worthy of an expe- rience and brand narratives worth re- peating must promise a departure from the ordinary and the mundane. The collective, dynamic, and humanizing nature of brand should make room for others to find their own detailed story in your rich brand identity. Which leads us to wonder what would happen if brands broadened their worldview, got inspired, actioned a re- ally Big Idea, and thoughtfully contrib- uted as a steward of society... We can imagine brands as responsible ambassadors, championing social issues that connect with their sense of iden- tity and philosophy of being. Organiz- ing high-impact, volunteer projects that involve whole tribes of brand fans that might not have otherwise got out of their comfort zone to make a meaning- ful difference. Brands that dream big and keep it real speak to people and influence culture. It just so happens that those brands also persuade more sales. Brands are an underutilized source and force. Brands are talked about entirely too much in light of the fact that they
  18. 18. 34 BlackDog Strategy & Brand 35BlackDog Strategy & Brand BlackDog Strategy & Brand We don’t “invent” brands at BlackDog; we excavate and humanize authentic brands that have people- centric priorities, a story to tell, and a genuine contribution to make. We don’t fabricate shallow myths and we won’t contrive hype. We champion the efforts of those that view their work as a vocation and recognize their accountability to society. BlackDog is an indie practice partnering with enlightened organizations that have adopted the high road as a sustainable business strategy. BlackDog is not persuaded or engaged by those that see through the lens of what can’t be done. We dare on the side of seafaring explorers, abolitionists, and suffragettes. We have fearlessly
  19. 19. 36 BlackDog Strategy & Brand 37BlackDog Strategy & Brand mastered the naysayers course; doing what allegedly cannot be done in the “real world” of the timid. Cowardice will never tap the freedom found in being real; a genuine act of heroism. BlackDog Strategy & Brand was launched with an unwavering philosophy and a guiding sense of purpose that has only deepened over time. We are fascinated by the outlandish notion that people have the power, opportunity and potential to collectively shape a healthy world to live in; that future generations will thrive in. We are convinced that small, sincere efforts have a cumulative effect. We’d rather go broke and go home than sell out. ...because the best ideas emerge when you give the Big Idea a little ‘room’ to pop!
  20. 20. BlackDog Strategy & Brand38 39BlackDog Strategy & Brand BlackDog humanizes brands. Ethos Emphasize What Matters• Respect Humanity• Do What is Right, Not Easy• Pursue Knowledge• Value Reason, Intuition, & Imagination• Actively Participate• Engage Others in the Solutions• Stimulate Deep Thought• Respect Expertise• Invite Diverse Perspectives• Contribute Ethically• Critically Assess Conventional Wisdom• Keep it Real• Enjoy Life• Mission
  21. 21. 40 BlackDog Strategy & Brand 41BlackDog Strategy & Brand Who develops your brand is as important as the decision to invest in brand development. Relevant brands that actually mean something to someone are shaped through an agonizing process of tempered discovery. In a gross oversimplification or a mad dash to painlessly spin a brand, spit out a tagline, turn a check, wrap things up, or just keep the revolving door humming, firms are filling the cluttered market with vague pictures, boring stories, and bland brands that people can’t connect to or get their heads around. It’s been our experience that the “good stuff” doesn’t just spring to mind or roll off the tongue the first time around. We pursue the “elusive” relentlessly; collaboratively weighing, dissecting, and interpreting the history, philosophy, feedback, ambitions, opinions, quips, industry jargon, mission, vision, core ideologies, and the point of it all. Over the years we have cultivated a patient fascination for new discoveries; we know when to chase and when to fold…when to tolerate the ambiguity of the unknown, when to backtrack and re-think an idea, Perspective Matters
  22. 22. 42 BlackDog Strategy & Brand 43BlackDog Strategy & Brand and when to pick the brains of the unusual suspects that we reserve for times like this. We honor the whirlwind process for the fruit that it eventually produces. We riddle the unknown through the dizzying spiral, intriguing chaos, and confusion in hot pursuit of the Big Idea. We challenge pre- conceptions, twist and prod every point of reference, and challenge every line of thought with a battery of “whys” until our thinking grinds to a halt- begging for mercy and a caffeine chaser. We rely on analytics, empirical research, benchmarking reports, critical performance metrics, classic schools of wisdom, market analysis, and best practices to broaden our understanding, frame our recommendations, and avoid costly mistakes. Referencing past innovations and successes grounds our strategy, but falls short of inspiring Big Ideas to be launched. The breakaway successes that are written about today were once radical Big Ideas that bold companies dared to innovate into existence in the hopes of producing revolutionary solutions and unheard of results. BlackDog is committed to forward thinking strategies… …because the Big Ideas aren’t all behind us!
  23. 23. 44 BlackDog Strategy & Brand 45BlackDog Strategy & Brand What Makes BlackDog Credible? Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than going to a garage makes you a mechanic. We started with a simple purpose that has never changed. BlackDog contributes to justice, peace, diversity, order, unity, humanity and the quality of life through our work and service. Though the purpose has never changed, how we say it has. Over the years it became clear that our business philosophy and intentions weren’t easily interpreted. Convinced that BlackDog was in fact working for the highest good we found the fearless confidence to express our sincerity explicitly and our boldness plainly. We don’t brand bullshit. Our willingness to “be real” reflects our sincerity, intensity authenticity, and enthusiasm. Our sincerity and enthusiasm ensures that your brand will never be confused for shallow, trite, disingenuous, or irrelevant bullshit. Lawrence J. Peter
  24. 24. 46 BlackDog Strategy & Brand 47BlackDog Strategy & Brand We are outsiders. We are strangers to the social constructs, systems, processes, and language that organizations accept as standard and often can’t see past. We don’t operate on the same defaults and aren’t limited to a single industry perspective. We have ears to hear what everyone on the outside wants to know and needs to hear. Our fresh eyes synthesize robust and scalable next practices; signature innovations and emergent solutions that create new methods of working that can consistently deliver on your unique, people-centric, brand promise. People are our business plan. BlackDog is independent. We are not beholden to a global cartel or back-room financiers surreptitiously guiding our thinking or molding the “who/what/why” of our solutions. BlackDog is financed by customers. Meticulously crafted brands that people connect with boast distinguishable differentiators and powerful benefits. Brands that make an impact, reinforce their relevance and live their virtues are identified immediately as the must-have solution; the real deal, second to none. We get it; we activate, represent and enliven a spirited brand of our own every day. Never trust a bland “brand mill” to position you for brand insistence that doesn’t boast distinguishable differentiators, powerful (people-centric) benefits, an authentic way of being, and a relevant perspective that compels and woos like a red flag to a bull. All brand houses are not equal. We never lose sight of the fact that as we are building your brand, we’re building ours. What we say about you says everything about us. We both have something to gain by your success. We’re invested. We double-dog-dare you to find a brand house with the breadth of capabilities that we have. BlackDog’s range of strategic expertise spans broad disciplines and countless industries ensuring that we detect inconsistencies and identify (un)conventional thought throughout the brand building process. On-location or at the BlackDog Lab, we work collaboratively, cultivating a supportive think tank that values diverse viewpoints and inspires ingenuity. We stay ahead of the curve and stand behind our work.
  25. 25. 48 BlackDog Strategy & Brand 49BlackDog Strategy & Brand We don’t have any “swanky”, self important, trademarked names for our brand building processes. We haven’t settled on one sure method, we’re not convinced that anyone should given that every brand initiative that we’ve ever seen is so remarkably different. We are more committed to staying fresh and avoiding staid ways of doing anything in a rapidly evolving world. We aren’t coasting on anyone’s laurels or riding on yesterday’s victories. We believe in making the bread fresh every day. We are fully engaged at every phase. BlackDog regularly seeks out a few good critics to challenge, grill, question, and test our own evolution, strategic direction, brand development, processes, and projects. We invite those of like minds and those that see the world through an entirely different lens to offer unrestrained insights, constructive feedback, and their straightforward opinions in the hopes of avoiding costly errors, enhancing our performance, clarifying our view, figuring out what we don’t know, and solidifying what we do well. We are practiced conversationalists that delight in deep discussions with diverse peoples across the bell curve, from fringe to curious fringe. Our projects evolve and take shape through exploration and dialogue. Engaging exchanges require dedicated time to stray, indulge, and attend all the nuances not spoken given that less than 10% of communication is articulated through words. We know how to listen intently, switch gears, test the waters, and intuit when the conversation should focus, deepen, back off, or close. We are holistic, multi-disciplinary systems thinkers who anticipate natural consequences and keep a weather-eye out for the unintended ones. As such, we DO NOT brand efforts that do not and will not contribute to the world that we want to live in 20, 30, or more years down the line. Utilizing psychology, anthropology, sociology, technology, architecture, and theater we translate thoughts, opinions, and feelings of the invested community into meaningful designs, aesthetic experiences, and creative environments that connect with people.
  26. 26. 50 BlackDog Strategy & Brand 51BlackDog Strategy & Brand Contribute Art, Not Advertising. At BlackDog, we know that what we know is nothing compared to what we don‘t know.
  27. 27. 52 BlackDog Strategy & Brand 53BlackDog Strategy & Brand BlackDog has organized a diverse and savvy network of 3,769 global citizens that willingly advance healthy solutions to the challenges that are unearthed in the hopes of advantaging a new world. This active community of engaged “outsiders” works collaboratively through digital tools to address confounds, mysteries, deficiencies, and other quirks according to their interest, schedules, and expertise. This powerhouse is a consortium of real people that are exercised as a collaborative and integrative think tank, a mega crowd to source, or segmented as a not-so-usual demographic. These social citizens are a wild combination of convergent thinkers, perspectives, cultures, ethnicities, politics, worldviews, experiences, professions, industries, trades, and life stories. This well-informed network of thinking caps thrives in the culture of discovery and thought, they are intrinsically rewarded through their exchanges, and collectively they appreciate their capacity to advance sound, ground- breaking solutions that drive business, make sense, and do no harm at lightning speed. Harnessed Global Network of Engaged Citizens Brand can’t live in the marketing department... anymore.
  28. 28. BlackDog Strategy & Brand54 55BlackDog Strategy & Brand Pro Bono Social Responsibility Just putting a pink ribbon on your product doesn’t make you socially responsible. “Certified Organic,” “Carbon Neutral,” and “No Trans Fats” claims on your packaging won’t achieve it either. A brand isn’t socially responsible unless they are consciously and meticulously concerned with their impact on society. While the vast majority of companies think of social responsibility in terms of green initiatives and charitable donations, true social responsibility is a guiding philosophy that runs far deeper than individual programs, outreaches, or financial sponsorship. BlackDog considers pro bono work to be an integral part of our business model and a generous reflection of our organization’s culture. Strategic initiatives promote sustainable growth and competitive advantages in education, not-for-profits, minority owned endeavors, start-ups, and undertakings in disadvantaged communities. BlackDog invests in pro bono efforts that create jobs, spur economic development, invigorate business development, inspire pride, and strengthen our community. BlackDog’s pro bono initiatives are resource intensive and represent a significant financial investment. BlackDog relies on an independent, impartial, advisory panel and a standardized review process to appraise pro bono candidates and projects. Preference is given to organizations that demonstrate the greatest potential.
  29. 29. 56 BlackDog Strategy & Brand 57BlackDog Strategy & Brand Serious Play for Serious Girls Small causes have the power to effect radical change Our goal is to radically reduce Threats to Girlhood through our research, our awareness efforts, and our impact on industry. We’re working to advance the wellbeing of girls and the lifelong possibilities for women by impacting the modeling and messaging our children encounter and the quality of their play experiences. We believe that play is serious because it helps develop girls’ sense of self and cognitive abilities; it teaches creative and constructive problem solving, self expression, and emotional intelligence; contributes to character and skill development; and impacts the roles that girls think of as natural. Because the modeling and messaging conveyed by girls’ toys, products, and brands impacts girls’ childhood development and life-long wellness, we believe that it matters what we let girls’ brands say, convey, and sell. BlackDog Strategy and Brand financially underwrites our research endeavors as part of their commitment to improving the ethical standards of the branding industry and their continuing dedication to social responsibility. Our website is a research forum that allows us to share our ongoing discoveries, to help us learn about your experiences, and allow you to participate in our research endeavors. We look forward to hearing your stories and thank you for taking the time to consider how your contribution can help advance the well being of girls and the possibilities for women.
  30. 30. 58 BlackDog Strategy & Brand 59BlackDog Strategy & Brand This is the telling of a modern day quest … Of tireless people committed to rising above common agonies that rob purpose and squander zeal. Of gentle giants that decide to cast off the chains, expose phantasms of fear, and vigorously pursue what some can only imagine. This is the way of the warrior that carries forth the indelible message that alone is yours to evolve into a reality. You are invited to embark upon a journey that promises to unite you with your unique vocation; distinguishing your authentic story from the conventional methods of mere men. This is the hero’s journey… The quest starts with a decision to wonder the limits and move forward. The moral of the story is yours to write…
  31. 31. I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past. Thomas Jefferson ©2010 BlackDog Strategy & Brand BlackDog Strategy & Brand™ BIG !DEA™ We Don’t Brand Bullshit™ Serious Play for Serious Girls™ Threats to Girlhood™ All Rights Reserved
  32. 32. 716.898.0874 ©2010 BlackDog Strategy & Brand Version 2.1