In his keynote presentation at InboundConKhalid Mokhtarzada (co-founder and CEO of Pixel Dreams) spoke about the intersection of brand development and inbound marketing.

Alex Rascanu: We’re about to move forward with the second keynote presentation of the morning. Here we have Khalid Mokhtarzada from Pixel Dreams. Close enough? Before you start the presentation if you don’t mind just speaking a little bit about your background and then get into it. Thank you so much.

Khalid Mokhtarzada: Thank you. Hello.

Audience: Hi Khalid.

Khalid: Who said that? Hi. I got fans. That’s great.

Alex: Join me in giving him a warm welcome.

Khalid: I hope I don’t suck. I’ve already begun to suck. A really young audience. That’s good. Especially you. How many people here work or are involved in a B2B? How many people here are in B2C? Some people seem to be unemployed. Cool. This is good because what I’m going to talk to you guys about will help you from the B2B angle, from a B2C angle and as well help you find a job. I’m pretty sure. I’m going to help my friend here who brutalized my last name, which is okay because when I drink I have a hard time pronouncing it too. Cool. Let’s get started.

Khalid MokhtarzadaI am Khalid Mokhtarzada. You can pronounce Khalid a bunch of different ways. Most of my friends call me Khal. I like that. It’s short. It’s sweet. It also happens to be Superman’s first name so I don’t know. I guess that’s good. CEO and Founder of Pixel Dreams. Our mission is to help the good guys. To explore new frontiers and to better the world through design. That’s our mission. We’re a creative agency. We’re a design agency. We specialize in design, branding and as well in culture. Culture branding.

Not going to go into too much detail about myself just because there’s a lot to cover but I’m going to tell you a little story about my presentation before I begin the presentation. If that’s okay. Thank God for my wife, my partner in my business. I had about 120 slides last night and I was like pulling the little hair that I have thinking, I don’t know what I’m going to do. She just sat me down, she’s like, “Khalid, you could just have no slides and talk for an hour. You seem to be pretty good at that so why are you over complicating things?” She is my creative director at the company so she’s helped me skin things down a bit. I’m going to do my best to stay on point. I do like to go on tangents sometimes. Yes. Let’s get started.

We’re going to make a few assumptions before I get started just to kind of frame the top. The first assumption I’m going to make is, and I heard Dev, talk about this, you guys provide some type of good product or service because if you don’t provide a good product or service and what I mean by good product or service is you provide some type of value to the world. That’s the first assumption. If you don’t got that right then all the marketing and inbound marketing in the world isn’t really going to save you.

The second assumption is you prefer to be top of mind. What does top of mind mean? For the unemployed people when you’re applying for a job you want to be chosen. You’re the guy that the interviewer wants to think about. Your reputation is important to you. That’s, I’m hoping, a simple assumption and lastly you’d prefer not to have to persuade or sell your products, services or personality.

I think that’s why we’re here, I mean inbound marketing, the whole point of inbound marketing is so that you’re not badgering people over the head and trying to sell them on things that they probably don’t want. I had a really bad joke come into my head and luckily I censored myself. Remind me and I’ll tell you in private.

Sounds good. There’s a young guy over here who wants to hear the dirty jokes. This is how we’re going to start our presentation. Luckily I found this image online really easily. I had the idea, the image in my head for a long time but when I talked to my clients and I talked to prospects, I talked to them about having square wheels and apparently a lot of people have had this idea so it’s not very original but let’s discuss this.

What does this mean? Well that’s your organization. That’s your brand. That’s who you are and you have a goal. You want to get from here to there, right? That’s your effort. That’s your marketing effort. That’s your advertising, that’s your inbound marketing, that’s any type of effort you’re making to get your organization or yourself from one place to another and achieve your goal.

What I’m going to be specifically talking about is your wheels, which is your brand. That’s what I’m going to be focusing on today. Sounds good? We’re going to talk about how to get those square wheels into some nice shiny rims. Everybody here likes rims? You like rims. I can tell.

I always, I’m very process oriented so before we continue I want to make sure that you guys know what the road map is and kind of hold me accountable to it and somebody’s got to tell me, like half way through my talk, just put their hand up so that I know where I am. Otherwise I might just go too fast or just not go anywhere.

We’re going to talk about, I’m going to give you guys a little bit of a primer and then after that we’re going to talk about what brand vision is, brand identity, brand assets and communication channel. That fits into a big road map that we’re going to be talking about now.

This is my statement to you guys. Unlike any other area of marketing, brand development yields the highest level of appreciation over time. I think appreciation is a very important thing here. It signifies an asset, right? That’s what inbound marketing is also about. It’s about building assets, creating assets, right? Circles, not balls.

We have a diagram here on my left. The center of that diagram is your brand vision. Whether you’re a one person team or an organization of 10,000 people your brand vision is going to dictate a lot of things. It’s going to dictate your brand identity, who you are, how the world perceives you, what you do, how you do it. It’s also going to dictate what your brand assets are. We’ll get into each of these individually in more depth in a second. Then finally your communication channels.

It’s interesting how we came up with this. Over the last several years of doing a lot of branding with a ton of clients as well as doing our own research at Pixel Dreams we found a lot of similarities in the type of questions that people were asking us. Those questions were, “Where do I invest my money? What’s my next marketing move? What’s my strategy moving forward?” We found similar patterns in many instances and that’s how we pretty much came up with it based on creating a map to help our clients figure out where they are or what areas they’re weak in and what areas they’re strong in.

Some people have great brand visions and we’ve worked with clients who have great brand visions but really horrible communication channels, for example. Or great communication channels but horrible brand identities. That’s one thing.

Second thing about this model is that the closer you go into the core the less things change. Think about it kind of like a solar system, right? In the center is earth and everything else revolves around it, right? I don’t know why you agree. The closer you are at the core, the more things stay the same. The further out you get the more things change, right? That’s pretty much one of the major tenets of this map. We’ll show you how that works.

Where does inbound marketing fits? Inbound marketing fits within these two areas, brand assets and communication channels. That make sense? Right? Inbound marketing, blog posts, newsletters, great websites of great conversions. That would be a communication channel in your brand assets. Let’s dive into the brand vision.

Brand vision to me is the most important piece of the puzzle. It’s why you exist. Without a brand vision a lot of organizations go all over the place. They have a hard time, and I’ll talk from personal experience when we first started Pixel Dreams. We worked heavily on the identity side, specifically the visual identity side but our brand vision wasn’t crystal clear. Having a crystal clear brand vision does a few things. One thing is that you’re willing to forego profit if it goes against your brand vision, if it goes against your core ideology. We’ll talk about that in a second too. That’s the most important thing about, the most important aspect about brand vision is that it dictates the why you exist and it’s made up of several parts.

Everybody’s familiar with Jim Collins? Jim Collins wrote a great book, “Built to Last,” many years ago. He also wrote a paper with a gentleman by the name of Jai Bharath. He said, “A well conceived vision consists of two major parts. The first part is the core ideology,” that’s basically who you are and then the envisioned future. He says that the core ideology is the yin that defines who you are and why you exist and the envisioned future is more like the yang, something that you aspire to be. Brand vision is equal to your core ideology and your envisioned future.

How’s everyone doing? We’re going to go into a lot more circles and balls. No Freudian things in there.  We’re going to break down core ideology for you. What does that mean? What we’ve done is the yin yang model doesn’t really make sense. The reason why it doesn’t make sense is because if one is changing the other not staying, or one not changing and one changing creates some difficulties in that and, again my Asian wife had to explain this to me that there’s always supposed to be some type of balance. I was like, okay.

That’s how we came up with this where the core ideology is closer in the center, it’s the core and your envisioned future is something that changes from time to time. It doesn’t change often but it has the propensity to change. It’s like a far reaching goal that you’re never really supposed to be able to achieve. It’s something, we worked with a company by the name of BNotions, great people.  Anybody who knows who they are will know that they have an envisioned future and that envisioned future is that they want to work in space. They want to be the first agency to get to space and to actually live in space and work out of space.

That dictates a lot of how they operate as a business. They also have some very interesting core ideologies. We have some interesting core ideologies also. It’s not supposed to be your differentiating factor. That’s something that you should keep in mind.  Two companies or three companies can have the same core ideology but still have different brand identities. One could be in one industry and another company could be in a completely different industry.

Let’s go a little bit deeper into the core. You do not create or set your core ideology. You discover your core ideology. You do not deduce it by looking at external environments you understand it by looking inside.

When we work with clients and we work with them from the brand identity and going deeper from a brand vision perspective our job is not to help them figure out what their vision should be but actually help them discover what they already are as a company or what they already are as people. The core ideology is made up of two parts. Your core value, those are the values that you abide by, you believe in and your core purpose. It’s the why. Why do you exist as an organization?

Sometimes you ask clients, “What’s the purpose of your company?” Profit. Profit is a result. It’s not the purpose of your company. It’s not the purpose of your organization or as a person. It should be a result and when you have your core ideology and your brand vision set and it’s strong and you work from the inside out then profit becomes a happenstance. It just becomes a result of the things that you do. The core ideology is really the why.

Anybody familiar with Simon Sinek’s TED Talk? Who’s not familiar? Simon Sinek, S-I-N-E-K. Great TED Talk, he talks about the why. He talks about companies that start with a why and how they differentiate from companies in the same industry, the same size that don’t start with a why. If you don’t mind I’m going to mute this for a second. I’m going to put a short clip of this for you.

…designed, simple to use and user friendly. Want to buy one? No. That’s how most of us communicate. That’s how most marketing is done, that’s how most sales are done and that’s how most of us communicate interpersonally. We say what we do. We say how we’re different or how we’re better and we expect some sort of behavior or purchase or vote. Something like that. Here’s our new law firm. We have the best lawyers with the biggest clients. We have, we always perform for our clients who do business with us. Here’s our new car. It gets great gas mileage, it has leather seats. Buy our car but it’s uninspiring.

Here’s how Apple actually communicates. Everything we do we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly. We just happen to make great computers. Want to buy one?

Totally different, right? You’re ready to buy a computer from me. All I did was reverse the order of the information. What it proves to us is that people don’t buy what you do, people buy why you do it. People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. This explains why every single person in this room is perfectly comfortable buying a computer from Apple but we’re also perfectly comfortable buying an mp3 player from Apple, or a phone from Apple, or a DVR from Apple.

But as I said before Apple’s just a computer company. There’s nothing that distinguishes them structurally from any of their competitors. Their competitors are all equally qualified to make all of these products. In fact they’ve tried. A few years ago Gateway came out with flat screen TVs. They’re eminently qualified to make flat screen TVs. They’ve been making flat screen monitors for years. Nobody bought one.

Dell came out with mp3 players and PDAs and they make great quality products and they can make perfectly well designed products and nobody bought one. In fact, talking about it now we can’t even imagine buying an mp3 player from Dell. Why would you buy an mp3 player from a computer company? But we do it everyday. People don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it.

Two major quotes, two very important quotes that you can get out of the Ted Talk when you watch it is “People don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it.” What you do simply serves as the proof of what you believe. The second one is, “The goal is not to do business with people who need what you have, the goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.”

This has proven to be very important in the history of our company. We’re very interesting people. To say the least we have a very interesting belief of the future and that future is very utopian, it’s very Star Trek and we’re quite quirky that way. In fact, every Friday we watch an episode of Star Trek. Anybody who, any of our contractors, our interns or anyone working with us is required to watch Star Trek. We have a blog post dedicated to our culture and in that blog post we post up art work for the episodes that we’ve watched.

You’d be surprised when you ask somebody about an episode they’ll be able to tell you the episode name, what happened. It’s almost kind of scary but that’s who we are. We’ve worked with our share of a**holes and I’m sure a lot of you B2B people have. There’s just no reason for it. There’s a huge world out there with a lot of opportunities and you might as well work with people whose vision and whose ideologies and whose viewpoint on life is similar to yours, right? As far as at the least they should be nice people. I’m not going to go on a rant.

The envisioned future. The envisioned future is a little bit simpler. It’s what you expect of the universe to turn out like and what your big hairy audacious goal is. Big hairy audacious goal comes from Jim Collins. He says, “In addition to vision level big hairy audacious goals and envision future needs what we call a pivot description that is vibrant, engaging in specific description of what it will be like to achieve the big hairy audacious goal.”

At Pixel Dreams we have a big hairy audacious goal. We have a few. One is to change education, specifically public education in the future. We’re a small team. We’re nowhere near that but it is our goal and we work towards it all the time. We study education. We go to different seminars. We do our best to be involved in any type of educational program.

Another envisioned future is to redesign, rebrand the penal system. It’s definitely something that needs to be worked on. What’s your big hairy audacious goal? Right? I should say, somebody once told me if you’re going to dream you might as well dream big because it costs less or at least if anything costs the same, to dream big as it does to dream small. The odds are the bigger your dreams are, the bigger that your goals even if you don’t make it, you’ll get a lot further along than having small goals.

I find a lot of companies tend not to have, or not just companies but organizations. How many people here are from Toronto? Most of you. How many people are from outside of Toronto? The rest of you are living in another dimension. Does anybody know what Toronto’s vision is?

Audience member: Diversity.

Khalid: You think diversity? To create more diversity, maybe? What is our ultimate goal as a city?  That’s the problem, right? As citizens, ask any of your friends, ask any of your colleagues what’s our city’s long term goal? What’s our long term vision of what this city should be like? You’re going to get blank stares like the one I have of you guys. Unless my zipper’s down but I have buttons. It’s important for all organizations to have some type of vision, to have some type of idea of what the future’s going to be like and to rally your troops and rally people, rally your consumers, right? Wouldn’t it be great if your consumers, the people that buy from you were as hard core and dedicated and crazy as Apple consumers? Right?

Let’s go into brand identity. Everybody here has brand identity. Whether you have designed that identity or not you have a brand. What does that mean? Your brand is an accumulation of everything about you. It’s the way you look, the way you move. It’s the way you dress. It’s the conversations that you have. It’s your organization’s beliefs. It’s what people say about you. At worse, it’s what people think of you whether it’s true or not. That’s your brand identity. Whether you are an organization or you are a single person on the prowl on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday nights on King Street while I’m trying to sleep with a two-year-old baby, you still have an identity, right?

The question is have you designed your identity? That’s what I want to talk to you guys about mostly is creating and designing your brand identity. It requires, let’s read what the slide says. It’s your characters, beliefs, voice, positioning and the way you represent yourself. These are all part of your brand identity.

I’m going to specifically talk about the way you present yourself strictly because people like pretty things, right? People like pretty things. People don’t like ugly things, right? Some of your organizations are ugly even though you have really great people and a great brand vision sometimes you just don’t look the part. I’m trying to not look at a friend of mine in the audience that I helped brand his company. Great people. Amazing people but their identity, their outward visual identity just didn’t match up to the amazing quality and product and service that they were offering, including the personality of the people.

Anyone familiar with the case study? Great. We’ll skip it. No, I’m joking. In 2009, in January 2009 some really good salesmen posing as a creative director sold the idea that they should change that packaging to that packaging. Within seven weeks they realized they made a big mistake. They switched it back. Those weeks costed them $33 million and 20 percent of their market share. I think the creative director was fired. It’s important what your visual identity is and it has to make sense.

Anyone familiar with this case study? If you said yes I’d be very impressed. On the right, top right hand corner we have, okay great.

Audience member: Prussia.

Khalid: That’s right. King of Prussia, Frederick. He had a scenario on his hands. People didn’t eat potatoes at the time. Not often unless you were like crazy and the [?] was very volatile. The King of Prussia realized that he needs to stabilize his economy. He needs to stabilize the food production for his army, for his people and he realized potatoes would be a great way to stabilize that. Nobody would eat potatoes. Nobody would grow them. People were actually persecuted and exiled and tortured and killed, [?] farmers because they refused to grow potatoes.

I don’t know what your values are in life but if your values are as strong as these farmers that’s good on you. So the [??] very interesting. He repositioned and redesigned identity of the potato. He [?] cool down and then he declared the potato a royal vegetable, fit for royalty. In fact […] outlawed for anyone else unless you’re royal.

He had a potato garden and in this potato garden he had guards to guard these potatoes. These guards were told to make sure that nobody enters the garden and steals any of these potatoes but they are told to not do a very good job at protecting it. The King of Prussia knew that eventually people would steal the stuff and it wasn’t long before there was an underground market, a black market of people selling potatoes.

The demand for potatoes had gotten so high that now we eat potatoes, I guess. I don’t know. I don’t know where he’s going with that but it’s a good story. Had a bad day. Having a bad day. There’s this time a few months ago, I don’t know what happened. Just having one of those days. There’s nothing that you can do to make yourself feel better. [?] chemical. It’s not the reality of life. You’re just having a shi**y day. That’s life.

Somebody knows my wife. One time at home she decided to be kind enough to stop at the store and buy me ice cream. That was really kind of her. She bought me ice cream and . . .

Really? As we’re paying for the ice cream, as she’s paying for the ice cream, she’s taking me out, I’m holding this, I’m still in this pi**y mood, I don’t know what it was. Hers dropped right on the ground. I walked the whole way home with a smile on my face, a good like three or four feet ahead of her. Trying to make sure I finished mine. What does that really mean? I don’t know. It is a good story too. I guess that’s my brand. We’ll talk about brand assets and we’re almost done. What are your brand assets? Assets are things that you invest in once and they appreciate and they provide value over and over again, right? Do I need to use the mic?

Audience member: Yes.

Khalid: Testing. Yo, my name is K. You thought for a second. No, I haven’t had anything to drink this morning. Brand assets, where was I?  Brand assets. Assets are things that you invest in once and they provide value over and over again, right? What are some examples of brand assets? This is where we are in our diagram.

Everybody liking the balls, I mean the circles? Who likes circles? We covered that. The brand assets include your brand book, your solid guide, uniforms, process templates. I love process templates. Email signatures, stationery, business cards, letterheads, USB keys and your content, right?

On the right is my digital signature. When I send it to you that’s what it looks like at the bottom of my email to you on your iPhone. We’ve invested it in it once and we use it all the time. You’d be surprised. We’ve had clients that love our, or people that we’ve spoken to that have become clients because they’ve liked our signature and they’re [?] I was like, we can do that.

Business cards, that’s where letterhead on the bottom left-hand corner. Proposal text, templates, things like that, right? You want to invest in your brand assets because they’re going to, they’re the auxiliary marketing for you. From an inbound marketing perspective your brand assets are your blog posts, your videos, your social media content, your eBooks, white papers, podcasts, right? These are some examples of your brand assets, right? Everybody on the same page? Cool.

We’re going to jump into communication channels. Communication channels are anything that you or your organization communicates with the outside world, right? There we go. Web properties, advertising, storefront, sales people, displays, call centers. All of these are part of your communication channels. Web properties are your website, your blog, your social media. From an inbound marketing perspective that’s your landing pages, your blogs, your newsletters, your social media properties. Of course your website.

Now if you think about the circle again, hopefully I have that. If you think about the circle again, starting at the brand vision and how the brand vision helps create and design your brand identity, once you have your brand identity which is your name, your font, your logo, your colors, your smell, your sound. You’re probably thinking, “Smell,” that’s how you sniff. You’re like, “Is my brand identity good?”

There are actually companies that create custom scents for your brand, right? Some restaurants actually pump this into the air so I don’t know how, like if you’ve ever been on a block where there’s a KFC, like you know there’s a KFC. That’s their brand identity. It’s part of their brand identity. An hour after you’ve eaten KFC you know you’ve had KFC. That’s their brand identity, right? Taco Bell same thing. Smells so good. Inbound, not outbound. Marketing we’re talking about.

Conclusion, unlike any other area of marketing brand development yields the highest level of appreciation over time. Discovering your brand vision and designing your identity should be the first consideration as all forms of strategy and communications will be modeled after it. Does that make sense? If we have time, how much time do we have? I would love to do two case studies. Two quick case studies.

Audience member: You can take another five minutes then it’s time for a break.

Khalid: Wildcard, one of my favorite case studies just because when they came to us several years ago their challenge was, they’re in the event planning world. Their website was Wildcard Online which really sounds like a shady poker, nude poker site. Great service, great product, great pricing and yet they were competing against some of the competitors, right? Part of that was their identity. Their identity sucked. This is what their identity was. Wildcard, woo. And this is what we created. It was based on the suits in the back.

This was a really cool project because our work really spread all over the place. We got to see huge parties with a couple thousand people with the work that we did all over the place. It was nice. The other case study is Navia. Navia is in the ITSM world. If you don’t know what that means it’s Information Technology Service Management. It is a bit of a mouthful and the industry is dull as, it’s dull.

Client originally was formally known as IT Optimizer. Wonderful people, some of the nicest people I’ve ever met in my life. Again, similar scenario. In a market where they’re competing against other companies with similar value propositions clearly these guys were providing value that was much better but their identity didn’t speak to that.

What we did was we, they originally came to us for website design which is in the outside of that circle. It’s your communication channel. I looked at it and said, “Listen, if we’re to invest X amount of dollars in the communication channel but your identity still sucks, you’re just going to have a really pretty ugly website.” We actually, we proposed to them, “Why don’t we work on your brand identity,” because they had the brand vision. “Why don’t we work on your brand identity,” and the idea, the topic of name change came up and they were open to it. That’s where we went.

We changed their name, so for any, I should say sometimes clients have a hard time changing their logo. Clients would definitely have a hard time changing their name but I’ll tell you this, for each of you if you’re in a position of decision making for your organization or for yourself you need to ask yourself you need to ask yourself this. How far out in the future do you expect your company and organization to go? Where are you there? How far along are you? Is it a ten year mission? Is it a 100 year mission or is it a 300 year mission? Are you creating something that you want to sell in a few years or are you creating something that’s going to leave you a legacy?

That’s a critical question because if the answer is that you’re in it for the long haul then things like changing your name and changing your logo should not be a problem. One of the things about the core ideology versus the other pieces of the puzzle is that your core ideology never changes, right? Markets change. Industries change. Environments change. You can change your market but you don’t change your ideology. You should not feel discouraged or afraid of losing any brand equity. If you’re willing to do it right and if you’re willing to do it for the long haul.

Let’s jump into this. Lastly we come back to this picture of your organization with square wheels. My proposition to you guys is your marketing efforts will be so much easier if you take care of your branding to get yourself some rims. Thank you.

Alex: We’ll take questions, two questions.

Khalid: Are there any questions? Yes, sir.

Audience member: In discovering a brand, is it all about what you believe the core value is in regard to your brand?

Khalid: That’s a great question. Let me repeat the question and tell me if I got it right. You’re asking does your brand values dictate your branding or does other people’s perceptions dictate or influence your branding? It’s both. It doesn’t matter what your brand values are if you come across as an a**hole that’s what your branding is. That’s part of your branding and you’re going to have to take measures to change that and you’ve got to ask yourself, companies are always in this scenario where their brand values are great but the perception that the outside world has of them is not. That’s when brand expectations are different from brand promise.

Alex: One more question.

Audience member: [Unclear.]

Khalid: Great. You’re not going to please everyone. I used to have a slide with a picture of Bill Cosby on it and it has nothing to do with Bill Cosby but he has a quote and he said, “I don’t know the formula for success but I do know the formula for failure and that’s trying to please everyone.” Your brand value will help guide you towards who your target market is. There’s a funny article in Wired about Apple users and it said that they’re somewhat narcissist. I don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. You had a question.

Audience member: I did. What did you mean by big a** hairy goal?

Khalid: Big hairy audacious goal, but big a** hairy goal is, I’d minus the hairy but yes, that’s good. It’s always good.

Audience member: I wondering how related that has to be to your brand.

Khalid: That’s interesting. This is something that we struggled with too. Let me repeat the question for those who didn’t hear. Your big hairy audacious goal, how does that impact your, how does that have an affect on your products and service?

Audience member: Well how should it relate?

Khalid: How should it relate? How does it relate and shhh. I go back to the Coca Cola example here because Coca Cola has a few interesting brand visions. One is to quench your thirst but the other is to create moments of optimism. Create moments of optimism. If you take a look at their advertising, they get a lot of flack for positioning Coca Cola with being happy but you know what? It puts smiles on people’s face. There’s a great experiential marketing advertising that they did out in the East. They created this big booth, two booths. One in, booths. What were you thinking? Big what? Two big booths.

One booth was in Pakistan and the other booth was in India. If you know anything about that region there’s been a lot of conflict between the two countries for a very long time. There was this huge LCD screen, right? You can walk up through it and interact with it. To the people’s delight when they started interacting with this screen they didn’t realize but it was a two way screen. There’s a camera embedded and they immediately saw someone on the other side. All of a sudden somebody from Pakistan was actually interacting with somebody in India and there was games. One of the more, I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it, was you had to follow this thing and at the end you had to place your hand and then join the two hands together. How cool is that?

Sure. Your products and service doesn’t have to always relate to your core vision. Our products and service, they don’t relate to our idea of making the world a better place all the time but it is a part of our vision and we do invest a lot of time in taking part in community events, helping people out and it also dictates the type of clients we work with.

I’ll tell you, in the past when our brand vision was still a little blurry as a startup we worked with a lot of people that we did not want to work with. You only find that out after that you’re like, “You know what? It was not worth the money.”

This past year we said no to a few, pretty big clients. Their vision didn’t align with us. They, in our opinion, they did… it wasn’t going to be a good fit. They weren’t good people. Thank you so much, everyone.
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Tagged with: Branding, Inbound Marketing, InboundCon, Khalid Mokhtarzada

About Alex Rascanu

Alex Rascanu is a digital marketing strategist and speaker. Director of Online New Business Development at The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. Founder of EVENTS&. Organizer of the Marketers Unbound event series.