Paul S. Ross

Our value lies in the power of ideas to propel brands into culture and create business and social impact.

One of the most valuable yet least understood assets for any company is its brand.
In the globalized world and with increased commoditization brand strategy is a business's most valuable asset. Great brands beat the competition not just by practicing rational innovation but also by creating emotional connection with consumers and developing strategy consciousness across the entire company. Everything a company does is branding; brands are behaviour.

Companies can create strong and provocative relationships with consumers by dramatizing their unique stories. In "The Dream Society: How the Coming Shift from Information to Imagination Will Transform Your Business", Rolf Jensen writes: 'The storyteller creates corporate culture.' Storytelling is the very essence of branding. Brands aspiring to be great must develop ways to harvest stories of their consumer experiences. People are more likely to become loyal consumers and advocates of your brand if they get an opportunity to participate in how it evolves. In the participation economy, the challenge is to dramatize ideas and unique stories that people are desperate to share.

A company like Inniskillin understands the value of delivering enduring and emotional brand experiences to cultivate advocates. A brand promise encompasses every aspect of a company's interaction with the customer - from design to interactive. Online, a meaningful user experience is a living story that creates a dialogue with its audience, using the interactive medium to dramatize the true meaning of the brand. Inniskillin, Canada's premier estate winery, has always valued stories; they permeate the Inniskillin culture. The Inniskillin web site aims to reflect the experience visitors get at the winery (Applied Arts Magazine, November/December 2002). Inniskillin go out of their way to provide every visitor to the winery with a unique 'story' and experience. Companies can unleash their brand potential by optimizing their brand touch points to create emotional experiences.

A great company looks to the timeless core values of its brand as its guiding principle for conducting business. The fundamental principle that lies at the heart of a great brand is the concept of essence. When the essential truth of the brand is interpreted in a clear mission, it provides the inspiration for innovation and a strategic roadmap for growth into new markets. Great brands honour their past and invent their future at the same time.