Blog : Purpose

The Rise and Fall of an Iconic Brand: Case Study

The Rise and Fall of an Iconic Brand: Case Study

The Fall

The customers’ perception of businesses has changed, and so has everything around us. Any business that wants to remain relevant and a float, will have to follow the leader – consumers; in making the necessary changes.

The McDonald’s Corporation is the world’s largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants, serving around 68 million customers daily in 119 countries. But come 2003, it was about to make history, but for all the wrong reasons.

As reported by the telegraph newspaper, McDonald’s reported its first ever quarterly loss in Britain, in January 2003. With more than 1,200 restaurants in Britain alone, it made a pre-tax deficit of £198.6 million and an operating loss of £125.6 million in the last three months of 2002. It made a net loss of £212 million over the period but still managed a turnover of £2.4 billion.

The same historical reports were echoed in America, recording its first quarterly loss since going public in 1965. Comparable store sales in America were stagnant for the past decade, and had been falling for 12 months. Mr. Cantalupo, a 28-year McDonald’s veteran was pulled from retirement in January to replace Jack Greenberg, and insisted he would bring changes in just a period of 12-18 months.


 Unhappy Meal

Despite the optimism of a comeback shown by McDonald’s chairman, to others, this losses indicated a change in attitude towards McDonald’s. Research revealed the brand was seen as childish; service was slipping – it was slow and unsatisfactory; the restaurants looked outdated.

McDonald’s, once a good example for good service, was ranked the worst company for customer satisfaction in America for nearly a decade, below banks and health insurers. Their share price plummeted from more than $48 in 1999, to hover around a ten-year low of $12. The fast-food market had also become increasingly competitive as rivals such as Burger King, Wendy’s and Taco Bell fought to maintain their market share.

The consumers did not see what value McDonald’s as a brand added to their lives. They could not rely on them for cheaper, faster or healthier food and services. The happy meal had turned into the unhappy meal; hence McDonald’s with all its open branches and franchises all over the world were stumbling down. Drastic measures had to be taken. This was no 5 year plan; this was a rebranding campaign that was well over due; if it was to have any chance in remaining relevant to consumers and stay afloat.


 Meaningful Branding

Mr. Cantalupo worked alongside Larry Light; the global chief marketing officer. Mr. Light acknowledged their need for immediate change and said, “We lost relevance, the world changed, but we didn’t.”

Mr. Light emerged with a new branding strategy and in the campaign, he came up with the slogan, “I’m loving it.” McDonald’s introduced a new healthier menu with items such as: salads; yoghurts; sliced fruit and grilled chicken; after intense criticism that its traditional products were too high in fats, salt and sugar a diet linked to obesity. A new Adult Happy Meal was also introduced in the US that included a pedometer to encourage people to walk more.

This was in efforts to show its consumers why they should choose them over their competitors. Finally McDonald’s was involved in meaningful branding; and this proved to be a change in the right direction because it in turn saw recovery in revenues as it posted its highest sales gain in 30 years. Consumers could now see that McDonald’s cared about their health and cared about providing better services at better prices – with the introduction of the dollar menu.


 Lightning strikes Twice

This success from great leadership would be short-lived though, as Mr. Cantalupo dies on April 19, 2004 from a heart attack; he was attending a restaurant franchise of owners meeting in Orlando, Florida, when he fell ill.

This saw McDonald’s shares fall by 80 cents or 2.9% to $26.66 after Monday trading started on Wall Street following the announcement of his death.

“The worries are that perhaps there may not be a strong number two, since he was known as the one with the strong vision,” said Art Hogan, chief market analyst for investment adviser Jefferies & Co.

Despite McDonald’s going through this difficult time; the past 12 months were considered one of the fastest marketing and brand turnarounds in the business history.

Fast forward to the present, October 21st 2014; after a decade of doing well and changing hands in leadership, McDonald’s are once again in trouble. It turns in its biggest drop in quarterly profits, and CEO Don Thompson has acknowledged the calamity and the dire need for much needed change.


 Challenges being Faced

One could argue that McDonald’s has been facing significant short term and unrelated factors in posting a 30% drop in quarterly profits and 5% decline in revenue, which is worse than expected. It also faces international challenges: In China a meat supplier scandals continues; in Europe the economy is declining again; and in Russia authorities interfered with their operations in the last quarter.

Obviously all these are factors that are affecting McDonald’s ability to make any revenue and profit. But its biggest problem is that America and the global consumers alike no longer perceive clear meaningful reasons as to why they should choose McDonald’s over any other place to grab a bite. Consumers do not believe the food provides a satisfactory combination of great customer service; fast; convenient and healthy enough menu choices anymore.

“If we do not learn from the mistakes of history, we are doomed to repeat them. George Santayana.” This is something that is too familiar with McDonald’s.

McDonald’s also has been losing its influence and brand standing with its franchisees, who are forced to rely on Monopoly and McRib to see them through and with its traditional customer bases. Teenagers and young adults used to fill up McDonald’s because of the affordable prices, and it had a certain cool factor as a hangout; those days are long gone. And rivals such as Chick-fil-A have seized McDonald’s once-indisputable place at the top of preferred fast food restaurant for families.


 Back to the Drawing Board

It’s time for McDonald’s to go back to their drawing board. The same purposeful and meaningful branding it carried out a decade ago is the only way forward. It needs to reassure it’s consumers it can be a consistent brand. Providing what they promise in their branding campaigns and following through. Consumers need a reason to go to McDonald’s as opposed to any other restaurant.

This is a challenge it will tackle head on if they are to remain relevant and functional in consumers’ lives. Consumers and competitors alike will be watching to see how it approaches and solves the underlying problems and it will be interesting to see what path it chooses. This will mean the difference between being a successful brand or a failed brand.

Will McDonald’s choose to make a stance to be a meaningful brand, with a clear purpose that makes an honest attempt to better the lives of its consumers and bring on the change that people want to see, or will it continue selling features and benefits of the burgers and remain irrelevant and die off? The consumers have spoken; the ball is in their court



Are Kids Using Social Media to Build Their Brands?

Are Kids Using Social Media to Build Their Brands?

Is it possible that our children are using social media to build a brand?

I had the oddest thought the other day when I sat down to write about social media as a powerful business communication tool.  As I watched my son staring at his phone for what seemed like an hour I had to ask him what he was doing.  He explained he was checking his Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram.  It dawned on me that he in essence is creating his own brand using the very tools businesses use to market themselves and increase their brand awareness.

As with any business that uses social media to market to the masses our children unknowingly exhibit the same attributes.

Why would I say this?

Well, one day a college recruiter/scout or future employer may want to know who they’re bringing on board and one of the first things they’ll do is check their social media to get a good picture of their values and type of life they live. They want to know what this person is about just as a consumer wants to know about a product or service.

A survey commissioned by the online employment website CareerBuilder has found that 37 percent of hiring managers use social networking sites to research job applicants, with over 65 percent of that group using Facebook as their primary resource.

The data is based on a nationwide survey conducted by Harris Interactive in February and March, according to a press release from the company. Researchers asked more than 2,000 hiring managers and other human resources employees if they use social networking sites to inform hiring decisions and, if so, what kinds of information they looked for and whether or not those findings hurt candidates’ chances.

Researchers found that 37 percent of the companies surveyed used social networking sites to pre-screen candidates, and 11 percent said that they planned to start doing so in the future.

To maintain a positive brand, here are a few simple rules that should be considered when using social media:

1. Keep it Clean

In a world where big brother is always watching and information never goes away, the content should be free of bad words, thoughts and actions.  The message has to be clean.  If I went to a company’s social media site and saw they used bad language or it contained violent content I wouldn’t be interested in their product/service.


2. Be Diverse

social media marketing

I looked at all of my son’s social media accounts and wondered why he needed to have so many.  As I looked at his friend lists I noticed he reaches a diverse target audience and gets a lot of information from different people.  By having the various accounts he has created a huge network of followers and it continues to grow daily.  I began to truly understand why companies use various social media tools to market to their customers.  It’s almost key in increasing your social network and target audience.


3. Keep it Positive

I remember the first time my son signed up for Instagram.  His dad told me to look at the page and pointed out it tells you his story and what he values most.  As I scrolled through his pictures and posts I could see he’s into sports, family, friends, and having clean fun.  I didn’t get the impression he was a bad boy, I could see he’s a good, well rounded kid.  Anyone who uses social media is basically telling a story about themselves, they’re communicating a message to an audience. That is what branding is all about. Aim at building interactions that evoke positive emotions. You only get one first good impression and one shot at selling your story.

 Think Different

All in all, after watching my son I found it interesting that at the end of the day he uses social media just as a business uses it to communicate with their customers.  The content he shares or the friends that he has are critical to his image/personal brand.

Anything negative can potentially have an adverse affect on his future.  Doesn’t this hold true for businesses and the the content they communicate to the outside world?

I never thought of my son was using social media to build a brand until I saw him using social media. When I thought about how businesses use it to communicate I realized that’s truly what my son is doing.

The Power of Social Media

He has access to free marketing, has a huge network of followers that he communicates with on a regular basis, and he’s telling a story that others will look at.  Be responsible with how you use social media because if you’re not careful, it can come back to bite you!

Checkout this infographic: Reppler provided statistics from 300 professionals involved in hiring.  

What they’ve found is companies are relying on Facebook and Twitter more and more to recruit people because they’re looking more into the person’s character opposed to just their work history.  Recruiters are looking at social media early in the hiring process.  Companies want to know what surprises might be lurking from new hires, Indeed profiles or stellar resumes simply doesn’t cut it anymore. 

Ways Employers Use Social Media to Recruit
Ways Employers Use Social Media to Recruit
Why have a Brand with Purpose

Why have a Brand with Purpose

Why have a Brand With Purpose?

Consumers and marketers have conflicting ideas about brand purpose: They disagree on where brands should concentrate their efforts, and on which people are most receptive. As reported on a new research from the World Federation of Advertisers.

Only 40% of marketers thought that listening to and acting on customer needs was important to brand purpose, but in a parallel study by PR Agency Edelman, consumers chose “Listens to customer needs and feedback” as the number one attribute that builds brand trust.

The traditional function of brand positioning has come to a standstill. In other words, it is more rewarding to find your brand purpose and promote it, rather that promoting a competitive edge. One of the Key speakers at the IMC Conference, Jonty Fisher explains why.

“Having a clear and well established purpose for your business will help create much more relevance with consumers by focusing on what is a brand’s real motivation: What is the WHY underneath the HOW and WHAT that you do, hence seamlessly connect with the consumers on a belief and purpose level; as opposed to something that is purely based on a functional benefit that might not necessarily move them emotively. As we know consumer make decisions based on emotive benefits and post rationalize decisions based on the functional benefits that the brand holds. In summary, your functional benefits are your permission to play but your emotive or purpose is your way to win in modern market.”


This is the way forward from the standstill in modern market that will enable marketers to reach their intended consumers. This is what Stance Branding Agency thrives to provide all its clients on a daily basis.


What is Purpose?

Purpose is the deepest expression of a brand, drawing on its essence to determine its path in the world. It captures the relationship between corporation and community, touching on the financial, social, and environmental arenas. Today, people think of companies as corporate citizens. They expect companies to put their skills and resources to work for the common good, and they’re ready to reward those that do.

In China, 80% of consumers say they are willing to pay a premium for a product that supports good causes, compared with just 28% in the U.K. and 39% in the U.S. In India, it’s 71%, while 55% of Brazilians and Malaysians are prepared to pay more.




What is Brand Purpose?

Brand purpose is a natural outgrowth of the values embedded in your corporate culture. Call it corporate citizenship or corporate social responsibility; companies that have integrated this approach into their business strategy are seeing the profound benefits of taking an active role in changing the world. Social good and business good are deeply entwined in today’s corporate model.

The WFA surveyed 828 brand marketers from 33 countries, representing more than 400 companies and together accounting for $170 billion in global marketing spend, via email. The Edelman consumer study, which surveyed 8,000 consumers in 16 markets, makes it clear that brand purpose in 2014 is more about customer relationship management than corporate social responsibility.

Mr Loerke added, “It becomes clear that purpose isn’t necessarily about saving the planet. It doesn’t have to be worthy per se; it can be about taking small and meaningful actions.”

Marketers may be convinced that having purpose is crucial: 88% agreed that it is increasingly important to building brands. That is why huge companies are changing their marketing strategies with marketing campaigns to ensure they have a meaningful brand that appeals to the public in an deeper, emotional level. Showing that they are part of consumers’ lives and not just pushing for their products and services blindly, because the consumers are the market kings thus dictating the markets share.


What drives your Brand?

Purpose driven branding, while not new, has taken on new significance in this era of anxious consumers; not to mention anxious employees. A company that looks at its brand and asks not simply what promise does it make, but what purpose does it serve, to its customers and its shareholders, and brings this purpose to life through every customer experience will be the company most likely to beat its competition.

The consumers have spoken, and if any marketer wants not only to remain in the modern market but also remain relevant and profitable; they have to embrace this ideology. That’s why here at STANCE we help you answer the question “What value do I provide?” in a positive way, hence at the end of the day both your brand and your audience benefit.

“In this ever-changing society, the most powerful and enduring brands are built from the heart. They are real and sustainable. Their foundations are stronger because they are built with the strength of the human spirit, not an ad campaign. The companies that are lasting are those that are authentic.” ― Howard Schultz


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Elevator of the Week: Cora Harrington (The Lingerie Addict)

Elevator of the Week: Cora Harrington (The Lingerie Addict)

This week’s Elevator is Cora Harrington or better known as The Lingerie Addict.

Not only is she a brand with a purpose, but she’s helping other brands with purposes spread their message as well.

Cora started The Lingerie Addict in 2008 in order to put her thoughts out there and provide honest reviews for unmentionables that were just that unmentionable! She started a dialogue about the lingerie industry, and arguably paved the way for many other lingerie bloggers out there. She has now expanded her website to have guests posts, regular writers, and cover touchy topics such as diversity. Her website is now garnering over 240,000 visits a month, and she’s a key influencer in the industry.

Cora has written about and has had guest posts about diversity expanding past body types and shapes. Although it may be important there are other issues of diversity that The Lingerie Addict has brought to the forefront such as; being a POC (person of color) in the industry, being a lesbian, identifying as gender-queer, or being a person with disabilities.

All Photo Credits to
All Photo Credits to

I was able to ask Cora some questions about her purpose and why she does what she does.

1. As you may or may not know I’m quite young and I’ve been a fan of your blog for quite awhile now, did you ever think that you would play a part in reaching out to teens? I’m so glad to hear you like my blog! No, I don’t think of myself as reaching out to teens specifically, but I try to be very open and explicit about making TLA a welcoming environment for all kinds of people. I think about the kind of site I wish I’d had access to 10 years ago, and that informs what I and my columnists talk about. It’s very exciting to me to hear that teenagers find it useful and relevant…so thank you!

2. You arguably have one of the largest reaches in the industry did you ever see yourself getting this big? No, not at all. I’m very open about the fact that I started my blog as a hobby, and that I came from a career path that had nothing to do with fashion, PR, marketing, journalism or anything else remotely related to lingerie or blogging. The Lingerie Addict’s growth (we’ve been around for 6 years now) has been both slow and organic, and is mostly attributable to word of mouth. I feel incredibly grateful to be able to do something I love so much every single day, and I don’t take it for granted.

3. On The Lingerie Addict you’ve talked about issues of discrimination and diversity, what made you want to start this dialogue in the lingerie industry because it really wasn’t prevalent before? That’s a big reason why I wanted to start this dialogue…because it wasn’t prevalent before. I fully admit that I was at first reluctant to talk about issues affecting me as a woman of color because I dreaded the inevitable negative push-back. Not only am I one of the few women of color blogging about lingerie, I’m also one of the most visible women of color in the entire undergarment industry. While I’m quite vocal and passionate about dealing with discrimination in my offline life, I had to seriously consider if I wanted to deal with it online as well…because that would mean having no break from this sort of thing at all. And as we all know, fatigue and burnout from confronting discrimination is a very real risk when you’re a minority person negotiating homogeneous spaces.

In my case, two things “pushed me over the edge,” so to speak, when it came to discussing discrimination and diversity on The Lingerie Addict. One, when I reached the position of being the largest lingerie blog in the world, I felt like I had an obligation to start the kinds of conversations I’d always wanted to see. It was very much a case of, “If not me, then who else?” Two, I had a number of unfortunate run-ins with other people in the industry, both prominent bra bloggers and other lingerie experts, who made it clear that they thought issues affecting women of color were irrelevant or unimportant because they weren’t centered on more popular topics like bra size. One of the worst things about being a person of color in our society is that you’re constantly dealing with people telling you, both overtly and covertly, that you don’t matter. I wanted to show the women of color who read my site that yes, you do matter. Issues affecting you are important issues. They are worth discussion and analysis and passionate debate. For me, placing diversity of all kinds (ethnicity, gender, sexuality, age, ability, etc.) at the center of The Lingerie Addict is part of being the change I want to see in the lingerie industry.

4. Did you ever think you would play a role in empowering women? I hoped it would! It’s hard to know what other people will find empowering, but to me, it always goes back to creating the kind of site I wanted to see and that I wished was around when I was a young woman. Women are constantly told what they should be doing, and the world of lingerie is no exception. So much of the dialogue in the intimate apparel industry is focused on making the bodies of women more palatable to outside observers (“You must wear a bra! You must wear shape-wear! You must hide your nipples!” etc. etc.). It’s important to me to create and nurture a space where the focus is on wearing what you want to wear because you want to wear it. To me, choosing your own identity and then expressing that identity through your undergarments (even if society requires you to wear a different external “mask”) is incredibly empowering.

5. You help tell the stories of lingerie brands similar to how we here at STANCE tell the stories of brands/nonprofits we find meaningful; do you have certain things you look for in a lingerie brand you support? I do. While the focus is always on fashionable lingerie, I’m very interested in supporting ethically made, independent lingerie brands. I also keep an eye out for brands that are owned by women, people of color, persons with disabilities, or LGBTQ persons. In addition, it’s very important to me to feature brands that show diversity in their choice of models, whether that means using women of color, models with visible disabilities, older models, gender-queer models, and so on. The quality and the story of the lingerie is always first (we’re a fashion-focused lingerie blog, after all), but I also actively try to make space for a vision, aesthetic, or principles that are usually excluded from the mainstream industry.

6. You’re what we like to call a meaningful brand with a meaningful stance; if you summarize TLA into one motto or one mission statement what would it be? At it’s core, TLA is about finding lingerie for who you are.



You get the picture Cora Harrington or The Lingerie Addict truly is a meaningful brand. Make sure you click the links to check out Cora, and all the mentioned articles.

About the Elevator of the Week Series by Intern Yves

In the Elevator of the Week series we talk about people who are making a difference, and have created their own personal brand using the different values and techniques we here at STANCE use to support meaningful brands.

Elevator of the Week: Charles Ressler

Elevator of the Week: Charles Ressler

This week’s elevator is Charles Ressler a well known resident of our very own Las Vegas. I have never had the pleasure of meeting him (as much as I’d love to), but let’s talk about the awesome meaningful things he’s doing with his life.

First Friday’s Charles Ressler before he was with First Friday was a broadway actor, a Tony Hsieh associate, and a public-relations/special-events/marketing manager for the Bergdorf Goodman department store, owner of a music-production/management firm- among other things . As of late Ressler has made large contributions to the Downtown Project to revitalize downtown Las Vegas, and breakdown the facade of Vegas being home to only debauchery, gambling, drugs, etc. Ressler has also started #dreamMaker to try to help everyone’s dream come true.


You’re probably thinking “Dreams coming true that’s the corniest thing I have ever heard!” But the truth is making dreams come true is really what #dreamMaker is about. You tweet your hopes, dreams, aspirations, or whatever you like to call your thing with feathers with the #dreamMaker, and Charles will  try to help you not only set goals, but achieve them too. As Charles Ressler said,

There’s what the world is and what it can be, and I choose to be in the ‘can be.’ I can’t live in a world if it’s not about potential.

Check it out

First Friday

Back to First Friday. First Friday is an event where everyone is welcome to appreciate all sorts of art forms in Las Vegas. You’ll find visual and performing arts, music, food, and new people to connect with. The event gives local artists a platform to share their work, to sell their products, make a living, and to connect with other like-minded people in a common place. Many local artists get a boost from First Friday and many local businesses depend on this day every month. There is really no better example of culture and community coming together in Las Vegas than First Friday. It’s a great place for family and friends to gather and have a fun time.


Overall Charles Ressler is regarded as a caring individual with boundless joy when it comes to helping people. Make sure you click the links to check out Charles and everything else going on in Vegas.


About the Elevator of the Week Series by Intern Yves

In the Elevator of the Week series we talk about people who are making a difference, and have created their own personal brand using the different values and techniques we here at STANCE use to support meaningful brands.

You Have to Love Us

You Have to Love Us

I know you probably hate us, but we’re here to stay and we’re only getting worse.

While we were practicing our “Feeny Call” or fanboy’ing over the Spice Girls, the explosion of the millennials seemed to have happened overnight. We’re always on our phones, impolite, and as radical as ever. Unfortunately, we are also edgy, passionate, and continuously desire to learn.

Wait, that doesn’t sound so unfortunate after all.

Articles around us, along with the popular stereotypes generalize millennials into a category full of irrational, ignorant and immature people.
Well that’s just rude!
It is often forgotten how you were when you were younger and how you felt. Did you feel trapped by the pressures of the world? Were you told to marry young and bring in babies? Sorry, we were told that too, but we didn’t listen. We’re focused on what drives us, what makes us wake up everyday, what our purpose in this world really is. Didn’t you want to change the world at one time? Didn’t you want to neglect the boring repetition in your life for something meaningful?

Here’s what’s really cool about us. We hold VALUE. We know things you don’t, but we want to teach you. We want to spread the knowledge to everyone. We’re influencers, professionals, and just really cool people. That’s why we’re assets to companies: why while we are maybe unwanted, we are needed-especially in the workplace.

Our jobs are our lives, even though we don’t think of it that way. We constantly network, meet people, and create communities, although most of it is online now. We need feedback. Whether the feedback is positive or not, you need to at least keep it real. We value honesty, even if it’s not what we want to hear. It helps us know what path we’re on and that because you’re giving us attention, you are committed to us as much as we are to you. We just want to be wanted!

According to Paul McDonald in his article, Developing Millennials Into Your Firm’s Next Generation of Leaders, there are questions, we need your help answering. These specific questions make us feel more passionate and more committed to the company.
• Where am I going in my career?
• What’s important to my company?
• How does my role help the company reach its objectives?
• How can my company and my manager help me reach my goals?

So help us help you. Let’s blog together, tweet each other, and create cool handshakes.

We’re in this together for the long haul and we are just as excited as you.


Elevator of the Week: Kevin Mitnick

Elevator of the Week: Kevin Mitnick

Changing your face in the public eye.

This week I’ll be expanding on a post we previously posted called How to Cope with The Negative Face of a Brand  through this week’s elevator: Kevin Mitnick

Kevin Mitnick is a formerly infamous social engineer and computer hacker known to be the “World’s Most Wanted”; from the 1970s up until his last arrest in 1995 Kevin Mitnick eluded and bypassed security safeguards, penetrating some of the most well-guarded systems. Mitnick certainly wasn’t a white hat in the world of computer hacking, but he is very much so now.

Mitnick now owns a security consulting company, and is a New York Times Bestselling Author currently residing in our ever sunny Las Vegas working to educate and provide services to assist people while still being able to use his talents in social engineering and hacking.

Changing your negative face to a positive one is no easy feat, but Mitnick sets the example for everyone else out there trying to turn their lives around – if you try hard enough and set yourself up to integrate a (win/win) situation.

“I have done a lot to rehabilitate my reputation,”

Mitnick said but he also stated,

“To some people I’ll always be the bad guy.”

The customer or individual determines the face of the brand, which can be a different emotion for each individual. To most Kevin Mitnick has completely turned his life around, and is now contributing positively to society. This is evident in Mitnick’s 127,000 twitter followers enjoying his witty comments and quips. Kevin Mitnick has turned his personal brand around to be something incredibly positive and constructive.

After being released from prison Kevin Mitnick started down his path to change his negative face to a positive face. Mitnick created Mitnick Security L.L.C dedicated to the private security of people. You may ask why is personal security so important; well if you’re not secure and not educated on social engineering you’re open to people trying to steal information from you such as; social security, credit cards, business data, and etc. Mitnick has also written books about the art of deception and intrusion as well as his autobiography Ghost In The Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hackergiving insight on his expertise in deception and intrusion through social engineering as well as computer hacking. He has dedicated himself to protecting the security of other people with his knowledge of bypassing security. 

Not only people, but also brands can adopt this way of thinking to change your negative face to a positive one. Brands can even increase their positive face when something goes wrong, but is handled in the right way individuals will look at the brand more highly than before.


After all Mitnick went from hacking a McDonalds drive through to being a world famous as the shirt says – security professional.



About the Elevator of the Week Series by Intern Yves

In the Elevator of the Week series we talk about people who are making a difference, and have created their own personal brand using the different values and techniques we here at STANCE use to support meaningful brands.

Brand With A Purpose-Someone Cares

Brand With A Purpose-Someone Cares

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have found a Meaningful Brand with a Purpose!

At one time or another, everyone suffers from what life throws our way. But, there are times when what’s thrown is more severe than anything we thought we can handle, and it usually happens at a time in our lives when most vulnerable-our teen years. What do we do? Who do we turn to? How can we move on? Most of the time when we experience something like this, all we really need is someone to be able to empathize with us-someone to tell us they care. We have found a brand with a purpose who can show us there is someone who believes.

Someone Cares

Brand with a purpose Someone Cares is a brand telling you that you can do whatever you set your mind to, you can succeed. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”@amd5555″ suffix=”#brandwithapurpose”]Whether you or your teen suffer from Body Image, Self Esteem, Bullying, Stress and Anxiety, Drugs and Alcohol, or Self Harm, these problems can be resolved with someone proving they care about what matters-YOU.[/inlinetweet]

To counter negative self-esteem perspectives, Someone Cares works with young teenage girls to help them feel beautiful like we know they are. Girls aged 12-19 get a full day of learning about make up application and hair styling, to see themselves in a new perspective, where they believe they are beautiful. When the makeup and styling is complete, the girls get to take a professional photo-a memento of the day they felt confident and secure in themselves.

This self-esteem workshop is being held on September 6 from 10am to 4pm in the Enterprise Library Meeting Room. The workshop is a only $40-a small price for allowing you or your child to feel whole again. Sponsorship is available if there  is an impossibility to pay. To donate to the cause and become a sponsor, please email Regina Bailey at . To sign up for the event, please visit their Eventbrite page. Don’t pass up a wonderful opportunity to feel beautiful and confident again, because someone does care.

Family problems are yet another major dysfunction in many teen’s lives. Someone Cares holds biannually a Fix My Family Workshop to combat the struggles teens face in their most influential aspect of their lives. If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should consider joining the workshop:

Do you struggle tow get your teen out of their bedroom to do anything?

Does your teen have an attitude problem?

Do you feel like you just can’t seem to do anything right?

Do you wish someone could help repair the bond you had to that baby?

During this workshop, the two of you will learn so much about each other and learn to communicate with respect for one another, without feeling like you don’t know the person next to you anymore.

If you believe the relationship between you and your teen can benefit from this workshop, click here and learn more about all the details.  Or if you just want to get more information on what you’re going through or how you can help someone else going through the same thing, check out the Someone Cares blog.

Elevator of the Week: Bill Cunningham

Elevator of the Week: Bill Cunningham

Bill Cunningham- the legendary street-style photographer for The NY Times; fast, focused and able to tune out all but the shot he’s after, Mr. Cunningham reminds us of a war photographer, which is an unlikely thing for an 82-year-old fashion photographer. Bill does a the flip on war photography. He seeks out and captures humanity amid the storm of life, looking for what Harold Koda, curator at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, describes as “ordinary people going about their lives, dressed in fascinating ways.” [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”@stancebranding @yvestng” suffix=”#branding #value”]Cunningham has established himself as a household name- creating his meaningful brand with his unrelenting beliefs on people and fashion. [/inlinetweet]

Mr. Cunningham is an embodiment of the 5 core values of STANCE – the basis of a strong meaningful brand.
Bill Cunningham today

He has given his all to his craft; creating the best. He has always delivered what was expected if not more. Bill Cunningham’s discerning eye sees through, and beyond, all that to what is real. He is unrelenting and at times off-putting seen when he compared two runway designs decades apart for their uncanny resemblance.

Seeing and expressing beauty in everything as Cunningham said, “It’s as true today as it ever was: he who seeks beauty will find it.” He has given a meaningful perspective on what clothing do for women and men alike. It was never about looking the best, but feeling the best you could possibly be regardless of all else. It’s about how the person felt in the clothes, and how they chose to present themselves to the public.

“The wider world perceives fashion as frivolity that should be done away with. The point is that fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life. I don’t think you can do away with it. It would be like doing away with civilization.”

He presents a different perspective; a beautiful perspective.

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”@stancebranding @yvestng” suffix=”#branding #people”]The people; your audience or consumer is most important is what brands and/or companies forget in the long run. Bill never has, “Money is cheap, liberty, freedom that’s expensive.”[/inlinetweet]

Bill is known for tearing up checks when being paid by magazines and newspapers because as he said,  “You see if you don’t take money, they can’t tell you what to do, kid.” He has also traveled around New York and Paris on a bicycle for decades (now on his 29th bicycle as the other 28 were stolen), wearing the same street sweeper jacket, living in the same tiny no closet, kitchen, or private bathroom Carnegie Hall apartment until they tore down the apartments forcing him to move above Central Park; where he had them remove cabinets and appliances to make room for his files.

He never cared for fame and glory yet he achieved it anyway because his name, his brand is meaningful and strong. Genuinely interested in his audience; the people of New York.“I don’t pay attention to celebrities. I don’t photograph them. They don’t dress so… interestingly. They have stylists. I prefer real women who have their own taste.”

He cares about women who have their own tastes, and nothing else.

Bill Cunningham is a synonym for trustworthy. He is honest, but never brutal. He quit Women’s Wear Daily of the Chicago Tribune because they used his photographs as a worst dressed list to criticize women on their dress. He created an environment where men and women could be who they truly are, and not be critiqued. “I could never be a paparazzi, to torment people and chase them. I do it discreetly.” – his success is based on mutual trust and respect; a good face so to speak. Editors, icons, normal New York people may not stop for just any photographer, but they do for Bill; they even welcome him.

Cunningham photographs people and the passing scene in the streets of Manhattan every day, focusing on their genuine usage of clothing to express personal style. Allowing people to trust him and to never question his credibility. You can see by how he has gained the trusts of people constantly in the public eye.

“We all get dressed for Bill”, says Vogue editor Anna Wintour

Brooke Astor asked that Cunningham attend her 100th birthday party, the only member of the media invited.

Trust is key to a brand; people have to be able to trust a brand to do as they say and not cause problems for them.

Bill said, “The main thing I love about street photography is that you find the answers you don’t see at the fashion shows. You find information for readers so they can visualize themselves.” He takes fashion beyond the magazines and the runway elevating his name above the rest to be the first real street style photographer during World War II. He did something no one else did, and has stood out ever since because of his unrelenting love of what is real and out there. After taking a chance photograph of Greta Garbo, he published a group of impromptu pictures in the Times in December 1978, which soon became a regular series. His editor, Arthur Gelb, has called these photographs “a turning point for the Times, because it was the first time the paper had run pictures of well-known people without getting their permission.”

He transformed himself into a brand with these 5 core values- elevating himself above the rest while making strong statements in the industry. He has never changed regardless of fame or fortune he has lived the same way as he always has.  Can you make your own personal brand; your name quite as known and strong?


About the Elevator of the Week Series by Intern Yves

In the Elevator of the Week series we talk about people who are making a difference, and have created their own personal brand using the different values and techniques we here at STANCE use to support meaningful brands.


Bill Cunningham’s Work

Our STANCE on Value

Our STANCE on Value

We have taken a solid stance on the word value.


Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. –Albert Einstein


Value is a word that is thrown around nowadays. When something is overused, you tend to forget the actual meaning. For example, the word asylum comes from the Greek word asylon which means sanctuary. Synonyms for this word are shelter, haven and retreat. Unfortunately, this isn’t what comes to mind when we hear the word asylum. We have negative thoughts- where “crazy” people are sent-and that may have to do with our tendency to put the word insane in front of it. Either way, as we use language throughout time and in different contexts, the social standard for the word changes. This is what is happening to the word value.

Value is used in numerous ways, mainly in monetary examples. You saved money at the grocery store, “Oh what a great value!” or as an assigned worth, “This vase is very valuable.” But if you think about it, we have it all wrong.


Einstein clearly separated value from success. When you go to the grocery store and save money, we think of it as a success. When we are auctioning off a painting for charity, we want the greatest amount of money because it will be successful to sell it for a larger amount. We forget what value really is and the actual value the word has.

Value should be defined socially as the merit, the worth, the importance of. Sure, its the first definition that pops up in Google, but its not the first one that pops up in our minds.

Value is different from success because you can hold importance and merit without being successful. Being successful means you are wealthy, you have a high position, or numerous honors, but it doesn’t mean you actually hold any value!

When Einstein tells us to strive to be valuable, it means we need to hold a merit, to be important, to serve a purpose. Success isn’t mandatory and if you really were a person of value, success wouldn’t even be necessary because with value comes being humble.  This word[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”amd5555″ suffix=”#takeastanceonvalue”] “value” is skewed in our minds because we tie it with success and as our culture has determined, the only people who are worth value, are those who are successful.[/inlinetweet]

This is false.

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”amd5555″ suffix=”#takeastanceonvalue”]The people who are truly valuable don’t need to be successful because they are content with serving their purpose and guiding others.[/inlinetweet]


This is what value truly stands for.