They say the shoemaker's kids run around barefoot. What about brand communications firms—do they run around brandless? We’re so busy clarifying brands for our clients, do we ever take time to examine our own?

We put the old proverb to the test July 14 when we engaged in an internal study session, taking advantage of a rare opportunity to share brand communication strategies with Dennis de la Haye.

Formerly a senior brand consultant with the renowned branding agency MetaDesign in Berlin, Dennis spent an afternoon with our agency, sharing with us his understanding of the value of a brand, corporate identity versus image, and brand modeling. He also led us through a couple of exercises that had us examine our own brand and brand values, and left us with some ideas around prioritizing future brand values.


By the end of the day, we had discovered a number of things about ourselves, and drawn these conclusions:

  • Dennis should come to work for us
  • The 3 C’s of successful branding really are consistency, consistency and consistency
  • Through engagement in the workshop exercises, our core brand values were confirmed
  • Except for that “radical” thing…we’ll be examining that further
  • Our brand strategists are well shod. Every one of them.


In his opening remarks, Dennis stated his belief that good design is good business, and that a strong brand image is based on a strong identity. We share those beliefs and strive to reflect them in our own agency and in the work we do for our clients.

After the workshop, we learned one more valuable lesson—you actually can have a successful barbeque in your parking lot on a hot summer’s evening.


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