HypeLife Brands Calls for Return to Roots in 2013

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Branding and marketing agency leader urges brands to pay less attention to stats and more attention to WHY in 2013.

Curt Cuscino, Founder and Principal of HypeLife Brands

Curt Cuscino, Founder and Principal of HypeLife Brands

The most successful brands are the ones who integrate their 'why' in everything they do.

The new year is a time to start over, to hit refresh, to re-focus on what may have been lost amid the shuffle of the previous twelve months. Branding and marketing agency HypeLife Brands knows this, and more specifically, knows this doesn’t just apply to people. They’re using the changing of the calendar to urge brands to remember why they exist and to set goals to stay true to that ‘why’ in 2013.

Curt Cuscino, Founder and Principal, started HypeLife brands more than a decade ago on the same basic tenet – a strict, foremost adherence to the ‘why’ of a company; the ‘how’ or the ‘what’ come later. For Cuscino, the strongest brands in the marketplace had a sound understanding of who they were and why they existed, but it was an understanding not every brand had adopted. “There was this gap in the marketplace, and at the top, you had these incredibly successful companies – like Apple, for instance – who not only knew why they existed,” says Cuscino, “but had implemented that ‘why’ at every level.

“CEOs, factory workers, consumers, retail employees, back-end programmers – it doesn’t matter what level you engage. The most successful brands are the ones who integrate their ‘why’ in everything they do.”

2012 saw a slight rebound in the economy, from rising stock prices to slight dips in unemployment. For many brands, this also meant improved sales numbers, backed most notably by rumors of an increase in the efficacy of Facebook’s latest mobile ad framework, the implementation of sponsored tweets, and the increased ubiquity of visual branding outlets like Instagram and Pinterest. But for Cuscino, the chase for stats has contributed to some brands losing their own identities in the charge to pile up Facebook likes or Twitter followers.

In fact, he warns against becoming beholden to such numbers in his first Millennial branding insight for 2013. “A lot of our clients are seeing validation for years of hard work, for lots of strategy and planning that is now producing proof via social currency, engagement and even sales,” says Cuscino. “But we’re in this to build brands that will be successful five, ten years down the road; not ones that had 33 likes on some random day in February.

“Building a successful brand is a long road, and while numbers that support your efforts are an important part of an overall branding strategy, it’s not the whole ballgame. It’s actually the mission of a brand – the all-important ‘why’ – that will most resonate with consumers over time.”

From a business standpoint, however, taking the long approach to branding can be especially challenging, particularly in this results-driven, touch-of-a-finger marketplace. So is shifting the focus from stats to 'why' simply too much to ask of a brand? Not for InnerTitan, an online nutritional supplement company and client of HypeLife Brands. For Devon Shurden, Co-founder of InnerTitan, the results speak for themselves. "Since we started with HypeLife, we have developed a more selfless purpose," says Shurden.

"That purpose drives us every day and inspires people we come in contact with to help us in our efforts to fulfill that purpose."

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About HypeLife Brands HypeLife Brands is the leading branding and marketing agency focused on helping brands engage the youth market, specifically Generation Y and Millennials. Key client industries include apparel and streetwear, musicians and recording artists, entertainment and extreme sports. Founded in 2001, the agency is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, with offices in Los Angeles and New York City. HypeLife Brands can be found at http://www.hypelifebrands.com/.

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Zach Russell
HypeLife Brands
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