I’ve never made moonshine, but I did have a taste of it once. Just a sip, and that was enough. No doubt about it, that is some powerful stuff. It starts out as a pungent stew of rye, barley malt, yeast and sour mash. You can barely imagine that this mess will morph into a crystal clear, extremely potent concoction.

In developing compelling brand messages for clients, we go through a similar process, sorting through a wide variety of images, messages, and opinions, and chipping away to gain consensus and get to the heart of the story. We then go to work removing any element that isn’t essential to that story, to arrive at clarity, a brand message that connects and resonates with the right audience. Powerful stuff.

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We did it again – dropped everything and held another company retreat. Wrapped up in the rush of everyday projects, it’s sometimes hard to imagine actually taking a break, but it’s always worth it. Like a vacation, it’s a great opportunity to leave the usual routine behind. But rather than getting away from it all, a retreat is all about getting away to it all. It’s a chance to kick back, consider challenges, and celebrate successes from a refreshing distance, and gain an entirely new perspective in the process.

Whether it’s a “white board” session or a hike in the hills, good ideas get tossed around, priorities get sifted through, goals get set, and clarity sets in. And it’s not all about work. We also appreciate the team-building power of sharing great food and drink, and letting imaginations run wild.

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Dig Deep And Prosper

Back in my music journalist days I had the opportunity to interview all kinds of musicians, some of them rock-star famous and some lesser known. I was always surprised at how delighted those interviewees were when they realized that I had actually done my homework and knew their work and what I was talking about. That preparation always made for more penetrating questions and a more insightful article. I remember thinking, “Why on earth would a journalist sit down for an interview knowing next to nothing about his subject?” But, apparently, that’s what happened more often than not.

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The “Simple” Solution

We live in an information-saturated world where the need, the yearning, for simplicity is greater than ever. In communication, in marketing, in just making it through the day, we want to cut through the clutter and get down to what matters. Simplicity isn’t necessarily simple to achieve, but it’s always worth the effort.

Back in 2013, Fast Company magazine published “Successful Entrepreneurs Give Their Younger Selves Lessons They Wish They’d Known Then,” one of their most frequently re-posted articles. In the piece, SoundCloud co-founder/CEO Alexander Ljung touts the considerable power of simplicity in business and in life.

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Postcards From The Frist

From master painters to classic cars, Nashville’s Frist Center For The Visual Arts always offers an inspired variety of high-profile exhibitions. But some of the most amazing discoveries can be found in the museum’s quieter showings. “Postcards of the Wiener Werkstätte” is a prime example, and it’s well worth catching before it closes on October 12th.

Founded in 1903 by architect Josef Hoffmann and designer Koloman Moser, and flourishing in the years leading up to the Great War, the Wiener Werkstätte was all about erasing the distinction between “high” and “low” art, and “designing every aspect of daily life.”

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