Inside my head there is a perpetual motion machine I affectionately call my hamster wheel.

It’s rare to find me at a loss for words or with nothing to contribute to a conversation, especially when it comes to topics I am passionate about. Read on for thoughts about brands, people, design, and day-to-day moments that inspire me.

2015 Highlights

One of the best things about consulting is having a variety of organizations and people to work with every year. Here are a few collaborations from 2015:

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Hello Kitty, hello cuteness

on August 12th, 2015 in Brand and Business, Serendipity by | Comments Off Hello Kitty, hello cuteness

On my recent trip to Taiwan and Tokyo, the cute factor was inescapable. Buildings, restaurants, museums, you name it. Everything has a mascot. Everything has an animated character. And the queen herself, Hello Kitty, continues to reign supreme. But of course Hello Kitty is more than a mere character. She’s a phenomenon…

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Puppets and pandas

on July 14th, 2015 in Art, Design, and Architecture, Serendipity by | Comments Off Puppets and pandas

  This summer is off to a unexpected start! I’ve been advising a good friend and colleague, Michael, on a new business he’s starting. It’s based here in Oakland but with an office in Taipei. He asked if I would go with him on his next trip, which was only…

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Lessons from Mad Men: Bigger is not always better

on April 29th, 2015 in Brand and Business, My Work and Articles, Sustainability and Social Value by | Comments Off Lessons from Mad Men: Bigger is not always better

As Mad Men winds down, we find our beloved anti-hero, Don Draper, losing his agency. Over ten years in television time we’ve watched him pull rabbit after rabbit out of his fedora to stay ahead of mergers and takeovers. (Not to mention contracts.) Despite a last-ditch effort, this time there…

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Are you ready for the design-led revolution?

Are you ready for the design-led revolution?

on January 19th, 2015 in Art, Design, and Architecture, Brand and Business, My Work and Articles, Sustainability and Social Value by | Comments Off

Over the past year I’ve been fortunate to collaborate with the sustainability team at Autodesk to envision their support for the design-led revolution. Haven’t heard of it? You may not know the DLR moniker, but you’ve seen revolutionary design in action. From affordable prosthetics to solar robotics, high-impact solutions are…

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Leaving a mark

on January 13th, 2015 in My Work and Articles, Sustainability and Social Value by | Comments Off Leaving a mark

Not many things are as rewarding as seeing your work endure! This week I received a charming note from a former pro bono client, the Center for Environmental Health, in thanks for my annual donation: “Dear Erica, Thanks for supporting our work so generously. Of course, how could you say…

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My career Venn

Friends and colleagues often ask about the work I do, and how they can help me find what I am looking for. Never one to miss an opportunity to draw a diagram, I created this handy Venn. The green zone is my ideal – a strategic branding role in a…

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Purpose drivers

on September 14th, 2014 in Brand and Business, My Work and Articles, Sustainability and Social Value by | Comments Off Purpose drivers

It seems everyone is talking about purpose these days. Imperative has a new take on what purpose means in your career — it’s not the cause you work for, but how you work. Curious to see what surprises it might reveal, I took Imperative’s purpose driver quiz. My results:  …

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Acceptance and Gratitude

Recently I had the good fortune to find a forgotten family gem, personal histories from WWII written by two of my grandfather’s brothers. It was an opportunity to learn about uncles I barely knew and get personal insights into one of the most important events of the 20th century. What…

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Explainers

on December 13th, 2013 in Brand and Business, Communication, Serendipity by | Comments Off Explainers

This weekend a friend was in town, and visitors are great prompts to do all the local things we don’t get around to — in this case, the new Exploratorium! Something that caught my eye is their name for exhibit guides: Explainers. It’s a miniscule detail compared to the immensity…

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