The pursuit of an ‘authentic’ personal brand is causing stress and anxiety for many, while it isn’t the silver bullet it’s made out to be. Let’s put the concept back into perspective.

Last Friday, I joined Carlos and Laurence of the Happy Startup School for a fireside chat on how…


Adapted from a talk for BIS Publishers and Breda University of Applied Sciences.

I’ve got bad news and good news. I’ll start with the bad: we face a climate crisis, overpopulation, extremism, massive unemployment, to name a few.

The good news is that there are a lot of brilliant…


We need to shatter the myth of the Lone Brand Genius if we want to get brands for change off the ground.

There is this myth that it only takes one person to build a strong brand. Some visionary who knows it all, controls it all, and ignores everyone else, emerging one day with some mind-blowing, uncompromising brand created out of thin air.

The Brand The Change community, illustration by Zsuzsanna Ilijin

The truth is that for 99.9% of us, it…


Here is the guideline I wish I’d had five years ago.

We have been running online brand workshops for individuals and groups for years. …


It took me ten years to know how to draw it, but the journey was worth it. Through the Brand Thinking Canvas, I’ve worked with over 2,000 amazing individuals and companies and trained 32 brand professionals to use the canvas in their own practice.

The Brand Thinking Canvas is not a complicated model. Several rings, a few subcompartments, two pages with simple questions: ‘who are you?”, and “who is your audience?”. But it took me ten years to understand how to draw it*.

That’s because it’s not just a model: it’s also a process…


Commencement speech for the Brand The Change Trainers Class of 2020

This course is not meant as a mental health support group, but it sure serves as one sometimes. I can imagine no better job in the world than that of a brand developer, and few that are worse.

It’s…


Yesterday it was Gillette and Nike. Today, it’s Lego. We find ourselves enveloped in a trend that shows no signs of slowing down: ‘Purpose’ is on everyone’s lips, and every day it seems a new company jumps on the bandwagon with a campaign that gets our tongues wagging.

On a brand safari in Chicago this summer, I spotted purpose-marketing campaigns on every corner. Photo by Clarissa Sparks

As a…


In 2016, in an article for the Stanford Social Innovation Review, I wrote that social good will not be a differentiator forever. …


Sugru’s failure to reach the mainstream –and its subsequent sale to Tesa this week– shows how crucial the investment in branding and marketing is in order for impact-driven companies to scale.

Today was a sad day. As a tiny investor and longtime fan of Sugru (a mouldable glue company on a mission to beat throwaway culture), I received an email from the company’s management with the news that they have sold the company to Tesa, one of the worlds leading adhesive…


In the process of living our lives and doing our work, we acquire a set of beliefs: convictions on how something is done, or how we should behave. They help us make sense of things, form a basis for decisions and allow us to live a life we believe to…

anne miltenburg

Working to see the day when organisations with positive social and environmental impact outperform traditional ventures. Weapon of choice: branding.

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