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November 13, 2015

A Coffee Cup Illuminates the Power of the Starbucks Brand

This week we watched the drama unfold as Starbucks unveiled their holiday cups and accusations followed that they company is anti-Christmas. But what this debate really proves is that Starbucks has successfully interwoven its brand in the very fabric of our culture, so much so that people have an emotional reaction to their cups.

High-fives in the Starbucks boardroom.

November 12, 2015

TV Ratings Are Meaningless But Matter More Than Ever

With an explosion of high quality content across networks, streaming and the web, TV ratings have gone down significantly. Networks try to prove their ratings are higher by adding in people who watched 3 days later, 7 days later, or on their phone, but the truth is networks care even more about all of these numbers. They seek buzz and loyalty from their audience, even if they are small.

Why ratings aren’t going away.

November 11, 2015

Grolsch To Capitalize On The Visual Experience As It Looks To Lift Organic Reach

Here’s how one brand switched from advertising lead model to a ‘brand as publisher’ one, with significant learnings and changes along the way. A good case study where strategy isn’t something that is final and ships, but learns and adapts based on consumer and cultural changes. None of its content is about beer.

Hear Grolsch’s voice outside of its brand-led campaigns.

November 2, 2015

When Will Politicians Fire the Media?

After CNBC made a total mess of the Republican debate last week, the campaigns held a mini summit to reconsider how they would work with the networks. While they left the meeting with only a modest list of demands and a decision not to allow the RNC to handle future negotiations, candidates like Carson and Trump aren’t afraid to play hard ball with the TV networks.

Read why the candidates are about ready to say, “You’re Fired!”

November 2, 2015

Apple’s Giant Cash Pile

Did you know Apple makes more money than any company has ever made? In fact, this profit monster has a growing pile of cash that is now more than $200 billion. But the weird thing is, Apple isn’t returning its own cash to shareholders, it’s borrowing to pay them back. So, does Apple have too much cash on hand and what should it do with all that money?

More about “a good problem to have”.

October 27, 2015

REI Is Giving Back Black Friday

Standing behind its values, REI has announced that rather than requiring their employees to report to work on Black Friday, they will close all 143 stores, and pay all of their employees to take the day off and enjoy the great outdoors.

Where will you be on Black Friday?

October 23, 2015

Don’t Let Big Data Bury Your Brand

Arguably, a CMO’s core task is to achieve just the right balance between short-term revenue pursuit and long-term brand building. In the best case, a marketer’s message can strengthen the connection between how consumers perceive a brand and the particular problem they need to solve (increasing sales, for example). To use the now available big data is easier in the short term, but more risky in the long term. Constant, programmatic promotions raise short-term sales but erode brand equity.

Read how the best brands strike this balance.

October 22, 2015

10 Stats To Create More Engaging Social Media Images

Marketers know visuals increase engagement in social media significantly. Since everyone is in on that insight, there is increasing competition among brands to visually stand out.

How to create better social media images.

October 21, 2015

How The 'Star Wars' Trailer Conquered The World, By The Numbers

Two million more people tuned in to Monday Night Football at halftime to watch the new Star Wars trailer. 14.6 million viewed it on YouTube. AMC sold out 1000 screenings. And it accounted for 95% of movie bookings on

But wait, there’s more.

October 20, 2015

How Patron's CMO Found Success In Selling Its Substance Over Its Style

Patron tequila spent more on advertising that the rest of the tequila market combined and it both helped them change tequila’s association and netted Patron 60% of the market. Among tequila fanatics, however, Patron was seen as all style over substance. This is an interesting case study a brand’s attempt to regain ‘authenticity’ and a concurrent pivot to digital.

Reinventing Patron as an artisan.