Words

Think Brand Simple

In the 1950’s and 60’s, Volkswagen’s brand advertising was the talk of the town. Contrary to the ad zeitgeist (More! Better!) the VW ads engaged readers with humble, common sense propositions. Best of all, they weren’t afraid to poke fun at their product’s shortcomings – the Beetle’s size and queer shape provided the fodder for

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Has Christmas Always Been Hypermarketed?

Not long ago, my wife pointed out that the Christmas marketing and shopping season was now not only infringing on Thanksgiving – but even Halloween! What next? Would we be doing our Christmas shopping in July? Is this hypermarketing of Christmas a new phenomenon, or a tradition? I went on the air with CFAX’s Mark

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BrandDIY 4: From Unique Selling Proposition to Unique Ownable Speciality

Over the course of the last three BrandDIY posts (you can check them out here, here and here) we’ve done some heavy lifting. Specifically, we’ve figured out what you think your brand does better than any of your competitors, and what your fans think you do better. Now, we bring everything together like chocolate and

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For Marketers: How to Lizardproof Your Brand

For most marketers, cutting through the noise with their brand message is a big concern. But even if your message gets to your audience, there’s no guarantee they’ll absorb it. This speech, delivered to a group of financial professionals, describes how our ‘lizard brain’ blocks seemingly valuable messages. More important, it illustrates how to create

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How do you know your brand is dying?

When someone signs up for my newsletter, I reach out to see if they have a burning brand question they’d like to ask. Recently, I got a great one. The question was: What do you do when you see your brand dying, but others around you don’t? At first, I was taken aback. Brands are

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How to do a publicity stunt that builds your brand

In the age of social media, a publicity stunt can be a boon for your brand – or a bust. Recently, two organizations in my town tried to garner publicity with stunts – and failed miserably. In the first case, Fresh Coast Health Food Bar was derided for fat shaming for publicity when an Instagram post

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BrandDIY 3: So what do YOU want my brand to be?

If you read my last brandDIY post, you’re probably all revved up about your brand’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Truth is, the fun is only half done. In this story, we kick it up a notch and ask your fans what they think your USP should be. Of course, if you haven’t read the BrandDIY

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Eclipses, superstition, and marketing.

On August 21st, the world witnessed a stunning solar eclipse. And in completely unrelated news, on August 21st I went on the air with CFAX’s Mark Brennae to chat marketing. It seemed too good an opportunity to pass up. Could I draw a parallel between eclipses and marketing? Turns out, finding the connecting threads wasn’t

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