Here we go. The start of a new adventure.
As a brand strategist, I’ve always worked on other people’s brands. I put my time and energy into improving their brand identity, messaging, design, innovation, and more.
Now it’s my turn.
I’m leaving the consulting world (mostly) behind, and creating my own brand from scratch.
It’s probably crazy. And I couldn’t be more excited.
I’m going to share my journey here so that others can learn from it. Whether that’s established entrepreneurs or aspiring ones, marketers from big brands or startups, I hope you’ll follow along and learn with me.
Republicans love to talk about “freedom”. They think they own the word.
But freedom isn’t just about what you’re allowed to do. It’s also about getting rid of the things that get in the way.
In a country run by Republicans, we’re not as free as we think.
If a good education will bury us in debt, we’re not free.
If we can’t leave our jobs because we’ll lose our insurance, we’re not free.
If getting hurt or sick means deciding between going to the doctor or putting food on the table, we’re not free.
If we can’t love whoever…
The language we use shapes our ideas, often without us realizing it. Words frame how we see the world, and shape our worldviews.
Over the years, Democrats have let Republicans frame the issues through their use of words. Their carefully chosen language (by Frank Luntz and others) makes it seem like their stance is the moral one, when actually the opposite is more often true.
To fight back, Democrats need to reframe the issues in their own language. By consistently, regularly repeating these phrases, we can start to change how the public views these issues. …
In my last article, I showed how Democrats suck at branding. They focus on facts, instead of connecting to people emotionally and explaining the values and morals that guide their beliefs. By doing this, they cede the moral high ground to Republicans, who are masterful at building their brand, and at building a negative Democrat brand.
In the tight 2020 races, this difference in branding could make all the difference.
So what should Democrats stand for? What is at the core of their policies? What is the theme that ties them all together, and how can that be woven into…
For Democrats, the 2020 election will be an uphill battle. The challenges they face include Fox News, Sinclair Broadcasting, a Russian troll army, the visibility of the incumbent president, electoral college disadvantages, and many more.
But there’s one problem we’re not even talking about, and it’s self-inflicted:
Democrats suck at branding.
I should know. As a brand strategy consultant I’ve worked with some of the biggest and best brands in the world, and wrote a book on the psychology of brands.
Branding is not logos and slogans. It’s also not marketing and advertising. …
I’m no designer, but to my eye, the Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar bottle is downright ugly.
Apple Cider Vinegar is having a moment thanks to internet buzz that it may help you lose weight, boost your immunity, and other health claims. And the Bragg’s brand has stepped in as the leader in this niche category.
But the bottle design — with its shades of yellow and red, its mess of a communications hierarchy (everything seems to be shouting for attention), its various fonts and sizes, its cluttered and repetitive writing…it doesn’t fit with today’s world of package design; especially in…
“It’s boring. There’s no way that will catch people’s attention.”
This was said by a senior marketer at a very large consumer brand, reacting to an idea from its’ advertising agency. This marketer assumed, as most do, that for an ad to work, it must pull people away from what they are doing and capture their conscious, undivided attention.
But science shows that this may not be true.
Marketers often think they understand the consumer brain just because they have a brain of their own. But our conscious experience doesn’t tell the whole story. …
You can’t think of American beer without thinking of Budweiser. While in many ways it’s just another massed produced, non-offensive, kinda bland domestic beer, it seems to have a stronghold on being the most American beer there is. Even with now being owned by AB InBev, the massive beer conglomerate based out of Belgium and Brazil, it still manages to feel quintessentially, iconically, American. It has authentic, hard working, blue collar roots that fit right at home at a frat party, 4th of July BBQ, next to a burger, and at the Super Bowl. …
When it comes to your health, don’t be normal.
You want to be normal, right? Who doesn’t? We all want to fit in and be accepted members of society. No one wants to be the weirdo.
But, maybe normal ain’t all that great. Here’s what normal looks like in the US:
1. Normal is fat. Two thirds of Americans are overweight or obese.
2. Normal is sedentary. Americans watch on average 34 hours of TV per week.
3. Normal is not exercising. 80% of Americans don’t get enough exercise.
How too much attention can actually make ads less effective
The Super Bowl is weird.
Not because it’s the one time your girlfriend will “watch football,” or because eating 23 chicken wings, drinking 8 beers, and eating 4 slices of pizza counts as normal.
No. It’s weird because it’s the one day all year when people actually want to watch TV ads.
On this sacred day, commercials are king. They can even outshine the game itself. This is the one and only time that when commercials come on, the crowd hushes, puts down their chips, and waits to be amazed.