I’m guessing most of you don’t frequently have the opportunity to tell your CEO to go take a crap, but that’s essentially what I did last year – and ever since, we’ve had a fruitful and rewarding relationship. […]


The adage “god is in the details” is usually offered in reference to a small mistake with big consequences. And when it comes to brand touchpoints, it’s commonly known how a screw-up here or a snafu there can cause significant damage to a brand’s image and equity. But often the most important details are ones […]


The new laws popping up which require restaurants to post calorie counts next to food listings have me concerned. This may come as a surprise to those who know me – after all, I am a fitness enthusiast and I try to practice healthy eating.   So the nutritional content of food is really important to […]


The other day I found myself doing something quite curious – after having placed an item into my grocery cart, I turned around, took it out, and returned it to the shelf.  That momentary act wasn’t strange because I’m generally a decisive person — but rather because of what caused me to reverse my actions.  […]


When it comes to mishaps, most companies seem to have adopted Discovery’s song “It’s Not My Fault” as their anthem – but it would be so much better for them to follow Akon’s lead and plainly state “Sorry, Blame It on Me.” To be clear, I’m not talking about issuing apologies for the sweeping mistakes […]

cisco brand aspirations

Recently I met with the folks in Cisco’s brand group and was delighted to find a few simple brand tools sitting in the place where a person’s business cards are usually found. […]


I’ve been doing research on some companies and have spent quite a bit of time looking at companies’ corporate reports – e.g., annual reports, official statements, corporate presentations, etc.  I’m amazed at how many companies completely overlook these reports as touchpoints through which people experience their brands.  Often the reports are dry and pedantic or […]

mcdonalds logo

Apparently my “Outside Insights” column, How to Defeat McDonald’s**,  on QSR Magazine‘s home page has prompted concern among the folks at McDonald’s.  It was intended as a service piece for fast feeders looking for insights on how to establish competitive advantage — but the Golden Arches media relations team seems to view it as a […]