brand-as-business bit:  Tucked away in last week’s New York Times automotive section was a great piece about advertising.  The subject was Ed McCabe (of Scali, McCabe, Sloves fame) whose  iconoclastic approach to advertising etched into our brains safety as Volvo’s brand identity.  Three points  about Mr. McCabe’s strategy really resonated with me: “Volvo’s reputation for crash […]

A new definition of brand.  Inspiring employees.  My take on the Super Bowl ads and the new Taco Bell tagline.  Check out my writings on these and other topics in the following “brand-as-business buffet,” a round-up of content from me from this past month. retail and restaurants: How to Keep ‘Em  Coming Back — my […]

brand-as-business bit:  I’m interested in the Komen/Planned Parenthood situation from a brand point of view, not a political or moral one.  That’s why a piece by James Gregory, CEO of Core Brand, a brand valuation consultancy, piqued my interest. He says the Komen organization should have done things differently by focusing on: “basic ‘brand alignment.’ […]

brand-as-business bit:  During the Big Game tomorrow, most eyes will be on Tom and Eli, but it’s David, Jerry, and Elton and the other celebs featured in more than a third of the ads who I’ll be most keen on watching.  That’s because Super Bowl ads make for great case studies on what works and […]


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 […]


I usually try to keep my critiques to categories I’ve worked in, primarily because I think it’s irresponsible for me to comment on what works and what doesn’t when I have little basis for my assessment other than being a consumer.  So I initially demurred when some folks have asked for my POV on AT&T’s […]

super bowl 44

If you’ve been in the business long enough, you come to understand there are some basic rules to follow when running an ad on the Super Bowl.  Humor works best.  Use animals or big-breasted women – or both.  Wow people with extraordinary settings and production values. Many of the advertisers on last night’s big game […]


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 […]


Last week I had the pleasure of hearing the Director of Vision, Innovation, & Strategy for the San Diego Zoo, Beth Branning, speak about “Implementing Organization-Wide Strategic Alignment.”  The story of her efforts to drive through the organization the Zoo’s 5-year strategic plan provides some valuable insights and takeaways. […]