brand-as-business bit:  I recently spoke at CAMEX, the trade show and educational event for the collegiate retailing industry, produced by the National Association of College Stores.  My topic was “More Walk, Less Talk: Build Your Brand through Culture & Customer Experience“ and I inspired and taught attendees how to drive their brand promise into their company culture and implement a […]


brand-as-business bit:  Much has already been said about the letter that JC Penney‘s CEO Ron Johnson recently sent to customers (see below), but I wanted to shine a spotlight on the closing line where he asks for feedback.  See my latest OPEN Forum column  on why I think this was only a goodwill gesture, not a […]

brand-as-business bit:  Hindsight is 20/20. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the history books of failed brands.  Julian Day, RadioShack’s former Chairman-CEO, probably has a few regrets.  Although Day has been out of RadioShack’s hot seat for a year, his leadership marked the beginning of the brand’s demise. With Best Buy fighting for its […]

brand-as-business bit:   What did the most successful food and beverage consumer packaged goods brands introduced in 2011 have in common?  According to the New Product Pacesetters Top 10 Food and Beverage Brands report,  they were all brand extensions like M&M’S Pretzel and Kellogg’s Special K Cracker Chips. But not all brand extensions are as impactful.  In fact, the brand extension […]

If you’re looking for hot topics and insights on brands, businesses, and the people who work on them, here’s a digest of my content from the past month: brand experience: McDonald’s Metro: Lipstick on a Pig – a post about how McDonald’s new Metro concept only looks better, when it needs to actually be better […]

brand-as-business bit:  I’m consistently asked by business leaders for my point of view on daily deals like Groupon and LivingSocial.  I decided to pen my thoughts in my latest OPEN Forum column.  Please take a look. You’ll see that I don’t believe it’s a question of if you should do daily deals, but rather the […]


Why Brand?

brand-as-business bit:  In my contribution to OPEN Forum this month, Why Brand?, I lay out what strong brands do for small businesses.  Although I usually work with larger companies/brands, I believe a brand is any business leader’s most powerful tool for accelerating and sustaining growth.  And so, small businesses should invest in brand development from […]

Between spring break, March Madness, and primary season, there’s been a lot going on outside the brand world this month.  But there’s also been a flurry of new brand-building content going around.  Here’s a handy recap of what I contributed to the conversation: brand-building: Steve Jobs on Brand-Building — a slide show of what Walter Isaacson’s […]

brand-as-business bit:   OPEN Forum just published my latest column, 5Lessons from NBC’s ‘The Voice’ on How to Differentiate Your Brand. In addition to providing insights on differentiation, the blind auditions on ‘The Voice’ conveyed some other important marketing lessons: start strong – A single strong starting note was sometimes enough to make an impression on the […]