Customer First, Not Data

A true story…short…and one that points out the issues with so called targeting online. I say so-called because there is targeting and…there is targeting. Its easy to find me…yes…but why and with what is the real question. Once upon a time… My daughter and son-in-law went way for the weekend. The spa they stayed at…

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Does 2+2 Still Equal 4?

Can a border be closed off? Can a population be locked in or locked down? Seems that the topic is much in the news these days…all around the word. It got me thinking. Physical and political barriers—fences and road blocks—did used to keep people locked in…and locked up. Without going too far back in time,…

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What’s your relationship with Amazon: loyalty or convenience?

Amazon had yet another great earnings call, wowing the market with their growth. But these earnings have nothing to do with e-commerce, as MarketWatch explained: “E-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc.’s earnings surge in the first quarter was largely due to major acceleration in its Amazon Web Services business, which is powering the bulk of Amazon profits…

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Are you real…or just authentic?

Create viral assets. Design experiential moments. Used in one sentence, or better, used as one ask, “I want an authentic experience that will go viral.” Raise your hand if you have been in a meeting where you have heard something similar. Hmmm…I thought so…I have too. These days, we hear a lot about the need…

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Should Drones Do More Than Deliver Pizza?

I don’t know about you…but frankly, it’s easy to fall into a funk and be depressed about today’s so-called Hi-Tech. So-called, because while there is a lot of real Hi-Tech out there somewhere, what we call and overvalue as such is really data sales, media, retail and transportation…with occasionally fraudulent biotech thrown in for good…

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A Luddite Might Lead the Way

Maybe it was the confluence of Passover and Easter, or perhaps it was the continuing news saga of Taliban atrocities, young African-Americans shot in the back, fleeing refuges, hate crimes all over the world juxtaposed to stories about what exactly is Alexa listening to and what is really happening with all that data being collected…

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What Makes a Brand Last 100 Years (Besides Herring)?

What would you do? If you were a 100+-year-old company in a dying category, surrounded by hip new offerings and critics, analysts and pundits who opined on the category in ways that made you wonder why you were in business…what would you do? You could declare, “Disruption,” “digital transformation,” “millennial focus,” “mobile first,” “VR/AR and…

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What Donald Trump Understands About Branding

If our marketing research was as off as political polling continues to be, then the Brandscape of the world would look significantly different. Companies would invest money in the wrong products and services, spending on meaningless messaging, squandering on irrelevant media, and generally wondering why the “wrong” Brands seemed to win. As I have written…

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What was Kodak thinking?

The PIVOT: a move made more famous by Digital/Internet startups than by sports stars. The agility, openness, hunger and passion to succeed (read: passion to make money) gave these tech entrepreneurs the impetus to switch direction and focus quickly…and most importantly, without ever looking back. Think about the companies who said they were ‘pure digital…

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What Do Brands and Countries Have in Common?

Back in the day, when the Viking longships with their fearsome prows were seen on a coastline, local residents ran and hid. They knew what was coming. Typically, carnage and pillage. When a delegation arrived in your country sporting a standard with S.P.Q.R., boldly displayed, you knew you were about to be conquered and subsumed….

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A Report from the Cloudy Crystal Ball

As 2018 fast approaches, I like to look back to predictions I made at the start of last year and judge my powers of prescience. Unlike many analysts who prophesize like Nostradamus, being broadly vague so they don’t get caught, I admit upfront that my crystal ball is very cloudy. Nevertheless, I do my best…

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