Companies change shape with the times*

Sears catalogs from days of yore

*if they want to survive In the 1900s Sears ruled what we now call DTC marketing. Their catalog came straight to American homes, bursting with products to be chosen by the customer and delivered. How dominant was the Sears catalog as a business? They sold houses. In the catalog. That people bought and lived in. […]

If it’s like breathing

All day long, I see social posts from people who are telling me they just did something just, or right. Low level virtue signaling. You know what, though? It is better to do the right thing than the wrong thing. That’s cool. But if I may paraphrase Chris Rock: You don’t brag about something you’re […]

Navigating the spectrum of choice

We’ve finally stopped hearing about how the ‘consumer has won’. Admit it, you missed that battle cry. While I don’t believe the consumer has actually won anything, and never viewed it as a contest, choice has been unlocked. Which is why choice creates emotional challenge for brands. People get extremely frustrated when they lack choice […]

Standing out

It’s never been easier to blend in. For a brand, for a person. It’s never been this easy to figure out what is going on at a given moment – a given second – and hide in that micro trend. Look at letter boards. Last spring, one brand got the idea to use a letter […]

My complaints make Netflix vulnerable

Everyone loves Netflix. From Wall St. to the bus stop on Wall St. everyone is watching Netflix. I’m a subscriber and in fact loved the service so much when I got my first envelope in the early 2000’s that I immediately bought stock. At about $15. I almost can’t believe that’s true – that it […]

Saturday mornings

She barely lifts her head. Lying on her side, she picks up her head and looks over, following me across the room with just her eyes. She waits patiently as I disappeared into the closet. She waits for me to dress, hoping I choose the right clothes for the occasion. When I return she is […]

This just in, the media is broken

The fourth estate has been a protected part of the US since its inception. The idea of protecting free speech was to make people more aware of events around them. Thomas Jefferson said “A well informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.” Great. I problem I’ve long observed as it related to publicly held entities with […]

Authentically authentic for real, y’all.

Authenticity means to do what you say you will do. People use it as a marketing goal. But there’s a much bigger problem. It turns out that holding up authenticity isn’t a job for the marketing team. You’re not executing ‘authentic’ messages. What makes the messages resonate as authentic is the way we perceive them […]

Sharing smart stuff does not make *you* smart.

There’s a sort of virus that infects social media users. We want to be seen as cool, trend setting, ahead of the curve, smart. This goes to me, too. I am also guilty of editing tweets – rewriting them to get the wording just so. But original thoughts are hard. I, myself, have only about […]