Posts by: Lucila Tessi

In 2016, Healthcare Is All About Optimism

March 1, 2016 — Lucila Tessi

Last week in our series of 2016 predictions, we took a look at B2B companies to see how they use verbal strategies to communicate what they do in a more meaningful way. This week, we’re turning our attention to the new communication that’s emerged from the latest and greatest trends in healthcare. 

We’ve seen a new wave of trends emerge that are changing the way we think about healthcare. What’s driving this change? People. As consumers, people are empowered by choice and are used to being heard. We’re now seeing patients engage with the healthcare system with their consumer expectations. While the industry has received a great deal of political attention with policy changes and debate over regulation, what’s remarkable, is that if we move past the political chatter, the healthcare industry’s voice is optimistic.

Evolution MD One company that’s leveraging smarter, more customized care is Sherpaa. Through their app, you can send a message to a physician to see if an emergency room visit is necessary or not. As the name cleverly suggests, this service acts as your guide to “smarter healthcare” and to hoping it’s not as bad as it looks. The company Medicast has shown that empowering […]

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Date At Your Own Risk: Licensing in Branding

August 26, 2015 — Lucila Tessi

Becoming a “licensee” allows brands the opportunity to extend into a new category or industry, modernize, stay relevant and build upon their brand value. When choosing the right licensing opportunity and when implemented effectively, it can have tremendous benefits. As of late, we’ve seen this with Minion-mania. It’s been said that Universal will make more off of licensed products than the Minions movie that just came out in July. Sounds tempting, right? But before jumping in, let’s take a step back and evaluate licensing.

The way I see it, licensing is a very personal tool used by brands. I often think of it as a relationship. Two people joining as one and representing what each other stands for. You look to benefit from each other, you meet each other’s friends and as a couple you work together to make each other happy. But unlike a relationship, you have the opportunity to plan for success prior to creating the partnership.

Here are five guidelines for brands to keep in mind when thinking of entering a (licensed) relationship:

What are you looking to get out of this?

Licensing should be used as a strategic business tool. Brands that want to license someone else’s intellectual […]

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Stars, Stripes and Cannolis

July 3, 2013 — Lucila Tessi

We’re celebrating a birthday this week. That’s right, it’s the anniversary of the good ol’ US of A’s independence. It’s a celebratory time when Americans get together and share a strong national ethos of patriotism. It’s a time for questions like, hot dogs or hamburgers, where to see the fireworks and whether or not to take Friday off from work.

But while I was pondering these important questions along with the rest of the nation, something interesting on TV caught my eye. Between all those insanely annoying 4th of July discount mattress spots, the Fiat commercial got me to rewind, watch again and really think about what I had just seen.

Let me quickly remind you that Fiat was reintroduced back into the U.S. in 2010. They adopted  the course of using celebrities as a shortcut to popularity, showing us people like Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull and even Charlie Sheen (which was either a genius or half-witted decision). And while it’s evident that they’re trying to capture the attention of Millennials, with those spokespeople, they’re clearly struggling to find their image and what they stand for.

Fiat’s latest, very strategically timed commercial, portrays Paul Revere galloping through town exclaiming to the […]

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Forget Froyo, Yogurt is Back in Style!

February 26, 2013 — Lucila Tessi

It seems as if the frozen yogurt craze—and talk about a franchise frenzy with all the Red Mangos, Pinkberrys and Yogurtlands across the country—is finally slowing down a bit! As much as Froyo might pick up again this summer, there’s been a bit of a step back to the basics: good ole yogurt.

If you’ve taken a look at the dairy aisle recently, you couldn’t have missed the plethora of new yogurts that have hit the shelf (if you’ve always thought of yogurt as a bit bland or boring, think again). There are drinkable yogurts, fruit- infused yogurts, Greek yogurts, protein yogurts… the list goes on and on. What’s remarkable is that here in New York we’ve even had two yogurt stores open up in the last year: The Yogurt Culture Company, which is a subsidiary of Dannon, and Chobani SoHo, a Mediterranean yogurt bar.

With its “good” bacteria, yogurt is not only healthy but a great base to “dress up” and pair with accent ingredients for a snack, or be used itself as an ingredient to supplement another dish. But with the great number of yogurt options for consumers to choose from, how will each yogurt brand differentiate itself?


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Personal Branding and the 2012 Olympics

September 26, 2012 — Lucila Tessi

The London Games was an extraordinary spectacle, to say the least. The Opening Ceremonies—from Her Majesty’s 007 helicopter mission to the grazing sheep in the stadium—poked fun at the host nation’s eccentric and quirky stripes. But what about the real stars of the show, the athletes?

We saw some new faces, and some familiar ones we’ve come to love, who represented their countries with grit and grace during competition. But the Games were not without its fair share of scandalous news—the Chinese Badminton team losing matches on purpose; soccer goalies cursing out other players; Olympians who rebelled against Rule 40 that prohibited athletic participants from appearing in advertising during the Games. Not to mention, all the supposed “hook-ups” going on in the Olympic village!

But now that the games have been over for a good month, my eyes turn to the after effects of the athletes-turned-celebrities. Which ones have and will work to turn themselves into brands and cash in? Can a person BE a “brand?” There is mixed opinions about this. Some argue that one needs to be able to physically purchase and own a “brand” for the individual to be labeled as one; others believe it’s more […]

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Heard But Not Seen: Voiceovers and Branding

April 19, 2012 — Lucila Tessi

There are many components to a brand, everything from a logo to a color palette to a positioning statement. These things fit together like a nice little puzzle and create one strong brand voice. And the more I started thinking about the metaphorical voice of a brand, the more it got me thinking about the literal one as well – as in, the voice-overs that brands use in their commercials.

While many commercials feature unknown voice talent, today many of the ads we see are voiced by celebrities. For example, actor Billy Crudup has been the voice of the famous Mastercard Priceless commercials for at least a decade. George Clooney voices countless commercials, including ones for Chevy. Most of us recognize James Earl Jones’ voice in seconds. Even Jon Hamm of “Mad Men” does voiceovers.

In fact, having commercials with celebrity voice-overs seems to be the norm these days, no matter what the category. By lending their voices to these commercials, these actors in turn become brand ambassadors, even if they are not actually on camera, Their off-camera personalities, political beliefs and day-to-day happenings inevitably have a bearing on what the companies they represent stand for.

A perfect […]

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Push It Real Good

January 6, 2012 — Lucila Tessi

Every time a brand comes out with a new product, I’m interested in how far they’ve pushed the envelope. Is it just a new variation on the product, or a completely new take? The brands that interest me the most are the ones influenced by pop culture and willing to take risks. These brands tend to play up a more edgy side and are not afraid to stir up controversy.

For example, take the Tokidoki Barbie that came out last October. Described as a “funky fashionista,” she has a bright pink hairdo and tattoos all over her neck and back, and is sporting leopard-print leggings and a mini skirt. Pretty scandalous, I’d say. Not surprisingly, there was an uproar from parents who claimed it was a bad example for their children; Mattel responded by saying that the doll isn’t necessarily marketed to all audiences. In a poll taken by the Huffington Post asking if they would buy the doll for their child, almost 50% said, “Absolutely, It’s just a toy,” while 30% said the stark opposite, “Never. I don’t like the tattoos.” Personally, I was impressed that Mattel pushed the envelope with the doll. Today’s girls want to […]

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Can You Hear Me Now?

September 7, 2011 — Lucila Tessi


Purchasing a car can be a very selective process. Price range, make, model, size, color, trim, GPS, iPod adapter, XM radio, rear-view camera, collision avoidance system, heated seats, etc. It’s all about customizing! While making these decisions, it’s important to know exactly what you want. It’s a big investment and a long-term purchase, but also a representation of your personality and your style. And if you’re interested in purchasing an electric car, well, you’ll also have to think about what sound represents you.


Electric cars have been around for a while now. They’re a great environmentally friendly option, cheaper in the long run and virtually silent while running. But there is one tiny problem with them being silent. It’s a danger to everyone outside of the car, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. So now it seems that manufacturers will have to include a mechanism that will produce a sound that can be heard when the car approaches.



Without being given a specific sound to use, each car company is being left to it’s own accord to choose a noise for their electric cars, in turn creating a great […]

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Twitter It

June 16, 2011 — Lucila Tessi



Lately, many brand names have shifted into the realm of verbs. They’re used in our common vocabulary and it only took a little while for them to become the norm. This has happened more frequently to companies in the online space.

A perfect example of this is Google. When someone says  “Google it”, it’s pretty well understood that you should get on the Internet, go to the search engine Google and use it as an encyclopedia. Another example is Facebook. “Facebook me,” really means look me up on the social networking site Facebook and send me a message or post on my wall.

How and why does this happen? Usually consumers are the ones who choose what companies get “verbed up.” We live in a society that likes speed and taking shortcuts. It’s quicker to say “I’ll Skype you tonight,” than having to let them know they should have their computers on because they’re going to video chat you later. Neologisms, which are newly coined words, terms or phrases, tend to happen in rapidly changing cultures where information can be easily accessed and shared. And what better embodies such a culture than the Internet?


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Getting Lost in Being “Found”

March 15, 2011 — Lucila Tessi

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but a ton of companies have popped up in the past few years that bank on people’s desire to broadcast their whereabouts. Unfortunately, a lot of these applications make it more confusing than necessary to do just that, begging the question, “What’s the point?”

The first time I ever used Facebook’s “Check In” application was when I was sitting at an airport in Argentina. It wasn’t the best experience since, ironically enough, Facebook couldn’t track down my location and I got an error message. The next (and only other) time I used it was when I discovered a really neat movie theater where the waiters brought food to your seat. I jumped on FB Check-In to let my friends know about it, but as soon as I did, FB shared with me all the other people that had also checked in and were only a few feet from me. That weirded me out, because I had no desire to let strangers in such close proximity know about my whereabouts and all my information.

Another popular check-in company is Foursquare, which markets itself as a location-based mobile platform to help you “explore” your […]

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