Category: Strategy

Introducing Q&A with…

October 30, 2017 — Krisana Jaritsat

At CBX, we come across some of the sharpest minds in a myriad of industries; from food, retail, life sciences and beyond, we’ve been able to count these industry leaders and disrupters as both clients and friends of CBX. In our new “Q&A with…” series, we turn the spotlight on them. We speak with these experts in their respective fields to get their thoughts on their industry, how technology and societal behaviors have influenced them, and their reflections on our fast-changing cultural and business landscape.

For our launch Q&A, we wanted to explore innovation and design. The public’s understanding and appreciation for design continues to skyrocket as more everyday products are being sophisticatedly and discerningly designed and packaged. From innovative tech products to household pantry items, mass awareness of design has never been higher. Names like Jony Ive and Marc Newson have entered mainstream conversations similar to how tech heroes such as Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk are now common topics. We kick off with “Q&A with David Dombrowski,” in which we speak with David Dombrowski, Director of Industrial Design and Innovation at Pfizer to discuss the impact of design on consumer behavior and mindset.

 

1. From fonts to packaging, […]

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Introducing #StraightTalk

September 14, 2017 — Krisana Jaritsat

At CBX, we create brand experiences designed for cultural and commercial impact. What does this mean in our ever-changing landscape of evolving business, technologies and consumer interests? On a daily basis, we’ll continue to investigate and explore this notion through the brands and leaders we both work with and are inspired by. In a more straightforward and IRL experience, we decided to dig further into this via our first event series, #StraightTalk.

Plain and simple, we see #StraightTalk as an opportunity to connect with disruptors and provocateurs in their industries to converse on all topics relating to business, culture and commerce. #StraightTalk is our way of facilitating an exchange of ideas from people spanning the spectrum of industry. We will be experimenting with different formats, video content and unexpected guests along the way. We don’t necessarily know where the road is headed but we promise, we’ll keep the talk straight and everything else crooked as hell.

# 1: The Catch 22 of Big

In a recent study from CB Insights, global food and beverage funding since 2012 has added up to $5.9 billion across 1300 deals. Take a look around your grocery store and you’ll see hundreds of new […]

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Keeping Up With Culture: How to Stay Relevant

June 16, 2017 — Krisana Jaritsat

Our strategy intern, Sarah Mitty recounts her most memorable sessions at the Northside Festival.

Our culture is constantly evolving. Each day is a whirlwind of new consumer behavior trends, technological achievements and political updates. Keeping up with our world is challenging enough, how are brands supposed to ensure their output is culturally relevant? Last week, I attended the Northside Festival where some of the brightest minds in innovation discussed how to accomplish this feat.

Think Tech The amount of exciting new technology discussed at the conference was mind blowing. From artificial intelligence to augmented reality platforms, a hyper-technologized future seems very close to the horizon.

Alex Chung, the CEO of GIPHY, was confident that augmented reality would be standard in four years. This means it will likely be integrated into all parts of life from music (a hologram Justin Bieber performing a concert in your bedroom) to sports (player statistics popping up in front of your eyes) and beyond. This leaves the question: What is the cultural value that AR technology will provide? The panelists, Alex Chung (GIPHY), Sofia Dominguez (Svrf), Raj Advani (Viro), Bill Marino (Uru), and Matt Hartman (Betaworks) debated the ideals of communication versus entertainment. […]

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3 Keys to Creating Content that Gets Noticed

June 15, 2017 — Krisana Jaritsat

At the Northside Festival, Shutterstock, the stock photography company, sponsored master classes by experts in the technology, design and production industries addressing different facets of content. The sessions we attended were taught by Lauren Reddy, Director of Audience & Development of T Studio (of The New York Times), Theo Ernstsson, CEO of Alpha, and Jason Schickle and Jesekeena Hahn of Shutterstock. The main takeaway from the sessions was the importance of creating content that would truly add value to a user’s lives. While each speaker represented different vantage points, courtesy of the industry they were speaking on behalf of, it was unanimously agreed upon that content is the future of marketing.

1. Be useful Nowadays, as a consumer, we have our pick of options. Any product or service, no matter its obscurity or location, is within arm’s reach due to the advances in technology. As technology continues to impact and shape a consumer perception and loyalties, how is a brand supposed to stand out in its value proposition? By being consistently useful. Theo Ernstsson’s session, ‘How to Cut Through Bullshit to Create Great Products,’ proposes that experimentation and execution was the path to usefulness. He believes that by rapid iteration […]

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CBX @ Northside

June 14, 2017 — Krisana Jaritsat

This year, we sent a group of CBXers to the Northside Festival, the innovation-centric conference in Brooklyn. The sessions featured brands and speakers spanning industries in technology, food, media, entertainment and politics discussing a wide variety of topics from AI, entrepreneurship, President Trump & James Comey, Instagram, and feminism to name a few. Whether it was discussing how technology would advance society, the implications of scaled information or how to innovate to tell better stories, regardless of industry, the root of all discussions rounded back to two fundamental questions: What are we creating and who are we creating it for?

Our conclusion was this: As brands and agencies (and the people who shill for them) attempt to decipher how to operate in our changing times, both in business and society, it is clear that connection is what we are all seeking. At CBX, we pride ourselves in creating content, in various forms and delivered in various ways, with the belief that connecting to the lives of people is what matters most. In creating content made to share, inform, entertain and sell, we are informed and inspired by culture. It is when circumstances are uncertain, unclear, and sometimes even tumultuous, that […]

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“Athleisure”, Not In Vogue

April 15, 2016 — Rachel Bernard

Even mighty Anna Wintour with her power to make or break designers can’t kill the word athleisure. There was a time in 2015 she could have, but that time has passed. Beyonce just launched her brand of athleisure IVY PARK. And that has everyone using the word. And if anyone can SLAY Anna, it’s QUEEN BEY. It has 75K hashtags on Instagram, over 401K hits on Google. And the second entry hit on Google for the term—an article titled “The 5 Golden Rules of Athleisure” published in January this year by…wait for it…VOGUE. Wintour herself has contributed to the term becoming “in vogue” as they say.

Usage in Vogue is all it takes to make Athleisure an official word in the fashion world. And its acceptance in Merriam Webster this year makes it an unofficial word for the rest of the world. That said, it’s not truly a real word until the Oxford English Dictionary makes it so. So far they are still holding out on Athleisure. However it’s only a matter of time. The OED loves “blend” or “portmanteau” words like Athleisure that bring two words together to create a completely new word. They brought Fauxhawk, Jorts, and Flatform […]

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What Does Your Business Stand For?

February 22, 2016 — Kent Lam

Last week in our series of 2016 predictions, we took a look at coming trends in technology naming. This week, we’re turning our attention to B2B brands—and how they’re using verbal strategies to tell more human stories about who they are and what they do.

Back in the day—when shoulder pads abounded and greed was good—the default personality for B2B brands was “big and powerful.” They had functional, impersonal, proudly corporate names like IBM, SAP, Qualcomm. The names—inscrutable acronyms and jargon to the Average Joe—were empty vessels that didn’t mean anything. They did their job, insinuating oversize presence and boundless reach. But they didn’t say anything about what the brands stood for.

These days, every brand—whether B2B or B2C—needs to have meaning, a reason to exist. Big and powerful, intimidating and impersonal—these are not the kinds of brands that businesses want to work with anymore, that consumers want to buy. In a landscape of more personal, more human, more local and transparent and approachable brands, B2B brands have needed to adopt new strategies. Using the same tools as B2C brands, B2Bs are starting to communicate what they stand for. Here are a few examples of brands that are already doing […]

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What Next? 2016 Predictions for Naming and Writing

February 16, 2016 — Jennifer Vasilache

In our last post, we looked back on naming and verbal trends for 2015. Now it’s time to look forward. In this first piece of a series of four blog posts, we share our predictions for what naming and verbal trends we can expect to see more of in 2016.

In this edition, technophile meets word-nerd. This is where CBX Verbal Strategy experts track the latest, most advanced, I-can’t-live-without-it devices and technologies unveiled by industry insiders in the New Year. We are excited and inspired by these cooler than cool innovations, and we are decoding their names to find out what’s hot in technology naming trends this year. Here is what we’ve seen, and what we would love to see going forward.

Super. Human. Technology: Show Your Human Side Move along Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the hottest topic this year. AI is the graceful technology that gives computer systems human-like capabilities such as visual as speech recognition. AI is fast-moving into the mainstream and our everyday experiences, which we see reflected in the names. Say hi to some friendly new faces in AI: Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa, Arlo Q the connected home camera, and Lily the drone. So […]

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Laughing (With or) At You?

November 2, 2015 — Brian Burr

We’ve all experienced embarrassing moments; a clumsy misstep sends you tumbling to the floor; an errant turn of the fork transforms your new shirt into a Jackson Pollock painting; a faulty wheel on a push cart sends half a pitcher of sangria to the ground outside the elevators on CBX’s fourth floor… (OK, maybe that last one was just me).

It’s important to remember that embarrassing moments only define you when you let them. Compose yourself when your face is flushed and your ears are burning so that people laugh with, instead of at you. Being able to play off the moment and laugh with everyone demonstrates an authenticity that people find endearing.

This idea is not exclusive to human-to-human interactions. In a marketplace where consumers are constantly searching for real connections with brands, a little self-depreciation can go a long way.

Brands using humor in their messaging is nothing new, but lately we’ve seen more brands turn the focus of the jokes back on themselves. Things that marketing teams would have once worked hard to hide are now leading the conversation.

Take Dressbarn’s Fall 2015 campaign. After decades of battling consumers’ hesitancy to bridge the gap between women’s fashion […]

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C is for Changes

September 2, 2015 — Rachel Bernard

This has been a month full of exciting changes for Google. First there was the announcement of a new parent company, Alphabet. Then there was the spinoff of Google X into a standalone life sciences company. And yesterday, users were greeted with a fresh and playful new evolution of the Google logo.

So what do all these changes mean for the future of the brand? I think Alphabet will spell out a new era in taking much bigger risks.

Creating a new corporate entity is often a protective move to shield a brand from potential harm. The advent of Alphabet creates a separate place for the business to invest in the innovations that may seem too risky and perhaps too strange for a well-established and highly valued brand like Google to endeavor. Innovation is uncomfortable at first—it often looks scary or even silly until it becomes the new normal. For example, would a strange-at-first idea like Google Glass have earned greater permission if it had incubated in a start-up rather than Google, a brand that carries a defined set of expectations? Perhaps.

These changes should signal to investors that the brand is going to stretch significantly. In their announcement about […]

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