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Love at first type

May 6, 2013 — Eliza Sadler

“You’re not on OkCupid? Why the hell not?” Two years ago, a colleague of mine, her mouth agape, eyes widened and brow furrowed, posed this challenge about dating in an online age: “How else are you going to meet people?”

At the time, her concerns, and the prospect itself, seemed ridiculous. Little did I know that swarms of New Yorkers had already hooked up via digital means.

So here goes my “Hi, my name is Eliza and I have ‘dabbled’ in online dating” (cue awkward shrug and eye roll) confession.

During the time that it’s taken me to become just partially cool with the whole thing, online dating has rapidly transformed.

No longer are people motivated out of desperation, a hook up or dare we say, companionship. Now, it’s all about the tribe. It’s about knowing what you want and clinging to people most like you. It’s about the shared band (or brand) of people. The mystery for the most part is gone (#tear). Just look at the new, tribe-specific sites popping up today:

– If you consider yourself a classy lady (their words, not mine), specifically, an Ivy League student, aspiring model or young actress, and you want a […]

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Kids are dumb and that’s funny

April 25, 2013 — David Weinberger

I was feeling lazy on another lazy spring afternoon. I had just finished watching “The Lazy Song” by Bruno Mars on YouTube. My kids love that song and the irony is that it’s actually pretty clever with a well-choreographed video. I’m not sure exactly why the monkeys are in there. Maybe to imply that Bruno “monkeys around” on his days off? What the monkeys do provide though is innocence. They don’t know any better. Instead of judging Bruno for being lazy, they’re just happy to be there, having a good time and eating things out of each other’s hair.

The next video I clicked on was a commercial for AT&T. It was one of many in their “It’s not complicated, faster is better” campaign. Not quite a universal human truth but OK, I’ll nod. It shows a man in a suit sitting with 4 kids and asking them simple questions like, “Is saving money better than not saving money?” and “Is being fast better than being slow?”

The kids are as funny as kids can be when you get them talking. They are answering questions correctly and incorrectly and saying funny things like “pickle roll” when they should be […]

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Ingredient Sub-Branding

April 1, 2013 — Joshua Books

It’s no secret that Nike is a marketing titan among the many sports brands that dot today’s competitive landscape. The activewear giant pioneered the idea of driving awareness through brand sponsorships by enlisting professional athletes to endorse its products. Romanian tennis player Ilie Nastase, track star Steve Prefontaine, basketball god Michael Jordan and golf great Tiger Woods all paved the way for Nike to become the international conglomerate it is today.

From a brand perspective, introducing new products to the market is much easier and effective when you can hang your hat on a high-profile spokesman like LeBron James. But while that formula has proven successful for Nike, the brand hasn’t stopped there. It continues to innovate around the very sneakers, apparel and accessories these athletes use to compete and succeed at a high level, and has managed to stay on top by doing so.

Over the years, Nike has strategically integrated specific proprietary technologies and created naming conventions that play a large role in establishing a unified portfolio architecture model and sustainable brand equities. If you visit nike.com, it’s easy to get lost in myriad styles, models and colors in the brand’s sneaker portfolio. But thanks to a smart […]

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Martha: The Most Popular Girl in Retail

March 22, 2013 — Tina Masciadrelli

What’s important to you? Being popular? Making money? Putting a product you believe in into the marketplace?

America’s homemaking icon, Martha Stewart, has managed yet again to get serious media attention by becoming the most popular girl on the department store playground.

Earlier this year, J.C. Penney offered Martha millions of dollars for the rights to sell Martha Stewart-branded household products in their store to help with J.C. Penney’s turnaround strategy.

This would seem like a great business venture for Martha had she not already sold exclusive rights to her home products to Macy’s, and signed a contract that prohibited any other store from selling these exclusives.

In essence, Martha sold the same rights twice and offended Macy’s by making a deal with a less upscale department store. And all for a few extra million bucks

So what’s a girl to do? J.C. Penney claims that Martha is a critical piece of their turnaround strategy, while Macy’s says they need Martha products to drive growth. In Macy’s defense, they did take the initial risk  by selling her products post prison sentence. Does she owe Macy’s a thank you? Or is she simply saying, “It’s been real, I’ll be moving on […]

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Where Are All the Crabby Brands?

March 20, 2013 — Cindy Lord

Honest. Loving. Cheerful. Friendly. Sincere. According to one personality trait study¹ these are the top five most socially desirable personality traits that a person can have. I would venture to guess that  half of all the brands that I have ever worked on had one of these five traits in their personality description. And another hefty percentage probably leveraged a personality trait from the next tier: “helpful,” “warm” or “broad-minded.”

Why are these personality traits so popular in the world of brands?

The obvious answer is that we want people to like our brands and these traits encourage liking. When people like a brand, they are more willing to believe what it says, think it is unique and even buy it. This is all good and important.

Additionally, people use brands to reflect and reinforce their own self-image or to project an image they hope to aspire to. Who wants to signal to the world with their brand choice, “I am prejudiced, crabby and dumb.” I totally get that.

But by stripping brands of their shadows are we inhibiting their ability to connect in an authentic and more human way? The people in our lives including the ones we love […]

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Brand New Baby?

March 8, 2013 — Sandra Creamer

Sometimes, even a baby needs an update. Gerber Products Company was founded in 1927, and in 1931, the ubiquitous Gerber baby illustration was officially made the company trademark. Since then, the Gerber baby has been recognized as a sacred brand icon all over the world. According to Wikipedia (which means it may not be true), the company started looking at a new baby in 2011 but as of 2013, it appears that baby Ann still remains the Gerber trademark photo. As a worthwhile exercise, let’s play devil’s advocate concerning potential updates to the baby logo:

Argument #1 – The baby is iconic. Everything points to an exploratory that started and culminated in a study that reached this conclusion: Don’t change the baby. At the same time, brands modernize logos all the time because they realize they need to stay relevant in an evolving consumer and cultural context. By not updating, Gerber runs the risk of losing relevance as women become moms. Gerber is pursuing other brand touch points, such as a slew of iPhone apps, so we know the brand is trying to stay relevant. However, Gerber should also consider the relevance of its overall look, tone and feel

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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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Food for Thought

February 18, 2013 — Admin

Growing fresh and healthy food is a founding value for the French. I grew up in a small town in the western region of France, and as a child, avoided eating processed foods until I moved to Paris at the age of 15. Even then, a healthy diet remained a part of my daily life. Paris today has 82 farmers’ markets and 3 organic farmers’ markets that run 2 to 3 days a week, all year round. The city also boasts around 675 large grocery stores.

So imagine my surprise when I first moved to the U.S. and learned that not everyone had equal access to healthy food. Neighborhood pockets in cities like New York seemed to offer little options for fresh and affordable food. (How’s this for a contrast: there are approximately 450 Dunkin’ Donuts locations in Manhattan alone; I could only imagine the impact each store might have should they carry pâté, cheese and other savory French delights instead!).

CBX’s recent project for the hunger relief organization Philabundance—to design a prototype for Fare & Square, a not-for-profit grocery store in PA—has made me think about these inequities even more. In our work for Philabundance, I’ve also been introduced […]

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A Fashionable Pooch Gone Viral

February 8, 2013 — Christine Coppinger

An Interview with CBX’s David Fung, the Human Behind Bodhi (aka Menswear Dog), the Fashionable Pooch Gone Viral.

Saturday January 26th a picture was posted on Facebook, by Sunday it was submitted for trademarking along with debuting on Tumblr. Come Monday, GQ had blogged about it. The following week Anderson Cooper, The Today Show, The Daily Beast, GMA, Laughing Squid and many more were all a twitter with features of this viral pooch. CBX publicist Christine C. sits down with David Fung for the full story.

CC: How did you come up with the idea of Menswear Dog?

DF: It was the combination of a lazy Saturday, idle hands and a handsome 2-year-old Shiba. So we decided to dress him up in my clothes. Bodhi loved it! We posted the one photo on Facebook as a joke and our friends and family thought it was real!

CC: Tell me what a typical day in Bodhi’s life is like

DF: Bodhi (who’s named after Patrick Swayze’s character in the movie Point Blank, by the way) comes from a breed known for being stubborn and very independent. He exhibits all the classic traits. At first it was painful, but now he […]

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Filter me this…

January 31, 2013 — Lulu Carter

Social media platforms have begun to undermine conventional marketing strategies for traditional brands as Twitter feeds and YouTube parodies deconstruct and redefine their meaning via the almighty “world of mouth.” Where brand truisms were once decided over an afternoon Scotch with Don Draper, today we find ourselves belaboring over an Instagram hashtag to understand how it has so quickly re-purposed our brand essence without us. Not only must brands now continually keep tabs on their consumers but also on their clear and purposeful messaging across media platforms. If not, they risk having little impact or relevance, no matter how timely their Facebook responses or photo updates.

And what about the influence of social media on our own personal brands? The same rules seem to apply.

The way corporate brands have sought to convey consistent messaging is similar to the way many millennials have begun to convey their own personal brands. And social media platforms have only fueled our desire to build social capital. The Web is no longer a place where anonymity rules or boorish alter egos come out to play. We now live in it and our identities have become bound and defined by it. Case in point: consider […]

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