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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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Learning to Fly: Principles of Innovation

January 24, 2013 — Andrew Heller

A recent trip to Kitty Hawk proved to be a lesson on how pioneering inventors make their innovations real. The Wright Brothers changed the course of history. Through insight, mechanical ingenuity and sheer determination, they brought people into the realm of flight. The world got smaller the day they flew.

Here are 6 key takeaways from Wrights’ innovations for any marketer:

1. Be Driven, Not Intimidated Orville and Wilbur were not the only ones who were working on powered flight. Many had come before them, and contemporaries had raced to see who could figure it all out first. Early pioneers also had to experiment with (and on) their new equipment themselves. Failure often meant death. Get it wrong once and you might not get a second chance. But rather than be intimidated by these consequences, the Wrights drew more fuel for their fire, giving their work an urgency to help other would-be aviators. Failure is more than “not an option;” it’s a motivator.

2. Build On What You Know Orville and Wilbur’s fascination with flight began as children with a wind-up toy helicopter. They later made their living building bicycles, giving them a skill set in manufacturing, mechanics and fabrication. They also became self-sufficient, often building […]

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It’s a jungle gym out there

January 15, 2013 — Eliza Sadler

SoulCycle, Reebok, Equinox… Oh, My!

So New Year’s came and went—as did our resolutions. I think we can all begrudgingly confess to having put more gym time on our lists. It’s the redheaded stepchild of all resolutions. Most loathe the thought of including it but feel obligated to anyway. Yet, year after year, while resolutions have stayed the same, the gyms have changed.

In New York City—a place once synonymous with prohibition, Studio 54, Times Square strip clubs and overall indulgence—gyms were a rarity. Today, they’re no longer just for the fitness obsessed. They say more about us than Facebook, LinkedIn or OkCupid.

Choosing a gym is about as personal as choosing a doctor or church. No longer just an experiential brand, gyms have become your personal brand. They shape how you wake up in the morning and how you go to bed at night. You loathe it. You love it. You pay your dues. And you keep coming back.

When I first moved to NYC as a naïve, spirited and broke college grad, I envied those who held the magical card that granted them access through the glamorous entryways of Equinox, Health & Racquet, Reebok Club and Soho House. […]

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A Brand New Year’s Resolution

January 9, 2013 — Ted Bachman

It’s 2013, and time to set those New Year’s resolutions. But why stop at the individual ones? Every brand, whether a mom-and-pop store or a Fortune 500 company, should also be setting goals for the new year. So even if you fail to cut down on the red meat and hit the gym, at least your brand has a fighting chance to succeed with the following five resolutions:

 

1. Lose Weight and Get Fit

Even brands can get love handles. But unfortunately, theirs aren’t the type that can hide behind a winter sweater. So this year, do something about it. Pick up your Shake Weights and start Jazzercising!

Start by imagining your ideal brand body image, the core of what your brand stands for. Then take a look in the mirror and get rid of everything else that doesn’t reinforce that image. Do away with embellishments on your graphics, cut down on bloated sub-brands and hit the stair stepper to whittle down claims and messaging communication.

 

2. Organize your Home

Like a newly purchased, vacant home, your brand starts off empty and clean. Over time, however, clutter builds and rooms get disorganized (maybe you’ve even put an addition […]

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The NCAA and the Tricky World of Trademarks

December 21, 2012 — Rachel Bernard

If you haven’t heard of Johnny Manziel yet, you will. On December 8th, the 20 year-old from Texas A&M became the first freshman in college football history to win the Heisman Trophy. In a country where football is a religion, the kid with an arm of steel and a heart of gold represents a salvation for a sport still reeling from the aftermath of the Penn State tragedy, and the public controversies surrounding on-field concussions. Manziel represents a return to a squeaky clean Friday Night Lights brand of ball. His Aggie fans have even nicknamed him Johnny Football for goodness sake! It doesn’t get any more squeaky clean than that. And everyone wants a piece of the Johnny Football brand— from the NCAA to the university to the sport’s marketing machine at large. But who will win?

In November of 2011 the Johnny Football name was registered for trademark with the USPTO office for a variety of goods and services. Was it registered to Johnny himself? Nope. It was registered to Kenneth R. Reynolds Family Investments, an entity that appears to be attempting to pirate the trademark by taking advantage of an opportunity NCAA bylaws provide. The NCAA strictly forbids student-athletes […]

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A Luxury Brand Gets a Good Rap

December 6, 2012 — Joshua Books

Kanye West is a lot of things: self-centered pop icon, hip-hop groundbreaker, Taylor Swift hater, boo of Kim K. And who can leave “fashion visionary” off that list?

After his infamous MTV Music Awards debacle involving Swift, Kanye wisely retreated from the scene, at least for a while, and moved to Rome to accept an internship with the fashion giant Fendi. It was a move that wasn’t completely unexpected. Kanye had already made a well-documented foray into fashion with sneaker design, launching the highly coveted Air Yeezy 1 and 2 for Nike, and later, inking a two-year deal with Louis Vuitton footwear.

But his biggest fashion coup came in the fall of 2011, when he enlisted internationally renowned Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci to design the album art for “Watch the Throne”, his much-hyped album collaboration with Jay-Z.

 

During the “Watch the Throne” Tour (I attended two different dates) Kanye and Jay-Z, both sported Givenchy tees designed by Tisci, who had also designed the concert sets and marketing collateral. These tees, featuring stars, bold type and Kanye’s distorted visage, couldn’t be farther from the streamlined $2,500 handbags for which Tisci has become known. Still, they inspired a […]

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