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 […]
Big news, food manufacturers, the FDA is making changes to the nutrition facts label. All food manufacturers will be expected to comply with these changes by July 26, 2018.
What does this specifically mean for you? It means you’ll be:
– highlighting calories and servings, so consumers can make more informed food choices – indicating “added sugars” instead of just “sugars” – disclosing “per serving” and “per package” calorie and nutritional information (because who ever really follows the recommended “per serving” information anyway)
(as well as several other changes, but these three are the big ones)
A few suggestions for you to consider when making these changes:
1. Stay calm and be true to your brand
Remember it’s all about authenticity these days. Don’t try to reinvent your brand as something it’s not. Consumers buy your brand and love it for a reason. Continue to do what you do best – stay true to you.
2. Educate your consumers
Tell your consumers all the good stuff happening in your product. While many of the changes seem like doom and gloom (hello 45g of sugar in a 100% juice brand). There are a lot of great things to tell consumers about […]
Marvel’s new Iron Man will be called…Ironheart. Well done, Marvel. You could have taken the well-worn and clichéd path for naming female superheroes by calling Riri, the new female hero wearing the iron suit, Iron Woman or Iron Maiden. And while my heavy metal heart may secretly yearn to see Iron Man (a well known Black Sabbath song) together with a hard rocking reference like Iron Maiden, Ironheart bounds over old-fashioned naming conventions and soars into the future.
Ironheart is a name that focuses on the history and soul of the franchise over gender—after all, Tony Stark first put on the iron suit to save his heart and Marvel indicates that Riri will also put it on for not-yet-disclosed heart-related reasons. A gender-neutral name like Ironheart says, this is a superhero. A gendered name like IronWoman would say, this a girl superhero. The implication being this is a franchise designed for a female audience only. By avoiding un-necessarily gendered naming, Marvel signals to a new generation of boys and girls that we can all look up to female superheroes.
Now if only other brands would take Marvel’s cue. Ahem, I’m looking at you Bic Pens for Her and Forbes Woman.
I spent this weekend at The Period Shop — the world’s very first pop up store dedicated to periods, created by our favorite period brand U by Kotex. To say that I’m proud to work with the CBX U by Kotex project would be an understatement. The pop-up shop brings to life the brand mission in a tangible way, and the shelves were lined with our anti-stereotype package designs. See more about how these cool, colorful designs came to be here.
The Period Shop was inspired by a Tumblr post from a young woman, Sarah M., who partnered with U by Kotex to make her vision a reality on 5th Avenue in NYC. Part celebration, part proclamation, The Period Shop is proof that, together, we can change how we think about, talk about, and shop for periods. All proceeds benefit Susan’s Place, a NYC-based transitional residence for homeless women.
And here are photos from my #PeriodProjects experience:
“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.” —The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka
It’s morning in America, folks. And as America awoke this morning, it found itself transformed into the king of beers. Today, Budweiser announced that starting May 23rd they will henceforth be referred to as America. With that, our nation has manifested its destiny.
E pluribus unum. Where there were once two brands. There is now one. If you think about it, the union between brand America and brand Budweiser could not be more perfect. Both are iconic. Both are red, white and blue. Both have moved their manufacturing bases overseas. And both can get you bombed. #Twinning.
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 […]
First rule of the internet—don’t read the comments. Second rule of the internet—do not ask the internet to name your brand.
The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) learned the second rule the hard way when they opened up suggestions to name their new ship to the internet. The ship is a £200 million polar research vessel described by NERC as “the most advanced floating research fleet in the world and will help put the UK at the forefront of ocean research for years to come.” The internet’s answer for such an esteemed vessel?
Boaty McBoatface. By a landslide.
Here is a list of things the internet cares about—cat videos, bacon, unclad celebrities. Here is a list of things the internet does not care about—your brand strategy, managing a complex trademark landscape, ensuring a name isn’t offensive culturally.
The internet cares about instant gratification. If you want someone to care about creating a name that lives up to your £200 million investment and will stand the test of time, call the professionals.
Last week in our series of 2016 predictions, we took a look at coming trends in life sciences. This week, we’re turning our attention to consumer brands—what’s in and what’s out when it comes naming and writing for consumer goods and services.
The first millennials turn 35 this year. They are coming of age as leaders of industries and heads of movements, and nearing their maximum earning potential. They are now the holders of the average household’s purse strings. Not surprisingly, the way consumer goods like apparel, food or personal care products are marketed has shifted dramatically to appeal to a generational demand for transparency, authenticity, and purpose. Here is our take on what will be in and what will be out for consumers in 2016.
OUT: Faux Founders IN: Mascots Creating a fictitious founder has long been a trick namers have pulled out of their magic naming hats as a shortcut to authenticity. Sadly, there is no Mrs. Paul cooking up fish sticks in a quaint seaside cottage. Betty Crocker? A figment of marketing imagination. Dr Pepper was never a real doctor, nor a real person, for that matter. This time-honored naming trope may have worked with […]
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 […]