Parents Just Don’t Understand… or Do They?

March 13, 2014 — Jennifer Curulli

As my husband and I prepare to become first-time parents in mere weeks (or days!), we’ve wondered about what kind of parents we’ll be to our new baby. What kind of relationship will we have with him/her (and how will this change throughout life)? Parenting, and the challenges it brings, had me thinking about parent brands and the relationships they maintain with their “children.” What’s the nature of these dynamics? Are they defined by the industry they’re in? The following are some examples of parent brands and their kin: Parents? What parents? The hands-off parents watch from afar. They let their kids run around with lollipops in their mouths and lit matches in their hands. By butting out, these parents teach their children to fend for themselves and learn to right their own wrongs. This approach works mostly in the child’s favor, allowing them to be their own person and grow into their own without the stress of overbearing expectations. On the flip side, these hands-off parents have no control over their child’s actions and their brand counterparts are no different—take a look at two of the most influential global beauty brands of today, L’Oréal and Estée Lauder. Both seem […]

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Birthday Branding: Designing a Brand’s Legacy

March 6, 2014 — Ben Glotzer

2014 marks a significant birthday in my life—all 14,610 days of it. That’s right. Some would refer to this milestone as now being “over the hill,” but I prefer it to be the “starting line” for the rest of my life. Even so, having this 40th birthday under my belt made me reflective, and inspired me to dig through the proverbial mementos of my past in my parents’ attic. I found dusty vintage hat boxes and one of a kind antique tins that my mother never threw away, filled with vintage pictures of a bygone era—pre-braces, frosted bangs, shaved head, pegged Z Cavariccis, XXL Buggle Boy Sweaters, stacks of skateboards, tins of Legos, Topps Garbage Pail Kids, and Wacky Pack stickers. Digging more I came across countless relics of fads from a consumer’s past. It reminded me of how strong a legacy brand has to be in order to withstand the test of time. The brands that we were all raised on and that have transcended generations are the ones that have evolved through the years without losing their relevancy. Every year a handful of these unique brands celebrate their centennial history in some way, shape or form. Whether through […]

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“Mom” is a Mindset

February 27, 2014 — Andrew Heller

Marketers know that moms are usually the primary shoppers in a household. CBX develops an array of strategic brand design to appeal to these moms. But to really understand our target audience, we need to recognize that the term “mom” is no longer gender specific. It’s a state of mind, an emotional state and a way of life that crosses gender norms.

As traditionally understood, moms have usually been women. But in today’s world, men have also been filling these “mom” roles. Plenty of men, single or otherwise, deal with the same drivers as women. They may work part time, full time or stay home to take care of the kids (which is a full-time job in itself that doesn’t get enough credit!).

What women and men both share are the drive and dedication to take care of their families, to use the resources they have at hand to feed, clothe and provide the emotional support that any family unit needs to thrive.

This paradigm shift is happening at the same time as the definition of family continues to evolve. Our culture’s understanding of gender roles and marriage are shifting literally in real time. Lines are being blurred and family […]

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GoPro: A Marketer’s Dream Brand

February 4, 2014 — Joshua Books

If you haven’t had the good fortune lately of experiencing an extreme and adventurous POV video in one of your news feeds, you’re missing out. GoPro, a fast-growing, U.S.-based camera company, is revolutionizing the way people capture life experiences and see the world.

Take this lion safari for example:

In 2002, Nick Woodman, GoPro’s 38-year-old CEO, created a waterproof wrist camera as a way for amateur surfers to photograph their antics riding waves (at the time, only their professional counterparts were professionally photographed). The tiny, portable device became affectionately known as “GoPro.” After selling initial GoPro models out of his van to surf shops all around California, he later raised enough capital to create a smaller, more technologically sound product.

A budding entrepreneur, Woodman later used his GoPro to hone his video-making skills on the Formula One racetrack. While event staff tried to charge him $100 for a rental and recording fee, Woodman kept recording… and the rest is history.

Today, the GoPro brand has risen to impressive heights with professionals and novices alike. It has secured high-profile athletic sponsorships with such legendary surfers as Kelly Slater, and remained a favorite among countless content creators on YouTube. It’s even […]

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The “Pre” Condition

January 23, 2014 — Sandra Creamer

A few years ago fashion designers and editorial started labeling collections between summer and fall with “pre-fall” to acknowledge a need state for consumers to bridge the light fabrics and colors before Labor Day with the beginning of colder weather.

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Scare Tactics

October 31, 2013 — Joshua Books

Halloween has become more than costume contests and candy devouring. It is now an important seasonal marketing opportunity for brands to increase their awareness and resonance with consumers.

Growing up in the suburbs of Massachusetts, I ditched my plastic pumpkin for a pillowcase to get my Halloween candy stash. Victory during my pre-teen years, it seems, meant having the heaviest pillowcase full of goodies. Now, three years out of college, living in NYC and world traveled, I’ve taken my intellectual curiosity beyond trick-or-treating gluttony to question the rationale behind Halloween marketing campaigns.

Just the other day, I approached a cash register at a local Chipotle and caught the word “Boorito” on a sign next to it. And the copy beneath the headline read: “This Halloween come into any Chipotle dressed in costume from 4pm to close, and you’ll score a burrito, bowl, salad, or order of tacos for just $3.” I’ve never associated a holiday full of pumpkins and chocolate with guacamole and fajitas, but sure, everyone loves a discount. Plus, all of the proceeds on Halloween (up to $1,000,000) benefit the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, “a non-profit organization established by Chipotle Mexican Grill to continue and strengthen its philanthropic […]

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The 3% Conference

October 24, 2013 — Cindy Lord

The 3% Conference was held in San Francisco last week and thanks to my forward-thinking thinking CBX bosses, I got the chance to go. For those who are not familiar with it, the 3% Conference is a forum dedicated to helping women ascend in the largely male dominated led businesses of marketing, advertising and branding. There are lots of women in the lower and mid ranks – but not so much at the top. The name “3% Conference” comes from a widely reported sad statistic that only about 3% of advertising creative directors are women. (I have to assume that this percentage applies to “Executive Creative Directors”; from my experience, the gender disparity is not as great at the CD level.)

What was especially cool about the conference (beyond all the awesome girl power, of course) was that it was not just a conference. It was an invitation to join a movement. The organizers really understand that to create change, a broad swath of people need to recognize a problem, be inspired and take action. So if you are a brand in hopes of creating a movement, consider these 3% principles:

– Choose an iconic way to show visible […]

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Nuts In New York

October 16, 2013 — Sandra Creamer

I’ve gotten into the habit of reading the New York Times Real Estate section on Saturdays as a gentle form of self-punishment, since I’ll never be able to buy a home here. Along the same lines, a friend suggested I read Joan Didion’s famous 1967 essay about leaving New York, now known as “Goodbye to All That”.

As I read the essay, I laughed and felt closer to the author because of shared memories of the names of places and brands that were part of her life while living in New York City in her twenties, which still exist. Even though Didion’s essay was published forty-six years ago, I still felt a connection to her.

What this connection reinforced for me as a marketer and strategist is that companies should think more about the association between brands, shared experiences, and location of origin as a powerful tool. It’s a trifecta and perfect storm all in one: a stronger brand connection is forged when it is linked to emotions from shared experiences and places.

One name she mentioned was Chock Full O’Nuts, a brand of coffee that originated in New York City coffee shops. It’s still around, and I felt a […]

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What Coaching Taught Me About Coaching

October 3, 2013 — David Weinberger

Before a wrestling match, I once told my younger boy – who was 5 at the time – that his opponent said he was going to take his toys from him. I’m pretty sure that’s the worst thing I’ve ever done in my life and I immediately decided that wasn’t how I would coach him in the future.

I’m one of the head coaches for our town’s youth wresting program, which includes kids in kindergarten through 5th grade. I also coach youth soccer and have coached tee ball as well. Keep in mind, I’ve never played baseball before but I’m pretty sure I could coach archery at the kindergarten level. I think back to one of the greatest sports movies of all time, Hoosiers, a movie that actually focused on the coach instead of the players. That coach knew how to get his team to perform beyond their means. What an amazing thing! You see, coaching isn’t about a coach’s physical skill, but about the motivation he provides his team.

I’ve realized that when I started coaching kids, I became a better creative leader at work. A better coach = a better motivator. I’d like to share with you three […]

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