Category: Press Releases

Horny for Linguistic Disasters

August 10, 2017

Marketing and branding can be silly. But we give them a ton of power to shape how we see the world.

So we made a podcast to talk about how this stuff really works (how do businesses become “brands”?), make fun of the super stupid stuff (like when brands get “woke”), and trash the really ugly stuff that businesses use their brands to hide.

And we’ll try to understand the biggest question of all…


Join us in The Brand Hole to find out.


Rachel Bernard, VP of verbal strategy at CBX, joins Caitlin to talk about one of the most important parts of brand naming: making sure it’s not incredibly offensive. We get into why we check for linguistic issues, what we look for, and, most importantly, we tell tales of all the ridiculous disasters we uncover (or create).

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Amazon’s Whole Foods Acquisition is a Big Deal Indeed

June 16, 2017

For Immediate Release

Massive transaction could have far-reaching effects—some with a dark side—on retailers, brands, suppliers and more, according to executives at New York-based branding consultancy.

NEW YORK, N.Y. (6/16/17)—Amazon’s $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Market is a bombshell with potentially massive reverberations for both food brands and the world of brick-and-mortar retailing, said branding and retail experts at CBX.

“For starters, this acquisition promises to shake up pricing, the ecommerce space, the trajectory of retail automation in the United States, and the already considerable competitive pressures faced by existing food retailers,” said Todd Maute, a Partner at the New York-based brand agency and retail environments consultancy. “When it comes to making bold moves aimed at disruption, Amazon never disappoints.”

Amazon, Maute noted, has already dipped its toe into brick-and-mortar retailing with the likes of its Amazon Books bookstores and ongoing experiments with small-format grocery stores. Snapping up Whole Foods, however, marks its most serious commitment to date.

“The possible effects on Whole Foods alone are interesting to contemplate,” said Maute, a nationally known expert on private label products. “For example, the consumer perception of Whole Foods is that it is overpriced. But given its massive buying power, Amazon […]

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CBX Takes Home Two Awards at 2016 LIA Competition in Newly-created Verbal Identity Category

November 11, 2016

CBX, the brand agency and retail design consultancy headquartered here, took home two awards in the newly-created Verbal Identity Category at the 2016 LIA Awards.

Formerly known as the London International Advertising Awards, the LIA is a worldwide awards program honoring legends, pioneers and embodiments of excellence in advertising, digital, production, design, music and sound, and technology. In addition to Verbal Identity, awards are presented in 15 other categories, including billboard, branded entertainment, digital, print, radio & audio, and TV/cinema/online film.

Within the Verbal Identity category, CBX competed against multiple entrants from agencies throughout the world and garnered Silver awards in both the Naming and Tone of Voice sub-categories. Additionally, a third CBX project was a finalist in Tone of Voice.

In Naming, the firm was honored for the development of the brand name Yesway, for a new Des Moines, Iowa-based convenience store chain. “Across America, you either find run-down, old-school gas stations or newfangled artisanal c-stores with made-to-order menus, but nothing in the middle,” said Rachel Bernard, CBX Vice President, Verbal Strategy. “That began to change when Brookwood Financial started acquiring a number of stations in the Midwest, looking to capture a more middle-of-the-road market. The result? Yesway – […]

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Richardson Joins CBX as Engagement Director, Branded Environments

October 4, 2016

Veteran architecture/design/commercial real estate business development, marketing and public relations professional Nan Richardson has joined brand agency and retail design consultancy CBX as Engagement Director, Branded Environments.

From her base in Newport Beach, Richardson will work to connect with prospects, build relationships and develop new business opportunities for CBX in the retail, restaurant, hospitality and commercial real estate industries, reporting to Vice President, Branded Environments James Sundstad.

Richardson brings a diverse background to the New York-headquartered CBX, with over 20 years of business development and marketing experience, primarily in the architecture, interior design and commercial real estate industries. Prior to joining CBX, she was West Coast Director, Business Development at Core States Group, a fully integrated architecture, interior design, engineering and general contracting firm specializing in the hospitality, retail, restaurant and corporate sector. From her base in Newport Beach, she had direct responsibility for client relations, public relations, marketing, and business development functions.

Previously, Richardson held senior marketing and business development positions with such other prominent firms as Perkins+ Will, IA Interior Architects, and H. Hendy Associates.

She is an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, Urban Land Institute, and the Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association. Her […]

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CBX’s Work For Man Cave Craft Meats Receives Top Award in Food Category in 2016 Pentawards Packaging Competition

September 26, 2016

CBX, the brand agency and retail design consultancy, received the top Platinum Award in the food category in the 2016 Pentawards packaging design competition for its work on behalf of Man Cave Craft Meats, which is headquartered in Golden Valley.

Created in January 2007, the Pentawards honor the best packaging designs from around the world. This year’s competition received a total of 1,843 entries from five continents and 54 countries, with awards presented on September 23rd in Shanghai.

Entries are grouped into five major markets (beverages, food, body products, luxury goods, and “all other”) and no less than 55 sub-categories, so that each competing design is judged alongside similar creations. The entries are reviewed by an international jury of 12 highly respected designers and packaging design directors from major companies. The jury selects the winners based on the creative quality and the marketing relevance of the works presented.

Winners receive bronze, silver, gold, platinum and diamond awards. Platinum awards are presented to the top entry in the five categories, while the Diamond honor goes to a single “best of show” entry.

CBX assisted the craft meat brand as it expanded its sales from the local farmers’ market to grocery aisles […]

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CBX Expert in TEDx Talk: Women’s Brands Must Soar Past Sea of Cliches

July 27, 2016

Brand Agency’s Allison Koller Cites Need to Forge New Visual Codes Rooted in Realism and Respect

Brands need to soar past the sea of clichéd visual codes if they want to legitimately connect with real women, said Allison Koller, Executive Creative Director at brand agency CBX, in a recent TEDx talk in Scotch Plains.

All too often, even top brands seeking to connect with women fail to overcome the tired visual clichés that have marred such efforts for generations, Koller noted. “How quickly we become a sea of eyes, bellybuttons, breasts, and beautiful booties,” she said. “Messages and images with the power to break through that sea are unexpected. They are something that makes you look twice. They shift the cultural conversation.”

The TEDx event in Scotch Plains included several on-stage and video presenters in an effort to spark conversation. It was held under a free license granted by TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), the internationally known conference series run by the nonprofit Sapling Foundation under the slogan “Ideas Worth Spreading.”

During the talk, Koller described herself as a swimmer, illustrator, daughter, tennis player and wife who pays keen attention to the content and subtext of brand messages aimed at women. […]

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CBX Helps Nonprofit In Quest To Inspire More Females To Enter Politics

July 14, 2016

Brand agency works with She Should Run to add punch and clarity to its messaging; organization inspires women and girls to get in the race for public leadership to make a bigger impact.

She Should Run, a nonprofit committed to advancing women and girls in public leadership, is armed with a new messaging strategy thanks to pro-bono help from brand agency CBX.

“The role of women and girls in politics is receiving more attention than ever thanks to the historic 2016 presidential campaign,” noted CBX Creative Director Lesley Stordahl. “While national attention is on the presidency and top 30 elected positions, there are over 500,000 seats in public leadership. Only 20% of those seats are held by women. She Should Run is there to encourage women to take a seat at the table and amplify their voice in the national debate.”

Experts from CBX helped Washington, D.C.-based She Should Run add punch and clarity to its messaging by leveraging the proven principles of brand communication. She Should Run frequently collaborates with corporate and other partners to find new ways to motivate girls to explore leadership opportunities. The latest example is the nonprofit’s partnership with Mattel, Inc. on the new President […]

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How LIA is Finally Giving Verbal Identity the Recognition it Deserves

June 13, 2016

When London International Awards (LIA) became the first global awards to recognize the role of naming last year, they didn’t quite realize what they’d started.

The impetus back in 2015 was the “What About Naming” campaign launched by New York-based brand agency, CBX, aiming to give the power of language in branding its own recognition.

But a phenomenal response to including Verbal Identity as a section in the Design Jury was followed by even more ‘What About….?’ questions from agency chiefs:

What about the power of a great endline? What about the impact of a unique tone of voice? What about effect of brilliant copywriting?

“Verbal Identity is much more than just a design category,” explains Barbara Levy, Founder and President of LIA. “It has many components, and thus deserves its own jury. LIA thought it was a great idea to create a separate medium with individual categories for the many elements and to invite a panel to judge it.”

So this year, LIA further cements its position as one of the world’s most progressive and forward-thinking competitions by introducing Verbal Identity for the first time in advertising awards history as its own medium with a standalone jury.

Presiding over […]

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CBX Expert: Technology Can Alienate Retailers From Their Customers

June 9, 2016

At Pacific Northwest Retail Design Institute, Brand Agency’s James Sundstad Encourages Retailers to Keep Tech Tools in Perspective and “Dance” With Their Customers — Face-to-Face, Here and Now Retailers can fail to connect with their customers on a human level if they focus myopically on in-store and other tech tools, cautioned James Sundstad, VP of Branded Environments for brand agency CBX, at the Retail Design Institute’s Pacific Northwest conference in Seattle.

“Smartphone addicts pay more attention to incoming texts than they do to the living, breathing human beings standing in front of them,” Sundstad said. “Many retailers focus overmuch on tech tactics such as video walls or geo-fencing, or on big-picture analytics about customers and markets. But the foundation of your brand strategy should be to forge meaningful, lasting relationships with actual people in the here and now — especially when your competition includes the likes of Amazon.”

Sundstad, a 35-year veteran of the retail design business, gave the talk (“Why Algorithms Can’t Dance: 5 Trends that are Humanizing Retail™”) on May 24 at Cincinnati-based RDI’s Pacific Northwest regional event. The audience included leading retail design professionals as well as executives from major retailers such as Nordstrom, Ethan Allen […]

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CBX Wins Multiple Honors In Top Package Design Competitions

May 5, 2016

Firm cited in from Graphic Design USA’s American Package Design Awards 2016 and Vertex Awards competitions.

CBX, the brand agency and retail design consultancy, was honored for its work on behalf of a variety of clients in Graphic Design USA’s 2016 American Package Design Awards and The Vertex Awards, a global competition devoted exclusively to the art of private brand package design.

The American Package Design Awards, a national design competition conducted by the editors of Graphic Design USA, recognized CBX for its work on behalf of Proctor & Gamble’s The Art of Shaving Lexington Razor in the Beauty and Personal Care category, and for the redesign of TOMY’s The First Years line of infant and child products in the Babies & Children category.

In the Vertex program, CBX was recognized in the Redesigned Brand Category with Silver and Bronze awards, respectively, for its work on BJ’s Wholesale Club’s Berkley Jensen line of laundry detergents and fabric softeners, and BJ’s Wellsley Farms grocery items. The Vertex Awards were created by Christopher Durham, the founder of My Private Brand and the vice president of retail brands at Theory House, and Phil Russo, the publisher of Global Retail Brands. Entries are […]

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