Publication: Marketing Daily

How A Hotel Burglar Stole My iPad – And My Brand Loyalty

April 30, 2015

By Joseph Bona

Let’s say a burglar breaks into your hotel room and steals your laptop, iPad, car keys, briefcase, passport and more. What does it say about you if you can’t stop thinking about how the whole nightmarish event was such an epic fail on the branding front?

I guess it means I’ve been at this branding business for a long time. Let me explain. On a business trip to San Antonio a few weeks ago, I was staying at a seemingly nice, albeit lower-end, hotel bearing the name of one of the top three chains. When I returned from dinner one evening, I noticed my laptop was not on the desk where I had left it. My heart leaped out of my chest when I saw that my briefcase was gone, too. Had I put anything in the safe? Impossible; there was no safe in the room.

I went downstairs and told the staff. They called the police, who showed me how the door had been jimmied, and pointed out the lack of a standard-issue security plate . As a result, it had been easy for the burglar to compromise the lock by cramming something in between the […]

Continue Reading

The Fragility Of Culture

October 9, 2014

by Meg Asaro,

Culture has become quite the buzz word as of late. The word itself has been trending on Merriam-Webster as the third most popular on their site (06.26.14). Is it because culture is literally expanding in size or because it is one of those words that has different meanings and needs clarification? I believe the root cause is related to both.

The dictionary definition of culture is “the beliefs, customs, arts, etc. of a particular society, group, place or time.” That makes total sense but, as a brander, I see culture as the palpable environment in which brands gain or lose relevance and meaning. For my work, the definition needs be more specific and actionable, setting up a call and response between culture and consumer, with brand smack dab in the middle of that conversation.

Something along the lines of “culture is the fusing of opportunity and motivations through mass behavior.” Redefining culture in this way makes room for the ever-changing symbiotic relationship between consumer and culture, humans and their environment and allows brands to connect on a deeper level. Deconstructing the definition a bit for clarity, motivations refer to the consumer need and opportunity to the shifting […]

Continue Reading

What’s In A Name?

February 13, 2014

By Julie D.

People tend to think naming is magic, that the “right name” is a secret sauce that will make a product succeed. But the truth is, you can have all the clever word play in the world, and it won’t save your product if it fails to deliver on the promises your name implies. Words have power — the power to paint a picture in the mind. That picture needs to be something your brand or product can live up to. You need to choose a name strategically, and make a strategic plan to support it, launch it, and stick by it.

I was reminded of this during the State of the Union address when President Obama introduced the name “myRA” for a new category of retirement savings accounts. The name has a lot going for it. It is short and easy to remember, repurposing a woman’s name in a way that feels instantly familiar. The lowercase letters give it a modern feel. It rhymes with “IRA,” placing the new offer in the IRA family. And it draws on our understanding of MySpace, My Verizon, myCigna and all the other “my” names, with their messages of personal customization […]

Continue Reading

Brand Agility: How Good Is Your Brand At Pickup Ball?

November 8, 2013

By Dustin Longstreth

As the son of a basketball coach, many of life’s lessons were taught to me on the court. One of the biggest lessons the game of basketball has to offer brands is this: Agility is the single most sustainable competitive advantage.

In basketball, agility is honed not in the controlled environments of practice or even league play, but on playgrounds in pickup games. This same scrappy mentality holds true for branding. The world brands must live in is more reflective of pickup ball at the playground than ever before. Here are five fundamentals that can help brands thrive “on the court.”


1. Adopt a tribal mentality

Like pickup ball, building brand agility is a team effort. It starts with a mindset of living for your people, not off them. You have to be one with your pack in order to build the trust, empathy and intuition needed to quickly act and react in ways that add value and build loyalty.

Burton Snowboards gets this. For Burton, there is no “them” that they market to — only a “we” that they live to serve. They’re able to maintain relevance and loyalty among pros, novices, young, old, male, […]

Continue Reading

Immersive Brand Experience As A Way Of Life

October 15, 2013

Ever talk to someone who shops at Lululemon? It’s simply not normal how emphatically the brand’s customers — my wife included — talk about their leggings (even if they are sheer in all the right places). The Lululemon brand connection is forged on something more than yoga clothing and gear — it is forged on a lifestyle of health and well-being that makes shoppers feel that they are part of the “tribe.” In fact, Lululemon employs “ambassadors” — really just adoring fans — to spread the word about the brand in cities around the U.S. and Canada.

Lululemon knows one important fact about branding today: In order to resonate with consumers, you cannot simply offer products and services. You need to offer a way of life — an emotional bond that connects one shopper to the next and makes them want to return, again and again. Here are some pointers for brands looking to create a tribe through a total experience. Let your tribe connect with each other Several fairly recent online communities, including Etsy, Pinterest and Airbnb, are giving their users online spaces where they can connect with like-minded individuals. Etsy calls itself “more than a marketplace: we’re a […]

Continue Reading

The Great Role Reversal

July 26, 2013

By Meg A.

Last week, after taking the train to the ‘burbs and then picking up my four-year-old son from preschool, I was lucky enough to witness a tender moment. A father and his kids were sitting on their stoop, barefoot, happily watching the world go by. The dad was dressed casually, the toddler was in shorts and the baby was hanging in his diapers. They clearly had been home all day — you could tell that they had happiness and rhythm in their world, a successful hallmark of being a stay-at-home parent. The only thing “unusual” about this scene was that a man was in the nurturing role, traditionally embodied by a woman.

This scene got me thinking about how gender roles have shifted, even reversed — and how as a result, advertising is challenged in authentically portraying these roles today.

So much of the dialogue today is around the rise of women: Look at them break through that glass ceiling! I remember my mom going to work. One day, she sat me up on the washing machine, showed me how to use it and said, “I’m going to work now so you are going to have to learn […]

Continue Reading