Marketing’s 94th Minute Goal

So if the U.S. World Cup team scores a goal to win a game 1-0 with five seconds left on the clock, how much is that goal worth? The easy answer, of course, is that whether it was scored with five seconds left on the clock or 89 minutes, its value remains the same: it’sContinue reading “Marketing’s 94th Minute Goal”

good better best goes bad

Before Amazon, before the big box, before the mall and even before main street USA, America’s sales engine was defined by the traveling salesmen… the walking talking vaudeville acts that sold Fuller brushes or Electrolux vacuums door to door. It was an era when selling was an art form, and nobody sold the blouse withoutContinue reading “good better best goes bad”

If you build it, they will cuddle

Howard Schultz didn’t open coffee bars. He envisioned the 3rd place. Apple’s retail lead Ron Johnson didn’t want you being educated by experts, so he hired geniuses. Warren Buffett’s team didn’t want you driving to insurance agents, so they opened a portal online and de-commoditized the industry. And Build-A-Bear didn’t think furry friends should beContinue reading “If you build it, they will cuddle”

commoditized to death

Retail’s been commoditized. Commoditized to death.I can get an iPod at Target. I can get it at Walmart. I can purchase a Ford Explorer, the same exact Ford Explorer, at any one of five Ford Dealers within a 25 miles radius. (And every dealer will exert the same commoditized type of pressure). I can getContinue reading “commoditized to death”

a big brother for the rest of us

A draconian figure stands in front of his audience. He’s wearing a black tunic and holds the listeners in rapt attention, as a cult leader demands obedience, and presents his dogma to the world with the camera locking his face in a close-up. What could be a description of the most famous Superbowl ad ofContinue reading “a big brother for the rest of us”

the social wisdom of snap crackle and pop

Does the Pillsbury Dough Boy really have a lot to say? Are you itching for your copy of the Michelin Man’s memoirs? And does anyone doubt for a second, that when Mr. Clean posts on Twitter, it’s being penned by a Jr. marketing associate at Procter & Gamble whose task it is to monitor socialContinue reading “the social wisdom of snap crackle and pop”

the gospel of the spoon

  The spoon has a good handle on life. A life spent driven headlong into oatmeals and cereals, pasty yogurts and tepid soups. The spoon hopes its washed at night in a fresh Cascade bath, and then gently laid in a neat wood drawer to snuggle with the other spoons. The spoon hopes for aContinue reading “the gospel of the spoon”

your logo there

A colleague of mine, to make a point about brand permissions, once asked what the expectations would be if Apple were to release the iStapler. Put aside the unlikely and literal possibilities for a minute, and understand the larger point of how the mind races, anticipating a stapler that’s sleeker, a stapler that raises theContinue reading “your logo there”

apples to (almost identical given the variables) apples

Green, check. Ovoid, check. Granny Smith, check. Fruit, check. Lots of checks follow. But for every single element that makes them the same, there are twice as many that make them different. From the height of the branch they once hung to the time they were picked to the package they came in and aContinue reading “apples to (almost identical given the variables) apples”