Category Archive: Brands and Culture

So why did that guy #hashtag my brand?

While doing some casual browsing, I recently stumbled on a model showing how the world’s best brand builders seek to continuously iterate with consumers/3rd parties as they build powerful brands.

As the chart highlights, brands/consumers/influencers are in a continual iterative dialog on social platforms – with all stakeholders adding meaning to the brand with every consumer generated or branded post. (chart courtesy of Grant McCracken).

Visual Brand Tag

Increasingly, consumers are choosing to “return meaning” to [...]

The Age of Authentic Imperfection

The extreme desire for authenticity is clearly in the zeitgeist.  After decades of listening to scripted, highly polished politicians tell half-truths and outright lies, voters were looking for a deeper level of authenticity from Presidential candidates in 2016.

It is interesting that despite his own tenuous relationship with the truth, Trump used social media and unscripted events to build an aura of authenticity and imperfection – winning the [...]

Will ad blockers usher in a new era of permission based marketing?

Who has an ad blocker installed right now?  After being followed around the web by a shoe ad (or “retargeted”) I finally gave in and installed an ad blocker over the holidays.  Turns out, retargeting from brands has been a large contributor to the rise in ad blocking (see graph below from this HBR article).  It makes sense, right – people get irritated when a brand stalks them around the web without [...]

Emojis have “crossed the chasm” & landed in the business world

Over the past few months I’ve noticed some discussion around internet / digital culture.  It has been fascinating to watch how social networking comms/emojis, etc. steadily crept into business comms via internal social networking tools (e.g. Slack, Chatter, Yammer, etc) over the past few months.

So, I thought I would join the conversation with a few phrases / emojis that could disappear IMHO 🙂  Granted, I’m guilty of this stuff too, so not [...]

McDonald’s gets “uber-transparent” and the crowd responds

Do you like Chicken McNuggets?  I confess, I enjoy driving through McDonald’s from time to time for a box of McNuggets.  So, I was relived when I saw this “under the hood” video from McDonalds, revealing how Tyson makes a McNugget.

The “Internet” wasn’t too impressed though.  Over the past 31 days, McDonald’s has had some of the most disliked videos on YouTube–driven by the heavily disliked McNuggets transparency video.    

Across the [...]

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