Wednesday, March 31

CW Philly Morning News


I just did my first television segment tied to my new book "The Experience Effect" and as President of Lippe Taylor Brand Communications. It was on the local Philadelphia CW - CBS morning news this morning.

The topics are personal branding, and I actually did two different segments. The first segment is on people looking for work, interviewing to land the perfect job. The second segment is on entrepreneurs, looking to build their own business.

In both cases, I talked about how you need to transcend yourself as a person and become a brand. Know who you are and what you want. Know your audience and what they want. Match them and then brand it -- look and sound the part that is uniquely you.

Sounds simple, I know, but the devil is in the details and in actually getting it done. But the basic premise is to take the principles of brand marketing and apply them to you as a person -- to get what you want. Either in a job interview or in an entreprenuerial business.

The segments were really fun to create and the anchors were so easy to work with -- I really enjoyed the time on set. Look, Mom, I'm on tv!

You can view them here: http://cbs3.com/video/?id=100179@kyw.dayport.com One is titled "Marketing Yourself as a Brand" and the other is about "Entrepreneurs".

What's your experience? Jim.

Tuesday, March 30

Whoopi Goldberg for Poise


Have you seen the new campaign for Poise featuring Whoopi Goldberg? There is an entire series of YouTube videos and then a compilation that runs on broadcast television. The campaign is brilliant!

Poise is a pad for women with incontinence, a condition that few women want to admit, few women want to talk about, and honestly few women can even relate to. The term is scary in and of itself. Well Whoopi just made it not only easier to admit and but also a lot easier to talk about.

Poise talks about "LBL" -- light bladder leakage. Whoppi calls it a "spritz" -- something that happens to 1 out of 3 women when they laugh, sneeze, are caught of guard, etc. She uses historical women to highlight the problem and to describe it.

I have some experience in the category from when I worked on Serenity back in the day at Johnson & Johnson. It's a huge emotional issue, and most women don't realize that the slight leakage they experience is totally normal.

Check out the Poise campaign on YouTube with Joan of Arc, The Statue of Liberty, Eve, The Mona Lisa, and more. You'll love the executions and you'll also realize that this little problem isn't the incontinence that you imagined.

Here's the video of Whoopi as The Mona Lisa: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhwdjvaQNy4&feature=related

Then when you visit the website (poise.com), you meet real women talking about their own LBL. You quickly get the point that a lot of women deal with this and that it's really no big deal. Nothing to be ashamed of, and something that should easily be discussed ...

... thanks to Whoopi and Poise.

What's your experience? Jim.

Monday, March 29

Roll Over Cottonelle


It's an age-old question .... which way to hang the toilet paper? Roll over or roll under? When it comes to couples therapy, this is right up there with toilet seats and tubes of toothpaste!

The "how do you roll" debate is evidently now officially over.

With their very own Roll Poll and a Chief Roll Officer, Cottonelle has finally settled on which way toilet paper should roll. After a very comprehensive vote, an overwhelming majority of Americans say they prefer to Roll Over! So Cottonelle has introduced a new toilet paper roll specifically designed to roll over.

Much ado about nothing? Probably, but it's fun! This is the stuff that cocktail parties and facebook chatter are made of! Visit CottonelleRollPoll.com to see for yourself.

Is there real product innovation here? Not really. I was initially expecting more, based on the premise and set-up. But that's ok, I get the fact that it's just toilet paper. This is still great marketing inspired by real consumer behavior and conversations.

The campaign is everywhere and is very comprehensive. Television advertising, outdoor, print, website, facebook, the whole roll! A great example of fully integrated marketing across a variety of channels, using each medium to its fullest extent ... something I call "The Experience Effect" :)

All in all, a great brand experience that sparks even more conversation. Who doesn't love this stuff?

What's your experience? Jim

Friday, March 26

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery


These days we can't take a good night's sleep for granted ... a full night of uninterrupted sleep is very hard to come by. But it's so good for you, inside and out! My colleague Andrea Halpern from my agency found some motivation to care of ourselves in this department, from the skin care brand Kiehl's.

What's your experience, Andrea? Jim.


I love a good challenge, whether it's in my entertainment (The Biggest Loser), my job, or of the personal grooming kind. I'm always game for beauty boot camp and to look and feel better. Whether it's a five day skin routine that promises a 'glowing complexion' or a two week program to 'healthier hair' - bring it on!

Enter the newest challenge which I discovered on Facebook - the Kiehl's 'Midnight Recovery Diaries'. This 15-day challenge is based around Kiehl's new product launch Midnight Recovery Concentrate - a replenishing elixir of essential oils that work while you sleep to give you younger-looking skin by morning. Sounds like the fountain of youth to me.

Kiehl's has challenged six hard working individuals, A Singer, Fashion Designer, Fashion Publicist, Writer, Social Entrepreneur and Creative Director, to "recover" their sleep and promise to go to bed before midnight, get at least seven hours of sleep a day, use the Zeo Personal Sleep Coach (a very interesting headband that monitors your sleep patterns) and of course treat their skin to a few drops of the Midnight Recovery Concentrate. The participants are required to blog daily about their day: how they feel and look, and how the regimen has affected their routine. There's still a few days left of this challenge, and I am interested to read the panelists' final entries.

In New York City where everyone seems to work hard and play harder, it's a nice idea to challenge yourself to a few extra zzz's while of course giving your skin a chance to turn back the clock. Signing off sleeping beauties.

- Andrea Halpern from Lippe Taylor Brand Communications

Thursday, March 25

Snickers "Not Yourself"


I first mentioned the new Snickers campaign "You're Not Yourself When You're Hungry" when it debuted on the Super Bowl this year. The first execution featured Betty White and it was one of my "picks" from the game.

The premise is that you can't perform at your best if you're hungry ... a young kid who would normally be pretty good at football starts to act like a little old lady (Betty White) because he's hungry. The campaign struck a cord with me because it really hits on a universal insight: when you're hungry (really hungry) you start to shut down and can't get things done like you normally could. I can totally relate (in fact I'm hungry right now!).

The campaign has been growing, and now there's a new execution featuring Aretha Franklin and Liza Minnelli ... being hungry makes you whiny and turns you into a diva. Love it. Again, nails the insight and entertains at the same time.

You can watch all the executions at snickers.com

A great brand experience ... although it's a little one dimensional in that it's just an advertising campaign ... would have been even more impactful with other marketing elements.

What's your experience? Jim.

Wednesday, March 24

Dr. Scholl's Footmapping


Dr. Scholl's has long been the authority in "healthy feet", but in my mind the brand just took it another step forward.

Dr. Scholl's has brought Custom Fit centers to select retail locations. By stepping onto a scanning machine, thousands of sensors basically survey your feet and identify all of your pressure points. The analysis then spits out recommended products to insert into your shoes to help alleviate tired, achy feet. The whole thing is right there, on the screen, at the point of purchase.

Can't even begin to tell you how many brands I have recommended an in-store kiosk to help consumers select products. The problem is that the technology isn't always readily available and the costs tend to be prohibitive. But it looks like Dr. Scholl's has cracked the code.

If you go to the website, www.footmapping.com, you can insert your zip code to find a location near you. Many of them are at Wal-Marts.

Very cool technology, right at the point of sale, to aid in proper product selection. Looks like a leadership move to me!

What's your experience? Jim

Tuesday, March 23

McDonald's on St. Patrick's Day



If you've ever been in Chicago on St. Patrick's Day, then you know that the city turns the Chicago River green in celebration. It's quite a sight, actually.

This year, Chicago-based McDonald's decided to get in on the act and placed a huge Shamrock Shake on the bank of the river and made it look like the green beverage was pouring in. Pretty clever, actually.

McDonald's is a big part of Chicago business culture (and every day life I suppose) so it kind of makes sense that they would attempt something so high profile right downtown.

More interesting than the stunt itself though, is all the commentary that came the days following. Comments attached to news articles that covered the "story" and in numerous blogs too. Many people hated it! They said it looked like garbage sitting on the bank of the river. It really got a pretty negative reaction.

I see the point. It looks like litter that's been tossed from a car. But ... I think the people of Chicago probably "got it". This wasn't trash on the side of the road, just a little fun on a fun holiday. In my house, the Shamrock Shake is a St. Patrick's Day tradition so it didn't bother me.

From a marketing perspective, a good attempt from McDonald's to insert themselves into a holiday tradition. But is part of the reaction because they were not invited in?

What's your experience? Jim

Monday, March 22

Weekly Resolution 3/22/10

HAVE MORE FAMILY DINNERS

I know it sounds stupid, but it's so hard to sit down as a family and have a meal together. With two teenage kids and so many conflicting schedules, actually finding the common time to sit at the dining table and eat as a family is nearly impossible.

But I need to make it happen a lot more often. All of us together, sitting together, eating and talking. Breaking bread as they say. I really am going to make a much more concerted effort to make it happen.

I found some inspiration for this week's resolution from Stoeffer's of all places! I'm not that familiar with the food, to be quite honest, but I do have to commend the brand for understanding the dynamics of today's families. Their new campaign "Let's Fix Dinner" includes advertising and a website that is totally on target, with profiles of different families and how they find the time to eat together. So real, so authentic, and so "American" (I know that sounds cheesy, but it's true).

Good job, Stoeffer's, for profiling the real American family and all of our struggles, and for giving me a little inspiration to spend more quality time with mine! Let's fix dinner!

What's your experience? Jim.

Friday, March 19

Red Bull Art of Can



When I was in Miami a couple weeks ago, I stumbled on a pop-up installation that really engaged me. From Red Bull of all brands, called "Red Bull Art of Can". I saw this huge tent sitting right next to the beach, and I just had to find out what was in it!

Evidently Red Bull has a traveling art show of regional artists who make configurations out of Red Bull cans. Sculpture art, if you will. Fascinating, and amazingly creative. It really pulled me in, right off of the street!

So right there on South Beach, amid the tan bodies and Latin culture, stood a pop-up museum featuring Red Bull cans, all from local Miami artists (young and old). The place was jammed!

A really cool way to engage consumers in an experience with a brand that they may have never really considered. Loved it, and even more importantly, it made me re-think the brand as a part of pop culture. Great work.

Ohh...there were samples too! Hadn't tried a Red Bull in years.

What's your experience? Jim

Thursday, March 18

Starlicious


Adrienne Bavar is a dy-na-mo at one of my agencies, ShopPR. I totally rely on her to keep me abreast of celebrity pop culture. She's got a major (maj-a) discovery that she is dying to tell us about.

What's your experience, Adrienne? Jim.


I’m a self-professed pop culture princess. I love reading about who the celebrities are dating, what they’re wearing, and where they’re dining. My celeb IQ meets Mensa-like standards. So, you can imagine my excitement when I learned there’s a new digital game show (no TiVo necessary) devoted to celebrities, beauty, and fashion…introducing Starlicious.

Starlicious, is the first ever digital game show combining the competitive and addictive nature of Jeopardy with the content of Access Hollywood and Us Weekly. Tapping into one America ’s largest passion points or dare I say pastime– celebrity, Starlicious rewards contestants for their pop culture knowledge. Yes, my (and the rest of the world’s) obsession with celebrity is finally paying off.

Holy Perez Hilton, this is deliciously brilliant!

I haven’t gravitated towards digital programming in the past -- the shows are too short, updated infrequently, and the ads are disruptive. Starlicious is only 15 minutes long and the sponsors are creatively integrated via various forms of branded entertainment. I actually enjoyed the P&G “Star Duo News” and Progressive “Quotes” –- they made me laugh and provided a seamless experience.

So do you know what reality TV family runs the boutique Dash? That's ok if you don't know -- the CGI animation, the contagious Starlicious jiggle, and the adorable host all make it worth the time spent online.

Check out the first episode: www.dailyfill.com/Starlicious

If you guessed the Kardashians to the above question, you were right. Otherwise…You’ve been Paparazzied!

Please note, I also subscribe to the WSJ and NYT :)

- Adrienne Bavar from ShopPR (hey, that rhymes!)

Wednesday, March 17

Social Media and the Prom


It's prom season and all over the country teenagers are getting ready for a major right of passage: THE PROM!

I personally just bought the big dress for my 16 year old daughter for her Junior Prom, so I know the drill only too well. Much of the same emotions are there from when we were going through it. With one big difference: SOCIAL MEDIA!

Yikes ... can't even begin to tell you the dynamic that it adds to the teenage psyche. If you have teenagers, then you know what I am talking about. But let's not go there, we are here to talk about marketing.

Social media is huge with this year's Prom Season. Retailers are luring the teenage buyer with special deals and services on dresses, tuxes, limos, flowers ... the whole package. Facebook, YouTube, and even Twitter are loaded with posts/conversations going back and forth. The brands are engaging consumers and the consumers are engaging each other. It's an online fest.

Sears, Macy's, David's Bridal, Men's Wearhouse, 1-800-Flowers ... they are all there. Men's Wearhouse is even offering the guys a "prom rep" to help choose and then size the tux rental!

I noticed the impact of social media at retail this past Black Friday for the holiday season and it has been expanding ever since as more and more brands jump on the bandwagon. This Prom season is continuing the movement.

Brand Week did a great article on it ... and it fact I was quoted:http://tinyurl.com/yhnaso4

Hope the kids have fun and stay out of trouble, just like we did :)

What's your experience? Jim

Tuesday, March 16

Coke's Happiness Machine


You have to check out this video ... it will make you smile and remind you that life should be fun. At least that's what Coca-Cola wants you to feel and I think they succeeded.

For decades, the Coca-Cola brand has stood for being happy. It's the brand equity, and now it's the brand promise too! On the campus of St. John's University, Coca-Cola placed a very unique vending machine in the student center. Although it certainly looked like it would dispense just plain ole' soda, this machine had lots of surprises in store for its customers. The machine dispensed happiness!

Take a look here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9iCbjXHVG8

It's such a great example of creating buzz through viral marketing. The video received over 700,000 hits within the first 24 hours! The participants certainly got a brand experience like no other, but so did all of us who have the pleasure of watching the video which is continuing its viral spread.

A real example of a brand living up to its brand promise -- spreading happiness. Where will happiness strike next?

What's your experience? Jim.

Monday, March 15

Weekly Resolution 3/15/10

GET A PHYSICAL

I can't make heads or tails out of all this health care reform debate. I'm not sure that those in the middle of the debate can either.

My goal is literally to stay out of the system as much as possible: eat well, exercise, try to keep life less stressful, etc.

But the truth is that early detection of health care issues is the key to tackling the issues that do come up.

So please get an annual physical. With blood work. No matter how old you are and how healthy you feel.

I do. And I am due for my next one right around now --- calling to make my appointment today.

Be well.

What's your experience? Jim.

Friday, March 12

Lady Gaga's "Telephone"


I was admittedly a late comer compared to some others, but she had me at "Bad Romance" and I have been in deep ever since.

Lady Gaga has revitalized creativity in the music industry, heck in any industry for that matter. And her latest video and hit single with Beyonce firmly cements her as a pop culture icon and takes her and her craft to a level never reached before.

Think the vocals of Donna Summer and Barbra Streisand in "Enough is Enough" combined with the entertainment of Michael Jackson in "Thriller" combined with the costumes of Cher in "Half Breed".

"Telephone" is a WOW, right after "Bad Romance" wowed us.

But beyond the great pop music, the incredible video production, and the elaborate costumes/accessories is clearly a marketing machine in force. Makes Madonna look like a freshman.

First of all there are once again all the product placements. Virgin Mobile scores big, particularly given the title of the song. But there are many others too, including Polaroid for whom Lady Gaga is now the creative director for a line of co-branded products the team is developing. Did you catch Wonder Bread?

And then secondly is the marketing for Gaga herself. Amazing. The woman writes, creates, and markets herself like no other. LIKE NO OTHER. She has become a brand with her own unique brand offerings. She has even branded her fans as "Little Monsters", coined from the album title "Fame Monster". Gaga also recently collaborated with Cyndi Lauper for a MAC Cosmetics charity project.

Even if you are not a fan, you absolutely have to respect her for her marketing abilities.

Take a look at "Telephone" with Beyonce here: http://www.ladygaga.com/telephone/#
(props to Beyonce, by the way, for her own brand of music and creativity)

Am I a rabid fan? YES, and a rabid marketer!

What's your experience? Jim.

Thursday, March 11

Beautiful Payless


One of the keys to building a mega-brand is to continually innovate and extend your product offerings (logically) for your consumers. Jessica DiPietro from my agency discovered one mega-brand who's now extending into new territory.

Jessica, what's your experience? Jim


On Monday Payless Shoe Source announced their plans to launch a beauty line under the names "Zoe & Zac" and "Unforgettable Moments" to be sold in 1,500 stores starting in September.

My gut reaction to seeing this news? Now everyone and their mother thinks they can create a beauty line!

Fashion designers such as Calvin Klein and Donna Karan have been in the beauty industry for years. Tarina Tarantino, made famous by her amazing hair accessories, just launched Tarina Tarantino in Sephora. Kat Von D, a tattoo artist made famous on her LA Ink tv series, launched a line. It seems everyone is jumping on the beauty bandwagon trying to cash in on the $25 billion beauty industry.

Despite the “me too” syndrome that is so frequent in beauty, the more I thought about it the more I realized what a smart, strategic move this could be for the large shoes/accessories retailer. Payless has a loyal customer base that trusts their brand name and product lines. The brand has a built-in consumer base that could easily embrace a line extension into beauty. If the products look good, feel good, and wear well, this could potentially add millions to the Payless brand.

Plus, with today’s economic situation, more and more consumers are trading down from their prestige products. We know that prestige consumers are now looking to masstige brands (prestige brands sold in mass retail outlets) as a way to balance their personal budgets.

Could masstige consumers trade down to the level of a Payless brand? Absolutely. It’s just the right time for a quality brand at truly affordable prices to capitalize on their success and open themselves up to new consumers. Not only could Payless gain consumers from the beauty launch but the exposure could bring new consumers to their shoes and accessories as well. My guess is that the beauty brands will expand quickly to the rest of the 3,000 Payless doors.

Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing and testing the products when they launch in September. After all, we beauty junkies need to try everything. You never what product could become your next must-have in the makeup bag.

- Jessica Goldberg DiPietro, EVP at Lippe Taylor Brand Communications

Tuesday, March 9

Restaurants Are Brands Too



Your favorite local restaurant -- you may not have ever thought about it, but it's a brand too. It's got a name, a personality, a "product", and you've come to expect certain things from it. Same as any other brand in your life.

Like many other brands, the economy has taken its toll on the local restaurant. I think the chains may still be doing ok, particularly the more value-oriented ones, but our favorite local watering holes and dining establishments have gotten hit hard. With people watching their expenses like never before, "eating out" is one of the first things to go.

So many local restaurants, like brands, are getting more aggressive about their marketing. They are adopting some of the same techniques as large consumer brands to attract and retain customers.

They are building websites, using social media, offering special deals and promotions, and creating relationship marketing programs -- all to build their business. It's fascinating to see. Restaurants that not too long ago could thrive soley on word-of-mouth are now executing pretty complicated marketing programs.

Crain's New York ran an article about it this week and gave some advice to restaurateurs on how to build their businesses in a tough economy. And they quoted me! http://tinyurl.com/yerht56

So this weekend, if you can, support your local restaurant brand. They'll appreciate your business, now more than ever.

What's your experience? Jim.

Thoughts from the AAD


Just got back from the AAD (American Academy of Dermatology) conference in Miami South Beach. The organization has a conference once a year and it's a pretty big deal in the industry.

No sign of a recession here. With over 20,000 attendees and every major brand in the dermatology space, the place was jumping. And Miami was sold out! Restaurants, hotels, clubs, shopping, you name it.

As a marketer, I attended the exhibitors' section where all the major brands have booth space so that dermatologists can visit and learn about the latest developments in products and services. The place was packed, as you can imagine.

We had a number of clients with a strong presence there, I was quite proud of them. Particularly because each one of them offered such a unique presentation to the industry, totally in keeping with the character of their brands.

One client had the "it" bag that everyone was talking about. Perfect because the product is brand new and we are trying to get the word out.

At another client's booth, you could get your picture taken with Marilyn Monroe - a fun technique to drive visitors to the area.

Yet another client had beautiful photos of skin, showing the "after" results of the techniques, while another had their beautiful product line expertly displayed to showcase the breadth of the products.

All with exceptional branding to the medical community and expertly executed. A true showcase.

The winner for best booth in my mind? My alma mater, Johnson & Johnson. All the various brands were grouped together in a gigantic space. You really got the sense that the company is committed to dermatology on both the prescription and OTC side. The booth was like a mini-city with tons of space to mingle, sit, talk, read. Very spacious. But also each brand had its distinct day in the sun to tell its story. Neutrogena, Aveeno, Renova --- you could visit each brand within the J&J "city" and really spend time getting to know it. Beautiful job, and chocked full of specialists ready to educate.

Winner for best product? I have to say all the innovation in laser technology. For aesthetic purposes as well as for real medical issues like burns and scars. The developments in these areas are life changing and inspirational. Very moving.

All in all, an amazing meeting and a wonderful experience seeing everyone in the industry together. Doctors and marketers networking --- sharing ideas, exchanging information, improving our industry.

What's your experience? Jim

Monday, March 8

Weekly Resolution 3/8/10



DRINK MORE WATER

Water is the fluid of life, and I don't drink enough of it. I drink way too much diet soda. I know this, my friends and family remind me all the time. So I am finally going to do it ... switch to water. We all know how important it is to drink water.

I happened to walk by this little ditty in New York the other day. Aveda asking people to drink water from the tap, not the bottle, at refill stations around the city. Very cool gorilla marketing. Makes a statement, asks for a change in behavior, on the local level.

Got my attention and I am resolving to drink more water!

What's your experience? Jim

Friday, March 5

Street Teams


Street Teams. An age-old marketing tactic to disrupt consumers in their path and tell them about your brand. Either with a sample, a demo, a piece of collateral material, or an irresistible offer to get them to try.

We see Street Teams in lots of places. The makeup counters in department stores are infamous for perfume samplers. Every time I walk out of the Penn Station train station in New York I am "greeted" by Street Teams offering free newspapers, trial offers for cell phone service, coffee samples ... you name it.

With the economy as tough as it is, the Street Teams seem to be ramping up. Where there is a lot of pedestrian traffic, I've even seen restaurants standing out in front with offers to try to pull people into their establishments. Some are getting rather aggressive.

Truthfully, from a marketing perspective I am not crazy about Street Teams. Although I have seen some that are done really well, particularly at consumer events, most are a little too "in your face" for my taste, and I think they have the potential of damaging a brand. Sure if what the brand is offering is really compelling, then the tactic can work. But otherwise, disrupting a consumer in this manner can be risky behavior. And if the disruption is "aggressive", which it often is, I think it can cause a negative reaction. The annoyance can rub off on the brand equity.

I know that I start to feel like the brand can't be that good if it has to try so hard. A restaurant trying that hard to get me in just can't be that good! Or if I am in a rush to get to work or to catch a train, the last thing I want is a brand getting stuck in my face. I reject it.

For me, a brand shouldn't storm into a consumer's life but should instead be invited in. Like on Facebook, you send a friend request and then it has to be accepted. That's how marketing should work too. If a brand wants to enter the life of a consumer, it should be invited in. It's a much more positive way to establish a relationship and to create brand equity.

What's your experience? Jim

Thursday, March 4

South Beach Miami Always Delivers




I'm down in South Beach Miami for the AAD Convention (American Academy of Dermatologists). I decided to tack on a couple days in advance to get a break -- we could all use one of those every now and then. It's been a busy six months I have to say.

I love South Beach. I come almost every year or so and it totally replenishes my soul. There's just something about the combination of city life, beach scene, Latin culture, high fashion, great food, and friendly people that just completely fills my tank. Can't get enough of it.

And I always come away from South Beach with a renewed vigor to eat healthy, to exercise more, and try to be more and more creative.

For me, South Beach has become a brand. I have a certain expectation for what I am going to get out of my experience, and it always delivers. There's no place like South Beach on the planet, so for me it's a completely unique brand like no other.

I'm sure we all have our own "South Beach" -- I hope that your favorite "destination brand" always delivers for you too!

What's your experience? Jim.

Wednesday, March 3

I Bought a Tie at Brooks Brothers!


I bought a tie at Brooks Brothers! Brooks Brothers! Now for those of you who know me, you know how shocking that sounds. I've never been a Brooks Brothers kind of guy. Rarely have ever even stepped foot into one of the stores and have never even seen a catalog or web page.

I've been traveling a lot lately, and I've been in a lot of airports. Newark, LaGuardia, JFK, LAX, Milwaukee, Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, etc, etc, etc, ... just like a lot of you business travelers. I've noticed a common element at these airports -- a Brooks Brothers store right at the gates.

I wasn't happy with the shirt I had packed for my new business meeting so I decided, almost without thinking, to pop into one of the stores. Although it was clearly still the Brooks Brothers I knew, I did find a shirt and tie that I liked better than what I had packed. So I picked them up.

This little experience made me realize that there are many ways to become relevant as a brand. By Brooks Brothers becoming incredibly convenient to business travelers, the brand is staying relevant to their current consumers, and perhaps to new consumers like me as well. Being in the right place at the right time, adding value to a consumer's life -- that's a great brand experience. Even for someone who wouldn't normally step in.

What's your experience? Jim.

Tuesday, March 2

Proud Sponsor of Moms


The Olympics are over but there's still one "highlight" that hasn't made any of the lists that I'd like to point out.

P&G, Proud Sponsor of Moms.

P&G, the makers of Tide, Olay, Bounty, Pampers, etc, etc, created a really unique program where they provided funds to make sure that the moms of Olympic athletes were able to attend the games to watch their kids (their babies) shine. Really cool, inventive, and timely.

There are always great back stories from the Olympics -- profiles of the families that have sacrificed and weathered hardship to get their kids to the Olympics. I think it's great that P&G is so openly acknowledging this fact and making sure that the moms get their moment to shine too.

It's not completely selfless -- the company is promoting their products and subtlety encouraging purchase. That's ok, it's marketing after all.

My only beef? What about the dads? And the grandparents? As a marketer I understand that women make the overwhelming vast majority of purchases for the household, so it's appropriate to focus on the moms. But when it comes to supporting children and their dreams, I would argue that it's the whole family. The company would have looked a tad bit more contemporary, IMHO, if the program included dads too.

Just look at Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette who's mom died right before the Olympics and who's father was with her every step of the way. Or Apolo Ohno who's mom isn't even around for him.

Still love the program and still give major kudos to P&G for thinking out of the box, yet still entirely within their "brand". It's just that us loving and supportive dads could use the recognition, especially in this case, too.

Congrats to P&G -- you certainly have always known how to market your brands. And how to support families with mom at the center.

What's your experience? Jim

Monday, March 1

Weekly Resolution 3/1/10

CONTINUE TO BE AN ETERNAL OPTIMIST

I've been accused many a time for being an eternal optimist. I'd have it no other way. Someone has to be the lead cheerleader and the one person that doesn't lose faith in the midst of adversity. Especially as a leader.

Just in case I needed a little nudge, here's this great article from Men's Health. It's all about how optimism is one of the keys to continued success. I read it as inspiration to keep on keeping on.

Give it a whirl: http://wap.menshealth.com/site?sid=menshealth&pid=Article.detail§ion=Best%20Life§ionDisplay=Best%20Life&channel=Life%20Lessons&articleId=2d63f48b03776210VgnVCM10000030281eac____&full=true

What's your experience? Jim.