Wednesday, July 31

An Ivy League Credential


I'm just not sure how I feel about this to be perfectly honest.  This hits very close to home.

Cornell University (my undergrad Alma Mater) is offering a certificate program via e-learning where you can "add an ivy league credential to your resume."

That's a big claim!

For those of us who went to Cornell, or any other school for that matter, those four years of blood, sweat and tears resulted in something truly meaningful.  Not to mention the four best years of my life, meeting friends for a lifetime.  We created a lasting connection with the school that has carried with me every step of the way, both personally and professionally.

Now I don't mean to take anything away from continuing education - I teach at NYU after all so it would be hypocritical of me to knock it down.  I'm a big believer and supporter.

But a claim like that, to be totally honest, calls into question the BS, BA, MBA, or any of the other fully loaded degree programs, if in fact you can get the same "benefit" with an online course.

I'm just not sure how I think about it.

Brands are an emotional connection between a business and a customer.  I've certainly got one with Cornell, as do many of my friends.  I understand that the business is trying to expand, but I think they should pick a "benefit" that doesn't cast a shadow on the rest of experience.  It makes us feel like we were somehow cheated, or could have done it much easier.  The e-learning brand (which is a great program BTW) needs to come up with its own point of difference, IMHO.

It's certainly a signal of how competitive these programs have become, and I bet how vitally important they are to growing the schools.  This is a competitive claim that I'm sure grabs people's attention.  These programs generate incremental revenue above and beyond the "fixed" number of students these schools can handle in their core undergrad and grad programs, I am sure.  It's big business.

As an alum, I'm just not sure how I feel about it when it's put in those terms.

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
- President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
- Author, The Experience Effect series
- Professor, NYU
- Contributor, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post

And proud Graduate, Cornell University!

Tuesday, July 30

Kicking the Bucket

Another post in the "sign of the times" theme ... some very interesting news in the world of chicken to take note, as we collectively look to eat leaner and lighter.

KFC (as in Kentucky Fried Chicken) is in test market with a QSR concept that offers much leaner, more upscale versions of chicken including chicken flat bread and chicken rice bowls.   Gone in this new restaurant is the familiar bucket of fried chicken ... too much for today's tastes?

On the home front, we see classic Hamburger Helper bring us Chicken Helper.  Now you might be saying, "what took so long?"  Doesn't matter, my own college kids are dying to try the new mix when they return to school this Fall.  Sign of the times indeed.

And lastly, a recent industry trend report indicates that chicken consumption is on the rise for breakfast?  Breakfast?  Chicken bacon?  I guess so.

Me?  I've become what is referred to as a "chicketarian" -- my diet is almost entirely fruits, vegetables, and chicken.  Oh yeah, and carbs (forgot about those Sunday night spaghetti and (chicken) meatballs). 

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
- President, Cohn & NA
- Author, The Experience Effect series
- Professor, NYU
- Contributor, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post

Monday, July 29

Cheerios Follow Up



A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about the new Oreos campaign featuring a mixed race family - something that in my mind is simply the brand reflecting our culture.  A social media firestorm ensued, much to our collective dismay.

The brand, none the less, stayed true to its messaging:  this is a Cheerios family.

Well evidently an independent group called The Fine Brothers sought out to see how children would react to the advertising and the social media commentary.  They apparently have done this type of thing before, with their "brand" Kids React, although it looks like this was a bit more serious of a topic.


They filmed some kids' reactions to the Cheerios spot on video for the world to see.  




Thankfully, the up and coming generations truly are as color blind as I wish we all were.  Not only did they not see an issue, they didn't understand what the issue could possible be.

I'm sure the brand (and most others) were very happy with the comment, "But everyone has a heart!"


There you go - the brand truly is just reflecting our culture.  No political statement or agenda attached.  Thankfully.

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
- President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
- Author, The Experience Effect series
- Professor, NYU
- Contributor, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post

Friday, July 26

The Royal Dad

Yes, this week we welcomed the Royal Baby into the world, the most celebrated birth in a very long time.  I'm thrilled for the happy couple and for all that it means to the folks of Great Britain.  Congratulations!

We also saw another big moment this week, though, that bears acknowledgement.  The birth of the Royal Dad.

Prince William, I believe, is finally ushering in a new era in what it means to be a Dad ... one that has been here for a long time but will now get a spotlight thanks to Baby George.

I wrote an article on Huffington Post about it if you'd like to check it out.

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
- President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
- Author, The Experience Effect series
- Professor, NYU
- Contributor, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post

Thursday, July 25

The Art of Positioning

This coming Saturday, I'm teaching the second part of my weekend intensive course at NYU.  I really enjoy the second session the most, because at this point I know the students a bit better and we get to dive a little deeper.  While I touch upon the concept of positioning in the first class, it's in this second class that I really blow it out.

I love to talk about positioning.  It's the holy grail of marketing, yet to be honest so many of us don't quite nail it.  It's a hard concept to grasp, and an even harder one to practice.  But it makes for a lively discussion each and every time.

If you click here, I've linked to a recent article I wrote for Entrepreneur where I tackle the "Art of Positioning."  This particular article is the 8th in my series where I tackle how to build the brand experience.

Nailing your positioning is a critical step.

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
- President, Cohn &  Wolfe NA
- Author, The Experience Effect series
- Professor, NYU
- Contributor, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post