Friday, July 29

Bonobos Red and Blue Chinos

We are all dying to predict how this election year will pan out. Truth be told, we just want it over. But in the meantime, can't we figure out now what will happen then?

There are more than enough polls to go around, that's for sure. And many, truthfully, leaving us questioning the motive/agenda and don't really help us to predict the outcome.

Well, maybe this one? LOL ...

Bonobos, as in the mens fashion brand, has a new way of tracking the success of this year's candidates: by the sales of red and blue chinos. No mystery or hidden motive here. Just some good clean fashion fun, with a little color mixed in. 

The brand simply tracks the sales of red vs. blue chinos in a way to sorta kinda predict the election results, mapped out in red vs. blue states. At a minimum, we can see where we all live! Can anyone and everyone say election fashion fabulous?

Red or blue pants? Which one are you? What's it mean if I want both? What's your experience? JIM.

Thursday, July 28

Can There Be Plagiarism in Marketing?

With all this talk about plagiarism, it got me thinking about marketing. Is it possible to plagiarize in marketing? I took to Entrepreneur to try to give a proper answer. Click here.

What's your experience? JIM

Wednesday, July 27

ABC Differentiates Lululemon

No matter the brand, no matter the category, there are two things that are very difficult to do in marketing:
- differentiate versus the competition
- appeal to a new target audience, outside of your core

And really, the only way to do the second one is to do the first one too.

The only way you can start to go after a new audience for your brand, particularly if it's vastly different than your core audience, is to come up with a way to differentiate the brand from what the audience is already buying.

You've got to get this new audience to buy into your brand, rather than the one they've grown accustomed to having in their life.

Which is exactly what Lululemon is trying to do with its line of products for men. Let's face it, Lululemon is kinda sorta maybe known as a women's brand. Actually, not even kinda sorta maybe...most consider it a women's brand despite the product line geared for men.

To compete against the likes of Nike and Under Armour, Lululemon had to offer something for men to get the brand in "his" consideration set.

Enter ABC as in Anti-Ball Crushing pants, designed to, well, do the obvious, which is obviously a particular need for this target market.

Catch this:

I'm still wanting for an explanation of the actual technology/construction that makes it all so ABC. I want details to be convinced, but evidently I'm in the minority here...they've been selling like hotcakes and in fact quarterly sales of the men's line is up 21%.

Guess they are onto something...differentiating versus their competition to hit a new market (men).

Have you tried? What's your experience? JIM

Monday, July 25


We are into week two of the Presidential Conventions...and into week two of the chaos that is increasingly beginning to seem like normal. It's downright awful.

So as a bit of a break, I thought it would be good to take a look at another angle in this year's campaigns. I didn't realize that you can't run for President if  you are under 35 years old. Well the brand Captain Morgan doesn't think that's right and is looking to do something about it.

By featuring all of these majorly successful and impactful under 30's, the brand makes a pretty compelling argument. Because after all, under 35's can do just about anything. And I'm betting that the source of the brand's success is also folks under 35. My bet anyway.

It's nice to see a brand take a stand during this election season, but in a different manner. I'm betting that this may just be the first of many. It's a bit refreshing, to say the least.

Well done. What's your experience?  JIM

Friday, July 22

Presidential Barbie and Her Running Mate

Full disclosure...I'm a big fan of Brand Barbie. 

Just in time for both party's conventions this July, Mattel has introduced yet another Presidential Barbie as part of their lineup of careers.

This is certainly not the first Presidential Barbie, but the brand was quick to point out that this year's version is in no way an endorsement. That one left me scratching my head, to be honest. Why not!

But this election year there's a new Barbie also has a running mate and she's also a woman! Also not an endorsement, I am sure.

So you can get Presidential Barbie or you can get her paired up with her running mate. In all sorts of skin tones, rightly so.

I think it's fabulous. I just think it should have come along with an endorsement, not that I am personally voicing my own opinions. I just think if Barbie is going to be President, then she should support the woman that is currently running.

My two. What's your experience? JIM

Wednesday, July 20

Why You Should Know About Pokemon Go

The hottest thing since sliced bread hit our collective radar recently...Pokemon Go. Even if you're not a gamer, there are many reasons why you should know about this cultural phenomenon.

Click here to read my perspective on Entrepreneur.

What's your experience? JIM

RickRoll and Bae

I learned two new things this week in pop culture, proving that you can in fact teach an old dog new tricks.

The first is "bae." At first I thought it was a typo when I saw it in a powerpoint deck at work. Then I thought it was another nickname for Beyonce. But then my team schooled me that it's meant to designate a "significant other."

Better than "boo?" Definitely.

Short for "baby?" No. Oh.

Short for "before anyone else." Ohhh! Bae.

Then I learned about RickRolling, from none other than Milania Trump. Evidently RickRolling is when you indicate a link to some information but the link goes directly to the RickAstley song Never Gonna Give You Up. To the tune of 224million views!

To learn more about that, click here.

How fun is that!?!

Is this new to you too? What's your experience? JIM.

Thursday, July 14

Tuesday, July 12

What A Month!

I had to capture my feelings from the last few I took to Huffington Post.

Click here to give it a read.

What's your experience? JIM


Unless you're living in a vacuum, you've heard the term FOMO at least a thousand times in the last few years...Fear of Missing Out. Oh my, what would happen if you actually stayed home while your friends went out and partied. Or went on vacation. Or joined an event. What would you miss?


While now there's a new game in town, fighting the trend of FOMO.

POMO! "POMO," you ask?

Pleasure of Missing Out. People are actually starting to want to miss out. They want to stay home, and let their friends go out and party, or go on vacation, or go to an event. They want to miss it.

It's actually a pleasure to skip it and hear about it later. What's better than hanging on the sofa and relaxing while your friends are out getting exhausted!?!

This election year I am definitely feeling POMO, at least until I show up on election day!

POMO...what's your experience? JIM.

Magnum Ice Cream Dipping Bar

Pop-up or key-location branded food stores (or some say bars) are nothing new. I wrote about the Kellogg's Cereal Bar  in New York yesterday.

Just because they're not a new idea doesn't mean that they're not a lot of fun. And they can be quite successful at driving buzz, experimenting with new concepts, and creating consumer engagement in what is otherwise controlled by a third-party retailer or a more scripted online experience. The Nespresso Boutique grew into multiple locations so something worked there.

Last week I stumbled upon the Magnum Ice Cream Dipping Bar in Soho, New York. I'd never seen it before, so as a big ice cream fan I just had to walk in.

While at retail we are forced to choose from only a few Magnum ice cream and coating choices that have been pre-manufactured, here at the dipping bar we are totally in control. We choose ice cream, coatings, toppings...we choose the entire combination.

Fabulous. Again, not a new idea but a fun one. A working R&D lab for the brand as far as I'm concerned which is quite smart. Just like I imagine for Chobani which is just down the street and for what Kellogg's is now doing in Times Square.

More, more, more...we want more!

What's your experience? JIM

Monday, July 11

Kellogg's Cereal Bars

Kellogg's just launched a cereal bar. Well, they did that a long time in the wrapped single serving breakfast bars. I'm not talking about that.

I'm talking a bar that serves cereal. A restaurant actually. A restaurant that only serves cereal.

It appears to be a test, because it's just in Times Square NYC.

I worked in the cereal category for years, across a bunch of brands and a few companies. I'm sure everyone talked about opening a cereal bar for people who love to eat cereal, and mix it together with other ingredients as well. Some one/brand finally did it!

There are ten items on the menu, published to be priced at between $6.00 and $8.00. Some have sparked to the pricing, but visit a Starbucks or similar services and you'll see the value in the range IMHO.

I am so happy to see Kellogg's give it a try. As will I.

What's your experience? JIM.

Friday, July 8

Tuesday, July 5

Most Branded Election Ever!

This election year it's the battle of the brands more than anything else. Here's how I captured it via Huffington here.

What's your experience? JIM

Entrepreneurs Who Exercise

Entrepreneur did a cute little roundup of 7 entrepreneurs and their exercise habits...and I'm number 7!

Click here to give it a read. But only when you get back from the gym!

How do you start the day...what's your experience? JIM

Monday, July 4

Coca-Cola On The Radio

In continuation of its incredibly popular global campaign "Share a Coke" where the brand put your name on its label, Coca Cola is now putting song titles and lyrics within hands reach, right on their packaging.

Presumably, you pick a song that you most identify with. For 4th of July, I would have loved to see "Born in the U.S.A.!!"

It's pretty clever, actually. Music brings us all together, no matter who we are. With not so subtle messaging, Coke is saying that it can do the same thing.

As a mega Donna Summer fan, I would love to see "Love to Love You, Baby," or "I Feel Love," or "She Works Hard for the Money!!"

Very consistent with the brands positioning of happiness. Especially in the summer. Hot stuff!

What song would you want featured...what's your experience?  JIM

PS: Coca-Cola has long been in the game of music. Here's a classic from 1971...maybe they're still teaching us to sing along.

Friday, July 1

Gett Surge Pricing

In follow up to my post about competitive marketing and the recent Sprint campaign, I'd like to comment on another category where we are seeing a lot of competitive messaging. Meaning one brand pitting itself against another, in this case one brand messaging against what is perceived as the market leader.

Specifically, in this case Gett vs. Uber. Gett is actively attacking Uber on what many say is its achilles heal...surge pricing.

I've already established that I'm not a big fan of competitive advertising...I generally think that brands should talk about what they offer their customers and not talk about their competition. But when there's an opportunity to show an advantage on a feature that is causing angst with consumers (a weakness per se), then there are times when it's appropriate and can even effective.

In this case it might be effective in getting trial.

But any brand should keep in mind that this kind of messaging can be temporary. It's only a matter of time before the other brand responds, either by addressing its weakness or by attacking on another level. Plus the brand might be missing an opportunity to talk about its own unique benefits on its own merit.

So I guess what I'm saying is "brand beware" when doing this kind of marketing.

What do you think? What's your experience?  JIM