Friday, September 28

Gap's Hill City

Thanks to brands like Athleta and Lululemon, we've seen women's fashion in the gym not only reach all new levels of style but we've also seen the gym-look hit the streets. Leisure clothes that make a statement and work in and out of the gym, and at home too. And on a lot of airplanes!

Athleisure, is what I believe it's called. It's even in Wikipedia! We've also seen Lululemon expand the concept to men's wear too, quite successfully. Note their "ABC" in "anti-ball crushing."

Well now Athleta (owned by Gap) wants a piece of men's sales too so it's launching a new men's line called Hill City. Full range of products, just like its sister brand. Sold at Athleta outlets, right along side its sister brand (just like Lululemon).

File this under "logical."

What's your experience? JIM.

Thursday, September 27

Weight Watchers Changes to WW

Yesterday I wrote about Dunkin' Donuts dropping one of its words, Donuts, from its name. Today, it's time to share that Weight Watchers is dropping both of its words from its name to become just WW.

The brand says its a strategic effort to focus on overall wellness, rather than weight loss. I get it. Smart.

The brand also says that there will be new wellness programs coming along the same, to deliver against the new name.

Also smart.

What's your experience? JIM.

Wednesday, September 26

Dunkin' Dropping Donuts

After testing in a couple of locations, brand Dunkin' Donuts is dropping Donuts from its name...and will only be called Dunkin'.

The company says that the name change is part of their strategy to focus on beverages and quick serve items that will still include donuts. The beloved donuts aren't going away, they just won't be the center of the branding anymore. The roll-out, or rather roll-off, is set for January.

Let's all remember that Starbucks made a similar move in 2011 when it dropped coffee from its branding. Folks reacted quickly, but clearly the brand is still serving coffee! I'm sure legions of fans will still pick up their donuts from Dunkin' too.

What's your experience? JIM.

Tuesday, September 25

Nike's 30th Anniversary of "Just Do It"

I've gotten more requests for comment on the recent Nike campaign than I have for any other topic the entire time I've been blogging.

And to tell you the truth, I've kind of avoided any commentary because I don't want to get into a heated political debate...I write about marketing and I'd only like to comment on the this case especially.

But it's gotten to the point where I have to comment because the impact of this single campaign is one for the history books. I need not give you the background, because if you are reading this then I'm sure you know the details. The campaign celebrates Nike's 30th Anniversary of its legendary "Just Do It" slogan and it features Colin Kaepernick with a message of motivation.

The impact was immediate with social commentary, consumer outrage and consumer support, knock-off ads, and Nike responses...and now just a short time later Nike is reporting a $6billion market lift from the campaign. Unprecedented.

Truthfully with all the hype, I think we've lost the fact that it's Nike's 30th anniversary of its legendary tagline. Can't even begin to tell you how many clients have asked me for their own version of "Just Do It" through the years!

But back to the point...when a campaign has this kind of impact, then there's something amazing going on...we have a brand! A brand! Yes indeed, Nike isn't a pair of sneakers or a performance t-shirt, it's a set of emotions and values and motivations that sets it apart from any of its competitors who also sell sneakers and performance t-shirts. Those emotions, values, and motivations are what engage consumers, or not. Those emotions, values, and motivations are what brings a brand and a community together...a community that shares those emotions, values, and motivations.

Nike is a brand. And you either buy into that brand or you don't. Consumers get to vote, not only on social media but also with their wallets. Just like with any other campaign or brand.

What's your experience? JIM.

Saturday, September 22

A New Cover Girl at 69

Diversity is a requirement for any brand looking to engage and represent. That's so obvious that I feel foolish even typing it out.

Diversity. And by the by, diversity should be diverse. One-dimensional diversity isn't diversity...that's so obvious that I feel foolish even typing it out.

Brand Cover Girl got the memo. Long embracing diversity, Cover Girl just recently featured its first boy and also its first woman wearing a hijab, following a long list of diverse talent including Sofia Vergara, Ellen, and Queen Latifah. Well now we have the oldest Cover Girl ever...69 year old Maye Musk. As in Elon's mom.

Maye has been a model for fifty years, including two runway shows at this year's Fashion Week in New York. She's also a nutritionist and dietitian. Being a Cover Girl is yet another line item on her very impressive resume.

Kinda cool, if you ask me. What's your experience? JIM.

Thursday, September 20

Mac and Cheese in Business

It's going to sound strange, but one of my favorite memories from when the kids were young is how we used to hide vegetables in their macaroni and cheese to make sure they were getting the proper nutrition. Oh the lengths we go!

I got to thinking about it the other day at work...this strangely applies not only to children but to organizations too. So I wrote about it for Entrepreneur.

Click here to give it a read. Perhaps it'll get you thinking differently....what's your experience? JIM.

Wednesday, September 19

Coca Cola Buys Costa

We recently heard that Pepsi bought Soda Stream...many said "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em." I would tend to agree since diversification around your core offering is generally a good thing for your business.

So I guess many would say the same when hearing that Coca-Cola just bought coffee chain Costa. If you've never heard of or been to a Costa, it's a chain of coffee shops throughout London and the UK. You can't turn around without bumping into one. I'm personally quite the fan when traveling.

As we see the soda companies diversify, it just makes plain sense for them to acquire other beverages and other beverage distribution outlets so as not to rely on carbonated soft drinks and traditional retail outlets that they can't control. It just makes plain sense.

Smart move in my book. What's your experience? JIM.

Tuesday, September 18

Uber's Opportunity

Uber has been on a pathway to change for quite some time now.

First we had the an apology video from the new Uber CEO:

Then a new logo:

And now the launch of the biggest campaign in Uber's history...set to take the company in a bold new direction, smoothing out all of the bumps in their road along the way:

"Doors are always opening." "Opportunity is everywhere." 

It rings pretty true to me. As a customer myself, I take Uber to take me places whether for an opportunity to connect with friends or an opportunity to achieve something at work. As a marketer, the brand has been able to elevate their "ride" to a higher emotional benefit. 

Hopefully the brand can take it even further to a more comprehensive campaign about providing opportunity everywhere....this video content is a good start. 

Well done! The best I've seen yet in this category. And a great example of communicating THE emotional benefit of the service provided, regardless of the category.

Perhaps this is a new chapter for Uber...a new opportunity for Uber. What's your experience? JIM.

Monday, September 17

This Coke is a Fanta

I'm going to let this video speak for's amazing. With one campaign in Brazil, the iconic brand Coca-Cola was able to turn a hurtful, homophobic statement completely around and make it a declaration of Pride...with the right messaging at just the right time.

I'm happy to say that I've never heard this comment before, so for me it's only positive from here on out. This Coke is a Fanta!

Thank you, Coca-Cola! What's your experience? JIM.

Friday, September 14

Boss x Michael Jackson

In honor of what would have been Michael Jackson's 60th birthday, Hugo Boss is bringing back the famous white suit that Michael wore on what is still the biggest selling album of all time, Thriller.

The limited collection is Boss x Michael Jackson, but of course. Looks pretty cool, perhaps as cool as Michael...

Thriller was one of the biggest, if not the biggest, albums of my college years. I can still remember when the dance floor would fill with fog when the title song would come on! Such memories! Such an icon!

This suit is a thriller, that's for sure. What's your experience? JIM.

Friday, September 7

A New Font Called "Brand New Roman"

Here's a fun little post for those of us who love brands.

A digital studio called Hello Velocity created a brand new font that we can all download that features all brand icons. In other words, each letter of the alphabet and each number is actually an icon from a well know brand.

Like "a" uses Amazon. "O" uses Pepsi. "D" uses Disney. "K" uses Kellogg's. Got it? Oh, "7" uses 7-11.

Click here to give it a try. Type in your name!

This is fun, even if you're not a complete brand lover like me! What's your experience? JIM.

Tuesday, September 4

Paid Off with Michael Torpey

This is a fun twist to the standard trivia contest/game show, from TRU television.

In each episode of the game show, three contestants play a trivia game for the chance to have all of their student debt paid off. With student debt becoming a real issue, this is a pretty cool concept. Simple but cool.

Fun! Smart. Simple but cool. You can find out more by clicking here.

What's your experience? JIM.

Sunday, September 2

Happy Father's Day, Australia, from Sportscraft

I frequently write for Gays with Kids where I talk about brands that feature, support, and celebrate gay parents. It's an amazing mix of work and professional lives for me!

Sunday, September 2, 2018 is Father's Day in Australia...and here's a brand celebrating it by including two gay dads in their campaign. Bravo!

Click here to read about it on

What's your experience? JIM.