UE is a publication of Davis Brand Capital.
  • rss
  • feedburner
  • twitter
  • facebook
  • DavisBrandCapital.com

Category: Trends

Davis ThinkingDavis Thinking } analysis and interpretation

Founder Brands: From Original Vision to Sustained Value

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Some of the world’s most valuable and well-known companies share a common brand trait that has not been explored in depth. Apple, Dell, Ford, Google, Mars, Microsoft, Nike, Starbucks and Wal-Mart, to name just a few, are “founder brands.” These are brands where the founder or founding family exercises significant influence over the management of the brand and direction of the business. Davis Brand Capital identifies the qualities that define founder brands and explores some of the challenges in managing them for maximum value.

#FounderBrands: Not your Founding Father’s Brand

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

While the Penn State scandal and abdication of leadership is deplorable and unfortunately merits its sad attention, what happened at the venerable University of Virginia this spring is, in another way, astounding. It laid bare the unrelenting business assault roiling educational institutions, their custodians and their brands.

#FounderBrands: Microsoft

Monday, August 6, 2012

In its August issue, Vanity Fair charges Microsoft with losing its mojo, pinning much of the blame on CEO Steve Ballmer. While the article makes some useful and valid observations, it never completes the circle, relating them back fully to the larger, underlying issue that ails brand Microsoft: the company has strayed far from the management and proper deployment of its founding vision.

From Bots to Spimes: Emerging Technologies Offer Early Glimpse of Our A.I. Future

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Web bots, the “internet of things”, machine learning and other converging technological advancements offer an early glimpse of our artificial intelligence future. And marketers need to start paying attention.

Marissa Mayer Brings Brand Capital to Yahoo

Monday, July 16, 2012

Marissa Mayer's move to Yahoo as CEO made me reexamine the question of personal brands. I maintain my position: they don't exist in any meaningful way. They are just (not terribly) fancy jargon for bloggers. What Mayer brings to Yahoo is not her personal brand, but the brand capital of Google.

StandUp: Can a Sports Brand Unite Gays and Straights?

Monday, July 9, 2012

The LGBT equality movement has entered the mainstream. Now that we are here, I think there is a new type of work to do. As a long-time brand strategist for some of the world's leading companies, I believe our next steps are in the consumer marketplace. We must unlock the full power of influential marketers, going beyond sponsorships alone.

JC Penney and the Courage of Relevance

Friday, June 1, 2012

In what can be described only as a singularly courageous move, the new JCPenney unveiled a Father's Day ad featuring real-life gay dads Todd Koch and Cooper Smith, and their children, Claire and Mason. It is widely considered a direct response to the failed hysteria of the "Million Moms" boycott of the retailer after it named Ellen DeGeneres its spokesperson. And, indeed, this read of events is likely. Something more is going on, though. The ailing retailer has found the courage to be relevant, and with bold social intent.

The Guggenheim Effect

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The term "Guggenheim Effect" used to denote the positive role the brand played in Bilbao's resurgence as a destination site. It became well accepted vernacular, not only in the museum community, but among the wider community of brand and marketing experts. In recent weeks, however, the term has been re-appropriated by European media and citizens to express a much more negative and even sarcastic view of the cultural institution.

Culture Clubs: Creation, Navigation, Conversation

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

There is certainly humor to be had watching, sprawled out in the comfort of another century, the way previous generations handled – or didn’t – destabilizing changes that we now take for granted. We are now obligated to live in a culture of conversation with its simultaneous flattening of things like expert culture and its ever-expanding choice of content providers and options.

How Google Will Shape CMO Strategy

Monday, April 9, 2012

The ultimate proactivity of the Web is the semantic future of marketing. Every interaction is about data, and with enough of it, predictive analytics are possible. Is Big Data simply an idea to you - or do you have a plan to activate around information?

Tesco: Let the Store Come to the People

Friday, April 6, 2012

QR codes have become ubiquitous and so has the term digital strategy. Both are often treated by businesses as "silver bullets" without much understanding how to leverage either. QR codes, in particular, have been reduced to gadget status with little meaning but to annoy the consumer.

Brand Capital in an Age of Discontent

Monday, April 2, 2012

How can a business respond to both the radical changes in the market as well as the human challenges in the wind? Without a doubt, the blue ocean opportunity of the moment is trust.

Community Is As Community Does

Monday, November 21, 2011

“Building community.” It’s become a mantra. You can’t go a day of digitally deposited trade reading without gurus across the board - from HBR to Ad Age - opining on how brand building is linked to community building. The devil, of course, is in the details.

Coupon, If You Dare

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The endless-loop news of Groupon's financial bleeding — largely self-inflicted — brings no joy to those who thought they were on to the next big thing. As Sunday's New York Times points out, the daily-discount site was all-too recently offered a stunning $6 billion from Google, but the time-tested combination of corporate hubris, greed and flimsy accounting got in the way of all of that.

Google+, Minus Active Users?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Public posts to Google+ have decreased 41 percent month over month, according to 89n data cited on TechCrunch. After a fast start out of the gates, quickly gaining 25 million users, is Google+ losing steam?

Fashion and Feminism - Without the Fuss

Rachel L. Newman
Thursday, September 15, 2011

Kara Jesella's informed and insightful look at fashion and feminism and Tavi Gevinson's new online magazine, Rookie, are well worth the read.

Digital: A New Playing Field for Ralph Lauren

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fast Company's cover story in the September issue is a must-read for any marketer, no matter the industry.

A Note of Thanks From the CEO

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A note of thanks from World Market's CEO reached inboxes across the U.S. last Thursday, August 11, while financial markets around the globe were on a roller coaster ride and London experienced the worst riots in decades. At first blush, World Market's move was unusual and timely. Unusual, because consumers don't typically receive "personal mail" from a corporate leader and timely, because the note acknowledges the current economic woes. Unfortunately, these are the only two "positives." Ultimately, the note is memorable for all the wrong reasons.

Physics of Culture

Monday, July 25, 2011

Davis Brand Capital friend and collaborator Kevin Slavin spoke at TED Global this month about how algorithms are increasingly shaping our world. Think that doesn't concern you, your business or your life? Think again.

The Market Made Me Do It

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Slate's insightful piece by Annie Lowrey, "Readers Without Borders," highlights one of the most cringe-worthy excuses for failure: the marketplace.

Real-Life in Dialogue: Does Open Innovation Work?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Unbound Edition today launches a new type of marketing interview: one focused on the struggles of bringing great ideas to market, not just recounting the successes of a few big winners. Our belief is there might be more to learn -- and share -- when talking about the roadblocks to “obvious” successes than merely celebrating them after the fact. We think even Starbuck’s CEO, Howard Schultz, might agree, having recently pondered why his next big hit, the Sorbetto, fell flat with consumers. Our first subject: an alternative flour that has made its way into big food companies but not yet to store shelves.

Starbucks @ Work

Friday, January 14, 2011

Starbucks earned the “Best Gift to American Workers” award this holiday season. And we’re not talking caffeine or gift cards. While corporate America grinched out, laying off staff, refusing to tackle the ballooning unemployment rate and hoarding cash like Ebenezer Scrooge, Starbucks was there: a 21st century Statue of Liberty, opening its arms to the tired, huddled and suddenly office-less masses and their laptops. Day after day it was hard to find a seat in many Starbucks cafes, co-opted as they were by new, uncertain entrepreneurs trying to get a gig off the ground or scanning the Help Wanted listings.

Books Unbound

Friday, August 27, 2010

There may be more bears in publishing than there are on Wall St. This isn’t new to the current recession; as Ken Auletta recently noted in the New Yorker, “publishing exists in a continual state of forecasting its own demise.” Now add to that traditional gloomy propensity today’s market conditions - a period when most industries are wrestling with digital disintermediation and even wholesale redefinitions of function. You get a complete meltdown.

Coming Soon to a Theater Near You – Nothing Much

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

This past weekend, the Wall Street Journal included a neatly illustrated article by Joe Queenan on the dearth of imagination in Hollywood in 2010. The Worst Movie Year Ever? lamented recent storytelling efforts in Tinstletown, painting a picture of movie theaters around the country where audiences sit “listlessly through a series of lame, mechanical trailers for upcoming films that look exactly like the DOA movies audiences avoided last week.” I’m familiar with the feeling that the popcorn is the only thing to be happy about in theaters this summer. But as I was thinking about it, I started to wonder: is Queenan simply describing the state of entertainment, or is he actually providing a metaphor for the state of business lately?

Iced Capades

Friday, June 18, 2010

"My dad just got iced." I saw this status update on Facebook the other day and knew it probably had nothing to do with hockey or joint pain. A wee bit of research revealed that Icing is a new drinking game wherein someone gives a Smirnoff Ice to someone else, who must get down on one knee and chug it. If the person being "iced" pulls out their own concealed Smirnoff Ice, called "ice blocking," the icer has to drink both bottles. People are icing and getting iced all over the country largely due to the promotional efforts of now defunct website www.brosicingbros.com. Whether the game (and website) was conceived by Smirnoff parent Diageo (they deny having any part in its creation or promotion), or bored frat boys isn't important. Icing reveals the value of understanding complex social relationships, not simply studying (and catering to) demographics.

Twist Focus: On Basic Materials

Monday, June 14, 2010

Twist Worldwide, a global visual intelligence firm, presents quick views and insights into the moments that are working in today's retail environments. Enough with self-impressed trend consultants who claim to see the future: Twist sees the present with clarity and provides practical intelligence on how to make your business better today. Over time, patterns emerge and possibilities get realized. But first we have to see what is right in front of us. This week: back to basics.

Defining Reality – The Augmented Kind

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Last week, Santa Clara hosted the first global augmented reality event - gathering the developers, creative directors and engineers from around the world who are driving nascent “augmentation” technology into our immediate reality. If you said “Say what?” to that sentence, you will appreciate the following. In the first keynote of the conference, WIRED’s contributing editor Bruce Sterling defined a singular challenge for the assembled that had very little to do with technological wizardry and everything to do with communication: create and shape the language of this brave new world.

Twist Focus: On Transparency

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Twice each month, Twist Worldwide, a global visual intelligence firm, presents quick views and insights into the moments that are working in today's retail environments. Enough with self-impressed trend consultants who claim to see the future: Twist sees the present with clarity and provides practical intelligence on how to make your business better today. Over time, patterns emerge and possibilities get realized. But first we have to see what is right in front of us. This week: the power of transparency.

Twist Focus: On Fun in the Garden

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Twice each month, Twist Worldwide, a global visual intelligence firm, presents quick views and insights into the moments that are working in today's retail environments. Enough with self-impressed trend consultants who claim to see the future: Twist sees the present with clarity and provides practical intelligence on how to make your business better today. Over time, patterns emerge and possibilities get realized. But first we have to see what is right in front of us. This week: fun in the garden.

Before Knocking CNN, Check Yourself for Fractures

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Poor CNN. The network is trying to be everything to everyone and, as is usually the case with such efforts, pleasing no one. Ratings are in the toilet and in every corner -- from the plush offices of Vanity Fair to the hallowed halls of NYU to the ash-covered continent -- one hears the jarring thumps of unsolicited advice. It's enough to make an executive producer drink more heavily than he already does.

The Rise of Moral Brands

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

One need not stretch too far, nor have particularly partisan views, to accept arguments that ours is a culture marked by institutional collapse. Confidence on Wall Street and in capitalism itself slipped with the tarnishing of names AIG, Lehman and Merrill Lynch (among others) during the Great Recession. Trust in the U.S. government eroded along party lines, calling into question the integrity of the democratic process, on the path to health care reform. Faith in the Catholic Church continued to fold just last week under the weight of yet another round of scandal fueled by priests preying on the most vulnerable. On somewhat lighter fronts: there is no longer a "most trusted man in news" when every adman is a newsman, and so many newsmen an advertisement (or plagiarist). Science is more politicized than ever, the clarity of its objective truths clouded by a climate of competing interests. If our cultural institutions are not as strong as they once were, where is one to place belief?

Twist Focus: On Story

Monday, March 29, 2010

Twice each month, Twist Worldwide, a global visual intelligence firm, presents quick views and insights into the moments that are working in today's retail environments. Enough with self-impressed trend consultants who claim to see the future: Twist sees the present with clarity and provides practical intelligence on how to make your business better today. Over time, patterns emerge and possibilities get realized. But first we have to see what is right in front of us. This week: the power of universal stories.

With a Rebel Yell, He Cried No, More, More Breakfast Pizza

J. Kristin Ament
Friday, March 26, 2010

The British have waged war on American soil, only this time we can pass on the tri-cornered hats and tight breeches. Which, considering the increasing girth of Americans, is a sartorial blessing. After a sneak preview last weekend, tonight marks the official broadcast premiere of ABC's "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution." Though you'd never know it from the network's fat-headed decision to air it during the Friday ratings dead zone, it could very well be the most important television program in years.

Twist Focus: On Her Smile

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Twice each month, Twist Worldwide, a global visual intelligence firm, presents quick views and insights into the moments that are working in today's retail environments. Enough with self-impressed trend consultants who claim to see the future: Twist sees the present with clarity and provides practical intelligence on how to make your business better today. Over time, patterns emerge and possibilities get realized. But first we have to see what is right in front of us. This week: the power of a smile while shopping.

Up-pity ABC Basterds Put the Hurt on Ashley's Precious Avatar Ad

J. Kristin Ament
Friday, March 5, 2010

AshleyMadison, of "Life is short. Have an affair." fame, trotted out this Avatar-themed spot for broadcast during Sunday's Academy Awards. Then, in a move as predictable as an over-the-top Sharon Stone reaction shot, ABC banned it from the telecast. Funny that the nation's leading adultery enabler ends up flaccid on Oscar night. Why did those frigid execs give Ashley's aliens the cock block?

New Axe Ad Campaign Reaches, Cleans a New Low

Sunday, January 17, 2010

First, Hardee's showed you its B-Hole. Then, Bud Light Lime gave it to you In the Can. Now Axe, with all the class and finesse we've come to expect from the brand, wants to Clean Your Balls. On the surface, this seems like nothing more than your typical nether regions marketing. But look under the hood, and Axe's down under approach has more in common with early marital aid advertising than beer and fast food.

Don't Let the Dumbledore Hit You in the Azkaban on Your Way Out, Mickey

J. Kristin Ament
Wednesday, January 13, 2010

This spring, Universal Orlando will open the much-anticipated Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which it promises will be "unlike any other experience on earth." If the park succeeds with what it's got tucked up the sleeve of its flowing robe, there's going to be a new owner of magical theme park experience (that sound you just heard was a 81-year-old mouse shaking in his over-sized yellow shoes).

Mobile Apps from Car Brands Blur Lines Between Branded Utilities and Product Features

Monday, January 11, 2010

New mobile applications from automakers GM, Mercedes, Ford and BMW advance the concept of branded utility in profound ways. Recent apps from these brands blur the lines between branded utilities and pure product features. And there are important implications in the auto industry and beyond.

UE's Most Read Posts of 2009

Unbound Edition's Editorial Team
Thursday, December 31, 2009

As the year ends, we look back at the most read and shared posts from Unbound Edition's contributors, and a few more favorites chosen by our editorial team. We appreciate your continued readership and commentary and look forward to more dialog in 2010.

The Element of Surprise

Monday, November 2, 2009

Not much surprises us these days. And that, by and large, is the way we like it. We have more control than ever over our lives. We bank and shop on-demand online. We use RSS feeds to filter our news. We carefully manage our public image by broadcasting the most appealing pieces of ourselves -- photos, status updates and MP3 playlists -- on our blogs and Facebook pages. Recognizing this demand for control and customization, more marketers are asking us to help shape their products as we see fit. So it's surprising to see some new businesses thriving by keeping us in the dark.

Mobile Marketing Moving to the Forefront

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The functionality of iPhones and other mobile devices represents a fundamental shift in how we view the act of marketing, further blurring the lines between advertising, research, promotions, CRM and entertainment content. As new developments continue to make digital technologies a more integral part of our everyday lives, marketers will be forced to rethink mobile marketing's currently limited role within the marketing mix.

Is TV Ready to Socialize?

J. Kevin Ament
Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hulu is hard at work transforming tv-watching into a social experience. They're encouraging viewers to watch the premiers of their favorite programs on Facebook with friends and strangers alike, sharing comments with one another (and with eavesdropping marketers) through streaming status updates. Judging whether television watching can be a social activity based on these efforts alone is to consider only a fraction of the social relationships possible around content sharing. The key players aren't thinking big enough yet. Fully realizing social TV's potential means rethinking all aspects of television watching, distribution and revenue models, and how each can become more social.

Bud Light Lime “In the Can”: AdAge Gets it Bass Ackwards

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The most successful beer marketers in the world have crossed a line. According to AdAge, a pun is “the final frontier” in “tasteless” beer advertising. In a spot for Bud Light Lime leaked on the Internet, everyday folks innocently confess to getting it “in the can” (some of them like it and want to do so again!). The punch line of the spot reveals that the popular brew is now available in all-too-familiar handy aluminum containers.

Clearly Clear is a Creative Copycat

Friday, September 4, 2009

I noticed Clear has been stealing a page from its competitor Verizon with its creative - or lack thereof. To tout its comprehensive coverage, it uses sprinkles as a metaphor.

MMMmmmm... Crowdsourced Doughnut

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Given that I last wrote about Hardee’s Biscuit Holes, I couldn't resist continuing the theme of fried dough. This time: doughnuts. Specifically, Krispy Kreme’s new international “Fave Fan” contest, celebrating six dozen years selling original glazed. Open to Krispy Kreme doughnut lovers in Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines and United Kingdom, "Fave Fan" invites customers to write, in 72 words or less, “how Krispy Kreme has made their lives special.” A winning contestant from each country receives 12 dozen doughnuts over the course of a year and a plane ticket to Krispy Kreme’s U.S. headquarters, where they will go head-to-head in a competition to “design the best doughnut.” Why Americans aren't invited to participate probably has something to do with the company's 2007 bankruptcy (and $3 stock price, down from a high near $50), but why celebrate an American brand through an international contest? Is "Fave Fan" the secret ingredient to a Krispy Kreme comeback, or is their marketing team one original glazed short of a dozen?

Augmented Reality and the New Digital Divide

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

When I shot the picture of this little guy lounging in his highchair watching cartoons, I thought it was adorable. And admittedly, I still do. But simultaneously it terrifies me, because it foreshadows a new type of digital divide that will be created by mobile devices and the introduction of augmented reality.

In Celebration of Type

Kimia M. Ansari
Thursday, July 23, 2009

Recently TYPECON came to Atlanta on a week-long celebration of type and design. I attended Typeface, a documentary on one of the oldest wood print shops in the United States. The film is a fascinating and disturbing look at the disappearing trade of typography and printmaking in the digital era, and the importance of the perseverance and preservation of art.

Seeing the Forest for the Trees: Shifting Food Trends Suggest Broader Emerging Agenda

Manon Herzog and Kevin Ament
Thursday, July 16, 2009

Last year’s economic meltdown has shone a disproportionate light on the financial and automotive companies. The brands and institutions within these two industries have been scrambling to respond with clear, overarching agendas — green, consumer-centric vehicles in automotive, greater transparency (and regulation) in the financial sectors. While less in the spotlight in recent months, the food industry has been equally frenetic, but has not clearly articulated a larger agenda. Do the many microtrends, from local and organic to simple and safe, add up to something more substantial?

Ad Execs and Other Bloodsuckers Revamp TV Marketing

J. Kristin Ament
Tuesday, July 14, 2009

On Tuesday’s DVD release of Mad Men’s second season and across recent promotions for the August 16 premiere of season three, we’re seeing an inspired, Draper-esque approach to making 60s era ad culture relevant to today's audiences. Mad Men’s marketing blitz blends past with present as skillfully and successfully as Weiner himself. This mashup of reality and fiction, a strategy also used to great effect by HBO’s True Blood and its advertisers, proves that brands willing to go off script are endearing themselves to new, loyal audiences.

What Will Marketing Look Like After the Recovery?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The inevitable economic recovery is arguably just around the corner. Yes, it’s always too far ahead. But at least there is light at the end of the tunnel. Obama says it’s a “long way off,” likely to cover his own posterior. However, the IMF and the Fed are cautiously optimistic. And, with few exceptions, the Dow has been relatively flat in recent weeks. I don’t want to jinx it, but it feels like we’re at the bottom of a very steep hill to climb rather than falling off of a cliff. The recovery -- albeit likely a slow one -- is coming. It’s just a matter of when. And the world, including marketing, may never be the same.

Augmented Reality is a Reality. Now What?

Monday, June 29, 2009

The new iPhone with video - coupled with GPS, compass and future iPhone applications - ushers in the Brave New World of augmented reality. And mobile marketing, which until now has been a relative afterthought for brand marketers outside of Japan, is about to go gangbusters.

Change is Gonna Come

J. Kristin Ament
Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The American Idol finale will easily win the ratings war this week. Despite another year of declining viewership (and the disappointing coherence of Paula Abdul), it remains the number one show on television. This year’s final battle between aw-shucks Christian boy-next-door Kris Allen and aw-hell that boy ain’t right queen-of-scream Adam Lambert may have looked like red versus blue state politics personified. But truth is, the secret of Idol's success is the same popular narrative playing out over and over across American culture today.

 With the economy in the proverbial terlet and our own future uncertain, we take comfort in cheering on the average Joes and the biggest losers as they claw their way toward transformation.

School Daze Redux

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I can remember being just out of college, freshly installed in Providence, RI, dropping by Brown University to investigate their MFA program. I had graduated fully decorated, done graduate scholarship work abroad and had no reason to believe my academic record made me anything less than a desirable candidate. I was also living with my husband-to-be, sharing the day to day responsibility of his two-year-old. I was stunned when the woman behind the desk, with no knowledge of me beyond my physical presence - not even a transcript, mind you – announced officiously, as she eyed the baby girl grasping my hand, that there would be no way for me to pursue graduate work part time. I walked away from “formal” education that day because it didn’t fit my life.

Change is Good

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

If I had more than a second to think about it, I’d be thinking about the pace of change and reactions to change. As it is, I’m busy keeping up with the changes. From email to tweets. From broadband to cloud. From the risks of recession to the risks of swine flu. I’m thinking that if I can just get around the corner there will be time to catch up. But what if there isn’t?

End of the Social(ist) Web?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

There should be no question about how little I cared for Andrew Keen’s last book. I found much of what he presented to be flawed, small-minded and grouchy. I also expressed the wisdom of crowds to select and correct content worth following. Let’s call that the power of the curator. So, I am especially happy to see that Keen has come around to a more enlightened (if not exactly Utopian) view, wherein not everyone with browser access is an idiot. He seems, now, to believe the common man is capable of discerning tripe from truffle, and having the good sense of choosing and following talent.

The Good Business of Good Citizenship

Thursday, April 9, 2009

For most Americans, the conspicuous consumption of the late 20th century was not just a show of status or an assumed birthright in the land of plenty, it was an act of justified (if not inspired) patriotism. Prospering and buying things proved the American system worked. In our greatest moment of national crisis, George W. Bush called us to arms post-9/11, with the rallying cry of “go shopping” to support our economy and stabilize our nation. Consumption was the way to fight back; it was our role as citizens. Economic policies followed that fueled this citizen-consumer march into battle. But something else happened along the way, too. We didn’t just shop. We reconnected. We found new ways of expressing citizenship, and they can serve us well now as marketers, if we follow a few, new citizen-based rules.

Identity Check

Kimia M. Ansari
Thursday, April 2, 2009

Brands are valuable assets and packaging plays a major role. Well-designed packaging can transform a product into an experience and help a consumer feel empowered, not overwhelmed, by the many choices in the marketplace. Now, more than ever, strong visual strategies separate winning brands from the competition. Here are a few principles to keep in mind:

The Siren Call of “Data Porn 2.0”

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The evolution of data visualization software is merging data and art, and allowing us to convey and digest complicated information in exciting new ways. But used irresponsibly, these technologies have the potential to usher in a new wave of “data porn,” where the dazzle trumps the data.

Crowd-sourced Research Models for Consumer-driven Innovation

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Social media platforms, blogs, smart phones, online video conferencing and a host of other technologies will facilitate revolutionary changes for brand research and innovation. Many companies are already leveraging these technologies for more traditional types of data collection, such as survey research. However, few have taken advantage of the real opportunity these technologies collectively provide: crowd-sourced research models for consumer-driven innovation.

Pulling the Plug on Jerry Mathers

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Somebody call Eve Ensler, because it looks like the Vagina Monologues are becoming the Vagina Dialogues.

Rise of the Netbook: The Business Case for Bottom-up Innovation

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Clive Thompson’s recent article for Wired entitled “The Netbook Effect: How Cheap Little Laptops Hit the Big Time” details the adoption of the Netbook, machines powered by flash drives intended for running bare-bones applications. These low-powered lightweights took the tech industry off guard, and they point to a valuable lesson for companies in every every sector.

Raison D'Etre, New Mexico

J. Kevin Ament
Thursday, March 5, 2009

Glen Kertz has people excited about pond scum. His company’s algae biofuel system boasts staggering numbers. An acre of corn can produce 18 gallons of oil per year. Valcent’s algae: 20,000+ gallons per acre per year. The vertical system currently under development promises to push that number even higher, using a fraction of the water and energy needed to grow traditional biofuel crops.

Life After Reboot

J. Kevin Ament
Monday, March 2, 2009

Juan Enriquez can give a presentation. Funny and fascinating, Enriquez extracts laughter from an unlikely source: the collapse of our global economy. Then, quoting author Louis L’Amour, Enriquez imagines life after the deluge:  "There will be a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning."

Newspapers Beyond the Infographic

R. Eric Raymond
Friday, February 27, 2009

What should newspapers do?  What newspaper can’t do.

On-the-Shelf Brand Touchpoints

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Product and packaging design can be one of the most impactful brand touchpoints. Here are a few recent executions I admire.

Jeff Bezos Makes it Rain at Amazon

Senior Editor
Wednesday, February 18, 2009

For Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, being the earth’s most customer-centric company means more than giving customers what they want. It requires inventing “on their behalf,” moving beyond dialog to predict future needs and develop the necessary skills to meet them. Such action begot Kindle, and through new collaboration with IBM, is moving cloud computing forward.

Where's the Love?

Kimia M. Ansari
Friday, February 13, 2009

Cupid, hearts, cards and jewelry. Valentine’s Day imagery is all around us, and it rarely begs a second look. But a few iconoclasts are marketing their subtle, cynical spin on this Hallmark holiday. A small collection of my favorites...

Think Before You Send That E-Card

R. Eric Raymond
Tuesday, February 10, 2009

If you’re thinking about sending an e-card for Valentine’s Day this year, think again.  But aren’t they convenient and popular? Yes. For the sender. And that’s the problem.

History for Sale

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

There’s a lot being written about the merchandising of this inaugural moment.  For a sampling of what’s available, check out Amazon. Or any newsstand around the world.

Nostalgia Week: Lexus 1, Big Wheel 0

J. Kevin Ament
Monday, December 15, 2008

Lexus’ 2008 “Big Wheel” approaches greatness, then quickly devolves. The ad opens with retro footage of a working class home at Christmas - warm, messy, comfortable. A boy warns his future self not to forget. The memory is quickly crushed by the buying power of white collar-adulthood. Cut to cliche of gift-wrapped luxury vehicle. Message: Cherished childhood memories are no match for Lexus.

Where’s the Etsy for Detroit?

R. Eric Raymond
Thursday, December 11, 2008

I’m a big fan of buying directly from artisans.  Though I was raised in a Wal-Mart culture, I’ve found that buying from the people who produce the product is more satisfying.  The brand is comfortably irrelevant, the quality (and yes, even unique defect of the item) is its own, and I feel good that the cash goes directly into the maker’s pocket.

“Any Colour, So Long as It’s Black.”

Kimia M. Ansari
Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Henry Ford famously declared that the Model-T buyer could choose “any colour, so long as it’s black.”  While I would argue whether or not black is a color, this restriction was important to providing affordable automobiles to the masses. A century later, consumers expect more from their favorite brands. They want an emotional connection, and during a time of budget cuts, job loss, and a major global plunge, a little color can make a big difference. Innovative companies know this. Here are a few of my favorite examples:

Saving the World, One Wooly Hat at a Time

J. Kevin Ament
Wednesday, December 10, 2008

  Rob Kalin grew frustrated shopping the “anonymous shelves” of mass-produced goods at the local Walmart. His mission: help artisans operate sustainable businesses by selling unique, handcrafted items directly to a global community of buyers. Etsy.com was born.

Etsy.com: Crafting a Movement

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Since Etsy.com was launched in 2003, the online marketplace “for buying and selling all things handmade” has changed the way people consider, create and consume handmade products.

Rainbow Blight: A Chocolate Rain on Skittles’ Parade

J. Kevin Ament
Thursday, November 13, 2008

This morning, I brought my daughters' remaining Halloween candy into the office, determined to no longer spend three hours every night at home gorging on Kit Kats (the genius behind Kit Kat Dark deserves a shiv in the kidneys). Rather, I spent the last six hours at work gorging on Kit Kats.

Turning Noise to Music

Thursday, November 13, 2008

There are an enormous number of American “knowledge” workers, companies and MBA programs whose work and whose professional standing is based solely on the agreed-upon script.  They have long since stopped thinking, responding, understanding, questioning and interpreting.  They can’t improvise to save their lives.  It's a problem that might impact our country's competitiveness more than anything else.

Mini’s SUV: Oxymoronic or Just Moronic?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Given the fundamental market shifts of higher gas prices and heightened consumer concern for the environment, adding another crossover SUV to an already crowded space seems like an odd choice for the iconic car brand.

Why Barbasol Should Give Gillette a Spanking and Send Him to Bed

J. Kevin Ament
Friday, May 23, 2008

One of my earliest childhood memories is shuffling into my parents’ tiny bathroom at daybreak, mirrors fogged over with shower steam, to watch my father shave. He frequently ended this morning ritual by depositing a thick dollop of lemon-lime Barbasol on my nose.

When Shock Content Meets Branded Content

R. Eric Raymond
Tuesday, March 18, 2008

We’ve seen a new development around the tradition of shocking internet memes.

Takeaways from DLD #3: Streams of Consciousness

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

There are a lot of left turns engineered into DLD . There is always the possibility you might look at a scheduled session and think, “what does this have to do with anything?” and then come away with a completely new idea. You might hear someone speak about their work and be certain they are brilliant and equally certain you don’t completely understand what they’re saying or what it actually applies to. Sometimes you are just knocked out by the beauty or ingenuity of thought processes and topics

Resolutions for Marketers in 2008 #1

R. Eric Raymond
Thursday, January 3, 2008

{self}Value both direct marketing and narrative marketing.{/self}

Simon Cowell Meets Donald Trump?

Kristen M. Jamski
Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Fill in the blank with either Simon Cowell or Donald Trump:  “______ is notorious for his unsparingly blunt and often controversial criticisms and insults…”

Touching on Apple’s Mouseless Future

R. Eric Raymond
Monday, October 22, 2007

In 1984, the Apple Macintosh brought the humble mouse widespread fame in the personal computing marketplace.  By the looks of things, Apple may just be the big cat that puts the mouse out of its misery.  Will your next Mac be the first computer to abandon the tried and true mouse interface entirely?

The Widgetization of Retail: Do You Want Tunes with That?

R. Eric Raymond
Monday, October 1, 2007

The cross-over between the digital and the physical space continues as Starbucks and Apple roll out their “purchase what’s playing” strategy.  Coupled with an iTunes device, you can now impulsively purchase and download music just as the latte hits your bloodstream.  What Apple and Starbucks have embraced here is the incredible power of having thousands of locations all over the globe as distribution points for digital media.

Cultivate Your Company’s Capacity for Gorgeous Instability

R. Eric Raymond
Monday, September 24, 2007

When we counsel clients about online strategy, we frequently use the term “perpetual beta.” The idea is to break the notion of a “complete” web project, that what lies ahead is a continuous learning experience. Corporate response to this is almost universal: Help us make a bullet-proof plan. The problem with “perfect plans” is that they end in perfect failure.

Dora Stops Exploring, Chooses Instead to Crank Dat

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I recently received a forwarded e-mail containing this YouTube video. Cute, huh? Those penguins really know how to get jiggy with it. After watching the penguins pop and lock, I went to YouTube to see if there were any other versions of this cuteness and to my surprise found hundreds of videos of cartoons edited as music videos for rap songs, including:

Eco or Ego?

Monday, August 27, 2007

While I applaud and, I hope, help advance the “green” movement on a number of fronts, I think it is important also to recognize the functional selfishness of the entire effort. If we are honest, “going green” isn’t really about saving the planet or improving the environment. It’s about saving ourselves. Our broad, cultural hubris may let us forget these are separate things.

Take Your Grubby Little Cause off My Wife’s Boobs!

J. Kevin Ament
Friday, August 3, 2007

It’s World Breastfeeding Week, and so continues the tired pseudo-debate between bottle and breast, exacerbated by fanatics who shame women who don’t nurse, and shadowy alarmists who claim government officials are “stepping in to make the choice for new mothers.”

Artist Restitution: A Paylist for the Playlist

R. Eric Raymond
Wednesday, August 1, 2007

{self}As far as social agendas go, we can’t choose to overlook how we value and support artists in today’s culture.  Now is a good time to start reviewing some of the inconvenient truths surrounding the way we consume and distribute media—specifically music.{/self}

Book Technology: Content Rich, 100% Uptime, and AdWord Free

R. Eric Raymond
Thursday, July 26, 2007

Books don’t translate well online.  Marketing books?  Yes.  Ordering books? Clearly.  Communicating with authors?  Incredible.  But the books themselves?  No.  It may be a good thing, too.

The Way to Get "Sirius" About Going Green

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I listened to a lot of the Live Earth concerts on Sirius satellite radio, which covered the entire event from Australia to New Jersey. Between performances, DJ’s promoted the new green channel in their lineup and offered “tips” – little things listeners could do as individuals to help mother earth.

I am Jack's Romantic New Beginning

J. Kevin Ament
Thursday, July 12, 2007

The word “commune” elicits images of patchouli-soaked hippies, eastern-Pennsylvanian craftsmen, or Manifesto-writing, gun-toting tax evaders in dire need of therapy and antiseptic. But if I’m reading the cultural tea leaves correctly, don’t be surprised if a new generation of communes pops up in the rural US, featuring sustainable agriculture, green technologies, and like-minded families committed to raising and educating their children together, beyond the daily influence of American consumerism and popular culture. Tomorrow’s commune is M. Night’s Village with solar paneling and no creepy monster suits.

Hey, Alli, Does This Dignity Make My Butt Look Big?

J. Kristin Ament
Sunday, July 8, 2007

The new fat-blasting wonder drug, alli, is terrifying. I’m talking “Poltergeist” clown terrifying. The product poses some unique marketing challenges, to say the least.

Lessons Learned from a Pig with Bad Hair Plugs

J. Kristin Ament
Sunday, June 3, 2007

Meet Bacon, my daughter’s stuffed pig. He and I have a love-hate relationship.

Burt’s Bees Brand Sets the Natural Standard

Friday, June 1, 2007

Burt’s Bees, known for its trademark yellow packaging, affinity for honey and aromatherapeutic salves, is leading the conversation about what is truly ‘natural’ in the beauty and personal-care category.

Tiny Pocket People Holding Hands

Thursday, May 17, 2007

You’re so gravain. You probably think this blog is about you. Don’t you? Don’t you?

Meaning, One Cup at a Time

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Starbucks and other "experience brands" need to evolve into the age of brand meaning quickly. Why? Because the brands that win today are ones that drive social agendas.

At Issue } essential reading

This Open Source Graffiti Drone Will Give Cops Nightmares

Kyle Vanhemert
Apr 16, 2014

Katsu, like many graffiti artists, has a preoccupation with leaving his mark in hard-to-reach places. A few years back he developed an especially clever tool for the job, modifying a fire extinguisher to spray larger-than-life tags across entire walls. The artist’s latest innovation has the potential to extend his reach even further. It’s a spray-paint-wielding drone.

If You Want Google Glass, Now’s Your Chance

Jordan Crook
Apr 15, 2014

It’s been nearly a year since Google released the Google Glass face computer, and still only a select few have had access to the thing. But that’s all about to change.

The Rise of the Data Natives

Monica Rogati
Apr 14, 2014

Sometime at the start of the decade, YouTube was abuzz with viral videos of small children — yet to speak, read or write — “pinching” magazine articles with their fingers as they would an iPad. These children were heralded as members of a new generation of “digital natives”: People who grew up surrounded by computers, shaped by always-on technology and the Internet. Today we are witnessing a new revolution, this time of “data natives” who expect their world to be “smart” and seamlessly adapt to them and their taste and habits.

A Viral Marketing Gag That Uses 3-D Printers and Rubber Chickens

Joseph Flaherty
Apr 14, 2014

When was the last time you talked about your favorite cracker on Twitter? It’s a dry subject and the marketing team responsible for promoting Nabisco’s new Belvita brand crackers knew that their key selling point, “Nutritious sustained energy all morning,” wasn’t going to light the social web on fire without a little help. Instead of following their traditional strategy of minting coupons or, God forbid, coming up with a strategy involving QR codes, Belvita decided to embrace 3-D printing in a crassly commercial, and wildly successful, ad campaign.

The Food Porn Index Is Making Vegetables Look A Little Sexier

Adele Peters
Apr 9, 2014

A website called the Food Porn Index tracks the numbers: About 70% of #FoodPorn photos are junk food. That’s actually a slight improvement since the site first launched, which is part of the goal--the index was created by juice manufacturer Bolthouse Farms in an effort to remind Americans that vegetables can look just as sexy.

Honey Maid Turns Hate Mail Into A Lovely New Ad

Jeff Beer
Apr 7, 2014

The brand responds to people who didn't appreciate its depiction of modern families.

Mobile App Usage Increases In 2014, As Mobile Web Surfing Declines

Sarah Perez
Apr 1, 2014

New data from app analytics provider Flurry released today states that native app usage on smartphones is continuing to grow at the expense of the mobile web. The company claims that users are now spending 2 hours and 42 minutes per day on mobile devices as of March 2014, up from 2 hours, 38 minutes as of a year ago.

IDEO’s Inspiring Ideas For The Internet Of Everything

Joseph Flaherty
Mar 26, 2014

Most techies have tried using a web-connected pedometer at one point or another, but very few have gone from couch potato to track star by virtue of the points, badges, and achievements these systems provide. Making a device that connects to the Internet of Things is getting increasingly easy, but creating products and services that use technology to transform us into better people is as hard as it’s ever been.

Google to Offer Ray-Ban and Oakley Versions of Glass

Adario Strange
Mar 25, 2014

After months of speculation about which company Google might tap to produce more fashionable versions of Glass, the tech giant finally announced a partnership with Luxottica on Monday. As the parent company of Ray-Ban and Oakley, Luxottica will work with Google to introduce Glass devices that incorporate the styles of the two well-known eyewear brands.

Ellen's Selfie Scores Oscar Gold for Samsung

Christopher Heine
Mar 3, 2014

Tops brand mentions across social, while Pepsi blows up Twitter

What’s the Secret to Making Wearables That People Actually Want?

Liz Stinson
Feb 27, 2014

Last September, right around spring/winter Fashion Week, an unexpected group of people gathered for a round table discussion at the main offices of the Council of Fashion Designers of America in New York City. Present was Steven Kolb, the CFDA’s CEO, a few higher-ups from Intel and a handful of CFDA members who also happen to be big names in fashion and accessory design. Intel had called the meeting to discuss the idea of starting a collaboration between the company and the fashion industry at large, with the ultimate goal of figuring out a way turn their decidedly unwearable technology into something people—fashionable people—might actually want to put on their bodies.

Hooked: Building Value With Addiction

Roger Dooley
Feb 26, 2014

We’ve just witnessed one of the most incredible examples of value creation in business history. Facebook announced the acquisition of messaging service WhatsApp for $19 billion. The messaging service has only 55 employees, but has grown its user base at a tremendous pace to a current level of 450 million.

The Happiest And Unhappiest Industries In 2014

Susan Adams
Feb 24, 2014

Which professions have the happiest workers? Sexy industries like the movies or lucrative, intellectually challenging businesses like software engineering?

Amazon Said To Be Looking At March For Streaming TV Box Launch

Darrell Etherington
Feb 21, 2014

A new report pegs Amazon’s potential TV set-top box launch for March. Re/Code reports that the ecommerce and digital media giant is indeed still hard at work on a streaming TV device, which has been reported previous, and which was supposedly arriving in time for the holidays last year before those plans were pushed back.

Bitcoin Exchange Prices Plummet as Investors Brace for Bankruptcy

Robert McMillan
Feb 19, 2014

Welcome to the world of bitcoin, the Wild West of finance, a place where hackers and scandals and insane price fluctuations are just part of doing business. Mt. Gox, a digital currency pioneer that was once the world’s largest bitcoin exchange, is imploding before our very eyes.

Starbucks And Nike Are Winning Instagram (And Your Photos Are Helping)

Clare O'Connor
Feb 14, 2014

Do you have that one friend who constantly posts artistically-angled photos of his morning latte on Instagram? What about the younger cousin who uploads shots of her retro Air Jordans, hashtagged #swag? You might roll your eyes at your loved ones’ over-sharing, but Nike and Starbucks are making the most of it — and killing retail competition on the photo-sharing social network.

The Problem With Facebook

Feb 13, 2014

Facebook is a complex ecosystem of individuals, creators, brands and advertisers, but I don't think it serves any of these groups particularly well because its top priority is to make money. Now, I don't think making money is a bad thing, in fact I hope to make some myself. The problem is the only way Facebook has found to make money is by treating all entities on the site as advertisers and charging them to share their content.

The 2 Teenagers Who Run the Wildly Popular Twitter Feed, @HistoryInPics

Alexis C. Madrigal
Jan 23, 2014

Meet Xavier Di Petta and Kyle Cameron, ages 17 and 19, whose ability to build a massive audience from nothing may be unparalleled in media today.

A Look at How Many People Keep Their New Year's Resolutions to Get Fit

Lucia Moses
Jan 22, 2014

If you're like most people, you don't make a New Year's resolution. Maybe that's because few of who do make them (the vast majority of which involve getting in shape) manage to keep them for any decent length of time, according to a Horizon Media survey. The waning enthusiasm to work out also shows up in how much people value health and fitness brands, with healthy snacks and gyms topping out at the start of the year before entering their descent, according to BAV Consulting, a tracker of brand perceptions.

Consumers Paying Better Attention To What They Eat

Thom Forbes
Jan 17, 2014

We are consuming about 78 fewer calories a day overall, saturated fat consumption has decreased from 11.3% of total calories to 10.6%, fiber intake has increased from 16.1 grams a day to 17.3 and we’re paying more attention to health claims and Nutrition Facts Panels, a government study of 10,000 working Americans’ eating habits from 2005 to 2010 shows.

2014 Marketing Trends You Probably Haven't Heard

Patrick Spenner
Jan 13, 2014

It’s that time of year. I’m hopped up on eggnog and ready to go! Last year’s “10 Marketing Trends for 2013 You Haven’t Heard” was a popular one. Let’s do it again. Hoping three or four of these are ones you won’t have thought about or fully appreciated.

15 Tech Trends That Will Define 2014, Selected By Frog

Jan 8, 2014

Drones, driverless cars, and the digital dragon of china are just some of the things that will change our economy, and our lives, this year.

The 30 Under 30 Driving The Radical Transformation Of Marketing And Advertising

Jennifer Rooney
Jan 6, 2014

This year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 in Marketing & Advertising are driving that dramatic industry change, and their mix of titles reflects the kaleidoscope of skills marketing demands: creative technologist. Tech and consumer insights director. Experience designer. Senior social media specialist.

5 Innovative Trends in Women's Economic Equality

Reem Rahman
Dec 13, 2013

Investing in women creates a multiplier effect for society – including better health and education outcomes, more resilient societies, reinvestment in communities, and greater prosperity. While there has been overall progress globally, women in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) still face some of the greatest barriers in asserting their economic rights.

Instagram's Top Posts and Trends From 2013

Kurt Wagner
Dec 13, 2013

Instagram is starting to look every bit the billion dollar company Facebook made it out to be in 2012. The photo sharing app hit some major milestones in 2013, most notably the addition of video, posting of its first advertisements, and the recent roll out of Instagram Direct, a private messaging feature that allows users to share photos with individuals or small groups with in the app.

The 10 Best Ads of 2013

Tim Nudd
Dec 10, 2013

It was a year for thinking big, and spreading the wealth. Advertisers continued to move well beyond the 30-, 60- and even 90-second spot in 2013, as two of our top 10 ads this year, including No. 1, stretch beyond three minutes.

Watch the Most Shared Ads of the Past 8 Years on Unruly Media's 'Viral Spiral'

Tim Nudd
Dec 5, 2013

The Viral Spiral—a fun way to look at some of the biggest viral spots since 2006—has been spiced up since its last appearance in 2011. You can filter by year, shares and sector; see synopses of the major themes in each year; and learn all sorts of sharing-related info-nuggets. As a nod to the year of prankvertising, Unruly also threw in an "infoprank," so don't worry if the NSA appears to be tracking you while you browse.

Healthy Eating: Does This Mason Jar Make Me Look Sexy?

Jason McDowell & Stuart Isaac Shapiro
Dec 4, 2013

It’s clear that consumers are increasingly choosing healthier foods. But when we started asking, ‘Why?,’ the literature wasn’t as clear. Many papers point to an evolving consciousness about eating. Yes, consumers today are more educated than ever about the link between health and food, thanks to advances in medical research and a steady accompaniment of mainstream media reports. But consumers, and particularly American consumers, have a well-documented susceptibility to media fads about eating and dieting.

Will Ferrell's Anchorman 2 Is Changing the Way Movies Are Marketed

Christopher Heine
Nov 25, 2013

The wide-reaching social push is unlike anything done before.

These Are the Most-Shared Ads of 2013

Todd Wasserman
Nov 21, 2013

Did you see that Dove ad pop up in your Facebook feed this year? How about the Geico camel one? The odds are good that you crossed digital paths with at least one of these ads. While views are often seen as the prime metric for viral videos, Unruly, the firm that compiled this year's list of the most-shared ads, sees shares as a better metric.

Here's Where Teens Are Going Instead Of Facebook

Parmy Olson
Nov 19, 2013

Where are teenagers going instead? Not surprisingly, it’s mobile chat services like WeChat, and photo-sharing apps like Instagram and Snapchat.

16 Creative Uses of Instagram Video

Max Knoblauch
Nov 11, 2013

With just 15 seconds, you'd think it'd be difficult to create visually compelling videos, but more users are getting the hang of it every day. Artists, athletes, journalists and musicians are all using Instagram to express themselves in fascinating ways.

Photo and Video Sharers Are More Likely to Be Young and Female

Lucia Moses
Nov 6, 2013

Does it seem like your social feeds are jammed with your friends’ latest baby video or vacation pictures? Helped by Snapchat and Instagram, image-sharing has increased significantly in the past year, with more than half of Internet users now posting their own pictures and videos online, a new Pew Internet Project report reveals.

How Agencies Are Retooling for the Automated Ad Buy

Sam Thielman
Nov 5, 2013

Q&A with Jay Sears, svp of development for the Rubicon Project.

Kanye West Just Rebranded The Confederate Flag For Himself

Mark Wilson
Nov 5, 2013

In making the confederate flag the icon behind his new tour, Kanye West is changing the meaning of a racist icon.

The Joy of Pranking [Video]

Lauren Reeves
Nov 1, 2013

Mad Woman Lauren Reeves loves to see people scared to death in ads.

38% of Children Under 2 Use Mobile Media, Study Says

Meg Wagner
Oct 28, 2013

Nearly two in five children have used a tablet or smartphone before they could speak in full sentences, according to a new report.

You Are Connected To Everyone On Earth By Just 4 Degrees Now

Jessica Leber
Oct 28, 2013

The old six degrees of separation has shrunk, and it's because of Facebook.

40% of the Top 1,000 Most Popular Instagram Videos Are From Brands

Seth Fiegerman
Oct 23, 2013

Good news for Instagram's plans to introduce advertising: Branded videos are proving to be quite popular on the social network.

Guess the Big-Name Directors Behind These Commercials

Ann-Christine Diaz
Oct 18, 2013

From Budweiser to PBS, Can You Identify the Silver-Screen Talents Behind the Ads?

5 Lessons On Influencer Marketing And Brand Transparency

Meghan M. Biro
Sep 26, 2013

Consumers trust their friends, family and advocates far more than they trust banner and TV ads, and they’re more likely to make a purchase because of a recommendation than a billboard.

15 Brands Kicking Butt on Vine

Sarah Ang
Sep 6, 2013

Despite Instagram’s massive following and its new video feature, many brands have committed to Vine.

Golf Channel Should Look to Adidas to See How Realtime Is Done

Christopher Heine
Aug 30, 2013

In light of Golf Channel's "I Have A Dream" disaster this week, it's worth getting a close-up of Adidas' effort this summer during Singapore's air pollution problem that resulted from forest fires in the region.

Yes, Marketers, You Should Pay Your Influencers

Teresa M. Caro
Aug 22, 2013

A consumer advocate can be your brand's best friend.

How To Build a High-Performing Digital Team

Perry Hewitt
Aug 21, 2013

Digital skills are in high demand and short supply. But first things first — how do you define a digital team when nearly everything is digital?

Meet the Hackers Who Want to Jailbreak the Internet

Klint Finley
Aug 14, 2013

Packed into a small conference room, this rag-tag band of software developers has an outsized digital pedigree, and they have a mission to match. They hope to jailbreak the internet.

How Vice's Tim Pool used Google Glass to cover Istanbul protests

Stuart Dredge
Aug 2, 2013

Pool has been using Glass for his livestreaming coverage of recent protests in Istanbul, Cairo and Brazil for Vice in 2013, but he's been doing what he calls "mobile first-person" journalism since 2011, and the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York.

10 Early-Adopter Brands That Are First to Try New Technology

Cotton Delo
Aug 1, 2013

You know your friends who are always first to tell you about some new social platform, who had already made a dozen Vine videos when you decided to give it a try? There are marketers like that too.

As Sharknado Hits Theaters, What We Can Learn From A Schlock Social Phenomenon

Susan Karlin
Jul 31, 2013

Cashing in on the social media sensation, Syfy and NCM Media Networks will release Sharknado in select theaters for one night only, while the TV movie becomes an unusual case study in brand extension when a ratings flop is a Twitter hit.

Flow State - Shots of Awe

Jason Silva
Jul 30, 2013

Join Jason Silva every week as he freestyles his way into the complex systems of society, technology and human existence and discusses the truth and beauty of science in a form of existential jazz.

Russia's Anti-Gay Laws Put Pressure on Stoli, NBC

E.J. Schultz
Jul 29, 2013

Russian Vodkas Feeling The Heat. Could Winter Olympic Sponsors Be Next?

What If 3-D Printers Had An “Undo” Button?

Iona Holloway
Jul 26, 2013

3-D printing used to be a fixed medium. Now, graduate students have created a printer that can go back in time, make changes on the fly, and best of all, build objects in a weightless environment.

Get Ready To See Lots Of Promoted Tweets During Tv Ads

Addy Dugdale
Jul 24, 2013

Twitter is giving a big push to its TV ad targeting feature, which allows brands to send promoted tweets during ad breaks for your favorite shows.

Armband enables remote control of any device through gesture

Murray Orange
Jul 24, 2013

MYO is a piece of wearable tech that detects muscle configuration to enable users to remotely control any device with arm movements.

Will Someone Please Design Wearable Devices That Aren't Fugly?

Rachel Frank
Jul 16, 2013

If there's one reason to hope for an Apple iWatch, it's so that the wearable technology market has some small glimmer of hope of learning what looks good.

We Owe Everything to Digital

Kathryn Butterfield
Jul 11, 2013

Digital technology has transformed our world, opening up and bringing the everyday to culture and heritage.

Why the 'Newsroom' Tactic Can Be Hurtful to Brands

Jack Macleod
Jul 9, 2013

The downside is possible brand depreciation, but the upside is extreme relevance created by converting your small, brilliant post into Big Content, which travels across channels to reach your audience with enduring meaning.

Twitter Vs. Mainstream Media: Science Proves Which Breaks News Faster

Sydney Brownstone
Jul 9, 2013

The revolution will not be televised, but it might be tweeted. A new study shows that Twitter has a lead time on newswires for certain stories--including sports, disasters, and sometimes riots.

Has Video Killed the.. Umm, Whatever Vine Is?

Barrett Condy
Jul 8, 2013

Hey, I just heard of this great new tool for marketers called Vine … oh wait, it’s dead.

Three Tips For Marketing Better With Memes

Cheryl Conner
Jul 2, 2013

Here’s the million dollar question: What is it that turns an idea into an internet meme?

Apple wins patent on opaque-to-transparent bezel tech

Don Reisinger
Jul 2, 2013

The company's patent will hide portions of a device's display until it's actually needed.

How Pop Culture Changed the Face of the Same-Sex Marriage Debate

Angela Watercutter
Jun 27, 2013

In more recent years there have been more storylines involving gay people on TV shows like Glee and Will & Grace, and committed gay couples on shows like Modern Family and Grey’s Anatomy.

Why The Samsung Jay-Z Bundle Matters More Than You Think

Tyler Hayes
Jun 27, 2013

For the artist, album sales are album sales. But what Samsung got out of this deal was much more valuable than the paltry $5 million they paid.

How Vine Climbed to the Top of the Social Media Ladder

Mat Honan
Jun 20, 2013

Owned by Twitter and launched in January, Vine is to short videos what Instagram is to snapshots: You shoot, edit, and share clips, all through a mobile app.

Conan O'Brien to Advertisers: You Disgust Me, But I Will Take Your Money

Tim Nudd
Jun 19, 2013

Conan O'Brien wants advertisers' money but also wants creative freedom with brand integrations on his show, a requirement that benefits both sides, he told Anderson Cooper in a packed house at Cannes Lions here this morning.

This Is What Happens When You Give A Creative Community An Empty 14,000-Square-Foot Building

Ariel Schwartz
Jun 19, 2013

Freespace is a experiment in civic hacking, inspired in no small part by Burning Man. But it’s attracting the attention of Fortune 500 companies eager to find ways bring more creativity and innovation into their work spaces and companies.

We Need a Fixer (Not Just a Maker) Movement

Clive Thompson
Jun 18, 2013

Today e-waste has become one of the fastest-growing categories of refuse. We chucked out 2.4 million tons of it in 2010 and recycled just 27 percent.

Facebook’s Secret To Building Friendships: Many Small Interactions

Mark Wilson
Jun 13, 2013

The design minds behind Facebook share the social network’s most important view--that friendships aren’t made in a moment but built one tiny interaction at a time.

Google Glass Gets A Teardown, Revealing It Can Be Hacked To Prescription Glasses

Darrell Etherington
Jun 12, 2013

Google Glass isn’t in the hands of consumers yet, but a pair of intrepid Glass explorers didn’t let that stop them from taking the thing apart to see what makes it tick.

How Brands Become Trends

Kathy Bloomgarden
Jun 5, 2013

Trends shape societal opinion and offer insights on where we’re headed as a global community.

Memes With Meaning: Why We Create And Share Cat Videos And Why It Matters To People And Brands

Abigail Posner
Jun 5, 2013

Google’s Abigail Posner explains why those screaming goat videos aren’t just a mindless distraction, they reflect a real human need to elevate the everyday, make connections and exchange energy, and outlines how brands can meaningfully participate.

An Insider’s View of the Myths and Truths of the 3-D Printing ‘Phenomenon’

Carl Bass
May 28, 2013

The 3rd power law of 3-D printing: Everything from cost and time to amount of material increases to the third power.

How Pac-Man Changed Games And Culture

Christine Champagne
May 22, 2013

The iconic game celebrates its 33rd anniversary on May 22.

Where Would the World Be Without YouTube?

Neha Prakash
May 21, 2013

YouTube recently celebrated its eighth birthday, reminding us that less than a decade ago we had no access to cute cat videos, screaming goat clips and viral trends such as the Harlem Shake.

5 of the Best Branded Viral Videos

Ekaterina Walter
May 20, 2013

The sharing impulse is an increasingly important tool for marketers. These recent examples of successful virality foreground what makes a social person want to click and pass along.

Top 10 Questions Millennials Ask the Internet

Stephanie Buck
May 17, 2013

Millennials are a stubborn bunch. Likes: looking smart, being right. Dislikes: looking dumb, being wrong.

Does Google Glass Have a Branding Problem? Marketing Experts Map Steps to Mainstream Success

Anne Cassidy
May 15, 2013

Still in its test phase, Google Glass may be dorked to death before it gets the opportunity to take off.

World's First 3-D-Printed Gun Fired In Texas

Addy Dugdale
May 6, 2013

A gun made with 3-D printer technology has been successfully fired in the U.S.

Google Doodle Honors Earth Day

Lance Ulanoff
Apr 22, 2013

If you just woke up or even if you're heading out to work, take a moment to lean down and give good old Mother Earth a kiss; it is Earth Day, after all.

Amazing Photos Of Earth From Above, From Canada’s Tiny Space Program

Zak Stone
Apr 11, 2013

A very social media-savvy astronaut from the Frozen North recently took over on the International Space Station, and the images he’s been beaming back are incredible.

The Sex Panther Formula For Finding Your Brand's Secret Sauce

Mark McNeilly
Apr 9, 2013

Anchorman's Brian Fantana may have been off the mark with his Sex Panther cologne, but his head was in the right place. Every brand could use a simple lesson in setting itself apart. (Just not with panthers.)

Anonymous hacks North Korea's Twitter and Flickr accounts

Lance Whitney
Apr 4, 2013

Citing the threat posed by the North Korean government, the "hacktivist" group defaced the country's official Twitter and Flickr accounts yesterday.

Prankvertising: Are Outrageous Marketing Stunts Worth the Risks?

David Gianatasio
Apr 2, 2013

You're waiting for the elevator in an office building, minding your own business, perhaps lost in thought. The door slides open and, wham!

These 3-D Printed Speakers Put On a Dazzling Light Show

Nathan Hurst
Apr 2, 2013

Like these speakers? You can’t have them.

What Does That Second Screen Mean for Viewers and Advertisers?

Lucia Moses & Carlos Monteiro
Apr 1, 2013

The more screens you have, the more likely you are to engage in media multitasking.

Google Nose Harnesses Your Sense of Smell for Search

Anita Li
Apr 1, 2013

Currently in beta, the new feature incorporates scents into Search. Google describes Nose as its "flagship olfactory knowledge feature enabling users to search for smells."

Enterprise-Class 3D Printers To Drop Under $2,000 By 2016, Says Report

Matt Burns
Mar 29, 2013

3D printing is still in its infancy. But, to use an overused phrase, it is the future. From home use to enterprise use, 3D printing will continue to grow and break into new areas.

This Beautiful Mexico City Building Eats The City’s Smog

Zak Stone
Mar 28, 2013

The Torre de Especialidadesis is shielded with a facade of Prosolve370e, a new type of tile whose special shape and chemical coating can help neutralize the chemicals that compose smog.

Crowdfunding, Micro-Patronage, and the Future of Free Software

Scott Merrill
Mar 27, 2013

The “free” in Free Software refers to “freedom”, rather than cost. It is largely a happy coincidence that Free Software is available gratis.

In Seoul, retailer uses 3D QR codes and the sun to deliver discounts only during its quiet times

Regina Gauer
Mar 27, 2013

Korean Emart recently placed 3D QR code sculptures throughout the city of Seoul that could only be scanned between noon and 1 pm each day — consumers were given discounts at the store during those quiet shopping hours.

Lead Or Follow, But Keep Your Eyes On The Crowd

Ross Kimbarovsky and Mike Samson
Mar 26, 2013

The impact of this new way to source work and ideas has been significant. As crowdsourcing becomes a staple in cutting-edge marketing practices, it has come to represent a fierce challenge to the traditional agency model and the marketing industry in general.

Bike Light Projects Cyclist’s Speed On The Road In Front Of Them

Yi Chen
Mar 26, 2013

Matt Richardson's hack displays a moving odometer in real-time.

3D printing pen that can draw real objects into existence raises over USD 2m on Kickstarter

Nameet Potnis
Mar 25, 2013

The 3Doodler aims to bring 3D printing down to the handheld scale, with a pen that uses quick-cooling plastic to create hand-drawn 3D models.

Watching Hacking Attempts in Real Time

James Fallows
Mar 22, 2013

Where do most attempted hacks come from? You might be surprised.

3 Hilarious Ideas for Google Users

Matt Petronzio
Mar 22, 2013

There's no doubt that Google remains the world's most popular search engine, but are you using it to its full potential?

The Nielsen Family is Dead

Tom Vanderbilt
Mar 19, 2013

The new rules of the hyper-social, data-driven, actor-friendly, super-seductive platinum age of television.

Study Reveals the Workforce Is Not Innovative Enough

Glenn Llopis
Mar 18, 2013

According to an online quiz created by my organization that has been taken by more than 500,000 people since 2009, employees are most proficient at implementing (sowing but not growing) the work they are assigned to complete.

How Interactive Displays Are Helping Customers Buy Smarter

PSFK Staff
Mar 15, 2013

The use of interactive digital displays are helping to provide customers with an immersive experience that engages multiple senses, something that’s impossible to replicate on the web.

Philips Turns Pane of Glass Into a 3D TV

Stan Schroeder
Mar 15, 2013

Aiming to create an "object of desire" rather than just another TV, Philips' designers have created a TV that looks like a seamless sheet of glass with a black gradient.

NFC Poised To Accelerate Direct Marketing

Jacob Beckley
Mar 13, 2013

It enables marketers to deliver content via an embedded NFC chip that allows wireless communication when a user touches a smartphone or mobile device to a piece of marketing collateral or brings the device into close proximity with an NFC tag.

5 Trends That Will Drive The Future Of Technology

Greg Satell
Mar 12, 2013

The future of technology is, ironically, all too human.

Virtual Library Brings Books to NYC Subway

Nic Halverson
Mar 12, 2013

Using near-field communication (NFC) technology found in smartphones, commuters could scan book titles that appear on advertisements inside the car.

The Top Coworking Countries In The World

Ariel Schwartz
Mar 11, 2013

The idea of being free from an office but having a space to work is exploding around the globe. Where has it taken off the most?

The Memex in Your Pocket

Will Oremus
Mar 7, 2013

The idea that we could invent tools that change our cognitive abilities might sound outlandish, but it’s actually a defining feature of human evolution.

Are These New Startups The Future Of Media?

Zak Stone
Mar 6, 2013

A new accelerator is looking for how we’re going to create and view content. What’s the future going to bring?

Samsung To Continue Its Innovation Push With Head Tracking Auto-Scroll On The GSIV

Matt Burns
Mar 6, 2013

Auto-tracking is the next frontier in user interaction. Intelligent eye-tracking would result in a revolutionary paradigm shift.

Bravo Extends Their PLAY LIVE TV Platform And Advertisers Sign Up

Jay Donovan
Mar 6, 2013

First of all, what is Play Live? It’s a “Participation TV” platform (that’s what Bravo calls it) where people vote or interact with questions during a television program using their laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Why The Human Body Will Be The Next Computer Interface

Andy Goodman and Marco Righetto
Mar 5, 2013

Fjord charts the major innovations of the past, and predicts a future of totally intuitive "micro gestures and expressions" that will control our devices.

Armband Lets You Wirelessly Control Devices, 'Unleash Your Inner Jedi'

Anita Li
Feb 27, 2013

It's like harnessing the Force: A new armband uses the electrical activity in your muscles to let you wirelessly control digital devices.

Four Big Data Misconceptions

David Booth
Feb 27, 2013

Big data is quickly becoming a bigger buzzword in 2013, and it clearly cannot be ignored by today's marketer.

Can We Really Stop Bullying?

Emily Yoffe
Feb 25, 2013

Emily Bazelon's in-depth look at bullying and a blueprint for how to reduce it.

Social pollution masks? Winning wearable tech ideas

Amanda Kooser
Feb 21, 2013

Frog Design asked designers to invent wearable tech concepts, with results ranging from interactive tree displays to a wristband that helps wearers navigate NY subways.

Want Google Glass? Tell Google How You'll Use it

Lance Ulanoff
Feb 20, 2013

On Wednesday, the search giant launched an application contest to let regular people from all walks of life try out the head-mounted, augmented reality "glasses." They simply have to prove they deserve it.

What's Your 4G Marketing Plan - Interruption or Disruption?

Chris Baylis
Feb 15, 2013

All agencies think innovation = digital. As a result, we’re not seeing genuine innovation; instead we’re seeing more interruption, in more places, on more devices. Ad agencies need to innovate, and innovate fast, but are caught in what is known as, ‘the innovator’s paradox.’

Dealers Must Adapt To Mobile Millennials

Karl Greenberg
Feb 15, 2013

Unfortunately, a lot of dealerships subscribe to the old-school philosophy: if research starts online, consideration and choice still happen in the showroom. Clayton Stanfield, senior manager of dealer training at eBay Motors and a former dealership Internet sales manager himself, says things are changing when it comes to how dealerships are handling prospects.

Advertising Growth Shows That for Many, Tablets Are the PC

Michael V. Copeland
Feb 14, 2013

By the end 2013 tablets will account for 20 percent of Google’s paid search ad clicks in the U.S., up from 6 percent in January 2012. It’s not just the volume of the tablet clicks that is rising, it’s also the value.

Nike CEO Mark Parker On His Company's Digital Future: Body-Controlled Music, Color-Coded Heart Rates

Austin Carr
Feb 13, 2013

"Nike has broken out of apparel and into tech, data, and services, which is so hard for any company to do." In the coming years, Nike will expand its footprint in the digital space, especially through partnerships like the one it struck with TechStars, to attract startups to build on the Nike+ platform.

Art museum app enables patrons to follow visitor-created tours

Murray Orange
Feb 12, 2013

Hoping to give visitors their own platform for curation, the Cleveland Museum of Art has launched its Artlens app, which can be used by patrons to create their own path through the collection.

We're Marketers, Not Soldiers: How Combative Competition Is Killing Creativity

Douglas Van Praet
Feb 11, 2013

Is it not ironic that we call customers “targets” and seek to engineer their empathy in “war rooms?" The hostilities are endless. And it’s not enough to win. Someone must lose. Beating the competitor takes precedence over helping the customer.

Hearst Is Revamping All Of Its Online Magazines With A Responsive, Personalized Design

Anthony Ha
Feb 11, 2013

Over the next few months, all of Hearst Digital Media‘s titles are getting a new look. The new responsive design is the more obvious change. It’s an increasingly popular strategy for companies to adapt to mobile by creating websites that rearrange themselves based on the size of the screen.

Beware the Big Errors of ‘Big Data’

Nassim Taleb
Feb 8, 2013

We’re more fooled by noise than ever before, and it’s because of a nasty phenomenon called “big data.” With big data, researchers have brought cherry-picking to an industrial level. Modernity provides too many variables, but too little data per variable. So the spurious relationships grow much, much faster than real information.

The 3 Keys to Agile Content Development

Alex Krawitz and Eugene Chung
Feb 7, 2013

Any effective approach to content has to put the consumer at the center and must be able to adapt based on cultural trends and consumer insights. The action of being quick-to-market with compelling content based on real-time cultural trends is a much tougher challenge.

The New York Times invites media startups to work from its headquarters

Feb 6, 2013

The New York Times is opening up its office space and expertise to media startups through timeSpace. The scheme is opening up office space at the newspaper’s headquarters at 620 8th Avenue, New York City, to provide fledgling businesses with a four-month program.

College Branding: The Tipping Point

Roger Dooley
Feb 5, 2013

Somehow, almost all of these institutions have continued to attract enough students to stay in business year after year. That’s about to change, and one of the key differences in who survives won’t be the academic output of the faculty or the amenities available to students. It will be a factor seemingly unrelated to the schools’ mission: branding.

Watch as Vine becomes the next great news-gathering tool

Danel Terdiman
Feb 5, 2013

Although few are talking about it, the new video app could be a perfect tool for citizen journalists, and news organizations that want access to real-time news.

Chipotle Sells Organic Hoodies in A Bid to Become A Lifestyle Brand

Emma Hutchings
Feb 1, 2013

Burrito chain Chipotle is branching out and trying to become a lifestyle brand in order to beat it’s rivals. The company has launched a line of organic clothes and accessories, is hosting ‘locavore’ festivals that champion local and sustainable food choices, and backing a dark comedy video series about a PR man defending industrial farming.

Magazines Cross the Digital Divide

Keach Hagey
Jan 28, 2013

Buffeted by declining advertising, which accounted for about 75% of their revenue historically, magazines are turning to tablet computers and digital editions to boost circulation revenue. In doing so, they are hoping to reset decades of subscription discounting so deep that a year's supply of magazines like Esquire currently costs just $8.

Why 'The Guardian' Is Forgoing Paywalls — For Now

Lauren Indvik
Jan 21, 2013

Following The New York Times' recent success, online paywalls (particularly the metered-access kind) have been popping up on newspaper websites across the globe. In the U.S. alone, nearly half of all newspapers now have some sort of online paywall.

The Future of Commerce Starts With a Tap

Mark Bonchek
Jan 16, 2013

So what's NFC? It technically stands for Near Field Communications, and it enables mobile devices like smartphones to communicate with nearby devices and objects with a simple tap.

Data Points: Brand Fans People have more brands as friends than ever on Facebook

Lucia Moses
Jan 16, 2013

Clearly, brands could stand to do more to keep consumers interested; the chief reason given by people who don't engage with brands on social networks is that they only "like" brands to get a deal they're offering.

Startups Skip Video, Hang Hopes On Shareable Multimedia

Sarah Kessler
Jan 14, 2013

When Instagram joined Facebook last April, a race to crown a “Instagram for Video” revved into full throttle. With Instagram's $1 billion price tag fresh in their minds, investors rushed to fund or acquire a piece of what seemed to be the next step in the evolution of social media.

Rise, An Alarm Clock App With A Slick Gestural UI

John Pavlus
Jan 10, 2013

Most gestural UIs still feel like little puzzles to solve instead of an easier way of interacting with apps, and Rise’s "gestural redundancy" makes its interface feel immensely more user-friendly.

Amazon’s New Deal: Buy a CD and Get the Digital Album for Free

Tricia Duryee
Jan 10, 2013

Amazon is announcing “AutoRip,” a new service that will give anyone who has ever purchased a CD on Amazon over the past 15 years a free digital copy of that album.

Bank of America Is At the Crossroads (Again)

Richard Levick
Jan 9, 2013

How can the banks seize on ongoing events – legal, economic, political – to energize recovery in a strict business sense and to reverse the inexorable tide of public acrimony?

Trade Shows - From One-Time Events To Year-Round Engagement

Tom Groenfeldt
Jan 8, 2013

Even in the internet age, events are big, and important, business. The Aberdeen Group finds that 9 percent of an organization’s total budget is spent on events and that figure is expected to climb 20 percent over the next two years.

Disney to make standing in line — and cash — passe

Brooks Barnes
Jan 7, 2013

Imagine Walt Disney World with no entry turnstiles. Cash? Passe. Visitors would wear rubber bracelets encoded with credit card information, snapping up corn dogs and Mickey Mouse ears with a tap of the wrist. Smartphone alerts would signal when it is time to ride Space Mountain, without standing in line. Fantasyland? Hardly. It happens starting this spring.

Your Friendly Barista Secretly Hates You

Sarah Green
Jan 7, 2013

Modern service companies like Starbucks and Pret A Manger really, really don't want to let their workforces unionize — not only would it cost them money, it threatens their self-image as benevolent corporations where employees are genuinely happy to work.

A Look at Newspapers Turning a Profit -- Yes, There Are Some

Nat Ives
Dec 18, 2012

Despite all the talk about newspapers being a dying business, plenty of them are profitable. Recent history shows that profits are hardly necessary for a sale if the buyer's motivation and the price are right.

Turning Your Name into a Brand

Marian Salzman
Dec 17, 2012

To a certain extent—in this age of marketing ourselves, finding our niches and explaining how our distinctive personal backstories make for unique selling propositions—all our names are brand names. But some have gone above and way beyond.

For Publishers, Social Media Still Stingy on Monetization

Nat Ives
Dec 17, 2012

Many publishers are finding clever ways to use social media to expand the reach of their ad programs or to make their paid products more appealing.

Most Read Online Newspapers in the World: Mail Online, New York Times and The Guardian

Dec 14, 2012

644 million people worldwide accessed online newspaper sites in October 2012, making up 42.6% of the total internet population. Mail Online was the most popular online newspaper, attracting more than 50 million unique visitors during the month.

Leverage Paid, Owned, Earned Media For Social Media Success

Brad Carraway
Dec 14, 2012

As social newsfeeds become ever more cluttered, the attention span of the social audience is becoming shorter, prompting brands to enact new strategies to effectively engage their audiences in meaningful ways that will keep attention.

Why The Brand Content Trend Is One Marketers Can't Bypass

Chris Perry
Dec 12, 2012

Lots of companies have committed, recasting stories through platforms that look more like digital magazines than traditional websites, and more. While all the attention may give it the luster of a fad today, brand content is nothing new.

Lacoste Imagines The Polo of the Future [Video]

Allie Walker
Dec 12, 2012

What can we expect from Lacoste, the traditionally ‘preppy’ brand that arguably hit its stride in the 1980s?

Ownshelf Helps Readers Share Their Digital Libraries With Friends

Seth Fiegerman
Dec 12, 2012

Rick Marazzani believes readers should be able to share and discover e-books through their friends' personal libraries just like they do with print books. That's why he built Ownshelf. Ownshelf, a free web service that launched in beta Friday, provides readers with a cloud storage platform to share e-books with friends and family.

Washington Post Plans a Paywall

Keach Hagey
Dec 10, 2012

Most other newspapers in the country, including the New York Times and Gannett Co.'s local papers, have introduced paywalls in the past year or so, generating increased circulation revenues that offset print advertising losses. But among major newspapers, the Post has stood almost alone in its decision to keep its website free.

Purpose: How Truly Great Leaders Measure Their Companies

Joey Reiman
Dec 10, 2012

A larger purpose isn't just good karma. Leaders who instill their company with a greater mission have more motivated employees and more loyal customers.

CMOs: Here's How To Stay Relevant In 2013

Lisa Arthur
Dec 6, 2012

Many CMOs seem to be struggling to gain alignment and to build consensus across their lines of business and into the board room. As a result, the C-suite can be plagued with uncertainty and misunderstanding, and CMOs are starting to worry about losing relevance. What does it take to get us all on the same page, pulling together?

How The Walmart Foundation Innovates Corporate Giving For A Bigger Impact

Lydia Dishman
Dec 4, 2012

Sylvia Mathews Burwell, president of the Walmart Foundation, talks about making an impact both globally and locally, and how any company can be a better corporate citizen.

Data: The New Creative

Louis Winokur
Dec 3, 2012

One of the hottest marketing catchphrases of 2012 is "data is the new creative." The premise is that all the creative in the world won't help you if your decisions are not data-driven.

Half of mobile phone users get online with their device

Dara Kerr
Nov 28, 2012

People are now using their cell phones for much more than talking. According to a new study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 85 percent of U.S. adults own a mobile phone and 56 percent of them use it to get online.

American CEOs Should Stop Complaining About Uncertainty

Jonathan Berman
Nov 28, 2012

This month, the chief executive officers of America's biggest companies went on a media blitz to decry the uncertainty caused by the fiscal cliff. In such uncertain times, they say, they are hesitant to invest in the US economy.

5 Big Brands Confirm That Content Marketing Is The Key To Your Consumer

Brandon Gutman
Nov 27, 2012

2012 has been the year of growth for content marketing. Brands have begun to embrace the discipline as a vital part of their overall strategy. What was once a conversation on “why content marketing” has turned into a conversation on “how to.”

The Rising Science Of Social Influence — How Predictable Is Your Online Behaviour?

Ferenc Huszar
Nov 27, 2012

We are creating a new market and ecosystem of personal preferences and patterns of influence. We are creating an exponential amount of data – 3.2bn likes and comments per day, over 400m tweets per day, and rapidly being joined by Pins and Cinema.grams.

Old Media, New Tricks

Charlie Warzel
Nov 27, 2012

With the newsroom housed 24 floors below, the seven-year-old R&D Lab acts as a tech startup of sorts inside the New York Times Co., home of the 161-year-old, self-styled newspaper of record. With 20 staffers, the lab’s mix of crazy smart technologists, programmers, designers and business brains are charged with the Sisyphean task of developing tech innovations and new business models to help the struggling Times weather an uncertain future following five consecutive years of falling revenue and net losses totaling more than $300 million over seven years.

The Social Commerce Attribution Problem: IBM Says Twitter Referred 0% Of Black Friday Traffic

Josh Constine
Nov 27, 2012

Twitter and Facebook usually aren’t the last click before an ecommerce buy, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t inspire or influence the purchase. Yet IBM’s Black Friday report says Twitter delivered 0 percent of referral traffic and Facebook sent just 0.68 percent.

Why Apple stores are raking in bags full of cash, and no one can dupe the formula

Geoff Duncan
Nov 26, 2012

Just how is Apple able to perform so much better than other consumer electronics retailers and world-renowned brands? And more important, why haven’t any of them been able to duplicate Apple’s magic formula yet?

Digital Strategy Does Not Equal IT Strategy

Mark P. McDonald
Nov 19, 2012

Everyone thinks they have a digital strategy these days. But while your company may have a business or IT strategy that incorporates digital technology, an IT strategy does not equal a digital strategy. Why?

Social TV Is Getting Down to Business

Brian Steinberg
Nov 19, 2012

Forget about the clicks and check-ins so commonly associated with what many marketers call the "second screen" experience, which typically involves use of a tablet or smartphone while the user watches anything from "The Voice" to "Hoarders." Marketers are starting to use the medium with more in mind than just sparking idle talk.

3 Big Insights From Today’s Top Design Thinkers

Mark Wilson
Nov 16, 2012

A few weeks ago, at the Fast Company offices, we convened an all-star panel of designers and design leaders to talk about the problems that they found most vexing in the past year, and what they were trying to do to solve them.

Viewability And The Wrong End Of The Billboard

Scott Knoll
Nov 16, 2012

Lately we’ve heard a chorus of skepticism regarding the importance of viewability, and some say that there is no correlation between viewability and conversion rate. In reality, there are only three reasons why one could legitimately argue that viewability doesn't matter.

Exclusive - Inside Orca: How The Romney Campaign Suppressed Its Own Vote

Joel B. Pollak
Nov 13, 2012

One factor is emerging as the essential difference between the Obama and Romney campaigns on November 6: the absolute failure of Romney’s get-out-the-vote effort, which underperformed even John McCain’s lackluster 2008 turnout.

Boston.com Joins Native Advertising Push With Sponsored Posts

Nat Ives
Nov 13, 2012

Boston.com has begun offering advertisers the chance to write their own blog posts, joining a growing list of web publishers pinning at least some of their hopes on a tactic variously known as native advertising, custom content or branded content.

What's Going to Kill the TV Business?

Derek Thompson
Nov 9, 2012

What's going to kill the TV business, or at least challenge it, isn't Apple designing the perfect remote or Microsoft designing a superior guide. It's two things.

How Networked Inisghts Makes Sense of Internet Chatter to Help Big Brands Create Better Ads

Christina Chaey
Nov 9, 2012

It used to be that brands and agencies would create ad campaigns, push them live, and use the resulting consumer reaction to help inform the next campaign. But with the rise of real-time data, marketers can now keep tabs on real-time consumer reaction and use that knowledge to make smarter decisions around all facets of creating, distributing and measuring brand campaigns.

Is This The #1 Thing That Keeps Marketers Up At Night?

Steve Olenski
Nov 7, 2012

In case you didn’t notice over the past several years the amount of patent battles between some pretty big brands have been waged in the courts. Samsung vs. Apple. Google vs. Facebook. And on and on and on. The folks over at visual.ly put together this handy dandy graphicso you can keep score at home.

Microsoft Reveals Strategy Turning Towards Entertainment And Content

Addy Dugdale
Nov 7, 2012

Ahead of today's Halo 4 release The Verge has revealed that plans are underfoot at Redmond to develop a gaming tablet, the Xbox Surface. It's a seven-incher and its production has so far been kept apart from existing Xbox lines.

4 Big Data Insights From 42 Billion Page Views

Dave Feinleib
Nov 7, 2012

Companies like Google and Facebook have had access to vast amounts of data on how consumers behave on the web for years. Now you can get access to this same kind of Big Data, even if you don’t have their scale.

The Network Effect Isn’t Good Enough

Nir Eyal and Sangeet Paul Choudary
Nov 5, 2012

The power of the network effect is fading, at least in its current incarnation. Traditionally defined as a system where each new user on the network increases the value of the service for all others, a network effect often creates a winner-takes-all dynamic, ordaining one dominant company above the rest. Moreover, these companies often wield monopoly-like powers over their industries.

Stitcher Aims To Build Talk Radio's First Search Engine

Sarah Kessler
Nov 1, 2012

For now, trending topics are a feature buried within a temporary feature at the corner of the Stitcher app. But the technology behind them reveals the potential for discovery to impact talk radio the way it has music, video, and written news.

Teenage CEO of Summly wants to 'Cliff Note' the news

Donna Tam
Nov 1, 2012

D'Aloisio's company released a news reading app today that summarizes news articles, creating a sort of Cliff Notes for the news, for the iPhone. It'll be the second time the London-based teenager has repackaged his product, and this time he did it because he feels like the consumption of news on mobile devices hasn't been properly addressed.

Disrupting Advertising Media's 'Big Glass Cases'

Tom Ferry
Nov 1, 2012

We continuously hear of the ever-changing digital age and predictions now and then, of doom and gloom within the newspaper, magazine, radio and outdoor media marketplaces, among others. Forward-thinking marketers and media executives, however, continually find ways to adapt, evolve and reinvent traditional communication platforms.

Hurricane Sandy Boosts Local Online News Brands

Cotton Delo
Oct 31, 2012

"Hyperlocal" news sites that focus their coverage on small towns and city neighborhoods are reporting big traffic surges from Sandy, with local residents keen to find out about their towns' storm preparedness yesterday and about property damage and when power will be restored today, with much of it driven by search.

Innovation Isn't Tied to Size, but to Operating Rules

Nilofer Merchant
Oct 31, 2012

The key for every firm — regardless of size — is to figure out how to consistently create value in a demanding, ever-changing market. That is hard no matter what size you are, no matter what industry you're in.

Penguin and Random House merger to create biggest book publisher ever seen

Mark Sweney
Oct 30, 2012

Penguin, the most famous name in British publishing, has confirmed its merger with the German-owned Random House, creating the biggest book publisher seen, accounting for about one in four of all books sold.

Big Data's Big Image Problem

Christopher Heine
Oct 30, 2012

With consumers already uncomfortable about their data being collected for marketing purposes, promoting a term that sounds a lot like other industry-based labels with negative connotations has some marketers scratching their heads.

Track Hurricane Sandy via Google's real-time crisis map

Philippa Warr
Oct 30, 2012

Google has created a crisis map for Hurricane Sandy, which includes information on the storm's current location, its predicted path and the locations of emergency shelters.

Is the Cost of Innovation Falling?

Bright B. Simons
Oct 29, 2012

The answer to that question has dramatic consequences for low-GDP countries and small businesses everywhere. If the cost of innovation is falling, that should enable more of it from poorer countries, companies or cooperatives. If it's not, the already big and already rich will dominate innovation.

‘New York Times,’ ‘Wall Street Journal’ Take Down Paywalls for Hurricane Sandy

Lauren Indvik
Oct 29, 2012

The New York Times suspended the paywall on its site and apps Sunday afternoon, as people turn to online news outlets to get more information about Hurricane Sandy. The storm is scheduled to make landfall in New Jersey Monday night.

The Sad State of Video Apps

Armando Kirwin
Oct 29, 2012

I would argue that we have yet to see a startup nail ANY part of the video experience except for sharing. Apps in this category include Viddy, SocialCam, Klip, Chill, Vodio, and more. To me, this is classic Silicon Valley just building something they’re comfortable building: platforms, social graphs, viral hooks, blah, blah, blah.

Pssst, That Bottle Is Talking to You

Emma Hall
Oct 29, 2012

At any given moment, Diageo has between 2.5 billion and 3 billion bottles sitting in stores around the world, acting as passive "pitchmen" for its brands. Now Diageo has found a way for the bottles to literally speak to the consumers who buy them.

More interactive Tweets, in more than 2000 ways

Oct 26, 2012

Today there are more than 2,000 ways to bring more interactive and engaging Tweets to your stream –– on twitter.com, as well as Twitter for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry.

Streaming Radio Service 8tracks Relaunches On iPhone

Sarah Perez
Oct 26, 2012

8tracks is a streaming, not on-demand, music service. Its some 600,000 mixes are uploaded by a small portion (less than 1%) of the app’s users, known as DJs. There are no restrictions on the type of tracks these DJs can choose, beyond a couple of requirements that help keep 8tracks legal.

Why Digital Marketers Need to Get More Personal

Paul Dunay
Oct 25, 2012

The potential of personalized online marketing, when done well, is enormous—and for that reason, it’s a compelling sell. The problem is, it hasn’t been done successfully thus far. And thanks to vendor hype and overpromise, just mention the word “personalization,” and most have learned to greet it with a healthy dose of skepticism.

Meijer Supports Literacy Programs

Tanya Irwin
Oct 25, 2012

Midwest retailer Meijer is supporting United Way literacy programs across the Midwest through a new partnership with Better World Books.

Time Moves to Responsive Design

Lucia Moses
Oct 22, 2012

Time had social media users high on its mind when it decided to move to responsive design. Social media now accounts for at least 12 percent of referrals to Time.com, and most people who click on Time links from Facebook, Twitter and the like are doing so on a mobile.

Where Has 'Integration' Gone?

Michael Miller
Oct 22, 2012

Why do some advertisers and agencies look at the world one silo at a time when, in fact, our media world is cross-referenced but brand messages across them are not completely integrated?

Brazil's Newspapers Samba Away From Google

Addy Dugdale
Oct 22, 2012

Newspapers in Brazil have uncoupled themselves from Google News, claiming that their presence on the search engine is preventing their online operations from growing. It's a pre-emptive strike on the firm, involving all 154 members of the Associacao Nacional de Journais--that's 90% of the country's circulation of dailies.

Inside Starbucks's $35 Million Mission To Make Brand Evangelists Of Its Front-Line Workers

Sarah Kessler
Oct 22, 2012

To Starbucks, baristas are not just baristas--they are ambassadors of brand, merchants of romance, disciples of delight. The company recently invested millions in a "Leadership Lab" designed to drill that message in for 9,600 store managers. So did it work?

The Politics of Social Networks

Robert Passikoff
Oct 16, 2012

If you’re really looking for trouble, try posting something on Facebook about your political preferences! A study from the Pew Research Center discovered the remedy for 20% of social networkers who received political puffery too frequently or political opinions antithetical to their own was – wait for it – unfriending or blocking!

Microsoft Plans Large Volume Production of Surface

Lorraine Luk
Oct 16, 2012

Microsoft Corp. seems to be serious about its foray into the tablet market – the software giant is planning large volume production of its first tablet computer, Surface, in the fourth quarter.

Dark Social: We Have the Whole History of the Web Wrong

Alexis C. Madrigal
Oct 15, 2012

One dirty secret of web analytics is that the information we get is limited. If you want to see how someone came to your site, it's usually pretty easy. When you follow a link from Facebook to The Atlantic, a little piece of metadata hitches a ride that tells our servers. There are circumstances, however, when there is no referrer data. This means that this vast trove of social traffic is essentially invisible to most analytics programs.

Big Brother, Now at the Mall

Evan Ramstad
Oct 12, 2012

Shoppers at the new International Finance Center Mall in Seoul can find their way around the four-story complex by approaching one of 26 information kiosks. When they do, they also are being watched. Kiosks at a Seoul mall, above, would use facial recognition software to decide what ads to present shoppers. Just above each kiosk's LCD touch screen sit two cameras and a motion detector

ESPN’s ‘Social Highlights’ Mash Ups Show Big Moments From Fans’ Lens

Sam Laird
Oct 12, 2012

The sports highlight is extremely predictable by now: an amazing play, sequence or moment is replayed from one or more angles, while a news anchor or announcer recaps what happened. Sometimes the video runs along with its original play-by-play audio, or maybe with the live radio call. But, in the age of social media permeation and mobile video proliferation, this is no longer enough, according to UNITE.

Must-Tweet TV: How The Pioneers Of Social Television Turn Viewers Into VIPs

Amy Jo Martin
Oct 11, 2012

Throughout the succinct two-year history of social television, successes and failures have taught practitioners three valuable lessons. In fact, these lessons apply to practitioners in any major medium (radio, film, television, journalism).

BMW Hopes to Get the Connected Car up to Speed With ‘Webinos’

Doug Newcomb
Oct 11, 2012

The car has been called “the fourth screen” for internet-connected content. But even for high-performance brands like BMW, adapting the car to keep up with the fast pace of mobile computing has been a slow and complicated process. The luxury automaker plans to bring automotive technology up to speed and in sync with smartphones, computers and tablets by leveraging an EU-funded project called “webinos.”

Jay Penske Buys Variety Magazine From Reed Elsevier

Kristen Schweizer
Oct 10, 2012

Reed Elsevier is selling the 107-year-old magazine as the company refocuses on electronic data services and research offerings, the two companies said in a statement today.

USA: The United States Of Design?

Patrick Hanlon
Oct 10, 2012

So fervent is our desire for Design, we have created “Design Thinking”. And to prove its theorems, Stanford now has a D School to remind us that we can’t just create things from blue sky. From sea to shining sea, the U.S. has become obsessed with Design.

Future of Mobile News

Oct 9, 2012

Are New Devices Adding to News Consumption? What does the growing expansion of mobile mean for news consumption overall? Are people who own mobile technology getting more news now that they have more ready access to it? Or are they merely replacing one platform with another? Here, the findings are as strong as in 2011, and in some cases even stronger, in suggesting that mobile technology is increasing news consumption.

Facebook To Introduce Want Button For Retailers

Addy Dugdale
Oct 9, 2012

The social media site, whose attempts at monetizing the brand are currently coming thick and fast, has launched Facebook Collections. No, not that long-awaited range of sportwear in Poke Me Blue, but a new button it's trying out in conjunction with a select bunch of retailers in the U.S.

Content Strategy and UX: A Modern Love Story

Kristina Halvorson
Oct 8, 2012

it's inherently impossible to design a great user experience for bad content. If you're passionate about creating better user experiences, you can't help but care about delivering useful, usable, engaging content.

How Purpose Affects the Bottom Line

Natalie Zmuda
Oct 8, 2012

Clearly Defining What a Brand Stands for Provides a Competitive Edge and Leads to Increased Productivity. The heads of marketing for three of the country's best-known brands eagerly picked one another's brains about the strategies that are working and the campaigns that are resonating.

Getting To The Bottom Of What Clients Think Of Agencies

Avi Dan
Oct 8, 2012

Corporate America is questioning the return on their advertising investment, and agencies continue to struggle to prove their value. There is an impatience for efficiency and effectiveness, and there are higher expectations of accountability.

Marketers Continue To Struggle With Big Data

Steve Olenski
Oct 5, 2012

A two word phrase that marketers concern themselves with all the live-long day or at least a significant part of their day: Big Data. And depending on who you listen to and/or believe either marketers are handling their new found wealth of prodigious piles of information quite well and are using insights gleaned from the data to their benefit or, quite simply they are not.

Pinkification: how breast cancer awareness got commodified for profit

SE Smith
Oct 5, 2012

What began as a social movement serving urgent health needs for women has been hollowed out by cynical marketeering. The gradual commodification of breast cancer reflected a failure of the movement, in that it wasn't able to adapt quickly enough to fight the commercialisation of breast cancer awareness.

Why the Internet Is About to Replace TV as the Most Important Source of News

Derek Thompson
Oct 5, 2012

The headline conclusion of Pew's latest monster survey of the media landscape was the demise of TV news. "There are now signs that television news is increasingly vulnerable," the authors wrote, "as it may be losing its hold on the next generation of news consumers." But the larger story is the rise of the Web, which has surpassed newspapers and radio to become the second most popular source of news for Americans, after TV

Does Every Marketer Need to Build an App for Mobile?

Melissa Parrish
Oct 2, 2012

In a world where consumers increasingly are storming the internet with queries, downloads and page views from their mobile devices, marketers need a mobile-optimized or mobile-specific website. The question of whether or not you need to build a mobile app is a little less clear cut.

Sign Of The Times: The New York Times Debuts An HTML5 Web App For iPad

Darrell Etherington
Oct 2, 2012

The New York Times this morning announced a new HTML5 web app for iPad, rounding out their lineup of web and tablet products for digital subscribers. The Times is soliciting feedback from its users about the app and its features, which suggests that it’s looking at this as a way to experiment with a non-native delivery method, but isn’t quite sure about how consumers will respond.

The Four Data Waves And How They Help Us Meet Marketing Goals

Mark Marinacci
Oct 2, 2012

A recent IBM study of more than 1,700 CMOs stated that approximately 90% of all the real-time information being created today is unstructured data. CMOs see the data explosion as a game-changer, but continue to struggle with leveraging the data to make smarter business decisions.

Digital Has an Ad Problem and Lots of Solutions

Charlie Warzel
Oct 2, 2012

It’s Advertising Week, which means it’s time for a barrage of panels full of questions like “Are banners dead?” and “Native advertising: the wave of the future?” And while some will dismiss this chattering as manufactured drama, the proliferation of these existential questions is a solid indicator that the digital publishing industry needs to change.

Hearst Reboots Mobile Mag Sites in Ad Push

Lucia Moses
Oct 1, 2012

There’s no question about it­—mobile traffic is booming as people spend more time hunched over their little screens. For magazines, it represents an opportunity to capture more readers and try to convert them to paying ones.

Get Started with Big Data: Tie Strategy to Performance

Dominic Barton and David Court
Oct 1, 2012

Large-scale data gathering and analytics are quickly becoming a new frontier of competitive differentiation. In a recent Harvard Business Review article we explore how companies require three mutually supportive capabilities to fully exploit data and analytics.

Cell phone culture: How cultural differences affect mobile use

Naomi Canton
Sep 28, 2012

It is a device that three quarters of the world's inhabitants have access to, according to the World Bank, but the words to describe it and etiquette of how to use it differ starkly across cultures.

Sorry, Marketers, You’re Doing Facebook Wrong

Todd Wasserman
Sep 28, 2012

Analysis found that marketers are still posting too little on weekends and at night and when they do post, they’re way too verbose. Weekends, when brands post too little, the audience appears primed for interaction.

Instagram Use Is Exploding

Ryan Tate
Sep 28, 2012

In just six months, Instagram use has more than septupled, growing from around 900,000 people per day to around 7.3 million, according to ComScore. The photo-sharing app’s astonishing growth underscores the growing momentum of mobile-native apps, and the potential of said apps to open wide leads over traditional websites.

What Do Harvard Business Publishing and Harlequin Have in Common?

Nick Morgan
Sep 26, 2012

What do Harvard Business Publishing and Harlequin – the publisher of a gazillion romance novels – have in common? More than you might think. I’ve blogged before about Harvard’s efforts to create a community of readers, thinkers, and kibitzers. It turns out that Harlequin has been doing the same for nearly 15 years – long before the Internet made it easy, or at least easier.

Can You Live Without a Data Scientist?

Tom Davenport
Sep 26, 2012

While there is a lot of Hadoopalooza in the technology press about the tools for managing big data, and they are wonderful, it's also true that they are a) widely available, and b) mostly free. Neither can be said of data scientists. Simply put, you can't do much with big data without data scientists. They are the magicians who transform an inchoate mass of bits into a fit subject for analysis.

New York Magazine Cashing in Online

Matthew Flamm
Sep 25, 2012

To its groaning shelf of National Magazine Awards and bulging portfolio of stories extolling its business success, New York magazine can add one more credit: It's having its best year in a decade. Both profits and revenue are the highest they've been since financier Bruce Wasserstein bought the barely profitable publication.

72% of Consumers Expect Brands to Have Mobile-Friendly Sites

Tim Peterson
Sep 25, 2012

That consumers are turned off by sites not optimized for smartphones isn’t news to anyone who uses the mobile Web. But marketers need more than anecdotal evidence to get their organizations to invest in the medium.

Lex in depth: Volkswagen

Nikki Tait and Stuart Kirk
Sep 24, 2012

Despite its growth, investors see the carmaker’s structure and the founding family’s grip on ownership as a liability. Why is a company that is widely admired for its industrial performance and well on its way to meeting lofty growth targets viewed with such scepticism?

Mining Big Data to Find New Markets

Jason Sylva
Sep 24, 2012

Historically, companies have decided which markets to focus on and have allocated sales resources based on looking at past results and using gut instincts. But today, "big data" and deep analytical capabilities give sales and marketing leaders a better way to make decisions

College Football Fans Go Social for Sports News

Brian Mossop
Sep 24, 2012

The lifeblood of college football fandom is changing. The painted faces crammed into the student section of stadiums nationwide have turned away from newspapers and talk radio toward social media to get stats, scores and even messages from coaches and players in real time. As social media infiltrates stadiums and clubhouses, teams are scrambling on and off the field to reach students and young alumni

Lessons For Building A Tablet Magazine That’s Actually Worth Using

Kyle Vanhemert
Sep 21, 2012

Publications like WIRED and Popular Science were quick out of the gate with sophisticated iPad apps, and while they did offer some compelling multimedia experiences that couldn’t be done in print, the apps lacked the ease of use that’s central to enjoying a magazine.

McDonald's Enters the Age of Transparency

Larry Popelka
Sep 21, 2012

McDonald’s announced last week that it will start posting calories for all its food on its in-store menu boards. Starting this week, when customers walk into a McDonald’s (MCD) restaurant they will see in bright lights that a Big Mac and large fries weighs in at 1,050 calories.

Good Magazine Relaunches as Intent-Driven Social Network

Zoe Fox
Sep 19, 2012

Six-year-old Good — the company behind Good Magazine and Good.is — is beginning a new chapter Wednesday, with the relaunch of its website as a digital community for social action. The new Good.is is a place for people interested in creating change to spread awareness for different causes with a like-minded community

Google Maps Gets All Up In Your Business

Christina Chaey
Sep 19, 2012

Google Maps Street View is fine for eyeing what a business looks like on the outside. But Google just made it much easier to open up Maps, then open up doors of select businesses to see what it looks like on the inside. Now when you open up Google Maps, you can pull out the orange Pegman and drop him on top of any of the new orange dots that will appear to take a tour inside a business.

Innovation Matters; It's Why You Care More About Apple than Kraft

Adam Hartung
Sep 19, 2012

In short, what was a tired, nearly bankrupt Macintosh company has become the leading marketer of innovation that makes our lives remarkably better. So we care – a lot – about the products Apple offers, how it sells them and how much they cost. We want to know how we can apply them to solve even more problems for ourselves, colleagues, customers and suppliers.

Why Good Design Is Finally A Bottom Line Investment

Cliff Kuang
Sep 18, 2012

A mix of factors, ranging from commoditization to evaporating barriers to competition, are conspiring to push design to the fore of business thinking.

New BBC chief vows to re-invent content, not just re-purpose it

Robert Andrews
Sep 18, 2012

In a bold first-day speech, the BBC’s new boss says the corporation must stop thinking that online innovation means repurposing broadcast content and instead ‘create genuinely digital content for the first time’.

What Executives Don't Understand About Big Data

Michael Schrage
Sep 14, 2012

How much more profitable would your business be if you had, for free, access to 100 times more data about your customers? That's the question I posed to the attendees of a recent big data workshop in London, all of them senior executives. But not a single executive in this IT-savvy crowd would hazard a guess.

E-book settlement has publishing world in turmoil

Dawn Chmielewski and Carolyn Kellogg
Sep 14, 2012

Publishing insiders worry that a decisive court ruling benefiting retailer Amazon.com Inc. will undermine an industry already struggling with the transition to e-books.

Taking Pointers From Web Sites, USA Today Modernizes Its Look

Christine Haughney
Sep 14, 2012

USA Today, with its colorful omnipresence on airport newsstands and outside the doors of hotel rooms, is showing off its new look on Friday. And the makeover for the newspaper, based just outside the Washington Beltway, comes straight from Silicon Valley.

Wolfram|Alpha Personal Analytics for Facebook

Stephen Wolfram
Aug 31, 2012

After I wrote about doing personal analytics with data I’ve collected about myself, many people asked how they could do similar things themselves. Now of course most people haven’t been doing the kind of data collecting that I’ve been doing for the past couple of decades. But these days a lot of people do have a rich source of data about themselves: their Facebook histories.

How ‘orphaned brands’ survive

Alecia Clegg
Aug 31, 2012

Last week’s sweeping victory for the [Apple] in a bitter patent dispute with Samsung came exactly a year after its reins were passed from Jobs to Tim Cook – who duly used the legal victory to rally Apple’s employees and restate values such as “originality and innovation” that Jobs had epitomised. In doing so, Mr Cook illustrated how brands can try to cope with being orphaned by a founding figurehead.

Retailers Are Media Companies In Denial

Barry Judge
Aug 31, 2012

The technology surrounding today’s retail landscape has changed, and with this change comes a myriad of innovative opportunities that extend beyond our conventional way of thinking. Viewing these opportunities as “distractions” rather than opportunities risks losing ground to the competition.

The Currency of Digital Media: Views, Shares, and Comments

Ken Krogue
Aug 30, 2012

Did you know one comment on Forbes is worth 472 views of an article? And a +1 on Google Plus is worth 169 views, while a Share on Facebook is worth 31 views? Ken Krogue shares his analysis of the currency exchange of digital and social media.

Urban Outfitteres Brings Online-Only Items Offline In Latest Pop-Up Shop

Jackie Rangel
Aug 30, 2012

The lifestyle retailer puts shopping for home furnishings and decor back in the real world for maximum product interaction and shared experience.

Customer Experience Should Be Part of Your Business

Harley Manning
Aug 30, 2012

We researched a number of companies that overcame the multi-channel dilemma — systematically — by applying business discipline to the practice of customer experience in an integrated way. Here are three of their most effective strategies.

Embracing Brand Equity While Changing Perception To Reach New Customers

Avi Dan
Aug 29, 2012

Stationary furniture is the largest segment within the furniture category. To continue to grow the brand needed to shift deep-rooted perceptions and convince female consumers that La-Z-Boy offers more than recliners.

The Rise Of Visual Social Media

Ekaterina Walter
Aug 29, 2012

Blog posts became Facebook updates and Tumblr posts, which shrunk to Tweets and finally to Instagram or Pinterest. Here's how smart brands are navigating the new visual social-media era.

What Data Can't Tell You About Customers

Lara Lee and Daniel Sobol
Aug 28, 2012

Human behavior is nuanced and complex, and no matter how robust it is, data can provide only part of the story. Desire and motivation are influenced by psychological, social, and cultural factors that require context and conversation in order to decode.

In Digital World, Advertising Age Redesigns Print Publication

Stuart Elliott
Aug 27, 2012

A WEEKLY trade publication covering Madison Avenue since the Hoover administration will soon introduce its most significant redesign in years, as part of efforts to further redirect its editorial focus in a digital world toward analysis from breaking news.

Understanding Customers in the Solution Economy

David Midgley
Aug 27, 2012

Selling solutions allows companies to differentiate themselves in commoditizing markets and to benefit from economies of scope across multiple profit and service capabilities. For customers, these solutions offer better value than the products and services that went before. After all, who would not prefer a "solution" to their business problems rather than simply buying services and products?

Is It Possible To Gather Too Much Customer Data? No!

David K. Williams
Aug 27, 2012

How much should you know and record about your customers? How about their businesses? What should you do with the information? How much is too much?

Starbucks Schools Other Retailers on Mobile Payments

Olga Kharif
Aug 24, 2012

The Seattle-based coffee giant’s year-and-a-half-old mobile payment program may be the largest of any retailer in North America. Even before its recent $25 million investment in San Francisco mobile payments startup Square, the company had been processing a million mobile-phone transactions per week.

New road for a macho brand

Anjli Raval
Aug 24, 2012

More than 750 garage parties for women were hosted by Harley-Davidson dealers last year. These show-and- tell outreach events have also been combined with female-friendly training and a marketing drive heavily focused on women’s empowerment.

Bloomberg Sports Takes Teams, Fans Into the Future

Sam Laird
Aug 24, 2012

Two years after launch, Bloomberg Sports is rapidly expanding its offering of data-driven technology tools, signaling the growing demand for advanced analytics by fans and teams alike as the digital capability to deliver such content matures.

Mintel: Brand Loyalty In The Dumps For Body Care

Karl Greenberg
Aug 24, 2012

Forget loyalty in the body care market. Most consumers seem less interested in the name on the label than on price and attributes, per a new study on the segment by Chicago-based Mintel.

Can A Corporate Culture Be Built With Digital Tools?

Austin Carr
Aug 24, 2012

While the tangible benefits of conducting business digitally are manyfold, companies that are moving their employees online have largely ignored one of the most important factors of success: corporate culture.

Need For Data Forces CIO-CMO Alliance

Baiju Shah
Aug 23, 2012

Being relevant-at-scale helps marketers to truly benefit from a competitive advantage in the market. At the heart of being relevant-at-scale is an ongoing commitment to harnessing data and analytics. How can you be relevant to your consumers if you don’t know where to reach them and if you don’t know anything about them when you interact?

Outsourcing Your Voice: Lessons For Brands

Jaime Hoerbelt
Aug 23, 2012

Who’s controlling your brand message? Recent high-profile Twitter blunders from Progressive Insurance and online store CelebBoutique underscore the challenges of outsourcing your voice as a brand.

Introducing Social Reading on Slate

Aug 22, 2012

A great new way for you and your Facebook friends to share your favorite articles.

A New Spin on an Old Topic

Andrew McMains
Aug 21, 2012

Pfizer, like Dove and Prudential before it, has gone topical. The pharma giant’s new corporate image effort eschews gauzy TV ads in favor of a microsite where consumers can find and share third-party information about the vicissitudes of aging.

Is Mark Zuckerberg in over his hoodie as Facebook CEO?

Walter Hamilton and Jessica Guynn
Aug 20, 2012

Facebook's stock price slide has raised doubts about Mark Zuckerberg's role as CEO. Some say he should hand the reins to a more seasoned executive.

Turning Customer Intelligence into Innovation

Scott Anthony
Aug 20, 2012

It's a paradox of the information age. The glut of information that bombards us daily too frequently obscures true insight. Intelligence should drive better innovation, but unless it is strategically collected and used, it functions like a summer beach novel — an engaging distraction.

Culture Clash

Alexia Tsotsis
Aug 20, 2012

Culture, and, by association, brand, is so important and prevalent, you could almost test it like Rorschach — Hold up a name of a company to a user and they’ll immediately know what it stands for. This association thing happens on the less positive side of the spectrum as well.

Business Model Innovation Through Process Change

Brad Power
Aug 20, 2012

In the late 1990s the dot-com boom made every organization look at the potential for online presence and examine its business model. But the pace has been heating up with emerging social (Facebook), mobile (smart phones and iPads), "cloud," and "big data" technologies that are creating new ways to compete, and, along with them, new ways of working.

What Google Gets That Others Don’t: Innovation Evolves Customers

Michael Schrage
Aug 17, 2012

Successful innovators ask users to embrace--or at least tolerate--new values, new skills, new behaviors, new vocabularies, new ideas, new expectations, and new aspirations. They transform their customers. Successful innovators reinvent their customers as well as their businesses. Their innovations make customers better and make better customers.

SEO Isn't What You Think It Is

Veronica Fielding
Aug 17, 2012

Marketers are buzzing from the aftershocks of Google's recent most updates, code-named Panda and Penguin. Both the Panda and Penguin updates contained very clear messages for marketers: stop focusing on technology and tricks and start focusing on people. If your website appeals to people, it will appeal to Google's algorithms too.

Retailers target grey spending power

Louise Lucas
Aug 16, 2012

Welcome to the newest retail concept in Funabashi: a shopping mall designed with the elderly in mind. Here older shoppers can access medical clinics, benefit from 5 per cent discounts on pension day, partake in any of 140 leisure activities ranging from calligraphy to hula dancing and, through the “Begins Partner” programme, find love.

Marketers Flunk the Big Data Test

Patrick Spenner and Anna Bird
Aug 16, 2012

A recent CEB study of nearly 800 marketers at Fortune 1000 companies found the vast majority of marketers still rely too much on intuition — while the few who do use data aggressively for the most part do it badly.

What CMOs Can Learn From VCs

Steven Cook
Aug 16, 2012

In today’s rapidly transforming, consumer-empowered digital world, as a CMO, do you operate with a Silicon Valley state of mind for today’s state of business?

Four Digital Trends to Worry Media Companies

Shiv Singh
Aug 15, 2012

If there's any sign that the media ecosystem is on the verge of dramatic change, then these four digital trends bubbling to the surface are the latest proof points of that. These aren't random trends but are illustrative of tectonic shifts that will change the media business dramatically.

Magazines Make Branded Content, So Why Don't They Act More Like Brands?

Todd Pruzan
Aug 15, 2012

Marketers' Obsession With Audience Data Could Teach Media a Thing or Two. Brand marketers research their audiences exhaustively until they understand them instinctively. So it's strange to remember how magazines I've known kept their editorial and advertising sides operating not just separately, as they should, but entirely divorced from each other, with each side in near-denial of the other's existence.

Keeping zombies out of the mall

Philip Delves Broughton
Aug 15, 2012

A lethal combination of thrifty consumers and a commercial real estate slump have turned malls into the walking dead of retail. In 2009, General Growth Properties, one of the largest mall operators in America, filed for bankruptcy, unable to service more than $25bn in debt. The vacancy rates in regional and strip malls in the US nearly doubled between late 2007 and the middle of last year.

Payments Network Takes On Google

Robin Sidel
Aug 15, 2012

More than a dozen big merchants are expected to announce Wednesday their plans to jointly develop a mobile-payments network that would battle similar services from Google Inc. and other companies, people involved in the effort said.

4 Rules for Creating Interactive Content for a Multi-Platform, Multi-Device World

Miller Medeiros and David Vale
Aug 14, 2012

Put simply, responsive design is the creation of a single website with a fluid proportion-based grid that automatically adapts to users’ browsers and the devices they are using. This is not a trend—it’s the future.

So Long, Segmentation

Neil Capel
Aug 14, 2012

How do you get your message across? And via what channel? Email has long been -- and still remains -- the most effective communication mechanism, but too often the message doesn’t resonate with its recipient, usually due to poor targeting or segmentation.

When Will The Penny Finally Drop For J.C. Penney's Ron Johnson

Robert Passikoff
Aug 14, 2012

It looks as if the fair-and-square-fewer-price-promotions-more-celebrity-and-any-high-tech-we-can-get approach of Mr. Johnson, ex of Apple’s retail division, isn’t quite working out the way he had planned. Which is exactly what our loyalty and engagement metrics predicted back in January.

Trapit Promises Better Browsing and Targeted Content on iPad

Rae Ann Fera
Aug 13, 2012

Trapit For iPad is the latest in a wave of news-reading apps designed to make finding and reading online content on a tablet easier, more intuitive and elegant.

Is Your Brand Ready For 'Generation S' (Screen)?

Adam Shlachter
Aug 13, 2012

Every generation experiences advances in technology that change people's lives and expectations; children are almost always born into a different technological world than were their parents. This is particularly true when it comes to how they discover, consume and share content and information.

Taco Bell’s Sophisticated Side

Matthew Yglesias
Aug 13, 2012

In the circles that count, it’s clear that Chipotle is regarded as a major innovator, attracting what all major innovators attract: copycatting. So it’s no coincidence that after a couple of years of crazy growth from Chipotle, Taco Bell feels it has to step up its game. Thus, this summer the country’s leading quasi-Mexican fast-food chain has rolled out its new Cantina Bell line of upscale menu items.

Stop Fighting Your Culture

Jon R. Katzenbach, Ilona Steffen, and Caroline Kronley
Aug 10, 2012

In the early 2000s Aetna was struggling mightily on all fronts. While on the surface revenues remained strong, its rapport with customers and physicians was rapidly eroding, and its reputation was being bludgeoned by lawsuits and a national backlash against health maintenance organizations and managed care (which Aetna had championed). To boot, the company was losing roughly $1 million a day, thanks to cumbersome processes and enormous overhead, as well as unwise acquisitions. Many of the problems Aetna faced were attributed to its culture.

Nike Goes For The Gold

Robert Passikoff
Aug 10, 2012

Lots of sporting events are used to promote brands. The Olympics, perhaps, more than most. So it's no surprise that the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) is hard at work to ensure that brands that are not “official sponsors” of the games do not gain financially

Social still can't beat search in online shopping

Donna Tam
Aug 10, 2012

search engine and e-mail referrals are more than holding their own against social media sites when it comes to generating sales in the second quarter of 2012. Social media sites only contributed to 2.85 percent of online shopping traffic in the second quarter.

How Women Lead Differently, And Why It Matters

Alyse Nelson
Aug 9, 2012

If we want to successfully navigate this new world, spark economic resurgence and close the gaps in equity that threaten stability, we need new thinking, new partners--we need to elevate a new paradigm of power. We need leaders who understand local nuances and global interdependence. We need decisions to be predicated on sustainability not opportunism. We need leadership that leverages power for collective empowerment. I see a solution in women.

Pulse Comes To The Web (With A Little Help From Microsoft)

Frederic Lardinois
Aug 9, 2012

Pulse, the popular news reading app for iOS and Android, is finally available on the web. The service, which launched two years ago and now has over 15 million users, only focused on mobile platforms until now.

Why NBC Dropped the Ball on Olympics Coverage

Aug 9, 2012

With the network releasing footage of Olympic events hours after they’ve already happened, major news networks are learning they can’t pretend that social media doesn’t exist.

Square’s Starbucks Deal Puts It At The Epicenter Of The ‘Seismic Change’ Away From Cash

Ingrid Lunden
Aug 8, 2012

The $25 million funding and sales deal announced late yesterday between mobile payments startup Square and coffee giant Starbucks is big, but it is only the tip of the iceberg for what the implications will be for Square and for mobile payments in general.

Not All Brands Get The Gold

Greg Christoforides
Aug 8, 2012

With such high stakes, brands should assess their fit with the Olympic Games before jumping into the arena. Not all players are a perfect match. Brands that are compatible with the Games, in both product offering and Ideal, can expect greater impact on their equity.

The Trend For London 2012: Super Minimal Olympic Sites

Mark Wilson
Aug 7, 2012

With London 2012 come three, totally minimal olympic sites that leverage rapid development to celebrate this fleeting worldwide event. They’re the collective antithesis to nbcolympics.com, covering granular information with an unfettered layout devoid of audio clips, listicles and even ads. They’re also a sign of current web technologies.

Why Turner Bought Bleacher Report

Jeanine Poggi
Aug 7, 2012

Turner Broadcasting said today that it acquired Bleacher Report to broaden the scope of sports coverage it can offer advertisers as well as bolster its scale, which has significantly decreased in recent months.

Competition is fierce among leading brands to have the best app

Chantal Tode
Aug 6, 2012

The use of apps as a way to gain an advantage over others is clearest in categories where there is already significant competition for consumer attention, including quick-service restaurants, banking, hospitality, fashion and beauty.

Viacom Ad Sales Decline the Most Since Early 2009

Aug 3, 2012

Viacom, owner of the Paramount film studio and cable networks such as Nickelodeon and MTV, has reported quarterly profit that missed analysts' estimates after advertising sales dropped the most in more than two years.

How New Platforms Are Lowering the Barriers to Learning

Karen Baker
Aug 3, 2012

The emergence of online platforms is bringing a wave of disruptive innovations to traditional education. From 40,000 person classes that you can take from anywhere to Twitter-moderated discussion forums with trending hashtags, technology is fundamentally changing the way we learn today.

With Online Video, You Have 20 Seconds To Capture Your Viewer. Go.

Kerrin Sheldon
Aug 2, 2012

With ever-increasing YouTube lunch breaks and Vimeo dinner dates, online video is becoming a constant companion--one that every brand is rushing to take advantage of. Follow these five tips so you don't turn off would-be viewers.

So How Are the Olympics Performing Online? NBC Won't Say

Charlie Warzel
Aug 2, 2012

Nobody can deny that the ledgers at NBC are looking mighty nice as of now, yet while the TV performance data has been easily accessible and widely disseminated since Monday, one crucial element appears to be missing: just how are NBC's digital audience numbers are shaping up?

How A UI For Autistics Led To Better Online Shopping

Sarah Kessler
Aug 1, 2012

Autistic children with limited verbal skills are often taught how to communicate and make choices using pictures. Drawing on her experience as a behavioral therapist in college, Adriana Herrera realized that key design principles from her work with Autistic children could also be applied to the website she founded.

Is FB Becoming BS?

Patrick Hanlon
Aug 1, 2012

Canadian publication Maclean’s this week announced a study from the Advertising Research Foundation in New York City. The article states the respected Foundation recently tested a “blank” ad on Facebook whose click-thru rate performed only .01% less well than regular Facebook ads.

Marketing to Women? Keep These 3 Facts in Mind

Stephanie Buck
Aug 1, 2012

A survey conducted by Women’s Marketing Inc. published new findings that shed light on social media marketing and women. We’ve pulled three important lessons from the data, which will help businesses to refine their marketing tactics, especially as they pertain to the female demographic.

Google Maps Adds Service Alerts for New York City Subways

Samantha Murphy
Jul 31, 2012

To make it easier for New Yorkers to commute and keep them posted on scheduled maintenance and delays, Google is adding information about service alerts that occur throughout the city’s 468 subway stations labeled on Google Maps.

Instead Of Tracking Your Activities, Saga Tracks You

Sarah Kessler
Jul 31, 2012

Apps may already track your workouts, your finances, and your temperature preferences, but until now they’ve largely overlooked the most telling data feed of all: your location. Saga, which is launching on Tuesday, uses your phone’s GPS, Wi-Fi capabilities, and accelerometer to track every move you make

Use Big Data to Find New Micromarkets

Manish Goyal, Maryanne Q. Hancock, and Homayoun Hatami
Jul 31, 2012

Sophisticated sales organizations now have the ability to combine, sift, and sort vast troves of data to develop highly efficient strategies for selling into micromarkets. While B2C companies have become adept at mining the petabytes of transactional and other purchasing data that consumers generate as they interact online, B2B sales organizations have only recently begun to use big data to inform overall strategy and tailor sales pitches for specific customers in real time. Yet the payoff is huge.

How Big Companies Are Becoming Entrepreneurial

Dan Schawbel
Jul 30, 2012

Today, companies are starting new entrepreneurship initiatives because they need fuel for innovation, desire top talent and need to sustain a competitive advantage. Smart companies are catering to entrepreneurs, allowing workers to pitch their ideas, and even funding them. They are holding entrepreneurship contests, investing in startups and bringing on entrepreneurs in residence (EIR). In the war for talent and innovation, companies have to think entrepreneurially in order to survive and thrive.

Why No One Will Watch Your Crappy Corporate "Viral" Video, And How To Fix It

Scott Stratten
Jul 30, 2012

Those "Will It Blend?" videos of some guy throwing an iPhone in a blender and the instantly viral Shakeweight ads have millions and millions of views. Your company's new "viral" spot has 500. Here's what separates great branded video content from the flops.

Microsoft's radical new business plan is hidden in plain sight

Ed Bott
Jul 30, 2012

Microsoft is reimagining its entire business model, and they’ve laid out the details for anyone to inspect. You just have to read between the boilerplate sections in the company's most recent 10-K.

Time For Biopharma To Jump On The "Big Data" Train?

David Shaywitz
Jul 27, 2012

The next great quest in applied science: the assembly of a unified health database, a “big data” project that would collect in one searchable repository all the parameters that measure or could conceivably reflect human well-being.

AT&T Showcases Athletes' Digital Lives

Aaron Baar
Jul 27, 2012

As part of its sponsorship of Team USA for the Olympic Games, AT&T is launching a campaign to bring several of these stories to life via short films and its social networking channels. The effort, called “My Journey,” will feature 30-second teasers during the primetime broadcasts of the London Olympic Games, but the extended stories will live online.

Financial Times: Our Digital Subscribers Now Outnumber Print

Ingrid Lunden
Jul 27, 2012

A milestone reached as the world of old media continues its push in a digital direction: the storied, pink-sheeted daily newspaper the Financial Times, read by 2.1 million readers daily, today said digital subscribers now outnumber those in print, and that digital revenues now account for half of all sales in the FT Group.

When to Change a Winning Strategy

Laurence Capron
Jul 26, 2012

Companies tend to repeat what has worked for them in the past. In our research on the telecom industry, for example, we found that the great majority of the executives we surveyed preferred internal development to external sourcing when they needed to develop differentiated products and services. We get similar results in other industries, though the preferred growth mode may differ.

VCs' Strange, Instinctual Need to Replace Founders

Bruce Gibney
Jul 26, 2012

Venture capitalists exhibit some strange behaviors, but none is more bizarre than the near-inevitable scheming to remove a company's founder-CEO. Odder still is that these plans are often hatched just as the company begins to really perform.

Perspective: A Whole Different Hog

Robert Klara
Jul 26, 2012

A 2012 Road King Classic in all its spaghetti-piped splendor lists for $19,599—and that becomes a hard sell when the economy goes soft. But a bigger challenge lay not with the bike or its price, but the ever-changing image of the rider. As the ads here show, the ability to shift gears quickly can apply to the marketing just as much as the motorcycle.

IBM to CMOs and CIOs: Work Together or Become Irrelevant

Mark Fidelman
Jul 25, 2012

“What’s becoming clear is that in order to stay relevant and remain competitive in today’s uber-digital and social world, the CIO and the CMO must work together. Today and in the future you’ll see this connection grow tighter than ever before,” said Jeff Schick, VP, Social Software.

Five Signs This Will Be the Most Social Olympics Ever

Lisa Arthur
Jul 25, 2012

This year, more than 4.9 billion people (including 211 million Americans) are expected to tune into the games. The IOC is anticipating a record-breaking “Socialympics,” and with all the feel-good stories, athlete spokespeople and corporate sponsorships surrounding the games, it’s hard to imagine it any other way.

The Future of Big Data

Janna Anderson
Jul 24, 2012

The projected growth of data from all kinds of sources is staggering—to the point where some worry that in the foreseeable future our digital systems of storage and dissemination will not be able to keep up with the simple act of finding places to keep the data and move it around to all those who are interested in it. How could Big Data be significant? A 2011 industry report by global management consulting firm McKinsey argued that five new kinds of value might come from abundant data.

Do People Still Care About General Interest News?

Karen Baker
Jul 24, 2012

One daring digital news operation seems to be failing; simultaneously, another expands and appears to march forward, recruiting more journalists as it goes. And there’s an awkward question that links these swings and roundabouts. Simply: has the typical general newspaper, conventionally conceived and structured, had its day? Is it, as a concept, what evolving news online is about?

Co-Design in Innovation

Soren Petersen
Jul 24, 2012

Co-design from business to product design solutions is seen as a potential new avenue for breakthrough innovation in design. Co-design is when firms and non-design users jointly design offerings. Examples range from surgical tools and sport equipment to Lego elements and software.

How Language Shapes Your Organization

Kevin Allen
Jul 24, 2012

In the race to find culpability, what doesn't get talked about is the very climate that creates the conditions for people to behave badly and feel perfectly justified in their behavior. It is, in fact, the very same thing that creates an environment and provides the fuel for people to conversely do great, generous and far-reaching things. It boils down to cultural permission.

How Innovation Is More Poetry Than Science

Daniel W. Rasmus
Jul 19, 2012

Our future is as much threatened by the lack of imaginative connection making as it is from a dearth of engineers or mathematicians. Here are practical lessons from 35 years of writing poetry that can help individuals and teams deliver more innovative products, processes and services.

Jeremy Lin's Brilliant Score In Personal Branding: Trademarking 'Linsanity'

Davia Temin
Jul 19, 2012

Jeremy Lin has just made the news again, as he leaves New York for Houston. Personally, as a New Yorker, I am terribly saddened, because he is not only a compelling player, who set a great tone for the Knicks…but he is also a savvy professional, who has pulled some interesting moves off the court, as well as on it. In fact, Jeremy Lin has taken personal branding to the next level – by trade marking his personal brand of mass hysteria – “Linsanity.”

The Future Of TV Is Two Screens, One Held Firmly In Your Hands

Kit Eaton
Jul 18, 2012

The connected TV, sometimes called the smart TV (and even branded as such by Samsung) is a growing phenomenon: TV makers are adding limited apps, Net connectivity, and even streaming media powers to their newer TVs in the hope they'll persuade you to upgrade your newish LCD for a flatter, smarter unit. They're desperate to, given how flat this market is. But according to new research from Pew, the future of TV may actually be a little more closely aligned with the notion of a "connected TV viewer," an important distinction

Honest Tea: Turning Lemons Into TV Ad(e)

Dale Buss
Jul 18, 2012

Honest Tea has moved steadily toward the mainstream of the U.S. beverage business in recent years, as Coca-Cola has invested more and more in the brand. But since it was purchased outright by Coke last year, the Bethesda, Md.-based organic-tea and -juice startup has moved at the even faster pace that would be expected of a tiny company now backed by the immense marketing and distribution resources of the world's biggest soft-drink concern.

What If Teens Prefer Twitter to Facebook?

Dave Williams
Jul 11, 2012

A member of my wife's family and a few of her friends told me recently that they are enamored with Twitter. They love its rapid-fire updates, and the sense Twitter provides of being right in the moment. Over a weekend they were constantly checking and posting updates on their smartphones, and when it came to socializing with friends, she and her peers simply preferred Twitter to Facebook. This isn't earth-shattering news, but here's the catch – all were in high school.

As New Hogs Hit The Road, Harley Keeps Roaring

Avi Dan
Jul 11, 2012

Last year, new advertising for Harley-Davidson was greeted with skepticism. The company had eschewed working with traditional ad agencies on the campaign, and instead became one of the very first marketers to pursue consumer-created work through crowd sourcing. Now Chief Marketing Officer Mark-Hans Richer is having the last laugh: Harley expects to repeat last year’s sales uptick of 6%, and its market share has been up 12 points in the last 4 years despite the Great Recession.

Ralph Lauren, Armani, Victoria's Secret, and Major League Sports Brands Among the 2012 Fashion Brand

Robert Passikoff
Jul 10, 2012

For those of you out there who think brand and fashion have broken up and don’t even go to the same parties anymore, think again.

Why Social Media Will Reshape the 2012 Olympics

Sam Laird
Jul 9, 2012

The 2012 Olympics in London are being touted by some as the world’s “first social Games.” While some question just how social they’ll actually be, there’s no doubt that networks such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube will play an unprecedented role in how information is disseminated from London, and how the global sports conversation is driven during July and August. Why the big shift? It’s simple: Four years is an eternity in Internet time and since the last Summer Olympics in 2008, social media has exploded.

Some MLB All Stars Should Thank Twitter As Much As Talent

Sarah Mitroff
Jul 6, 2012

Texas Ranger outfielder Josh Hamilton got there because he deserves it. But please, three San Francisco Giants were voted onto the All Star team? In what election process is that fair? Buster Posey and Melky Cabrera maybe, but when you consider the perpetually injured Pablo Sandoval there is clearly something else at play when it comes to the All Star voting. For the Giants, and even the Rangers, it’s all about All Star tech savvy.

Leading in an Age of Decreased Face-to-face Communication

George Bradt
Jul 3, 2012

A monumental question for leaders in any organization to consider is: How much greatness are we willing to grant people? Because it makes all the difference at every level who it is we decide we are leading. The activity of leadership is not limited to conductors, presidents, and CEOs, of course — the player who energizes the orchestra by communicating his newfound appreciation for the tasks of the conductor, or a parent who fashions in her own mind that her children desire to contribute, is exercising leadership of the most profound kind.

Meet the Startups About to Revolutionize Mobile Loyalty Programs

Adam Broitman
Jul 2, 2012

A renaissance in the customer loyalty program has been long promised, but so far the reality has failed to live up to hype. Mass-adoption of smart-phones and the availability of location and social data mean the consumer loyalty program is ripe for a makeover but so far programs haven't really taken off with consumers and merchants. That's about to change and I believe the next twelve months will be critical in the growth of the mobile loyalty program.

Leveraging Social Media in Food Marketing

Karlene Lukovitz
Jun 29, 2012

When it comes to learning about food, nearly half of consumers use social networking sites, and 40% use Web sites, apps or blogs, according to a new study from The Hartman Group and Publicis Consultants USA. Read more: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/177904/leveraging-social-media-in-food-marketing.html#ixzz1zE5w9Vb4

The End of the Facebook 'Fan' As We Know It

Victoria Ransom
Jun 28, 2012

When the concept of a social media "fan" emerged a few years ago, it held out the promise of enabling meaningful, one-to-one conversations between brands and consumers at unprecedented scale. But that promise has yet to be delivered. Think about it: do you know whether your fans are moms, or sports enthusiasts or country-music aficionados? Do you know which ones are "superfans" and consistently engage with your programs, and systematically use that information to increase word-of-mouth?

Industry Must Respond To Generational Shifts

Karlene Lukovitz
Jun 28, 2012

The rise of Millennials and the aging of Baby Boomers represent significant challenges for established food brands and traditional grocery stores, according to new study from investment bank Jeffries and business advisory firm AlixPartners. Over the next decade, Millennials (born between 1982 and 2001) will come of age and Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) will enter the next phase of their lives and spending patterns. As a result, established food brands and traditional grocery stores will be pressured at both ends by consumers with different value equations.

Morgan Stanley Expands Social Marketing on Twitter and LinkedIn

Sheila Shayon
Jun 25, 2012

As Wall Street embraces the inevitable tide of social media, fiduciary responsibility is taking on new parameters. In a different kind of security risk as Morgan Stanley Smith Barney is stepping up its social media reach, granting its 17,000 financial advisers partial access to Twitter and LinkedIn over the next several months. The move expands a year-long experiment with 600 employees to test whether social media would be a helpful tool for its employees.

Cocktail bar offers discounts based on stock market drops

Hemanth Chandrasekar
Jun 20, 2012

We’ve many innovative ways to award customers with discounts based on performance, from rewarding social influence to charity work. Now the Bull and Bear Steakhouse at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York is cutting back the prices of its cocktails in line with stock market drops.

Brand Lessons On Your Tablet

Robert Passikoff
Jun 19, 2012

The Sunday New York Times reported one more brick removed from traditional media’s wall, as the Huff Post introduced an online weekly, available for the tablet via the Apple Store. As the article’s writer, David Carr, points out, a few years ago this wouldn’t have even been called a magazine. Ah, but how that has changed, with Arianna Huffington a powerful general leading the charge into the digital future.

The Economic History of the Last 2,000 Years in 1 Little Graph

Derek Thompson
Jun 19, 2012

That headline is a big promise. But here it is: The economic history of the world going back to Year 1 showing the major powers' share of world GDP, from a research letter written by Michael Cembalest, an analyst at JP Morgan.

Coca-Cola Opens Happiness in Myanmar With $3M Grant for Women

Sheila Shayon
Jun 15, 2012

“Myanmar is one of only three countries on the globe where Coca-Cola does not do business. The other two are Cuba and North Korea,” Coca-Cola stated this week. That's about to change. The global beverage giant has not done business in Myanmar, a.k.a., Burma, for more than 60 years, but The Coca-Cola Foundation just announced plans to grant $3 million to support women's economic empowerment job creation.

YouTube Is Exploring Paid Subscriptions

Todd Wasserman
Jun 15, 2012

Eager to define itself as a major entertainment player, YouTube is exploring charging subscriptions for cable content as it has already pledged $100 million to create a slew of premium channels.

Gillette Finds Rhyme and Maybe Reason with Reduce-Reuse Message

Adam Gordon
Jun 14, 2012

The shaving brand, Gillette, (Procter & Gamble) has been running a television commercial which shows actor Brandon Quinn in far-flung locations, and claims one ProGlide cartridge blade lasted him 5 weeks on the road. It is impossible to put a reliable number on how long a shaving blade lasts, not least because all the variables are personal: including skin type, hair type, tolerance for drag, etc. But the news is that the huge and successful marketing machine behind the Gillette brand has seen *now* as the moment to come forward with a blade longevity number.

The Digital Coupon Monster That Eats Advertising

Erika Morphy
Jun 13, 2012

When Apple executive alumn Ron Johnson took the helm of J.C. Penney one of his goals was to wean customers off of the concept of “sale” and “coupon”. In their place he wanted to introduce a new pricing and merchandising strategy that was all about low prices all the time. It failed miserably as J.C. Penney’s recent earnings show and now word is that Johnson is bringing “sale” back into its advertising. Johnson miscalculated, gravely, about the love affair Americans have with coupons and discounts.

Coffee Chain Prints The Daily News On Their Beverages Sleeves

Lamya Hussain
Jun 8, 2012

Canadian franchise Tim Horton is pairing fresh coffee with fresh news in the UAE. Recognizing the parallels between news and coffee, Y&R Dubai adapted Tim Hortons’ coffee cup sleeves turning them into an advertising medium for Gulf News.

Twitter Rebrands, Modifies Logo: Social network drops text for iconic bird image

Charlie Warzel
Jun 6, 2012

Behold, the Twitter rebranding. Starting today, there will be no more logo text or the lowercase 't' that users have gotten to know so well. Instead, the social network announced a slight rebrand via blog post, declaring the iconic, ascending bird as the "universally recognizable symbol of Twitter."

Why Content Is The New Currency

Todd Copilevitz
Jun 6, 2012

These news items recently caught our attention: P&G shifting money from marketing to social media. And GM walking away from advertising on Facebook. Question: Are these events contradictory or complementary?

Viacom to Give Pepsi a Digital Boost With #LiveForNow Campaign

Brian Anthony Hernandez
Jun 6, 2012

Pepsi’s celebrity-infused “Live for Now” global ad campaign, which launched May 7, will get digital boost this summer from media conglomerate Viacom. Viacom’s Twitter accounts for MTV, VH1, CMT and Comedy Central will aid in the campaign’s mission of “inviting and inspiring” people to live in the moment — and sharing those moments on social networks with relevant hashtags.

How Facebook can avoid being the next Yahoo!

David Cooperstein
Jun 5, 2012

Which new media platform has rocketed to hundreds of millions of unique visitors, provides both utility and entertainment for the masses, and has become the destination of choice for its generation? If this were 1999, Yahoo! would be your answer. Today, that torch has been handed to Facebook. And with good reason, since they have embedded their ubiquitous social network of nearly 1 billion members into a large part of people’s lives and the digital ecosystem. But Yahoo!’s challenges tell a cautionary tale for Facebook.

Cablers Rebrand With New Slogans But Confuse Customers

Jeanine Poggi
Jun 4, 2012

As the cable landscape has changed dramatically, so too have networks' branding challenges. When there were just a handful of cable networks, it was easy to sort your news from your reality channels. But as choices proliferate and programming blurs, networks are increasingly introducing revamped slogans and logos to set them apart.

Why YouTube is the Ultimate Platform for Global Social Change

Rahim Kanani
Jun 4, 2012

72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. In 2011, YouTube had more than 1 trillion video views, which is 140 views for every person on the planet. Among all the hours of uploads and billions of views, nonprofits, educators, and activists have a strong presence on YouTube. “Nonprofits and activism” and “Education” are among the fastest growing categories on YouTube.

Google+ Local Unlocks the Power of Zagat

Samantha Murphy
May 30, 2012

Google+ rolled out on Wednesday a new ‘Local’ tool that allows users to share and find information about nearby places — from museums and spas to restaurants and hotels. In addition to tapping a user’s network or “Circles,” the new service also incorporates information from Zagat, which Google bought last year.

Bad Tech Etiquette To Avoid at Work

Angie Reed
May 29, 2012

Technology has simplified communications for most businesses, but the increased use of conference calls, video conferencing, and instant messaging has created a new list of off-putting behaviors that could land your business in an awkward situation. Here is a list of some pet peeves and how to avoid them.

How To Identify Your Customers, Make Them Love You, And Keep Them Hooked

Martin Lindstrom
May 23, 2012

Every company is struggling to nail down their core target group. If only they could define it, life--or at least business--would be a whole lot easier. They could then channel resources and focus energy in the right direction.

The Huffington Post Wants to Help Brands Create Their Own Content Sites

Jason Del Rey
May 22, 2012

The Huffington Post is expanding the way it works with brands in an effort to cash in on the popular brand-as-publisher trend.

J.C. Penney: Ditch the Risky Pricing Strategy

Rafi Mohammed
May 21, 2012

J.C. Penney's "Fair and Square Everyday Low Pricing Strategy" is not as successful as new CEO Ron Johnson expected. During its first quarter under the new pricing strategy, same store sales dropped by 18.9%, store visits decreased by 10%, and the average spend was down by 5%. As a result, the retailer lost $163 million (compared to earning $64 million in the first quarter of 2011) and suspended its quarterly dividend. J.C. Penny's stock, which bounced above $43 per share after CEO Ron Johnson enthusiastically announced the new pricing strategy in January, now trades below $30.

House Beautiful Lets Readers Post to Pinterest From Print

Nat Ives
May 21, 2012

House Beautiful is letting users post photos from its print edition directly to Pinterest using smartphone apps, the latest effort by a magazine to make print more interactive.

Who Are the Top Retailers on Social Media? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Christine Erickson
May 18, 2012

It’s become practically mandatory that brands incorporate social media into their business strategy, causing retailers to compete for popularity in stores and on the Internet, too. Campalyst has provided this infographic, which covers the largest Internet retailers in the U.S., and their presence on the five key social networks: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest.

Patagonia Creates An Interactive Story Of Its Supply Chain For Customers

Triple Pundit
May 18, 2012

Patagonia has long been a sustainability leader, and pokes its competitors in the eye with programs, from asking consumers to buy less to working with fisheries to the preservation of salmon populations while rolling out new snacks. Now the outdoor clothing and gear company is pushing supply chain transparency to a new level.

Say It Ain't So, Jamie: The JPMorgan Chase Crisis Is Not About Money

Richard Levick
May 17, 2012

The longest-term impact of the $2 billion dollar loss will not be on the bank itself, and maybe not even on future regulation, but on the overall perceptions of a society as it clings to the hope that someone somewhere is doing the right thing and always will

Social Sharing Data Vampires: They Vant to Suck Your Data

Jamie Beckland
May 17, 2012

Publishers are bleeding themselves dry, giving up the very customer data that hold the promise of their continued relevance in the digital age. They struggle to monetize online users, as the dimes from digital will never replace the analog dollars they no longer receive from print. They see social sharing as a way to drive page views on their traffic-starved websites. But many of these social-sharing tools are data vampires.

Nielsen: U.S. Consumers App Downloads Up 28% To 41

Ingrid Lunden
May 16, 2012

According to a new report from Nielsen, mobile consumers are downloading more apps than ever before, with the average number of apps owned by a smartphone user now at 41 — a rise of 28 percent on the 32 apps owned on average last year.

Data Points: Online, There Are No Crowds [Infographic]

Lucia Moses
May 16, 2012

Online, men are shopping more and at rates higher than before, according to an iProspect study of men with a household income of $100,000 plus.

For Brands, The Need To Rethink Everything

Bain Insights
May 16, 2012

As the marketplace undergoes a rapid transformation, it’s forcing leading brands to rethink everything—from where and how they compete to what capabilities they will need to thrive in this new world order. The fast-changing world of consumer products is at the confluence of a number of significant trends.

Just-in-time Information through Mobile Connections

Lee Rainie and Susannah Fox
May 9, 2012

Users’ ability to access data immediately through apps and web browsers and through contact with their social networks is creating a new culture of real-time information seekers and problem solvers. The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project has documented some of the ways that people perform just-in-time services with their cell phones.

Why Location-Based Services Will Create Multiple Winners At The Application Layer

Semil Shah
May 9, 2012

As far as phone sensors go, the GPS sensor appears to be one of the most coveted by developers, after the camera. For a consumer, the trade is quite simple: offer your location at a specific point in time, or your patterns, and in exchange for that information, an application will offer you something — a deal, a coupon, or information about who and/or what is around you.

Evan Shapiro On Why TV Isn't Dead And How Marketers Need To See It

Brandon Gutman
May 9, 2012

We sat with Shapiro and asked him why he feels television isn’t dead and to explain how marketers can attain the most value from this evolving medium.

Why Publishers Don't Like Apps

Jason Pontin
May 8, 2012

The future of media on mobile devices isn't with applications but with the Web. For publishers whose businesses evolved during the long day of print newspapers and magazines, the expansion of the Internet was tremendously disorienting. The Internet taught readers they might read stories whenever they liked without charge, and it offered companies more efficient ways to advertise. Both parties spent less.

The Spot: High on the Hogs

Tim Nudd
May 8, 2012

'The Guardian' huffed and puffed and made one of the year's best ads. Did it sell papers? Newspapers aren't known for their compelling self-promotion. Yet in the grip of their existential crisis, that's what they need—a riveting argument for their own value, evolution and place in the cultural conversation. In late February, London ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty delivered just that for The Guardian.

Draw Something Has Users Draw Brands To Get Their Ad Dollars

Allie Walker
May 8, 2012

Popular game Draw Something is now rolling out a new type of ad model–instead of seeing traditional banner ads, users will be actually drawing the ads, as the new model integrates ads into the game in the form of branded word choices.

Sears Holding (SHLD) - An Opportunity Missed - A Tragedy in the Making

Walter Loeb
May 8, 2012

Most of the luster of the company is gone and recent reports worry me and I wonder if the company can reverse its course and will survive. Essentially I ask myself if Sears is a dynamic merchandising company or an albatross in the making.

Could These Start-Ups Become the Next Big Thing?

Jenna Wortham and Nicole Perlroth
May 7, 2012

When Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion last month, it raised a lot of questions about which buzzed-about start-ups might be on track for similar success. The start-up scene is flooded with apps and services that are attracting users and backing from investors. But it can be hard to work out which companies are worthy of the kind of attention Instagram was receiving when Facebook came calling.

The Simplicity Thesis

Aaron Levie
May 7, 2012

A fascinating trend is consuming Silicon Valley and beginning to eat away at rest of the world: the radical simplification of everything. Want to spot the next great technology or business opportunity? Just look for any market that lacks a minimally complex solution to a sufficiently large problem.

Meet Signal, the Instagram of Citizen Journalism

Sonia Paul
May 3, 2012

What do you get when you combine a photo-sharing mobile platform like Instagram with more geo-location awareness and a Reddit-style voting system for stories breaking all over the world? Answer: Signal, the app citizen journalism may well have been been waiting for.

Help Wanted 2.0: Engaging Others To Tackle Wicked Problems

Bansi Nagji
May 3, 2012

Beth Comstock is the chief marketing officer at General Electric-–a company that no one would accuse of having a free-wheeling or laissez-faire culture. Yet Comstock, along with GE chairman Jeffrey Immelt and fellow senior executives, have embraced the fact that the challenges they face—in areas from healthcare to energy to transportation—are too ‘wicked’ to be solved by GE alone.

Yesterday The Boston Globe ended all your tomorrows

Justin Ellis
May 2, 2012

In adjusting its style guide to use calendar days instead of “yesterday,” “today,” or “tomorrow,” the Globe is trying to adapt to the pace of online news.

Bing Strips Down Results Page To Make Google Look Like “Search Overload”

Josh Constine
May 2, 2012

While Google keeps cramming its search results pages full of tools and social content, today Bing confirmed with me the full roll out a redesigned search results page that completely clears the left sidebar, and replaces the tabbed header with a cleaner set of links.

Yahoo Launches Online Marketing Dashboard For Small Businesses

Leena Rao
May 2, 2012

Yahoo says that it has helped millions of businesses get online and grow their presence on the web. Today, the company is debuting a new marketing dashboard to give users additional insight into online reputation, web metrics and more.

Rumor: Hulu Will Soon Require Viewers To Have A Cable Subscription

Frederic Lardinois
May 1, 2012

Hulu could soon start requiring its users to prove that they also have a cable or satellite subscription. This would obviously turn Hulu’s current business model on its head. It’s not clear how many of the service’s 31 million users currently don’t subscribe to cable TV, but chances are that the service’s audience would shrink after this move.

5 Mobile Trends Brands Need to Watch

Jonathan Gardner
Apr 30, 2012

Already, data shows that more than one third of American teens own an iPhone and the one-tablet-per-child initiative is a mainstay in South Korean and Thai schools. It’s easy to see what life will look like for the next generation of consumers, but will marketers be prepared? That will largely depend on whether they’ve considered these five post-mobile trends.

Amazon aren't destroying publishing, they're reshaping it

Nick Harkaway
Apr 30, 2012

Google, Apple and Amazon are vying to become literature's new gatekeepers. But good publishing is about more than market share.

Inside Forbes: The 9 Realities of Building a Sustainable Model for Journalism

Lewis DVorkin
Apr 30, 2012

From Jeff Zucker, NBC Universal’s former CEO. In talking about digital video, he said: “Our challenge with all these ventures is to effectively monetize them so that we do not end up trading analog dollars for digital pennies.”

Agile, social, cheap: The new way NPR is trying to make radio

Andrew Phelps
Apr 30, 2012

NPR is taking another stab at creating new programming, but the approach looks quite different. What’s different this time? The network seems to be taking a page from agile software development, the philosophy that products should be released early and iterated often.

Singularity University: meet the people who are building our future

Carole Cadwalladr
Apr 30, 2012

Stanford University might have been the cradle for a hundred Silicon Valley startups and the hothouse for some of its greatest technical innovations, but the Singularity University is an institution that has been made in the valley's own image: highly networked, fuelled by a cocktail of philanthro-capitalism and endowed with an almost mystical sense of its own destiny.

Something Is Rotten In The State Of E-Book Publishing

Kim Eaton
Apr 26, 2012

The publishing industry has a problem. The old guard haven't innovated. And neither their business models nor their products embrace the digital books revolution.

IBM Acquires Enterprise Search Software Company Vivisimo To Boost Big Data Analytics

Leena Rao
Apr 25, 2012

On the heels of acquiring sales data analytics company Varicent last week, Big Blue is making another buy in the data space today— Vivisimo. Vivisimo provides enterprises with search software that helps organizations access and analyze big data across the enterprise.

How Digital Journalists Used Data to Report on Murdoch Scandal

Stephanie Haberman
Apr 25, 2012

Innovative digital journalism played a starring role in the wake of a massive document release during an inquiry into British media ethics. Three major news organizations sifted through the information and collaboratively covered the investigation stemming from British journalism’s biggest scandal in recent memory.

Better Pics Of Those Amazing Knitted Nikes

Belinda Lanks
Apr 25, 2012

You'll see Flyknit on the feet of olympic marathoners this year. This limited-edition collection shows the real-world application of Nike's newfangled technology. The limited-edition HTM is intended for the rest of us: plain old sneaker geeks.

Is the New York Times making paywalls pay?

Frédéric Filloux
Apr 24, 2012

The New York Times company's latest quarterly numbers contain a rich trove of data regarding the health of the digital news industry. Today, we'll focus on the transition from traditional advertising to paywall strategies being implemented across the world. Paywalls appear as a credible way to offset – alas too partially – the declining revenue from print operations.

Piers Fawkes: Why We Launched A Print Magazine

Piers Fawkes
Apr 24, 2012

Recently, PSFK launched our inaugural print magazine: the first offline publication that we hope to release every quarter. Some reasoning why a new media entity like PSFK.com decided to trial the analog.

McDonald's Keeping Its Eye on the Prize this Olympics Year

Olympics McDonald's Strategy Management "Burger King" Wendy's Consumer
Apr 24, 2012

What does a brand do when most of its competitors are recasting or overhauling themselves in a highly competitive industry? If you're McDonald's, well, you keep doing what you've been doing. Because everyone else is — still — trying to catch you.

The Flight From Conversation

Sherry Turkle
Apr 23, 2012

In the silence of connection, people are comforted by being in touch with a lot of people — carefully kept at bay. We can’t get enough of one another if we can use technology to keep one another at distances we can control: not too close, not too far, just right.

Use Social Curation To Build Brand Presence

Robert Egert
Apr 23, 2012

Consumers today can no longer rely on a few trusted editorial sources to filter the noise and deliver the most important news and information. Instead, consumers must make sense of the vast amount of information that reaches them daily and constantly make decisions about what to take seriously and what to ignore. Increasingly, they are turning to Social Curation

Avon Is Late to Social Media's Party

Emily Glazer
Apr 23, 2012

Avon remains slow to catch up to the Internet, a platform that is increasingly important for hooking new consumers on brands. The New York-based beauty company has dabbled with iPhone and Android apps for smaller brands like Mark and has developed e-catalogs, but sales representatives say it isn't doing enough to help them win customers through new tools like social media, smartphones and tablets.

What If Online Doesn’t Work For Branding?

Jerry Neumann
Apr 19, 2012

Two-thirds of advertising spending is brand advertising, but online only one quarter is. In fact, if brand advertising dollars moved online in the same proportion that sales advertising has, it would almost exactly close the famous gap between time spent online and ad dollars spent online.

Ford Web Series Focuses On Eco Education

Ross Fadner
Apr 19, 2012

Every day, more and more brands are creating compelling, original content, and the medium of choice for these initiatives is Web video. The latest example is Ford Motor Company’s collaboration with eco-focused media company SHFT.com, “The Big SHFT: 10 Innovators Changing Our World”, a documentary series profiling industry professionals who are trying to transform their industries with eco-friendly sustainability solutions.

How ‘Liquidmetal’ Could Give the Next iPhone Its Special Swagger

Christina Bonnington
Apr 19, 2012

After releasing two generations of iPhones with exactly the same form factor, Apple is expected to show off a new chassis design — and possibly new materials — in its sixth-generation smartphone. And a little-known alloy that Apple has quietly been using for the past two years could be just the ticket to make consumers swoon.

The Apple Way: How The Second-Gen Nest Thermostat Evolves To Help Users

Cliff Kuang
Apr 18, 2012

Just a few months after the Nest’s introduction, it’s clear that Fadell and his new company also took another Apple lesson to heart: the constant need for tiny tweaks that are laser focused on making the user’s life easier. And also: the need to introduce big changes to the consumer slowly, over time. By looking at how Nest’s second-generation thermostat has evolved, we can see those two crucial ideals at work.

Square Vs. NCR: Disruptive Innovation In Action

Austin Carr
Apr 18, 2012

Call it a strategic inflection point for these companies, a common trend in the Valley, where scrappy startups are always a threat to stagnant corporations--not so much because of some new piece of technology but because of the disruptive idea behind it.

IBM Partnership Enables EVs To Charge More Sustainably

Emma Hutchings
Apr 17, 2012

IBM has partnered with Honda and Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) to develop a pilot project that will allow electric vehicles to communicate with the power grid, receiving and responding to charge instructions based on the grid and the vehicle’s battery level.

Most adults follow local news closely, relying on local newspapers and other sources

Carolyn Miller
Apr 17, 2012

Nearly three quarters (72%) of adults are quite attached to following local news and information, and local newspapers are by far the source they rely on for much of the local information they need. In fact, local news enthusiasts are substantially more wedded to their local newspapers than others.

The Age Of Uprisings, Brand Movements, And Ad Backlashes

Scott Goodson
Apr 16, 2012

It’s a new era where consumers will punish a company for taking a wrong stand, but also for taking no stands at all. In these volatile times, brands actually should become more willing to take a stand.

User Experience And The Poison On The Tip Of The Arrow

Uzi Shmilovici
Apr 16, 2012

Amazing design is not enough. It is like fashion. Everybody is excited about it at the beginning, but then people are getting used to it and eventually it wears out. After it does, the user is left with the essence of the user experience.

Interactive eBook Apps: The Reinvention of Reading and Interactivity

Avi Itzkovitch
Apr 16, 2012

With the recent software available to allow easy creation of interactive books and with the race to bring these products to market, there seems to be a more and more dilution of quality and a loss for the meaning of interactivity. When publishers create new eBook titles or convert a traditional printed book to a digital interactive eBook, they often miss the added value this new medium can provide.

Men Are From Google+, Women Are From Pinterest [Infographic]

Steve Olenski
Apr 13, 2012

Two out of every three adults who are online use social media. That’s amazing. It truly is. Wonder how many are still out there who still think social media is just a fad?

Adidas Brings You the First ‘Smart’ Soccer Match

Chuck Squatriglia
Apr 12, 2012

Adidas will embed its miCoach data tracker in uniforms worn by players competing in the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game on July 25. The “professional soccer team tracking system” riffs on the miCoach Speed Cell introduced last year, and Adidas says it will provide coaches with real-time data about player position and performance.

Tumblr Tests New Tools for Users and Brands

David Teicher
Apr 12, 2012

One of the first clues to Tumblr's future as a business came in February with the launch of "highlighted posts," which allow Tumblr users to pay $1 to gain more visibility for their work. In 2010, Tumblr CEO David Karp told the Los Angeles Times that the thought of ads "turns our stomachs." But can it be a business without them?

Dunkin’ Donuts Interactive Bus Ad Sprays The Aroma Of Coffee

Jeremy D. Williams
Apr 11, 2012

A South Korean Dunkin’ Donuts campaign is reinventing the traditional radio advertisement using unique technology and the smell of coffee. The campaign, named, Flavor Radio releases coffee aroma via sound recognition technology.

Excelsior! Augmented: Marvel's AR Comics Show Promise Of Enhanced Print

Steve Smith
Apr 11, 2012

While so many eyes have been on magazine and newspaper media and their desperate embrace of mobile technology, one of the most interesting sectors of old media on new platforms is the comics. Long before Apple instituted its newsstand, for instance, DC, Marvel, Image, Dark Horse and others like powerhouse distributor Comixology were demonstrating how mobile or tablet apps could make superb periodical merchandising machine and reader/library.

10 of the most trusted brands in America

Paul Sakuma
Apr 9, 2012

In an era when entire companies and long-time brands are disappearing, why do Americans trust certain brands and not others? What is trust?

Tablets taking over the living room: 88% of owners use them while watching TV

Jennifer Van Grove
Apr 9, 2012

New research from analytics firm Nielsen confirms what most have suspected about the symbiotic relationship between tablets and television, and offers some hope for a growing crop of startups looking to capitalize on the second screen experience.

Companies Spend Money, Time on New Corporate Names

EJ Schultz
Apr 9, 2012

There are legitimate reasons why naming companies is a bit more challenging than it used to be. Marketers must contend with instant backlash from critics on social media and the global reality that one phrase in English might take on a completely different meaning overseas (see Kraft). And they must ensure the moniker is not already trademarked.

Warning, Executives: Avoid Social Media at Your Peril

Erika Andersen
Apr 9, 2012

For my daughter, and my assistant, and other people I know in their 20s and 30s, using social media is part of their native language. They built websites in college (or even high school); they explore and evolve their use of facebook and/or twitter and/or Pinterest and/or iGoogle as easily as they change clothes.

Etsy Hacker Grants: Supporting Women in Technology

Marc Hedlund
Apr 6, 2012

The summer batch of Hacker School will be 40 students, and our goal is to have them accept at least 20 women, with Hacker School retaining full control over the admissions process. In other words, 20 times the number of women in the current batch. What will it take to get there?

New IBM App Presents Nearly 1,000 Years of Math History

Alexandra Chang
Apr 6, 2012

Math nerds and historians, it’s time to get excited. Minds of Modern Mathematics, a new iPad app released Thursday by IBM, presents an interactive timeline of the history of mathematics and its impact on society from 1000 to 1960. The app is based on an original, 50-foot-long “Men of Modern Mathematics” installation created in 1964 by Charles and Ray Eames. Minds of Modern Mathematics users can view a digitized version of the original infographic as well as browse through an interactive timeline with more than 500 biographies, math milestones and images of relevant artifacts.

Is Ranch Dressing the New Ketchup?

Yi Chen
Apr 6, 2012

Hidden Valley Foods has improved its ranch dressing to be thicker and creamier in hopes to appeal to younger consumers. The company is labeling the dressing as ‘The New Ketchup’ and is calling it the ‘Hidden Valley for Everything’ that be used as a topping or a dip.

How A Geek Dad And His 3D Printer Aim To Liberate Legos

Andy Greenberg
Apr 6, 2012

In an age when anyone can share, download and create not just digital files but also physical things, thanks to the proliferation of cheap 3-D printers, are companies at risk of losing control of the objects they sell? In March Levin and his former ­student Shawn Sims released a set of digital blueprints that a 3-D printer can use to create more than 45 plastic objects, each of which provides the missing interface between pieces from toy construction sets. They call it the Free Universal Construction Kit.

6 Keys For Turning Your Company Into A Design Powerhouse

Jeneanne Rae
Apr 6, 2012

Integrating design into your company involves more than just hiring superstar designers. It takes a long-term commitment and developing a culture that brings everyone up to speed.

Coca-Cola thirsts for longform content

Andrew McDonald
Apr 5, 2012

Coca-Cola is looking at restructuring and expanding its in-house content creation team as it experiments with longform branded content. The soft drink giant’s VP of global advertising strategy and creative excellence Jonathan Mildenhall told C21 recent campaigns around the Olympics and Coke Zero, which both included longform video, had prompted him to look at how it manages this type of content from its Atlanta headquarters.

VW CMO Tim Mahoney On How It Became America's Fastest Growing Car Company

Avi Dan
Apr 5, 2012

Following a sales increase of 26 percent in 2011, and 20 percent in 2010, this is a far cry for a company that considered pulling out of the U.S. market in the early 1990’s, when sales plummeted to 40,000 vehicles. The company plans to deliver double-digit growth this year and next, CMO Tim Mahoney told me, terming it “Quality growth”, meaning it has to be profitable and sustainable. That should put VW comfortably over the 400,000 vehicles mark.

Nest thermostat gets 2.0 software

Martin LaMonica
Apr 5, 2012

The gadgets of your smart home now come with software updates. Nest Labs today released the equivalent of version 2.0 software for its smart thermostat available for the Web, iOS or Android. The software tweaks for the $249 Learning Thermostat are designed to help people better understand how thermostat changes affect energy usage.

Finally, a Reason to Read Magazines on a Tablet

Peter Kafka
Apr 4, 2012

Remember Next Issue Media, the “Hulu for Digital Magazines” consortium made up of the biggest names in publishing? It has finally delivered something worth talking about: Call it Netflix for Magazines. The pitch is simple and intuitive: All the magazines you want, delivered digitally to your tablet, for a flat fee of either $10 or $15 a month.

The Elements Of Navigation

Petter Silfver
Apr 4, 2012

After a couple of seconds of scanning this article, and maybe reading parts of the introduction, you may have started to ask yourself whether the information that you’re consuming at the moment is actually relevant to you—the user. Unfortunately (and as certain as death and taxes), if users cannot find the information they are looking for, chances are they will abandon their track, never to return.

Under Armour Flexing Its Muscles Overseas

Fred Dreier
Apr 4, 2012

Sports apparel giant Under Armour is taking its message across the pond. On Monday, the apparel company owned by billionaire Kevin Plank announced it was hiring former Adidas executive Karl-Heinz Maurath to run its international business.

Brewing Controversy - How Starbucks Embraces Social Media

Felicia Dorng
Apr 4, 2012

How does a multi-national mega-brand, responsible for crafting a consistent image all over the globe, manage to navigate the potentially treacherous waters of hot-button cultural and political issues in the places where it does business?

Facebook Timelines Allow For Brand Storytelling, but What's the Next Chapter?

Austin Carr
Apr 3, 2012

Spotify and Hulu are among the companies that have taken advantage of the Facebook Timeline format to create long histories despite their relative youth. It’s an accessible form of brand content, but what happens when the novelty wears off?

Hotel enables its top customers to choose their own check-in and check-out times

Apr 3, 2012

It’s not uncommon for hotels to extend frequent customers the courtesy of a late check-out option, but Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide recently announced an initiative that takes that premise even further. Now available to top-tier members of the company’s loyalty program, Your24 is a new service that lets guests choose their own check-in and check-out times.

Empathize Like A Doctor, Design Like An Entrepreneur

James Oliver Senior and Adam Dole
Apr 3, 2012

Every day it seems that we read about the launch of a new startup or technology application claiming to disrupt and reinvent the health care system. This flood of activity comes at a time when the health care industry is in dire need of entrepreneurial spirit, fresh perspectives and new skills. But to create products and services that have the potential to make a large impact, entrepreneurs and health care professionals need to work together.

Social At Work: Facebook's Lessons For The Enterprise

Ram Menon
Apr 3, 2012

The forthcoming Facebook IPO, set for May, will be one of the greatest events in recent tech memory. It’s an irrefutable indicator of how far social networking has come and where it’s going. But what does this mean for the workplace? Is enterprise social networking, the so-called Facebook-like model at work, starting to take off as well or is it still in its infancy?

Social media keeps ski resorts from exaggerating snowfall

Steven K. Paulson
Apr 3, 2012

The era of social media is bringing more transparency to ski resorts' daily snow reports, with skiers and riders using smartphone apps, websites, tweets and video to spread the word in real time, particularly if traditional reports are off. And the industry itself has been quick to embrace social media to get the word out

Study: 'Big Data' poses opportunities, challenges

BtoB Online
Apr 2, 2012

Marketers overwhelmingly recognize that leveraging massive data sets can help them improve business, but most feel they lack the tools to mine customer insights adequately, according to a study from marketing technology company DataXu Inc.

Suddenly Microsoft is the Hippest Tech Company Around

Rebecca Greenfield
Apr 2, 2012

While Apple and Google are busy getting bad press for their privacy issues, labor practices and general big-evil-company wrongdoings, Microsoft has done some brand regeneration, making it look like the hippest tech company on the block these days.

In an Open-Source Society, Innovating by the Seat of Our Pants

Joichi Ito
Apr 2, 2012

The Internet isn’t really a technology. It’s a belief system, a philosophy about the effectiveness of decentralized, bottom-up innovation. And it’s a philosophy that has begun to change how we think about creativity itself.

Does Salesforce.com Own The Social Enterprise?

Shel Israel
Apr 2, 2012

What may be as out-of-date today is the fast-growing, feisty, focused, powerhouse’s core name. The .com part went out-of-fashion with the implosion of a bubble more than a decade ago, and as was made resoundingly clear last week, the San Francisco-based global entity is about a lot more than sales force automation. In fact, that is no longer the core focus. I spent a day at Cloudforce Expo Worldtour in San Francisco’s Moscone Center. The company updates were significant.

Cars in the Cloud: Trackable and Time-Stamped

Victor Cruz
Apr 2, 2012

When an aircraft crashes, investigators are able to retrieve useful information about what went wrong from the flight data recorder, more commonly known as the black box. (The data recorder itself is actually not black, not until it’s retrieved from charred remains.) Statistically speaking, plane crashes are rare occurrences compared to car crashes, so why not install a black box for cars?

From Apple to Zipcar, Auto Brands Hunt Millennials

Dale Buss
Apr 2, 2012

Auto makers are deeply concerned that Millennials don’t care about vehicles nearly as much as they do about the next iPhone. So the companies have become decidedly more intent on roping in these car-reluctant twenty-somethings. That’s one big reason why, for instance, Ford has decided to set up shop, literally, in Silicon Valley, and why General Motors has turned for marketing advice to MTV.

The Era of Big Box Retail Dominance Is Coming to an End

David Welch
Mar 30, 2012

When Best Buy Co. (BBY) said yesterday it was closing 50 big stores and opening 100 smaller ones, the world’s largest electronics retailer was adjusting to reality: The era of big-box retail dominance is coming to an end. The new mantra is small box.

Wikipedia’s Next Big Thing: Wikidata, A Machine-Readable, User-Editable Database Funded By Google, P

Sarah Perez
Mar 30, 2012

Wikidata, the first new project to emerge from the Wikimedia Foundation since 2006, is now beginning development. The organization, known best for its user-edited encyclopedia of knowledge Wikipedia, recently announced the new project at February’s Semantic Tech & Business Conference in Berlin, describing Wikidata as new effort to provide a database of knowledge that can be read and edited by humans and machines alike.

Is Best Buy following CompUSA, Circuit City to certain doom?

Brooke Crothers
Mar 30, 2012

Best Buy is on the same track that two former train wrecks were on, CompUSA and Circuit City. Today, Best Buy reported a fiscal fourth-quarter net loss of $1.7 billion and announced it is closing 50 stores. The basic pattern that CompUSA (closed brick-and-mortar stores in 2007) and Circuit City (closed stores in 2008) followed was: first select stores were closed, then more were closed, then all stores were shuttered or sold off.

Google Partners With Publishers on a New Kind of Paywall

Lauren Indvik
Mar 30, 2012

You might not be willing to fork over a monthly subscription fee to read some of your favorite news sites, but would you answer a survey question? That’s what Google and a handful of well-known online publishers are aiming to find out.

The Future Of Social Media Is Holistic Engagement

Paloma M Vazquez
Mar 29, 2012

Human nature: our curiosity can often be provoked when a conference is prefaced by NDAs that prevent participants from sharing the discussion externally. The net-net? That “next big thing” appears to be for brands to use ‘social’ more strategically, connecting with and engaging their customers more holistically to drive business growth.

Magazines' Digital Circulation More Than Doubles -- But Remains Small

Nat Ives
Mar 29, 2012

Magazines more than doubled their paid digital circulation in the most recent reporting period, but print remains the overwhelming majority of their business, according to a new analysis by the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Digital circulation soared to an estimated 3.29 million in the second half of 2012 from 1.46 million in the year-earlier period, a 125% increase, according to publishers' reports with the Audit Bureau.

Alignment: Key To Marketing Performance

Laura Patterson
Mar 29, 2012

When marketing is in alignment with the business, you are more likely to travel in the same direction. Alignment and accountability are the first steps every aspiring marketing organization must take to improve its performance management and measurement.

Local TV Goes Social

Alexandra Bruell
Mar 28, 2012

Local TV stations are using social media to extend their coverage and conversations with viewers. They're also working to create more integration with advertisers and device companies, according to panelists at the Socializing Local TV session during the 4A's Transformation Conference in L.A.

Strong Brands Built Through Trust, Then Action

Aaron Baar
Mar 28, 2012

There are a couple of things that make a brand great: engendering good feelings to consumers and using those feelings to inspire them to make a purchase.

What Does it Take to Turn Big Data into Big Dollars?

Lisa Arthur
Mar 28, 2012

Companies are learning to turn Big Data into Big Dollars. How are they doing it? With the help of data scientists, a new generation of business leaders who understand that today, data drives revenue.

Mascots Are Brands' Best Social-Media Accessories

E. J. Schultz
Mar 27, 2012

Brand mascots are rebounding as marketers redeploy old characters in new ways, create fresh ones from scratch and use digital media to spin out rich storylines not possible in the past, when critters and cartoon characters were pretty much confined to TV. While it might be too early to declare a full-fledged mascot revival, brand characters are undoubtedly regaining attention.

Brand Architecture: Building Brand Value

Martin Bishop
Mar 27, 2012

Brand architecture often comes down to an evaluation of tradeoffs. In my experience, there’s rarely a cost-free benefit or a no-foul cost. That’s why I have found the concept of brand value so helpful. It focuses on the net effect of an initiative -- are the benefits worth more than the costs of getting those benefits or are cost-saving initiatives doing more harm than good?

Google Pushes Play Front And Center: Is Selling Content Now King?

Rip Empson
Mar 27, 2012

Google is marching steadily towards Larry Page’s reported goal of a “single, unified, ‘beautiful’ product, across everything.” It started last year, as redesigns came to all of Google’s big products, Search, Maps, Translate, Reader, Gmail, YouTube, etc, etc. A black navbar appeared, which Google later announced it was removing, only to then reverse course and keep it. And then, earlier this month, it announced Google Play.

New Refrigerator Magnet Makes Ordering Pizza Even Easier

Caleb Melby
Mar 27, 2012

Enter Red Tomato Pizza, a single wood-fired joint in Dubai, UAE, and their disruptive new model for easy ordering: The idea is nothing short of brilliant.

5 New Rules For A Winning Brand Launch

Robyn Bolton
Mar 27, 2012

With its 2011 corporate revenue estimated at $54 billion and brands in practically every aisle of the grocery store, Kraft is the largest producer of branded, packaged food and beverages in America. So it’s hard to believe that before MiO, the last new category Kraft created was DiGiorno frozen pizza in 1995 and its last new beverage brand was Crystal Light, launched in 1988.

Amazon vs. Apple: Competing Ecosystem Strategies

Ron Adner
Mar 21, 2012

The innovation game is changing. Delivering great products is no longer sufficient for success. And as the Fire's limited memory, ho-hum processor, and and lack of camera demonstrate, great products may not even be necessary. Rather, what matters is delivering great solutions.

Eventbrite Launches iPad Credit-Card Reader At The Door: A Lost Opportunity For Square?

Mar 21, 2012

Today, Eventbrite, the online ticketing startup, got terrestrial too. It's launched the At The Door Card Reader, a credit-card swiping accessory for the iPad that enables merchants to sell tickets, merchandise, drinks, and more on-site. Until now, Eventbrite has focused on pre-sale online transactions. But since a significant number of event attendees are still purchasing tickets at the door, the company figured out a way to tap into that market--without help from Square or another solution.

Dethroned! How Wendy's Slayed Burger King in the Fast Food Wars

Jordan Weissmann
Mar 21, 2012

Yesterday, it was official: Wendy's has usurped Burger King as America's second largest burger chain. It finished 2011 with more U.S. revenue, despite operating 1,300 fewer stores. The news, though largely expected -- The Wall Street Journal anticipated the "palace coup" back in December -- is a milestone in the history of fast food.

How Pinterest Can Turn Your Brand Red-Hot [INFOGRAPHIC]

Jeremy Cabalona
Mar 19, 2012

If your brand isn’t on Pinterest, you could be missing out on a growing stream of potential customers.

Is Marketing Too Undisciplined For Its Own Good?

Avi Dan
Mar 19, 2012

While Board of Directors, CEOs, and CFOs these days are demanding proof that marketing dollars work, a new study reveals that 57% of CMOs are simply going with their gut feeling when setting marketing budgets, without any consideration for Return On Investment analysis.

Newly redesigned Pinterest profile pages go live

Jon Russell
Mar 16, 2012

Pinterest has rolled out its first significant makeover since gaining popular attention in a move that sees it streamline the look of profile pages on the service.

How PayPal Here Stacks Up Against Other Mobile Payment Options

Todd Wasserman
Mar 16, 2012

Which one is best for you? We took a look at the various features for each offering to help you make the decision:

50 Brands Named 'Customer Service Champions'

Tanya Irwin
Mar 16, 2012

In the faltering economy, the importance of customer service has reached new highs, overtaking even price as a purchase determinant, according to a J.D. Power report.

London’s Interactive NikeFuel Station Breaks Digital Design Boundaries via PSFK: http://www.psfk.co

Emma Hutchings
Mar 15, 2012

Nike has opened the world’s first NikeFuel Station at the Boxpark in Shoreditch, London. The retail space breaks new boundaries in digital displays and design, aiming to appeal to today’s digitally-enabled athlete.

CMOs Must Be Linguists to Survive and Thrive

Bryan Thomas
Mar 15, 2012

The role of business linguist for the CMO is probably one of the more challenging aspects of the job. Translating marketing value and priority to other areas of the corporate enterprise, if done ineffectively or ignored, can lead to disaster.

How to Track Traffic From Pinterest in Google Analytics

Jim Gianoglio
Mar 14, 2012

It’s hard to ignore Pinterest‘s explosive growth over the past year. In a very short period of time, the social network has gone from relative obscurity to a top 100 site, with 11.7 million unique monthly U.S. visitors. But how many referrals does Pinterest generate?

Encyclopaedia Britannica Gives Up On Print Edition

Stan Schroeder
Mar 14, 2012

Encyclopaedia Britannica will stop publishing print editions and go digital-only — a huge step for the encyclopedia which has been in print since 1768. The sales of Britannica print editions has been on the decline since 1990, when 120,000 32-volume sets were sold.

Council Created to Regulate Aggregation, Bloggers

Alissa Skelton
Mar 13, 2012

David Carr, media reporter for The New York Times, wrote an article on Monday about a group of editors who plan to establish guidelines for ethical aggregation and blogging and another journalism duo who have created symbols they call the Curator’s Code.

PayPal to launch mobile payments dongle?

Steven Musil
Mar 13, 2012

PayPal is expected to launch a mobile payment dongle that would allow small businesses to process credit card transactions with a smartphone, according to a GigaOm report.

Moneyball in the Digital Space

Robert Passikoff
Mar 13, 2012

Playing a kind of “smartball” on brand teams today means insisting that digital players be leveraged against a larger strategy. In short, that a brand’s playbook is not a story of technological possibilities, but a diagram of brand profitability.

The Economics Of Emotion

Alan Zorfas
Mar 12, 2012

The most recent commercial for the BMW i3 and i8 concept cars is a great example of something enlightened marketers have known for years: emotion is the key driver behind purchasing decisions. Yet, today, most businesspeople still follow the old adage, “Emotions and business don’t mix,” relying on rational data to drive decisions instead.

Marvel and Aurasma Show Off New Line Of Augmented Reality Comics

Josh Constine
Mar 12, 2012

Today at SXSW, Marvel announced a partnership with Autonomy’s Aurasma platform to lets users watch video trailers of books they see in stores, as well as 3D animation, recaps, and other augmented reality extras by holding their phones up to comics.

Newspapers Are America's Fastest-Shrinking Industry

Derek Thompson
Mar 12, 2012

LinkedIn and the Council of Economic Advisors mapped the fastest-growing and fastest-shrinking industries since 2007, the year the Great Recession started. Renewables are at the top and newspapers are at the bottom.

Tweet-A-Beer Lets You Buy Drinks for Twitter Pals

Brian Anthony Hernandez
Mar 9, 2012

Buying someone a drink in person is a nice gesture, but buying someone a drink via Twitter is, well, not something you do often. Online networking app Tweet-A-Beer hopes to change that and make paying for other Twitter users’ drinks more of a habit.

Kraft's Planters Heads for the Peanut Butter Aisle

David Welch
Mar 9, 2012

In what may be the most overdue brand extension in history, Kraft is using the 100-year-old Planters name to speed growth of its mature grocery business.

How A Major Hospital Got Healthier With Big Data

Dan Woods
Mar 9, 2012

In most well-meaning organizations, once important information comes to light, it cannot be ignored, no matter what level of an organization is affected.

It's New Media, But You Can Measure ROI Using Old Tools

Brian Cavoli
Mar 8, 2012

A CFO won't make decisions without reliable metrics based on time-tested performance indicators. So why do so many sane, rational marketers think they'll get a pass when it comes to social media?

Why Social Marketing Is So Hard

Nilofer Merchant
Mar 8, 2012

Brands are spending a great deal of time and energy investing in platforms to get likes or pluses, and not really being social at all.

Top 50 Brands in Content Marketing

Toby Murdock
Mar 8, 2012

Brands have historically paid for media to deliver their messages. But now, those brands are becoming the media, attracting their own audiences. And not just within social networks, but through their own online publications. This new strategy is known as content marketing, and it has been embraced by leading brands like American Express, IBM, and General Mills, with more joining the ranks every day.

Marketers: 7 Ways NOT to Ruin Pinterest

Barrett Condy
Mar 6, 2012

Have you heard of Pinterest? It’s a (relatively) new social site where users share — or “pin” – visual content. Brands such as GE, HGTV and Martha Stewart Living have made deft use of Pinterest already. As a marketer, you should be too.

Gripevine, a new way to bitch about customer service

Paul Sloan
Mar 5, 2012

Attention all those who like to gripe about lousy customer service and companies (I'm looking at you AT&T and airlines everywhere) that tend to provide it: there's a new place for people to get their complaints heard, and it means business. The site is called Gripevine, and it's more than a platform like Facebook and Twitter on which frustrated customers can broadcast their complaints and hope for a response.

How Alcoa, Starbucks, Arista, And Febreze Kicked Normal Habits And Found Success

Philip Butta
Mar 5, 2012

The Power of Habit, by New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg, examines habits good and bad. Duhigg talks us through four companies that found success by swapping business-as-usual routines with smarter habits.

Best Practices: From First To Worst - Continental In A Post United World, Lessons In Next Gen Custom

Ray Wang
Mar 2, 2012

Despite the numerous attempts by CEO Jeff Smisek to gloss over the issue with increasingly slicked up, feel good, on board welcome ads, Continental’s customer satisfaction numbers have reached the abyss of United’s. While United Holdings may tout their most admired status in the airline industry by Fortune, the award is measured by corporate executives, airline executives, boards of directors and industry analysts

The New York Times Tells Its Entire Life Story on Facebook Timeline

Mario Aguilar
Mar 2, 2012

The New York Times' Facebook Timeline goes all the way back to 1851, and it's filled with some choice photos and milestones from the paper's history. It also tells the story of how technology changed the business of keeping you informed.

The Three Layers Of Brand Perception

Nigel Hollis
Mar 2, 2012

I have been exploring the importance of brand meaning. My basic premise is that the brands which people find to be different in a good way are the ones they will be willing to pay a price premium for. But as I have explored this topic, I have come to realize that there are some very distinct layers of meaning (how a brand is perceived) and brand marketers need to work differently to motivate people within each level.

Experience Is The Next Frontier In Marketing

Jacob Braude
Mar 1, 2012

"Experience" is the marketing buzzword of our time. It seems like every week someone is extolling the vast untapped potential of experience to move your customers: Starcom recently created a Chief Experience Officer position; SMG Global CEO Laura Desmond has called experience the "future of advertising," and Starbucks is revitalizating through a focus on moments of "human connection."

Did Google Break The Brand At Midnight?

David Vinjamuri
Mar 1, 2012

If you pay attention to advertising, you may have seen some charming, pencil-figured ads entitled “Good to Know” about managing your privacy options. After midnight, Google will start linking your data across all of Google’s products.

Meet the Coolest Facebook Brand Timelines From Coke to ESPN to Ford

Michael Learmonth
Feb 29, 2012

Facebook brand timelines went live this morning, and though we've known about these for a while, some of the executions are pretty impressive, including founding documents, early advertising, memos, news clips and photos. It's as if dozens of little corporate museums just launched on Facebook.

MTV Introduces On-Demand TV App in Europe

Kunur Patel
Feb 29, 2012

MTV has introduced a mobile app in Europe that fits somewhere on between HBO Go and social-TV platforms, letting users watch the network's shows on demand and invite friends to chat. Don't Expect a U.S. Version Anytime Soon.

How to spark inner creativity

Julie Burstein
Feb 29, 2012

If there’s one thing Burstein has learned over the years of producing the arts and culture radio show Studio 360, it’s that telling stories is the best way to learn about empathy. So now she tells of four qualities she believes help us all when looking to embrace our own creativity

How to Be a Top 50 Innovator

Holly Green
Feb 29, 2012

FastCompany recently released its list of the world’s 50 most innovative companies. Many of the names on the list come as no surprise, especially the top three (Apple, Facebook, and Google). But what caught my attention was the diversity of companies and industries represented.

Merchants Accepting Square’s Card Case Doubles In Four Months To 40,000

Leena Rao
Feb 28, 2012

Back in November, Square told us that 20,000 merchants had signed up for Card Case, and four months later that number has more than doubled to over 40,000 businesses using the loyalty and mobile wallet platform.

Focused Data and Intent-Based Targeting

Mark Rabe
Feb 27, 2012

As the volume of data skyrockets, it's useful to step back and consider the different types of data, where they come from and how they can be used most effectively. Unique and highly focused data can be used as a signal booster for more effective intent-based targeting.

Digital Kiosk Helps Customers Eat Healthier At McDonald’s

Emma Hutchings
Feb 27, 2012

Design company QA Graphics has created an interactive digital kiosk for a McDonald’s franchise in Richardson, Texas, that provides customers with nutritional information about the menu items and lets them make an informed choice about their meal.

Pinterest Becomes Top Traffic Driver for Women’s Magazines

Lauren Indvik
Feb 27, 2012

Pinterest hasn’t just become a significant source of referral traffic for retailers; it’s also becoming a top traffic driver for women’s lifestyle, home decor and cooking magazines, some of which are seeing bigger referral numbers from the image-collecting service than from major portals like Facebook and Yahoo.

LPGA CMO Jon Podany Discusses Rebuilding Trust

John Ellett
Feb 27, 2012

As both an avid golf fan and a curious marketer, I’ve noticed a renewed enthusiasm for the premier professional ladies golf tour, the LPGA. To learn more about the LPGA’s turnaround, I had a conversation with the organization’s CMO, Jon Podany.

So how much is a fair price to pay for an e-book?

Charles Cooper
Feb 24, 2012

why is it that consumers are still paying through the nose for e-book titles that ought to cost a fraction of the price charged for the used hardcover version?

Washington Post Tests Personalized News Program

Anthony Ha
Feb 24, 2012

If you’re tired of seeing the same news as everyone else, The Washington Post is now experimenting with personalized headlines. That experiment is called Personal Post, and it’s available at personal.washingtonpost.com, where you’ll see a river of content that you can customize.

71 percent of enterprises creating their own mobile apps, says Symantec

Meghan Kelly
Feb 24, 2012

According to a survey by Symantec, enterprises officially understand that “application culture” isn’t going away, and in order to succeed they need to be competitive both online and in the App Store. Both the iPhone and Android have significantly altered a phone’s function, making it a productivity tool, as opposed to a simple mode of communication. Currently, 71 percent of enterprises are either looking to, or are actively deploying their own mobile applications.

Analytics: The Essential Ace in Every Hand

Laura Patterson
Feb 24, 2012

None of us would agree to play a card game with cards missing from the deck. We would know that the odds of winning would be significantly diminished. Yet surprisingly, many marketers are willing to implement marketing programs sans analytics.

High-End Pinterest Competitor Fancy Launches Commerce Platform With Help From Jack Dorsey

Austin Carr
Feb 23, 2012

"People are 'Fancy-ing' what they like, forming communities around these products or experiences, and now we allow merchants and brands to come in and fill that interest and demand in real-time, which no one is doing," says founder Joseph Einhorn.

At J&J, The Weldon Legacy Is Marred By Scandals

Ed Silverman
Feb 23, 2012

Since January 2010, the health care giant has recalled tens of millions of products, mostly over-the-counter items such as Tylenol, Benadryl and Motrin, but also syringes, hip replacements, contact lenses and prescription drugs, due to manufacturing problems that seemed to permeate every corporate nook and cranny.

Why Are Retailers Shutting Their Facebook Stores?

Lauren Indvik
Feb 23, 2012

A Bloomberg report this weekend pointed out that Gap, J.C. Penney, Nordstrom and GameStop have all opened and closed shops on Facebook within the past year — undermining expectations that the social network will become a major revenue driver for retailers over the next decade.

Harley-Davidson Follows The Passion

Karl Greenberg
Feb 22, 2012

What do superheroes ride? Unless they're from a Japanese Manga comic, it would probably be an American motorcycle brand. Harley-Davidson, to be specific. The Milwaukee-based, all-American bike maker has signed a pact with the iconic American comic book and production company Marvel

Google to Sell Heads-Up Display Glasses by Year’s End

Nick Bilton
Feb 22, 2012

People who constantly reach into a pocket to check a smartphone for bits of information will soon have another option: a pair of Google-made glasses that will be able to stream information to the wearer’s eyeballs in real time.

The Enemy Of My Enemy Is My Friend

MG Siegler
Feb 21, 2012

Microsoft and Apple should hate one another right now. I mean, really hate each other. After decades of domination, Microsoft has watched their rival move from death’s door to become the most valuable company in the world

Culture Vs. Strategy Is A False Choice

Bob Frisch
Feb 21, 2012

A strong culture is important, and for all the reasons Parr mentions: employee engagement, alignment, motivation, focus, and brand burnishing. But is it the most important element of company success, as the more ferocious of the culture warriors assert?

B2B Marketers: It's time to become a growth engine

McKinsey and Company
Feb 21, 2012

The trends that are rocking B2C companies are just as relevant to the B2B world: multiplying customer touch points, changing customer behaviors, massive floods of big data. And like their B2C counterparts, B2B companies need to put the customer at the center of everything they do.

Why Some Think P&G's Innovation Is Slipping

Jack Neff
Feb 20, 2012

Tucked in an area north of Cincinnati is an office-warehouse building that looks like a movie set. It contains fully functional mockups of two homes (one upper-middle class, one lower-income) complete with kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms. It has two mock grocery stores and a virtual-reality lab where you can fly over store shelves. This is the Beckett Ridge Innovation Center, or BRIC, in P&G parlance. And P&G, whose innovation record has come under growing scrutiny, hopes it can deliver.

Beyond Facebook: The Rise Of Interest-Based Social Networks

Jay Jamison
Feb 20, 2012

While some may pronounce that Facebook is all the social we’d ever need, users clearly haven’t gotten the memo. Instead, users are rapidly adopting new interest-based social networks such as Pinterest, Instagram, Thumb, Foodspotting, and even the very new Fitocracy.

How Marketers Selective Learning has Become Consumers Selective Hearing

Valeria Maltoni
Feb 20, 2012

Is now a good time to have a Jerry Maguire moment? To refresh your memory, the story goes when a sports agent has a moral epiphany and is fired for expressing it, he decides to put his new philosophy to the test as an independent with the only athlete who stays with him. We say people matter, do we mean it?

Bessemer Ventures: Why We Invested In Pinterest

E. B. Boyd
Feb 17, 2012

Jeremy Levine, who led Bessemer's investment, tells us about all the ways Pinterest can make money, why it's not thinking about that right now, and why the company is more like Google than you might imagine.

Four Weird Things the Internet Is Doing to Our Understanding of Television

Eric Spiegelman
Feb 17, 2012

People seem really intent these days on fusing television with the Internet. On one level this makes no sense. Television technology works just fine and we all understand how to use it. We’re also in the midst of a golden age when it comes to programming; I can’t remember another time when there were this many good shows on. Also, television advertising rates are enormous compared to the Internet. There are people on YouTube who have more subscribers than top network sitcoms have viewers, yet they earn a minuscule fraction of the revenue. Television, as an industry, is strong. So there is the scent of blood in the water, and out of the resulting frenzy a few lessons have appeared. Here are four of them.

IBM's Anjul Bhambhri on What Is a Data Scientist?

Dan Woods
Feb 16, 2012

To fully exploit the opportunity presented by big data, a value chain must be created that helps address the challenges of acquiring data, evaluating its value, distilling it, building models both manually and automatically, analyzing the data, creating applications, and changing business processes based on what is discovered.

How Companies Learn Your Secrets

Charles Duhigg
Feb 16, 2012

Andrew Pole had just started working as a statistician for Target in 2002, when two colleagues from the marketing department stopped by his desk to ask an odd question: “If we wanted to figure out if a customer is pregnant, even if she didn’t want us to know, can you do that?”

NBC Universal's New Olympics Challenge: Screen-Jumping

Brian Steinberg
Feb 15, 2012

NBC Universal's broadcasts of the Olympics from London this summer will be filled with the usual athletic contests: synchronized swimming, basketball and canoe sprinting, among others. Behind the scenes, however, NBC will engage in a different sort of game: tablet counting. Mindful that audiences are no longer relying solely on TV to get all their video content, NBC Universal will use the Olympics to set up a system that purports to count viewers across all the different ways they now watch their shows.

Customized Jeans That Will Never Make Your Butt Look Big Are The Future Of Shopping

Douglas Crets
Feb 15, 2012

The future of shopping means every garment--and shopping experience--can be customized to fit both your body and your thirst for discovery.

Rules For the Social Era

Nilofer Merchant
Feb 15, 2012

Facebook, KickStarter, Kiva, Twitter, and other companies thriving in the social era are operating by the rules of the Social Era. They get it. They live it. And to them, it's ridiculously obvious. But too many major companies — Bank of America, Sony, Gap, Yahoo, Nokia — that need to get it, don't.

The Rise and Rise of Pinterest And Our Love Of Digital Curation

Scott Goodson
Feb 15, 2012

There’s a new movement underway. If you haven’t come across Pinterest yet, you soon will do. It’s a new virtual pinboard site that everyone’s talking about. It allows you to easily share visual things you’ve discovered online with your followers. You simply browse the web, spot something that inspires you and ‘pin’ it onto one of your boards. It’s as simple as that.

Social Media Helps Grammys Achieve Huge Ratings in Broadcast and Social TV

Christina Warren
Feb 14, 2012

The 54th Annual Grammy Awards was a huge hit across social, digital and broadcast platforms. Excitement for the return of Adele, as well as the tribute to the late Whitney Houston kept viewers engaged online and off. CBS reported that 39.9 million viewers tuned in to Sunday’s award show, the second-largest Grammy audience ever and the best ratings since 1984.

Letter From The Editor: The Lessons Of Innovation

Robert Safian
Feb 14, 2012

What do you get when you cross Walmart with Mother Teresa? Who would be the Square Deal candidate in 2012? And how in the world do you compare--and rank--such dynamic, eclectic businesses as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google?

No More Kodak Moments

Robert Passikoff
Feb 14, 2012

Kodak is going to stop doing what they were once the first to ever do. No, not produce Kodachrome. They stopped that 10 years ago. They’re stopping the manufacture of digital cameras. “Did Kodak manufacture digital cameras?” I hear you ask. They invented digital.

Why Brand Love, Satisfaction Aren't Keeping Shoppers Faithful

Beth Snyder Bulik
Feb 13, 2012

Love just isn't enough anymore. In brand relationships, good customer service, high customer satisfaction and even professed brand loyalty won't keep consumers from ditching a product for the competition. In fact, more than half of U.S. consumers did so last year. A global study by Accenture found that even though consumers are more satisfied with customer service than ever before, they are switching brands at a high rate.

A Newspaper, and a Legacy, Reordered

Jeremy W. Peters
Feb 13, 2012

ON a Sunday in early December, Marcus Brauchli, the executive editor of The Washington Post, summoned some of the newspaper’s most celebrated journalists to a lunch at his home, a red brick arts-and-crafts style in the suburb of Bethesda, Md. The Post faces the same problems as other daily newspapers, whose revenues have sunk as the Web and the tough economy have sapped advertising. But in some ways, its situation is even more daunting.

How Social Media Can Help You Snag Top Talent For Your Company

Curt Finch
Feb 13, 2012

It’s no mystery that the area with the most important long-term implications for an organization is recruiting and staffing employees. One of the biggest and oldest problems for companies revolves around acquiring a talented and creative team — and digital gives the old, traditional methods a new spin.

Is Your Product Name Turning People Off?

Dorie Clark
Feb 13, 2012

Every company wants customers talking about their products. But before they can sing your praises on social media or evangelize to their friends, they need to remember your product’s name. It seems obvious, but many companies – especially in the technology sector – overlook this easy way to connect with their audience.

How Pinterest Is Changing Website Design Forever

Sarah Kessler
Feb 10, 2012

Even if you haven’t ever visited popular visual bookmarking site Pinterest, you might recognize its design elements — which have been popping up everywhere since the startup burst onto the mainstream scene in 2011. The site doesn’t use traditional web building blocks.

Chipotle Is Apple

Matthew Yglesias
Feb 10, 2012

The burrito chain is revolutionizing food: Why doesn’t it get more respect? Hunting for business success stories in a recession is a difficult (and sometimes depressing) task. Most of the feel-good stories seem to come from the high-tech world and the burgeoning app economy. One important exception is Chipotle Mexican Grill, a company that shows there’s clearly room for growth and innovation in even the most basic sectors of the economy.

UK Supreme Court Now Accepts Official Requests Via Twitter

Emma Hutchings
Feb 10, 2012

The Supreme Court in the United Kingdom announced this week that it would accept freedom of information (FOI) requests (used by the public and media to ask for access to government documents) via Twitter after launching its own account. The social network could possibly become a new tool for legal and government institutions who choose to join.

Apple Market Cap Now Worth More Than Google And Microsoft Together

Catharine Smith
Feb 9, 2012

Apple, Inc. is on fire. The Cupertino-based company's stock soared past $490 per share on Thursday and is now hovering around $495. Shortly after 3 p.m. on Thursday, the company's market cap was valued at $461 billion, according to Google Finance. This makes Apple slightly bigger than both Microsoft and Google combined. Currently, Microsoft's market cap sits close to $258 billion, and Google's is $199 billion.

Curate Your Brand's Content With Pinterest

Rodney Hazard
Feb 9, 2012

Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard. Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use Pinterest to communicate through vibrant images and share their personal interests.

Stick It To Pinterest: Move Fast To Cash In On Your Own Pins

Meghan Casserly
Feb 9, 2012

Darling social media site Pinterest is taking heat after being revealed to have made a practice of embedding tracking code into links users post on their “boards” to generate revenue.

Bitly Fights for Social Analytics With Weapons-Grade Math

Caleb Garling
Feb 9, 2012

Bitly shortens URLs on web services like Twitter where space is at a premium. But nowadays, it’s also offering software for big businesses: Bitly Enterprise. With the help of the Kalman Filter, this software identifies which of your shortened URLs are generating the most interest amidst the sea of noise that is the internet. It’s not unlike locking onto a Soviet helicopter simply by turning your head.

How Dos Equis Uses Facebook To Keep Their Man Interesting To Consumers

Brandon Gutman
Feb 9, 2012

We spoke with Colin Westcott-Pitt, VP Marketing, Dos Equis, Amstel Light, Newcastle Brown Ale at Heineken USA, about what’s keeping the Most Interesting Man in the World campaign successful. Delivering consumer craving content and utilizing Facebook as both a research tool and a marketing channel is making Dos Equis a category leader.

BBC, Sky News and CNN Grapple With Twitter Rules

Alex Fitzpatrick
Feb 9, 2012

The BBC, Sky News and CNN are trying to figure out how to make Twitter play nicely with traditional newsrooms. Sky News and the BBC released new social media guidelines this week, while CNN has suspended an analyst for controversial tweets.

Apple Edges Out IBM to Become the Top Brand of 2011

Dan Graziano
Feb 8, 2012

Apple has edged out IBM to become the top brand of 2011, according to an annual list from marketing strategy firm Davis Brand Capital. The Cupertino-based company ousted IBM, which topped the list in 2009 and 2010.

Three Lessons for Social TV

Amy Jo Martin
Feb 8, 2012

You may have noticed something was missing throughout the nation's most social sporting event of the year. The Super Bowl in-game broadcast had zero social media TV integration. With more than a billion people on Facebook and Twitter alone, many of them watching the game, this was a missed opportunity. Why did NBC and the NFL miss the boat?

Walmart to Label Healthy Foods

Stephanie Strom
Feb 8, 2012

As part of its promise last year to improve the nutritional quality of the food it sells, Walmart said on Tuesday that it had devised standards to determine what is healthy and would label the foods that meet those standards. A new label with the words Great for You will appear on Walmart's Great Value and Marketside food items this spring.

The Thermostat Wars

Farhad Manjoo
Feb 8, 2012

The thermostat business is getting ugly. I understand that sounds crazy, but it’s true. Late last year Tony Fadell, the guy who created the iPod at Apple, launched Nest, a new company that aims to reinvent household devices. Nest’s first product is a beautiful, easy-to-use, $249 “learning thermostat.” It launched to rave reviews, and sold out instantly. In retrospect it’s clear why Honeywell put on a full-court press to show me all the ways its thermostat was superior to the Nest.

In Britain, Bus-Shelter Ads Smell Like Delicious Baked Potatoes

David Gianatasio
Feb 8, 2012

Ah, the complex olfactory bouquet of the urban bus shelter! Trying to identify individual odors within such dense scent tapestries can be difficult, and most disturbing! That's not the case, however, at some locations in British cities like London and Manchester, where McCain Foods is installing 3-D ad panels that emit the aroma of freshly baked potatoes at the push of a button.

Coca-Cola ranked 9th in brand capital; Apple tops

David Markiewicz
Feb 7, 2012

Coca-Cola is the only Atlanta-headquartered company to make the 2011 Davis Brand Capital 25 ranking which “provides an indication of the strength and effectiveness of an entire business.” The annual ranking measures brand value, competitive performance, innovation strength, company culture and social impact.

Microsoft stays at No. 3 for 'brand capital'

Aubrey Cohen
Feb 7, 2012

Microsoft had the third most "brand capital" among companies in 2011, according to a new report by a company whose business is helping clients boost this. Microsoft held the same spot in Davis Brand Capital's 2010 report, one place up from 2009. Longtime rival Apple topped the list for the first time, moving up from seventh place last year. IBM, whose decision to use Microsoft for its operating system three decades ago made the Redmond tech giant, fell from first to second. Davis' ranking looks at brand value, competitive performance, innovation strength, company culture and social impact.

Exxon, AT&T among companies with most brand capital in 2011

Gary Jacobson
Feb 6, 2012

Brands are valuable, everyone agrees. But it's hard to say just how valuable because of all the intangibles. Davis Brand Capital, an Atlanta firm that analyzes intangible assets for global clients, just published its list of the top 25 companies with the most brand capital in 2011. Irving-based Exxon Mobil ranked 17th and Dallas-based AT&T ranked 22nd.

Apple knocks IBM off top of Davis brands list

Josh Lowensohn
Feb 6, 2012

The iPhone, iPad, and Mac maker topped the Davis list for the first time this year, ousting IBM, which had come in first in 2009 and 2010. Following those two are a handful of other technology companies including Microsoft, Google, and Hewlett-Packard. "(Apple's) rise in this year's rankings was driven largely by its competitive performance and added brand value," Davis said in a press release. So how does the company come up with these rankings?

Where Did That Sentence-Ending Preposition Rule Come From?

Andy Bowers
Feb 6, 2012

We all learned you’re not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition. But from where did this alleged rule come? And why does it encumber us with such labored sentences as the one preceding this?

Brand Experience, Values Increasingly Drive Loyalty

Karlene Lukovitz
Feb 6, 2012

More than ever, the core drivers of brand loyalty are emotional rather than rational. That’s the takeaway from the 2012 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index (CLEI), which marks the survey’s 16th year. While emotional engagement factors have become more critical each year, the influence of two core, overarching components rose markedly in 2012: the brand’s “values” and the consumer’s brand “experience.”

I Paid $4 Million for This?

Matthew Yglesias
Feb 3, 2012

Super Bowl ad prices have risen faster than inflation or viewership. Can they really be worth it? The most-expensive 30-second slot during this weekend’s Super Bowl cost a shocking $4 million. That’s a hundred-fold increase in the inflation-adjusted average price of a spot since Super Bowl I in 1967. Even at the recent 2010 low point, ads sold for $2.65 million, up more than 20 percent from where they stood in 2000. What drives increases of this scale, and how can it possibly make sense for companies to pay such sky-high prices?

Discount Voucher Sites: Threat To Brand Value?

Dr. Darren Coleman
Feb 3, 2012

Discount voucher sites are all the rage. Groupon, Living Social and a host of other players are entering the mushrooming markdown market. This begs the question if discount sites are good news for brand value? In summary we don’t think so. It may be good for short term revenue spikes and potentially contribution margin boosts but not long term brand value. This is based on our experience with hotels, spas and restaurants to name a few. Let us share how we arrived at this position.

Facebook Cites Google+ With Mobile Shift Among Potential Risks

Brian Womack
Feb 2, 2012

Facebook Inc., the social network that filed for an initial public offering yesterday, listed rivalry with Google Inc., regulatory scrutiny, hacker attacks and the shift to mobile technology among the risks it faces. Facebook’s competition with Google, Twitter Inc. and other social-networking providers could impede growth, the company said in the risk-factors section of its filing. Facebook also said it would face competition in China if it manages to gain access to that market, where it’s currently restricted.

The Days of "Manager Knows Best" Are Ending

Sujai Hajela
Feb 2, 2012

To get a glimpse of what tomorrow's young global managers might be like as leaders, take a look at how today's young people think about communications.

Know Your Teammates: Leadership Lessons from the Super Bowl Quarterbacks

Karl Moore
Feb 2, 2012

Tom Brady and Eli Manning will square off this Super Bowl Sunday as the two quarterbacks tasked with leading their teams to a championship. Brady and Manning both possess many leadership and athletic qualities that have led them to the top of their sport and to this game. However, one of the primary skills of each of these quarterbacks is an in-depth knowledge of his teammates, and in particular the receivers who are supposed to be on the other end of the quarterback’s passes. That knowledge allows these two elite quarterbacks to play at the highest level and make the people around them better, which is an essential leadership skill in football or business.

How to Sound Smart During the Big Game

Matthew Creamer
Feb 2, 2012

Because you work in advertising or media, a little more is expected of you when it comes to Super Bowl advertising knowledge. It's not enough to mindlessly chuckle along with the masses at the CareerBuilder monkeys or Volkswagen's body-image-obsessed canine. You need to be able drop some serious knowledge on this, advertising's biggest day, whilst juggling a microbrew and a plate of nachos.

Can Pinterest and Svpply Help You *Reduce* Your Consumption?

Chris Tackett
Feb 1, 2012

At first glance, it would seem that the new generation of product-bookmarking sites such as Pinterest and Svpply are nothing more than new tools to feed the consumer machine, driving us to buy more stuff. But, counterintuitively, my experience with these services is that they actually help me cut my consumption and to direct my money at goods that more closely align with my values.

77% Of CMOs Unsure Where To Reach Consumer

Sarah Mahoney
Feb 1, 2012

While most companies are all over Facebook and Twitter, CMOs confess they are at sixes and sevens with their digital marketing strategy. The Boston Consulting Group reports that 77% aren’t sure where best to reach their customers, a critical component of any digital strategy. And 55% say they have only “minimal or informal metrics to measure the impact and return on investment of digital marketing efforts.”

Brand Threat: The Out-Of-Touch CEO

Carol Phillips and Judy Hopelain
Feb 1, 2012

Most every company says it values its customers, and hates to 'walk away' from them. Leaders are called on to make tough decisions they believe are in the best interests of their companies. And sometimes, these decisions advantage some customers at the expense of others. That doesn't make them bad decisions, just risky ones. But leaders of some of our greatest brands act like they have forgotten (or never knew) what every junior brand manager surely knows --- to test potentially risky messages and find ways to mitigate their negative impact. Instead, senior leaders are acting like bulls in a china shop, awkwardly and prematurely broadcasting their strategic decisions in ways that destroy their company's (and their own) reputation and value.

3 Design Essentials For Early Adopters

Seth Priebatsch
Jan 31, 2012

Good design is like pornography: You know it when you see it. Incredibly subtle Supreme Court justice jokes aside, design really can make or break a company--especially for an “early adopter” technology that hasn’t quite caught on yet. Convincing people to do anything that’s out of their comfort zone (in our case, getting them to pay with their phones using LevelUp) is tough. But one of the benefits of being somewhat early to a market is getting to define what an entirely new experience means for a person. In this instance, design, function, and brand can become one

Consent of the Networked

Rebecca MacKinnon
Jan 31, 2012

Companies like Apple, Facebook, Google, and many other digital platforms and services have created a new, virtual public sphere that is largely shaped, built, owned, and operated by private companies. These companies now mediate human relationships of all kinds, including the relationship between citizens and governments. They exercise a new layer of sovereignty over what we can and cannot do with our digital lives, on top of and across the sovereignty of governments. Sometimes—as with the Arab spring—these corporate-run global platforms can help empower citizens to challenge their governments. But at other times, they can constrain our freedom in insidious ways, sometimes in cooperation with governments and sometimes independently. The result is certainly not as rosy as Apple’s marketing department would have us believe.

Puma Takes to The High Seas For Social Trials

Tim Peterson
Jan 31, 2012

Puma can’t yet legally discuss its Olympics marketing strategy, according to Remi Carlioz, the company’s head of digital marketing. But to get an idea of how Puma will promote its star athlete and three-time Olympic gold medalist sprinter Usain Bolt, one need only turn to the Middle East. In mid-January, Puma sent 10 bloggers to Abu Dhabi to cover the company’s sponsored boat, Mar Mostro, as it competed in the third leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. Puma has recruited bloggers to talk about the brand before, but this event marked the first time it tested Tumblr. (The bloggers were also encouraged to post to Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #marmostro.)

The Coming Tech-led Boom

Mark P. Mills And Julio M. Ottino
Jan 30, 2012

In January 2012, we sit again on the cusp of three grand technological transformations with the potential to rival that of the past century. All find their epicenters in America: big data, smart manufacturing and the wireless revolution. Information technology has entered a big-data era. Processing power and data storage are virtually free. A hand-held device, the iPhone, has computing power that shames the 1970s-era IBM mainframe. The Internet is evolving into the "cloud"—a network of thousands of data centers any one of which makes a 1990 supercomputer look antediluvian. From social media to medical revolutions anchored in metadata analyses, wherein astronomical feats of data crunching enable heretofore unimaginable services and businesses, we are on the cusp of unimaginable new markets.

Why Internal Culture Is Much More Important than Employee Social Media Guidelines

Michael Learmonth
Jan 30, 2012

When Ridley Scott created Apple's iconic "1984," the company's board didn't want it to air. Newly hired CEO John Sculley, veteran of many a Super Bowl ad as CEO of Pepsi-Cola Co., agreed with the consensus: It's a waste to run an ad that doesn't even show the product. Apple ended up selling off some of its planned Super Bowl ad time and ran "1984" in the 60-second slot it couldn't unload. The rest, as they say, is history. The Macintosh did change the world as Steve Jobs said it would, and Apple is the most valuable company on the planet.

Online Ambitions, and a Dash of Real Estate, Drive Newspaper Deals

Tanzina Vega
Jan 30, 2012

IF the future of media is digital, who would want to buy a newspaper? Many people, it turns out. The notion of newspaper pages whipping through printing presses, then being bundled with twine and tossed onto street corners might be considered romantic by some while others view it as bad business. But while newspaper companies can be bought on the cheap these days, some investors seem persuaded they can turn a quick profit while others may view owning a paper as a civic duty.

Changes to the Way Customers Buy

Valeria Maltoni
Jan 30, 2012

There are many people who have gifts for selecting the best items, and helping you buy wisely. This has always been a hot trend. Reviews have an impact on buying behaviors. Aside from trying to game or buy reviews, which I don't recommend, how can you find what really affects behavior? Social influences is part of that. Which is why tools that allow people to display what they read, listen to, and buy are making such strong inroads. For example, my boards on Pinterest are a mix of things I have done, and things I might like to do.

A New Challenge for Web Freedom

Jan 27, 2012

The Internet is celebrated as a machine that runs by itself, but this is not quite accurate. The Web does have oversight, just not by any multinational organization, national government or regulator. It's run by a small, private, nonprofit institution that is rarely in the news. This week will be an exception. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, known by the acronym Icann, is accepting applications for an infinite number of new Web addresses, known as top-level domain names. In addition to the existing two dozen suffixes, such as .com, .org and .net, Icann will let people apply, for a fee of $185,000, to create whatever suffixes they like, which will be reviewed and go live next year. Expect .hitachi and .paris, for example. Icann is also adding local-language Web names in non-Latin characters such as Chinese and Cyrillic.

Consumer Behavior: From Trading Up To Trading Off

J. Walker Smith
Jan 27, 2012

The opposite of trading up is not trading down. In fact, there is no opposite of trading up; shopping behavior is more nuanced than that. When shopping hit the skids after the financial crisis, there was a lot of talk about a new normal of frugality, as if the only thing possible after a decade-plus of trading up was a generation to come of nothing but trading down. It’s clear now that those prognostications were flawed, not to mention overly pessimistic.

A Tale of Two Brands: How Land Rover Makes 14 MPG Sexy

Rebecca Lindland
Jan 26, 2012

The brand new Land Rover Range Rover Evoque started 2012 off right – with a prestigious North American Truck of the Year win at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. This topped off a terrific 2011 for the Tata Motors-owned brand, with Land Rover sales up an impressive 19.6% to 38,099 in a new car market that grew by 10.6%. The success of this off-road brand is in stark contrast to its former competitor, GM’s Hummer, which logged no new sales last year and like so many Hollywood marriages, failed to survive to the 10-year anniversary it would have celebrated this year. As you may recall, on February 24, 2010, eight months into its post-bankruptcy life, and nearly eight years after debuting the H2, GM officially announced they would begin the wind-down process for the Hummer brand. The last Hummer rolled off the Shreveport production line in 2010. So how did these two brands with arguably analogous products end up with such different fortunes?

The Mobile Marketing Value Exchange

Scott Forshay
Jan 26, 2012

Establishing consumer relationships through mobile marketing, as with any successful, productive relationship, inherently requires a mutual exchange of value. Whether consumers are opting-in for brand communications via SMS or engaging with the brand in a single instance through scanning a QR code, the onus is on the brand to deliver value in return for customers’ valuable time and information. Without the perception that value has been exchanged for value, the relationship becomes essentially one-sided and unrequited attempts at interaction on the part of the consumer will spell the end of the relationship – perhaps permanently.

J.C. Penney Chief Thinks Different

Dana Mattioli
Jan 26, 2012

Shortly after taking the top job at J.C. Penney Co. last fall, Chief Executive Ron Johnson signed up for the company's email alerts. He was shocked by what landed in his inbox. The former Apple Inc. retail executive was deluged by sales announcements, sometimes two a day. He and his team counted 590 separate sales last year. They didn't bring in shoppers—Mr. Johnson's team found the average customer purchased only four times a year—but they did crush prices. Alarmingly, he learned nearly three-quarters of Penney's products sold at discounts of 50% or more. Three months into the job, J.C. Penney Chief Executive Ron Johnson is planning a far-reaching but risky overhaul of the department store format.

Hasbro Is No Has-Been: Board Games Surge In The Digital Age

Kevin Ohannessian
Jan 25, 2012

Risk has come to Facebook. Scrabble is one of the top iPhone apps. And several board games are enjoying a long life on game consoles. In the digital age, you better be ready to Hasbro-down. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away families had a game night--once a week they'd pull out a stack of boxes from a closet and everyone would flex their knowledge of trivia (Trivial Pursuit), vocabulary (Scrabble), or even their real-estate management skills (Monopoly, natch).

Three Ways to Pull Your Senior Team Together

Jan 25, 2012

Senior management teams set the course for their organizations and are often the leaders who first recognize when big change is needed. These teams are also often made up of people with drastically different styles, personalities, and visions. Bringing these voices into alignment around key goals and opportunities is the essential first step toward accelerating strategic results for the organization.

A.G. Lafley vs. Steve Jobs

Scott Anthony
Jan 24, 2012

Usually the question comes right after I tell an audience that I put former Procter & Gamble CEO A.G. Lafley on my "Innovation Mount Rushmore" as a reminder of the importance of investing time and energy to understand the target market.

Could Kodak's demise have been averted?

John Naughton
Jan 23, 2012

There is an old saying that hindsight is the only exact science, and it's true. The news that Kodak's long fade to black has finally ended with the company filing for Chapter 11 protection (a way of protecting it from bankruptcy while it attempts to restructure) has prompted an avalanche of retrospective wisdom about great companies "fumbling the future" (as the title of a book about Xerox once put it). And it's easy to see why. Kodak is like Coca-Cola, a brand-name that defined an industry. One of its products – the color film Kodachrome – even became the title of one of Paul Simon's most famous songs. You can't get more iconic than that. And the company was an industrial giant – at one time (1976), for example, it had 90% of film and 85% of camera sales in the US and was regularly rated one of the world's five most valuable brands. So it seemed inconceivable that a company as large and successful could disappear. And yet it might.

How Esquire Survived Publishing’s Dark Days

David Carr
Jan 23, 2012

Esquire magazine, a monument to male vitality, seemed about to keel over in 2009. Famous for laying down a much-followed literary track with an article in 1966 by Gay Talese titled “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold,” the magazine found itself gasping for breath and fighting for survival. Amid the plague that hit the magazine industry back then, Esquire was worse off than most. Beaten up by a crop of lad magazines like Maxim, then hammered by the flight of advertisers and readers to the Web, Esquire suffered a 24.3 percent loss in advertising pages compared with 2008, which was almost as bad, by the way. A Web site for investors, 24/7 Wall Street, predicted in 2009 that Esquire would be one of “Twelve Major Brands that Will Disappear” the following year.

In Taste, Brand Matters

Martin Bishop
Jan 19, 2012

Some years ago, I hosted a blind tasting beer party where everyone voted for their favorite and least favorite beers from a collection of microbrews and mainstream brands. Although there was no clear winner, there was definitely an outright loser. I was thinking about that party when I read about Coke’s decision to kill its White Coke can before the scheduled end of its holiday season run. This was primarily a story about customer confusion -- there was not enough difference between the White Coke can and the Diet Coke can and people were getting confused and buying the wrong one. But there was a side-story that some people thought that the Coke from the white can did not taste the same/as good as the Coke from the red can. Ridiculous, you might say. Not that surprising, I thought, based on my own experience from that beer-tasting party.


Emma Hutchings
Jan 19, 2012

“Active fiction” publisher Coliloquy launched this week with four young adult ebooks that create a rich, interactive experience for the reader. This development in customizable fiction takes advantage of the digital format to push expectations of “choose-your-own-adventure” stories to new levels. The four new titles from Coliloquy are Heidi R. Kling’s Witch’s Brew (The Spellspinners of Melas County), Kira Snyder’s Dead Letter Office (Parish Mail), Liz Maverick’s Arcania, Trial by Fire #1 (Arcania), and Tawna Fenske’s Getting Dumped. These series, available exclusively in the Amazon Kindle store, reinvent the way authors and their readers interact with books. Coliloquy’s new publishing format enables multiple storylines, serial and episodic story-telling, personalized content, and in-book engagement mechanics, which create a more immersive experience.

Training Yourself To See New Strategic Options

Jan 19, 2012

The strategic choices we make every day are determined by the “strategic narratives” we tell ourselves. We face a challenge and we don’t ask, “What does Porter’s Five Forces tell me to think about?” or “What does Clayton Christensen’s Disruptive Innovation model tell me to do?” No, we ask ourselves, “What does this remind me of?”

How IBM's Sam Palmisano Redefined the Global Corporation

Bill George
Jan 19, 2012

In the 20th century, a select group of leaders — General Motor's Alfred Sloan, HP's David Packard and Bill Hewlett, and GE's Jack Welch — set the standard for the way corporations are run. In the 21st century only IBM's Sam Palmisano has done so. When Palmisano retired this month, the media chronicled his success by focusing on IBM's 21% annual growth in earnings per share and its increase in market capitalization to $218 billion. But IBM hasn't flourished because it kowtows to Wall Street. In fact, five years after Palmisano took over, IBM stock was stuck where it had been when his tenure began.

Even Big Companies Cannot Protect Their Data

Jan 18, 2012

Barbara Scott just hit the trifecta of computer security breaches. Since the New Year, Ms. Scott has been a victim of three separate cyberattacks. Two weeks ago, the online auction site eBay said in an e-mail to her that there had been suspicious activity on her account. On Monday, she received an e-mail from Zappos and another from 6PM, two online shoe retailers owned by Amazon. Both messages alerted her that — once again — her information had been compromised.

The End of Retail

Matthew Yglesias
Jan 18, 2012

In its midcentury heyday, Sears, Roebuck & Co. was the Wal-Mart of its era—the largest retailer in the world with more than 350,000 employees. But it is in an epic freefall. After decades of decline, the Sears ended up in the hands of investment manager Edward Lampert, who purchased the company in 2004 and merged it with Kmart. The new combined entity, known as Sears Holdings Corporation, was consistently losing money even before the recession. The Sears Tower, the company’s iconic skyscraper, no longer houses any Sears’ employees and—the ultimate indignity—had its name changed to the Willis Tower in 2009. On Dec. 27, it announced that in light of poor holiday sales, 100-120 Sears and Kmart stores would have to close. An even bigger blow came last Friday when CIT Group said it would no longer provide loans to Sears vendors.

The End of the Echo Chamber

Farhad Manjoo
Jan 18, 2012

Today, Facebook is publishing a study that disproves some hoary conventional wisdom about the Web. According to this new research, the online echo chamber doesn’t exist. This is of particular interest to me. In 2008, I wrote True Enough, a book that argued that digital technology is splitting society into discrete, ideologically like-minded tribes that read, watch, or listen only to news that confirms their own beliefs. I’m not the only one who’s worried about this. Eli Pariser, the former executive director of MoveOn.org, argued in his recent book The Filter Bubble that Web personalization algorithms like Facebook’s News Feed force us to consume a dangerously narrow range of news. The echo chamber was also central to Cass Sunstein’s thesis, in his book Republic.com, that the Web may be incompatible with democracy itself. If we’re all just echoing our friends’ ideas about the world, is society doomed to become ever more polarized and solipsistic?

To Market, To Market Your Business During An Economic Slowdown?

Deborah Sweeney
Jan 17, 2012

It’s an age-old question that small businesses and corporations alike seem to be divided on at the start of each year and beyond. When business is slow, is it better to market your business more using every marketing and social media tool available or taper off until the economy picks up? Or in some cases, just stop marketing altogether?

The 10 Most Hated Companies in America

Douglas A. McIntyre
Jan 13, 2012

Customers, employees, shareholders and taxpayers hate large corporations for many reasons. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed a lengthy list of corporations for which there is substantial research data to choose the 10 most hated in America.

Reel Simple – Unlimited access to local movie theatres

Jan 12, 2012

You already use Netflix for unlimited DVD rentals, Spotify for unlimited music and your gym membership for unlimited elliptical-machine use, so why are you still paying on a film-by-film basis to go to the movie theater? Or so asks MoviePass, a new flat-fee subscription service that allows members all-you-can-watch access to local cinemas.

Google launches personal search tool linked with social media

Hayley Tsukayama
Jan 10, 2012

Google is taking Googling yourself to a whole new level, by folding users’ personal data into Google search results. The personalized search results pull data from users’ Google accounts such as Picasa and Google+, and offers users the option to toggle between searching their own personal data and searching the Web as a whole.

The Twitter-Google Chess Match

Ari Kuchinsky
Jan 9, 2012

The acquisition of Twitter by Google is the ultimate strategic buyout. We know that Twitter turned down a $10 billion buyout offer from Google sometime in early 2011. There have also been other overtures made over the past several years by Google, Facebook and Microsoft. Surprisingly, Twitter is still independent. Why hasn’t Google paid up with all of that cash on its balance sheet? How could Twitter turn down $10 billion when the company isn’t worth anywhere near that based on earnings or even projected earnings (1999 style)?

This Is Generation Flux: Meet The Pioneers Of The New (And Chaotic) Frontier Of Business

Robert Safian
Jan 9, 2012

The business climate, it turns out, is a lot like the weather. And we've entered a next-two-hours era. The pace of change in our economy and our culture is accelerating--fueled by global adoption of social, mobile, and other new technologies--and our visibility about the future is declining. From the rise of Facebook to the fall of Blockbuster, from the downgrading of U.S. government debt to the resurgence of Brazil, predicting what will happen next has gotten exponentially harder. Uncertainty has taken hold in boardrooms and cubicles, as executives and workers (employed and unemployed) struggle with core questions: Which competitive advantages have staying power? What skills matter most? How can you weigh risk and opportunity when the fundamentals of your business may change overnight?

BARNES & NOBLE: Spinning Off "The Nook" Is A Terrible Idea

Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry
Jan 5, 2012

Barnes & Noble lowered guidance and its stock is getting crushed. It's thinking about spinning off its Nook business--both hardware and digital ecosystem. That won't save it.

What Do Social Media Influencers Do That You Don't (but Could)

Haydn Shaughnessy
Jan 4, 2012

The differences between social media influencers and the online strategies of other groups are so marked that it is worth asking the question what do social media influencers do that the rest of us don’t? What can we learn from these differences?

6 Steps for Protecting Corporate Reputation in the Social Media Age

Layla Revis
Jan 3, 2012

It takes years to build a good reputation, but seconds to damage it beyond repair, as executives at companies from Dell to Domino’s certainly have found out. This was a sentiment echoed by executives at the Senior Corporate Communication Management Conference in New York when discussing social media and corporate reputation and how to embrace the new reality of immediate communications.

So much for the penny press

Jeff Jarvis
Jan 3, 2012

The New York Times raised its daily price to $2.50 today. I thought back to the penny press at the turn of the last century and wondered what such a paper would cost today, inflation adjusted. Answer: a quarter. So, in inflation-adjusted current pennies, The New York Times today costs 10 times more than a newspaper in 1890. Granted, Today’s Times is better than a product of the penny press. But is it worth 10x? Should it cost 10x?

The Seven Habits of Spectacularly Unsuccessful Executives

Eric Jackson
Jan 3, 2012

Sydney Finkelstein, the Steven Roth, Professor of Management at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, published “Why Smart Executives Fail” 8 years ago. In it, he shared some of his research on what over 50 former high-flying companies – like Enron, Tyco, WorldCom, Rubbermaid, and Schwinn – did to become complete failures. It turns out that the senior executives at the companies all had 7 Habits in common. Finkelstein calls them the Seven Habits of Spectacularly Unsuccessful Executives.

Why service design is the next big thing in cultural innovation

Rohan Gunatillake
Dec 8, 2011

The lead producer of festivalslab Rohan Gunatillake gives four reasons why new thinking and tools can produce better experiences

‘Ford’ of Tech Companies, AOL, Must Keep Innovating, C.E.O. Says

Amy Chozick
Dec 7, 2011

It’s not easy being the Ford Motor of the Internet. And that, in short, is the predicament facing AOL, according to its chief executive, Timothy M. Armstrong, who spoke Tuesday as part of the three-day UBS media conference in New York.

Pillsbury Targets Tech-Savvy Mom With App Campaign

Steve Smith
Dec 7, 2011

General Mills’ Pillsbury believes the generation of moms raised on email, Web and texting are also ready to use their smartphones to activate a TV spot. A new TV campaign for the brand’s Crescent baked goods can be recognized by the popular Shazam smartphone app to trigger mobile screens full of complementary content.

The 2011 Hot List Revealed!

Lisa Granatstein
Dec 5, 2011

This year, to celebrate the media world’s tumultuous and always entertaining transformation, Adweek’s Hot List goes 360 to track the best print, TV, and digital properties.

Building a Mobile App Is Not a Mobile Strategy

Jason Gurwin
Nov 22, 2011

Everyone wants their own mobile application. In the last year, I have heard this consistently. In fact, mobile analytics firm Distimo claims 91 of the top 100 brands have their own mobile app (up from 51 just 18 months ago). On the surface this sounds great, right? I can use my big brand name to get people to install my application, and then I can market to them via the palm of their hand whenever I want. If you're a big brand, I have no doubt you will get a ton of downloads. But downloads are a vanity metric; they don't measure success.

Facebook cuts six degrees of separation to four

Emma Barnett
Nov 22, 2011

Since the American social psychologist, Stanley Milgram, conducted his famous ‘small world experiment’ in the 1960s, it has been commonly accepted that most people have six degrees of separation between them. However, a vast new study by Facebook’s data team and the University of Milan, which assessed the relationships between 721 million active users (more than 10 per cent of the global population) of the social network, has found that the average number of connections between people has dropped to four.

Could Music Breathe Life Into Google+?

Ki Mae Heussner
Nov 22, 2011

For the past few weeks, the “Google+ is a ghost town” meme has haunted the new social networking site. But maybe the search giant has finally found the hook to draw eyeballs to its floundering Facebook alternative: free music.

How social technologies are extending the organization

Jacques Bughin, Angela Hung Byers, and Michael Chui
Nov 22, 2011

Our fifth annual survey on the way organizations use social tools and technologies finds that they continue to seep into many organizations, transforming business processes and raising performance.

The Truth About Internet Radio

Mike Carson
Nov 17, 2011

With the public offering of Pandora and the recent U.S. launch of European music darling Spotify, as well as the emergence of other startups in the "streaming music" market, a great deal of media attention is focused on the online radio space. All of these music services are readily clumped together as "Internet radio." Streaming radio, is also sometimes called “Internet radio,” and they are essentially interchangeable. They involve delivering music (and/or other audio content) to a device via the Internet as a live stream. Internet radio is the opposite of a download. However, there are different types of services in the Internet radio basket, and many who speak or write about them end up comparing apples and oranges.

The Infographic Is Suddenly the Media Uzi of Choice

Steve Rubel
Nov 15, 2011

Just beneath the surface of the digital landscape, yet in plain sight, a raging war is brewing. Like a big global conflict, this digital one too involves many players: the media, brand marketers and social networks. Mirroring other great battles of historical significance, it's being waged for control of a precious resource that's in short supply: consumer attention.

Hulu Makes Play for 2012 Political Dollars as TV Ad Prices Heat Up

Cotton Delo
Nov 14, 2011

TV continues to be the sledgehammer of political campaigns, with even the most digital-oriented candidates, like Scott Brown, who ran for a Senate seat in Massachusetts in 2010, only spending about 10% of their media budgets online. But that percentage is expected to inch upward in the 2012 election cycle, and sites like Hulu stand to benefit as media buyers look to buy political spots in competitive districts in expensive media markets.

Jeff Bezos Owns the Web in More Ways Than You Think

Steven Levy
Nov 14, 2011

The CEO of Amazon.com, in regulation blue oxford shirt and jeans, is sitting in a conference room at his company’s spiffy new headquarters just north of downtown Seattle. It is mid-September, exactly one week before he will introduce a new line of Kindles to the world. He has already shown me two of them—one with a touchscreen, the other costing just $79—but that’s not what’s truly exciting him. It is a third gadget, the long-awaited Amazon tablet called the Kindle Fire, that represents his company’s most ambitious leap into the hearts, minds, and wallets of millions of consumers.

The End of Pantyhose?

Libby Copeland
Nov 10, 2011

L’eggs has launched its first ad campaign in 15 years—but it may be too late to pull nylons back from the brink of extinction.

Google+, the Holy Grail of Search and Social

Shiela Shayon
Nov 10, 2011

Google+ Pages is the game-changer for brand presence on the web in a leap over the social networking garden wall and the next digital manifest destiny combining search and social.

Why Companies Should Listen to Occupy Wall Street

Eric Lowitt
Nov 9, 2011

A friend of mine doesn't have much respect for the Occupy Wall Street movement, and he's hoping the imminent arrival of winter will convince the protesters to pack up their tents and go home. I have a different view. I think companies are missing an opportunity to engage with an important stakeholder. Smart feedback allows companies to move faster, and while the "Occupiers" may seem a little vague about their message and their goals, they represent an important social movement. Companies would be wise to pay close attention.

What's So Great About Ikea, Anyway? Why No One in the World Likes Brands

Tim Fernholz
Nov 9, 2011

What if 70 percent of brands in the world disappeared overnight? Most people wouldn’t care, according to a new study of 50,000 people in 14 global markets performed by Havas Media, an international communications firm.

Why 'Pages' on Google+ Isn't Just Another Facebook

David Berkowitz
Nov 8, 2011

Google+ has been billed as a Facebook killer, its user homepage layout borrows heavily from Facebook, and now there are free self-service branded pages for marketers similar conceptually to what Facebook introduced in November 2007 – almost four years ago to the day. Despite all of this, Google+ is different. This is largely because Facebook the company has only one eponymous flagship product, and Google the company is using Google+ as both a networking hub and a social layer across its diverse suite of digital products.

Google+ Opens Doors to Brands, Starting With +Pepsi, +Toyota + more

Shirley Brady
Nov 8, 2011

Google officially launched brand pages on Google+, ending months of waiting. The Web giant's pitch to convince businesses and brands to sign up (and unseat Facebook's dominance as the go-to social destination for businesses):

McKinsey Says Big Data Can Change The Way Business Operates

Tom Groenfeldt
Nov 3, 2011

Big data can change corporate strategy, according to McKinsey. Big Data is a pretty abstract concept, especially in finance where it can be a challenge to see where differences in the quantity of data an shift into a change in the business. This article from McKinsey Global Institute uses concrete, although anonymous, examples for one of the clearest explanations I have seen.

YouTube Announces Channels

D.M. Levine
Oct 31, 2011

After months of speculation with almost no official confirmation, YouTube has finally announced its long-awaited channel strategy in a post to the company’s blog late Friday evening. The announcement falls in line with what had previously been reported in the press: namely that YouTube will be expanding its lineup of channels to include new offerings from a variety of partners, including well-known personalities and brands in the Hollywood, music, news, and sports worlds.

Amazon's Provocative New Chapter

Rick Wartzman
Oct 31, 2011

What Peter Drucker would say about the e-tailer's foray into book publishing.

How Brands Can Maintain Loyalty Among Fickle Digital Consumers

JP Gownder
Oct 28, 2011

Between 2006 and 2010, American brand loyalty has declined sharply. During that same time span, fewer consumers self-reported that “owning the best brand is important to me.” Why did this happen? One glaring reason was that the recession diverted priorities, particularly among the jobless, away from brand names and toward lower prices.

Dove Still Inspiring Women and Girls to see Their Real Beauty

Sheila Shayon
Oct 28, 2011

In 2006, Dove launched its True Colors campaign to spark a global conversation about the definition and perception of beauty among women of all ages. Its research found only 2% of women considered themselves beautiful; and body anxieties begin at an early age with 72% feeling great pressure to be beautiful, when girls feel badly about their looks, 60% disconnect from life, avoiding normal daily activities like attending school or even giving their opinion.

The 7 Iconic, Transparent, Empowering Business Buzzwords That Need To Die

Tim Phillips
Oct 28, 2011

When I started writing a blog to support my book, Talk Normal: Stop the Business Speak, Jargon, and Waffle, I had an inkling that many of the words I loathed were common in the offices where I was working. But this could be an illusion: once we’re bothered by something, we tend to notice it more. So it could be that the business buzzwords that make me cranky are no more significant than the guy who bumps my chair when he walks past--which, on second thought, isn’t a big deal, he’s been doing it for years. Not so, it seems.

It's Time For Apple To Flip The Switch On TV

Kit Eaton
Oct 27, 2011

Apple television rumors have swirled for years. But only now do we know that when speaking to his official biographer, Steve Jobs was keen to reinvent the television. And after ages trying to polish it into a user-friendly interface to video content he finally felt he'd "cracked it." Excitement has grown quickly since this revelation, but one analyst--Gene Munster--has checked with his sources and says that test HDTV prototypes are already in the pipeline, suggesting the device could be en route sooner than we thought.

All That Authenticity May Be Getting Old

Emily Weinstein
Oct 27, 2011

Like so many others her age, Casey Barber, 33, furnished her home with affordable basics from major retailers, pieces like that requisite “Ikea table that is still making the rounds after all these years,” she said. But when it came to accessories, Ms. Barber, a writer and the editor of the Web site Good.Food.Stories., took care to search out the unique and handmade — things that communicated her personality and a certain sense of authenticity.

eBay Opens Scannable Storefront in Manhattan

David Keifaber
Oct 27, 2011

"Happy chic" designer Jonathan Adler took some time away from whatever he's doing now to help put together eBay's first storefront. It's located in New York City, naturally. Each item in the storefront has a QR code; if you scan a code with your eBay phone app, you're directed to a special purchasing page within the app. What's that, you say? No, it's not a slightly more complicated version of browsing the site on your computer. Shut up. It's a dynamic and totally new 24-hour shopping experience.

Beer Brands Feeling a Draught

Renée Alexander
Oct 24, 2011

The days of holding up two fingers to a bartender and getting a couple of glasses filled with generic beer from a tap are long gone. Instead, today’s pub-goers select their frosty-cold beverage from a long row of branded taps and receive their suds in a glass emblazoned with the particular logo. This is not your grandfather’s glass of draught.

Google+ readies new features

Joseph Menn
Oct 20, 2011

Google will roll out major improvements in the next three months to Google+, its new social networking service, as it seeks to close the gap with Facebook, the market leader. Early enhancements will include the incorporation of Google Docs, the word-processing application, which will make collaborating on documents easier “within days”, said Vic Gundotra, senior vice president of engineering, on Wednesday.

Billboards for the 21st Century Point Us to the Route Ahead

Jonathan Salem Baskin
Oct 19, 2011

You are driving down the interstate, looking for the nearest outlet of your favorite fast-food restaurant. The billboards tell you things you didn't ask to know, until finally one says there's an app that will find what you're looking for. You pull over, download it on the spot, and two exits later sit down to that perfect meal. This app, called RoadNinja, was launched late last week by the Lamar Advertising Co. You can check it out on iTunes. Its arrival suggests that CMOs still figuring their 2012 new-media budgets better include some for outdoor media.

The Top Creative Minds in Digital

Gabriel Beltrone
Oct 18, 2011

Unleashed into the digital wilds, creatives have responded with innovative, far-reaching ideas that leverage interactive’s unique attributes. We look at some of the people best utilizing the new technologies to create work that stands out amidst today’s multimedia clutter.

Tech Tops in Creating Emotional Connection

Judann Pollack
Oct 17, 2011

When it comes to brand love, consumers are notoriously fickle -- particularly when it comes to technology. That's apparent when combing New Media Metrics' Leap Index, which measures emotional attachment to brands to predict purchase behavior.

You Are What You Meme

Sam Leith
Oct 17, 2011

Have you met Maru? No? Maru is a cat. A cute cat. Is there anything special about Maru, apart from the cuteness, which, if we’re honest, he has in common with quite a few other cats? Maru is just a cat. But he’s also more than just a cat. Maru is a bellwether of the state of the culture. Maru is a meme.

Steve Jobs's Legacy - And The Next Tech War

Robert Safian
Oct 14, 2011

In a few days Fast Company’s next magazine issue will begin arriving in newsstands and mailboxes. The issue has four different covers, and one of them features a picture of Steve Jobs. But this is not a commemorative obituary. In fact, the issue had already been printed at our plant when Jobs passed away. Instead the magazine offers a forward-looking analysis of what’s next for Apple--and how it will be battling with America’s three other favorite tech companies: Amazon, Facebook, and Google. We’ve dubbed this coming clash “The Great Tech War of 2012.”

YouTube Makes the Case That It Helps Build Brands

Claire Cain Miller
Oct 14, 2011

Despite online video and commercial-skipping DVRs, companies still spend 38 percent of their advertising budgets on television ads and just 1 percent on online video. YouTube is trying to change that.

As Economy Darkens, Google Is Booming

Cotton Delo
Oct 14, 2011

If we're headed into a second-dip of the recession, no one told Google. The company turned in a 33% surge in revenue in the third quarter on big increases in search, display, and increasingly, mobile advertising.

Steve Jobs and the Evolution of the Apple Logo: "Don't Make it Cute"

Abe Sauer
Oct 10, 2011

One constant of the outpouring of grief over the death of Steve Jobs has been modified Apple logos, including creative use of apples in front of Apple stores. What few realize is that this capacity to fiddle with Apple's most recognizable bit of brand identity, and at the same time not lose any of that identity, speaks to the power of even the simplest element of what the Apple brand is.

Here's Why Nike Is Setting Up Its New VC Fund

Kim Bhasin
Sep 28, 2011

Nike is setting up a a venture capital fund -- the Sustainable Business & Innovation Lab -- to invest in startups working on alternative energy and green innovation, reports Bloomberg.

The Kindle Fire Will Have A Whole New “Cloud Accelerated” Mobile Browser Calle

Eric Shonfeld
Sep 28, 2011

Jeff Bezos announced a new family of Kindle’s today, including the Kindle Fire and Kindle Touch. But he also had one more thing. The Kindle Fire tablet is coming with an entirely new mobile browser called Amazon Silk. The browser is “cloud-accelerated” in that it splits tasks between the cloud and the device.

Why Target’s Cheap-Chic Glamour Is Fading

Matt Townsend
Sep 26, 2011

On a conference call earlier this year while discussing Target’s (TGT) 2011 same-store sales forecast, Chief Financial Officer Douglas Scovanner noted that his company’s biggest rival, Wal-Mart (WMT), had been taking heat from Wall Street for its weak retailing performance. The largest player in the marketplace had yet another quarter of negative same-store sales, he said: “People are picking on my big brother.” For years, Target has benefited from such comparisons. Target’s merchandise was trendier, its commercials hipper, its employees happier—or so the meme went. Of late, however, Target has found it increasingly difficult to tell that story.

Prepare Yourselves: Facebook To Be Profoundly Changed

Ben Parr
Sep 22, 2011

Facebook is driven by a single, unique goal. Its priority isn’t to gain more users (it already has 750 million of those), nor does it feel compelled to find stupid ways to increase pageviews. Its primary goal right now isn’t to increase revenue, either — that will come later. No, Facebook’s goal is to become the social layer that supports, powers and connects every single piece of the web, no matter who or what it is or where it lives.

Where Walmart Is Headed in Social, Mobile Retailing

Kunur Patel
Sep 21, 2011

Walmart Labs Senior VP-Global E-Commerce Anand Rajaraman took the stage at Ad Age Digital today in San Francisco to explain why exactly the world's largest retailer would buy a social media startup.

WSJ Social, For a World Where Facebook Is the New Internet

Jeff Bercovici
Sep 20, 2011

Is Facebook a friend of news companies, or is it a rival? No matter how much success publishers have piggybacking off its traffic, they can’t escape the cruel math: The more of their time consumers spend on Facebook and other social networking hubs, the less they have left over for news sites.

'Listen' To Facebook Initiative

All Things Digital
Sep 20, 2011

Exactly what Facebook plans to debut later this week at its f8 conference isn't clear, but it's reportedly big, and will likely reshape the site's core experience with new "read," "watch," and "listen" buttons.

Netflix's Bold Disruptive Innovation

Adam Richardson
Sep 20, 2011

Every now and then, the business world presents us with a lab experiment that we can observe in realtime. Netflix's announcement that it is splitting off its DVD-by-mail business from its streaming business is just such an experiment.

Plum TV Dying on the Vine

Sheila Shayon
Sep 13, 2011

Plum TV appears to be dying on the vine — and on the Vineyard, as the lifestyle channel geared at America's playgrounds of the wealthy is in the pits of despair

Ben & Jerry's Isn't Kidding With Schweddy Balls Release

Shirley Brady
Sep 8, 2011

Proving, once again, they've got a sense of humor, the marketing wags at Ben & Jerry's are rolling out a limited edition ice-cream flavor in the US: Schweddy Balls, named for a punning 2007 Saturday Night Live skit featuring Alec Baldwin as a guest a fictitious NPR radio show ("Delicious Dish").

Amazon Tests Website Redesign

Stu Woo
Sep 6, 2011

Amazon.com Inc. said it is testing a major redesign of its website, an overhaul that could refashion the way people shop on the world's largest online retailer. The new site appears to have been streamlined for use on a tablet computer, online-commerce experts say, indicating that the Seattle-based retailer is trying to improve the shopping experience on Apple Inc.'s iPad—or its own competing device. Amazon is expected to release a tablet in coming weeks, people familiar with the device have said.

Should the New Yorker change?

Seth Godin
Sep 1, 2011

For the first time in its history, the editors at The New Yorker know which articles are being read. And they know who's reading them.

Twitter Co-Founders' New Startup: Lift

Emma Bazilian
Aug 25, 2011

Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone have revealed their much-awaited next project since leaving Twitter and relaunching the Obvious Corporation, the incubator that they started with Twitter vp of product Jason Goldman back in the mid-2000s. On the official Obvious blog, Stone announced today that the company is partnering with Lift, a new app “designed to unlock human potential through positive reinforcement.”

A New Model for Business: The Museum

Carmen Nobel
Aug 25, 2011

At first blush, the consumer appeal of a business like Groupon seems pretty obvious. The popular deal-of-the-day Internet start-up sells vouchers to restaurants, spas, and other local businesses at major markdowns--and who wouldn't want to score a 100-dollar sports massage for 50 bucks?

What Marketers Can Learn from the Food-Truck Trend

Grant McCracken
Aug 24, 2011

The American consumer is changeable. He wants X. No, he wants Y. Never mind, he wants Z. We used to quiz him with focus groups and mall intercepts. But these days, he's not sure. It's not that he won't tell us. It's just that he can't.

Google Wins, Game Over

Patrick Hanlon
Aug 24, 2011

It’s always a danger to look into the crystal ball, everything is so distorted by the glass. But if everything remains as is, it’s hard to look at Google and not foresee the California company winning the future of social media, social technology, and all the bitstreams in between.

At This Girls’ Camp, Crafts Take a Drill Press

Motoko Rich
Aug 19, 2011

Forget tie-dyed shirts, lanyards and water games. At summer camp this year, Nautika Kotero, 13, learned to use a drill press, solder electrical wires and build a lamp.

How IBM Is Changing Its HR Game

Cathy N. Davidson
Aug 18, 2011

As IBM celebrates its 100th birthday, many observers are rightly calling attention to the many strategic changes the company put itself through to remain relevant amidst dramatic technological and economic change. But one of the biggest transformations IBM went through is less about computers and more about culture. Over the last decade and a half, the company has realigned its HR practices and strategies to move away from the analog ways of the past and to embrace a variety of 21st century approaches, including some highly unconventional ones.

The London Riots and the Future of Social Media

Gill Corkindale
Aug 16, 2011

While there are many theories for the underlying reasons for the the riots — social inequality, the economic crisis, gang culture, opportunism and the failings of capitalism to name a few — but there is little doubt that technology and social media were the great enablers of the rioters and the criminality that ensued.

From soup to nuts: Google buying Motorola is a skirmish between two biz models, and news needs both

Joshua Benton
Aug 16, 2011

I will confess I don’t believe I’ve ever had a meal that actually progressed from soup to nuts. Maybe “from salad to ice cream” might be a better way to give the impression of tracking a meal from beginning to end, but “soup to nuts” is the idiom we’re stuck with. And now Google can say that Android fulfills it, with its $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility. (That’s assuming regulator approval, which we probably shouldn’t just assume at this point.) Instead of being simply the provider of an operating system for smartphones and tablets, a Google+Moto pairing would also produce some of those phones and tablets itself, rather than relying exclusively on a network of producers (HTC, Samsung, LG, etc.) to actually design, build, and distribute the hardware.

The Elusive Big Idea

Neal Gabler
Aug 15, 2011

The July/August issue of The Atlantic trumpets the “14 Biggest Ideas of the Year.” Take a deep breath. The ideas include “The Players Own the Game” (No. 12), “Wall Street: Same as it Ever Was” (No. 6), “Nothing Stays Secret” (No. 2), and the very biggest idea of the year, “The Rise of the Middle Class — Just Not Ours,” which refers to growing economies in Brazil, Russia, India and China. Now exhale. It may strike you that none of these ideas seem particularly breathtaking. In fact, none of them are ideas. They are more on the order of observations. But one can’t really fault The Atlantic for mistaking commonplaces for intellectual vision. Ideas just aren’t what they used to be.

A Steal at $30 Billion!

Annie Lowry
Aug 12, 2011

Since the daily deals site Groupon launched in November 2008, its story has been about huge numbers, giant savings, and astronomical growth. According to one accounting, it is the fastest-growing company, ever. According to its own accounting, it has become profitable far sooner than most tech startups. Wall Street seems poised to reward it with an initial public offering valuing the company at as much as $30 billion. But are all these big numbers based on questionable metrics? And can Groupon really keep up the soar-away growth justifying that fantastic valuation?

Will nostalgia destroy pop culture?

Thomas Rogers
Aug 9, 2011

Over the last decade, American culture has been overtaken by a curious, overwhelming sense of nostalgia. Everywhere you look, there seems to be some new form of revivalism going on. The charts are dominated by old-school-sounding acts like Adele and Mumford & Sons. The summer concert schedule is dominated by reunion tours. TV shows like VH1's "I Love the 90s" allow us to endlessly rehash the catchphrases of the recent past. And, thanks to YouTube and iTunes, new forms of music and pop culture are facing increasing competition from the ever-more-accessible catalog of older acts.

Ad Money Reliably Goes to Television

Brian Stelter
Aug 8, 2011

The economy is faltering and consumers are scared, but you wouldn’t know it by watching television, where advertisers are still pouring in money.

How Social Technology Is Remaking Business, Branding And Customers

Simon Mainwaring
Aug 5, 2011

There is a fundamental shift that social media necessitates in business today – the need to transition from “Me First” to “We First” thinking. For decades Me First thinking and behavior has dominated how we have conducted business, treated the environment, and how consumers and brands have interacted. Despite decades of short-term profits, the long-term consequences of this approach have been catastrophic. They include the economic meltdown of 2008, the global recession, and the persistent economic problems that plague countries and societies around the world today. As a result, there is a growing awareness that we must begin shifting business towards a more collective and socially responsible mentality in which companies and consumers think about building a better world as much as they think about profits. Given this, the question is, how can brands move towards this responsible and collective mentality? The answer is, by adopting We First thinking.

Death To Pseudo-Scarcity, The Marketing Angle That Targets Snobby Suckers

Mike Hoban
Aug 4, 2011

The label on the bag of coffee stated that it was "private reserve" as if it were a glorious handmade cabernet sauvignon that had been lovingly and fastidiously set aside by the proprietor and made available to an appreciative soul such as me who had discerning taste and an extra dollar or two to spend on a hedonistic treat.

Kinect Hackers Are Changing the Future of Robotics

Jason Tanz
Aug 3, 2011

For 25 years, the field of robotics has been bedeviled by a fundamental problem: If a robot is to move through the world, it needs to be able to create a map of its environment and understand its place within it. Roboticists have developed tools to accomplish this task, known as simultaneous localization and mapping, or SLAM. But the sensors required to build that map have traditionally been either expensive and bulky or cheap and inaccurate. Laser arrays cost a few thousand dollars and weigh several pounds, and the images they capture are only two-dimensional. Stereo cameras are less expensive, lighter, and can construct 3-D maps, but they require a massive amount of computing power. Until a reasonably priced, easier method could be designed, autonomous robots were trapped in the lab.

Pinkwashing: Researchers Take On Avon In Breast Cancer Battle

Meghan Casserly
Jul 29, 2011

Two weeks ago I published an excerpt from a research paper titled “Pastel Injustice: The Corporate Use of Pinkwashing For Profit” that highlighted the business practices of companies who promote breast cancer awareness through the use of pink products and messages to consumers.

Five Reasons Google+ Is Exploding -- and Could Actually Hurt Facebook

Simon Dumenco
Jul 25, 2011

So Google+ obviously has some traction. Just a few weeks after its launch, Google CEO Larry Page revealed that the nascent social network already had 10 million users. But will it ultimately blow up enough -- and matter enough -- to become a problem for Facebook? Yeah, I think so. (Ad Age Managing Editor Ken Wheaton isn't so sure.) Here's why:

Why Spotify Will Kill iTunes

Maxwell Wessel
Jul 25, 2011

iTunes as we know it is over. It is walking, talking, and continuing to pretend it's alive, but Spotify, Europe's outrageously successful streaming music product, has just shown us the future.

How We Brought in New Thinking

Frederico R. Lopez
Jul 21, 2011

Samsung's journey from low-cost OEM producer to a global brand name synonymous with innovation is an admirable one. The process of turning away from the basic elements responsible for your original success is a perilous and brave move. I can only imagine the resistance involved when an established, hierarchical company like the old Samsung decides to introduce practices that threaten the status quo.

50 Social Media Stats to Kickstart Your Slide Deck

Sarah Evans
Jul 20, 2011

1. "Social media accounts for one out of every six minutes spent online in US." (Journalism.co.uk) 2. "Seventy-seven percent report that they use social media to share their love of a show; 65% use it as a platform to help save their favorite shows; and 35% use it to try to introduce new shows to their friends." (TVGuide.com study via TVNewsCheck.com) 3. "Facebook users are overall more trusting than non-internet others. Pew reported, 43% of survey participants were more likely than other internet users to feel that most people can be trusted." (Pew Internet via Social Media Club)

Mercedes’ Steve Cannon On Repositioning A Luxury Brand During The Recession

Avi Dan
Jul 20, 2011

“The recession has been good for us,” says Steve Cannon, Mercedes-Benz’s vice president of marketing, only half kidding. While this quintessential luxury brand faced a more challenging environment, Mercedes still managed to emerge from the recession with renewed momentum, launching five new models and building share of market, as it is looking to its 14th consecutive year of sales growth in 2011.

What Google+ Means For Google And You

Victoria Barret
Jul 15, 2011

Recently I had a chance to catch up with Vic Gundotra, one of the chiefs behind Google’s new social networking service, Google+. I was interested in what Google+ means for our relationships online and off. We shape technology, but it also shapes us. As Google+ blossoms (and today Larry Page confirmed the site has over 10 million members sharing one billion items daily, even in its very limited trial phase) these themes merit mulling. Gundotra offered up lots of insight, and a glimpse into the future of a very different search experience.

Coming to Terms with the Consumerization of IT

R "Ray" Wang
Jul 14, 2011

The corporate e-mail server is down, but work doesn't grind to a halt. Everybody just switches to Gmail, Skype, or BB Chat to get around the inconvenience. For the most part, they're using these consumer technologies at work already — often because they're better than anything the IT department can provide.

The Surprising (Content) Future of Google+

Ian Schafer
Jul 13, 2011

I have been spending time on Google+ since its launch, and though people on Google+ are talking a lot about Google+ (isn't that breaking the first rule of fight club?) every day I begin to see its potential take it into different directions – not based upon the platform itself, but rather, based upon its interoperability with Google's other properties. Seamless YouTube video integration. Real-time photo sharing via Google Photos. Music library streaming via Google Music. Document sharing. Connections via Google Talk. Surely, more features will be rolled out over the coming weeks to millions of users still trying to figure out the purpose of the platform. And that's the beauty of platforms – the users get to figure out how they are ultimately used, and shape their evolution.

What Google's Quiet Failure Says About Its Innovation Health

Michael Schrage
Jul 11, 2011

Let social media mavens debate whether Google+ will succeed as a 'Facebook killer' where Buzz did not. I think they'd benefit from a quick look back at a failed innovation Google quietly DNR'ed. It offers a sobering reality check for anyone who believes that great people, great skills, great wealth, a great brand, and a great opportunity invariably lead to great innovation, They don't. Not even for Google. There's a valuable lesson here.

Back to the coffee house

Jul 8, 2011

The internet is taking the news industry back to the conversational culture of the era before mass media.

Percolate: The Microblogging Platform Where Tumblr And Twitter Go To Hang Out

Austin Carr
Jul 8, 2011

The startup, currently in its "double secret alpha" version, taps into your RSS and Twitter feeds, culls content based on your interests--the stuff that "percolates up"--and then lets you share your thoughts on the subject with friends.

Inventing the Future of Management is Everybody's Job

Polly La Barre
Jul 8, 2011

The whole world seems to have woken up to the notion that great ideas can come from anywhere and anyone. Exhibit A is the effort to write a new constitution in Iceland where the surge of crowdsourcing, mass collaboration, co-creation, and open innovation initiatives is seeking to channel those ideas and leverage that talent in every realm of endeavor. But when it comes to taking those ideas and turning them into a comprehensive view of the future, a compelling set of priorities, and a genuinely involving and ongoing collaboration with a community of stakeholders, there aren't many instructive models.

Mark Zuckerberg, Nonplussed By Google, Sets Facebook's New Course

E.B. Boyd
Jul 7, 2011

With 750 million members, the social network will no longer base success on user numbers but on the cool stuff they make using Facebook.

Curation, Community and the Future of News

Steven Rosenbaum
Jun 24, 2011

Thinking back, I've always considered news as a dialogue rather than a monologue. I've preferred conversations to speeches. That said, I don't often hang out on street corners or in neighborhood bars partaking in random conversations about the weather or the Mets. I like my conversations curated.

Don't Get Stuck in the Cloud

Robert Plant
Jun 21, 2011

Cloud computing offers a value proposition based on convenient services that you pay for as you go. Customized solutions can be offered in a flexible and secure environment. Companies can offload their noncore technologies and focus on their core businesses, providing a better product for their customers. But cloud computing is based on the premise that users will always have access to the cloud service.

Local Food or Less Meat? Data Tells The Real Story

Andrew Winston
Jun 20, 2011

In recent years, one part of the food business has rivaled organics as the hot growth area: "local" food (defined vaguely as coming from the same state or from less than 100 miles away, for example). It's a market segment that has just about doubled in sales and number of outlets over the last decade. The world's biggest food buyer, Wal-Mart, jumped on the bandwagon last fall and announced that it would double the amount of local food it sells (to 9 percent of all its food sales). The idea of buying locally is not new, and farmers' markets have been big for years. It's become almost gospel that the food on our plates has traveled about 1500 miles to get to us. So it would seem logical that the best way to shrink your food-related carbon footprint associated would be to buy from near by. But it turns out that this assumption is wrong.

Brands Smell Opportunity in Scent Marketing

Barry Silverstein
Jun 14, 2011

Brand marketers have long been intrigued with the use of scent as a potential differentiating feature. Maybe it all started with Smell-O-Vision, an ill-fated technology that was used to pump different smells throughout movie theaters in 1960. Smell-O-Vision stunk — it died after just one movie. Nowadays, scent is a key part of any number of beauty and cosmetic products, typically targeting women. Increasingly, though, scent plays an important role in men's products, especially deodorants. And the latest innovation is a masculine knock-off of a concept that was first aimed at women in 2005 — the scented razor.

In China, Women Begin Splurging

Laurie Burkitt
Jun 13, 2011

Italian jeweler Bulgari SpA and sports-car maker Maserati SpA have succeeded in China largely by portraying themselves as the ultimate male status symbols. But the two recently joined a growing number of luxury brands in China that have revamped their marketing tactics to also appeal to self-made female entrepreneurs, a rapidly emerging market segment that also wants high-end baubles and toys.

Huffington Post Beats The New York Times As Top News Website

Piers Fawkes
Jun 10, 2011

Another pointer to the road ahead – the leading news website in the United States delivers its content online rather in print.

Former Pabst Execs Speak Out Against New Brand Owners

Mark J Miller
Jun 7, 2011

Executives usually don’t badmouth their former companies, but the ones that are no longer with Pabst Blue Ribbon after it was sold last year to billionaire C. Dean Metropoulos and his two sons don’t mince words. “If our core PBR drinker knew that what they were drinking is owned by guys like these, it's the last beer they'd want to drink,” stated the former director of marketing to the Chicago Tribune.

TOMS Rebrands in Next Giant Step for Good

Sheila Shayon
Jun 7, 2011

TOMS Shoes is ready to kick off the "Shoes" in its brand identity, rebranding with a campaign (which we previewed in March) dubbed "What's Your Next Chapter?" that will be unveiled in a series of events with its partners across the US tomorrow.

Brand Building: Is ‘Function’ The New ‘Emotion’?

Derrick Daye
Jun 6, 2011

The ‘emotional’ revolution that has engulfed the marketing world is undeniable: brands are constantly seeking to win our wallets by way of our hearts. The mythmakers of Madison Ave did so by crafting poignant stores that masked products’ imperfections or downright uselessness. Though today’s marketers are forced to meet a slightly higher standard of credibility, their goal is still to teach us how their brand is supposed to make us feel. It seems it’s not enough for soap to clean and moisturize – it must also compel us to philosophize about what it means to be beautiful

Have We Killed Brand Advertising?

Al Ries
Jun 3, 2011

Brand advertising seems to be on its way out. Take Starbucks, which used to advertise its coffee shops. And very effectively, too. Today, the brand is strongly positioned at the top of the coffee-shop market. What's next for Starbucks? The company's recent decision to drop the words "Starbucks coffee" from its logotype seems to indicate where the company is going. According to media reports, Starbucks is in the midst of a transformation from a coffee company to a food and beverage organization

New App From Bono's ONE To Mobilize Activists

Morgan Clendaniel
Jun 2, 2011

The age of boots-on-the-ground activism has largely been passed over for organizing into Facebook groups and online petitions. And while those things are good ways to motivate people, real world action still works. ONE's new iPhone app lets you sign petitions, but also makes it easy to do things like call the White House or even helps give you information on how to get out to a real live protest. And--of course--there are plans to gameify everything. Prepare to compete for the title of most involved activist.

Globalization in the World We Live in Now: World 3.0

Pankaj Ghemawat
Jun 1, 2011

So far, 2011 has been a remarkable year. With events like those that have changed the power dynamics throughout the Arab world, or the tsunami in Japan that disrupted many global supply chains, it's http://www.unboundedition.com/admin/articlelinks/articlelink/add/easy to think that the world is becoming ever more connected and interdependent.

The Lack of Cultural Intelligence is Damaging Our Enterprises and Our Economy

Glenn Llopis
May 31, 2011

More and more leaders are scared for their business. Not because their products and services are not innovative or relevant, but because they just don’t connect naturally with the changing face of America’s consumers.

Jane Pratt, Unbound and Ready for the Web

Joanne Kaufman
May 19, 2011

The model Veronica Webb made charming faces at the camera. Michael Stipe, the lead vocalist for R.E.M., cozied up to a snake. The actor David Arquette designed a T-shirt that read: “I love. Therefore I am.” Friends of the former magazine editor Jane Pratt, they and other members of the Pratt Pack — the rapper Estelle; the designer Isaac Mizrahi; and the models Carol Alt, Helena Christensen and Crystal Renn — showed up last month for a series of photo shoots at Drive-In Studios to help promote xoJane.com, Ms. Pratt’s new Web site, which went live on Monday.

How Cultural Movements can drive the Baby Boomers

Scott Goodson
May 19, 2011

The New York Times has reported that brands have started to turn their attention to the one group of people amongst us who may still have disposable income during these times of recession – the over 50s. And for good reason. Statistics show that they not only have more money to spare, they earn more, spend more and have more job security than younger consumers. They also avidly consume more media.

Check Out the Future of Shopping

Ann Zimmerman
May 18, 2011

A device that looks like a smartphone is making supermarket shoppers—and stores—happier. Perched on the handle of the shopping cart, it scans grocery items as the customer adds them to the cart.

Puma Is No Longer a Sneaker. It's a Lifestyle

Andrew Roberts
May 17, 2011

When Puma transformed a venerable soccer cleat made famous by Brazilian footballer Pelé into a sneaker in 1998, the shoe known as the King sparked a global fashion sensation and an eightfold surge in Puma revenue in as many years. Yet ever since the German sporting-goods maker was bought by French luxury house PPR in 2007, the brand has performed like David Beckham during his Los Angeles Galaxy years.

Brewers Hope Consumers Will Judge a Beer By Its Cover

E.J. Schultz
May 17, 2011

It used to be that beer came in a glass, can, bottle, or keg. End of discussion. Today it seems as if the packaging gets almost as much attention as the liquid itself, if not more. Special cans turn color when the beer is cold. Some bottles are funky too, with one brand featuring a special vortex neck meant to improve taste. Don't want a keg? Try a "home draft" that fits in your fridge.

BMW Launches Lab With Guggenheim

Karl Greenberg
May 10, 2011

Last October, BMW introduced a six-year project with the Guggenheim Museum -- the BMW Guggenheim Lab -- aimed at developing new ideas for design and urban living. On Friday, the company unveiled specifics at an event at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. The Lab, designed by Japanese architectural firm Atelier Bow-Wow, will be an open-air installation featuring an open-air loft built largely of carbon fiber (a substance BMW plans to use in its vehicles) and designed almost as a theater space with elements that can drop down from the overhead space, a kind of Swiss Army knife of cultural props and media implements.

Penguin CEO Adjusts to E-Books but Sees Room for the Old

Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg
May 9, 2011

Few publishing executives have gotten a closer look at how quickly digital technology is transforming businesses around the globe than John Makinson, chief executive of Pearson PLC's book publishing arm, Penguin Group. The house publishes 4,000 fiction and nonfiction titles globally, and does business in a wide variety of markets, including India. Deciding how and where to sell those books is significantly more complicated than when Mr. Makinson took over as CEO in 2002. At the time, e-books were a minor enterprise, and the full impact of online discounting hadn't yet been felt.

Luxury Brands Stake Out New Department Store Turf

Rachel Dodes And Christina Passariello
May 6, 2011

As the luxury market rebounds, powerful global brands including Gucci, Prada and Dior are starting to press for more control over the way their products are presented and sold in U.S. department stores.

Bain: Luxury Sales Expected To Gain 8% This Year

Sarah Mahoney
May 5, 2011

The rich aren't just back, they're really back: Worldwide spending on luxury goods is expected to increase 8% this year, according to the latest forecast from Bain & Co.

Five Inspiring Ideas, From MoMA's Chief Design Mind And A Leader In Game Development

Dan Golden
Apr 29, 2011

Few people are better situated to speak about the present state -- and future prospects -- of design today than Kevin Slavin and Paola Antonelli. Antonelli, of course, is the senior curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Among the many groundbreaking shows she's put on, perhaps the most influential was Design and the Elastic Mind, which tracked the various ways that designers were using technology to break out of the discipline's old boundaries. Slavin, working with Frank Lantz, co-founded Area/Code, a game developer that was just recently acquired by Zynga, becoming Zynga New York.

The South: A Red-Hot Brand

Eric Spitznagel
Apr 28, 2011

When members of the Confederate Army declared "the South will rise again," they weren't talking about New York Fashion Week. Yet this February, a gaggle of celebrities and fashion icons filled Lincoln Center to view Chris Benz's new Savannah (Ga.)-inspired collection. The show, which Benz referred to as "Spooky Savannah," featured models in floppy hats and tiered ruffles walking the runway as if they were in a reenactment of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil directed by John Waters.

Why CEOs Should Watch the Royal Wedding

Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Apr 25, 2011

The wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton might seem entirely frothy and unworthy of the time of busy executives. It seems an inconsequential event — no new international alliances are formed, no policies will change within their home nation, and the young couple doesn't seem all that interesting. But the April 29 nuptials are one more example of the coming of the experience economy, in which people pay for the chance to participate at particular times (Farmville, anyone?), and expenditures on goods and services come in bundles tied to particular events.

Tune Out, Turn Off: A Mantra Needed for Our Times?

Andrew McAfee
Apr 25, 2011

The 2011 Pulitzer Prizes were announced recently, and I was thrilled to see that Nick Carr's The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains was a finalist in the general nonfiction category. I've known Nick for many years, and have become a fan of his writing and thinking. He's one of the world's most thoughtful observers of modern technology, bringing a well-stocked brain and a lively pen to his work.

Facebook to Ad Agencies: Let's Be 'in a Relationship'

Irina Slutsky
Apr 19, 2011

Facebook today launched a stand-alone community site (facebook-studio.com) where ad agency creatives can share ideas, comment on campaigns and learn what it takes to create a successful page for a brand. The community is called "Facebook Studio" and is a platform aimed at agencies, PR firms and media strategy companies.

Experience Co-creation

Francis Gouillart
Apr 18, 2011

Many companies now have senior officers in charge of customer experience. The executives' role is to define the attributes of the customer experience in partnership with their operational colleagues, organize the customer-satisfaction-measurement process against those attributes, and encourage remedial action wherever warranted. What they hardly ever have, though, is an approach to evolve the design of the customer experience, let alone create a new experience.

Why We Need Storytellers at the Heart of Product Development

Sarah Doody
Apr 15, 2011

There's an interesting question on Quora right now: If you had to pick between an amazing product designer or an amazing engineer to build a new company around, which would you pick and why? This question reflects a painful problem that is common at both small startups and large corporate organizations. Far too often, teams focus on execution before defining the product opportunity and unique value proposition. The result is a familiar set of symptoms including scope creep, missed deadlines, overspent budgets, frustrated teams and, ultimately, confused users. The root cause of these symptoms is the fact that execution focuses on the how and what of a product. But in a world where consumers are inundated with choices, products that want to be noticed and adopted must be rooted in the why.

Burberry Stores in China Get Digital Makeover

Laurie Burkitt
Apr 14, 2011

BEIJING—Burberry Group PLC is outfitting its stores in China with the latest digital technology, including touchscreens for customers and iPads for staff, at the start of a world-wide campaign to shake its stiff, older image and win over younger customers.

China's Luxury Consumers Grow Up

Max Magni and Yuval Atsmon
Apr 12, 2011

Luxury goods marketers in China received some good news last month. After the country's annual policy planning meeting, Minister of Commerce Chen Deming announced that Beijing would soon reduce tariffs and cut red tape on luxury goods imports. The decisions are in line with other policies that will stimulate domestic consumption and, the government hopes, will chip away at the globally contentious trade surplus that China enjoys.

The Core Tenets of the Social Web, 25 Years in the Making

Alexandra Samuel
Apr 12, 2011

We like to think of the social web as green fields in which we are just now sowing best practices and first principles. After all, if there are no hard-and-fast rules, then anything goes. We get to come up with our own laws and axioms and declarations of "here's how it's done." But if you look at the longer history of the social web, it's clear that some principles have been around for a long time. And nothing brings those principles into focus like a look at the social web's first big controversy, all the way back in 1987: The Great Renaming.

Get 'em While They're Young: Apple to Sell iPads at Toys "R" Us

Kit Eaton
Apr 11, 2011

Toys "R" Us will soon be selling iPads alongside G.I. Joes, PlayStation games, and Legos. And did you know? One in five U.S. teens owns a tablet PC (which basically means an iPad). iPads: Apple's doin' it for the kids.

YouTube Recasts for New Viewers

Jessica E. Vascellaro, Amir Efrati and Ethan Smith
Apr 7, 2011

Google Inc. is working on a major overhaul of YouTube as it tries to position itself for the rise of televisions that let people watch online video in their living rooms, according to people familiar with the matter. YouTube is looking to compete with broadcast and cable television, some of these people said, a goal that requires it to entice users to stay on the website longer, and to convince advertisers that it will reach desirable consumers.

When the Data Struts Its Stuff

Natasha Singer
Apr 4, 2011

In an uncharted world of boundless data, information designers are our new navigators. They are computer scientists, statisticians, graphic designers, producers and cartographers who map entire oceans of data and turn them into innovative visual displays, like rich graphs and charts, that help both companies and consumers cut through the clutter. These gurus of visual analytics are making interactive data synonymous with attractive data.

Why the Cloud Is Actually the Safest Place for Your Data

Simon Crosby
Mar 30, 2011

Worried about your data? If you’re not, you’re kidding yourself. It’s become clear over the past few months that the risk of security breaches has reached a new and frightening level — from sophisticated tools in the hands of national governments and organized crime to spontaneous attacks harnessing the resources of thousands of loosely connected vigilantes. Add to that the dizzying array of devices now used to access, move and store data. Security strategies that seemed airtight only a few years ago now look like so much Swiss cheese.

Content Yawn

Annie Lowrey and Angela Tchou
Mar 28, 2011

Content farms are to online media what tabloids are to print. Neither journalism nor advertising, they are a trashy and addictive product, sussing out what we really want in order to give us something we don't really need—and, in so doing, telling us something important about ourselves.

Why CSR Is Not a Revolutionary Concept

Aman Singh
Mar 25, 2011

Remember a recent post that began with the words “I’m peeved“? I was peeved by an executive’s failure to understand that diversity is part of social responsibility. Well, it set off quite a chain reaction in the blogosphere, with many publications and bloggers offering their own take on the issues. What caught most everyone’s attention, however, was its argument over terminology. What is CSR?

Social Networks Will Change Product Innovation

Andrei Hagiu
Mar 21, 2011

Much is being written about the impact that new communication technologies and channels (blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) have on traditional marketing. The deeper question is: Will these new communication channels actually force material changes not just in the way companies market their products but in the strategies and operations they use to develop and build those products as well? In my view, the answer is an emphatic yes. It's another instance of the proverbial medium that changes the content.

Most Say They'd Feel Little or No Impact If Newspapers Closed

Mar 17, 2011

39% of people surveyed said they would feel no impact if their local newspapers shut down. 30% said it would have a minor impact, but only 28% said the impact would be major, according to the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. About three-quarters of respondents to the survey of 2,251 U.S. adults said they wouldn't be willing to pay anything for online news if their newspapers failed to survive.

The Future of Mobile Gadgets

Farhad Manjoo
Mar 17, 2011

How many will we carry? What will they look like? What will they do?

Netflix in Talks for Original Series

Ethan Smith and Nick Wingfield
Mar 16, 2011

Netflix Inc. is in advanced talks to distribute a forthcoming television series directed by David Fincher and starring Kevin Spacey, said people familiar with the talks. If such a deal were to come to fruition it would add a new competitor to the television industry by increasing the degree to which Netflix vies with premium-cable television channels like Time Warner Inc.'s HBO.

Why Warner's Movie Test on Facebook Is Such Serious Business

Michael Learmonth
Mar 11, 2011

You could argue Warner Bros.' test to rent, and soon sell, "The Dark Knight" and other films on Facebook is just another promotional deal on the world's largest social network. But it isn't, and that's why it sent shivers through the media industry: not for what the deal is today but for what it could easily mean.

Has Apple’s Brand Reached a Tipping Point?

John Dragoon
Mar 8, 2011

To no one’s surprise, including mine, Apple once again has the industry all abuzz about their latest innovation – the iPad2. After months of speculation and free press, Apple unveiled—through their charismatic and enigmatic leader, Steve Jobs—how they intend to extend their dominance over the rapidly expanding tablet market with the iPad2. As much as I admire Apple’s relentless pursuit and delivery of innovation, it’s their stranglehold on customer sentiment and the media in particular that I find even more impressive and, frankly, enviable. The question is, “Is it sustainable?”

Banking on Women and Girls: Key to Global Poverty Alleviation

Mary Ellen Iskenderian
Mar 8, 2011

On this 100th International Women's Day, it is right to reflect on how women have become the heart of the microfinance industry. It is easy to forget that the initial motivation for microfinance roughly 30 years ago was, to a great extent, gender neutral.

Send in the Clouds

Ashlee Vance
Mar 8, 2011

Cloud technology isn’t hype anymore: Businesses are moving computing work to the cloud. And with trillions of tech dollars at stake, it’s war up there. Here are the tech companies battling for their piece of the market.

The Most Important Management Trends of the (Still Young) Twenty-First Century

Sean Silverthorne
Mar 1, 2011

HBS Working Knowledge recently celebrated its tenth birthday, and we mark the occasion by looking back and looking forward. We've asked HBS Dean Nitin Nohria and a number of faculty to both remark on what they view as the most significant business management ideas of the first decade of the twenty-first century, and then to tell us what they hope will be the most fertile areas of business research between now and 2020.

Web's Hot New Commodity: Privacy

Julia Angwin and Emily Steele
Feb 28, 2011

As the surreptitious tracking of Internet users becomes more aggressive and widespread, tiny start-ups and technology giants alike are pushing a new product: privacy.

And The Award For The Most Dead Entertainment Medium Goes To… The Web

Paul Carr
Feb 28, 2011

You Californians sure seem obsessed with this “Oscar” thing. As I write these words, every one of my friends with a 9x zip code is dressed to the nines, snarking their way through one of the forty three billion Academy Awards parties taking place across the state. I am not amongst them: partly because I am unforgivably late with this column, partly because I haven’t seen any of the movies nominated for the major categories, and partly because watching Anne Hathaway and James Franco (pictured left) being funny is like watching a Chuck Lorre remake of Joanie Loves Chachi.

Nestlé: Between Food and Pharma

Jennifer Sokolowsky
Feb 28, 2011

Nestlé is a worldwide brand probably known best as a maker of chocolate, not exactly a health food. But the brand is making a serious push to become a global power in the emerging industry of foods that are not just healthy, but that offer specific medical and health benefits.

Social Progress = Economic Success: Social Innovation at Work

Jason Sylva
Feb 24, 2011

In recent months, business leaders been embarking on a new conversation in the U.S. about how our business, government and consumers will meet challenges around the environments, infrastructure, and of course, the economy.

The Rise Of The Chief Customer Officer

Paul Hagen
Feb 22, 2011

Over the past five years Forrester Research has observed an increase in the number of companies with a single executive leading customer experience efforts across a business unit or an entire company. These individuals often serve as top executives, with the mandate and power to design, orchestrate and improve customer experiences across every customer interaction. And whether firms call them Chief Customer Officers (CCOs) or give them some other label, these leaders sit at high levels of power at companies as diverse as Allstate, Dunkin' Brands, Oracle and USAA.

Clay Christensen's Milkshake Marketing

Carmen Noble
Feb 17, 2011

When planning new products, companies often start by segmenting their markets and positioning their merchandise accordingly. This segmentation involves either dividing the market into product categories, such as function or price, or dividing the customer base into target demographics, such as age, gender, education, or income level. Unfortunately, neither way works very well, according to Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, who notes that each year 30,000 new consumer products are launched—and 95 percent of them fail.

An HTML for Numbers

Chris Wilson
Feb 17, 2011

Is Google's Public Data Explorer the first step toward a universal data format?

On Governing By Design

Paolla Antonelli
Feb 15, 2011

Design is an inescapable dimension of human activity. To adapt one of my favorite quotes by Reyner Banham, like the weather it is always there, but we speak about it only when it is exceptionally bad or exceptionally good.

Baked In: Fashion Site Polyvore Taps an Army of Anna Wintours

E.B. Boyd
Feb 14, 2011

Mark Zuckerberg says social dynamics of the kind Facebook pioneered will one day be a core part of every industry. In the first installment of our new series, we take a look at some companies that are "baking in" social right from the start.

The connected company

Dave Gray
Feb 10, 2011

The average life expectancy of a human being in the 21st century is about 67 years. Do you know what the average life expectancy for a company is? Surprisingly short, it turns out. In a recent talk, John Hagel pointed out that the average life expectancy of a company in the S&P 500 has dropped precipitously, from 75 years (in 1937) to 15 years in a more recent study. Why is the life expectancy of a company so low? And why is it dropping?

Conan 2.0

Douglas Alden Warshaw
Feb 10, 2011

Conan O'Brien is in his bedroom. It's a little bit past 11 p.m., and he's shyly, hesitantly, nervously attempting to do his first webcast. But he keeps getting interrupted. And it's driving him crazy. "Get out of my room! Get out of my room! This is private!" O'Brien's embarrassed, and he's yelling at the top of his lungs. "Everybody get out!!!" Okay, that's part of a skit from O'Brien's new late-night show, Conan, on TBS. But, almost exactly a year ago, more than a few people in the media business thought that O'Brien, freshly tossed off The Tonight Show by NBC after only seven months on the job, just might have to sit in his bedroom for a long time, and that performing a show on the web might actually be his only option.

Forgive Me Father, For I Haz App

Sheila Shayon
Feb 10, 2011

The Catholic Church has endorsed its first mobile app: "Confession: A Roman Catholic App," now available on iTunes for $1.99.

Why We Invested in Groupon: The Power of Data

Reid Hoffman and James Slavet
Feb 9, 2011

Groupon has been written about a lot in the media. Most of the coverage has been extremely positive, like a Forbes cover which called Groupon “The Fastest Growing Company Ever.” Other articles question whether Groupon is a defensible business built for the long-haul. Late last year we boarded a Chicago-bound plane, along with a couple of our colleagues, for an initial meeting with the company to form our own opinion.

Private-Label Beers Take a Shot at Earning Joe Sixpack's Respect

David Kesmodel
Feb 8, 2011

Anyone care for a Buck Range Light or a Big Flats? Few beer drinkers have heard that question. But the new brands from retail giants Supervalu Inc. and Walgreen Co. are part of a growing effort by chain stores to make a hit of private-label beer, a category that has proved difficult for retailers.

Enlighten us!

Michael Maiello
Feb 4, 2011

America needs poets and thinkers as well as engineers.

Is Facebook a Bubble?

David Zax
Jan 28, 2011

A poll reveals that many investors think Facebook is overvalued. Google's outgoing CEO, meanwhile, insists Facebook is not a threat. Is Zuckerberg's baby an actual colossus--or just an inflatable one?

Obama: “We Are a Nation of Google and Facebook”

Vadim Lavrusik
Jan 26, 2011

In addressing American innovation in the State of the Union Address, President Obama called America a nation of Google and Facebook. The mention is significant not only because Obama has been known for leveraging social media, but also the timing of the mention.

Pandora Pulls Back the Curtain on Its Magic Music Machine

Tyler Gray
Jan 25, 2011

As Pandora rumbles toward a possible IPO, its founder and Chief Strategy Officer Tim Westergren talks to Fast Company about the secret ingredient in its future formula (hint: it's not an algorithm).

For Magazines, a Bitter Pill in iPad

Jeremy W. Peters
Jan 18, 2011

The frustration that the country’s magazine and newspaper publishers feel toward Apple can sound a lot like a variation on the old relationship gripe, “can’t live with ’em, may get left behind without ’em.”

"Alone Together": An MIT Professor's New Book Urges Us to Unplug

David Zax
Jan 14, 2011

Sherry Turkle, has been an ethnographer of our technological world for three decades, hosted all the while at one of its epicenters: MIT. A professor of the social studies of science and technology there, she also heads up its Initiative on Technology and Self. Her new book, Alone Together, completes a trilogy of investigations into the ways humans interact with technology. It can be, at times, a grim read. Fast Company spoke recently with Turkle about connecting, solitude, and how that compulsion to always have your BlackBerry on might actually be hurting your company's bottom line.

Colbert Pits Vampire Weekend Against Black Keys in 'Sellout-Off' for His Grammy Vote

Nat Ives
Jan 13, 2011

New hit music has become about as indispensable to commercials as commercials have become to the modern music business. So why shouldn't the Grammy Awards recognize how popular bands were on Madison Avenue in the past year?

The Big Idea: Creating Shared Value

Michael E. Porter and Mark R. Kramer
Jan 12, 2011

The capitalist system is under siege. In recent years business increasingly has been viewed as a major cause of social, environmental, and economic problems. Companies are widely perceived to be prospering at the expense of the broader community. Even worse, the more business has begun to embrace corporate responsibility, the more it has been blamed for society’s failures. The legitimacy of business has fallen to levels not seen in recent history. This diminished trust in business leads political leaders to set policies that undermine competitiveness and sap economic growth. Business is caught in a vicious circle.

Google Zeitgeist 2010

Matthew Rogers
Jan 10, 2011

In annual celebration of the year’s events, Google’s ‘Year In Review’ video, Zeitgeist 2010 looks at some of the most talked about subjects.

Why Marketing's Big Guns Are Winging Their Way to Las Vegas

Michael Learmonth
Jan 4, 2011

The slow collision and then merger of media and tech has been underway for more than a decade, and it's playing out again at the Consumer Electronics Show, which has become a required stop for media, agencies and, increasingly, brands. For tech brands such as Intel, Microsoft, Sony and Samsung, this is the Super Bowl, but non-tech marketers are playing too, in part because, well, there really is no such thing as a non-tech brand.

The Future of Visual Storytelling: From The Last Supper to the iPad Tablet

Dominic Basulto
Jan 3, 2011

Of late, I've been thinking a lot about visual storytelling and the various ways that the Internet and digital devices like the iPad require us to process information and content. Over the past decade, there has been an astounding rise in the value of visual literacy -- the ability to process information and content that is delivered via images rather than text. When you think about it, all of the most popular forms of new Internet content - whether infographics, casual games or video clips - place a premium on visual storytelling. At the end of the day, the Apple iPad is primarily a device for consuming visual content.

Coca-Cola Wraps Largest Social-Media Project Ever

Natalie Zmuda
Jan 3, 2011

On Jan. 1, 2010, armed with laptops, video cameras, smartphones and plenty of other gadgetry, the three 20-somethings set off to visit 206 countries and territories where Coca-Cola is sold in order to document for the masses their search for happiness. They arrived back in Atlanta at the World of Coca-Cola Dec. 29, 2010, just before the dawn of the New Year. Their journey, tracked at Expedition206.com, as well as through Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, has racked up 650 million media impressions around the globe and engaged billions of people.

In 500 Billion Words, New Window on Culture

Patricia Cohen
Dec 17, 2010

With little fanfare, Google has made a mammoth database culled from nearly 5.2 million digitized books available to the public for free downloads and online searches, opening a new landscape of possibilities for research and education in the humanities. The digital storehouse, which comprises words and short phrases as well as a year-by-year count of how often they appear, represents the first time a data set of this magnitude and searching tools are at the disposal of Ph.D.’s, middle school students and anyone else who likes to spend time in front of a small screen.

High margins, Groupon and the magic basket for price differentiators

Seth Godin
Dec 14, 2010

Some things sell for not much more than they cost to make. Things like steel. Others? They sell for high multiples of cost. Spa services, fancy ties, long haul airplane tickets, coaching, books--these are things that might cost a bunch to set up, but once the factory is rolling, the marginal cost of one more unit is really low. The challenge, then, is to find a way to get new customers without alienating the folks that have paid full price. Even better, to turn those new trial customers into loyal customers.

Bargain Junkies Are Beating Retailers at Their Own Game

Matt Schwartz
Dec 13, 2010

In the economic wasteland of the past three years, the biggest success story has been a website that gets us to buy stuff we never knew we wanted: helicopter-flying lessons, hot stone massages, professional photo portraiture, obscure ethnic food, hot air balloon rides. More precisely, what we buy at Groupon—the two-year-old startup that, with projected revenue of more than $500 million this year, was called the “fastest growing company ever” in a recent Forbes cover story—is the right to buy all that stuff at a huge discount, so long as we all act fast.

Grant McCracken: The Reclocking of America (and the Death of the Mall)

Grant McCracken
Dec 13, 2010

The English historian E.P. Thompson suggested that as industrial capitalism took hold in the West, we began to organize time in new ways. A ritual cycle with lots of saints days and religious celebrations was replaced by a model in which leisure days were fewer and more concentrated (on the weekend, in the summer, etc.) The West was being, in effect, reclocked. (My term, not his.)

Chrome OS puts the cloud in your hands

Seth Rosenblatt
Dec 10, 2010

Google unleashed the Chrome OS on the world today, shipping it in a limited-edition prototype laptop outfitted with the kind of hardware and specs that it expects manufacturers to use with the browser-based operating system. Chrome OS represents a major step forward for cloud computing, with single-serving Web sites getting rebranded as easy-access apps and the nascent HTML5 underpinning the whole show.

Google challenge to Microsoft software empire

Richard Waters
Dec 8, 2010

The battle between Google and Microsoft to shape the future of personal computing has stepped up a gear after Google unveiled an internet-centric laptop that it said would offer a cheaper alternative to the traditional PC. Executives at the search company said companies such as American Airlines and Kraft had been lining up to try out the new machine in the hope of saving large amounts on their PC costs.

The Next Stop for Location Services

Benjamin Palmer
Dec 8, 2010

Just when you're getting used to Foursquare and Gowalla and Yelp and Facebook Places, there are new apps to check out. Since checking-in has gone mainstream, there are a few notable new experiences that are worth a look.

Six Social Media Trends for 2011

David Armano
Dec 7, 2010

It was a banner year for social media growth and adoption. We witnessed Facebook overtake Google in most weekly site traffic, while some surveys reported nearly 95% of companies using LinkedIn to help in recruiting efforts. In my outlook for last year, I cited that mobile would become a lifeline to those looking for their social media fixes, and indeed the use of social media through mobile devices increased in the triple digits.

A Whole New Name Game

Ianthe Jeanne Dugan
Dec 7, 2010

Hundreds of naming rights are up for sale nationwide at schools, parks, government buildings and boat launches, as money problems among cities and states create monuments such as Chicago's BP Bridge and AT&T Plaza.

Facebook’s grand plan for the future

Davis Gelles
Dec 6, 2010

Mark Zuckerberg is pacing before a crowd in Facebook’s Palo Alto, California, cafeteria just before lunch on a Wednesday in November. Fit and jovial, with pale skin and curly brown hair, his boyish face gives away his 26 years. “Zuck”, as friends call him, is wearing what he always wears: a grey T-shirt with an embroidered Facebook logo, blue jeans and tennis shoes. With this perennially casual demeanour, he is showing off new technologies to a few hundred employees, partners and the press. “It’s a good day to launch some stuff,” he says with a laugh. And with that, Zuckerberg introduces Facebook Deals, a new service that in a matter of days will transform the way local businesses reach consumers as they walk down the street.

Total Recall: How Mobile Photos Will Shape the Future of Marketing

Allison Mooney
Dec 3, 2010

In the 1995 film Johnny Mnemonic, the title character, played by Keanu Reeves, has a cybernetic brain implant that stores vast amounts of data. Today, we all have this capacity, but the mechanism is in our hands, not our heads. Smartphones are helping us become, well, smarter – both expanding our memories and giving us access to the web's collective knowledge.

Segal declares b2b marketing ‘obsolete'

Dec 3, 2010

“There is now no such thing as b2b,” Rick Segal, worldwide president-chief practice officer at GyroHSR, New York, told attendees at the B2B Marketing Europe conference in Berlin this week.

How J&J, GE Have Overcome Branded Content Challenges

Rupal Parekh
Dec 3, 2010

Brands have been in the content business for more than 50 years, but some of the biggest marketers in the world -- including General Electric and Johnson & Johnson -- are today finding that emerging media and digital platforms are dramatically changing the game in terms of how that content is distributed and how consumer conversations can be controlled.

When It Comes to Facebook, Relevance May Be Redefined

Matthew Creamer
Nov 30, 2010

May 4, as you may or may not know, is National Star Wars Day, a fact recognized by no less august bodies than the Los Angeles City Council and the Church of Jediism, a George Lucas-inspired denomination that counts itself as the fourth-largest church in the United Kingdom. This year the occasion was also marked by the folks at BlackBerry, who updated their corporate Twitter account to read "May the 4th Be With You."

Why We Will All Live in 'Curation Nation'

Bob Garfield
Nov 29, 2010

Somewhere Out There, Someone Is Creating Genius -- How Will You Find It?

Ahead in the Cloud

Jill Priluck
Nov 29, 2010

Amazon's cloud computing has revolutionized American small business, but can Amazon beat rising competitors?

Silicon Valley Design Firm IDEO Rethinks Books, Cars

Ryan Flinn
Nov 24, 2010

Employees at the Silicon Valley design firm IDEO LLC spotted weaknesses in the current crop of electronic-book readers. So they did what came naturally to them and designed their own.

Why You Should Start a Company in... St. Louis

Laura Rich
Nov 24, 2010

Jack Dorsey, the Twitter co-founder, calls St. Louis his hometown. So does uber-VC John Doerr of Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers. Dorsey even launched his latest effort, credit card processing startup Square, with a St. Louis-based co-founder and kicked off the use of Square at a food festival there in September. But the startup scene is still a bit sleepy in St. Louis, with more of the activity happening in the life sciences and agriculture arenas. There are also some hopes being pinned on a new runway at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport that could lead to the establishment of a Chinese trade hub there.

I Want My Twitter TV!

Ellen McGirt
Nov 23, 2010

Why everyone -- CNN, MTV, Conan, and even Google -- is tweeting about the future of interactive entertainment.

Global internet trends you should know: From the Meeker Files

Joseph C. Lawrence
Nov 22, 2010

“Queen of the Net” and acclaimed web analyst Mary Meeker delivered one of her landmark presentations on worldwide internet trends at a recent Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. When Meeker speaks, people listen. They listen very carefully. Meeker has become famous for her incisive presentations on the state of the internet, bringing it all together in a way that makes sense.

Checkins for Charity: The Rise of Geo-Social Good

Amy-Mae Elliott
Nov 17, 2010

If you ever believed that social media really could help make a difference in the world, then we’ve got some great news for you.

Tweeting to Sell Cars

Suzanne Vranica
Nov 15, 2010

Car companies have long tapped high-profile celebrities to spread word of mouth about new cars by test driving them around town. Now they are turning to a similarly powerful but cheaper source: young social-media influencers who have strong online followings.

The New Icons of Fashion

Ruth La Ferla
Nov 11, 2010

Anna Dello Russo lives in a glass house — the virtual kind — her subtlest gesture or sartorial quirk scrutinized by her legions of fans. Pecking at their keyboards, those online viewers wax effusive. “She is like Coco Chanel to me,” one admirer exclaimed on The Sartorialist, the popular blog. “Isn’t she fabulous ... so jolie laide,” gushed another on The Fashion Spot; a third posting on Ms. Dello Russo’s blog, to her: “I love when you wear pink.” “They want to choose my outfit, to dress me like a doll,” said Ms. Dello Russo, the elastic-limbed editor at large for Vogue Japan. “I’m thinking I’m a Barbie of the Internet.”

The Golden Age of TV Shopping

Elizabeth Holmes
Nov 11, 2010

Reem Acra built her high-end fashion business dressing brides, royalty and A-list celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and Halle Berry. But on a recent Wednesday, Ms. Acra was selling caftans and stretch pants from a small set in an industrial park.

In These Lean Days, Even Stores Shrink

Stephanie Clifford
Nov 10, 2010

A temporary wall slices the Anchor Blue store here in half. On one side are abandoned dressing rooms, a few mannequins and no customers. On the other are racks jammed with clothing and accessories — and more customers than ever coming into the store. Anchor Blue is among a growing number of retailers thinking small — chopping off big chunks of stores or moving to more efficient spaces. The change reflects two trends in the retail world: Chains looking for new ways to cut costs in the sour economy, and consumers demanding a less sprawling shopping experience as they spend with greater purpose.

The Movement Is the Medium

Scott Goodson
Nov 9, 2010

There’s a cultural movement gathering steam in the marketing world right now and, funnily enough, it has to do with… movements.

Terminally Cool: Airports use space for interactive campaigns

Caroline Smith
Nov 9, 2010

Airports have traditionally been a prime target for advertisers (captive audience: check), but recent marketing efforts are turning airport real estate into a venue for a variety of more interactive customer experiences.

The Empowered Consumer

Alex Bogusky
Nov 8, 2010

You are a consumer. And if that means buying any shiny object placed in your path, then it might be a dirty word. But as the late great George Carlin used to say, “There are no dirty words. Only dirty thoughts.” I use the term “consumer” often in my work. And I have to admit that the word sometimes makes me uncomfortable. After all, aren’t we citizens, people or human beings first? Defined by the sum of our actions. And don’t those extend far beyond what we consume? Yes.

Virtual Experiences Help Brands Win Friends, Influence People

Allen Adamson
Nov 8, 2010

It isn’t any of the newest sci-fi flicks that got me thinking about the collision of real and virtual time and space, but a recent breakfast I attended that dealt with the challenges and opportunities in the realm of social media. It was hosted by the Newhouse School and moderated by The New Yorker’s media writer, Ken Auletta. The panelists, Dennis Crowley, co-founder of social network site, Foursquare, David Karp, founder of the micro-blogging platform, Tumblr, and Clay Shirky, author of “Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing without Organizations”,” talked about everything from 40,000-foot issues like whether social media is narrowing or advancing democracy, to more down-to-earth issues, like how social media tools can be used to build brands more effectively.

Design Is Dead. Long Live Design!

Dylan F. Tweney
Nov 3, 2010

Design reigned supreme in the 20th century, when it was an integral part of the way artists, publishers, governments and political parties communicated to the first mass audiences. Message and presentation were inextricably intertwined, with the latter lending power, impact and even meaning to the former. Not for nothing was Marshall McLuhan able to say, with gnomic brevity but not a little insight, “the medium is the message.”

Microsoft, Dell Tout Wisdom of the Cloud

Shirley Brady
Nov 3, 2010

How hot is cloud computing, which enables users to access data, software and services over the Web and corporate networks? Check out Microsoft's new "I have cloud power" campaign, which promotes microsoft.com/cloud and "the most comprehensive solutions for the crowd — on earth. From Microsoft."

What Business Are We In? Just Business, Actually

Grant McCracken
Nov 2, 2010

A couple of days ago, in the WSJ, I noticed an ad for Chevron. They claimed to be getting out of the dirty energy business into the clean energy business. The other day I was surprised to see that Nike Plus has embraced a new model that dispenses with one of their revenue sources, the chip. Nimble business are learning to abandon the existing business model before someone rips it out from under them.

Augmented Reality Meets Foursquare Share

Nasresh Kumar
Nov 2, 2010

ARStreets is a new location-based game for the iPhone which allows users to create and post visual tags on real world locations.

Brand Messaging Gets Short and Tweet

Sheila Shayon
Nov 2, 2010

In the Burger King 15-second spot above, there’s no verbal product description, just a quick ditty about “The ultimate breakfast platter. That's what I call delivering." It's a zippy example of how brand marketers are shrinking their messaging, with the 15-second spot fast becoming the standard length for what used to be a 60-second spot and then the 30-second spot.http://www.unboundedition.com/admin/articlelinks/articlelink/19332/

A “Special Teams” Unit For The Corporation

Grant McCracken
Oct 28, 2010

The corporation is very good at problem solving. Next to getting things done, this is what it does best. The trouble is the problems are getting tougher.

Mobile: All Things To All People

Diane Mermigas
Oct 27, 2010

Mobile ad spending is ramping faster than predicted, growing more than six-fold from 2009 to nearly $2.55 billion in 2014. But the changing dynamics driving it will have a more profound impact on marketing and media business models.

Who ‘Ruled the Air’ in 1910? (And Who Rules It Now?)

Matthew Lasar
Oct 26, 2010

“We each have a signal. A stream of raw power that flows with us. A power. A superpower. A super communication power.” So proclaims Verizon Wireless’s innovative “Rule the Air” advertising campaign.

Fantasy Football As Cultural Alchemy

Grant McCracken
Oct 20, 2010

Fantasy Football now entertains 27 million people, playing an average of 9 hours a week, in an industry valued at around $800 million. (All numbers are pretty much surmise. See references below.) It reminds me of the Dole plantation story. Apparently, Dole would create a lot of juice while canning pineapples, and then just through the juice into the ocean. Someone had the wit to say, "er, could I have that?" Mixed drinks and the International House of Pancakes were never the same.

Starbucks’ Future To Include Beer & Wine?

Paloma Vazquez
Oct 20, 2010

The Starbucks of the future – if a new prototype renders the concept effective – may serve regional wine and beer, offer locally made cheeses served on china, host a redesigned barista bar where customers are close to the coffee, and be ‘green’ in both design and color. This Starbucks could easily be confused for an established neighborhood cafe, and not a globalized, heavily branded chain location. This prototype Starbucks store is located at a 10-year old location on Olive Way in Seattle’s Capitol Hill area, after being closed for a three-month long redesign.

The Power of the Social Cloud

John Hagel III and John Seely Brown
Oct 18, 2010

In our previous two posts, we discussed the significance of cloud computing and social software. We rarely get excited about technology for technology's sake — we are most interested in how technologies (and people and practices) alter the business landscape. In this post, we explore how the convergence of these two technology edges can help to support extreme performance improvement. In particular, we want to focus on their potential to change individuals' behaviors and orientation toward challenges.

Social Media for Social Good

Betsy Lowther
Oct 18, 2010

Call ‘em the Click-Change Artists. A new social media movement centers around the notion that doing good no longer requires rolling up your sleeves at the soup kitchen or seeking out neighborhood artists to support (though we’d certainly never disparage such types of old-fashioned philanthropy). The web now offers a new way for too-busy types to donate their time — and bucks — to feel-good enterprises. And, judging by the response, social media enthusiasts are more than happy to oblige.

A New Breed Of Consultants, Brands

Ed Cotton
Oct 18, 2010

It was interesting hearing Tony Hsieh of Zappos talk the other day about how consulting is a new revenue opportunity for Zappos. Other companies simply want to know their secrets and Zappos is prepared to share them and charge handsomely for access.

Kiva President On The Next 5 Years And Why Zynga Is Their Biggest Rival

Evelyn Rusli
Oct 14, 2010

Who is Kiva’s biggest competitor? If you rattled off a list of non-profit-centric startups, the micro-lending site’s President Premal Shah would tell you that you’re dead wrong. Try Zynga, the gaming behemoth that has given rise to Farmville and Mafia Wars and other disturbingly ubiquitous internet classics. What does virtual fertilizer have to do with micro-finance? Shah says a lot: It’s a never-ending fight for eyeballs and discretionary income.

The New Normal for CMOs

Avi Dan
Oct 13, 2010

10 changes that will continue to affect the top marketing job going Into 2011.

Mayer to Location: Big.

John Batelle
Oct 13, 2010

Today I was in a meeting with a number of consultants to a very large technology company. Their job: market research, essentially. They called to ask me my thoughts on the media and technology world, in particular as it might play out in the next five or so years. They were responsible for helping the Fortune 50 company navigate an increasingly complicated world. I love these kind of free association tasks, because while it's not easy to be right, it's also pretty easy to not be wrong if the questions are smart. I've been a student of technology cycles for a couple of decades, and often times what's directly in front of you is, in fact, the next big thing. So when I got this question: "What's the next big thing after social?" I didn't lose a beat in answering: "Location."

Gap Reverts to Original Logo After Social Media Backlash

Ben Parr
Oct 12, 2010

Gap has announced on its Facebook Page that it is scrapping its new logo design efforts, acquiescing to a torrent of criticism coming primarily from Facebook and Twitter users. Last week, Gap unveiled a new logo, one it called “a more contemporary, modern expression.” The retailer’s customers were not so thrilled about the change, and Gap decided to ask users for their logo design ideas instead. However, that course of action has now been reversed, as well.

How U.S. Consumers Are Steering the 'Spend Shift'

John Gerzema
Oct 11, 2010

At the height of the Great Recession we set off across America in search of stories of hope. We were armed with data from Young & Rubicam's BrandAsset Valuator that showed how most people were thinking, feeling and spending in new ways. We traveled through nine red and blue states, talking with people across kitchen counters, in restaurants, supermarkets, factory floors and boardrooms. In the hipster enclaves of Brooklyn and the techno hubs on the West Coast we found ample evidence that economic pain had moved vast numbers of people to reconsider their values and priorities. In these places, thoughtful spending and a commitment to sustainability, environmentalism and community had replaced consumerism. In fact, in 2007 -- even before the crisis -- our data showed Americans were becoming uneasy with debt and excess spending, distrustful of leaders and skeptical of materialist values.

Glitch in the Coming Advertising Singularity

Matt Herrmann
Oct 7, 2010

It sounds absurd, but you can't argue that in the marketing industry we're seeing very real progress toward removing humanity from the process of making and placing brand communication.

The Great Brand Dilution

Brian Solis
Oct 7, 2010

For decades brands basked in the glory of control, control over consumers’ perceptions, impressions and ultimately decisions and ensuing experiences. Or better said, business leaders enjoyed a semblance of control. While businesses concentrated resources on distancing the connections between customers, influencers and representatives, a new democracy was materializing. This movement would inevitably render these faceless actions not only defunct, but also perilous.

10 Industry Challenges Successful Marketers Have Overcome

Bob Liodice
Oct 5, 2010

The one constant in the marketing industry is that it is ever-changing. Over time marketing has faced countless challenges, be it from disruptive new technologies, consumer empowerment or ongoing advertiser trust issues. As a result, the marketing community continuously adapts to achieve its goal to successfully connect with consumers. The following 10 examples show the marketing industry's strength in turning challenges into opportunities for growth.

You Can't Win a Revolution With a Line Extension

Al Ries
Oct 5, 2010

In the last decade, we've had two wars (Iraq and Afghanistan), two automobile bankruptcies (General Motors and Chrysler) and two radically new social-media sites (Facebook and Twitter). We've had a housing crisis, a banking crisis and a dot-com bubble. Three of our four leading airlines have gone bankrupt. And the fourth one (American Airlines) is losing money. We've witnessed the incredible rise of Google and Apple. And the incredible fall of A.I.G. and Lehman Brothers. "Everything has changed" is the message marketers have been reacting to recently. And because everything has changed, marketers believe they have to change everything in their marketing programs.

Journalism in the Age of Data

Geoff McGhee
Oct 4, 2010

Journalists are coping with the rising information flood by borrowing data visualization techniques from computer scientists, researchers and artists. Some newsrooms are already beginning to retool their staffs and systems to prepare for a future in which data becomes a medium. But how do we communicate with data, how can traditional narratives be fused with sophisticated, interactive information displays?

A Better Choosing Experience

Sheena Iyengar and Kanika Agrawal
Sep 29, 2010

When consumers are overwhelmed with options, marketers should give them what they really want: ways of shopping that lower the cognitive demands of choosing.

The New Normal Is the Old Normal

Grant McCracken
Sep 28, 2010

The figures for August are in. Home sales rose 7.6%, pulling out of a steep decline in July. Many sectors are flat or sinking. Auto sales figures are horrible but nonstore retailers' sales are up 10.5%. The data are all over the place. So there is comfort for the "new normal" crowd who believe we are looking at a big change on how and how much consumers spend. But there is also data to support the position I prefer, the one that says when capital, credit, and confidence return, Americans will go back to spending like sailors home on leave.

Reality has a gaming layer

James Turner
Sep 27, 2010

Kevin Slavin has been thinking about the intersection of games and daily life for nearly a decade. As the managing director of Area/Code, he's worked with Frank Lantz to integrate gameplay into the fabric of reality using a technique they call "big games." In the following interview, Slavin discusses the thinning boundary between the game world and the real world.

Three Truths About the Media Future -- Including the End of Rupert Murdoch

Simon Dumenco
Sep 27, 2010

Plus: magazines are making a comeback and VCs might be getting desperate.

Mobile Phone Ranked Most Used Electronic Device

Giselle Tsirulnik
Sep 23, 2010

Forrester Research’s largest annual survey of Americans’ technology adoption finds that 73 percent of the 37,000 respondents claim the mobile phone is the electronic device they use the most.

Are Digital Agencies The New Dinosaurs ?

Steven Henry
Sep 23, 2010

It seems to me that the problem with dinosaurs was that they had such short arms. Looking at the small rubber T.Rex I have in front of me, it's obvious that they were incapable of feeding themselves in a civilised fashion, they weren't going to be able to punch anyone, and they'd never be able to knit the warm clothes they needed for the ice age. But advertising is kind of like paleontology, in that we're always looking to locate the dinosaurs; it's like finding the fat kid at school, so at least you don't come last in the 100 metres. And various people have recently suggested to me that digital agencies are the threatened species - not the big bad indistinguishable behemoths of traditional adland, the agencies named after people whom even John Tylee has never met.

Capitalism is Dead. Long Live Capitalism.

Gary Hamel
Sep 22, 2010

I’m a capitalist by conviction and profession. I believe the best economic system is one that rewards entrepreneurship and risk-taking, maximizes customer choice, uses markets to allocate scarce resources and minimizes the regulatory burden on business. If there’s a better recipe for creating prosperity I haven’t seen it. So why do fewer than four out of ten consumers in the developed world believe that large corporations make a “somewhat” or “generally” positive contribution to society?

Web 2.0: A Natural Evolution?

Haydn Shaughnessy
Sep 22, 2010

Could Web 2.0 be grounded in nature? Our new research shows that Web users are increasingly conceptualizing the online world and new technology — social networks, mobile phones, and even whole businesses — as ecosystems.

Economic Conditions Snapshot, September 2010

Global Survey Results
Sep 20, 2010

Two years after the economic crisis, executives’ confidence has returned—albeit tenuously—suggesting a better ability to cope with and manage economic volatility.

'New Twitter' Shows the Web Isn't Dead

Pete Cashmore
Sep 17, 2010

If the Web is dead, nobody told Twitter. Just last month, Wired magazine controversially claimed that the Web is going the way of the dodo -- users are increasingly abandoning the Web browser and instead accessing their favorite Web services via applications on smartphones, the logic goes. One of the companies shaping this trend was Twitter, the information network that became accessible through countless third-party applications on mobile devices and the desktop. This week, however, Twitter announced a major redesign of its website. The intent: To make Twitter.com a compelling Web destination. Whatever happened to the death of the Web at the hands of mobile applications?

Walmart Is Reinventing Marketing

Jonathan Salem Baskin
Sep 16, 2010

Leave it to the company that so many people love to hate to first reinvent corporate social responsibility ("CSR") and now take on marketing. Walmart has announced that it's creating a new function, called "marketing operations," and slotting its architect of corporate sustainability into the role, and it's taking its private brands marketer and putting her into the sustainability job. These moves say profound things about the marketing world, how Walmart is reinventing it and, by default, how it's leaving other marketers in the dust.

Time Colonies, Time Colonists: Next New Thing In Marketing?

Grant McCracken
Sep 16, 2010

The question is this: how and how long would we have to live in a historical recreation to begin to to lose touch with the present day in a useful way. Human beings are wonderfully adaptive. We begin to recalibrate immediately. A couple of hours and we are sliding out of many assumptions and arrangements. A couple of days, and we are well down the slippery slope and this close to Stockholm syndrome. The reason this is useful for marketers is the shock of reentry. So much of good marketing is "getting our head out of the bucket" and "thinking outside the box" and otherwise relieving ourselves of the assumptions that prevent us from seeing what is "right before our eyes."

Internet Founder Tim Berners-Lee Details 4 Concerns About Future of Mobile Web

Sarah Perez
Sep 15, 2010

This morning at Nokia World 2010 in London, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, widely known as the inventor of the Web, addressed the audience in a keynote speech where he spoke about the future of mobile technology, including both the positive impacts it brings as well as the areas of concern. After encouraging developers to build for the Web, so as to deliver applications that work on all types of devices, even the ones that haven't been invented yet, he then proceeded to detail areas which need addressing, specifically privacy, accountability, network neutrality and the 80% of the world that doesn't have access to the World Wide Web.

Americans Spending More Time Following the News

Survey Report
Sep 13, 2010

There are many more ways to get the news these days, and as a consequence Americans are spending more time with the news than over much of the past decade. Digital platforms are playing a larger role in news consumption, and they seem to be more than making up for modest declines in the audience for traditional platforms. As a result, the average time Americans spend with the news on a given day is as high as it was in the mid-1990s, when audiences for traditional news sources were much larger.

Four Keys to Surviving the Future of Retail

Alexander Grünsteidl
Sep 13, 2010

For the first time in centuries, the role of the storefront is changing. How should companies adapt?

A Tech World That Centers on the User

Nick Bilton
Sep 13, 2010

If you pull out your smartphone and click the button that says “locate me” on your mapping application, you will see a small dot appear in the middle of your screen. That’s you. If you start walking down the street in any direction, the whole screen will move right along with you, no matter where you go. This is a dramatic change from the print-on-paper world, where maps and locations are based around places and landmarks, not on you or your location. In the print world people don’t go to the store and say, “Oh, excuse me, can I buy a map of me?” Instead, they ask for a map of New York, or Amsterdam, or the subway system. You and I aren’t anywhere to be seen on these maps. The maps are locations that we fit into.

When Meaning Is Meaningless

Jonathan Salem Baskin
Sep 13, 2010

Pepsi is so happy with its "Refresh Project" social media marketing campaign that it has renewed funding for 2011 and will expand it to the rest of the world. This year it will give away $20 million to the good works projects that win the most supportive votes from consumers, representing "true democratization of the philanthropic process," according to a company spokesman. I say it's really dumb, and not just slightly dishonest.

What's Your Brand's App?

Pete Blackshaw
Sep 10, 2010

As the digital and social opportunities risk morphing into that all-too-familiar blend of noise and clutter, the simple foundations and "boring basics" really matter. So while the brand "app" may at times feel like yet another one-off, it may in fact represent the most important cornerstone of digital strategy.

A Cartoon Love Affair

Jonathan Salem Baskin
Sep 9, 2010

A Japanese resort town has created real-world getaway packages for men and their virtual schoolgirl dates. It’s weird and creepy, for sure, but it also demonstrates the power of virtual experience to be, as Dr. Eldon Tyrell once boasted, "more human than human."

The Next 5 Years in Social Media

Matt York
Sep 8, 2010

Over the last five years, social media has evolved from a handful of communities that existed solely in a web browser to a multi-billion dollar industry that’s quickly expanding to mobile devices, driving major changes in content consumption habits and providing users with an identity and social graph that follows them across the web. With that framework in place, the next five years are going to see even more dramatic change. Fueled by advancements in underlying technology – the wires, wireless networks and hardware that make social media possible – a world where everything is connected awaits us. The result will be both significant shifts in our everyday lives and a changing of the guard in several industries that are only now starting to feel the impact of social media

A Virtual Counter-Revolution

Economist Briefing
Sep 7, 2010

The internet has been a great unifier of people, companies and online networks. Powerful forces are threatening to balkanise it.


September 2010 Trend Briefing
Sep 7, 2010

As the busiest time of the year is about to kick in for many of you, we thought we’d keep things lighthearted this month. Check out the rise in 'mature materialism': experienced, less-easily shocked, outspoken consumers who appreciate brands that are more daring, outspoken, even a bit more risqué.

What Experience Would You Like with That?

Theodore Kinni
Sep 3, 2010

How a new view of consumers changed the way we think about products, companies, and economies.

Balancing Wealth and the Public Good

Zafer Achi
Sep 3, 2010

Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi discusses Mubadala’s double bottom line, bridging investment and development.

A Look at the Numbers Behind America's Huge Demographic Shift

Chiqui Cartagena
Sep 1, 2010

With the arrival of Hispanic Heritage month, people in the media and marketing worlds have already started to talk about what the new Census results could reveal next year. Jackie Hernandez, the chief operating officer of Telemundo, speaks eloquently and passionately about the "New Now" which is her vision (supported by tons of data) of what lies ahead for these great United States.

To Win Over Users, Gadgets Have to Be Touchable

Claire Cain Miller
Sep 1, 2010

Whoever said technology was dehumanizing was wrong. On screens everywhere — cellphones, e-readers, A.T.M.’s — as Diana Ross sang, we just want to reach out and touch. Scientists and academics who study how we interact with technology say people often try to import those behaviors into their lives, as anyone who has ever wished they could lower the volume on a loud conversation or Google their brain for an answer knows well. But they say touching screens has seeped into people’s day-to-day existence more quickly and completely than other technological behaviors because it is so natural, intimate and intuitive.

Finding Humanity In The Machine

Naresh Kumar
Aug 31, 2010

Writer and artist Jonathan Harris laments about the lack of humanness on the internet, blaming online tools and social networks for offering the same kind of bland user-experiences across platforms. He also says that while communication has become shorter and faster, there will be a time when we will crave more in-depth, emotional interactions with people, but it would be difficult to move back from a digital world to the past.

Are You Being Served?

James Surowiecki
Aug 31, 2010

American workers are mad as hell, and they’re not going to take it anymore. That’s the clear message of flight attendant Steven Slater’s emergence as a “working-class hero,” after he threw his job away with a tirade against passengers and a slide down an exit chute. Slater’s fifteen minutes of fame may be winding down, but his heady time in the spotlight—he was the subject of numerous tribute songs and his Facebook fan page drew more than two hundred thousand people—suggested just how frustrated employees are with stagnant pay, stressful working conditions, and obnoxious customers. Still, there was something a little surprising about the adulation. After all, the public comprises customers as well as workers, and everyone knows that the contemporary customer is mad as hell, too—fed up with inept service, indifferent employees, and customer-service departments that are harder to negotiate than Kafka’s Castle.

CMO Matrix: How Social Technology Must Integrate with Traditional Marketing, a Horizontal Approach

Jeremiah Owyang
Aug 30, 2010

Although social technologies have been capturing marketers time for over four+ years in corporate, they’ve often been operated in a silo as experimental, or a separate deployment from traditional marketing. Yet the savvy marketing leader knows that reaching customers is increasingly becoming challenging as their touchpoints continue to fragment. To reach the fragmented customer, marketers must apply an integrated approach.

Technology Aside, Most People Still Decline to Be Located

Claire Cain Miller and Jenna Wortham
Aug 30, 2010

Internet companies have appropriated the real estate business’s mantra — it’s all about location, location, location. But while a home on the beach will always be an easy sell, it may be more difficult to persuade people to start using location-based Web services. Big companies and start-ups alike — including Google, Foursquare, Gowalla, Shopkick and most recently Facebook — offer services that let people report their physical location online, so they can connect with friends or receive coupons.

It's Time To Get Engaged With Content

Len Stein
Aug 27, 2010

The growing dominance of social media compels marketers to abandon their old hard sell in favor of a content-driven marketing conversation that can facilitate meaningful brand relationships with customers and prospects. In this challenging environment, content is a key tool to fostering relationships, but publishing a blog, creating a Facebook fan page or launching a Twitter feed is only the beginning of a strategic content marketing program. Content marketing differs from traditional methods that employ interruption techniques in the belief that delivering helpful, relevant information drives profitable consumer action. The idea of sharing content is increasingly driving marketers to make proprietary intellectual assets available to influential audiences. Savvy content marketers create fresh information to share via all available media channels, on and off-line.

The Creativity Crisis? What Creativity Crisis?

Michael Schrage
Aug 26, 2010

The most important thing to understand about America's "crisis of creativity" is that there isn't one. The notion that American business creativity is either at risk or in decline is laughable. Arguments that "Yankee ingenuity" is ebbing into oxymoron are ludicrous. They invite ridicule. So here it comes.

Luring Shoppers to Stores

Emily Steel
Aug 26, 2010

It's Steven Spielberg's futuristic "Minority Report" come to life. Marketing companies are experimenting with a new wave of digital technologies to pitch to consumers while they shop: interactive dressing-room mirrors, kiosks with virtual customer-service representatives, and shopping carts and digital scanners that offer personalized discounts. These futuristic technologies are among the interactive tools on display at Interpublic Group of Cos.' new retail center at the advertising company's Media Lab in Los Angeles.

Brand Marketing's New Reality

Martin Lindstrom
Aug 26, 2010

If for one reason or another, you’d slept through the past five years, only to find yourself suddenly awake in August 2010, you’d quickly realize the world of advertising and marketing has fundamentally changed in three major ways. First, subconscious or subliminal communication (and research) has become part of the vocabulary of most marketers. Second, power has shifted from brand owners to consumers - even the most powerful brands know that successful campaigns have to systematically engage consumers, who will in turn use their mighty word of mouth to spread the messages opposed to relying on big media budgets do the work. Third, 2010 is shaping up to be dominated by guilt. Guilt for spending money in the midst of a debilitating global recession, guilt for polluting the world, and finally, parental guilt, as kids increasingly engage in their own online world, far removed from traditional values that were previously the exclusive domain of the family. So what does this mean for a marketer in 2010?

For Media, The Future Really Is Social

Melanie Wells
Aug 25, 2010

Media companies must become smaller and more nimble to reach readers and the niche groups advertisers covet. Facebook and other social media platforms could become more important than company websites during this transformation. As that happens, Web companies and social networking, including Google and Facebook, will have to become more transparent and share information about the data they collect on customers, or so says Steve Rubel, SVP-director of insights for Edelman Digital.

Facebook, Apple's 'Walled Gardens' Make Analytics That Much Harder for Brands

Jack Neff
Aug 24, 2010

Tracking the effectiveness of advertising on the web was hard enough. Tracking it in the era of "walled gardens" could become that much tougher. The rapid shift of web audiences and marketer attention toward closely controlled properties such as Facebook or Apple's iAd platform is presenting a growing challenge for web analytics. Nearly a quarter of online time at the PC is now spent with social media, the lion's share of that on Facebook, according to Nielsen Co.

The Beauty of Data Visualization

David McCandless
Aug 24, 2010

David McCandless turns complex data sets (like worldwide military spending, media buzz, Facebook status updates) into beautiful, simple diagrams that tease out unseen patterns and connections. Good design, he suggests, is the best way to navigate information glut -- and it may just change the way we see the world.

The End of Moore’s Law: A Love Story

Bing Gordon
Aug 24, 2010

I worked at Intel in the late 70’s, and saw the Moore’s Law business strategy firsthand. Intel’s business depended on launching ever more powerful microprocessors, and charging high profit margins at the beginning of each technology life cycle, before competitors could “second-source” designs, and slice margins wafer thin. For the next 3 decades, Intel became the world-leader in microprocessors, the clock of Silicon Valley, by relentlessly investing in new fabrication facilities and new designs against their belief that Moore’s Law holds true. I met Gordon Moore in 2005, and asked him to predict how much longer his Law would hold. After all, who should know better? Mr. Moore answered, “I never actually thought of it as a law, more as an observation to bet on.”

Big Tech Hunts for Profits in Data Mountains

Joseph Menn
Aug 24, 2010

The second move in about a year for a little-known data storage company highlights how big technology companies are scrambling to help their larger customers do more with the massive amounts of information they are collecting.

How Social Media Is Helping Public-Relations Sector Not Just Survive, but Thrive

Michael Bush
Aug 23, 2010

In 2009 Katie O'Brien was looking for an agency partner to help her launch a major digital effort. The global digital marketing manager at Ben & Jerry's issued a brief to a traditional digital shop and a traditional PR agency, Edelman. The plans they brought back were, in Ms. O'Brien's own words, "night and day." The biggest difference, she said, was that one understood social media better than the other -- and it wasn't the digital agency.

It's Modern Trade: Web Users Get as Much as They Give

Jim Harper
Aug 23, 2010

If you surf the web, congratulations! You are part of the information economy. Data gleaned from your communications and transactions grease the gears of modern commerce. Not everyone is celebrating, of course. Many people are concerned and dismayed—even shocked—when they learn that "their" data are fuel for the World Wide Web. Who is gathering the information? What are they doing with it? How might this harm me? How do I stop it?

5 Huge Trends in Social Media Right Now

Jennifer Van Grove
Aug 23, 2010

What’s the first thing young women do when they wake up? Check Facebook. How do enterprise employees pass the time at work? With social media. With so many studies highlighting ever-accelerating social media usage rates, the conclusion is obvious — social media is everywhere. What follows are five of the hottest social media trends right now. Each are influencing our social, online and mobile behaviors in significant ways.

The Game Layer on Top of the World

Seth Priebatsch
Aug 20, 2010

By now, we're used to letting Facebook and Twitter capture our social lives on the web -- building a "social layer" on top of the real world. At TEDxBoston, Seth Priebatsch looks at the next layer in progress: the "game layer," a pervasive net of behavior-steering game dynamics that will reshape education and commerce.

Top 5 Mobile Advertising Trends To Watch

Erica Swallow
Aug 20, 2010

Mobile advertising is increasingly important, as cell phone adoption rates, especially smartphone adoption rates, soar. With a range of mobile advertising options, including SMS, WAP, mobile app display ads, search ads, rich media, video and push notifications, the landscape can be a bit complicated. After a tough 2009, advertisers are expected to increase mobile and digital marketing budgets over the next year. With this in mind, it’s essential that advertisers keep up-to-date on their options in the mobile space. Here, we’ve laid out five mobile advertising trends to watch over the coming year.

Facebook Launches ‘Check-In’ Service to Connect People in Real Space

Ryan Singel
Aug 19, 2010

Facebook announced a new Places product Wednesday evening that will let users check-in from a mobile device, see who is around them, let friends or the public know where they are, and find interesting, new places. The announcement extends, yet again, the reach of the immensely popular social network, in hopes that the new service will convince its 500 million users to feed more information as they move around in the physical world.

Anarchy in the UI

Jonathan Salem Baskin
Aug 19, 2010

It's culturally incorrect to even suggest that the open and incessant sharing of information isn't a wonderful thing. We know more the more we know, or so the conventional wisdom goes, and not only should anything be everyone's business, but it should be provided without charge. History is a dialectic about information struggling to be free. Freedom of information evangelists call this "radical transparency" and label it an absolute good. Others might call it chaos. I worry that most of us live in the gap between this theory and reality its pursuit invents.

Openness, Or How Do You Design For The Loss Of Control?

Tim Leberecht
Aug 18, 2010

Openness is the mega-trend for innovation in the 21st century, and it remains the topic du jour for businesses of all kinds. Granted, it has been on the agenda of every executive ever since Henry Chesbrough’s seminal Open Innovation came out in 2003. However, as several new books elaborate upon the concept from different perspectives, and a growing number of organizations have recently launched ambitious initiatives to expand the paradigm to other areas of business, I thought it might be a good time to reframe “Open” from a design point of view.

The Time Is Now to Take Shopper Marketing Beyond the Store

Jim Lucas
Aug 18, 2010

According to Deloitte's 2010 Back-to-School Survey, three out of 10 consumers plan to use their mobile phones to assist in their back-to-school shopping. No doubt, as shoppers look to social media for product information, reviews and sales, the ecology of shopping is changing rapidly. As it does, marketers are trying to address two challenges. The first is how to strike the right balance between verified traditional methods and the pursuit of new ways of communicating with shoppers. The second challenge for marketers is to garner shopper attention, then earn and cultivate a relationship with the shopper.

Why the Social Gaming Biz is Just Heating Up

Jeremy Liew
Aug 18, 2010

These are interesting times in the social gaming industry. Two weeks ago Disney acquired Playdom, and last week Google acquired Slide. Just like that, two of the largest social game publishers have become part of larger companies. This activity all comes on the heels of EA’s acquisition of Playfish late last year. Social gaming, as a category, has grown incredibly quickly, becoming one of the dominant drivers of usage on Facebook, and an increasingly core component of people’s entertainment. This growth represents a real threat to other forms of entertainment, and has precipitated the three deals that we have seen so far.

The Web Is Dead? A Debate

Chris Anderson
Aug 17, 2010

Wired asked Tim O’Reilly and John Battelle, the creators of the Web 2.0 conferences, to debate the issues raised in our Web RIP cover package. Over a number of days, Tim and John traded emails with Wired magazine editor in chief Chris Anderson, who wrote one half of “The Web Is Dead.” Surprisingly, Tim agreed that the Web is the “adolescent” phase of the Internet’s evolution and that we are seeing a shift toward a more closed phase in the networked age’s cycles. John, however, was having none of it…

The Future of the Internet

Dan Redding
Aug 16, 2010

The Internet is a medium that is evolving at breakneck speed. It’s a wild organism of sweeping cultural change — one that leaves the carcasses of dead media forms in its sizeable wake. It’s transformative: it has transformed the vast globe into a ‘global village’ and it has drawn human communication away from print-based media and into a post-Gutenberg digital era. Right now, its perils are equal to its potential. The debate over ‘net neutrality’ is at a fever pitch. There is a tug-of-war going on between an ‘open web’ and a more governed form of the web (like the Apple-approved apps on the iPad/iPhone) that has more security but less freedom.

Clouds, Big Data, and Smart Assets: Ten Tech-Enabled Business Trends to Watch

Jacques Bughin, Michael Chui, and James Manyika
Aug 13, 2010

Advancing technologies and their swift adoption are upending traditional business models. Senior executives need to think strategically about how to prepare their organizations for the challenging new environment.

The Creativity Crisis

Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
Aug 13, 2010

For the first time, research shows that American creativity is declining. What went wrong—and how we can fix it.

Do We Still Need Websites?

Pete Blackshaw
Aug 11, 2010

So with all this relentless talk about Twitter accounts, Facebook fan pages and cool new apps, I have a serious and timely question. Do brand websites still matter? Yes, I know -- even asking this question is a bit digitally sacrilegious. Websites are to digital strategy as models are to fashion, but do we really need them?

Reseeding the Economy

Umair Haque
Aug 11, 2010

It's 2010, and we still don't know how to describe the archetypal magnates of the next economy. We don't have a word for it, so we resort to awkward neologisms, like "information entrepreneur" or "green mogul." It's as if we're still not quite sure just what kinds of "capital" tomorrow's tycoons will be "ists" of. What are the kernels of tomorrow's prosperity?

Valedictorian Speaks Out Against Schooling in Graduation Speech

Erica Goldson
Aug 11, 2010

There is a story of a young, but earnest Zen student who approached his teacher, and asked the Master, "If I work very hard and diligently, how long will it take for me to find Zen? The Master thought about this, then replied, "Ten years . ." 
The student then said, "But what if I work very, very hard and really apply myself to learn fast -- How long then?" Replied the Master, "Well, twenty years." "But, if I really, really work at it, how long then?" asked the student. "Thirty years," replied the Master. "But, I do not understand," said the disappointed student. "At each time that I say I will work harder, you say it will take me longer. Why do you say that?" 
Replied the Master, "When you have one eye on the goal, you only have one eye on the path." This is the dilemma I've faced within the American education system. We are so focused on a goal, whether it be passing a test, or graduating as first in the class. However, in this way, we do not really learn. We do whatever it takes to achieve our original objective.

Media Companies Must Divide To Conquer

Steve Rubel
Aug 11, 2010

The media is something that for most, if not all, of our adult lives, we have taken for granted. Media giants form the terra firma of the marketing industry, both its paid and earned disciplines. They provide the lifeblood of services and bring us the audiences we need to do our jobs. However, underneath it all, the harsh reality is that there's a new digital dynamic present today. This will mean that many media companies divide themselves into dozens of smaller independent operating companies if they wish to survive. Many won't.

Creativity Matters

John Maeda
Aug 11, 2010

I couldn’t agree more that we should take creativity “out of the art room and into the home room.” And we should start by looking to art education as a model. The National Inventors Hall of Fame school’s success in “project-based learning” emulates the studio model that has existed and been refined in art schools for hundreds of years. Learning through making actual objects in a studio equips artists and designers with the curiosity, open-ended inquiry, problem solving, critical thinking and critical making skills that are key to creative contributions. These methods are the most promising pathway available for cultivating creativity in future generations, whether kids grow up to be bankers, medical professionals or politicians.

Marketers' Constitution Tenet #2

Bob Liodice
Aug 11, 2010

The second tenet of the Marketers' Constitution states, "Marketing must build real, enduring, tangible brand value." A marketing environment in which brands are launched, built, tracked and precisely valued will allow businesses, across the marketing ecosystem, to make strategic decisions about how best to build and protect their brand.

A Better Creative Brief For The Post Digital Age

Gareth Kay
Aug 10, 2010

A recent post by Gareth Kay (of Goodby’s Brand Strategy discipline) turned our attention to a presentation he made at Boulder Digital Works on crafting a creative brief for the post-digital age. Kay begins by taking a (somehow comical) look at creative brief templates of yore (1992), which mostly all addressed a very common set of elements: a problem to be solved by advertising, consumers to ‘target’, a message to tell them, reasons to believe, and tone of voice. Needless to say that there is a continually expanding set of technology devices and platforms – and respective user interfaces – available in our current culture: from mobile to social media, to desktop and mobile video and others. Their impact includes facilitating a more participatory culture, making us more social, contributing to a more fragmented media landscape and leaving us ‘always on’ and conscious/communicative of our location; these factors need to be considered within an informed creative brief.

Why Elite Shoppers Eschew Logos

Teddy Wayne
Aug 10, 2010

K-Mart and Marc Jacobs have something in common: low- and high-end fashion products tend to have less conspicuous brand markers than midprice goods, according to a paper soon to be published in The Journal of Consumer Research. Rather than rely on obvious logos, expensive products use more discreet markers, such as distinctive design or detailing. High-end consumers prefer markers of status that are not decipherable by the mainstream. These signal group identity only to others with the connoisseurship to recognize their insider standing.

Being 'On-Emotion' Leads To Success

Dan Hill
Aug 10, 2010

Recent breakthroughs in neuroscience confirm what we marketers know in our guts, but sometimes forget in the day-to-day rush of preparing the next ad campaign launch. Namely, everybody feels (emotions) before they think (rational decision), and without generating the appropriate emotional response, no ad campaign can succeed.

Here’s The Real Google/Verizon Story: A Tale of Two Internets

Eliot Van Buskirk
Aug 10, 2010

Google and Verizon announced a joint proposal on Monday that would allow ISPs to offer premium content bundles over an unspecified global network — an unexpected gambit that would seem to call for separate and unequal internets. The two companies say the guidelines would ensure that no internet traffic of any kind is prioritized over any other kind (with the exception of viruses, spam and the like).

Google Agonizes on Privacy as Ad World Vaults Ahead

Jessica E. Vascellaro
Aug 10, 2010

A confidential, seven-page Google Inc. "vision statement" shows the information-age giant in a deep round of soul-searching over a basic question: How far should it go in profiting from its crown jewels—the vast trove of data it possesses about people's activities?

Always Pushing Beyond the Envelope

Damon Darlin
Aug 9, 2010

For Blockbuster, the advent of DVDs in the mail was a disruptive technology. The chain relied initially on bulky videotapes and late fees to generate a fat revenue stream, and its scale was huge; smaller, independent stores gradually left the market. Netflix opened a new battlefront, mailing thin DVDs and letting customers keep a disc as long as they wanted. Blockbuster saw the change coming. It even took action, setting up its own mail service. But seeds of destruction had been sown, and Blockbuster is now financially troubled. Netflix, meanwhile, is already embracing technology shifts that will make those red envelopes a quaint memory. Creative destruction has such a cataclysmic sound. But the term, coined by the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter to show how capitalism destroys companies as more innovative ones succeed, describes a process that is more like a slow-motion train wreck.

A Return, Not to Normal, But to Reality

Art Kleiner
Aug 6, 2010

Mark Anderson, the high-tech industry’s most accurate prognosticator, foresees an economic landscape still under the stress of too much liquidity — and decision makers still in denial.

Playthings: Today’s TEDTalks Playlist

Emily McManus
Aug 6, 2010

Today’s playlist is about toys that inspire learning, innovation — and of course fun! These are the toys of the technological age: they are alive, they think, they perform magic. What were your favorite toys as a kid (or an adult), and what did they inspire in you?

Stop Moaning About "NET NEUTRALITY"

Henry Blodget
Aug 5, 2010

Silicon Valley folks have a tendency to frame industry lobbying campaigns as morality crusades--instead of recognizing them for the self-interest they are. The latest of these causes, "net neutrality," calls for Internet Service Providers to be legally forced to treat every bit sent over the Internet the same as every other bit--i.e., be prevented from offering "premium" tiers in which some folks can pay to have their bits delivered faster than other bits. The Silicon Valley champion, Google, has long stumped for this concept. And Google is now being savaged for apparently betraying that stance and becoming "evil" by discussing a premium-tier deal with Verizon.

Talking about Listening

Matt Shaw
Aug 5, 2010

We’ve heard a lot about listening over the past several years as marketers have sought to make the most of the social web. But are we really listening? Former President Calvin Coolidge once remarked that, “No one ever listened themselves out of a job.” Customer feedback today is easier than ever to come by, and experts and observers have encouraged companies to engage in a real dialogue with customers instead of just talking customers’ ears off. As Umair Haque of the Havas Media Lab wrote back in 2008, “listening beats talking.” Companies claimed to have gotten the message, unveiling elaborate listening programs, such as Starbucks’ mystarbucksidea website. More recently, the Wall Street Journal has taken note that business “are listening” to customer reviews and other feedback on sites like Yelp, City Search, and Urban Spoon.

Tech Gadgets Steal Sales From Appliances, Clothes

Emmeline Zhao
Aug 4, 2010

Americans are spending more on electronics like iPads and flat-screen televisions and less on durable goods like furniture, washing machines and lawn mowers, according to government data released Tuesday. The shift reflects a change in priorities for American consumers. After pouring money into all aspects of their homes during the previous decade, consumers are redirecting their purchases to eye-grabbing technology and socking away more of what's left over into savings. Apparel company executives are worried the lure of electronics will eat into their sales as the back-to-school season gets under way.

Consumer Spending Stagnates in June

Aug 4, 2010

Consumer spending and personal incomes were flat in June, according to government statistics released on Tuesday, the latest indication that the economy would continue to struggle in the second half of the year. The Commerce Department figures, which were seasonally adjusted, showed that personal income was steady in June, compared with a slight 0.3 percent rise in May. It was the lowest level this year and the first time in nearly a year that personal incomes have not risen compared with previous months.

Making News Sites Stickier With Apps That Summon the Web

Nat Ives
Aug 4, 2010

Websites from Fox Sports, the New York Daily News, the San Antonio Express-News, the Houston Chronicle, the San Francisco Chronicle and others are trying a new system to fight, or rather accommodate, web surfers' fleeting attention spans. The sites are using a platform from Brand Affinity Technologies called NetBat, which overlays editorial photos of celebrities and athletes with apps that summon content from Twitter, Google, YouTube and other parts of the web without making users leave the site. Many sites have already incorporated modules that bring up tweets about the subject at hand, but this platform seems to offer more options at once.

Time Spent on Facebook, Gaming Surges

Jack Neff
Aug 3, 2010

The time Americans spent on social media has surged 43% in the past year, leading a substantial shift in how the country spends its online time. That time spent online has also sent e-mail to third behind gaming, according to research by Nielsen Co. The time spent on social media accessed from PCs rose from 15.8% in June 2009 to 22.7% in June 2010, according to Nielsen, while online gaming gained more modestly to 10.2% of online time from 9.3% a year earlier. But that was enough to push gaming past e-mail, which fell to 8.3% of online time spent at the PC from 10.5% a year earlier.

Marketers' Constitution Tenet #1

Bob Liodice
Aug 3, 2010

The first tenet of ANA's Marketer's Constitution is that "Marketing must become increasingly targeted, focused and personal." We all know that marketing works best when brands can have direct conversations with people. It works even better when those conversations are with audiences that want to hear specific product and service messaging. The simplicity and elegance of this objective is finally becoming reality.

Report: Is Human Capital the New Venture Capital?

Austin Carr
Aug 3, 2010

How often do we hear about how many millions of dollars a start-up raised in this round or that? Venture capital is likely the most oft-cited figure for measuring the potential for a new business' success, but research firm CB Insights aims to change that misconception in a new report measuring human capital--not venture capital. "When we ask venture capitalists what gets them excited about the young, emerging, and often unproven companies in which they invest, we never hear about deals and dollars," reads part I of the report, released this morning. "Rather, the first answer is frequently 'the team' or 'the founders.'" In their first-ever VC Human Capital Report, CB Insights attempts to apply the "same rigor we apply to our quarterly tally of deals and dollars to provide an objective, data-driven perspective into the people dimension behind the deals and dollars we so often read about."

Your Brand Isn’t Selling? You’re Disconnected.

Ted Mininni
Aug 2, 2010

Product cycles aren’t getting shorter. They’re disappearing. Retailers are concentrating on their store brands and giving shorter shrift to national brands and manufacturer partnerships. They’re culling nationally branded products that fall short of sales and turn expectations from shelves. Sometimes, these metrics aren’t even used as justification!

Microsoft Quashed Effort to Boost Online Privacy

Nick Wingfield
Aug 2, 2010

In early 2008, Microsoft Corp.'s product planners for the Internet Explorer 8.0 browser intended to give users a simple, effective way to avoid being tracked online. They wanted to design the software to automatically thwart common tracking tools, unless a user deliberately switched to settings affording less privacy. That triggered heated debate inside Microsoft.

Unlike Media Brands, Marketers Slow to Embrace the iPad

Kunur Patel
Aug 2, 2010

While 2009 was arguably the year brands embraced the iPhone, developing apps left and right, the iPad doesn't seem to have inspired the same enthusiasm. Magazines have embraced the iPad, but despite the product's hype, larger screen and dual-touch technology, brands haven't followed suit.

A Conversation About True Leaders and Leadership

Colin Goedecke
Aug 2, 2010

If you look at the world today, it’s devoid of enough true leaders. We used to have so many. This troubles me. What has happened? Is it because people don’t want to step up to the higher responsibilities of leadership, or don’t know how to be great leaders?

Steven Levy on How Foursquare Melds Real and Digital Worlds

Steven Levy
Jul 29, 2010

One sunny spring day in 2004, Dennis Crowley was running down Waverly Street dressed in yellow, avoiding ghosts. Crowley, then a 27-year-old grad student in New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, was participating in a class project called Pac-Manhattan, which used the streets of Greenwich Village for a grueling physical version of the classic arcade game. He was Pac-Man, and—despite a support team that was logging his movements, tracking ghosts, and directing him to power pills—people dressed as Pac-Man spooks eventually cornered him near Fifth Avenue. The New York Times described the experience as “a kind of tableau of digital convergence with the physical world.”

Technology and Society: Virtually Insecure

Joseph Menn
Jul 29, 2010

When Peter Eckersley recently clicked on to one of America’s biggest online job sites, he was not alone for long. Using software to monitor programs running on the page of CareerBuilder.com, the researcher for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an advocacy group, saw data identifying his computer being whisked off to at least 10 outfits that track where people go on the internet. More troubling was his inability to tell what the companies did with the data. His experience goes to the heart of a battle that could shape the future of life on the web – while also having very real knock-on effects in the physical world. The digital dossiers that companies are building from the browsing, searching and other habits of ordinary web users are becoming increasingly refined. At the same time, a deluge of personal information has been unleashed publicly on the web, with Facebook’s 500m users at the forefront. With rapid inroads on both fronts being made into many traditional expectations of personal privacy, the results could prove explosive.

The World's Most Valuable Brands

Kurt Badenhausen
Jul 29, 2010

To identify the world's most valuable brands we looked at more than 100 with leadership positions in their respective industries. Forbes evaluated these brands along with Jeffrey Parkhurst, managing director of business strategy at Mindshare, a WPP-owned media agency. We required that brands have at least some presence in the United States, because if a brand is to be considered global, it needs to be a player in the United States.

Brand Building, Beyond Marketing

Nicholas Ind and Majken Schultz
Jul 28, 2010

Not so long ago, brands were in the limelight. They were seemingly powerful, and virtuous. Any inconvenient truths were hidden by glossy packaging and one-way, big-bang marketing campaigns. Now, as organizations become ever more transparent, people can see behind the marketing facade and are questioning what they are told.

Google Develops a Facebook Rival

Amir Efrati
Jul 28, 2010

Google Inc. is in talks with several makers of popular online games as it seeks to develop a broader social-networking service that could compete with Facebook Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.

Forrester: Why Most Marketers Should Forgo Foursquare

Kunur Patel
Jul 27, 2010

In a study out today, Forrester finds that only 4% of U.S. online adults have ever used location-based mobile apps such as Foursquare, Gowalla and Loopt. Only 1% update these services more than once per week. What's more, 84% of respondents said they are not familiar with such apps, leaving the vast majority of Americans online still in the dark about location-based apps, which have had the marketing world obsessing over them in recent months.

Pro Football Is One Game Major Marketers Want to Play (and Buy)

Rich Thomaselli
Jul 27, 2010

Marketer interest in the NFL has been so strong that the league actually moved to reduce its number of sponsors to 21 for the upcoming season from 30 corporate partners in 2001 and 24 in 2008. The purpose was to avoid the sponsor-overload of, say, a Nascar, which has done a good job of delineating the categories for its partners so there are no conflicts but, nonetheless, still has 49 corporate sponsors.

Meet the New and Evolved CMO Rock Stars

Jack Neff
Jul 26, 2010

The rock-star CMO is dead, but the post-rock-star CMO is quietly living pretty large. The era of the high-profile, big-personality, high-production-value chief marketing officer -- which was already going wobbly as the recession began -- has ended definitively with the departures in the past year of the likes of Unilever's Simon Clift and Kodak's Jeff Hayzlett. Yet the less-ostentatious personalities that increasingly populate CMO slots have something their rock-star forbears lacked: power.

Understanding the Digital Natives

Frederic Filloux
Jul 26, 2010

They see life as a game. They enjoy nothing more than outsmarting the system. They don’t trust politicians, medias, nor brands. They see corporations as inefficient and plagued by an outmoded hierarchy. Even if they harbor little hope of doing better than their parents, they don’t see themselves as unhappy. They belong to a group — several, actually — they trust and rely upon. “They”, are the Digital Natives.

The Future is Another Country

The Economist
Jul 26, 2010

A couple of months or so after becoming Britain’s prime minister, David Cameron wanted a few tips from somebody who could tell him how it felt to be responsible for, and accountable to, many millions of people: people who expected things from him, even though in most cases he would never shake their hands. He turned not to a fellow head of government but to…Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and boss of Facebook, the phenomenally successful social network.

Food Companies Pitch Healthy Offerings, Opinions

Ken Bruno
Jul 23, 2010

Everyone knows they should eat fruits and vegetables. Few people hear it from fast-food companies and snack purveyors. That is changing as companies that make foods rich in fat and salt aggressively market healthier options.

Social Media's Critical Path: Relevance to Resonance to Significance

Brian Solis
Jul 21, 2010

If social media warranted a mantra, it would sound something like this, "Always pay it forward and never forget to pay it back...it's how you got here and it defines where you're going." This intentional form of alternative giving is referred to as "generalized reciprocity" or "generalized exchange." The capital of this social economy is measured in these productive relationships and those relationships are earned through the acts of reciprocity, recognition, respect and benevolence. So how can businesses, which, one could argue, typically represent a "pay it backward" approach (ie, "pay me for my goods and services"), thrive in this environment?

Greenpeace Vs. Brands: Social Media Attacks To Continue

Jeremiah Owyang
Jul 20, 2010

Most companies are barely prepared to deal with unhappy customers who use social media to air their gripes. Now they must be ready to respond when organized entities, such as Greenpeace, wage massive campaigns against their brands using social media channels.

Amazon Says E-Book Sales Outpace Hardcovers

Geoffrey A. Fowler and Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg
Jul 20, 2010

Amazon.com Inc. said it reached a milestone, selling more e-books than hardbacks over the past three months. But publishers said it is still too early to gauge for the entire industry whether the growth of e-books is cannibalizing sales of paperback books, a huge and crucial market.

Time to Get Customer-Centric -- For Real

Kevin McShane
Jul 20, 2010

Business leaders face the most disruptive market conditions in decades as competition keeps increasing, large rivals continue to compete aggressively by buying market share, new entrants are more nimble and substitute products seem to pop up almost at every turn. To deal with these changes, telecommunication providers -- telephone companies, cable TV companies, wireless companies and satellite TV companies -- need to change their organizational design as "inside-out" structures that put products, not customers, at the center of the organization. They need to become truly customer-centric, and to get there, they need to take these three critical steps.

Social Media Draws a Crowd

Suzanne Vranica
Jul 19, 2010

As more and more advertising dollars flow into social media, some Madison Avenue firms are seeking to grab a piece of the action. But it will be a tough fight as the space is overrun with companies seeking to own the segment, from start-ups to public-relations firms. "You can't walk out your house without bumping into a social-media expert today, says Sean Corcoran, an analyst at Forrester Research. "The reality is the space is still very much a Wild West."

The New Rich: What Success And Wealth Mean To Consumers In 2010

Andrew Benett and Ann O'Reilly
Jul 16, 2010

All year long Forbes comes out with lists of the world's richest people--the youngest billionaires, the most eligible billionaires, the richest women, the wealthiest families on each continent. People find it fascinating to track the waning and waxing of personal wealth, watching as perennial front-runners Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are eclipsed by a Mexican telecom titan and chased by various silver-spoon princes of Asia and the Middle East. To be among the world's wealthiest is the stuff of many a daydream. And yet our communal vision of what it means to be "rich" is changing.

Matt Freeman: Marketers Need More Specialization, Fewer Agency Relationships

Michael Bush
Jul 16, 2010

When Matt Freeman jumped from startup shop Betwave to Interpublic Group of Cos.' Mediabrands back in January to head up its newly launched division called Ventures, which was responsible for overseeing 16 separate agencies, he landed right in the middle of the action.

Twitter, Twitter, Little Stars

Felix Gillette
Jul 16, 2010

As customers make or break brands online, companies rush to hire social media directors…and figure out what they do.

Abbreviated Meaning

Jonathan Salem Baskin
Jul 15, 2010

When did brevity become a synonym for clarity or truth? For most of human history, it was the exact opposite. What was brief was least important, as usually the format of a statement dictated the attention it deserved. Shortness was equated with incompleteness, which meant that things communicated quickly were more suspect and were considered less trustworthy (a rapid-fire sales pitch or the unknown threat of someone "of few words" being two examples). The common bias was that brevity could be the same as stupidity.

Why Google Me

Aaron Goldman
Jul 15, 2010

The world may not need another social network. But Google does. Google needs a place where people can easily congregate and communicate. A place that's as easy to understand and use as Google.com. A place that people "like." Why?

Social Media Buzz. Advantage: Old Spice

Jul 14, 2010

The Cannes Film Grand Prix-winning Old Spice campaign has evolved over the last 24 hours to dominate discussion in social media, in what is sure to become the ‘case study du jour’ for the foreseeable future. Yesterday, however, the marketing campaign took a different turn and really got ‘social media right’. It’s been updated and sees Isaiah Mustafa respond directly to YouTube comments, Tweets, Yahoo! Answers and blog posts about him in 117 publicly available, timely and pesonalised video messages. So what are the results? It’s still early to tell, but a few things are apparent.

How To Create a Customer Advocacy Program

Jeremiah Owyang
Jul 13, 2010

While marketers traditionally were the direct channel and voice to the customer, creating direct mail, advertising and corporate press releases. CMOs today must develop advocacy programs in order to scale, increase credibility and demonstrate commitment to customers. In doing so, marketers will develop a low-cost trusted unpaid army of customer advocates.

As Domino's Gets Real, Its Sales Get Really Good

Todd Wasserman
Jul 12, 2010

Domino’s last week introduced an industry first: A transparent pizza. The chain, working with Crispin Porter + Bogusky, attempted to one-up competitors on the authenticity front by announcing that all the photographs of its pizza that will appear in ads will from now on be devoid of “fancy food artistry” or “fancy touch-ups.”

The Most Imaginative CSR Ad Campaigns

Victoria Taylor
Jul 12, 2010

Corporate social responsibility, or CSR, means companies aligning their values with a greater good and taking action to have a positive effect. They often do so through "cause marketing," joining forces with nonprofit organizations and focusing ad campaigns on those philanthropic relationships. Why are more companies than ever flaunting their good works this way? Partly, experts say, because they realize that their employees want to be part of a business that does more than just make money.

A Sharp Focus on Design When the Package Is Part of the Product

Andrew Adam Newman
Jul 9, 2010

Now Kleenex, the brand that invented facial tissues 86 years ago, is hoping to bolster summer sales with packages that resemble wedges of fruit and look more at home on a picnic table than a bedside table. The A-frame packages, featuring fruits like watermelon, orange and lime, were available only at Target last summer, and are being sold at all major retailers this summer.

The Medium Is the Medium

David Brooks
Jul 9, 2010

A citizen of the Internet has a very different experience. The Internet smashes hierarchy and is not marked by deference. Maybe it would be different if it had been invented in Victorian England, but Internet culture is set in contemporary America. Internet culture is egalitarian. The young are more accomplished than the old. The new media is supposedly savvier than the old media. The dominant activity is free-wheeling, disrespectful, antiauthority disputation.

How Social Media Has Radically Altered Advertising

Hank Wasiak
Jul 8, 2010

Social Media started out as a bit of a novelty — a playground for the “geekerati.” But it has taken hold as a game changing force that will reshape advertising at its very core. It’s time to move past debates about traditional media co-existing with social media. Madison Avenue should see social media as a wonderful, if not disruptive, gift. It should run hard to catch up with the consumer, let go of legacy business models and build something better.

Innovation Insanity

Trend Briefing July 2010
Jul 7, 2010

There will never be a shortage of smart new ventures, brands, goods and services that deliver on consumers’ wants and needs. In fact, with the entire world now engaged in creative destruction, INNOVATION INSANITY is upon us. So yes, the dozens of innovations we’ve rounded up for this briefing, courtesy of our sister-site Springwise, are just the tip of the iceberg. Invent, improve, copy… or perish.

Brand Owners Facing "New World Order"

Warc staff
Jul 6, 2010

Brand owners face a "new world order" in which their customers have redefined notions of value and are placing different demands on the products they buy, a study has argued. The Boston Consulting Group conducted a survey of 12,057 people in 14 nations, including Brazil, China, Germany, India, Japan, Russia, the UK and US. It found that while many shoppers thought there was room for optimism in 2010, overall anxiety levels were considerably higher than in the spring of 2007, before the recession had begun to bite.

Are Your Ears Burning? In Social Networks, One-Third of Consumers Talk Brands Every Week

Brian Solis
Jul 6, 2010

Social media didn’t invent conversations, it provided us with tools to surface and organize them. Conversations about brands predates the mediums used to connect messages and aspirations with consumers. The motivation for brands to engage in social networks varies based on the culture and agility of each company, but what is constant is the aspiration to connect with customers and prospects to earn awareness, attention and connections.

Marc Pritchard at Cannes: 'We're Sharing What's Behind the Brand

Jack Neff
Jul 1, 2010

Digital is fast becoming so pervasive for marketers that it may soon lose its meaning as a separate media designation, according to Procter & Gamble Co. Global Brand-Building Officer Marc Pritchard. It's one of the many ways the company is changing through a brand-building organization he brought together last year that encompasses all areas of marketing communications.

The World Cup of Social Media

Pete Blackshaw
Jul 1, 2010

I'll never forget attending my first World Cup game. It was back in 1994 and took place in my hometown Rose Bowl, the same field where I marched in gleeful pride at Pasadena High School's graduation. Romania squared off vs. Argentina. The game was nothing short of electrifying. Back then my word-of-mouth trajectory seemed unlimited. Armed with both AOL and Compuserve accounts, my post-game "dude, I was there" viral dispatches flew across my network of friends, family, business-school classmates and fellow P&G summer interns with almost unrestrained velocity.

A Question for Publishers: Where Does Brand Fragmentation End?

Jul 1, 2010

What happens to news organizations as we know them if this atomization of content is so thorough and irreversible that no publication can pull its discrete articles into a coherent whole? Without coherent brands, will any publication host writers and write checks?

Food Brands Get Sociable on Facebook and Twitter

Stuart Elliot
Jul 1, 2010

The number of advertisers with presences in the social media like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are increasing faster than the lines at the supermarket when the values of the cents-off coupons are being tripled. Now, two familiar brands of baked goods sold by Kraft Foods are stepping up their marketing efforts in social media.

A Transumer Manifesto

Simon Smith
Jul 1, 2010

From cars to designer clothes to children’s toys, there’s a growing trend towards “transumerism” and “collaborative consumption,” which emphasize sharing, renting and experiencing over owning. Is it just a fad? Or is this a significant trend that will reshape our approach to goods and commerce? I’ve pondered what I call “cloud living” before. Now let’s dig deeper.

Wal-Mart's Green Strategy Raises Serious Issues

Bob Lurie
Jul 1, 2010

Wal-Mart's move to eliminate 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gases from its supply chain in the next five years is impressive. It's also an example of the world's largest retailer exerting a blunt form of regulatory vigilantism.

Why Marketers Should Pay Attention to Booming Gaming Trend

Reuben Steiger
Jun 30, 2010

In 2002 a startling announcement was made: sales of video games had finally surpassed the movie box office in the U.S. Over the past two years, games have catapulted to an even more impressive level. Farmville, a game that allows players to tend to a virtual farm with their friends in Facebook, is currently played by 70 million people per month. That's one in four Americans. Kleiner Perkins, the legendary venture capital firm, announced that Zynga is the fastest-growing investment they've ever made. To give this some context, consider that Kleiner was the first investor in Google. I believe this trend represents something much bigger than just explosive growth in the gaming industry. For years, many of the world's smartest people, from psychologists to behavioral economist to marketers, have been studying what motivates people to perform specific actions. In marketing terms, the most important of these is the purchase impulse. Today, the research on buying behavior is beginning to be reframed in terms of gaming mechanics.

Is The Hispanic Market Right For Your Brand?

Federico Murara
Jun 30, 2010

Did you know that the US is the world’s second-largest Spanish-speaking country? It’s true. In fact, there are 46.3 million Hispanics in the US today, and 20 million of them use the internet. Are you targeting the Hispanic market with search? If not, perhaps it’s time you considered doing so.

How Branding Can Lead To Healthier Architecture

Aziz Ali
Jun 30, 2010

PSFK sat down with Anna Klingmann for a conversation covering trends in architecture as they pertain to sustainability and health. Her agency, Klingmann, specializes in a niche area where architecture meets branding. Although not all applications of branding will bring about improved communities and healthier living/working spaces, Klingmann’s work clearly demonstrates the importance of branding in nurturing a sense of belonging.

Detox the Branding Business

Christoph Burmann and Jan-Philipp Weers
Jun 29, 2010

Calling on brands to help consumers simplify their selection and purchase experiences makes sense; in the past, brands have served as the most important institution and clarifying mechanism there is in the marketing world. They have acted as liaisons between company and customer; they're descriptors, promises, expectations and attitudes, all together. But brands themselves have caused great consumer confusion of late. We recently completed an in-depth study of 1,488 consumers; as the results attest, 70% perceive the brands they know, based on memory, in the categories they want to go shopping for, as confusing. And at the point of sale, brand confusion more often increased rather than decreased.

The Ad Cannes Job

Jonathan Salem Baskin
Jun 29, 2010

An annual orgasm of self-love -- remember, the awards aren't voted by clients or consumers -- suggests to me that the advertising industry is still unable to talk to itself about what's happening. Creative ain't what it used to be. Actually, it never was. For the entirety of human history, advertising was a vehicle to get people to buy things. Creativity was important as long as it was applied to this goal; even corporate ads from the late 1800s had a direct link to a sales strategy.

How Cognitive Surplus Will Change the World

Clay Shirky
Jun 28, 2010

Clay Shirky looks at "cognitive surplus" -- the shared, online work we do with our spare brain cycles. While we're busy editing Wikipedia, posting to Ushahidi (and yes, making LOLcats), we're building a better, more cooperative world.

A Look at Who's Getting What on Apple's IAds

Michael Learmonth and Kunur Patel
Jun 28, 2010

The first of Apple's iAds are expected to start popping up on iPhones later this week, but don't expect all the marketers that have committed to the platform to be there. A check-in with declared iAd advertisers found that many are still in the early stages of flushing out concepts and creative. Some are weeks -- perhaps months -- away from having an iAd in the system. What are the i-advertisers up to? Here's a look at some of those willing to share.

What’s Next for the Online Experience?

Moira Dorsey & Forrester Research
Jun 25, 2010

New technologies begin by imitating older technologies before evolving to their true forms. For example, early automobiles looked like horseless carriages, and early television shows imitated radio programming before finding their own forms. Online experiences have followed this pattern—getting their start by imitating the printed page. Although many of today’s online experiences have evolved to include more function and interactivity, the “Web page” still dominates our thinking. So the question still remains: what new form will the Web take as it continues to evolve over the next five years? Three types of trends are driving online experiences into their next phase: capabilities, consumers and competition.

Facebook Upgrade: How New Features Will Help Brands Connect With Fans

Aaron Strout and Kevin Tate
Jun 25, 2010

There is a good chance that if you are reading this article you already have a personal Facebook account. There's also a possibility that many of you may be trying your hand at tapping into the power of the 400 million-plus members on Facebook. However, Facebook's recent announcements on how its platform is evolving may be as clear as mud. To that end, the goal of this article is to break the latest news into four areas: 1. Graph API 2. Analytics 3. Storable data 4. Social plug-ins. Within each area, we'll translate the technical into what it means (at a high level) and, most important, how brands will benefit.

Watch Out: Apple May Aim To Reshape Online Advertising

Steve Rubel
Jun 24, 2010

Apple, without a doubt, is creating a massive sea change in how we interact with digital content. Note that I didn't say "the Web." This is because the millions of iPad and iPhone users spend more time within Apple's walled garden of apps rather than in a browser. However, there's a potential dark side to the millions of Apple devices being sold and it should give every marketer pause.

The Reality of Social Media

Adrian Chan
Jun 23, 2010

I will try to demonstrate here the manner in which social acts and communication result in mediated social realities. And suggest that the relational connections and value-added associations which are the byproduct of social media use create a marketplace of content whose highest value, individually motivated subjective choices, we are only beginning to capture and mine.

The Content Graph: How Brands, Trust, and Quality Can Network the Future of Online News

Kent Anderson
Jun 22, 2010

Publish2 has unveiled its first big play — a news content bartering system intended to make major online news sources capable of achieving scale, to let a network of news providers compete with syndication monopolies like the Associated Press and others, and to allow trusted brands to leverage quality content across media, including print. Karp’s premise is that there is a latent “content graph,” analogous to the social graph being leveraged by Facebook and Twitter.

Cute, Cuddly and Commercial

Tim Bradshaw
Jun 22, 2010

Aleksandr is one of the more prominent examples of the trend for animated characters or puppets to act as brand ambassadors. US consumers have long been charmed by the frogs that feature in Budweiser’s advertising or the cockney gecko that stars in Geico’s campaigns. Meanwhile, Domo, the saw-toothed mascot for Japanese broadcaster NHK, has gone on to appear in video games and comics, and spread virally online. But the proliferation and popularity of these creations and the merchandising they have spawned raises questions for both brand owners and advertising agencies hoping to capitalise on the value of the intellectual property.

Old Brands Pitch Stability, Integrity

Allen Adamson
Jun 21, 2010

The past is making a comeback in brands and branding today and it's not unusual at all. Marketers recognize that in our weird and wonderful minds we believe former days are better days and that even people too young to remember feel a fondness for places and products that evoke happier times.

The Future of Storytelling: A Participatory Endeavor

Jan Gardner
Jun 18, 2010

At the Center for Future Storytelling, researchers envision how technology can give people more control over TV programs they encounter and stories they follow.

AOL, IPG Race To Keep Up With Consumer Habits Online

Laurie Burkitt
Jun 18, 2010

John Ross, president of the research and development arm of Interpublic Group's Mediabrands, thinks retailers have a big problem. Their circulars, which worked in the offline world for decades, haven't caught up with consumer habits online.

Why Twitter's New Ads are Ingenious

Pete Cashmore
Jun 18, 2010

Twitter this week began testing a new type of advertising: "Promoted Trends." Under the new system, brands can pay to appear below the "Trending Topics," the most talked-about terms on Twitter at any given moment. The idea is, in a word, ingenious -- the perfect way to generate revenue from the popular social network without infuriating users.

The Story Of Self-Identity

Bob Deutsch
Jun 18, 2010

Even as we pull out of the economic downturn, many people are still curtailing spending because a new meaning of "value" is taking hold. This shift is particularly prominent among what we call the "Post-88s" -- females, age 22 and under -- who have grown up with social media. Their story of self-identity and its impact on value is so distinct from the older half of the Gen Y population that they can no longer be considered as one market.

The Rise of Collaborative Consumption

Rachel Botsman
Jun 17, 2010

Rachel Botsman is the co-author of "What's Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption." Here, with a dazzlingly graphic display, she presents a compelling case for 21st Century sharing.

Off-Field Action Heats Up As FIFA Chases Marketers

Will Connors and Christine Passariello
Jun 17, 2010

At this year's World Cup in South Africa, which kicked off Friday, soccer's governing body FIFA is trying to squelch guerrilla-marketing tactics by those who haven't paid for official sponsorships. It created new "exclusion zones" that restrict companies from advertising close to its venues and hired agents to help enforce the zones. But big-name advertisers including Nike, Puma AG, PepsiCo Inc. and others are finding ways to go over and around them.

What Mountain Dew Learned from 'DEWmocracy'

Elaine Wong
Jun 16, 2010

Consumers generated word-of-mouth buzz about the brand, in many cases, without any incentives—something O’Brien sees as being crucial to long-term engagement with fans. In an interview with Brandweek, O’Brien discussed the results of both "DEWmocracy" campaigns, and how, moving forward, social media and crowdsourcing will play a bigger role in the brand’s innovation.

Kraft Foods CEO: That Was Then, This Is Now

Nielsen News
Jun 15, 2010

Kicking off Nielsen’s Consumer 360 conference in Las Vegas, Irene Rosenfeld, Chairman and CEO of Kraft Foods addressed the ways reaching consumers have changed significantly over the last twenty years and how the Internet and social media are increasingly important components of overall marketing strategies. Previously, brands acted as teachers, according to Rosenfeld. Marketing was designed to build an image around a brand with the expectation that consumers would be attracted to it; they would aspire to the brand. Today, that “paradigm is upside down,” as brands want to learn from consumers and find ways to connect with them.

Why a Museum Is the UK’s Top Brand on Twitter

Matt Rhodes
Jun 15, 2010

Last week we looked a ranking of the top ten brands on Facebook globally, based on the number of people who ‘like’ them. There were no real surprises – Starbucks came top and the rest of the top ten was filled with well-known consumer and fashion brands. The same dataset, from Famecount, can be used to look at brands on Twitter and, unlike with Facebook, it throws up some unexpected findings. For example the most followed brand in the UK isn’t a consumer or fashion brand, an airline or a bank. It’s a museum: @Tate.

A World of Inspirational Problem-Solving, Savvy Brands and Smart Marketing

Ann Marie Kerwin
Jun 14, 2010

They are among the World's Hottest Brands, an Ad Age Insights global report that tells the stories of 30 brands succeeding on a global, regional and local level. The goal was not to create a list of the largest global marketers or rank the brands that contribute the most to their company's market value -- plenty of others tackle those lofty questions. Rather, we sought to chronicle the brands percolating at the local and regional level; sometimes great marketing lessons can happen in your backyard, sometimes halfway around the world.

Closing the Digital Frontier

Michael Hirschorn
Jun 13, 2010

The era of the Web browser’s dominance is coming to a close. And the Internet’s founding ideology—that information wants to be free, and that attempts to constrain it are not only hopeless but immoral— suddenly seems naive and stale in the new age of apps, smart phones, and pricing plans. What will this mean for the future of the media—and of the Web itself?

In Global Deal, Unilever Readies First Dove Work on IAd

Jack Neff
Jun 11, 2010

Unilever may be a global marketer, but it hasn't been able to do many truly global ad deals -- at least not until its multimillion-dollar deal with Apple to be the consumer goods "presenting advertiser" on the new iAd platform was announced June 7. For Unilever, the deal aims at tapping the two biggest, and largely interdependent, trends it sees shaping marketing: globalization and mobile digital media.

Marketers Face Zooming Costs as ESPN Launches 3-D Channel

Suzanne Vranica
Jun 10, 2010

Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN network has convinced three major advertisers to produce expensive 3-D commercials for its new sports channel debuting Friday with the 2010 World Cup broadcast. It is the first major test of marketers' appetite for 3-D pitches. Procter & Gamble Co., Sony Corp. and Disney's Pixar will all experiment with spots on the new 3-D sports channel. ESPN has previously aired several 3-D telecasts, including the Masters Tournament.

An Advertising Reformation?

Jonathan Salem Baskin
Jun 10, 2010

I may be looking too hard for hopeful signs but I think we may be at the threshold of a reformation in advertising, which will mean larger changes in the communications world overall. Here are two of them and why I think they’re important (and somewhat related).

History for Dollars

David Brooks
Jun 9, 2010

Studying the humanities will give you a familiarity with the language of emotion. In an information economy, many people have the ability to produce a technical innovation: a new MP3 player. Very few people have the ability to create a great brand: the iPod. Branding involves the location and arousal of affection, and you can’t do it unless you are conversant in the language of romance.

A Sense of Place, A World of Augmented Reality

Mitchell Schwarzer
Jun 9, 2010

In the third millennium it’s getting harder than ever to stay in place. Who hasn’t seen a driver almost crash while talking on a cell phone? Who hasn’t noticed children in a park staring down at a game-boy instead of romping about? Who hasn’t been to a dinner party and caught someone sneaking a glance at his handheld under the table and sending a tweet about the first course before even finishing it? Each week, it seems, industry comes up with new gadgets that help us to jump out of our bodies and flash out there to everything under the sun that can be encoded by electrical signals, pulses of light and binary values. Few of these digital experiences would have registered before the 21st century and some have become widespread only in the past few years. We’re in the first stage of a transformation of our sense of place as momentous as that which occurred a couple of centuries ago, when products from smoke-stacked factories forged modern society.

Mass Mingling

Trend Briefing June 2010
Jun 9, 2010

Long gone are the days when 'online' was synonymous with social isolation and loneliness. In fact, we're now witnessing the exact opposite: technology is driving people to connect and meet up en masse with others, in the 'real world'. It makes for an interesting, easily-digested trend, begging to be turned into new services for your customers.

Time For New Market Research Paradigm?

Karlene Lukovitz
Jun 9, 2010

While the Internet and social media are a potential boon to market researchers, they've also raised concerns and ongoing debate about methodology and the ability to project results. Now, one social media-based research firm is charging into the fray with a report that maintains that today's empowered consumers and marketers' need for faster, actionable insights requires an approach that combines the strengths of newer, "humanistic" approaches with those of traditional, experimentally-based research.

18 Ways to Walk the Talk on Content

Valeria Maltoni
Jun 8, 2010

A couple of days ago I wrote a post about exposure and visibility and how quality content that is valuable takes time to create. Everyone agrees with that sentiment. However, when push comes to shove, with very few exceptions, people tend to spread content that is more popular -- even when popularity means less helpful, sometimes incomplete. The ability to think critically is a gift -- it's also the underpinning of an effective business strategy, where you work from your core competencies. I worry that much of that ability gets lost to the desire to fit in and become popular -- to make the quick list, in blog parlance.

Does Who Creates Content Matter to Marketers in a 'Pro-Am' Media World?

Edmund Lee
Jun 7, 2010

If you're trolling the web and hit upon an Examiner.com story, you might think you're reading the San Francisco Examiner. But you're not. Instead, Examiner.com is a crowd-sourced content play with the backing of billionaire investor Philip Anschutz. With over 40,000 freelancers in more than 240 neighborhoods, the Denver-based start-up aims to dominate every province of local news, bringing marketers and advertising along with it.

What Generation Gap?

Gregg Lipman
Jun 4, 2010

Will the idea of a "generation gap" eventually atrophy into obsolescence? We see this not only in the video-game world, but also in other brands: moms and daughters with matching Ugg boots, Juicy Couture sweatsuits, Abercrombie hoodies and Coach handbags. Fathers and sons comparing fantasy football rankings on matching iPhones or killing precious productivity hours on YouTube. Teachers and students sipping from matching Starbucks latte cups or ordering the same items from Pinkberry. Moms and daughters rooting feverishly for their favorite "American Idol" contestants or shaking their heads in utter disgust at the shameless and hygienically dubious conduct of the latest batch of "The Real World" participants.

The Situationally Aware Business

Steve Rubel
Jun 3, 2010

All of these are disconnected events; a Polaroid snapshot of our psychology at a single moment in time. Some of these memes are ephemeral. Others may be lasting. However, our success as marketers increasingly hinges on having a deep, real-time understanding of our networked environment and how these themes can impact our programs. Enter situational awareness--an essential skill every CMO-level executive and his staff must build and evolve.

The Evolution of Marketing

Tom Asacker
Jun 2, 2010

I've just read that PepsiCo is evolving away from traditional mass market advertising towards an approach that connects with its audience in a direct and more meaningful way. According to Frank Cooper III, chief consumer engagement officer for PepsiCo's US beverage arm, "We want to become a catalyst in the culture rather than act like a big brand announcing something." This is big, big news. It may be a sign that the ship of big brands has finally become aware of the changing environment and is beginning to turn.

Too Many Brands Make Hollow Claims

Brad VanAuken
Jun 2, 2010

Is quality important? Yes. Is Innovation important? Absolutely. Is service important? Of course. Is it desirable to be the industry leader? Sure. However, in more and more categories, as I perform brand audits, I find that large numbers of companies in many categories make these claims, so much so that the claims have become hollow.

Merchants Push Sales Through Social Media

Sarah E. Needleman
Jun 1, 2010

After learning how to market themselves through tweets and status updates, some small companies are taking the next step: selling directly to consumers via social-networking sites. Merchants on Facebook and MySpace are adding e-commerce stores to their fan pages, hoping users will scan lists of for-sale items and services—such as floral bouquets, hand-crafted jewelry and spa treatments—and click a button to add them to online shopping carts.

Cellphone in New Role: Loyalty Card

Claire Cain Miller
Jun 1, 2010

Loyalty cards — those little paper cards that promise a free sandwich or coffee after 10 purchases, but instead get lost or forgotten — are going mobile. And merchants are looking for ways to marry the concept to games that customers can play to earn more free items and, it is hoped, spend more money. Instead of collecting paper cards and fumbling through wallets at the cash register, customers are increasingly using their cellphones to track their visits and purchases, and receive rewards.

Could Pabst Be Too Cool?

Jonathan Salem Baskin
Jun 1, 2010

PBR can trace its success directly to its failure. It started the 2000s as a has-been brand name, so pointless and uncool that it was perfectly poised to become cool when it was touched by the dark, abstract magic that drives consumer trends. No schmarty-pants marketer can take credit for architecting the Phoenix-like rise that followed; the brand was owned by a charitable trust that knows about as much about consumer tastes as you'd expect a charitable trust to know. It didn't hurt that PBR was the beer of choice for the wacky Dennis Hopper character in the movie "Blue Velvet" but the brand's revival was pretty much organic, from what I can tell.

Brands' Mass Appeal

Brian Morrissey
Jun 1, 2010

Judy Hu, GE's global director of advertising and branding, on stage at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference last week, discussed a new effort by GE to crowdsource ideas for how to "avoid the lame and embrace the awesome" in digital media. Over the next four days, GE collected 60 suggestions, ranging from ideas for ad campaigns to product concepts. The effort is the latest example of a worldwide brand testing the crowdsourcing waters. The move has put the spotlight back on the ongoing debate about the value of such efforts -- including to creators.

Why Nike's 'Write the Future' Is Rewriting the Past

Ana Andjelic
May 28, 2010

Everyone is talking about the new Nike World Cup spot, and with good reason: It's a beautifully told story that transcends media formats to deliver a truly emotional and inspirational experience. In 30 seconds, it appears that Nike finally cracked the code by combining compelling narrative with the power of digital distribution. And, Wieden & Kennedy showed us what it means for a brand to truly participate in culture. Or, did it? Is this really still a way to build a strong digital brand?

Freer Ad Spending Buoys TV's Upfront

Suzanne Vranica and Sam Schechner
May 27, 2010

The upfront market, the annual mating dance in which ad buyers and major broadcast networks haggle over ad time for the new TV season, is heating up, and could be sold out in a matter of weeks, ad buyers and marketers say. It's a major reversal from last year when talks dragged on through much of the summer in a harsh economic climate.

We Are The Champions

Brian Solis
May 27, 2010

Social Media marketing is not new nor is it widely established or even understood. However in 2010, it will completely transform the way businesses attract customers and the way consumers find the businesses and services that matter to them. And like that, an overnight landmark, which really is over a decade in the making, will challenge business owners, more so than today, as they now compete for the future, right now. Social Networks are no longer the playgrounds we once perceived. The simple truth is this; social networking is not for just for kids or people with too much free time on their hands.

TV And Web Meet, Marry

Tara Walpert Levy
May 26, 2010

"TV meets Web. Web meets TV." This is the tagline that Internet giant Google has given to its new software-based television platform called Google TV, described as the blending of the best of both TV and Web experiences. Realizing that TV still has the majority of the consumer eyeballs, Google is trying something new by extending its reach in cross-platform content--in this case, bringing Web, gaming, online video, and social media to the set top box and/or television set. According to Google, millions of "channels" of entertainment will now be easily maneuverable, seamless and searchable--in one device. Google has also challenged Web developers to start creating new apps using the Android open-source platform.

CMOs: Market with Heart and Mind

Claire Huang
May 25, 2010

By all official indications, the Great Recession has very likely ended. But as marketers, we know better than to interpret this to mean we can pick up right where we left off prior to the steep economic slide. Many consumers have readjusted their budgets and some continue to cope with concerns about the security of their jobs. Even those who have not been directly touched are still anxious about the future. Things that once mattered to our customers no longer seem so important to them. That's why we have to reconnect with them in a way that reflects their new reality.

Facebook's Culture Problem May Be Fatal

Bruce Nussbaum
May 25, 2010

Facebook's imbroglio over privacy reveals what may be a fatal business model. I know because my students at Parsons The New School For Design tell me so. They live on Facebook and they are furious at it. This was the technology platform they were born into, built their friendships around, and expected to be with them as they grew up, got jobs, and had families. They just assumed Facebook would evolve as their lives shifted from adolescent to adult and their needs changed. Facebook's failure to recognize this culture change deeply threatens its future profits. At the moment, it has an audience that is at war with its advertisers. Not good.

Post-Digital Era Brings Traits of Web to Real World

Teressa Iezzi
May 24, 2010

Today, much of the marketing world has embraced the spirit of the digital age, and perhaps the strongest evidence is that it's doing a lot of work that's not so, well, "digital." The best companies have harnessed the digital mindset and taken the shareable, ongoing, interactive, participatory nature of digital and created brand experiences that matter to people where they ought to -- in their real, everyday lives.

The Death of the Open Web

Virginia Heffernan
May 24, 2010

People who find the Web distasteful — ugly, uncivilized — have nonetheless been forced to live there: it’s the place to go for jobs, resources, services, social life, the future. But now, with the purchase of an iPhone or an iPad, there’s a way out, an orderly suburb that lets you sample the Web’s opportunities without having to mix with the riffraff. This suburb is defined by apps from the glittering App Store: neat, cute homes far from the Web city center, out in pristine Applecrest Estates. In the migration of dissenters from the “open” Web to pricey and secluded apps, we’re witnessing urban decentralization, suburbanization and the online equivalent of white flight.

Marketing And Sales: Bracing For The Big Conversation

Christine Crandell
May 21, 2010

We've all been there. It's that dreaded moment of truth when you realize that having The Talk, The Big Conversation, perhaps even The Great Ultimatum, is inescapable. It could involve your child, your spouse, your subordinate or your colleague. But in every case, it only arrives when it's too late to pretend that the conflicts aren't there or don't really matter. If you're in marketing, that moment often means getting to the bottom of differences that, in so many companies, force your own professional efforts out of phase with those of sales. And in a dicey economy, when doing more with less has become a mantra, alignment between the two functions has now become a core survival strategy.

E-Books Rewrite Bookselling

Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg
May 21, 2010

In the massive new Barnes & Noble superstore on Manhattan's Upper East Side, generous display space is devoted to baby blankets, Art Deco flight clocks, stationery and adult games like Risk and Stratego. The eclectic merchandise, which has nothing to do with books, may be a glimpse into the future of Barnes & Noble Inc., the nation's largest book chain. Electronic books are still in their infancy, comprising an estimated 3% to 5% of the market today. But they are fast accelerating the decline of physical books, forcing retailers, publishers, authors and agents to reinvent their business models or be painfully crippled.

Businesses Aren't Charities, and We Don't Want Them to Be

Debora Spar
May 21, 2010

Like motherhood and apple pie, corporate social responsibility has achieved iconic status as a feel-good pursuit. Corporations around the world have embraced its charitable philosophy and created divisions devoted to its pursuit. The problem, however, is that corporate social responsibility — by design and definition — can only go so far. Because no matter how widely a firm defines its reach, and how generous its leadership grows, the primary objective of any for-profit firm in a capitalist system will still be as Friedman described it: to maximize the returns of its shareholders. Or at least not to engage in any activity that undermines those returns.

Google TV: What Does It Mean for Advertisers?

Kunur Patel
May 21, 2010

Google opened up an entirely new store of inventory for advertisers today with Google TV, an interactive platform that collapses the wall between TV and internet in the living room. The service, created with hardware partners Sony, Logitech and Intel, will launch this fall on TVs, set-top boxes and Blu-ray players.

How Facebook Is Redefining Privacy

Dan Fletcher
May 20, 2010

Sometime in the next few weeks, Facebook will officially log its 500 millionth active citizen. If the website were granted terra firma, it would be the world's third largest country by population, two-thirds bigger than the U.S. More than 1 in 4 people who browse the Internet not only have a Facebook account but have returned to the site within the past 30 days.

One-to-Some: A New Mode of Communication

Mike Arauz
May 20, 2010

This post is about the future of communication. We’ve had one-to-one communication forever. Mass-media created a revolution in one-to-many communication. And the internet has shown us the power and possibility of many-to-many communication. We are slowly starting to see the formation of a new kind of communication, which – for lack of a better term – I’m calling one-to-some communication. The promise of the social web is a fundamentally new form of communication in which each of us can move fluidly between one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many communication with each bit of information we share.

Codes Open New Front in Retail Wars

Jonathan Birchall
May 18, 2010

US retailers have become engaged in a battle for hearts and mobiles. As leading retailers, including Walmart and JC Penney, continue to grapple with the potential of the internet, the proliferation of smartphones has inevitably caught their attention. Three years after Apple launched its first iPhone, mobile connectivity is shaking up the way retailers do business, not only online but in their stores.

Google to Debut Internet TV Software in Joint Initiative

Jessica Guynn
May 18, 2010

Google Inc. will make an ambitious bid to extend its reach into the living room when it debuts its Internet television software this week. Through a joint initiative with other prominent technology and consumer electronics companies, the Web search giant is expected to showcase technology that TV viewers can use to flip seamlessly among familiar shows, YouTube videos and home videos on their sets.

Traditional Ads Yield Social Traction

Brian Morrissey
May 18, 2010

That social media is a powerful tool for raising awareness is not new news. But its increasing power is leading some advertisers to reconsider how they plan and measure traditional ad campaigns as they increasingly look to so-called earned media impressions as being as important as primary paid media. The promise of what some are calling "free media" is that it's more credible than paid placements, particularly when it comes from consumers speaking to other consumers.

When It Comes To Social Media, Many Marketers Jump The Gun

Jeremiah Owyang
May 17, 2010

Greenpeace's organized brandjacking of Nestle SA's Facebook page is making CMOs afraid of social media. There is good reason for this: The power has clearly turned to those that participate, and now detractors are starting to organize using the same organized marketing campaigns that companies create.

The Reality of Social Media

Adrian Chang
May 17, 2010

The internet changes over time. That the technology has evolved is obvious. But how we use the internet is also changing. So we have two conceptual distinctions — technology and people — that we frequently conflate into one idea of the internet. This post is about teasing apart the objective and subjective dimensions of social media, to examine what’s behind the relational economy we now live in, and its particular mode of production. All commerce and much personal and social utility implied by use of social media owes to the subjective value added to what was, previously, a mode of production of information (publishing).

Matrix: How Facebook’s ‘Community Pages’ and Privacy Changes Impact Brands

Jeremiah Owyang
May 17, 2010

This is one of those important posts to forward to your marketing team, agency partners, and to Facebook themselves. While there’s been plenty of coverage about user privacy concerns, attention on Facebook’s changes on brands hasn’t been adequately covered, this analysis is intended to unravel what’s at stake –and what brands should do. I’ve spoken to a handful of brands and their representatives to learn what’s eating at them.

Why Betterness Is Good Business

Umair Haque
May 14, 2010

Striving to do more good is associated with greater profitability, equity and asset returns, and shareholder value creation. But that's still not good enough. Today, the bar is being raised: success is itself changing. Those are yesterday's metrics of success — more importantly, maximizing good lets companies outperform on tomorrow's measures of success.

The Pocket Guide to Defensive Branding

Pete Blackshaw
May 14, 2010

Defensive branding is protecting and defending brand equity and reputation in an increasingly consumer-driven environment. Think media planning plus actuarial viral risk management. It's first strategic, then tactical. The logic goes something like this: Sandbag before you sell. Protect before you promote. Defend before you dance. Self-critique before you self-destruct.

Computing a Theory of Everything

Stephen Wolfram
May 13, 2010

Stephen Wolfram, creator of Mathematica, talks about his quest to make all knowledge computational -- able to be searched, processed and manipulated. His new search engine, Wolfram Alpha, has no lesser goal than to model and explain the physics underlying the universe.


Trend Briefing May 2010
May 12, 2010

Whatever industry you’re in, in the end, everything is about status. And since what constitutes status in consumer societies is fragmenting rapidly, here’s a (modest) framework to help you start exploring new status symbols and stories with your customers.

RIM's Strategy to Stay on Top in Smartphones

Marguerite Reardon
May 12, 2010

For Research in Motion, the maker of the popular BlackBerry smartphone, staying No. 1 isn't about apps or fancy hardware, it's about cost effectiveness. For all the hoopla surrounding Apple's iPhone and the various Android smartphones that have hit the market recently, many forget what is still, by a healthy margin tops in the market: RIM's modest BlackBerry. And RIM intends to stay on top by doing what it does best: offering something that's more affordable and can operate on wireless networks more efficiently than its flashier competition.

The Big Companies of the Future Will All Be Shape-Shifters

Nilofer Merchant
May 11, 2010

A great deal of my community has given up on large organizations, stating that the “true” innovation is now happening at start-ups. What that story misses is that many of the “free agents” we see around us as consultants, and so on are actually part of a larger enterprise, albeit in a loose relationship. Larger organizations will survive if only because of the human need to be apart of something larger and the efficiencies of those ecosystems.

Traditional CMO Roles Won't Position Your Company or Your Career for Growth

Carlos Cata and Scott Davis
May 11, 2010

The environment for marketers is changing dramatically. Marketing's leadership in driving business success has never been more in demand, and those who have demonstrably begun to expand mindsets, skills and capabilities are setting the standard. The difference this shift makes has never been more evident than during the bleakness of the lingering recession. Businesses whose marketing leaders have embraced its components may not have emerged unscathed, but they at least have found themselves entering 2010 with substantial positive momentum.

“Daddy, What’s a Brand?” and 9 More Awkward Questions for Uncertain Times

Graham Button
May 11, 2010

Chiquita, Victoria's Secret, The GOP, Amnesty International. They all use marketing and invite trust in a distinct belief system. They're all, to one degree or another, brands. For a brand, nirvana is when your good name is so widely endorsed that it enters the language. "Pass the Kleenex." "Google it." But that's the top of a long and slippery slope--look at Toyota and Tiger Woods. A healthy brand drives up your stock, and vice versa. These are the things we thought we knew. It's 2010--are they still true?

Nike Looks Beyond 'Swoosh' for Growth

Miguel Bustillo
May 10, 2010

Nike Inc. Chief Executive Mark Parker took an unusual path to the top: The former Penn State University runner spent years as a shoe designer before starting to climb the corporate ladder. Now, he's taking Nike in a new direction, targeting overseas expansion—and not just with the Nike "swoosh." Last week he set the ambitious goal of increasing sales 40%, to $27 billion, by 2015. To achieve that while Nike sales growth in the U.S. is slowing, he's betting on such markets as China, India and Brazil, and on their burgeoning middle classes.

Coke Goes High-Tech to Mix Its Sodas

Valerie Bauerlein
May 10, 2010

Coca-Cola Co. hopes a new high-tech soda fountain will add some life to listless soft-drink sales by letting restaurant-goers mix up 104 different drinks, creating inventions such as Caffeine-Free Diet Raspberry Coke. The soda fountain has been the touchstone of Coke's business since 1886, when a pharmacist John Pembertoncreated the secret-recipe syrup and mixed it with carbonated water. But the technology hasn't changed much since the 1950s, as a line of nozzles spit out big-name sodas.

What You Can Learn from Mission-Driven Companies

Michael V. Russo
May 7, 2010

What can Procter & Gamble learn from Method, the San Francisco purveyor of natural home products? How about Fidelity Investments — could it profit from observing Zurich's Sustainable Asset Management? What lessons are offered to mainstream companies by mission-driven companies, those small- and medium-sized enterprises that balance profitability with social and environmental goals? By studying them, mainstream companies can get beyond the fruitless debate over whether it pays to be responsible, and move onto a far more important issue: How they can make being responsible pay.

McDonald's to Use Facebook's Upcoming Location Feature

Emily Bryson York
May 7, 2010

Facebook is preparing to launch location-based status updates for its users. But the social network is also planning to offer it to marketers, including McDonald's. As early as this month, the social-networking site will give users the ability to post their location within a status update. McDonald's, through digital agency Tribal DDB, Chicago, is building an app with Facebook would allow users to check in at one of its restaurants and have a featured product appear in the post, such as an Angus Quarter Pounder, say executives close to the deal.

Windmills in a Hurricane

Jonathan Salem Baskin
May 6, 2010

Goldman Sachs may have broken the law making gazillions betting its products would crap out, the entire country of Greece is probably going out of business, and financial services brands are telling individual investors that they deserve better from their brokers. Duh. It seems like absolutely reasonable messaging until you get into the details:

Beyond the Balance Sheet: Platinum Brands

Christina Settimi and Kurt Badenhausen
May 5, 2010

Last year was the worst year ever for global luxury goods, with worldwide sales falling 8%. But in a look at the world's most valuable luxury brands, Forbes identifies 10 that are poised to thrive in better economic times. These brands, including BMW and Louis Vuitton, share some qualities that help keep them strong even when wealthy consumers are curtailing spending.

Consumer Groups Say Proposed Privacy Bill is Flawed

Stephanie Clifford
May 5, 2010

Consumer groups have been fighting what they see as the prevalence of online tracking, where online advertising is selected for a certain user — perhaps because he once visited a company’s home page, perhaps because he showed an interest in automobiles or baby products, or perhaps because he is a middle-aged man. As opposition has intensified, companies like Google and Yahoo have adjusted their own privacy policies in response to consumer concern. Industry groups, while arguing that free Internet content depends on this type of sophisticated advertising, have issued their own self-regulatory principles.

Lessons in Brand and Social Media Storytelling

Michael Margolis
May 4, 2010

Our tastes have expanded. Not just with food, but how we consume information, relationships, and experiences. Our expectations are on the rise. Social media storytelling is changing things. We demand communication that doesn’t insult our intelligence. Our instincts tell us we’re better than this. And so increasingly we opt-out, filter, and turn off the noise. We have settings for that. The message better be worthy of our attention.

Investment by Companies Is Robust

Mark Whitehouse
May 1, 2010

U.S. companies from industrial giant Caterpillar Inc. to apparel maker Guess Inc. are plowing money back into their businesses at a rate that demonstrates growing confidence in the economy's recovery, but still leaves questions about its strength.

Starbucks Mounts Major Grocery Push

Kevin Helliker
Apr 30, 2010

In the days ahead, a clue to the long-range growth strategy of Starbucks Corp. will become apparent, though not at its vast chain of coffee shops. Instead look down the coffee aisle of your local grocer. Starbucks is rolling out Via instant coffee—so far sold only in its own shops and a couple of retail chains—to tens of thousands of supermarkets, mass merchandisers and other outlets in coming weeks. The product's migration from coffee counter to grocery aisle reflects one of the food industry's hottest trends: putting more restaurant brands like California Pizza Kitchen and P.F. Chang's China Bistro into grocery aisles.

Understanding Consumer Identity

Dr. Bob Deutsch
Apr 29, 2010

Finally, marketers are acknowledging the necessity of listening to consumers - aka "people" - and brands are adjusting to the social networked environment by opening conversations. Market researchers cannot ignore these developments since they dictate the necessity of understanding peoples' identities, not only their interests. We Are People, Not Data Points - See Us Live

A Rant on the Airline Industry

David Polinchock
Apr 28, 2010

For all of the talk about the empowerment of the customer, some industries seemed to have missed this entire conversation. Frankly, airlines (and others, like banks) continue to run their business in complete defiance of anything like putting their customers first. Remember United Breaks Guitars? Today that video has 8,395,275 views. Given the complaints I'm seeing, I'm not sure that United learned anything from that experience.

The New Normal: Your Customer Is In The Driver's Seat

Dave Rich
Apr 28, 2010

Today's consumers are more diverse, more inter-connected and more demanding than ever. Their expectations are rising while their propensity to be loyal to companies is declining, so (let's face it) they are in the driver's seat. The questions for companies today are then: Are companies orchestrating where consumers go, and are they making the trip pleasant?

How Europeans Engage With Social Media

Bas van den Beld
Apr 27, 2010

You seemingly can’t live without social media these days, or at least, that is what many in our industry believe. Why? Because “everybody” is using it. Everybody is communicating, “everybody is a publisher.” But does that mean that every European is publishing through social media? Well, not exactly. Yes, Europeans are online en masse and are using social media in big numbers. But how are they using social media?

Say Hello to Mass Media 2.0?

Jonathan Salem Baskin
Apr 27, 2010

Reckitt Benckiser ("RB") made ad trade headlines last week when it announced a record-setting $40 million web video buy for 2010. What shocked everyone wasn't the dollar amount but rather that the company pretty much doesn't care where the ads run. "This kind of strategy echoes planning/buying 101 back in 1970," said a comment on the news article in Advertising Age, "It's a senseless approach that abandons all facets of leveraging for optimization and efficiency." Spoken like a true technonut, I say. At risk of overly analyzing the move I wonder if it heralds a realistic approach to web advertising. Say hello to mass media 2.0?

The Future of Stealth Marketing?

David Polinchock
Apr 27, 2010

Saw The Jone