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The latest news on Branding from Business Insider
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     Slim James

    "All natural,""organic,""local,""handcrafted"— no doubt, the artisan food craze has gotten out of hand.

    At least, that's how writer and illustrator Dan Meth felt, which is why he decided to rebrand junk food to appeal to the organic mustache wax-wearing, only-local-buying hipsters.

    Meth was inspired to create this series after seeing a presentation by a graphic designer who designs "classy" food packaging.

    "I thought it'd be funny to see how her style would transform the way we think of junky, guilty-pleasure foods," Meth said.

    Meth, a self-professed health nut, decided to rebrand "the grossest items in the supermarket with the tackiest packages."

    "These are all items that I ate or would have eaten when I was a kid, but wouldn't touch now. I know that sounds snobby, but this stuff is poison!" he said.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Supposedly 80% of the information we receive from a logo comes from the colors contained within it. That's because different colors evoke different feelings and emotions.

    Companies will often go to great lengths to make sure their logo perfectly matches their branding strategy. Google famously tested 40 different shades of blue in its logo to see which one performed the best.

    Some industries favor particular colors, like tech companies that predominantly use the color blue, or fast-food restaurants which prefer to use red.

    Read on to see why these brands are using certain colors in their logos. 

    The information in this article was sourced from Towergate Insurance's "Colour in Branding" infographic, plus our own research.

    SEE ALSO: Apple's new ad for iPhone stickers is filled with pop-culture references


    McDonald's uses red because it's seen as an energizing and stands out easily. It's even thought the color stimulates hunger, which may be why a number of other fast food brands use the color.

    Red is also often used to signal a sale, so many brands will use it in combination with a softer color like white or yellow to convey the properties of red without risking the perception the brand may be going out of business.


    With the use of green, which is often used to signal health and restoration, Subway looks to convey the values of freshness which it has put at the core of its brand.

    Yellow is also another color that can easily be spotted from far away and draw consumers to its restaurants.

    Baskin Robbins

    Blue and pink are often combined to promote sugary products since pink signals sweetness and playfulness.

    Carol Austin, VP of marketing for the brand told CNBC the logo is "meant to convey the fun and energy of the Baskin-Robbins brand."

    The logo also has a hidden message: The pink 31 in the logo stands for each day in the month that consumers can discover a new flavor.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    YouTube Nike

    It's an indisputable fact that no brand has driven sneaker culture like Nike. 

    It has connected running, hip hop, and streetwear, made athletes into legends, and helped change American attitudes on exercise. 

    Here's just a few of the ways Nike has defined "cool" in American culture since its founding more than 50 years ago.

    Drake Baer contributed reporting to an earlier version of this article.

    SEE ALSO: Nike's business is 'going to get darker before the dawn'

    1973: Nike signs its first athlete to an endorsement deal

    Steve Prefontaine, a 22-year-old known as "Pre," as he came to be known, was an elite runner.

    He set his first national record at age 15 by running two miles in 8:41:5. He held an American record in every long-distance event, from 2,000 meters to 10,000 meters, before his tragic death in a car accident at 24 years old.

    Pre signed his deal with Nike in 1974 for $5,000. The Nike brand was just three years old.

    With his flowing hair, punk rock attitude, and unprecedented success, Pre helped brand Nike as swaggering, dominant, and committed to athletic excellence.

    1970-1978: Nike helps popularize jogging

    Nike cofounder Bill Bowerman was a track coach at the University of Oregon. He was instrumental in luring Pre to the University of Oregon and having him sign on to Nike. 

    Bowerman was a huge proponent of running recreationally, or, as it would become known, joggingWhile it seems like running has always been popular, it didn't actually become a common pursuit until the running boom of the 1970s.

    "Certainly running was already popular among kids and athletes in the 1970s, but it wasn't the social activity that we see it as today,"says marketing analyst Garrett Moon."The growing white-collar workforce helped pave the way for social activities that included the promotion of cardiovascular health. Once the trend was ingrained, the need shifted and the 'jogging shoes' themselves became the felt need."

    Bowerman helped push running into the mainstream with "Jogging," a book he wrote with a medical doctor explaining the benefits of running recreationally. As a sportswear maker with a US market share of close to 50% in running shoes, Nike was able to benefit from this.


    1985: Nike launches the Air Jordan.

    No one could have predicted what Michael Jordan's Nike endorsement would mean for the brand. The first shoe the two collaborated on, the Air Jordan, was released in September 1985

    The shoes were famously "banned" from the court by the NBA in October 1985, as they didn't fit the required color scheme. The league fined Jordan $5,000 each time he wore the sneakers during a game, and Nike gladly covered the expenses.

    Nike created a TV commercial with this fact, giving the shoes an infamously cool vibe. The attention gained from the incident helped the shoe become a runaway success.

    The Air Jordan brand later became its own sub-brand of Nike. It developed a cult following, with sneaker fans lining up for every new limited release.

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    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Scott Galloway is a marketing professor at the NYU Stern School of Business and the founder of business intelligence firm L2.

    Galloway appears on this week's episode of The Bottom Line with Henry Blodget and explains how Amazon could eliminate the existence of brands with voice technology. The following is a transcript of the video:

    So I think the biggest thing in technology in 2017 is voice. I think Amazon has effectively conspired with voice and technology and half a billion consumers to kill brands.

    When you go into a store, you see the packaging, you see the endcaps, you might see pricing go up and down. All of these things that big brands ranging from Unilever and Procter & Gamble to Kraft and Heinz have spent billions of dollars and generations building.

    When you begin ordering groceries and things and CPG products via voice on Alexa, all of those things go away. And if you look at search terms on Google and voice commands on Amazon’s Alexa, the percentage of time that brand prefixes are used in a request is declining. So effectively, I think Amazon has declared war — with the backing of 500 million consumers and a lot of cheap capital — on brands. And we will, using our algorithm, find you as good a product for a lesser price. Amazon will figure out in a nanosecond the best deal and most likely trade you into the highest-margin product for them which will be Amazon toothpaste.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    James SwanwickMoney, time, vision, sacrifice: Investment takes many forms for entrepreneurs. Here's how 11 millionaire (and billionaire) members of The Oracles did it right.

    SEE ALSO: 10 things I learned about rich people while helping millionaires manage their money


    If you can afford to, invest in branding. Think of branding as getting married and selling as hooking up. It's why I’m winning; I’m branding while everyone is selling. Even the little things I sell — like shirts or a $13 book every three years — is branding. I don't care about the money; my economics just reinforce long-term branding and awareness. The quickest way I know somebody doesn't think they’re big time is by their short-term behavior.

    — Gary Vaynerchuk, founder and CEO of VaynerMedia (700+ employees with more than $100 million in annual revenue) and the NYT-bestselling author of "#AskGaryVee"

    Investing in tech

    Hotmail was a turning point for me. I came up with the idea for viral marketing so that Hotmail could be spread from customer to customer like a virus. All of a sudden, one of the companies I'd seeded was a household name. It made fundraising easier, and more entrepreneurs wanted my backing and advice. Hotmail affected an extraordinary number of people: Approximately 3 billion people communicate through the internet for free, largely due to Hotmail.

    — Tim Draper, founding partner of VC firm DFJ

    Seeding passionate entrepreneurs

    The fastest money I ever made was investing in a young technology startup before I sold my brokerage business. I didn't even understand what the guy actually did, but he was hard up for money, and I believed he would find a way to succeed. I bought 10 percent of his business for $100,000 and forgot about it until he bought it back from me for $1 million five years later. I used that million dollars to invest in my first 15 businesses on "Shark Tank."

    — Barbara Corcoran, founder of The Corcoran Group and Shark on "Shark Tank"

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    shawn mendes

    For a rising pop star, the money side of the music business has drastically changed in the last few years, according to Andrew Gertler, who manages teen singer-songwriter sensation Shawn Mendes and runs AG Artists.

    “The music really is not as much the revenue generator as the marketing tool to then create other income streams,” Gertler told Business Insider, speaking by phone from Mendes’ worldwide arena tour.

    Those other income streams include not only things like live events and brand deals, but also opportunities at the crossroads of music and TV (or video in general), where Gertler said the line is getting more and more blurred.

    The growth stage

    Though Mendes has already cracked the top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100 multiple times, Gertler looks at his career as a growth-stage business.

    “For the artists' fans and for artists, in terms of exposure, music should be everywhere and as easily accessible as humanly possible ... especially for an artist you are still building,” Gertler said. Mendes is on an upward trajectory, and hasn’t yet reached mega-stardom, Gertler explained. The idea is this: “Let’s get him in front of as many people as possible.”

    That style of thinking sounds strikingly similar to tech startups, where the initial focus is often on grabbing as many users as possible, before turning toward better monetization later on.

    And as far as making money from the actual music, Gertler has also seen a shift. He used to see about 75% of that revenue from sales on iTunes, with 25% coming from streaming services like Spotify. Now it’s more like 65-70% streaming, and 30% iTunes. “It’s been a complete flip in only a few years,” Gertler said.

    shawn mendes and manager

    Unlimited access

    Besides revenue, the other biggest change for up-and-coming music stars is the amount of access fans want to their private lives.

    “Fans and the general public are so used to unlimited access,” Gertler said. So is there any line? “There really isn’t one,” according to Gertler. Fans “probably know [pop stars] better than anyone should know someone.”

    This also means that it is extremely difficult for a pop star to have continued success without a sense of authenticity. It’s not like the past, where there were flashing lights and spectacle, and you didn’t really know what the artist was like in day-to-day life. Now you see what an artist is doing when they wake up, Gertler said.

    Artists that succeed in this model are those who can make a one-to-many relationship feel like a one-to-one relationship. “How do you make it feel like they really know you,” Gertler said.

    That necessity for a sense of authenticity can also make brand deals tricky. It used to be you could do an exclusive clothing deal, and no one saw you every single day, Gertler explained. Now people see stars at all times on social media, and you have to be a bit more careful. It’s more of a commitment.

    Hand-to-hand combat

    For a manager, this new world requires much more “hand-to-hand combat,” according to Gertler. He’s traveling all over the place with Mendes, and a lot of young managers doing the same, he said, citing Pat Corcoran who manages Chance the Rapper.

    You have to be at the center of the universe of that artist to understand what is going on at all times — and what the fans want. It is an ongoing dialogue with fans that happens in real-time. If you aren't at the center of it, you could get out of step.

    SEE ALSO: As YouTube stars pursue new dreams, keeping millions of loyal fans happy is a tough balancing act

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How to undo sent emails in Gmail

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    coworkers laptops

    You're hardly the only person who's ever Google-stalked a crush or scoured a future employer's Facebook page. In fact, there's a really good chance that the person or the company has done exactly the same reconnaissance on you.

    What they find can have a profound impact on your relationship (or potential relationship) with them. Which is to say: The "real you," or your personal brand, now encompasses your behavior in face-to-face interactions and your behavior online.

    Below, Business Insider has rounded up five examples of times when you might be judged —fairly or unfairly — based on your online presence.

    SEE ALSO: 3 things you're doing on Facebook that make people dislike you immediately

    60% of employers use social media to screen job candidates

    That's according to a 2016 CareerBuilder survey of 2,186 hiring managers and human resource professionals. It's a meaningful increase from the previous year, when the survey found that 52% of employers reported using social media to screen candidates.

    Meanwhile, 59% of employers said they use search engines to research candidates.

    Interestingly, just 21% of employers surveyed said they're looking for reasons to disqualify the candidates, such as information about those candidates drinking or using drugs. Most employers — 60% — are looking for something that supports their qualifications, such as a professional portfolio.

    Remember, too: You're hardly out of the woods once you get hired somewhere. As many as 41% of employers in the CareerBuilder survey said they use social media to research current employees — and 26% have found something that's caused them to reprimand or dismiss an employee.

    Nearly half of single women research someone on Facebook before a first date

    And 38% of men say they do the same, according to a 2013 survey by online dating site Match.

    If something unsavory does come up, 49% of women and 27% of men say it would motivate them to the cancel the date.

    Some people seem to have caught on — just over a quarter of single men and women say they have cleaned up or would clean up their Facebook profile before accepting a friend request from someone they were interested in.

    About half of married Brits have secretly checked their partner's Facebook account

    A 2015 survey organized by law firm Slater and Gordon found that one in five of the Facebook snoopers ended up fighting about what they found — and one in seven have considered divorce because of it.

    Distressing findings, according to the survey, included contact with an ex-partner, secret correspondence, and inappropriate photos.

    As Andrea Newbury, head of family law at Slater and Gordon, said in a release:

    “Five years ago Facebook was rarely mentioned in the context of a marriage ending, but now it has become common place for clients to cite social media use, or something they discovered on social media, as a reason for divorce."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Getty Images the weeknd

    Some of the world's top music artists are turning to a classic tech startup strategy to find success in the digital age: scale with a compelling free product, and then convert your most passionate users into paying customers.

    In a new interview, Abel "the Weeknd" Tesfaye described his initial breakout, which came with a series of mysterious free mixtapes starting around 2011.

    "I really wanted people who had no idea who I was to hear my project," the 27-year-old Toronto native told Forbes. "You don't do that by asking for money."

    The idea was to get his music into the hands of as many people as possible. That notion was partially driven by the understanding that live concerts is where a big chunk of money is made, and this income stream only comes from passionate fans.

    "We live in a world where artists don't really make the money off the music like we did in the Golden Age,"Tesfaye said. "It's not really coming in until you hit the stage."

    Tesfaye isn't the only star who has recognized that the "freemium" model favored by many tech companies, or something close to it, is effective in the new era of music.

    “For the artists' fans and for artists, in terms of exposure, music should be everywhere and as easily accessible as humanly possible ... especially for an artist you are still building,” Andrew Gertler, who manages teen singer-songwriter sensation Shawn Mendes, told Business Insider last month.

    “The music really is not as much the revenue generator as the marketing tool to then create other income streams,” Gertler explained.

    Those other income streams include not only things like live events and brand deals, but also opportunities at the crossroads of music and TV (or video in general), where Gertler said the line is getting more and more blurred. Forbes also notes that Tesfaye has made a bundle on festival and arena concerts, and deals with big names like Apple.

    Tesfaye and Mendes have recognized that while the actual recorded music might not be the revenue driver it once was, it is still a way to get a music artist incredible reach. If that artist has a valuable product, this reach will create a subset of loyal fans, who can help drive the real moneymakers.

    SEE ALSO: As YouTube stars pursue new dreams, keeping millions of loyal fans happy is a tough balancing act

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How to undo sent emails in Gmail

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    Lincoln Navigator at NYC Seaport

    Lincoln, Ford's luxury brand, was on the chopping block after the financial crisis. But Ford decided to keep Lincoln alive and invest in a turnaround.

    That process is now well underway, as Lincoln has relaunched its famous Continental nameplate on a new flagship sedan and is preparing to roll out the latest version of its all-important Navigator SUV.

    But Lincoln continues to face challenges, particularly as it develops the brand to compete against heavy hitters, including BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Lexus, and its Detroit rival Cadillac. The theme the carmaker has chosen is "Quiet Luxury," to contrast its low-key approach with the more in-your-face, high-performance approach that other luxury auto brands employ.

    Borrowing a page from Lexus' mid-2000s "relentless pursuit of perfection" marketing and advertising campaign — but with a suave, "Mad Men"-like American updating and the hiring of Matthew McConaughey as a pitchman — Lincoln is speaking softly, not shouting.

    Lincoln Continental 1

    Last year, the company opened its first Experience Center in California's Orange Country, a traditionally tough market for Lincoln. A Dallas location followed. Now Lincoln brought something similar to New York, partnering with the Howard Hughes Corporation in September to join in a revitalization of the Seaport District, a dining-and-shopping destination located in a historical section of lower Manhattan.

    "We're bringing the brand to where affluent customers are hanging out naturally," Kumar Galhotra, Lincoln's President, told Business Insider, adding that the Seaport collaboration provides an "opportunity to create new experiences  and engage customers at a personal level."

    Galhotra said that Experience Center at Newport Beach in Orange County has thus far been well-received, but he cautioned that Dallas, despite being a better market for Lincoln, is still a work-in-progress.

    "We start with the customer and stay incredibly focused," he said, pointing out that for Lincoln to succeed, it has to expand the suite of services it can provide, such as a new chauffeuring offering, without overdoing it. He used package delivery as an example of a possible overreach. 

    "A customer will say that they have Amazon to do that," he said.

    Kumar Galhotra

    At the Seaport, Lincoln hosted a concert event in September and also constructed an experiential event around the new Navigator. Similar events will take place in coming years via the extended collaboration with Hughes, the company said.

    Lincoln is also working to change the car-buying experience, enabling 24-to-48-hour test drives, after which a dealer representative can bring financing and insurance paperwork to a customers house and leave the vehicle behind, if the customer decides to buy.

    "Our lives are expanding,"Galhotra said. "Things that used to be effortful have become effortless."

    Lincoln doesn't want to miss out on that trend. And the effort extends to every aspect of the brand. 

    The results thus far have been encouraging. Sales for 2017 are on track to nearly match 2016's, when Lincoln sold about 112,000 new cars and SUVs and enjoyed its best year since the brand's turnaround began.

    And while Lincoln sells fewer vehicles annually than Cadillac, it has been able to grow sales at a time when the market appears to be flattening ahead of a downturn, especially for luxury badges. 

    FOLLOW US: on Facebook for more car and transportation content!

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Ford replacing its CEO points to the short-termism on Wall Street

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    KFC Twitter

    The Twitter account of global fast-food giant KFC has more than 1.2 million followers, but it follows only five English women and six men in return. They’re all certified accounts.

    The women include Victoria Beckham, Mel B, and Geri Halliwell.

    The six men include a musician, journalist, a Green Bay Packers player, a university football coach, and the LA city council president.

    The men have one thing in common: They’re all called Herb.

    The woman are all former Spice Girls, which — drumroll — gives KFC ... 11 Herbs and Spices.

    We have Twitter’s Mike Edgette, social-media manager at Tall Grass PR, to thank for solving one of the biggest mysteries since Stephen Hawking tackled Black Hole Theory.

    We dip our hat to you, sir.

    SEE ALSO: Arby's sent sandwiches and a puppy to its biggest troll, and it shows why its transformation has been so successful

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: We compared Popeyes and KFC fried chicken — here's the verdict

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    iPhone X Tim Cook

    With a massive screen behind him displaying the text, "iPhone X"Tim Cook hopped on the stage at the Steve Jobs Theater during Apple's September 12 launch event and proclaimed, "This is the iPhone ten."

    Apple consumers across the globe have been in a tizzy ever since, and not just over the souped-up phone, but over how on earth to pronounce its name. 

    The "X" refers to the Roman numeral 10, not the letter of the alphabet, and is supposed to mark the ten-year anniversary of the release of the original iPhone. But the diction dictate from Apple and its mandarins does not appear to be getting through to the masses. 

    Whether out of confusion, personal preference or mere stubbornness, many people, it seems, prefer to call the new iPhone the "Ecks," like the letter.

     The $999 iPhone X doesn't hit store shelves until November 3, but with a massive marketing machine and press cycle already swinging into action, the norms and customs that will define the new phone's identity are being established now.

    With that in mind, we took to the streets of San Francisco to see if we could find out what the general public has decided to call Apple's new phone. 

    More natural

    Apple Store iPhoneOur first stop was at the Apple store in San Francisco's Union Square

    The first customer we queried was browsing a display of phone cases, and quickly responded that the phone was called the "iPhone Ecks." He immediately started second guessing himself but eventually settled on his original pronunciation. The next shopper knew it was supposed to be pronounced as the number ten, but said using 'X' was much more natural. 

    Early lunchers at a nearby park had a different perspective. An avid Apple user said she called it the ten, but thought it was funny Apple had decided to use the 'X' symbol in all the marketing. A man at a table nearby had watched Cook at the Apple event and called it ten ever since.

    We decided to head to a few close-by wireless service provider retail stores to see what the people selling the phones and interacting with customers all day had to say. 

    At the Verizon store, general manager Ryan Gish said, "Everyone's been calling it the ten. I've called it the 'X' a couple times but been corrected, I know it's supposed to be called the ten.”

    Daniela Contreras, a T-Mobile sales representative, had a different interpretation, saying that all of her customers had been calling it the "X." She reasoned that since the X was the Roman numeral representing 10, it was supposed to be called the X. 

    Snafu or masterstroke?

    It's not the first time Apple has burdened its customers with uncertainty and angst over its product names. Before it changed to macOS, Apple called its desktop operating systems Mac OS X. The company eventually dropped the X to make its computer operating system more in line with iOS, watchOS, and tvOS products.

    Whether the iPhone X name ends up being a clever marketing move or a branding snafu for future business school textbooks remains to be seen.

    Apple StoreIf the Ecks pronunciation sticks, it could actually save Apple from another potential branding headache: Given that both the new iPhone 8 and iPhone 10 models are available this year, what will become of 9? Will Apple try to drum up excitement for an iPhone 9 next September, a year after the iPhone 10 came out? Or will an iPhone 9 never see the light of day, like a lost manuscript that gains mythical status over the years?

    Ryan, an employee at a San Francisco AT&T store, had just gotten back from vacation and said he'd been the calling the new phone the "Ecks," until it had dawned on him that since all the other iPhones had been numbered, it made no sense that Apple would suddenly switch to letters. 

    Brandon Iaacson, the manager at the AT&T store, acknowledged that the official pronunciation was ten. But he hadn't made a habit of correcting wayward customers.

    "It's called the 10 but customers say Ecks," he explained, "and we just roll with it."

    Even well-known tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee gave up on the correct pronunciation. 

     An earlier version of this story appeared on September 28. 

    SEE ALSO: Here's everything Apple announced at its big iPhone launch event

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: I spent a week using the iPhone 8 and I think you should wait for the iPhone X — here's why

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    brendan kelly nihilist arbys

    This story was originally published on July 19, 2017.

    On January 14, 2015, a Twitter account named Nihilist Arby's was born, and it didn't take long for Arby's corporate office to notice.

    With a double beef and cheese as its avatar, the angst-ridden account confronted followers with a negation of everything they held dear in life and offered they fill that void with a sandwich and curly fries.

    By mid-February, Nihilist Arby's had 13,000 followers and, as Adweek noted, a significantly better engagement rate than the real Arby's account, which had nearly 400,000 followers.

    At the same time, Arby's was receiving praise in the press and on Twitter for acknowledging years of being the butt of "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart's jokes with a clever joke of its own on the day Stewart announced he would retire from the show that year. A year earlier, an Arby's tweet reacting to the musician Pharrell Williams' Arby's-logo-esque hat worn in a Grammys performance went viral.

    Arby's was now a "cool" brand on Twitter. If it overreacted to Nihilist Arby's, no matter how dark or raunchy the tweets got, it would risk becoming just another lame corporate account. The Arby's team let it be.

    Then, in August, Adweek revealed that the man behind the account was Brendan Kelly, a longtime punk-band frontman from Chicago with a day job in advertising.

    Arby's CEO Paul Brown and his marketing team read the piece.

    "We had discussions around what do we do with that? And we said, 'Well, one, even if we wanted to do something, we couldn't,'" Brown told Business Insider. "But we also had a little fun with him, too."

    Arby's would soon make peace with its nihilist counterpart, flying an executive out to meet Kelly with a bag of food and a puppy.

    The inanity of corporate Twitter

    Kelly is well-known in the punk scene for his bands the Lawrence Arms, the Falcon, and the Wandering Birds, and he has been touring since he was a teenager in the '90s.

    About six years ago, when crossing the country in a packed van for months at a time lost its appeal, he got into the more stable world of advertising. He would still record and play music, just a bit less frequently. And while working as a copywriter wasn't exactly punk, it was still a creative outlet.

    In January 2015, Kelly was working at the ad agency FCB when he found himself in a conference room with a brand executive pitching Twitter strategy to the head of social media.

    "It just seemed so impossible and stupid," Kelly told Business Insider.

    He imagined a scenario where someone in charge of a brand's Twitter account lacked the executive's naive enthusiasm and instead had a "red pill" experience, a reference to the pill in "The Matrix" that frees people from an artificial world. This social-media employee would be "exposed to how f---ing horrendously tragic life actually is — you know, how meaningless everything is," Kelly said, laughing.

    A phrase that popped into his head was "Nihilist Arby's," which had less to do with anything specific about Arby's and more with how goofy it sounded. Kelly decided he would make this hypothetical account real, just to amuse himself.

    He was going to give it a cleverer name when he decided to follow advice that helped guide his approach to his job. A mentor of his told him that effective advertising used extremes to grab potential customers' attention.

    "It's got to be a little bit stupid," he said this mentor told him.

    After nearly five months of running the increasingly popular account, Kelly thought it would be fun to bring even more attention to it. Using his showmanship and marketing skills, he produced a minute-and-a-half video that opened with him saying, "I was born out of an infinite blackness." A couple of his Wandering Birds songs provide the soundtrack.

    He sent the video from his Nihilist Arby's Gmail account to David Anthony, the music editor at The AV Club, The Onion's nonsatirical site. (Kelly now works for The Onion's ad team, Onion Labs.) Anthony immediately recognized Kelly in the video and wrote it up, bringing more exposure to Kelly's parody account as well as his bands.

    But Anthony didn't conclude whether Kelly was the creator of Nihilist Arby's or had just collaborated on this weird video.

    That August, Christopher Heine at Adweek reached out to the same Gmail account that contacted The AV Club. He asked if Kelly was the one behind it and whether he'd like to talk about it.

    "So at that point I was like, yeah, I'm ready to tell people, I don't care," Kelly said.

    On August 13, Heine published a profile of Kelly that ran across three pages in the print edition of Adweek. It included praise from ad creatives about how Kelly demonstrated genuinely sharp insight into what young people look for on social media. Kelly thought it made him look great.

    "I almost got fired for that, actually," he said.

    Even though FCB was not mentioned in the article, managers at the agency were afraid Kelly's hijinks could compromise some of their accounts. Kelly said his boss gave him a warning: "You cannot talk about this at all. I don't want to hear the word 'Arby's' in this office."

    As his job hung in the balance because of the profile, he began receiving interesting job offers from other agencies for the same reason.

    Arby's makes peace

    Meanwhile, at Arby's headquarters in Sandy Springs, Georgia, Brown and his leadership team discussed the Adweek profile. Brown said it could be difficult as a CEO to see your company be the subject of harsh jokes, but that the success of playfully sparring with Stewart earlier that year was a teaching moment.

    "Do you write a cease-and-desist letter?" Brown said. "The way I look at it is what kind of person do you want to be a friend with? You don't want to be a friend with that kind of a person who's defensive and you can't joke around."

    Six days after the Adweek story, Kelly was at FCB's offices in Chicago's John Hancock Center preparing to leave early for a secret job interview he'd landed as a result of that profile. Before he could leave, he got a call around 3:30 from the building's front desk letting him know that a team from Arby's was there to see him.

    Kelly said the thought that the team was there to confront him never crossed his mind. But some of his coworkers he told on his way out came down to the lobby with him, "inspired by the promise of free food, the curiosity surrounding my weirdly popular Twitter account, and, finally, because the whole thing had become such a weirdly forbidden topic in the office," Kelly said.

    Christopher Fuller, Arby's senior vice president of communications, was there with several members of Arby's marketing team, a bag full of sandwiches, and a black Labrador puppy they had borrowed from a friend. They greeted Kelly and handed him a handwritten note on Arby's stationery: "Cheer up, buddy. You live in a world with puppies ... and sandwiches."

    Kelly later posted a photo of the exchange on his personal Twitter account, expressing sincere gratitude at the gesture.

    "I don't want to give away the mystique surrounding the man behind the tweets," Fuller told Business Insider "I'll just say his personal demeanor is very different from his online disposition. He seemed like an all-around nice guy."

    Kelly got on the ground with the dog and had a pleasant chat with the Arby's team, but he still needed to rush out of there for his job interview disguised as a doctor's appointment.

    "It's kind of hard to have regrets about a stupid parody Twitter account about the futility of corporate Twitter, but I do regret that not going a little more smoothly," Kelly said of the meeting with the Arby's team. "But I really would have liked to have hung out a little more with those people and talked to them." He said he wanted to get more insight into how they approach handling their brand and what they thought when they discovered his account.

    The bag of sandwiches was a gift to Kelly and his coworkers, but because anything related to Nihilist Arby's was off-limits in the office upstairs, he couldn't even send one of his friends up with the food. He grabbed one of the Loaded Italian subs — a sandwich name that could be used to describe him a lot of the time, he said — and left the rest with a coworker who said he'd give the rest to homeless people. ("I don't know if that happened or not, but he seemed pretty motivated, I guess," Kelly said.)

    The interview didn't lead to anything, but Kelly can now be open about his Nihilist Arby's account at his job at The Onion, and he even sells Nihilist Arby's merch.

    The account now has nearly 300,000 followers, and his tweets get thousands of interactions. Arby's marketing team still keeps an eye on it.

    "We've cringed, laughed, and maybe even cried just a little," Fuller said.

    Kelly is still an Arby's fan, no matter how caustic his parody account gets.

    "I try to mix it up a little bit," he said of his orders. "But I like a good Beef and Cheddar. I like that Loaded Italian. I like the potato cakes quite a bit."

    We told him we ate some of the potato cakes the day before.

    "That's about where I'm at," he said.

    SEE ALSO: The Arby's CEO asked 1,000 US employees the same question before his hugely successful brand turnaround

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    On a very sunny day at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Business Insider's Sara Silverstein spoke with Wharton School marketing professor David Reibstein. Following is a transcript of the video.

    Sara Silverstein: And how does somebody like Trump affect America's brand?

    David Reibstein: So a lot of where a country gets its image is from its overall long-term reputation and the products that come from there. But also some of the people that come from there and the political leaders definitely have an impact. And so the image of Trump carries over to the US and directly affects the US brand. So what I've observed is when I first did the study two years ago — and I did it together withUS News and WPP— when I first did this study, the US was ranked as the fourth-best brand. I next measured it immediately after the election, we fell to number seven and we've now fallen to number eight in the world. So this whole notion of make America great again, it should be the number one brand — we're now in the number eight position, not the number one.

    Silverstein: And there will be some economic repercussions for that you think as far as capital coming in and trade?

    Reibstein: Absolutely, so we see it through policy as well as just imagery. So in terms of immigration and closing the borders for immigration — that has an impact — the sense of pulling out of the Paris Accord has an impact of how much we care about the world. Tourism — people are less willing to come to the United States, less willing to start businesses in the United States, and have a lower inclination to buy products from the US. So it has a direct impact on our economy.

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    Botella Roja de Coca Cola

    • The iconic red of Coca-Cola is easy to spot — but few people know why the colour was chosen.
    • According to the company, the barrels of bottles were originally painted red so tax agents could distinguish them from alcohol during transport.
    • The red colour is a mixture of three different shades.

    You don't even need to see its logo — a brief glimpse at the simple bottle cap on a bar counter or the can on a supermarket shelf is enough to identify that this soft drink is indeed a Coca-Cola.

    The brand's impactful design is comparable to other industry greats such as Apple (so white, with its pure, straight-line boxes and its bitten apple), Twitter (that little bird), or Chanel (its two crossed 'C' letters and its eternal black-and-white combination), among others.

    In the case of Coca-Cola, it's clear that it's the red color that we look for, or that lets us know what we're drinking.

    But why red?

    The company says the red color comes from the early days of the creation of the soft drink, more than 130 years ago. 

    Coca-Cola was first sold in pharmacies in 1886 as a syrup for digestion that supposedly gave energy, glass by glass.

    Five years later, the company was created, and in 1897 it was already being bottled throughout the United States — although at first, each bottler used its own label.

    According to the brand, "from the mid-1990s, we began painting our barrels red so that tax agents could distinguish them from alcohol during transport."

    That seems to be the origin of the iconic red that artists Salvador Dalí (in 1943) and Andy Warhol (in the 1960s) came to paint.

    In 1892, the brand's first "wall painted" posters were designed with a red background with white letters.

    Coca Cola botella Contour

    The official colour of the beverage was created by mixing three different shades of red, but it is not registered in colour catalogues or by Pantone, because it's a combination.

    On the other hand, the brand's typography is actually registered. It's called "Spencerian," and it became one of the favourites in the design world at the end of the 19th century and has remained associated with the brand ever since.

    The Coca-Cola bottle, called the "Contour," is the other thing that has also remained the same since 1899.

    What has changed is the tin can, which was created in 1945 to supply the drink to soldiers displaced in World War II. Although its size is the same, its design evolves.

    coke cans

    SEE ALSO: A wine expert says you shouldn't drink Champagne from a traditional flute — here's the glass you should use instead

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    hellmanns best foods

    You know that some of the words we use in America are translated differently in other countries — the word "hall" in America is sometimes called a "corridor" in England — but did you know that some of the biggest brands masquerade behind other monikers, too?

    Whether because of language laws, trademark issues, or franchising, the following 15 food brands go by multiple names depending on which region you're eating them in.

    Keep reading to see what your favorite food is called abroad.

    KFC is called PFK in Quebec, Canada.

    Popular fried chicken chain KFC doesn't go by "PFK" in Quebec, Canada just for fun. In accordance with Section 63 of Quebec's French Language Charter — which states that the name of an enterprise must be in French— the fast food franchise changed its name to PFK, or "Poulet Frit Kentucky."

    3 Musketeers are called Milky Ways in Europe...

    Both candy bars feature fluffy, whipped nougat enveloped in chocolate.

    But American Milky Ways are called Mars Bars in Europe.

    The American Milky Way bar was first released in 1923; many believe the bar was named after the solar system, but its moniker actually stemmed from a popular drink called malted milk.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Whole Foods Prime Signage

    • Amazon quietly updated the logos for all of its Prime services earlier this year, dropping the word Amazon.
    • Prime is now a brand in its own right.
    • It signifies Amazon is taking Prime beyond the Amazon-branded ecosystem as it heads into Whole Foods stores and elsewhere.

    Earlier this year, Amazon refreshed its logos for its Prime services.

    Notably, it dropped the word "Amazon" altogether.

    prime logo evolution

    In its new logo, Amazon Prime became simply Prime, Amazon Prime Video became Prime Video, and Amazon Prime Now became Prime Now.

    In place of Amazon's signature orange and yellow, Prime services now uniformly carry a calming blue hue. It's Prime blue, the color that signifies to shoppers on "Hey, this item is one of the things you can get free two-day shipping on."

    Prime EnvelopeThe move signifies what Amazon has likely long considered: Prime is a brand in its own right, and it's time for it to stand on its own two-day shipping feet.

    Amazon is now rolling out the new logo to more facets of its operations. The tape that holds together Amazon boxes now carries just the Prime logo, and the mailer bags for smaller items are white with a blue Prime logo. 

    Even the sign-up page for Prime on, with copious amounts of blue and fun cartoonish figures, barely mentions the word "Amazon."

    The most brazen example of this new branding strategy occurred when Prime started integrating with Whole Foods stores.

    In place of Whole Foods' typical muted signs are bright blue ones calling Prime members' attention to the deals that are designed just for their benefit. Workers were given blue Prime hats, shirts, and aprons to wear to advertise the deals.

    What you won't find in the store: any mention of the word Amazon. It appears on none of the signs, clothing, or other marketing materials. Not even the Whole Foods app, which customers must sign in to with their Prime accounts to get a code to scan at checkout, has the word Amazon in it.

    Amazon is clearly signifying something of a separation between Prime and Amazon, and it perhaps wants customers to think of Prime as a service that offers benefits beyond the Amazon-branded ecosystem.

    Whole Foods and the gaming-streaming service Twitch — which allows for free Twitch Prime membership with an Amazon Prime subscription  — are just a few examples of where Amazon is taking the Prime brand outside of Amazon. But, it seems the sky is the limit for the service.

    It makes sense for Amazon to invest so much in Prime's branding: the service is one of, if not the most, important part of its retail business. Its subscribers are, overall, pleased with it, and they often spend more money, more often on Amazon. In April, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos revealed that more than 100 million people pay for Prime

    SEE ALSO: Amazon is quietly upending a $19 billion business, and it's terrible news for Target and Bed Bath & Beyond

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    shark tank kitchen safe

    • The entrepreneurs behind Kitchen Safe, a time-lock container, scored a $100,000 deal on a 2014 episode of "Shark Tank."
    • But the more important takeaway for them was advice they received from guest Shark Nick Woodman, the CEO of GoPro.
    • Woodman told them to change the name of their company so people wouldn't associate it strictly with kitchen-related items.

    In 2014, entrepreneurs David Krippendorf and Ryan Tseng scored a $100,000 deal on an episode of "Shark Tank" after delivering one of the most enthusiastic pitches in show history.

    They had successfully sold two investors on their product Kitchen Safe, a plastic storage container with a time-lock lid that prevents users from accessing junk food or anything else they want to cut back on.

    But a $100,000 deal wasn't the only thing they walked away with. A piece of advice one of the Sharks gave them ultimately led the pair to change the name of their product, a risky move they say has brought them even more success.

    The Shark was Nick Woodman, the CEO of GoPro and a guest investor on the show that episode. During the pitch, Woodman suggested that Kitchen Safe was the wrong name for a product that could be used to store not just snacks, but other items people might want to cut back from using, like alcohol, cigarettes, credit cards, or their phone.

    "Kitchen Safe is maybe a little bit limited as a company name, because you're going to want to grow into new products, and perhaps new verticals where this is not even in the kitchen," Woodman told the entrepreneurs.

    He continued: "I was really lucky. Originally I just meant for GoPro to be a surf camera company, and thankfully, I didn't name the company 'Surf Camera.' So I don't think that people are going to naturally think to put anything other than food in this."

    Despite his reservations on the product's name, Woodman offered the pair $100,000 for 20% of the company in a joint deal with Lori Greiner, which Krippendorf and Tseng accepted.

    Sure enough, a few weeks after the show aired, the pair took Woodman's advice to heart and rebranded Kitchen Safe as kSafe, the name it goes by today.

    "When I invented this, I was thinking about food. That was my use," Krippendorf told Business Insider. 

    But the change to kSafe has had a big impact on the way customers perceive the product.

    "It speaks to people in different ways," he told Business Insider. "If you're sitting there using it for pills, or medications, or alcohol, or cigarettes, it's not really kitchen. And kSafe really speaks to electronic use, because a lot of people out there want to disconnect from their phone."

    Cementing the pivot to a more general container, the company introduced a miniature version of its product to be used for phones and other devices that is now their most popular seller, Krippendorf said. In all, half of kSafe customers use the container for something other than food, he said.

    Four years after their appearance on "Shark Tank," Krippendorf said the company has sold $2 million in kSafes and continues to grow — something that may never have been possible had it kept its original name.

    "Nick Woodman’s comments about the name really resonated with us," he told Business Insider. "When someone incredibly successful gives me advice, I tend to follow it."

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    brand names

    • Brand names for companies and products are sometimes developed by professional 'namers.'
    • Rob Meyerson, a brand consultant, spoke with ten professional namers about how they come up with brand names.
    • Naming brands is a creative process — and sometimes it's helpful to maintain an 'open source' mindset to share ideas and the latest tools and trends.
    • Mutiple namers also said one of the best ways to keep the creative juices flowing is to stop working for a period of time, or change modalities. 
    • Technology and unexpected angles can also help generate creative product and brand names.

    A few months ago, I met up with a woman who wanted to become a professional namer — a consultant who specializes in developing brand names for companies and products.

    With over a decade in the world of naming, I'd had this conversation before. I'm usually asked some combination of, "That's a job?" and "I think I'd be good at that — how can I become a professional namer?"

    But this time I got a question I hadn't heard before. She asked me, "How do you come up with name ideas?"

    Simple as it seems, I realized I'd not only never answered this question but had never asked anyone else in the professional naming community whether they do it the same way I do.

    So over the following months, I conducted 10 in-depth interviews with some of the world's top brand-naming experts. Each one answered similar, specific questions: "What's your process?""What resources do you use?""What do you do when you get stuck?"

    Below are five things anyone can learn about how to become a good namer:

    1. Maintain an 'open-source' mindset

    At first, I was hesitant to reach out to fellow namers and ask how they approach the job. What if they thought I was fishing for trade secrets?

    I quickly learned, however, that leading namers are more than willing to share their tactics. Maybe some businesspeople are happy to share because they're already successful and feel they have nothing to lose, but I believe these namers are at the top of their game, in part, because of their openness. Creative professionals who actively participate in an "open-source" community not only share their ideas but are also more likely to be aware of the latest tools and trends.

    men talking

    Anthony Shore of Operative Words, who the BBC called"one of the world's most sought-after people when it comes to naming new businesses and products," said, "I give away what I know, because I want other namers — even my direct competitors — to come up with great names so that they can also populate the world with words that are interesting and creative."

    2. Think of technology as an opportunity, not a threat

    Computers are getting faster, smarter, and more efficient. Every month, I see more and more promotions for computer-aided creative services like logo design and naming.

    While many creative professionals are understandably annoyed by tools like these (and the unreasonable price expectations they often create), we'd all be wise to think of them not as competitive threats, but as tools to augment our creative processes.

    Shore is already using AI to expand his naming process and believes that, in the future, "accessible AI tools for name generation will increase everyone's access to interesting names."

    And Amanda Peterson, formerly head of naming at Google, added machine learning to her own name generation process to send it into an insane drive.

    men working laptop computers

    Sometimes quantity can help give rise to quality — as long as you have an eye for what works, which is where humans still have an advantage. Jonathan Bell, managing director of WANT, explains that he's not too worried, and doesn't see the technology as a threat.

    "I always say that our job isn't to create a name, it's to help you pick one," he said.

    3. To get the work done, stop working

    Multiple namers said the best way to keep the creative juices flowing on a project is to stop working on it for some time.

    Scott Milano, managing director of brand naming agency, Tanj, suggests people frustrated by their projects should step away from the project for a brief period of time. "Even if it's a couple hours, or a day or so, just do not think about it, and try to come back to it with fresh eyes."

    And Clive Chafer, a 30-year naming veteran, has a suggestion for what to do during that time away from the work. "Exercise is terrific at reframing the brain — at throwing the pieces up and letting them fall down in different places," he said.

    4. Mix up your modality

    Like any other creative process, name generation can start to feel almost automated when done over and over again. While following the same steps every time can increase speed and efficiency, this complacency can lead to a lack of originality. The naming experts I spoke to endorsed the idea of changing up their routines to help spur lateral thinking and new ideas.

    Shannon DeJong, CEO of House of Who, said that if she's been sitting in front of a computer all day, opening an Excel spreadsheet will kill her creative mojo. Instead, she grabs pen and paper and goes for a walk.

    In addition to switching from digital to analog, another "modality shift" includes moving from words to imagery. Milano said, "I like how it just kind of lets me forget the words themselves, and just kind of float, conceptually, and find new territories."

    Yet another option is to switch from individual work to group work. Bell said developing name ideas can be an individual brainstorming process, or it can be done on a whiteboard with a group.

    5. Attack the problem from an unexpected angle

    Approaching a project from unexpected angles often helps namers broaden their thinking.

    For example, when naming a new brand of long-lasting batteries, namers might instead imagine they're naming a long-lasting energy drink. "By thinking through an attribute as it appears somewhere else, you are able to find ideas that are differentiated but relevant, because when you take a word from a different category and drop it into a relevant category, it immediately becomes relevant to that new category," Shore said.

    Other examples include changing the physical environment, or shocking the system by purposely coming up with bad ideas. When DeJong needs to dig deeper on projects that require "more tranquil, open, expansive ideas," she may drive an hour away to a different location to give herself more space and beauty.

    Friends Talking

    And Eli Altman, creative director of A Hundred Monkeys, advocates coming up with bad ideas first because "people are actually a lot better at coming up with bad names than they are at coming up with good names." Once you come up with some bad names, identify what makes them bad, and then flip the equation.

    Naming is a niche within a niche — only a handful of brand consultants fully dedicate themselves to the art. By sharing the key elements to naming, I hope to inspire and provide insight on how to hone creative techniques — and how successful namers come up with brand names.

    Rob Meyerson is a brand consultant and professional namer. He runs the site How Brands Are Built and hosts a podcast of the same name. He is also principal and founder of Heirloom, an independent brand strategy and identity firm in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    SEE ALSO: I'm a CEO and the most underrated business skill is one most people are terrible at

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    new dunkin logo cups

    • Sometimes, companies rebrand when they feel like they need a refresh.
    • Often, these rebrands are successful.
    • Other times, fans get really heated about the changes, like when Dunkin' Donuts dropped the "Donuts" from its name, and Weight Watchers decided to become WW.

    When done right, a company rebrand can inspire new fans and increase sales. However, with change often comes backlash.

    Fans freaked out over Dunkin' Donuts' decision to drop the "Donuts" from its name, and complained when Weight Watchers changed its name to simply WW.

    Only time will tell if these rebrands were a success, or whether the companies would have been better off doing nothing.

    Keep scrolling to see some of the most controversial rebrands of 2018.

    Weight Watchers changed its name to WW.

    Weight Watchers has been around since 1963, and is one of the most famous weight loss programs in the country. It has even been backed by Oprah, who is a member of the company's board and owns a stake in it.

    In September, Weight Watchers rebranded itself as WW in an effort to focus on overall health as opposed to just weight loss. While some people liked the changes that came with the rebrand, such as the WellnessWins reward system, critics felt that the change did not go far enough to pivot the brand from weight-loss to wellness.

    Dunkin Donuts is now just Dunkin'.

    Dunkin' Donuts has been a beloved doughnut institution since 1950, but people freaked out about its recent rebrand.

    In September, it announced that it would change its name from Dunkin' Donuts to just name to Dunkin'. Many didn't know what to think.

    Some were outraged, while others thought it was stupid. However, the main consensus seems to be that it was just unnecessary.

    It has led to some hilarious Twitter reactions, though.

    Celine dropped the accent from its name.

    The French luxury goods brand Celine has been producing high-end clothes and accessories since 1945. Their recent decision to remove the accent from their name (formerly Céline) has been wildly unpopular among its fans.

    The decision was made when new creative director Hedi Slimane took over, and were seen as a nod to Celine's '60s collections, which didn't use the accent. However, the internet remains very divided over the move. Per Who What Wear,some fans felt "shocked, angry, and betrayed."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Hanft projectBy Adam Hanft

    Is this a nuclear winter for big brands?

    I’ve read the data from the doom-mongers, but they are way off in their mortality predictions.  

    True, legacy brands are being squeezed by private-label and so-called digitally native startup brands. The former is driven by price consciousness; the latter by a rising cultural consciousness that favors the new and hip.

    Those threats are real and have millennial appeal. But it doesn’t mean that big brands are in a death spiral; the consumer economy has room for everyone. And I include the threat of Amazon, which has launched more than 70 private label brands. “Amazon will spend billions to kill brands,” opined one reporter. War has been declared. Legacy brands can come out winning if they leverage their considerable real and perceptual assets.

    Misdiagnosing the millennial immune system

    Make no mistake, millennials are not in wholesale brand-rejection mode. In fact, they are embracing “disruptive” brands like Casper in bedding; Warby Parker in eyewear; Lemonade in insurance; and of course, Airbnb.

    All that makes perfect sense; millennials are essentially conformists and love incumbents — Casper is using its popularity as its brand strategy, the age-old  “We’re No.1” appeal —  they just want ones they can relate to.

    Big brands can’t reinvent themselves as new, but they can and must go battle fully armed with the four inherent advantages they do have.

    1. Authenticity of the highest order

    Millennials crave brands with integrity, honesty, and depth. And a proud history. Big brands have it all. Most have been around for decades with authentic cultures forged over time. But they have lost their way in marketing their stories.

    Private-label brands don’t have that rich authenticity; they were conceived through a whiteboard exercise.

    Rather than racing to out-cool the cool kids, legacy brands should find new ways to embrace their reality.  As Adweek notes, “Millennials have made ‘yesterday’s blue collar brands today’s coolest clothes.’”

    2. Consumers expect brands to give back

    Today’s millennial consumer is looking for generous brands, two-thirds would rather buy from a company that gives back;  brands with a sense of purpose grow nearly twice as fast as others.

    Brands from America’s greatest companies give back to society through vast philanthropic networks.

    Private-label brands are not built to give back. When was the last time one of them offered a kid a scholarship or built a community garden? It’s not in their margin structure.

    Once this message is unlocked, legacy brands will reap great rewards.

    3. Brands are innovation engines

    Consumer packaged goods companies have well-funded R&D departments and sophisticated marketing teams that can create category-driving innovation — breakthroughs that consumers are willing to pay for.

    Private-label brands are fast-followers. This puts pressure on great brands to continue to earn and re-earn loyalty by continuing to invest in R&D, while building fast, nimble innovation cultures.

    4. The transparency of bigness

    Today’s consumers care about transparency, ethical sourcing, every link in the supply chain. Big brands are uniquely equipped to build these, and to also put stringent demands on their vendors and suppliers.

    S.C. Johnson is a great example of how a branded company can maintain the highest standards, and communicate them digitally as central to its brand story.  

    Being anti-brand is not a strategy

    Brandless raised $240MM for a private-label brand that proudly declares its independence from brand hegemony. But according to Recode, just 20% of shoppers who placed an order on the site in the fourth quarter of 2017 placed another order a quarter later.

    Trust in institutions is cratering. Big brands with depth and soul are in the best position to build it back — to every generation.

    Take Kitchen Aid, a 99-year old brand which made it to the top of Millennial relevance list in one survey — coming in ahead of Google and Apple — thanks to their continual product innovation and savvy use of social media.  

    Consumer packaged goods leaders should spend less time reading their own premature obituaries and more time leveraging their untapped strengths.  

    The only obstacles are organizational shibboleths and pre-existing behaviors.

    Adam Hanft is a brand strategist, former advertising agency founder, co-author of “Dictionary of the Future,” and a board member at Scotts Miracle-Gro, where he plays an active role as a marketing advisor to the company.  He has also worked with many category disruptors ranging from WeWork and Tinder to JetSmarter and Seeking Alpha.

    This post is sponsored by Hanft Projects. | Content written and provided by Hanft Projects.

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