Don’t Retreat Marketers. Ben Franklin to the Rescue.

What the heck is going on in the business world?

Judging by all the negative stories, one would think that a plague of incompetence has afflicted commercial teams across the country.

However, beyond the obvious blunders (e.g., United and airport security personnel), some of the backlash is a bit perplexing.

Are corporations and their marketing teams failing at higher rates or is something else going on?

I suggest the latter. That’s partly because social media has, for better and for worse, totally disrupted the way so many now get and process their information.

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Gatorade’s High-Tech, Sweat-Reading Vending Machine Delivers Brand Positioning

For the Gatorade marketing team, the old adage “never let them see you sweat” does not apply.

Quite the opposite.

Credit: Gatorade.

Credit: Gatorade.

The Gatorade brand is all about sweat and countering its effects on the body. For the past three years, Gatorade has activated marketing around the “sweat it to get it” idea.

Now, Gatorade’s team in India has evolved the idea with a high-tech vending machine that dispenses free bottles of Gatorade to workout warriors. It’s technology powered marketing that delivers positioning and product benefits in a fun, content-friendly activity that’s well-suited for social media and mobile Internet sharing. Continue reading

Smart Differentiation Powers Wholesale Fish Purveyor

You wouldn’t expect to hear “differentiation” and “wholesale fish” in the same sentence.

Until now.

Credit: Red's Best.

Credit: Red’s Best.

Boston entrepreneur Jared Auerbach created a company that brands wholesale fish under the Red’s Best name. He’s combined brand management, technology, a keen understanding of end users and storytelling to craft his go-to-market business strategy: Continue reading

Has Crowdsourcing Gone Too Far?

Have marketers thrown in the towel on making decisions?

Specifically, I’m wondering:

Where is the line between using informed judgment to make solid, on-strategy decisions, and just opening the proverbial office door to say “Hey customer, you decide.”

Credit: Binghamton Mets.

Credit: Binghamton Mets.

The prompt for my contemplation is a re-naming contest initiated by a minor league baseball team in upstate New York.

It’s part of a business and brand overhaul initiated by new owner John Hughes, who purchased the Double-A Binghamton Mets (affiliated with the New York Mets) in December 2015. The team had been owned by a local group for 24 years. Continue reading

Topps Hits Marketing Home Run with New 24-Hour Baseball Cards

This is how to keep a 65-year-old brand fresh and relevant!

Topps, which offered its first baseball cards in 1951, has launched a new card series catering to today’s always on, Internet-connected fans.

TOPPS NOW is a limited edition, 24-hour-only series of baseball cards that’s been available since opening day 2016. New cards are offered for sale based on actual, daily performance.

Credit: Topps.

Credit: Topps.

According to the company:

“The physical cards will be available the very next day to purchase through Topps.com, but for just 24 hours, and will not be available for purchase again.”

“Magical moments will be captured on baseball cards the very next day, giving fans everywhere a chance to own a piece of history almost immediately,” added Clay Luraschi, Topps’ Vice President of Product Development.


This new baseball card product range is a terrific marketing idea. Continue reading