“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain,” said the Wizard to Dorothy and her friends in The Wizard of Oz. Interestingly, right beforehand, Dorothy challenges him stating “If you were really great and powerful, you’d keep your promises.” The Wizard, however wanted them to focus on the spectacle of smoke and mirrors (and fire) and not reveal the truth about his power (or lack thereof). This scene could be a metaphor for the changing paradigm of how advertising works. (more…)

Have you ever met a person fond of the color purple? Like really fond of it. If you mention the color purple to them, they enthusiastically blurt out: “I love purple!

As it turns out, purple is the most powerful color in the spectrum. As a visible form of light, a color’s wavelength determines its strength. The smaller the wavelength, the more powerful the energy. The wavelength of violet is 400 nanometers making it the smallest–and strongest–of all colors. This may explain why purple is associated with supernatural energy. (more…)

How is your brand doing these days? Times have been tough for many, and marketing budgets have seen their fair share of reductions. But with the economy showing signs of consistent recovery, albeit slow, now is the time to give your brand some much-deserved attention. Get it right before you begin reinvesting. (more…)

It is not uncommon during the holidays for people to overindulge in food and drink. As a result, in the New Year, often on the top of many resolution lists is to start a diet. While obesity has become a major problem in America (and other countries), there is another type of epidemic afflicting all us of: infobesity – information overload. Perhaps, a New Year’s resolution should include some form of data diet. (more…)

A local healthcare system recently revamped its brand. My commute takes me by one of its billboards every day, and I honestly can’t stop thinking about its new tagline. Why can’t I stop thinking about it?

Because without any context clues, it doesn’t make sense, at least grammatically. (more…)

AARP (a.k.a. American Association of Retired People). I don’t get it…the name, the brand strategy or the campaign.

To begin with a name is fundamentally important to a brand; and one could argue it is the most important element (and enormous asset). It typically creates an emotional connection or disconnection in the buyer’s mind. Think about it. When you hear a name that sounds drab, generic, or run-of-the-mill (e.g. First Third Bank, National Cleaning Services, CompUSA, Ameritech) you don’t respond with much enthusiasm. Conversely when you hear a name that sounds cool, different, or expressive (e.g. Apple, Mini, Wii, Diesel, Spanx) you want to connect with it or learn more about it. (more…)

As brand strategist Michelle Taglialatela explained in a previous blog post, “a brand is all about the experience.”  For certain products and services, a positive brand experience that leads to good word-of-mouth from your customers can provide a better ROI than any paid advertisement.

For years, I’ve been a very vocal (unpaid) promoter of PATCO,  my local public transportation system.  I make a short drive each workday to a train station with ample parking, friendly staff, and reasonable ticket costs. It’s good for the environment and my community.  I look forward to having 23 minutes of “me” time before and after my workday, to read a book, check my calendar, or just watch the world pass by my window.  I tell anyone and everyone how much I enjoy my commute.  The biggest factor in my decision: trains arrive often, and on time. (more…)

As you seek out new growth and look for revenue in 2014, take ten minutes to think about your bank’s brand to see how well you stand out in the eyes of your next customer. (more…)

As we stood in line waiting to board flight 157, to Philadelphia, an obtrusively placed sign directed “First Class and Preferred Members” to the left. A message next to it read “general boarding,” which directed the rest of us to the right. The US Airways logo sat proudly at the top of the sign.

I stood there thinking, what’s the difference between these two lines? Nothing. They lead to exactly the same place: the jetway to the airplane, which is not delineated by class or preferred status.


The key to a successful brand is the strategy behind it. That’s why it is critically important to choose the one that is right for your organization. It becomes the lens that guides all of your internal and external communications and activities. Here are a few key things to consider when formulating an effective brand strategy: (more…)