February 12th, 2014

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What can you learn from Dumb Starbucks?

by Danny Altman

What can you learn about branding from a business consultant who advises a gas station owner to offer a giant rebate that can only be redeemed on a remote mountaintop? Actually quite a bit. Nathan Fielder, the star of Nathan …

January 15th, 2014

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TARGET (The Annotated Letter to Customers or: How Do You Say ‘Sorry’ 70 Million Times?)

by Danny Altman

Dear Target Guests (because you are more than customers to us), As you have probably heard, Target learned in mid-December that criminals forced their way into our systems (they used so much force that it took us a couple of …

November 11th, 2013

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Competing against big companies: No one is going to save you.

by Eli Altman

In the Mission District, San Francisco, local merchants are banding together to try and prevent Jack Spade from selling tote bags and oxford shirts near them. The same thing happened with American Apparel a few years ago. In Berkeley on …

July 9th, 2013

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Cool company names: Behind bars in the Ottoman Empire

by Rose Linke

Cool company names don’t exist in a vacuum — they exist at the intersection where the brand name meets the world that it will live in. People have a tendency to want to judge names in isolation, when in reality the …

July 8th, 2013

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Branding is just like life: Give more than you get

by Danny Altman

There are certain rules in life that make the difference between living like you’re in Lord of the Flies or in the suburbs of Minneapolis. One of these rules is give more than you get — think of it as …

June 13th, 2013

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Brand building – an exercise in asymmetry

by Eli Altman

Do you have any idea how many brands are vying for your attention every day? It’s disgusting. Try this, check out that, Like this, Follow that, 20% more, satisfaction guaranteed! So to cope with this media swarm, people naturally employ some …

June 12th, 2013

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Branding is just like life: Better to live it than overthink it

by Danny Altman

I just read an interview with Miuccia Prada by Scottish novelist Andrew O’Hagen. At one point in the conversation, O’Hagen notices that everything Prada is wearing is her own creation. He tells her that if he were in her shoes, …

June 6th, 2013

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Branding is just like life: We have met the enemy

by Danny Altman

And it appears that, wait, they’re wearing our uniform! How is that possible? One of the basic rules of human behavior is that when something goes wrong, we instinctively look outside for the reason. Maybe we are just naturally skeptical …

May 30th, 2013

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Be human – our social media brand guidelines

by Eli Altman

Most brands can’t keep their legs shut. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter and Tumblr and Instagram and Google Plus. Pin us on Pinterest. They’re like the guy at the bar who will go home with any girl …

May 21st, 2013

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Branding is just like life: Play a little hard to get

by Danny Altman

If people were like companies, we’d all be drunken sailors–telling our stories to anyone who would lend us an ear, and probably a lot of people who aren’t even paying attention. Companies are so eager to make friends that they …