July 24th, 2014

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Branding is Just Like Life: First Date Edition

by tyler doyle

How would your brand do on a first date? When we say that we build human brands, we aren’t spouting corporo-speak. We imagine brands as people. Even better, we imagine brands as people doing what people do: hanging out at …

July 22nd, 2014

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In Defense of Airbnb’s New Logo

by 100m

Airbnb’s new logo looks like a vagina. Or balls. Or just about any combination of sex organs. When the company announced an identity redesign, most people said, “Hey, genitalia!” A flurry of tweets, clickbait, and listicles ensued. In the first …

July 14th, 2014

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Don’t Call Them Wearables

by Eli Altman

Technology is easy to recognize. One glance at a coffee shop laptop and you know it’s a Macbook Air – doesn’t matter if it has 12 stickers on it. This is generally applauded as good product design. If you can …

June 19th, 2014

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Don’t Yank My Chain: USMNT Monikers

by tyler doyle

A week ago, chatting about the World Cup group stage, you’d be laughed at for giving the USMNT better odds to advance than Spain. Today, that’s the case: Spain has been mathematically eliminated, while FiveThirtyEight gives the USMNT 68% odds …

June 9th, 2014

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The NFL Wouldn’t Rename the Redskins, So We Did

by tyler doyle

Does your name offend a substantial number of human beings? Is it an outdated slang term from the early 19th century? Is it possibly illegal? Does it, by its very nature, reduce that same group of people to a skin …

May 15th, 2014

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Brand Attributes: Your Words Are Meaningless

by Eli Altman

In most pursuits, the fastest way between two points is a direct path. However, when dealing with people, this isn’t the case. For example, saying “Those glasses look really good on you” might be the fastest way to get out …

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 …