Brian Williams--The End of His Brand as We Know It

Brian Williams’ brand as a trusted news anchor is damaged beyond recovery.

I’ve long been fascinated by “person brands,” and the power of an individual to create and project a reputation that persuades. While such brands are powerful, they are also uniquely human. When the human fails, the brand can fail, too. In the case of [...]

Deflategate--The Newest in a Long Line of -gate Scandal Name Brands

Deflategate–the shameful scandal involving under-inflated footballs that Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and the entire Patriots organization unbelievably have no knowledge of and no responsibility for–is the latest in a long line of scandals branded with the __-gate construct.

As noted in this post from the past, Watergate opened the floodgates for gate names–Deflategate will surely not [...]

Contributing to Moms Mean Business

I was honored to work with the authors, contributing insight into a key entrepreneurial trait: How to do what you don’t know how to do and making money doing it. Read how to have the confidence, courage and grit to make a go of it.

My quote from the book: ” ‘Fake it till you make [...]

ISIS--When Your Brand Turns Evil

Isis or ISIS used to be a perfectly nice brand name–until it became synonymous with Islamic terror and beheadings.  ISIS trademark owners large and small are now rebranding to distance themselves from a now-tainted word.

Isis Mobil Wallet, a mobile ecommerce app backed by Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile rebranded as Softcard in September.

Isis, the U.S. mobile [...]

Branding Scandals: Gruber-Gate and Scandal Naming Since Watergate

Watergate tops most top ten US scandal lists, which may explain the ubiquity of the ___-gate naming meme for scandals.  Gruber-gate is only the latest in a long list of scandals with “gate” in the name.

The naming -gate scandal construct got it’s start shortly after Watergate and Nixon’s impeachment with BillyGate, where President Carter’s beer [...]

Converse Lawsuit to Protect Iconic Sneaker Brand

Adweek reports today that Converse has sued 31 companies in U.S. District Court for infringing on its Chuck Taylor All Star brand design. Brands are not just about names and logos–they also encompass shapes.

Coca-Cola was a pioneer in recognizing brand design as a key asset to protect. The company’s contour bottle is one of the [...]

Content Marketing and Cheap Writers: Don't Cut Corners on Your Brand

Creating branded content is an increasingly important part of brand building. The demand for more and more content makes it tempting to hire cheap writers.  How hard can it be to write a tweet? Does the daily blog really need Mark Twain quality? ABSOLUTELY:

I offer some insight in this well-written article by Debra [...]

Adrian Peterson and Vikings Brand: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Brand sponsorship requires a rush to judgement. Though Adrian Peterson has not been found guilty of a crime, brands can’t afford to serve as a backdrop to the drama of indictments and investigations. Radisson’s brand did literally serve as a backdrop to yesterday’s press conference by Vikings general manger Rick Spielman as he discussed child [...]

Burger King Brand Damage--Does Being "Foreign" Hurt?

The “King” has a new country. Burger King becoming a Canadian brand has some people up in arms, screeching about lack of patriotism and even calling for a boycott. (Oddly, the same people complaining about Burger King benefiting from “tax inversion” and questioning its patriotism are totally fine with Google’s elaborate Double Irish, Dutch Sandwich, [...]

Too Much Spoils the Brand: Google Over-Doodles the World Cup

Google Doodles have become part of the Google brand. BBC News Magazine interviewed me about how whimsically changing the Google logo defied standard “brand police” rules about brand consistency.

During the World Cup, it seemed Google had a new Doodle every day. While some change works for Google, too much defeats the purpose. A new Google [...]