An Open Letter to Staples on Your New Logo

The new Staples logo is clunky and obvious

Dear Staples: You might be tempted to think that, as a writer, my only tools of the trade would be a screen and keyboard. As it turns out, however, I happen to be one of those people who love the creative process of writing notes, mind-mapping and brain-dumping into good old-fashioned in notebooks—the Leuchtturm 1917-Squared, […]

To Thine Own Brand Be True

Lee jeans off brand in recent ad campaign

One of the most valuable assets any company has is its brand. That’s no secret among those in the marketing world, which is why there’s always a bit of surprise when a brand goes off brand.

Why Black Friday and I May Be Breaking Up

Black Friday and I, it seems, may be breaking up this year A two decades-old relationship is coming to an end, ruined by stores who fail to see the value of the Black Friday brand and the experience it provided.  It’s been nearly 20 years since the first time I set my foot out the […]

Telling Your Story

I’m always amazed how people are hesitant to tell their life stories. I’m also surprised at how many companies are equally as reticent to do the same. Oh sure–they’ll tell what products they sell or what services they offer, but they too often refuse to get to the heart of what makes them different, and that is their own story.

Being Different Makes a Difference

Making Your Brand Stand Out A few days ago I had the opportunity to work with one of my clients on one of their RFP’s. We talked through presentation ideas, from content to binding and discussed key elements. What we all soon realized, however, was that our primary goal was this: simply stand out.  Not […]

What’s in a Brand?

While growing up on our family’s farm and ranch in Wyoming, I knew a lot about branding. Every spring and fall after calving season, we had to round them up, send them through the shoot, give them their vaccinations and apply a brand. Now I understand there are people out there appalled by this centuries-old practice, but for a rancher, branding is critical. It’s true that cattle theft, or rustling, is actually still alive and well and without branding their four-legged assets, ranchers would never be able to prove ownership. A brand ensures that their cattle can be distinguished from any other herd.