While Buying Beer Today…

I was shopping for beer today after several hours of planting and couldn’t help watching and listening to the people around me. An woman of around 60 was buying a bottle of wine and I noticed she had a tattoo on her all-too-grandmotherly wrist.  A small, pink star.  And then there was the stereotypical suburban […]

Good Clients, Bad Clients

A while back I was having a conversation over drinks with an old advertising colleague that had made the transition from the vendor side of things to the client side. As we talked, the conversation turned to the client/vendor relationship and what was most important in producing positive business results, good clients or good firms?  […]

Healthcare Options and Identity

We all know the perils in marketing healthcare. While there is a mythology created about the world’s best clinics, the fears people harbor about healthcare tend to drive the conversation – the wait at the office, the horror stories of infection, etc. Healthcare has responded over the years by giving a list of positive attributes […]

Basic Steps in Developing a Business Ethnography

DEFINE THE PROBLEM What are the pain points a client has defined? What issues are we trying to better understand? Depending on the project, questions may be very tactical and specific or very strategic and broad. In either case, the first step is to clearly articulate what the overarching goal is. RETHINK THE PROBLEM Once you’ve defined the […]

Pet Experts and the Culture of Animal Companions

As consumer pet ownership continues to increase and pet owners are continually striving to create better lives for themselves and their pets, the potential to serve these consumers is presenting some remarkable opportunities.  However, in this market environment, the space is flooded with products and services.  So how can a marketer truly begin to understand […]

Why History Matters to Business

Henry Ford once famously said that “History is bunk.” And while Henry may have had a point when it came to mechanics, it certainly doesn’t apply to marketing and brand development.  We often jump into  things without taking the time to understand how populations came to be who they are and how that may shape […]

5 Strengths of Emerging Agencies

Times are hard in the marketing and advertising world and there seems to be consensus that things won’t be getting easier. The old agency model is on the road to extinction, but no on seems quite sure how to survive. There is agreement that agencies need to adapt and transform from “integrated ad agencies,” to […]

A Return to Thinking Deeply

Sitting on a flight yesterday, I couldn’t help overhearing the man in the seat behind me discussing what he believed to be the solution to our economic woes and how to improve business.  The solutions themselves were nothing new and so I won’t mention them here.  What struck me was the distinction he made between […]