Content Master: The Morton Arboretum

Monday, November 21st, 2016

As the leaves of autumn give way to the bare branches of winter, the Morton Arboretum is a place of both refuge and inspiration. The preserve west of Chicago has a well-deserved reputation as a destination for hiking and bicycling amid the trees, ponds, and fields that comprise the 1,700-acre grounds. ...

When Brands Mess with Our Emotions

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Jess Goulart of BTRtoday recently asked me how I think branding has changed over the years. I told her that although businesses are sharing their brand stories in more inventive ways than ever before, some of the traditional elements of a successful brand remain unchanged. For instance, a company's name and ...

Buy Buttons Try to Make Holiday Shopping Convenient

Saturday, November 21st, 2015

The holiday shopping season has become anything but seasonal. Brands ranging from Amazon to Target are offering Black Friday sales well in advance of Black Friday. And the development of buy buttons on platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest has made holiday shopping as convenient as ordering gifts from your ...

How Musician Alison Goldfrapp Creates Social Media Mystique

Monday, August 10th, 2015

Recently, I was talking with a director about how artists use social media. He vowed never to use it. "Lifting the veil to your private life ruins the artist's mystique," he said. And he has a point. Sharing on social can connect artists with their fans, but social media can ...

Welcome to a New Era of Convenience Shopping

Monday, June 29th, 2015

Buy buttons are taking convenience shopping to a whole new level. In recent weeks, Instagram and Pinterest announced new buy button features that make it easy for consumers to purchase goods and services directly from their apps. Facebook, which began testing shoppable ads in 2014, announced an expansion of its ...

Jermaine Dupri Wants to Save R&B with New Jagged Edge Album

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

If you want to get a rise out of music legend Jermaine Dupri, ask him about the new Jagged Edge album, J.E. Heartbreak II. Dropping October 27, J.E. Heartbreak II reunites Dupri with the group he signed to his So So Def record label in 1997. And Dupri promises that ...

Selling Elvis in the Age of Instagram

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Image source: Vegas.com Elvis never left the building after all. Seventeen years after his death, Elvis Presley remains one of the most lucrative names in show business. According to Forbes, he is the second wealthiest deceased celebrity, earning $55 million in 2013 through merchandising, licensing of his image, and his Graceland ...

Email and Referral Marketing: The Workhorse and Dark Horse for Customer Acquisition

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Digital long ago established itself as a channel for brand building and direct marketing. But what are the most popular digital tools for acquiring customers? According to my newly published report for Gigaom Research, the unsexy tactic of email marketing is a digital workhorse, popular for awareness building, and customer acquisition, ...

Lady Gaga Gives Her Fans a Visual Hashtag with “Applause”

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

With the release of her new single, "Applause," Lady Gaga has served a visual feast to the news media. On August 12 she conspicuously wore Kabuki-inspired face paint while making the rounds in Los Angeles to promote the first single off her forthcoming album ARTPOP. Publications ranging from Buzzfeed to The ...

How a Brand Shares Its Culture through Visual Storytelling

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

A journalist recently asked me whether all brands should be on Pinterest. My reply: brands need visual storytelling strategies -- which may indeed involve a presence on Pinterest. I recently created for agency iCrossing a visual storytelling strategy that focuses on bringing to life iCrossing's corporate culture. You may find ...