Category Archives: Innovation

Strategy and Changing the World

At a recent board meeting of a non-profit where I am a trustee, I asked if we should spend more time on the long-term strategy (5 to 10 years) for the organization. A fellow trustee held up his iPhone and said the device was barely thought of 10 years ago and look how it had […]

3D Printing and Marketing

I’ve been researching 3D printing for a client and have started thinking about how this technology will impact branding and marketing.  3D printing is the ability to create actual products and parts using machines in our homes and businesses.  The machines have a head that lays down successive layers of material (usually a polymer) to […]

Marketing Lessons from Mr. Selfridge

I have been watching Mr. Selfridge on PBS the last few Sunday evenings.  The show is based on the life of Harry Selfridge, an American-born retailer who opened a department store (Selfridges) in an unfashionable section of London in 1909.  He remained chairman of the store until 1941.  I knew nothing of Harry Selfridge until […]

Marketing and Change

“The only people who like change are babies with wet diapers.”  The first time I heard that expression was from Sir Brian Wolfson, then chairman of Wembley Stadium in London, who was on the board of directors of a consulting company where I worked.  He either said it at a conference or meeting, or contributed […]

CMOs Feel Underprepared for Key Market Factors

I happened upon IBM’s Global Chief Marketing Officer Study (From Stretched to Strengthened) this week.  I thought it was worth sharing some highlights, especially regarding the key market factors Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) face and their feeling of being underprepared to manage many of these challenges.   The study is based on more than 1,700 face-to-face […]

The CEO as CMO Supporter

Much has been written about the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) needing to be the hands-on chief of every function in a company, especially being the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), in addition to some roles not on the org chart (Chief Innovator, Chief Evangelist, etc.).   This is a nice thought, but does it make sense in […]

The Umbrella Brand

I had just finished last week’s post about brand focus, when I read an article on about Wayfair, which started as CSN Stores in 2002.  CSN specialized in micro-niche e-commerce sites (think,,, etc.) and by 2010, the company had about 200 sites, 4.8 million customers, and $380 million in sales. Then, in […]

Marketing Lessons from Willy Wonka

One of the side effects of writing this weekly blog is that I sometimes find marketing lessons in unlikely places.   Last week we watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the Johnny Depp movie based on the Roald Dahl book (we’re big R.D. fans).  Halfway through the movie I started thinking about the great marketing skills […]

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