Donald Trump brand

Donald Trump: How a Presidential Campaign Helps (and Maybe Hurts) a Licensed Brand

As election year 2016 rolls on, and Donald Trump the presidential candidate delivers a new surprise every day, it’s worth taking some time to consider Donald Trump the brand and the lessons his campaign offers us for brand management and licensing.

It may turn out that running for President was the best move Trump could have made for his brand, but winning would be the worst. Read More

Volvo new products + licensing

When Products do the Talking: Volvo Life Paint Says it All

At this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity only one campaign won two Grand Prix Awards (in Design and Promo/Activation), and it wasn’t even what most people would think of as a campaign.  It wasn’t a commercial, print ad or slogan that a brand paid for consumers to see, nor was it an attention-grabbing stunt; it was simply a great new product that consumers themselves are paying to use: Volvo Life Paint.

Volvo Life Paint is a reflective spray that makes bikes and bikers more visible at night, and it accomplishes a rare trifecta for new products: it communicates a brand message more effectively than any slogan, it is easy to understand (and desire), and it will actually save lives.

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cannes lions + marketing to women + licensing

The 5 Hottest Topics at Cannes Lions 2015: Women, Girls, Girls, Women, and Girls

Last year Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg came to the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, and boy did she make a difference.  This year, there were more speakers, panels, awards, and new programs aimed at marketing to women, women in marketing, and empowering girls than any other single topic.

Whether it will have any lasting impact on the advertising industry and those who live with its work is unknown. But the industry is certainly trying hard to show that it will.

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cannes lions + stories beat data

Stories Beat Data: And Other Marketing Insights from Cannes Lions 2015

For all the lessons technology teaches us, did you ever feel like it also ignores some of the most important lessons about what motivates us – and how we might motivate others?

I found myself asking that question more than ever after hearing over 20 impressive speakers at the 2015 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.  While it may seem like businesses of all kinds (including brand marketing) are relying on technology more than ever; it also feels like a time when thought leaders are recognizing its limitations as well.

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licensing _digital marketing

4 Reasons Why Licensing Needs Digital Marketing

Five years ago many of our licensing clients (global CPG brands among them) weren’t even using digital marketing and social media to promote their own brands, and almost none of them were allowing licensees to promote their own products digitally.

At this year’s Licensing Expo I moderated a panel on digital marketing and licensing.  Our standing-room only crowd reflected how far things have come in just a few years.

The content my panel shared was so good that I’m counting each of the panelists themselves as an individual best reason you shouldn’t bother licensing today if you’re not willing to promote it with digital marketing.   Here’s what they shared:

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brand management +licensing

3 Proven Ways to Save Your Brand from the Brink

FastCompany’s recent story “The Biggest Business Comebacks of the Past 20 Years” shared the stories of brands and companies that had returned from the brink to greater success than ever. From Lego to Old Spice, from Netflix to Bacon (yes, bacon), the examples told just the kind of stories we love to think about at IMC: how brands are created, euthanized, and (sometimes) revived, and how new strategies, new partnerships, and new distribution channels makes reinvention possible.

As I read the article, I realized that it also told a strategic story. There seemed to be three different methods these companies and brands had used to come back from the brink. Read More

influencer marketing + licensing

Cracking the Code: The Four Key Elements of Influencer Marketing

“We did Facebook and Twitter in 2014 but don’t have anything in the budget for that this year.”  That from an experienced, forty-something VP of Marketing of a major privately owned home decor brand.

Ugh! Brands know they need to build their social platforms — like their websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, to build awareness and engage consumers.  However, they often don’t know where to start, and how to invest in the most productive ways.

We sympathize. Being fairly new to social media strategy and tools myself, here is my attempt to demystify the process for our clients and friends.  These are the four key elements of influencer marketing:

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