Monday, July 15, 2024

Do You Know Where ALL Your Digital Exhaust Is?

Is the term "digital exhaust" the latest buzz, the latest term of the moment? Or is it something truly significant?

According to tech expert and Twitter/X influencer Vala Afshar, "The resume is dead. Your personal brand = digital footprint + digital exhaust." So, let's dive into this new term.

Digital exhaust has been described by NordVPN as "the sum total of the data generated as a byproduct of a person's digital interactions and activities. Just like the smoke exiting the tailpipe of a car, one's digital exhaust reveals activities, interests, and location. The term can also be referred to as data exhaust and digital breadcrumbs."

Some examples of digital exhaust are the following:

(1) Web browsing data such as websites visited, clickstreams, search queries, and browsing history.

(2) E-commerce data such as shopping patterns and viewed products.

(3) Mobile app data such as usage, location, and user interactions.

(4) Information generated by smart devices that are connected to the Internet such as health data from wearables, home thermostats, and home cameras.

While organizations may analyze digital exhaust with the goal to improve user experiences and customize products or services, many people have expressed concerns about privacy and security.

So, what do you think? Is there any way to cover up one's digital exhaust? And, when job-searching, is there a better way to present oneself than from one's digital exhaust?


Share this: The resume is dead. Your personal brand = digital footprint + digital exhaust. ~@ValaAfshar #DebbieLaskeysBlog #PersonalBranding


Image Credit: Twitter/X and Vala Afshar.

Monday, July 8, 2024

What's Your Favorite Job Interview Question?

If you are a job seeker, do you go into interviews with a list of prepared questions for the interviewer, or rather, do you wing it?

With the hope that you have a list of questions to ask about the position, the training, the position's success metrics, the company, and more, I would like to share my all-time favorite question for interviewers.

When I was in job-seeker mode, I would always ask - whether one person interviewed me or several people interviewed me:


HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE COMPANY CULTURE?

The answer for this question told many things. First, if the interviewer or interviewers took too long to answer, it looked as if they were hiding something. If responses from different people were vastly different, there was cause for concern. If there were examples within the responses that highlighted how mistakes were handled - for example, employees were treated fairly - those responses spoke volumes.

According to Chris Donnelly, "Understanding the company culture can help you determine whether you would be a good fit for an organization. It also allows you to assess whether the company's values and culture align with your own, ensuring a better cultural fit."

And to quote Richard Gallagher, "Building a successful corporate culture goes beyond business processes and into being a way of life. It gives meaning and purpose to the place where most of us spend over half of our waking lives. More important, it reduces the vast complexities of the business world into a clear sense of who you are and where you are headed. It is truly the soul of your organization."

So, what is your fave interview question? Chime in and share.


Image Credit: Daniel van den Berg via Unsplash.

Thursday, July 4, 2024

Happy Fourth of July!

Since today's date is July Fourth, also celebrated as Independence Day in the United States of America, it's a good day for brands to easily stand out based on their version of celebration.

While some brands have "America" or "independence" in their names or taglines, others choose to mark the day by adding some red, white, or blue colors or designs to their product lines.

One stand-out brand that deserves attention is Krispy Kreme. This delicious food brand marks holidays by adding color and pizzazz to its doughnuts. This year, the brand introduced its "Star Spangled Sweetness Collection" doughnuts:

  • Freedom Flag Doughnut: An Original Glazed doughnut hand-dipped in white icing and decorated with patriotic red icing stripes and blue and gold sprinkles.

  • Cotton Candy Sparkler Doughnut: An Original Glazed doughnut hand-dipped in blue icing and cotton candy sugar and decorated with white and red buttercreme dollops.

  • Firework Cookies and Kreme Filled Doughnut: An unglazed doughnut filled with Cookies and Kreme, hand-dipped in red icing and decorated with a blue icing swirl and rocket candy piece.

  • Chocolate Iced with Patriotic Sprinkles Doughnut: An Original Glazed doughnut dipped in chocolate icing and topped with patriotic sprinkles.

This year, customers can also get a free doughnut. According to the brand's website, "We’re sweetening your Independence Day this year with a FREE Original Glazed doughnut when you visit our shop wearing red, white, and blue! Valid 7/4 only at all participating shops in shop and drive thru, limit one per person. Not available online."

Unfortunately, there was a disclaimer on the brand's website, "Star Spangled Sweetness Collection doughnuts available in shop, drive thru and online for pickup and delivery 6/21/24 through 7/4/24 at participating U.S. Krispy Kreme shops and is subject to product availability. Not offered in Puerto Rico or other non-participating locations."

If you miss out this year, there's always tomorrow for regular doughnuts.

Happy Fourth of July!


Image Credits: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.


Read some previous posts celebrating July Fourth:

Marketing News of the Week: Happy Fourth of July! (July 4, 2023)

https://www.debbielaskeysblog.com/2023/07/marketing-news-of-week-happy-fourth-of.html

Secrets for Fourth of July Holiday Marketing! (July 1, 2021)

https://www.debbielaskeysblog.com/2021/07/secrets-for-fourth-of-july-holiday.html

What's Your Favorite Fourth of July Brand? (July 1, 2020)

https://www.debbielaskeysblog.com/2020/07/whats-your-favorite-fourth-of-july-brand.html

Monday, July 1, 2024

Marketing News of the Month: Partnerships, Pricing, Publicity, and More

During the month of June, there were many news stories that reflected advertising, brand identity, brand names, line extensions, personal branding, product launches, product pricing, publicity, and more.

CAR DEALERSHIP RANSOMWARE ATTACK

During June, the American car industry was under attack, but not by a visible bad actor. This was a cyberattack so intrusive that dealerships were unable to service customers since their SaaS (software as a service) platform was held hostage. CDK, the San Jose-based (California) company that provides the software to over 15,000 dealers nationwide, was reportedly hit with ransomware. Dealers rely on the dealer management system software to complete deals, provide financing, track store profitability, and monitor employee compensation. According to JPMorgan analysts, "The disruption has plunged the auto industry into disarray." This is still a fluid situation as we enter July.

WARNING LABELS ON APPS

Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said that the threat that social media poses to children requires urgent action and has demanded that Congress put a warning label on apps similar to the warning labels that appear on cigarettes and alcohol. The Surgeon General cannot act on his own, thus, his request to Congress. While Congress has long criticized social media companies, claiming they cause harm to children, Congress has taken little action to curb children's social media usage. Interesting fact: The warning label on tobacco, first instituted in 1965, has led to a steady decline in cigarette smoking in America over the last five decades.

COSTCO AND BOOK SALES

Costco has announced that it will pull back on selling books, and according to publishing industry rumors, has only committed to stocking books during the holiday sales period from September to December. In Canada, where Costco was once the second leading physical retailer of books, it has also been pulling back significantly.

SCRUB DADDY AND DUNKIN' DONUT

To celebrate this year's National Donut Day on June 7th, Dunkin' teamed up with Scrub Daddy to create a limited-edition Scrub Daddy and Scrub Mommy. According to Scrub Daddy's website, "This delicious duo is perfect for scrubbing away donut crumbs and wiping up iced coffee spills...Despite appearing good enough to eat, these scrubbers are not for consumption...and edible donuts are not included."

COLD STONE CREAMERY AND MINIONS

Known for its customizable ice cream options, Cold Stone Creamery announced its partnership with Illumination's "Despicable Me 4" film with the release of its Despicamallow Ice Cream. According to a press release, "The new creation, called Mega Minion Marshmallow Meltdown, features Despicamallow Ice Cream, Chocolate Chips, Marshmallows, and Yellow & Blue Sprinkles, inspired by the mischievous antics of the Minions. Cold Stone will also feature Heist Cream Cake with layers of moist Yellow Cake and Despicamallow Ice Cream with Yellow & Blue Sprinkles and wrapped in fluffy White Frosting featuring the Mega Jerry Minion. Guests can dive into these limited-time offerings at participating Cold Stone Creamery locations nationwide June 12 through July 30."

According to Jana Schneider, Vice President of National Programs for Kahala Brands, the parent company of Cold Stone Creamery, "We can't wait for ice cream lovers and Despicable Me 4 fans to taste our new Despicamallow Ice Cream in a Creation or ice cream cake. Minions and ice cream are both guaranteed to make you smile - so put the two together, and we dare you not to have fun!"

STARBUCKS

Long known for both hot and cold coffee, Starbucks recently announced its PAIRINGS MENU with two new options:

*Starting at $5: A tall iced/hot coffee or tea paired with a butter croissant​.

*Starting at $6: A tall iced/hot coffee or tea paired with a breakfast sandwich.

Naturally, there's always a disclaimer: "Limited-time offer. At participating stores. No substitutions. Customizations may cost extra. Plus tax if applicable. Pairing costs $7 if ordering a Double Smoked Bacon, Pesto Egg Mozzarella or Impossible breakfast sandwich. Cannot be combined with other offers or discounts. Product availability varies by store. Starbucks Reserve coffees and ready-to-drink beverages excluded. Excludes delivery services."

PERKINS NAME CHANGE AND BRAND REFRESH

The diner chain Perkins Restaurant and Bakery has changed its name after 66 years to Perkins American Food Co. This means that the word "bakery," which has been part of its brand identity for five decades, is disappearing, but actual bakeries will remain in the restaurants. According to Toni Ronayne, Perkins President, "The refreshed name really speaks to our American values and the American comfort food we deliver." In addition to the new name, the logo will update its green color, and restaurants will be remodeled featuring brighter flooring plus new tables, silverware, and uniforms.

EIFFEL TOWER

In order to keep up with rising maintenance costs for the iconic monument in the French capital, the Eiffel Tower has increased its ticket price. The admission price has increased by 20 percent from 29 Euros ($31.91 USD) to 35 Euros ($38.31 USD) to help cover the costs of renovation work and financial losses during the covid pandemic. The Eiffel Tower welcomed a record 6.3 million visitors in 2023, the highest since 2015. Originally, Gustave Eiffel mandated the tower's repainting every seven years to preserve its structural integrity, however, the 20th repainting cycle commenced in 2020, eleven years overdue, due to funding and logistical challenges.

TWO PANDAS CALL SAN DIEGO HOME

While many folks travel to San Diego for their summer get-aways, two giant pandas are en route from China to become the newest residents of the San Diego Zoo. These two pandas are the first pair to enter the United States in 21 years, but will not be viewable to the public for several weeks while they acclimate. The rare loan was finalized in February as part of what China refers to as "panda diplomacy." The pandas are "envoys of friendship between the Chinese and American peoples," according to Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

NEWEST US POSTAGE STAMP

The United States Postal Service announced that former "Jeopardy!" TV show host Alex Trebek will appear on a new Forever stamp. The stamp is designed in the style of "Jeopardy!" clues, where contestants answer with a question, reading: "This naturalized U.S. citizen hosted the quiz show 'Jeopardy!" for 37 seasons." The stamp will be available to purchase beginning July 22nd at post offices nationwide.

LUXEMBOURG ROYALTY

Have you ever heard of Luxembourg, or officially, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg? It is a small European country surrounded by Belgium, France, and Germany. While its population is around 670,000 (in 2024), making it one of the least-populated countries in Europe, foreigners account for nearly half of the population. It is a representative democracy headed by a constitutional monarch, Grand Duke Henri, making it the world's only remaining sovereign grand duchy. And interesting fact, according to Wikipedia, "Being landlocked, Luxembourg has no navy."

Roughly six months after Queen Margrethe of Denmark abdicated the throne in favor of her son, Prince Frederik (now King Frederik), another European monarch has announced his abdication. Grand Duke Henri has announced that he will abdicate later this year after 24 years on the throne, and his son, Prince Guillaume will takeover.

DEATH OF WILLIE MAYS

One doesn't need to be a fan of the San Francisco Giants to be a fan of Willie Mays. Long considered to be one of the best all-around players in the history of baseball, Mays passed away on June 18th. According to Leo Durocher (a former Dodgers manager), "If somebody came up and hit .450, stole 100 bases, and performed a miracle in the field every day, I'd still look you in the eye and say Willie was better." On Mays' Baseball Hall of Fame page, "In 1954, in Game 1 of the World Series against the Cleveland Indians, tied 2-2 in the top of the 8th inning with runners on first and second and no outs, Vic Wertz hit a towering drive that would have been a home run in most parks. Mays, playing shallow center field, took off and ran with his back to the ball, caught it over the shoulder an estimated 460 feet from the plate, turned, and fired. The Giants won the game and the World Series. "The Catch" is considered by many to be one of the greatest defensive plays in history." On a personal note, my father, despite being a lifelong Dodgers fan from age 7, was also a lifelong Willie Mays fan. Talk about the power of personal branding! 

NETFLIX HOUSES

Netflix announced that it will open two massive venues with experiences and shops themed to its shows. The experiential complexes called "Netflix Houses" will open in empty retail space in Dallas and Philadelphia. Critics of the expansion note that "attracting repeat business will be challenging." According to ABC, "For Netflix, it's just the latest move in a series of efforts to broaden its profile and income beyond standard streaming, even though the bulk of its profits come from its core business."

STONEHENGE VANDALISM

Environmental protesters sprayed orange powder paint on Britain's Stonehenge, and some of the protesters were arrested. While the protesters demand a treaty to phase out fossil fuels by 2030, causing damage to a nearly 5,000 year-old prehistoric monument was not the best form of protest. However, I'm writing about the protest here, so you be the judge.

NEW YORK TIMES

Following the first Presidential debate of the 2024 Presidential Election year between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, the New York Times editorial board called for Presidential Biden to leave the 2024 Presidential race. This is historic for many reasons. First, the New York Times is known as a liberal publication. Second, while newspaper editorial boards often endorse candidates and issues, they do not often call for liberal incumbents to leave office. And third, what are the brand implications of this monumental decision? Will existing subscribers terminate their subscriptions or will new subscribers flock to the news publication?

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN

Based on President Biden's disappointing performance at the first Presidential debate on June 27th, how will his personal brand survive all the negative buzz? Not only are members of the liberal mainstream media calling for him to leave the 2024 Presidential race, but high-ranking members of his own party are doing the same.

NEW BALANCE TRADE-IN PROGRAM

New Balance has partnered with Archive, a resale company, to launch its in-store trade-in program in nearly 100 participating U.S. retail locations. When customers bring in gently worn footwear, they will receive a voucher for their next purchase. Interesting fact: According to New Balance, secondhand products supplied by customers sell 2.6 times faster than its new products.

WALMART SHELF LABELS

Walmart became the latest retailer to announce that it will replace price stickers in its aisles with electronic shelf labels. Nearly 2,300 stores will have the digitized shelf labels by 2026. According to NPR, "The new labels will allow employees to change prices as often as every 10 seconds. If it's hot outside, we can raise the price of water and ice cream. If there's something that's close to the expiration date, we can lower the price." While Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods already have electronic shelf labels, here's an interesting fact: Digitized shelf labels are more common in stores across Europe.

TAYLOR SWIFT TAKES ON LONDON

During her time in London, superstar Taylor Swift may have taken selfies with Prince William and family, but even more significant, she became part of the London Underground. Using the hashtags #LDNTaylorsVersion and #LondonTSTheErasTour, the London Transport social platforms re-created a map of the Tube stations and inserted names of some of her songs. Here was the message included with the updated Tube map: "Introducing Tube Map, Taylor's Version: We're delighted that Taylor Swift has chosen to perform more nights of her record-breaking Eras Tour in London than anywhere else in the world - a huge boost to London's economy. We're expecting to see lots of Swifties across TfL services this week. To everyone visiting London, welcome!"

TAYLOR SWIFT TERMINOLOGY

Two terms have appeared as a result of Swift's international fame: "Visitor Economy" and "Economic Fairy Dust" = the impact on local economies where she performs because visitors flock to each location's airports, hotels, restaurants, and more - and Swift dusts the cities with an economic boom.

REGAL CINEMAS $1 MOVIES

This summer, Regal Cinemas is offering $1 movie prices as part of its Summer Movie Express promotion. Every Tuesday and Wednesday at 11am, family friendly movies will cost $1 from mid-June until August 7th. The list of eligible movies includes: "Despicable Me 3," "Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway," "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," and "PAW Patrol: The Movie."

APPLE

Apple edged past Microsoft in mid-June to become the most valuable U.S. public company. Apple's market cap closed at roughly $3.29 trillion (USD), above Microsoft's $3.28 trillion (USD).

PRIDE MONTH

Since June was Pride Month, what did your brand do to recognize, celebrate, and promote the importance of diversity, inclusion, and equality? What did your brand do to support the LGBTQ+ community? Did you change your logo, add a tagline, or place a Pride flag at your physical headquarters or on your main website?

And on a related note to the food-related updates in this month-end recap, what is a food famous on July 4th? If you answered Nathan's due to the annual hot dog eating competition, then you're correct. Each year, nearly two million people watch Nathan's hot dog eating contest, according to ESPN; and tens of thousands of spectators arrive at Brooklyn's Coney Island to watch the event in person. The first contest was in 1972, when PR experts Max Rosey and Mortimer Matz thought that a hot dog eating competition would drum up publicity for Nathan's.

With all these product partnerships and co-branding initiatives, one wonders if brands need partnerships to make their products more appealing. Are these brands not strong enough on their own, or are they simply adding some pizzazz? Are these alignments appropriate for the brands, and will they lead to increased sales?

What other recent marketing buzz caught your attention? There's always something happening that impacts marketing, so tune in to #DebbieLaskeysBlog for the scoop! (No pun intended due to the ice cream references in this post!)


Image Credits: Cold Stone Creamery and Scrub Daddy.


For more details about the Eiffel Tower:

https://www.toureiffel.paris/en/the-monument

and

https://www.toureiffel.paris/en/the-monument/lights

and

https://www.toureiffel.paris/en/rates-opening-times


See Great Towers Around the World:

https://www.toureiffel.paris/en/the-monument/great-world-tours


Learn 10 Interesting Facts about Stonehenge:

https://www.stonehenge-london-tours.com/stonehenge-facts/


Learn about the history of the Pride flag:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_flag_(LGBT)

and

https://www.hrc.org/resources/lgbtq-pride-flags

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Highlights of My #SpringLeadershipSeries

Last fall, because reading has been my lifelong hobby, and I wanted to know what books other people considered life-changing, I featured a series called the #FallBacktoReadingSeries and posed the same five questions to 30 marketing, leadership, and customer experience experts.

Thanks to a seed planted by one of the series' participants, Joseph Lalonde, another series appeared on my blog from March through June of this year, my #SpringLeadershipSeries, in which I asked 15 leadership and marketing experts to think about leadership in nontraditional ways.

Before we embark on a recap of this series, I'd like to share some of my favorite quotes about leadership:

"Great leaders don't do it alone...they get help." ~Erika Andersen

"You never have to ask anyone's permission to lead. Just lead. " ~Kamala Harris

"Leadership doesn't require you to be the smartest person in the room. It requires you to block and tackle for others." ~Mark Herbert

"As a leader, speak last to ensure everyone's voice is heard." ~Hortense Le Gentil

"Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn't be that women are the exception." ~Ruth Bader G‌insburg

"If you're offered a seat on a rocket ship, don't ask what seat." ~Sheryl Sandberg

"If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring in a folding chair." ~Shirley Chisholm

"Managers (mostly men) create the glass ceiling, and we do women a disservice by calling on us to shatter it." ~Susan Colantuono

And now, pull up a chair and join me for a fun recap of my #SpringLeadershipSeries.

JOSEPH LALONDE
TV SHOW THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: The Shield
FILM THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: Wonka
FICTION THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
PRODUCTS AS SYMBOLS OF LEADERSHIP: Mattel's Barbie and Hasbro's GI Joe
BRAND AS EMBODIMENT OF INDUSTRY LEADER: Weaving Influence

ANTHONY GAENZLE
TV SHOW THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: Blue Bloods
FILMS THAT SHOWCASE LEADERSHIP: Marvel films and Spider-Man
FICTION THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: The Chosen Twelve by James Breakwell
SYMBOL OF LEADERSHIP: Personal brand of Richard Branson
BRAND AS EMBODIMENT OF INDUSTRY LEADER: Tesla

DAVID BURKUS
TV SHOW THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: Designated Survivor
FILM THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: Braveheart
PRODUCT AS SYMBOL OF LEADERSHIP: Little Green Army Men
BRAND AS EMBODIMENT OF INDUSTRY LEADER: Péla Case

RON THOMAS
FILM THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: The Godfather
FICTION THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: Always Start with Why by Simon Sinek
PRODUCT AS SYMBOL OF LEADERSHIP: Apple
BRAND AS EMBODIMENT OF INDUSTRY LEADER: Rimowa

JAMES STROCK
TV SHOWS THAT SHOWCASE LEADERSHIP: Madmen and Hitler Chronicles
FILM THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: Darkest Hour
FICTION THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: Lincoln by Gore Vidal
PRODUCT AS SYMBOL OF LEADERSHIP: Rolex
BRAND AS EMBODIMENT OF INDUSTRY LEADER: Toyota

GREGG VANOUREK
TV SHOW THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: Ted Lasso
FILM THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: Dead Poets Society
FICTION THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
PRODUCT AS SYMBOL OF LEADERSHIP: The Rubik's Cube
BRANDS AS EMBODIMENT OF INDUSTRY LEADERS: Apple and Spotify

REBECCA HEROLD
TV SHOW THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: Columbo
FILM THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: War Games
FICTION THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
SYMBOLS OF LEADERSHIP: Professional organizations in the privacy and security industry: ISACA, ISC2, IAPP, CompTIA, and ISSA

KATHI KRUSE
TV SHOW THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: The Sopranos
FILM THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: Schindler's List
PRODUCT AS SYMBOL OF LEADERSHIP: Patagonia
BRAND AS EMBODIMENT OF INDUSTRY LEADER: Costco

KATHERINE SPINNEY
TV SHOW THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: The Bear
FILMS THAT SHOWCASE LEADERSHIP: Erin Brockovich and Office Space
PRODUCTS AS SYMBOLS OF LEADERSHIP: Digital shared space to enable collaboration, such as, Outlook Calendars or shared Google Docs
BRAND AS EMBODIMENT OF INDUSTRY LEADER: the NFL

NATHALIE GREGG
TV SHOW THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: Scandal
FILM THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: Barbie The Movie
FICTION THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
PRODUCT AS SYMBOL OF LEADERSHIP: Dove
BRAND AS EMBODIMENT OF INDUSTRY LEADER: Starbucks

SUSAN FRIESEN

TV SHOW THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: The Crown
FILM THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: Erin Brockovich
FICTION THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
PRODUCT AS SYMBOL OF LEADERSHIP: Nike
BRAND AS EMBODIMENT OF INDUSTRY LEADER: Nike

MELANIE BELL
TV SHOW THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: Ted Lasso
FILM THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: Titanic
FICTION THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: The Final Revival of Opal and Nev by Dawnie Walton
PRODUCT AS SYMBOL OF LEADERSHIP: Samsonite
BRAND AS EMBODIMENT OF INDUSTRY LEADER: Starbucks

SUSAN GARDNER
TV SHOWS THAT SHOWCASE LEADERSHIP: Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation
FILMS THAT SHOWCASE LEADERSHIP: Erin Brockovich and Michael Clayton
FICTION THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: James Bond series by Ian Fleming
PRODUCT AS SYMBOL OF LEADERSHIP: Starbucks
BRAND AS EMBODIMENT OF INDUSTRY LEADER: Apple

ZEN YINGER
TV SHOW THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: Ted Lasso
FILM THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: Dead Poets Society
FICTION THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
PRODUCT AS SYMBOL OF LEADERSHIP: LinkedIn
BRAND AS EMBODIMENT OF INDUSTRY LEADER: Amazon

GLORIA MIELE
TV SHOW THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: For All Mankind
FILM/FICTION THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
PRODUCT/BRAND AS EMBODIMENT OF INDUSTRY LEADER: For Days

And my two cents...DEBBIE LASKEY
TV SHOWS THAT SHOWCASE LEADERSHIP: Law & Order: SVU and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
FILMS THAT SHOWCASE LEADERSHIP: 12 Angry Men and 9 to 5
FICTION THAT SHOWCASES LEADERSHIP: The Exchange, After the Firm by John Grisham
PRODUCT AS SYMBOL OF LEADERSHIP: Mattel's Barbie
BRAND AS EMBODIMENT OF INDUSTRY LEADER: Starbucks

Did this series persuade you to think about leadership in nontraditional ways? I hope so!

I enjoyed this series so much - and hope you did too - that it planted a seed for another series. The upcoming Olympics competitions and athletes present another unique way to think about leadership. I invite you to tune into #DebbieLaskeysBlog from July 26 through August 11 to read 20 posts in what I have named my #OlympicsLeadershipSeries. More details will follow on Twitter/X, Instagram, and Threads, so stay tuned, and add the series to your calendar!


Image Credits: Debbie Laskey, iStockphoto, Amazon, and Classroom Clipart.

Monday, June 17, 2024

SPRING LEADERSHIP SERIES – Featuring Gloria Miele

Last fall, I featured an inspiring series here on my blog called, "Fall Back to Reading Series." Nearly 30 leadership, marketing, and customer experience experts participated and shared their favorite books and their thoughts about the importance of reading.

Joseph Lalonde, one participant, wrote a book entitled, REEL LEADERSHIP, which focuses on nontraditional ways to think about leadership. After I read the book, the seeds for this "Spring Leadership Series" were planted. Today, I'd like to introduce Gloria Miele, and following a brief introduction, Gloria shares some nontraditional ways to think about leadership!

Gloria M. Miele, Ph.D., is a leadership development and executive coach, trainer, consultant and speaker who has been helping people reach their goals for over 25 years. Her mission is to inspire leaders and their teams to create strengths-based professional environments that increase the engagement, emotional intelligence, and success of an organization and its people. She has designed, developed, and delivered learning programs for organizations that include the National Institutes of Health, StoryCorps, Columbia University, NYU, UCLA, Oregon Health Sciences University, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Gloria is also extremely involved in the community, committed to causes that support local business, education, the arts, and the empowerment of women and girls.

QUESTION: Which TV show or TV series showcases leadership in a memorable way? This could be due to a specific character and their actions, a series of events, the plot of one or several episodes, or a specific time reflected in history.
GLORIA MIELE: In an alternative timeline, imagine a leader at NASA in the 1960's and 1970's. In this timeline, JFK is not assassinated, and during his two terms in office, invests mightily in space exploration. Think about the astronauts and their families, space command, and the highest levels of government and science.

Imagine a diverse mission team with women and men of all races: skilled, cooperative, and effective. This is what leadership looks like on the Apple+ show FOR ALL MANKIND, a science fiction series where the global space race takes its course in an alternate timeline. The timeline evolves so that there is colonization of the moon in the 1980's and Mars in the early 21st century. This is a world where a woman astronaut becomes the head of NASA, then the President of the United States in the 1990's.

We know that a more inclusive workforce is good for business and an organization's bottom line. I like to think that having women involved in this timeline has contributed to the expansion of space exploration. I love how the series captures the impact of women leaders in science and space, their cooperation, expertise, and resolve propelling forward the nation and the world.

SHARE THIS: A more inclusive workforce is good for business and an organization's bottom line. ~@GloriaMiele #SpringLeadershipSeries #DebbieLaskeysBlog


QUESTION: Which film (and in this case, also works of fiction) showcases leadership in a memorable way?
GLORIA MIELE: A film based in fiction that showcases leadership in a memorable way is THE LORD OF THE RINGS series. No matter what race - human, hobbit, elf, dwarf, or the great wizards like Gandalf - they all have room to lead. The fellowship is the ultimate team, drawing on the strengths and talents of each character to tackle a near impossible challenge on an epic quest for the greater good. The king, Aragorn, is courageous, mission-driven, ruggedly handsome, strong yet empathetic, warm, and connected. And each character, as diverse a crew as you could get, brings their best to destroy the ring in the battle for middle earth. They each step up to lead, demonstrating that even the smallest among us can have a big impact.

SHARE THIS: Even the smallest among us can have a big impact. ~@GloriaMiele #SpringLeadershipSeries #DebbieLaskeysBlog


QUESTION: Which product, or product line, stands out as a symbol of leadership - and also serves as an embodiment of an industry leader?
GLORIA MIELE: A brand or product line that stands out as a current industry leader is FOR DAYS. With its mission to end fashion waste through textile recycling, For Days has a unique business model with the goal of keeping clothing and unwanted textiles out of landfills.

Sponsored by the United Nations, the For Days Take Back bag program and innovative marketplace are brand leaders that provide consumers with a sustainable solution to get rid of their unwanted clothing.

Emerging as a leader in the green economy, For Days is leading a revolution in cleaner fashion, engaging young shoppers with a rewards program, and offering novel solutions to address the long- term environmental impact of fast fashion.


Did these questions open your eyes to thinking about leadership in nontraditional ways? That was the hope. My gratitude to Gloria for appearing on my blog, and for sharing her leadership insights.


Image Credits: Debbie Laskey, iStockphoto, Amazon, and Classroom Clipart.

Connect with Gloria at these links:
Website: https://www.strongerleader.com
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gloriamiele
Twitter/X: https://twitter.com/GloriaMiele
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/strongerleader
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/doctorglo

Links shared by Gloria:
Women are Good for Business:
https://www.hult.edu/blog/women-in-business-advantages-challenges-and-opportunities/

To learn more about For Days:
United Nations Partnerships page:
https://sdgs.un.org/partnerships/days

https://fordays.com/
and
https://fordays.com/products/take-back-bag

Article in Business Insider:
https://www.businessinsider.com/guides/style/for-days-clothing-take-back-bag-review


Friday, June 14, 2024

SPRING LEADERSHIP SERIES – Featuring Zen Yinger

Last fall, I featured an inspiring series here on my blog called, "Fall Back to Reading Series." Nearly 30 leadership, marketing, and customer experience experts participated and shared their favorite books and their thoughts about the importance of reading.

Joseph Lalonde, one participant, wrote a book entitled, REEL LEADERSHIP, which focuses on nontraditional ways to think about leadership. After I read the book, the seeds for this "Spring Leadership Series" were planted. Today, I'd like to introduce Zen Yinger, and following a brief introduction, Zen shares some nontraditional ways to think about leadership!

Zen Yinger is the CEO of ZenConsult, whose goal is "To Transition, To Transcend, and Transform Business Using Simple and Smart AI." ZenConsult helps problem solve and create new opportunities for SMBs, start-ups, and personal brands who want to lean into the future of business by making the simplest and smartest use of AI. She also coaches entrepreneurs and professionals who are in the process of making a delayed entry into the digital world. She has been recognized in Onalytica’s Top 100 for Social Media Marketing Influencers and Top 100 PR Influencers. She is passionate about #WomensAdvocacy, #WomenSupportingWomen, #HeForShe, and #TechForGood.

QUESTION: Which TV show or TV series showcases leadership in a memorable way? This could be due to a specific character and their actions, a series of events, the plot of one or several episodes, or a specific time reflected in history.
ZEN YINGER: TED LASSO, the TV show on Apple TV left me inspired and wanting for more.

Ted Lasso is the epitome of leadership in the series and crafts a unique brand of inspiration rooted in genuine positivity and unwavering empathy. His character becomes a beacon of hope, navigating challenges with an infectious optimism that transcends the soccer pitch. What sets Ted apart is his commitment to building a team culture founded on communication and personal growth.

The series artfully weaves a narrative where each character's journey reflects the transformative impact of Ted's leadership. Be it the comedic camaraderie or the poignant moments, Ted Lasso's approach to leadership is a refreshing departure from conventional portrayals. In a world often fixated on success at any cost, Ted stands out by emphasizing the human side of leadership, creating a memorable and uplifting experience for viewers.

Here are some inspiring quotes from Ted in Season 1 and Season 2:

Season 1: "I believe in hope. I believe in belief." In a pivotal moment, Ted expresses his unwavering faith in positivity and belief, setting the tone for his leadership style.

Season 1: "I think that you should always be curious, 'cause you never know when you're gonna find yourself in a moment of pure discovery." Ted emphasizes the importance of curiosity and openness to new experiences, fostering personal growth within the team.

Season 2: "Every breath is a chance to make things right." Ted's perspective on redemption underscores the series' theme of continuous improvement and second chances.

Season 2: "Success is not about the wins and losses. It's about helping these young fellas be the best versions of themselves on and off the field." Ted redefines success, emphasizing personal development over mere victories, reinforcing his holistic approach to coaching.

QUESTION: Which film showcases leadership in a memorable way?
ZEN YINGER: As an English Literature fan and student, who also had an inspirational English Literature professor, I am compelled to choose the film DEAD POETS SOCIETY.

The film tells a captivating tale of leadership personified by John Keating, an English teacher portrayed by Robin Williams, who gives a brilliant performance. Keating's unconventional teaching methods breathe life into the study of poetry, breaking free from traditional norms. He instills in his students the profound philosophy of "Carpe Diem," urging them to seize the day and embrace individuality, creating a compelling narrative around the power of living authentically. The film beautifully captures the essence of artistic expression, emphasizing the transformative role of poetry in self-discovery.

Keating's leadership is a beacon of empowerment, encouraging students to discover their voices and pursue their passions fearlessly. With a commitment to cultivating critical thinking, he challenges societal norms and fosters confidence, laying the foundation for personal and intellectual growth.

Beyond the classroom, Keating's leadership extends into personal connections, where he understands the fears and dreams of each student, creating an environment of trust and loyalty. The story unfolds with a powerful exploration of consequences, teaching resilience and the importance of facing challenges head-on. Even after Keating's departure, his legacy of inspiration endures, revealing the timeless impact of authentic leadership that transcends immediate circumstances.

Dead Poets Society is a poignant journey that resonates with the human spirit, inviting viewers to reflect on the profound influence of a leader who dared to ignite the flames of individuality and seize the poetic beauty of life.

QUESTION: Which work of fiction showcases leadership in a memorable way?
ZEN YINGER: TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE left an indelible mark on my life from when I read it almost two decades ago. The book unfolds a profound leadership narrative through Morrie Schwartz's lessons.

Morrie's wisdom extends beyond academics, emphasizing emotional intelligence and the prioritization of meaningful relationships over societal expectations.

Facing mortality becomes a transformative journey, prompting readers to reflect on life's purpose and spiritual growth.

Morrie's open communication fosters vulnerability, creating connections that endure.

His legacy, rooted in timeless insights, challenges us to consider the impact we leave on others.

Morrie's unique time management philosophy values quality interactions, inspiring a reevaluation of how we spend our time.
Acceptance, forgiveness, and authenticity define his leadership, encouraging readers to lead with grace and embrace their true selves.

In essence, Tuesdays With Morrie offers a human-centric leadership guide, urging us to live authentically and leave a meaningful legacy.

QUESTION: Which product, or product line, stands out as a symbol of leadership?
ZEN YINGER: As a longtime social media fan, consultant and currently looking for new opportunities, I eat, breathe, sleep LINKEDIN!

LinkedIn isn't just a platform; it's a symbol of leadership in the professional landscape, a space where connections transcend borders, and careers are shaped. It stands out for being more than a networking site – it's a hub of knowledge, a stage for thought leadership that inspires and educates.

As professionals, we find unparalleled opportunities for growth and connection on LinkedIn. LinkedIn's global reach opens doors to a diverse network of professionals, fostering a sense of community that transcends geographical boundaries.

For businesses, LinkedIn isn't just a recruitment tool; it's a showcase of culture and values. Company pages become windows into the soul of organizations, building trust with professionals and clients alike.

The platform's user-friendly interface ensures accessibility for professionals at all levels, creating a welcoming space for sharing ideas, achievements, and experiences.

LinkedIn's commitment to ongoing learning is evident through LinkedIn Learning, offering a treasure trove of courses across various domains. This dedication to knowledge contributes to a culture of continuous improvement and professional development.

As leaders, whether shaping careers or businesses, LinkedIn stands as a symbol of leadership, providing a stage to share, connect, and inspire. It's not just a platform; it's a community that empowers leaders to navigate the ever-changing landscape of the professional world, fostering growth, connections, and a collective journey toward excellence.

SHARE THIS: LinkedIn's global reach opens doors to a diverse network of professionals, fostering a sense of community that transcends geographical boundaries. ~@zenyinger #SpringLeadershipSeries #DebbieLaskeysBlog


QUESTION: Lastly, since I’m a marketing professional, I would be remiss not to ask this question. Which brand do you consider the best embodiment of an industry leader, and why?
ZEN YINGER: AMAZON is top of mind to me because it's become an important and useful part of my everyday life. I buy my staples on Amazon. Last year, I published an ebook on Amazon, and I am putting together a product line to launch on Amazon. It stands as the epitome of an industry leader, capturing hearts and homes globally, including mine!

What sets Amazon apart is not just the convenience it offers, but the unwavering dedication to customer satisfaction. It's a dynamic ecosystem that caters to diverse needs, mirroring modern lifestyles. In the realm of innovation, Amazon is a trailblazer, shaping the future of commerce and technology.

From the seamless experience of Amazon Prime to the intelligence embodied in Alexa, the company continually raises the bar, weaving technology seamlessly into the fabric of our daily lives.

The strength of Amazon lies not just in its vast product catalog but in the marketplace model that empowers countless entrepreneurs. It's a community where dreams find expression, and small businesses flourish alongside industry giants, creating a harmonious blend of choices for consumers.

Beyond the algorithms and logistics, Amazon's leadership radiates from a people-centric core. The company's commitment to a diverse and inclusive culture, coupled with leadership principles emphasizing ownership and innovation, fosters an environment where individuals are empowered to think big and push boundaries. Amazon is a global connector, understanding and catering to the unique needs of people around the world.

The ability to adapt its business model to diverse cultures reflects a leadership that embraces the richness of human experiences. Initiatives like "The Climate Pledge" showcase Amazon's dedication to environmental stewardship, reinforcing the idea that true leadership extends beyond profits to leave a positive impact on the world.

In essence, Amazon isn't just a company; it's a symbol of customer-centric leadership, innovation, inclusivity, adaptability, and responsibility. It represents the evolution of an industry leader that not only meets - but anticipates - the needs of a dynamic and interconnected world.

Did these questions open your eyes to thinking about leadership in nontraditional ways? That was the hope. My gratitude to Zen for appearing on my blog, and for sharing her leadership insights.


Image Credits: Debbie Laskey, iStockphoto, Amazon, and Classroom Clipart.

Connect with Zen at these links:
Website: https://www.zenyinger.com
Blog: https://www.zenyinger.com/blog
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/zenyinger
Twitter/X: https://www.twitter.com/zenyinger
(Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest also as Zen Yinger)

Check out Zen's previous appearance here on this blog:

Tips to Establish Your Digital Brand (October 2021)
https://www.debbielaskeysblog.com/2021/10/tips-to-establish-your-digital-brand.html


Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Sharing Lessons in Brand Communication

We all receive too many promotional emails and texts - so many, in fact, that we probably develop negative feelings toward some brands.

Recently, I received a letter via snail mail from Macy's, and here's what the letter said.

Dear valued Macy's customer,

We wanted to let you know that the Macy's (specific location) store has closed. You can still find us close by at (and five locations were listed).

Some good news: You can continue to shop the styles and brands you love any time online at www.macys.com and in the Macy's app.

Here's a 20 percent off coupon any day you choose now through July 15, 2024. It's just our way of saying thank you for shopping at Macy's.

With gratitude from Chief of Stores

In today's post-covid era, many retail stores have suffered from loss of sales, and unfortunately, had to close their doors. So, when possible, how many have taken the time to thank customers and ask for future business at other locations? I would venture to say, not many - which makes this outreach from Macy's definitely stand out.

According to MarketingEggspert, "Brand communication is an interaction between a brand and its stakeholders. A brand can engage in communications through numerous approaches, like TV commercials, online newsletters, business cards, billboards, or direct marketing. Brand communication helps people to understand a brand better and makes them able to connect with it."

So, what do you think about Macy's outreach to me? Would you use the coupon to solidify your brand loyalty?

SHARE THIS: Brand communication helps people to understand a brand better and makes them able to connect with it. ~MarketingEggspert #brandcommunication #brandexperience #DebbieLaskeysBlog


Image Credit: Marketingeggspert.

Monday, June 10, 2024

SPRING LEADERSHIP SERIES – Featuring Susan Gardner

Last fall, I featured an inspiring series here on my blog called, "Fall Back to Reading Series." Nearly 30 leadership, marketing, and customer experience experts participated and shared their favorite books and their thoughts about the importance of reading.

Joseph Lalonde, one participant, wrote a book entitled, REEL LEADERSHIP, which focuses on nontraditional ways to think about leadership. After I read the book, the seeds for this "Spring Leadership Series" were planted. Today, I'd like to introduce Susan Gardner, and following a brief introduction, Susan shares some nontraditional ways to think about leadership!

Susan Gardner's background is centered in recruiting and human resources in both public and private companies. As her career evolved, she contributed to startups and turnarounds that were undergoing transformative change in both tech and non-tech fields, such as, healthcare, e-commerce, fashion, and telecommunications. She's worked as a board member, marketing specialist, change manager, and indie film producer. Her interest is positive transformative growth and change - people and positivity centered cultures drive this!

QUESTION: Which TV show or TV series showcases leadership in a memorable way?
SUSAN GARDNER: I've chosen STAR TREK and STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION as examples of leadership at different stages in an organization. These TV shows showcase two captains of the Federation Starship USS Enterprise, Captain James T. Kirk and Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Both explored space while encountering many and varied cultures and peoples.

Kirk was the early captain and, as such, focused on considered action and allowing his officers and staff to contribute and do the job at hand getting optimum results. He partnered with them as a daily, active, on-site participant traveling to planets as an "away team" member.

As the Federation matured, Captain Picard took on a diplomatic posture and supportive partnership stance for the officers and staff under his command. Fewer new cultures were encountered, and relationship development became - and continued to be - paramount to success.

If you have an opportunity, catch Captain Picard's encounter with the Borg! Fabulous episode! (Editorial Note: The Borg were first encountered in The Next Generation's second season, episode 16, entitled, "Q Who?," and presented as so unstoppable that Picard had to swallow his pride and beg Q for help to escape them. The episode ended with the Borg presumably on their way to Federation space and time running out on finding a way to stop them.)

QUESTION: Which film showcases leadership in a memorable way?
SUSAN GARDNER: Two films come to mind.

First, ERIN BROCKOVICH, a true story turned into a film starring Julia Roberts in the title role. Erin has three children, and because of a car accident, contacts lawyer Ed Masry to plead her case. She becomes a paralegal for him at her urging as they pursue - with dogged determination - a class action suit against Pacific Gas & Electric for ground water contamination in Hinckley, California. Her attention to detail, creative problem solving skills, people skills, and grit won a $333 Million judgment for the 634 plaintiffs. In leadership and life, it’s always "keep moving forward." Erin is currently continuing her stellar career in environmental activism. The film received five Oscar nominations.

The second film is MICHAEL CLAYTON that featured actor George Clooney as Michael Clayton. Michael is a "fix-it" lawyer for a prestigious New York City firm handling a class action suit for their client, U-North, accused of selling a carcinogenic weed killer. Michael Clayton masterfully exposes the firm's client as totally aware of the danger of this weed killer. In the process, he grows spiritually, emotionally, and financially, and embraces the concept of "doing the right thing" is essential in business and life. It's a key leadership tenet. The film received seven Oscar nominations.

SHARE THIS: The concept of "doing the right thing" is essential in business and life. It's a key leadership tenet. ~@SEGStaffing #SpringLeadershipSeries #DebbieLaskeysBlog


QUESTION: Which work of fiction showcases leadership in a memorable way?
SUSAN GARDNER: I've chosen Ian Fleming's Bond books about JAMES BOND. Each describes a Bond adventure pitting James Bond, fictional MI6 agent 007 against a masterful and evil wrongdoer. Fleming drew on his WWII Naval Intelligence Division service, which added depth and authenticity to his novels. And the film success of his novels is undeniable! Bond leads himself and others with character, creativity, and humor. His tech gadgets are legendary. It's good versus evil at its very best. One of my favorites is GOLDFINGER, which established James Bond as a brand that's definitely here to stay!

QUESTION: Which product, or product line, stands out as a symbol of leadership?
SUSAN GARDNER: I have to choose STARBUCKS, a favorite of mine for many years. Starbucks has led the coffee revolution, establishing their brand as a favorite to meet friends and colleagues for a quick meeting or in-depth discussion while drinking their favorite coffee beverage. Many use their friendly and open stores to work on personal and business projects. And Starbucks has expanded the brand masterfully into food and veggie plates. They pursue excellence with passionate dedication!

QUESTION: Lastly, since I’m a marketing professional, I would be remiss not to ask this question. Which brand do you consider the best embodiment of an industry leader, and why?
SUSAN GARDNER: I have to choose APPLE, my computer and phone choice. To me, the products are easy to use. And the philosophy, dedication, and Apple creative problem-solving strategies ring throughout. You can always reach out to Apple with questions or info. Steve Jobs shines through to this day! He espoused, "It's not about technology, it's about people!" Thank you, Steve!


Did these questions open your eyes to thinking about leadership in nontraditional ways? That was the hope. My gratitude to Susan for appearing on my blog, and for sharing her leadership insights.


Image Credits: Debbie Laskey, iStockphoto, Amazon, and Classroom Clipart.

Connect with Susan at these links:
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/segardner
Twitter/X: https://twitter.com/SEGStaffing

Saturday, June 8, 2024

Marketing News of the Week: Product Naming, Product Pricing, and More

During the past week, there were news stories that reflected producing naming, product pricing, product launches, brand purchases, personal branding, brand identity, philanthropy, and more.

MANHATTANHENGE

According to Headout, "Manhattanhenge is a nod to Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument in England where the sun aligns with the stones on the summer solstice. New York astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson re-coined the term for New York! Manhattanhenge is a twice-yearly natural phenomenon in which the setting sun aligns perfectly with the Manhattan street grid...where the sun and the city's skyline come together for a breathtaking spectacle." This year, the event occurred May 30th and will also occur on July 11th.

According to the Farmers Almanac, "The colloquial usage of 'henge' refers to any place where the rising or setting sun lines up with the surrounding architecture."

DOLLAR TREE AND 99 CENTS ONLY STORES

Dollar Tree has confirmed that it acquired the rights to 170 99 Cents Only store locations in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Texas. The announcement followed news that 99 Cents Only would close more than 300 store locations and would file for bankruptcy.

T-MOBILE AND US CELLULAR

T-Mobile announced that it will acquire most of US Cellular's wireless customers and stores. According to Mike Sievert, CEO of T-Mobile, "With this deal, T-Mobile can extend the superior Un-carrier value and experiences that we're famous for to millions of UScellular customers and deliver them lower-priced, value-packed plans and better connectivity on our best-in-class nationwide 5G network." According to Laurent Therivel, CEO of UScellular, "T-Mobile's purchase and integration of UScellular's wireless operations will provide best-in-class connectivity to rural Americans through enhanced nationwide coverage and service offerings at more compelling price points."

DR PEPPER NEWS

After years of slowly gaining market share, Dr Pepper inched ahead of Pepsi as the number two soda brand in the United States, according to Beverage Digest. FYI, Coca-Cola leads the sector by a comfortable margin. Founded in 1885 in Waco, Texas, Dr Pepper established a small but devoted following in the American South. Today, Dr Pepper experiments with new flavors including Strawberries & Cream and Creamy Coconut.

COSTCO'S HOT DOG PRICE

Costco announced that the price of its hot dog will remain at $1.50. Costco has been selling its hot-dog-and-soda combo for $1.50 since it first hit menus in the mid-1980s. The price tag has held steady over the years despite inflation — otherwise it would be closer to $4.40 today.

According to Jamie Loftus, author of Ray Dog: The Naked Truth About Hot Dogs, "It's a good PR move for Costco to not change the price...it's like a PR slam dunk for them, it's like, 'No, we're not going to change the price. We've got your back.'"

According to NPR, "The $1.50 hot dog and the $4.99 rotisserie chicken are what experts have called an example of loss-leader pricing - a strategy in which companies sell certain products below their market cost in order to get customers in the door and, ideally, putting more profitable goods in their carts."

TRUMP'S FELONY CONVICTION

In a historic decision on May 30, a New York jury found former President Donald Trump guilty on 34 counts of falsifying business records, marking the first criminal conviction of a United States President. While the legal repercussions are still to be determined, so, too, is the impact on his personal brand.

According to AdWeek: "On February 17, as former President Donald Trump prepared to face 34 felony counts in his hush money trial in New York, he found time to head to Philadelphia to attend Sneaker Con. And there, standing at the podium, he announced the launch of his new Trump-branded sneakers. Price: $399. The Never Surrender hightop in gold lamé — a limited edition of 1,000 pairs — sold out almost immediately. Weird? Not really. Having licensed his name for everything from condo towers to mail-order steaks over the years, Trump has long fashioned himself as a commercial brand. He is also a presidential brand, as is current President Joe Biden.

But will last week's ruling against Trump in federal court hurt his personal brand? Experts say it may do the opposite. Ever since Trump's famous escalator ride into presidential politics nine years ago this month, he has built his brand around the image of an anti-politician who promised to drain Washington's swamp and give the working man a voice. But after the four criminal indictments filed last year, "He positioned himself as a victim and does a remarkable job of trying to turn his victimhood into a strength," said Kate deGruyter for think tank Third Way. In that context, these most recent guilty verdicts may have strengthened Trump's brand positioning."

Time will tell on November 5th!

UKRAINE'S OREO PRODUCTION

Ukraine's Oreo production is back in business after snack maker Mondelez repaired its war-damaged factory (in Trostyanets) that was badly damaged during Russia's invasion two years ago. According to CNN, Oreos, chocolate wafers with a creme vanilla filling, are one of Mondelez's biggest brands. The company said that products made in the Trostyanets factory are exported to Eurasian countries such as Georgia and Kazakhstan in addition to being sold in the domestic Ukrainian market.

JEEP ELECTRIC VEHICLE UNVEILED

Jeep unveiled its first electric SUV and joined the congested segment already featuring GM, Honda, Kia, and Hyundai. Jeep's new Wagoneer S, will go on sale this fall, and shares little with its gas-powered namesake. The EV utilizes the same architecture as the upcoming Dodge Charger EV, and its starting price tag will be $72,000.

SPECIAL K'S LATEST PACKAGING

In an amazing first, Special K features a pregnant woman on its cereal box. The box, which shows Molly Baz with an exposed pregnant belly, is available for purchase on the Kellogg website. It's part of the brand's "Special for a Reason" marketing campaign, which features "inspiring individuals."

MEXICO'S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

Former Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum won a landslide victory to become the country's first female president and the country's first Jewish head of state. According to Reuters, "Victory for Sheinbaum is a major step for Mexico, a country known for its macho culture and home to the world's second largest Roman Catholic population, which for years pushed more traditional values and roles for women." Women have only voted in Mexico since 1953. "Sheinbaum has a complicated path ahead. She must balance promises to increase popular welfare policies while inheriting a hefty budget and low economic growth...And among the new President's challenges will be tense negotiations with the United States over the huge flows of US-bound migrants crossing Mexico and security cooperation over drug trafficking at a time when the US fentanyl epidemic rages."

WOMEN PHILANTHROPISTS

Melinda French Gates is following in the steps of MacKenzie Scott, ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, who has chosen to disburse money from her divorce as fast as she can. French Gates revealed in a New York Times essay that her first project, after leaving the foundation that she co-founded with her ex-husband Bill Gates, would focus on advancing women's rights around the world. According to Amy Pasic, the dean of the Indiana University School of Philanthropy, citing research from the Women's Philanthropy Institute, "Women tend to be more social in the way that they approach giving, and they're more collaborative."

BRITISH BANKNOTES WITH KING CHARLES III

Banknotes featuring King Charles III entered circulation in the United Kingdom this week. This marked the first time that the Bank of England changed the monarch on its notes, and this is only the second time that the monarch has appeared on banknotes issued by the Bank of England - the first was Charles' mother, Queen Elizabeth II. Charles' portrait appears on the 5, 10, 20, and 50 pound notes; and the rest of the design remains the same as the current notes that feature the late Queen Elizabeth II on their fronts. The Bank of England expects the new notes "to enter circulation very gradually."

According to the British Retail Consortium, "Fewer Brits use cash. In 2023, there was an increase in cash usage for the first time in a decade, making up about 19 percent of total transactions. Cards still make up the overwhelming proportion of money spent, at 85 percent."

What other recent marketing buzz caught your attention? There's always something happening that impacts marketing, so tune in to #DebbieLaskeysBlog for the scoop!


Image Credits: CNN/Lucy North/PA/AP and Business Insider.


Read more about Manhattanhenge:

https://www.amnh.org/research/hayden-planetarium/manhattanhenge

Read more about Trump's conviction:

https://www.bu.edu/articles/2024/trump-convicted-felon-what-does-that-mean/

Read: 22 Experts Predict What the Trump Conviction Will Mean for 2024 and Beyond 

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2024/05/31/trump-trial-verdict-conviction-consequences-00160933

Friday, June 7, 2024

SPRING LEADERSHIP SERIES – Featuring Melanie Bell

Last fall, I featured an inspiring series here on my blog called, "Fall Back to Reading Series." Nearly 30 leadership, marketing, and customer experience experts participated and shared their favorite books and their thoughts about the importance of reading.

Joseph Lalonde, one participant, wrote a book entitled, REEL LEADERSHIP, which focuses on nontraditional ways to think about leadership. After I read the book, the seeds for this "Spring Leadership Series" were planted. Today, I’d like to introduce Melanie Bell, and following a brief introduction, Melanie shares some nontraditional ways to think about leadership!

Melanie Bell is the Co-Founder of Strategic Piece, a company that helps B2B businesses generate outstanding revenue growth by bringing together their marketing, sales, and service teams around an information-driven customer experience. However, Melanie is not only about marketing. She founded Leaders Who Fiction, a virtual monthly book club (where we met!), while running Strategic Piece. Through Leaders Who Fiction, Melanie helps people develop leadership skills by reading fiction and participating in intellectual, business-oriented conversations centered around a selected novel. Prior to Strategic Piece, Melanie was President of Marketing Interface, which she founded in 2014, after serving as Director of Marketing at SURGE Accelerator/SURGE Ventures. Melanie earned a BA in International Development from McGill University in Montreal and an MBA from Rice University in Houston.

QUESTION: Which TV show or TV series showcases leadership in a memorable way? This could be due to a specific character and their actions, a series of events, the plot of one or several episodes, or a specific time reflected in history.
MELANIE BELL: How could I not call out the charming series of TED LASSO? I was late to the game in watching it, but I'm so glad I did. There are all sorts of leadership dynamics between the team owner and her employees (I love her story line), the head coach and his assistant coaches, the coaches and players, aging team captains and new hotshots. I could go on; it's absolutely FULL of leadership lessons, plus it's hilarious if you don't mind some salty language.

Humor has such a unique way of reaching us. Actually, one of the first leadership skills presentations that I attended included humor as one of the top ten skills a leader should have.

SHARE THIS: Humor is one of the top ten skills a leader should have. ~@bell_melanie_a #SpringLeadershipSeries #LeadershipTip #DebbieLaskeysBlog


QUESTION: Which film showcases leadership in a memorable way?
MELANIE BELL: Reaching a few years back with this reference, but TITANIC is it for me. I realize what happens in the movie is based on historical facts, but perhaps, that makes it all the more gut-wrenching when the man who made the call to push the limits of the boat and ignore safety warnings gets into one of the lifeboats when the ship was sinking. It showcases leadership in a way of what not to do. Talk about lack of integrity!

(Note: The designer of the Titanic went down with his ship, whereas, the man whose company owned the Titanic left on the last lifeboat.)

QUESTION: Which work of fiction showcases leadership in a memorable way?
MELANIE BELL: I'm a little biased answering this question because most works of fiction have leadership takeaways. For Leaders Who Fiction, we read THE FINAL REVIVAL OF OPAL AND NEV by Dawnie Walton. One of the most liked characters is the band's former manager, but he's one of the reasons that the band fell apart. He had no spine, he cared more about being liked and appeasing tough personalities than he did about making sure that the group was set up for long-term success. That balance of being liked and being respected is something that I've struggled with in leadership roles, so that resonated with me on a personal level.

Okay, I can't pick only one! So, I'm going to cheat and also highlight ENDER'S GAME by Orson Scott Card because I read it after finishing my MBA and thought, "This is what we should have been reading in leadership classes in business school."

QUESTION: Which product, or product line, stands out as a symbol of leadership?
MELANIE BELL: The first product that came to my mind was SAMSONITE luggage because I associate it with business travel and with quality. I'm not even sure how much their luggage costs compared to the competition, but my perception links their product to leadership and things that leaders do.

QUESTION: Lastly, which brand is the best embodiment of an industry leader, and why?
MELANIE BELL: As I think about this question, the following criteria come to mind: who creates the best customer experience, who is innovative in ways that competitors either copycat or react to, and who takes risks that don't always pay off.

I considered Google, Apple, both Canva and Adobe, and Disney when thinking about this question, but for me, STARBUCKS wins this competition. I'm not saying Starbucks has the best coffee (it's not great, in my opinion), but they have had a major impact on our consumption patterns and have created an addictive customer experience.

Did these questions open your eyes to thinking about leadership in nontraditional ways? That was the hope. My gratitude to Melanie for appearing on my blog, and for sharing her leadership insights.


Image Credits: Debbie Laskey, iStockphoto, Amazon, and Classroom Clipart.

Connect with Melanie at these links:
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melanieabell
Website: https://www.strategicpiece.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/leaderswhofiction
Website: https://www.leaderswhofiction.com

Check out Melanie’s LEADERS WHO FICTION's appearance on my blog:

The Best Book I Read in 2023 (February 2024)
https://www.debbielaskeysblog.com/2024/02/the-best-book-i-read-in-2023.html

Monday, June 3, 2024

SPRING LEADERSHIP SERIES – Featuring Susan Friesen

Last fall, I featured an inspiring series here on my blog called, "Fall Back to Reading Series." Nearly 30 leadership, marketing, and customer experience experts participated and shared their favorite books and their thoughts about the importance of reading.

Joseph Lalonde, one participant, wrote a book entitled, REEL LEADERSHIP, which focuses on nontraditional ways to think about leadership. After I read the book, the seeds for this "Spring Leadership Series" were planted. Today, I’d like to introduce Susan Friesen, and following a brief introduction, Susan shares some nontraditional ways to think about leadership!

Susan Friesen is a visionary brand strategist, entrepreneur, and founder of British Columbia’s premiere boutique web development and digital marketing agency, eVision Media. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, she’s an expert in helping businesses to establish their online presence and create a strong brand identity. Her passion for empowering female entrepreneurs to succeed in the digital world has earned her a reputation as a leading authority in the marketing industry.

QUESTION: Which TV show or TV series showcases leadership in a memorable way? This could be due to a specific character and their actions, a series of events, the plot of one or several episodes, or a specific time reflected in history.
SUSAN FRIESEN: I am often drawn to TV shows where the female lead is portrayed as a strong leader. I just finished watching the final series of THE CROWN, and even though Queen Elizabeth II could have made different choices throughout her incredible reign, she displayed strong leadership skills. For instance, she was clear on her objective and role in the Institution, never waivered in her resolve to what was best for the country, and consistently strived to be fair and impartial in all matters that she had to deal with.

It was also interesting to witness her realize she was getting behind in the times and knew changes had to be made within the Monarchy, but most every suggestion was shut down by close confidants and family members. No one likes to change, and that was too big of a boulder to move all by herself.

QUESTION: Which film showcases leadership in a memorable way?
SUSAN FRIESEN: A couple of movies like The Godfather and Braveheart come to mind, but the one that really resonated with me is ERIN BROCKOVICH. Erin demonstrates the importance of perseverance, fortitude, and determination in leadership.

Despite facing numerous challenges and setbacks, Erin remains steadfast in her pursuit of justice, working tirelessly to gather evidence and build a strong case against the polluting company.

Throughout the film, Erin exhibits a genuine concern for the affected community members, earning their trust and support. She listens to their stories, empathizes with their struggles, and forms personal connections, essential in building a strong and united front in their legal battle.

The film teaches us the importance of standing up for what is right, even when faced with powerful opposition. Erin demonstrates the courage and conviction required to challenge the status quo and fight for justice for those wronged. These leadership lessons from Erin Brockovich emphasize the value of persistence, determination, empathy, trust-building, and standing up for what is right to bring about positive change and make a meaningful difference (and impact) in the lives of others.

QUESTION: Which work of fiction showcases leadership in a memorable way?
SUSAN FRIESEN: Even though it is controversial, the one that really resonated with me was ATLAS SHRUGGED by Ayn Rand. Some call this book propaganda masquerading as art, but I disagree completely.

The protagonist Dagny Taggart is met with opposition at every turn in managing the railroad. But she learned at an early age that it was more important to be competent than to be liked. The leadership qualities are many and include: ignore the haters, don’t argue, just do, and always praise good work.

QUESTION: Which product, or product line, stands out as a symbol of leadership?
SUSAN FRIESEN: As a marketer, nothing stands out more than Nike.  Nike's early leaders were distinctive and tough, relying more on their intuition than strict rules. This all changed when they ditched the unstructured approach and went to marketing planning.

Initially, the concept was applied to the running product line, and then it gradually expanded to include all product categories. The company found that adopting a comprehensive marketing planning approach was really helpful in bringing all resources together and keeping everyone focused on the same goals.

As a result, it had a significant impact on Nike's incredible journey to become the most valuable apparel brand in the world. Their leadership style was, in fact, partnerships and was the forefront of today’s influencer marketing rather than just being plugged by a celebrity. Their leadership embodies being part of a story relevant to the times even if that story is controversial or even bordering on quirky.

SHARE THIS: Nike's leadership style was the forefront of today’s influencer marketing. ~@eVisionMedia #SpringLeadershipSeries #DebbieLaskeysBlog


QUESTION: Lastly, since I’m a marketing professional, I would be remiss not to ask this question. Which brand do you consider the best embodiment of an industry leader, and why?
SUSAN FRIESEN: Again Nike. Their leaders use meticulous attention to creating a flawless customer journey is a blatant example of its ability to comprehend its users. Because they prioritize audience research, they are able to find and connect with users on the platforms and channels they prefer instead of using a generic approach for everyone. In addition, Nike's customer service is responsive and informative, and they offer support to customers all around the world.  This leadership quality is contagious down to the very bottom tiers of their organization.

Did these questions open your eyes to thinking about leadership in nontraditional ways? That was the hope. My gratitude to Susan for appearing on my blog, and for sharing her leadership insights.


Image Credits: Debbie Laskey, iStockphoto, Amazon, and Classroom Clipart.

Connect with Susan at these links:
Website: https://eVisionMedia.ca
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/susan.evisionmedia/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/evisionmedia/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eVisionMedia
Twitter/X: https://www.twitter.com/eVisionMedia
Free Branding Gift: https://www.facebook.com/eVisionMedia

Check out Susan’s previous appearances here on my blog:

FALL BACK TO READING SERIES – Featuring Susan Friesen (October 2023)
https://www.debbielaskeysblog.com/2023/10/fall-back-to-reading-series-featuring_02107667638.html

Digital Engagement Tips to Attract Customers and Fans (November 2022)
https://www.debbielaskeysblog.com/2022/11/digital-engagement-tips-to-attract.html

The Importance of Brand Identity (November 2021)
https://www.debbielaskeysblog.com/2021/11/the-importance-of-brand-identity.html

Friday, May 31, 2024

Marketing News of the Month: Apes, Sam Ash, Red Lobster and More

During the month of May, there were many news stories that reflected advertising, brand identity, brand names, product launches, line extensions, product pricing, personal branding, sponsorships, and more.

CARTIER

The expensive jewelry brand made a mistake and listed gold-and-diamond earrings for 237 pesos ($14 USD) instead of the correct price of 237,000 pesos ($14,000 USD). A doctor in Mexico, who was doing his medical residency, ordered two sets. After months of back and forth between the customer and the company, the customer received the earrings for the advertised price. According to Jesus Montano, the spokesperson for Mexico's Consumer Protection Agency known as Profeco, "Companies have to respect the published price. If there's a mistake, it's not the consumer's fault." The customer gave one set of the earrings to his mother.

KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

56 years after actor Charlton Heston appeared in the first Planet of the Apes film, the latest installment arrived with a refreshed story. With "apes" riding horses at the film's premier in Los Angeles on May 2nd, this latest story is full of everything that fans expect from the franchise: angry leaders, friendship, visual effects, and more. According to Wikipedia, "In June 2022, it was reported that Disney and 20th Century planned for Kingdom to be the first of a new trilogy of Planet of the Apes films. Director Wes Ball confirmed this in December 2023, explaining that the film had been conceived as the beginning of a trilogy that fit into the legacy of the previous three films."

SAM ASH MUSIC STORE

The 100-year-old family-owned musical instrument retailer filed for bankruptcy and will close all of its 42 stores in the United States. The Covid pandemic accelerated a long-term shift toward online shopping for musical instruments. According to a message on the store's website, "It is with a heavy heart that we announce that effective May 2nd, all Sam Ash Music Store locations will begin store closing sales. This unfortunate news also presents a fantastic opportunity for great deals across our premium selection of musical instruments and pro sound equipment. We will also be offering specials on samash.com during this time. Thank you for allowing us to serve musicians like you for 100 years."

BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA

In February 2025, the Boy Scouts of America will officially become Scouting America. The new name displays a clear emphasis on inclusion. How will this name change impact the world of scouting for boys and girls? Only time will tell.

MCDONALD'S GRANDMA MCFLURRY

Beginning May 21st, McDonald's released its newest McFlurry flavor for a limited time, the Grandma McFlurry, a sweet treat that mixes syrup, vanilla ice cream, and crunchy candy pieces. According to McDonald's, it's "like grandma's favorite treat that she hid in her purse. Grandmas have always held a special place in our hearts, and today, they're having a major moment influencing culture - inspiring trends in fashion, decor, and now, even food with our newest McFlurry." 

BARK AIR

Flying has gone to the dogs, at least on Bark Air. According to NPR, "Flying with your dog in first class may sound like a far-fetched dream for many pet lovers. But a new boutique airline aims to make the "white paw experience" a reality. BARK Air describes itself as the world's first air travel experience designed specifically for dogs first, and their human companions second. BARK Air has taken the white glove experience typical of a human's first-class experience and redirected all that pampering to pooches – from booking to arrival, to in-flight services and disembarkation, dogs will truly be the VIPs and treated to a positively luxurious, curated experience."

DOW JONES

During May, the Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed the 40,000 threshold for the first time. According to CNN, "The Dow Jones Industrial Average is, at best, an imperfect barometer of stock market activity among a narrow band of very large US companies. It's clunky, and too limited in scope for any Wall Street pros to pay serious attention to it. Nevertheless, the Dow persists...There's nothing magical about the Dow. It's just an index that tracks the stock market activity of 30 large US companies from Amazon to McDonald's to the Walt Disney Company. But it is very old, and that's partly why it sticks around."

RED LOBSTER

Red Lobster has filed for bankruptcy. According to CNN, "Endless crab and endless shrimp deals alone didn't doom Red Lobster — they were just two missteps in a long spiral for a chain that was once an industry pioneer." In a message to the restaurant's guests, "You may be aware that Red Lobster filed for Chapter 11 protection. For more than five decades, Red Lobster has been a part of your family's life...And that's why we filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection...it does not mean that we are going out of business. If fact, it means just the opposite. It is a legal process that allows us to make changes to our business and our cost structure so that Red Lobster can continue as a stronger company going forward...Together, we have a lot worth rooting for. We've made delicious, high-quality seafood accessible for generations. Many of you tried lobster for the first time at our restaurant. We've brought you Lobsterfest and Crabfest over the years. And, of course, no meal is complete without Cheddar Bay Biscuits. We are here and ready to continue making memories with you. Join us. Dine with us. Root for us. Together, we can write a new chapter."

WILLIAMS-SONOMA

Williams-Sonoma has been ordered to pay almost $3.2 million (USD) for violating the Federal Trade Commission's "Made in USA" order. According to the FTC, "Home products and kitchen wares company Williams-Sonoma, Inc. has agreed to stop making false, misleading, or unsubstantiated claims that all of its Goldtouch Bakeware products, its Rejuvenation-branded products, and Pottery Barn Teen and Pottery Barn Kids-branded upholstered furniture products are all or virtually all made in the United States." According to Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, "Many of us want to buy products that are made in the USA, and we trust companies like Williams-Sonoma to tell us the truth. When a company falls short, we will hold it accountable."

MELINDA GATES

Melinda Gates announced her resignation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, officially ending one of the world's leading philanthropic partnerships, which she co-founded in 2000 with her ex-husband, Bill Gates. Melinda Gates said that she plans to continue her philanthropic work independently and will focus on issues affecting women and girls in the United States and around the world.

CAITLIN CLARK AND NIKE

ESPN reported this news: "The most prolific scorer in NCAA Division I history and the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft will continue her association with Nike by signing a $28 million contract that spans eight years and includes a signature shoe. Clark's initial name, image and likeness deal, signed in 2022, expired at the end of the 2023-24 college season. The new deal is the richest sponsorship contract for a women's basketball player."

MEXICO'S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

On June 1st, the citizens of Mexico will go to the polls to elect a new president. According to The Hill, "The race's front-runner is former Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum. She faces a pair of rivals: Xóchitl Gálvez from the conservative National Action Party and Jorge Máynez from the minor Citizens’ Movement. Either Sheinbaum or Gálvez would be the country’s first female president, and Sheinbaum its first Jewish head of state...In addition, all 628 seats in Mexico's Senate and Chamber of Deputies will be up for election, adding weight to the election's importance. About 100 million people are expected to go to the polls nationwide."

EUROPEAN AIR TRAVEL SPIKE

Taylor Swift fans have caused a spike in summer air travel to Europe. With costs of her concerts cheaper in European cities, many American fans have decided that the costs for airfare, hotels, and food are less expensive than the ticket costs for her American concerts.

UBER

Uber announced that it will now let customers book a shuttle to the airport, which is much different than a local trip around town.

NETFLIX

Netflix is rebuilding the cable bundle but without news, since it is too polarizing. And in addition, Netflix announced that it will air NFL games on Christmas Day in a major expansion into live sports.

And in case you missed this news from late-April:

CITY OF VENICE, ITALY CHARGES FOR DAY-TRIPPERS

On April 25th, the city became the first city in the world to charge an entry fee for day-trippers. Anyone visiting Venice as a tourist for the day - except those who live in the local region - must pay the five Euro fee ($5.40 USD) if they arrive between 8am and 4pm. Tourists who stay overnight will not have to pay since an overnight tax is already added to their hotel bills. According to Ruggero Tallon, a protestor, "We have 49,000 inhabitants, and there are more beds for tourists than residents." And according to Elena Gastaldell, president of Aric (the Italian recreational and cultural association), "The ticket will not impose limits on tourist access to Venice as no maximum number of visitors has been established, but it will further transform the city into an amusement park."

On a related note, the Swiss city of Lauterbrunnen is home to less than 800 residents and, as a result of being overwhelmed by tourists, is considering charging visitors for entry.

What other recent marketing buzz caught your attention? There's always something happening that impacts marketing, so tune in to #DebbieLaskeysBlog for the scoop!


Image Credits: Twentieth Century Studios, Sam Ash, Bark Air, and Red Lobster.