Articles Posted in Marketing & Innovation


So, You Want to be #1, Eh?

A client recently asked me an interesting question…how do I make our brand #1? While there are a lot of big brands out there, which is the biggest? The “best”? What does it mean for a brand to be the biggest or best brand – the #1 brand? And if you’re not there, how do…

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Customization Is (and Needs to Be) Everywhere

This article was co-written by Laura Kurtin and Amy Dodge. Those of us who have studied marketing in school and have worked in the industry tend to be a bit cynical about some of the gimmicks and ploys companies use to encourage us to buy their products and services. However, when we see our favorite…

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The Evolution of Homemade

In the Past People spent hours chopping, peeling, slicing, and preparing meals, appetizers, snacks, and desserts. When I was a kid, carrots grown from our own garden were a favorite snack. On occasion, a buttery chocolate scent would permeate the house – good old-fashioned chocolate chip cookies. Now THAT was really homemade (or even homegrown!)…

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You’ve Been Served: The Rise of Meals by Mail

While trends turn away from traditional “convenience foods” toward more natural options, consumers have less time than ever. Enter delivery services, taking the work (or at least some of it) out of homemade meals. Food tech startups offering meals by mail are popping up across the country, covering a range of food preparation. Several services…

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A Caveman’s Shopping Journey in the 21st Century

We are fortunate to live in an era of unrivaled retailing diversity and prosperity. People have unprecedented access to goods and services within their local communities and across the world. In truth, shoppers have so many options that the shopping experience can be both exciting and daunting. I am often approached by clients for the…

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Unfreezing Consumers to Heat Up New Product Sales!

Companies have long assumed that if they build a better mousetrap and effectively communicate the benefits, consumers will come. Most companies’ efforts, therefore, are centered on the development and optimization of new products and/or services. Developing a superior product, however, is only half the picture. For a new product/service to be adopted, consumers have to…

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Ulta vs. Sephora, a Shopper Loyalty Battle Royal

Choosing where to shop for makeup is a very personal decision. Here in Chicago there are a lot of options, but in my mind there are two main competitors: Ulta and Sephora. When I first moved to Chicago seven years ago, Ulta dominated the market, and I suppose that makes sense given it is a…

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Health & Wellness Going to the Dogs

I’m as confused as the next person about what I should be eating and drinking. Is red meat good for me, or not? Will coffee and beer make me die young, or give me super powers (I’m really, really hoping for the latter, as I’ve been training hard)? It seems like every day there’s another…

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Those Crafty (Beer) Millennials!

Millennials seem to be changing everything these days. Their spending power alone gives them the right to dictate what succeeds or bombs miserably in today’s marketplace. Take the craft beer category for example – it has exploded due to millennials revolting against traditional beer brands in favor of unique flavor profiles, local brew options, seasonal…

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I’m One of Them: Speaking As a Millennial

I suppose I’d be considered a text book example. I’m into yoga – more for the exercise than the spirituality. I love Kombucha for its health claims and the fact that it’s the closest thing to drinking vinegar that is socially acceptable. I care about the quality of and ingredients in the food I eat,…

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