New York is a city for visionaries. Anything is possible in this town of dreams, and every so often that old Frank Sinatra line pops into my head, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.” And I smile, because that shit is true. If your business can survive (and thrive) in one of the world’s most competitive and unforgiving markets, then you can probably expand your footprint. Over the past few years I’ve been duking it out with my own spirits business here in New York, and in that time, we’ve taken some knocks and learned some real ‘New York lessons’ that I think entrepreneurs can borrow to take to market with them, no matter where they are. Here are a few things I know to be true from our time cultivating a brand in the big apple…Read More
As someone who runs two businesses, I’ve often wondered why so much innovation is driven by start-ups and entrepreneurs. In the food and beverage industries, for example, many of the most relevant new brands are created by entrepreneurs (and then often acquired and scaled by major corporations, with varying degrees of success). This is true in so many industries – hospitality, technology, cannabis, fashion – all have entrepreneurs to thank for some of their biggest leaps and most creative ideas.
But why is so much innovation comes from outside corporate environments?Read More
These days, many brands are developing in-house departments to meet their increasingly demanding content needs. The thinking is that by having production close to home, they can make things… fast, cheap, AND good. It’s a trend – an experiment that many small and large businesses are implementing (Hilton, Heineken, AB/In-Bev, etc. are all building out their in-house departments). And I bet many of them find success with it, and I bet a few of them fail, too. Not because I want that to happen (certainly part of our business is helping our clients create content, but we really get paid for ideas.), but because so much of what I read about this in-house experiment focuses on the efficiency of the move (cheap and fast!) – the idea that a business can shave six or more figures off of their marketing costs. But what I don’t hear is people talking about how much better or more effective their content will be. But I do think the in-house experiment can work! And I support the businesses that are trying. And for those brave enough to do so, I thought I’d offer some adviceRead More
In light of last month’s announcement that the Red Bull Music Academy decided to shut down, I thought I’d take a minute to reflect on the program, why I think it was special, and the lessons brands can take from the 20 years of success the program had.
1 – Support the Arts, Not Just the Artist – Red Bull’s far-reaching program included lectures, radio programs, studios and most of all, supporting the careers of young artists around the world. Although it’s true it’s challenging to measure the marketing return on endeavors like this, in running the RBMA, Red Bull achieved the Holy Grail of marketing – transcending metrics and becoming globally known as a company that championed music, and the artists that make music. Red Bull became synonymous not just with an artist, but with what’s new in music.Read More
If you’ve been in marketing a little while, you know there’s an industry-wide mindset that producing content is of low-value, and that the best value an agency can provide is insight, strategy and good ideas. Production is a ‘commodity’ people say. Or, ‘brands will only pay for strategy and creative, not content.’
And I agree: The most valuable thing for any business is insight, strategy and good ideas.
But what if producing a brand’s content provided access to some of the best qualitative insight there is?Read More
As I wrote in my previous post, the cannabis world is receiving a lot of interest from the multinational alcohol suppliers. And for good reason: not only do these global companies have decades of experience and relationships in heavily regulated markets, they know how to build brands and IP that generate long-term revenue. As the market develops, competition will heat up; potentially challenging mid-level producers the most. In light of that, today I’m sharing seven more insights cannabis upstarts can borrow from alcohol beverage marketers.Read More