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Original articles from Casey Schoelen.
American Airlines: New Look, Same Airline?
While one airline manufacturer fights through safety concerns, an airline brand released a new look. American Airlines has been working to overcome plights facing the aerospace industry and regain market share lost to competitors in recent years. Now they are introducing a new logo. But is it necessary? In an industry with such few competitors, regardless of if a consumer is a fan of American Airlines or not, their AA logo was pretty iconic.

Pushing Beyond the Gender Barrier
Of course every little girl wants an Easy-Bake oven. Who doesn’t? Since its arrival on store shelves in 1963, Hasbro’s toy has sold millions of units and it’s been a popular gift for all occasions. These hot items were formerly branded in an obvious way for little aspiring home-makers who would soon sport aprons and make pot roasts.

If You Can't Beat Them, Join Them
It’s all about soda. Lately, one consumer watch group or another has started going after the sugary soft drinks as being the source of obesity, or at least a predominate cause. The city of New York banned large sized soft drinks. The CSPI as well as the city of Chicago are petitioning to create a sugary drink tax as a way to curb usage.

There's an Angel in Everyone
It’s that time of year again! Today is the Annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. How does one brand manage to have an annual event that has girls everywhere planning watch parties? They toss in several world famous supermodels, crazy stage backgrounds, a few musical acts, and some angel wings. And then put it all on TV.

Ben and Jerry’s Knows How to Curate Content
All brands today are wondering how to best leverage social media. They know consumers are out there in the social media space talking to each other and talking about the brands and products they love. The question is, how do brands get consumers to talk with them and tell them what they love about their products? The answer? Give them a reason and a way to talk.

Always Know the Customer
Every strong brand does at least one thing really well: gets to know the customer. Understanding the audience is about knowing their likes, their dislikes, their needs, and their wants. Having in-depth knowledge of what is important to that customer becomes the foundation of the relationship between them and the brand. It’s imperative to have a solid foundation because in the event that relationship is damaged, the saving grace is loyalty.

A New Take on an Old Classic
Some may have seen the newest commercials for Chanel’s popular and long-standing scent, No. 5, and were excited. Or surprised. Or just confused. Brad Pitt has done plenty to prove himself as versatile, but being the front man for a woman’s fragrance is new, even for him. As the new face of this iconic brand, he brings a distinctly different viewpoint.

Sometimes A Name Is Just A Name
Consumers can be fickle and sometimes a brand grows stale. It happens. In such a case, brands have two options: revive the product or revive the branding. The inherent risk with reviving the branding is that it won’t take long for consumers to see through the shiny new packaging and taglines, but this is a risk some brands have to take. If the brand issue is related to poor positioning or irrelevant messaging, a rebrand will be successful. Conversely, if the brand issue is related to a lack of consumer enthusiasm about the product, a rebrand is just a Band-Aid. Quaker Oats is a brand that has stood the test of time. They have diversified their product lines and now produce everything from cereals to oatmeal to snack bars and cookies. Along the way, each product line boosts the brand.

Chipotle Lives Up to the Hype
Chipotle Mexican Grill prides itself on providing “food with integrity” to customers, using the finest and freshest ingredients. Today it has become more than just a mission statement for the national food chain; it’s an actual mission. Chipotle’s “Cultivate” festivals are bringing customers together, face-to-face, with the farmers and chefs that make it happen. The goal of the festival is not free Chipotle, which is a perk, of course. Instead, they aim to create an experience that brings together thought leadership, good food...

Bud Light Knows Not to Shave
Superstition is not something to be taken lightly, especially when it comes to loyal sports fans. While Bud Light’s “Very Superstitious” won’t sell more bottles of beer, any sports fan and beer drinker will appreciate their recognition of the long-standing, unofficial tradition...

When a Good Sale Goes Bad
As a consumer, who doesn’t like a good sale? Especially in a down economy, discretionary income for most is shrinking at best. Even though some brands struggle to maintain profit margins on their products, companies should never lose sight of their brand value. During recessions, companies have to fight the urge to slash prices in an effort to maintain sales levels. That can be a huge gamble that doesn’t always pay off.

Absolute is Absolutely Unique
Absolut vodka is a brand taking a creative approach in their latest campaign. They have introduced “Absolut Unique,” a campaign that features bottles turned into art and carries the tagline, “One of a kind. Millions of expressions.” Well, four million expressions to be exact. Absolut recruited talent to use specific colors and create different combinations that resulted in four million unique bottles.

Not Just a Pretty Face
Tennis champion Maria Sharapova is proving she is successful both on and off of the court. Sharapova first came into the limelight as the 17-year old winner of Wimbledon in 2004 and has since worked diligently to develop her empire as a brand, an entrepreneur, and a professional athlete. She has been the spokesperson for a variety of consumer brands, including Canon, Nike, Tiffany’s, and Cole Haan.

Budweiser Comes to a Zip Code Near You
Budweiser may be owned by a foreign company, but their latest endeavor, Project 12, will bring zip code branded brews into the hands of consumers this fall.

Monday Night Football Has a New Line
The highly popular show on ESPN has a new focus this season. For the past six years, the show has been featuring the line, “Is it Monday yet?" ESPN finally caught on that Monday nights be the start of the work week but they are the end of the football weekend. Now, Monday Night Football is on to something. The real viewers’ sentiment is, “It all comes down to Monday.”

'Slacktivism' Is On Its Way Out
Cause marketing has been on a roller coaster the past few years. Consumers went from writing checks and attending charitable functions to embracing social media’s take on funding in the form of sites like Kickstarter and Crowdwise. Social media has brought like-minded consumers together while creating an unprecedented atmosphere of fighting for the common good together. While social media spreads the reach of cause marketing and makes donating to causes a piece of cake since consumers just press a button, it has led to the trend of “slacktivism,” or “armchair activism.” However, the time has come when consumers are begging to be more engaged. They have lost trust in major brands due to scandal, the downturn in the economy, and other external factors.

Chester’s Got It Under Control
Engagement is the name of the game. For consumer products, that is especially important. As consumers are bombarded with literally hundreds of messages a day, it is more important than ever to find a way to emotionally engage consumers with messages that resonate with them and delve deeper than just the point of purchase. Brands must engage consumers in a way that builds a relationship with them. Cheetos is a well-known snack brand that most of us have tried at least once. Although their cartoon cheetah mascot, Chester, made his debut in the early 1980s, he has done well to evolve with the times.


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