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All posts by Dan Gershenson

What the cabbie and Southwest Airlines taught me about agency efficiency

Today’s post skews a bit toward agency management but team productivity is good for all types of managers to think about. The other day I was taking a cab from the north side of Chicago to downtown. Usually, there are several different ways you can go to get to your destination. And every time, the […]

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SEO trumps social on driving traffic? Not so fast.

A post today in Crain’s comes from an SEOer who claims that SEO is what drives traffic above all else, not social media. I certainly don’t disagree with him on the power of search engine optimization to be a big traffic driver, but I’ve got at least one case study that says social media can […]

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Time for bank brands to get comfortable with The S-Word.

“I’m pulling my money out of the market. I can’t take it any more. I’m content to put it in the bank and get my 1-2% back. At least I know what I’m dealing with.”  – Father of two, interviewed on ABC7 News, Chicago There, in that brief snippet of man-on-the-street insight, I realized that […]

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10 Keys To Maintaining Your Brand’s Soul

The idea of greater sales sounds, well, great. But when you think about expansion, have you considered what the consequences of what the move is going to be on your brand, your culture, your people? Many companies don’t. There’s no reason why sales should be on the opposite side of these considerations, especially when it […]

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Agencies and marketers can only afford so many trips down Memory Lane

We in the advertising and marketing business like to reminisce about our own industry as much as anyone. We like to look back on the work of Bernbach, Burnett and Ogilvy in reverence. We talk about the “Think Small” ad, the “We Try Harder” ads for Avis, the Levy’s Jewish Rye ad and the man […]

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How big will your company get before you get bad?

As he was pondering the idea of expansion many years ago, the late Jay Chiat of southern California ad agency Chiat-Day once thought, “Let’s just see how big we can get before we get bad.” As such, the volume of work increased, the agency grew and although there were still “home runs” of memorable work […]

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First look inside State Farm Next Door : An environment in an innovative State.

As I started to make my way up Diversey Avenue, I heard the clamor of a jazz band playing near Trader Joe’s grocery store.  That couldn’t be coming from State Farm, could it? Surprisingly, it was. And already in that moment, I think that maybe, just maybe, I experienced a small piece of what State […]

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Memo to a Mayor: Make Chicago the most socially connected city government

A couple months ago, I heard Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce President Jerry Roper tell a story of how Mayor Richard J. Daley (that would be Chicago’s first Mayor Daley for history buffs) used to instruct staff members closest to him to always carry a pad of paper with them. That way, when they saw something […]

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Downers Grove Golf Club travels back in time to go forward

There used to be a time when country clubs and golf clubs could mention who their course was designed by, show some great aerial photos of the course and rely on that to do much of the heavy lifting for drawing interest. Those days are gone and I don’t think they’re going to return. Clubs […]

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12 service questions that might be worth $400 million to answer.

The relationship and chemistry side of our business is routinely undervalued for its role in how companies make decisions to stay with an agency. Here’s the truth: Yes, companies choose agencies and stay with them because they produce results. But also because…they like them. Oh, but nobody could ever say that. Everyone has to appear […]

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