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Category Archives for Brand Critique

Phil’s In The Wrong, But The Ducks Don’t Stop Here.

By now, we’ve heard and talked about Phil Robertson’s extremely controversial anti-gay comments in a media interview. Seriously, anyone who has followed this show as well as the programming heads at A&E had to know it was only a matter of time before Phil uttered the kind of hardcore statement that would upset a whole […]

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Staying Closed On Thanksgiving Provides Brands An Opening

The following retailers were not open on Thanksgiving Day:  Apple Burlington Coat Factory Barnes & Noble Cabela’s Costco Dillard’s Home Depot Lowe’s Marshalls Nordstrom Radio Shack REI Sam’s Club TJ Maxx Verizon To me, it’s just common sense. To these brands, it represents an opportunity to show that they actually care about the home life […]

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OfficeMax Moves Into Full Solutions Center Concept

When I looked at the invitation from OfficeMax for a store opening, I had to admit wondering what was going to be so different about this occasion versus several hundreds that preceded it. But what I learned from the unveiling of the first OfficeMax Business Solutions Center in the Chicagoland area is that the office […]

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Tweak, Evolution or Overhaul?: Knowing When (And How Much) To Change Your Logo

Yahoo is an excellent case study of what not to do when you’re changing your logo. In my humble opinion, what the company has done in its grand “unveiling” of its new logo after a good deal of fanfare is deliver essentially the same thing. It’s OK to slightly tweak your logo. It’s not OK […]

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McDonald’s golden opportunity in Russia

In Russia, wearing a rainbow flag pin will land you in jail. In Russia, two men cannot hold hands because they could be beaten to death — not necessarily by neo-Nazi skinheads but by ordinary citizens. You can’t be caught talking about “nontraditional sexual relationships” in Russia for fear of being fined up to the […]

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Choose Chicago – But What Brand Do We Want Them To Choose?

Here, go craft a brand that speaks for an entire city. It’s a gigantic challenge for the Choose Chicago team that CEO of Johnson Publishing Desiree Rogers heads. Chicago needs a fresh tourism campaign that captures the imagination of potential travelers abroad who can spend a pretty penny on their destination of choice. Why? There’s […]

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Northwestern ups the ante for football brand

A couple of years ago, Northwestern unveiled a brand campaign for its football program that touted it as “Chicago’s Big Ten Team.” Whether or not Northwestern has truly claimed that title is debatable – especially as area bars proudly fly flags from Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan State and more – but what isn’t as […]

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This chicken sandwich doesn’t reflect my political views OR When Personal Beliefs and Brands Don’t Mix.

Should highly visible C-Level executives state their political and religious opinions freely without fear of repercussion to the brand? I didn’t ask if they can. I asked if they should. Should we defend what is Constitutionally correct if it is strategically inconsistent with the brand? “The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is […]

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State Farm Shows Off Its Entrepreneurial Side

  “I’m actually leaving my job tomorrow,” one brave entrepreneur announces to the audience. He doesn’t appear to have any employees, dedicated office space and it’s unclear how much working capital he has. But make no mistake. He’s making The Leap. Because what he does have is a promising piece of software with slick interface […]

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Are Ad People Serious With Appearing This Serious?

An ad agency in San Francisco recently redesigned their site and I enjoyed it, except for the fact that all 33 members of their team for the most part were not smiling, laughing or even mustering a smirk. At all. Many weren’t even looking into the camera. Are you serious with being this serious? This […]

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