The Oops Generation.

The Pepsi Ad, United Airlines and Sean Spicer. Disasters, it is said, come in threes. The good folks at Pepsi had their sights on engaging the latest iteration of their generation—the Mo-llenials—the generation that followed the Millenials that just looks like more of the same, and they made an ad with a celebrity famous for…

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Launching Zodiac

As a brand consultant I routinely advise clients not to ask their new company name to work too hard, carry too much water. The first rule of naming is, “First, Do No Harm—nil nocere.” Then I read the original Hippocratic oath, that’s not even in the original oath; not only that, there’s something in there…

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Big Cash on Campus

The annual compensation survey for college presidents is out again: http://money.cnn.com/2014/12/07/pf/college/highest-paid-college-presidents/ This generally sets off some discreet campus murmuring and a significant surge in the use of personal email accounts on university servers. More than 36 university presidents make more than a million dollars. This is, however, not a problem to focus on. There is…

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Marketing College

Leaders in colleges and universities have to promote the category. University leadership is obliged to reclaim proprietorship of the category rules of engagement, what is the true nature of the “value” debate in higher education? The notion of campus-based, in-person instruction as superior to online education is not in question. It’s by all educated accounts…

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Does your Brand Need Therapy?

For some clients “a branding initiative” can take the form of family counseling, or more broadly institutional therapy. And that’s okay, it’s just worth recognizing that as painful and squishy as a “branding initiative” sounds to many of your constituents, it’s easier to sell than institutional therapy. As a branding consultancy, my firm is generally…

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Terms of Distinction

How do you distinguish your college or university when everyone keeps telling you, “Really it is no different from your competitors?” Is Frosted Flakes really all that different from Wheaties, Raisin Bran or Life cereal? Yes. Spend some time on any campus and you can feel the difference. My daughter attends Haverford, which is just down the road from Villanova, a short…

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Massive Open Online Courses

If you were an adult in business in the early ‘90s, someone in your office was going on and on about the all-changing new “information superhighway.” That person was almost always obnoxious. Not only because they were redundant and right, but because they were talking about something that was not only a mystery, but almost…

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