The Booze Bin

Top Celebrity-Endorsed Booze Brands

I’m a sucker for juicy celebrity gossip. I also happen to love booze. So when my favorite celebrities develop their own beverage alcohol brands, I get particularly excited. From Drew Barrymore’s wine estate to Pharell’s “Qream with a Q” cream liqueur, the world of celebrity booze endorsements run the gamut from the serious to the hilarious. Let’s take a look at some of our favorites through the years:

cirocOne of the most well-known celebrity-endorsed booze brands is Ciroc Vodka, which comes from a 50/50 partnership between rapper/entrepreneur Sean “Diddy” Combs and beverage industry giant Diageo. Though most people have heard of it and many people have tasted it, Combs explains that his celebrity has not always helped to contribute to the growth of the brand: “With Ciroc, people may have thought that was for African-Americans. People wanted to put it in a box. So…I had to work harder to overcome those perceptions and create a wonderful product regardless of my color, regardless of my celebrity. The reality is I have to work harder than other brands to do that.” Favored for their fun flavors, Ciroc has recently released their fifth…


#HigherEd Forecast: Tough Choices Ahead

tough choices aheadInside Higher Ed’s survey of college business officers forecasts hard choices ahead for many of the nation’s colleges and universities.

Only 42 percent of college and university CFOs believe their institution’s business model is sustainable over the next decade. Eighty-two percent say they’ll address financial challenges by increasing enrollment.

Some will succeed with an increased enrollment strategy, but many recruitment efforts will falter against changing demographics, increasing competition and rising tuition costs.

Unfortunately, more business chiefs and their institutions will have to weather tough financial times by making harder and more painful decisions.

Some, like the University of Akron, are making tough calls today, but most aren’t. Less than 40 percent of survey respondents say their institutions are exploring administrative partnerships with other colleges, eliminating under-performing academic programs or reducing administrative positions.

That number will surely increase as escalating financial challenges force more institutions to consider alternatives beyond enrollment increases.

As finances get tougher on campus, business leaders would do well to communicate early and often with audiences beyond the administration building so that everyone understands the issues and the options being considered to deal with them.

For example, just 32…

Digital Marketing

5 Brands that Effectively Use Puppies

Dachshund on white backgroundI have to admit, if I see a video of a puppy on TV or my social media feed, I always stop to watch. I’m not sure if it’s the growing fatherly instincts or the fact I recently got my own puppy, but when brands use them, I take notice.

Brands are taking notice too, of the fact that most Americans have an obsession with pets. According to an annual survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association, 65 percent of American households (79.9 million) are currently home to a pet (up from 56 percent in 1988).

The ads, while cute, are less about the puppies and animals, and more about making an emotional connection with the consumer and humanizing the brand. Pet owning consumers have a powerful bond with their pets, and brands are leveraging that emotional connection to influence purchasing decisions and feelings toward a company.

Here are 5 adorable puppies used by brands.

1. Budweiser – Puppy Love

This 60-second 2014 Super Bowl spot won the hearts of millions. This spot was voted the top commercial during the big game by viewers on Hulu and earned the top…

Digital Marketing

Top 3 Tips to Grow your Instagram Followers


You think Instagram is the way to go for your business. You’ve identified your target audience and you’re starting to work on your platform strategy. Growing your followers is going to be one of your primary goals, so read on for three easy steps to get started.

1)      Thoughtful Content – Instagram is not just about reposting other photos you’re already McDs exampleusing on Facebook. Brands are truly upping their game on this photo platform. To be successful, you need to have thoughtful and artistic content. Who is your audience? Research other brands that are trying to reach the same group, and look at their content on Instagram. Learn from their top posts. My guess is you’ll find a few key themes. Successful brands on Instagram are going the extra mile. Their content is unique and quirky, and they don’t develop it overnight. Great content takes thought, so make sure you are ready to invest the time.

Lovin’ this one from McDonalds. Hashtag game is on point, too.


2)      Hashtags, use ‘em – This one is a bit controversial. You’ll find other articles on this topic that tell you to…


Why Health Industry CEOs Should Blog

blog computer keyI recently read an article in a local business trade about what makes a CEO trustworthy to investors. The author told the story of how a woman without financial savvy inherited a portfolio from her father and, in conjunction with a financial advisor, gave a thumbs up or down based on reading the chief executive’s letter to shareholders for each new investment. And you thought no one read those….

Not only are people taking notice of what company executives are saying, but they are also paying attention to those who are not saying anything, or those who speak using corporate jargon. A timely case in point for why to avoid jargon is the recent announcement by Anthem and Cigna regarding their pending merger:

“Together our companies would rapidly build on each other’s complementary strengths to create a diversified platform that could better capitalize on new opportunities and meaningfully deliver innovative, quality solutions to all of our stakeholders,” said Joseph Swedish, president and chief executive officer of Anthem.”

“Anthem expects the combination would be accretive to operating earnings per share and that the combined enterprise would generate significant annual cost synergies by achieving…