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Just to be Safe – How Becoming a Mom Changed My Purchasing Habits

Photo Credit: Jennifer Otchy PhotographyJust within the first few moments of becoming a mother, my entire being irrationally shifted into a pervasive need to protect my baby in every way possible. My daughter’s arrival into the world left me desperate to preserve her pureness and keep her safe.

Before kids, I did not invest in buying organic foods and I most certainly didn’t think about the ingredients in my personal care products. For the most part, I ate what I believed to be a healthy and balanced diet and would hit the gym regularly. After kids, my kitchen is stocked with organic foods and my personal care products lean toward the natural or naturally based. As for the gym…I’m working on finding the time.

For me, it was the reality of being responsible for the health and wellbeing of someone else that created a purchasing pattern of “just to be safe.” Are organic foods actually worth the added cost? Maybe not, but just to be safe, that’s what I will opt for now that I’m a mom. Is that smart, logical and rationale? I’ve done the research and I still don’t know, but it…


What do a CEO and a Harley enthusiast have in common? PadillaCRT’s New Brand Ad Campaign: Where Passion Meets Purpose

Ever notice the similarity among ads for communications firms? Differentiating an agency with a headline and body copy is a real challenge, especially an agency with as much to offer as PadillaCRT. I’m pleased to say that our Creative group overcame that obstacle with the Where Passion Meets Purpose campaign we’re rolling out this month. Our agency is all about enabling our clients to articulate their purpose, then connecting that purpose with the people who are important to their success. Since ours is a people business, why not let readers connect with some of the great people who live their purpose inside the workplace and out? And since our agency has transformed into one with complete “paid-earned-shared-owned” capabilities, a paid campaign – developed in-house – was the perfect vehicle to showcase the breadth of our talent. You’ll see our ads in the PR trades and regional business magazines. This campaign combines individual expertise with our collective vision as an employee-owned agency. In our first ad (seen here) of a series, I’m paired with a user-experience expert, and his beloved Harley®, at a vintage gas station. Tell us what you think when an easy rider meets the leader of the…


License to Brew: 3 Ways Beer Partnerships Improve Brand Awareness

According to Global License, food and beverage licensing grew 9.5 percent representing $8.04 billion in licensed merchandise in 2010. It remains to be a growth segment today and increasingly you see it in brand extensions in the craft beer industry.

From Fulton Brewery and New Belgium Brewing to Brewery Ommegang and 21st Amendment Brewery, a number of breweries are partnering with big brands like Wheaties, HBO, Ben & Jerry’s, and Count Chocula to create craft beers to reach broader audiences.

Here are three ways your brand can improve consumer brand awareness with a strategic beer partnership:


1.      Get creative and forge authentic partnerships.

Just listen to these creative beer descriptions: 21st Amendment’s homage to Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts with its release of Toaster Pastry, an India-style Red Ale, New Belgium’s Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream inspired Salted Caramel Brownie and Fulton’s Wheaties and Hefewizten beer, HefeWheaties.

Although not technically a licensing deal, the Wheaties brand extension didn’t come out of nowhere. The idea for the limited-edition HefeWheaties came about because Fulton has close ties to General Mills, which owns Wheaties. It also doesn’t hurt that the two Minneapolis companies use…


Partner and Multiply Your Marketing Power

intel-insideWhether purchasing a new laser or computer, buyers believe the products they purchase are only as good as the components engineered into them. Just consider your perception of a PC branded with Intel Inside® compared with one that’s not. Intel is a classic co-marketing example. When done well, co-marketing can be among the most effective tactics in a marketer’s toolbox to quickly shift buyers’ perceptions.

No company is all things to all people. Forming co-marketing partnerships allows companies with complementary offerings to align their interests, resources and marketing muscle to reach new markets and close more deals than they could alone. Such partnerships offer customers more comprehensive solutions and better services, and they forge lasting relationships between partner companies and customers.

This article explains how to start a co-marketing partnership, as well as possible elements to include in it.

How to start a co-marketing initiative

So you have some ideas for the activities you could execute in a co-marketing program; now you have to find the right partners to make them a reality. As you search for the right partner company, reflect on what would make a company a good fit for your…


Communications in a New Cuba: Rum, Cigars and Corporate Responsibility

150720_cuba_us_embassy_lgYou probably know that U.S. relations with Cuba are on better terms than they have been in decades. In fact, today marks the official opening of the new U.S. Embassy in Havana.

This is important for many reasons: Cubans are closer to reconnecting with the wider world, and the world is closer to tapping in to 11 million people ready to buy stuff that they never could before. This is not to say that Cubans don’t know what a Big Mac* is, but in the near future, they may be granted access to spend their hard-earned pesos on the American classic. The opportunities for growth are immense to say the least, but how do the world’s largest mega corporations, like a McDonald’s, or even a smaller business come to plant their American flags in Cuba’s white sand beaches? Corporate responsibility… In order for these businesses to really make a case for their Cuban operations (facilities and a native workforce, they’re going to have to earn it.

In order for these businesses to really make a case for their Cuban operations (facilities and a native workforce), they’re going to have to earn…


What Does Health Mean to My Brand?

What does the word “health” mean? If you say that healthy eating means organic and hormone-free food, while I say it is lean protein and red wine, who is right? The short answer is both of us. While that may be frustrating and a bit unnerving, it’s also an opportunity for your food, beverage or restaurant brand.

Photo Credit: Ted Etyan, Flickr

Today, consumers are bombarded with definitions of health, from fortified and gluten-free menu items to such ambiguous terms as “natural” and “fresh.” There are numerous interpretations of what constitutes health, and most may be argued as correct. This may be why 55% of consumers try to take some control over the healthfulness of their diet, according to the International Food Information Council’s Food & Health Survey 2015.

Because health can mean different things to different people, it is important that your customers easily understand what it means for your brand. If you plan to create a “healthy” product line extensions or menu section for the first time, it’s just as important to maintain your brand positioning. You want healthful products offerings to strengthen your brand equity rather than dilute it…


#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…


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…


Top 3 things communicators can learn from Reddit’s Debacle, per Reddit

imagesWho: Reddit.com, billed as “the front page of the internet;” it is where over 165 million monthly unique visitors are drawn to share just about anything on just about anything, if you will.

What: Hundreds of subreddits (the moniker given to Reddit’s massive amount of diverse forum boards) were blacked out, denying its loyal followers access to an otherwise very accessible medium.

Where: Based in San Francisco, but with an Alexa ranking (website popularity ranking based off average daily visitors and page views) of 33 globally and nine in the U.S., much more publicly than San Fran.

When: July 2nd—just before the fireworks went off; the fireworks went off.

Why: In protest of an unexpected and unaccounted dismissal of now former director of communications, Victoria Taylor. Taylor was “responsible for nearly all of reddit’s positive press,” said a moderator (volunteers who police and in this case coordinate content of subreddits)  in the subreddit /r/AmA (Ask Me Anything), a wildly-popular forum where guests such as Barack Obama, frequently Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Gates and a smattering of who’s who answer “redditors” questions. She was almost solely responsible for reaching out and facilitating these user-conducted interviews and…


You are Misperceived By Most People, Unless You Are Attractive, a Woman and Happy

Perceptions are reality and being perceived accurately has a big impact on anyone’s success, self-confidence and overall happiness. That’s not an opinion – it’s based upon proven science.  How you are perceived is not random and you have much more control than you might think. Scientists have discovered that people with certain traits are naturally more likely to be perceived accurately, while others have to work much harder to ensure that others perceive their authentic strengths.


If others don’t accurately perceive your authentic strengths, how authentic are you?  Knowing about the science-based findings behind perceptions will definitely help you to be perceived more accurately and be respected by others as being more authentic.  Authenticity breeds trust and trust breeds successful, fulfilling relationships.

Some people take managing perceptions for granted.  Others are intimidated by the intangible nature of perceptions or feel they have little control over how others perceive them and fall short of making the effort to manage how they are perceived.  The over-confident and the avoiders are both missing opportunities to take advantage of the power of perceptions.  There is a science about perceptions that’s been around for a while, starting in…