High Fructose Corn Syrup, not so sweet.

Would a sugar taste as sweet by another name? I say absolutely. Even sweeter. High fructose corn syrup has become public enemy number one in the fight against obesity. Having successfully attacked trans-fat the food police have turned to high fructose corn syrup with great vim and vigor. And great success. Sales of high fructose corn syrup are in rapid decline. But what is “real” and what is not? Hard to say. But when you give your product a name like “high fructose corn syrup,” it doesn’t sound very real at all. In fact, the name sounds dangerous.

Non-Profit Marketing: Lessons from Kate’s Club

Too many non-profit leaders think it is either shallow or useless to spend either time or money on branding. Nothing could be further from the truth. Branding is the key to success no matter if you are selling sneakers or helping the homeless. Read how Kate's Club has built it's powerful non-profit brand.

McDonald’s Goes Above & Beyond

McDonald’s moved at lightning speed and initiated a voluntary recall of its popular Shrek glasses that contained trace amounts of a toxic metal. While the spread of the tainted-glassware story certainly posed a problem for McDonald’s, the glassware itself wasn’t all that dangerous. Many companies would have used this evidence to counter-attack critics. Many companies would have also shifted the blame to a supplier. McDonald’s did neither. In its response, McDonald’s went above and beyond.

BP has a Brand Problem

BP talked the talk but never walked the walk. Like many companies in unpopular industries, BP launched a massive advertising campaign to put a little lipstick on the oil pig. Advertising is not very good at changing strongly-held perceptions, but in BP’s case it actually worked. However, the “holier than thou” tone of BP’s advertising placed the company on a perilously high green pedestal it was sure to fall from.

Why Google should get out of China

Sometimes the most illogical business decision is the right decision for the brand. This is certainly the case for Google. Google is pulling its company out of China, the biggest internet market in the world. Sounds illogical and crazy to me and most leaders. But it is the right call for several reasons.

Verizon and its Atomic Bomb

In the current Cellphone War, Verizon has dropped the atomic bomb of marketing on rival AT&T. Marketing wars are fought with lots of words, but wars are won when you combine your words with a visual. Verizon has done just that.

Domino’s Should Apologize

Everybody knows the rule. When you do something wrong, you say you are sorry. As a society we love to scold but we also love to forgive. But how, when and why you say you are sorry also matters. Say it when you don’t have to and you create guilt where it may not have existed before. Domino’s goes out of its way to portray its guilt and lack of action for decades. And in the process mocks the stupidity of its customer base.

It’s what Tiger does next that counts

Tiger Woods was a rare breed. A phenomenal athlete who delivered consistent record-shattering victories on and off the course with style, grace and integrity. In an intense game like golf, Tiger built his reputation by performing under pressure. Tiger transcended from being one of the best athletes ever to being one of the best celebrity brands ever. That was then, this is now. The world’s good boy has suddenly gone bad. The guy who seemed to be perfect in every way has been discovered to be a mere mortal like the rest of us. Tiger’s fall from grace is a catastrophe we have never seen before because Tiger was a brand we have never seen before. Tiger’s image was so pure, so squeaky clean and so universally appealing that his God-like status, his walking-on-water video and the founding of the First Church of Tiger Woods all seemed so well-deserved.

Under Armour: Too Big for its Shirt?

It's amazing how many of the world's most successful entrepreneurs quickly forget what made them famous. The latest example is Kevin Plank, CEO of Under Armour. What made Under Armour famous? It wasn't a Super Bowl ad. It wasn't a massive marketing campaign. It wasn't ego or hype. What made Under Armour famous was "performance apparel" a new category Kevin created and carefully nurtured.