Archive for Julie Glassman

Leaving The Depot

Posted by Julie Glassman on August 24th, 2011 at 11:50 am

I have nothing against brand-focused pseudonyms, abbreviations, acronyms or any other part of our consumer vernacular. I get it. Beloved companies often earn nicknames similar to the ones we ascribe to close friends, because after all, the brands we interact with most feel very much a part of our day-to-day lives.
Some brands go as far as to take official ownership of their newfound, consumer-ascribed monikers—capitalizing on the equity and permissions bestowed upon them by loving fans and loyalists: KFC, AOL, Sunny D, even Micky-D's...

Others try to create their own abbreviated personas, in the absence of consumer input, buy in, or adoration… and fail. Take Office Depot for example. Their new ad campaign, starring a miscast Al Roker, refers to itself intermittently as both Office Depot and “Depot”.  Here, excited office supply enthusiasts espouse the virtues of Depot with a fervor not usually associated with reams of paper and toner cartridges. According to Al and his vivacious cohorts, Depot is the place where happy people and families are made. Kind of stretch if you ask me. Despite the misguided strategy and weak execution, my brand-savvy sensibilities are most bothered by the frequent use of Depot. Its blatant, palpable in-authenticity and lack of consumer creation... Read more

The dirty business of branding

Posted by Julie Glassman on August 5th, 2011 at 8:31 am

Fabuloso. Spanish for Fabulous. English for why are my eyes burning?

Also a household cleaner, bargain hunters know Fabuloso as an affordable and deodorizing alternative to big name brands. In reality, Fabuloso is undoubtedly unsuitable for use by any living creature—but then again, most of the popular household cleaning brands sitting under your kitchen sink fit the same bill. How’s that…? Our perception of clean is in large part a byproduct of generations-old branding.
Case in point, on a recent visit to my mother-in-law’s house, she began to “clean” the kitchen table. This being the very same table where my organically fed, farmer’s market obsessed, botanically cleaned children were eating meals, drawing pictures and playing board games.
I watched in stunned silence as she vigorously sprayed copious amounts of Fabuloso on the table and well beyond: into our eyes, mouths, throats, and even purposely on my husband’s feet. Wiping, spraying, wiping, spraying, until her glass table took on a cloudy finish and seemed to wilt into submission.
As we waited (and waited) for the radioactive fog to clear, I had time to reflect on the “brand of clean” and how the notion of housekeeping with chemicals has been a part of our collective consciousness... Read more

The Power of Agnes

Posted by Julie Glassman on August 3rd, 2011 at 9:47 am

What if I told you that the success of your brand comes down to a woman named Agnes? Would you believe me?
Well, in theory, it does.
I met Agnes this past weekend, in SanFrancisco. She was working the National Car Rental counter at SFO. Why do you care? Because, until I met Agnes, I had no loyalty, to any car rental company, whatsoever. I'd booked a reservation with Payless online, based on a comparison-shopped rate, on Expedia, and nothing more. When I made it to the car rental depot however (which, I have to say, is about 3 miles too far from the Virgin America terminal--but that’s a whole other brand story SFO), I realized that Payless was nowhere close to the airport (where on earth is Brisbane anyway) and that I was a girl, without a car, on Memorial Day weekend, who was already about a year or three late for wine tasting, fine dining and spa treatments in Sonoma.
After considering my rental depot options, I decided to avoid the too long lines at the big name car rental companies like Hertz and Avis; choosing instead the queue less taken at National Car Rental… Normally, as a consumer and brander,... Read more

Coming of age

Posted by Julie Glassman on August 1st, 2011 at 10:51 am

In the eyes of marketers I'm old. At 40, I'm middle-aged. Over the hill. A cougar at best. In reality, I'm nowhere even close. Today, 40-somethings are newly married, first-time parents, entrepreneurs, dating, sexy, fabulous, fun, and dare I say… young? Times have changed. Circumstances have changed. People have changed.
Marketing hasn't.
Regardless of the life I lead, the interests I have, the clothes I wear, the things I do—I’m no longer a part of the coveted 18-34 demographic. Which translates roughly to not being targeted for anything remotely hip, cool, or trendy (Not Your Daughter’s Jeans anyone?).
Somehow, I’ve been unwittingly—kicking and screamingly—thrust into some dated target profile that saysnow is the perfect time to send me a subscription card for Good Housekeeping Magazine; to inject me with Botox; to seat me in a La-Z-Boy recliner; and to serve me up a tall, frosty glass of Ensure. In the eyes of your brand, your marketing department, your flawed data, your outmoded statistics, I’m a receptive, willing, cane-wielding member of your “sophisticated” target demographic—open to a wide-assortment of “mature” products and services, based entirely on an arbitrary number—and not at all on me.
Which got me to thinking…
Do we marketing and brand folk ever... Read more