Tag Archives: branding

Build an Experience

Look at Yelp. Nine times out of ten, a bad review comes down to someone’s experience with a staff member. When building a brand, you’re shaping every experience that a user shares with your company.

Today I want to give the spotlight to one of my favorite stores in New York: Cure Thrift Shop.

P1000508Not only is it a great thrift store that donates all profits to diabetes research, but it has also managed to cultivate a certain ambiance that welcomes the culture of thrift shopping (not the Macklemore culture, but the thrill of a sweet vintage discovery).

Cure Thrift store hoursIn a recent blog post, Cure even designed a job posting that fits perfectly with the NYC style of Broadway casting calls (and how hard it is to get a job here!).

Cure Thrift Shop is my local brand crush.



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Spice up your copy!

Company: Seamless.com

Medium: public transit display

One of the unwritten rules of New York public transit is to avoid eye contact at all costs. For this reason, ad space is sometimes monopolized by one company for an entire subway car, forcing you to read every single ad. Often these are the exact same ad over and over, but some campaigns and brands are honestly a pleasure for me to read, and I am only slightly ashamed to admit that I look forward to reading the copy of seamless.com:

The thing that makes these ads so addicting (can you tell I’m a marketing nerd?) is that they are current, and appeal to their young audience perfectly. My generation strives to be authentic, and we like to publish our weird quirks, as is evident in our Twitter accounts filled with “just got out of the shower” and “tacos make me gassy”. Seamless takes this brutal honesty and spins it to suit their service.

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I love your copy.

When people hear the word “brand,” they usually think of a company’s name, logo, and the products or services they provide. But a brand shouldn’t be just that.

Branding is how a company is characterized and set apart from its competitors. This characterization is shown just like our own personalities: through communication. You learn about a person’s character by how they speak, what they talk about, their body language, even how they react to a rude comment. A brand needs to be the same way.

One of the most creative NYC companies that does this is Manhattan Mini Storage. This storage company really understands its target audience, and brands itself as a true New Yorker, as seen in these billboards below.

Apartments are small.

Apartments are small.

These ads demonstrate the need for storage, while empathizing with its audience, and being witty.But branding isn’t just clever copy, it’s also about an always evolving brand, and the world around it.

New York is a ¬†notoriously liberal city, so when election time comes around, Manhattan Mini Storage isn’t afraid to take a stand.

Though this type of copy can be risky and may alienate a few customers, it plays to the overall character of the brand. I’ve never personally stepped into one of these storage facilities, but I know where they are when I need storage.

This marketing might not be applicable to everyone. This works well for Manhattan Mini Storage because its target audience has a stereotyped personality to lock onto. not only that, but storage companies usually advertise to increase awareness and stick in your mind. These don’t need to be especially informative or technical, they just need to make an impression.

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Apple’s 1984: Who’s Big Brother now?

In 1984, Apple released a commercial that changed the history of advertising.


Though this commercial was only aired during the Super Bowl, it caused ripple effects around the country, being shown incessantly on news shows that night. The commercial won many awards, including the 1984 Cannes Grand Prix and “Best Super Bowl Spot” in the entire game’s history.

This commercial didn’t dumb down its audience, but called them to action and actually think…at least, that’s what Apple was trying to say.

Fast forward to present day and Apple has taken over the market. Though Apple tries to maintain its legacy as the innovative brand, it is thought of by many as the Big Brother of computer and mobile companies. Samsung made that point clear in a 2012 commercial:


Though the ad above did not make as many headlines as Apple’s 1984 ad, it does raise a very good point. Apple can be innovative and new, but it can no longer be the “rebel” brand. Sorry Apple, but the iPhone is the mainstream “must-have” ¬†product for everyone in America over the age of 13. So much for being unique.

With this change in market share came an unfortunate change in Apple’s marketing strategy. Apple’s innovations have decreased in magnitude with every new product (Really, iPad Mini?). Not only that, but the commercials themselves have taken on a much duller approach, with no literary allusions or epic statements, but with an invisible crowd of lemmings shouting together like on Sesame Street:


Maybe it’s time for a little revolution.

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