ishmaels corner

Category: Business Takes


The One Quality That Unites All Brands

The key to branding isn’t just knowing who you are and what you stand for. It also calls for communicating those very qualities to the outside world. Take the Singaporean store in the picture. Is there any question about its value proposition? Closer to home, everyone seems to think there’s a deep lesson in Donald …more

Translating the News Release on the Merger of Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe

The two agencies pen literally thousands of news releases for their clients each year, many addressing M&A. How tough can it be to apply this expertise to their own announcement? Of course, what the news release states doesn’t necessarily align with reality. As a public service, I’ve addressed the news release distributed over Business Wire …more

Now, Here’s a Media Relations Strategy You Don’t See Every Day

Thailand’s prime minister decided that there was a better way for handling those pesky questions from reporters. At a press event promoting Children’s Day — yes, there’s a holiday in Thailand that encourages children to have fun … that’s an order — Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha deployed a life-sized cardboard cutout of himself. He then …more

Nailing Your Sales Proposition

It doesn’t matter whether you sell pizza, cars or solid state memory chips, every company grapples with the question: why should the customer buy me over competitors? Few companies try to compete on price, and even those that do are careful in how they play the low-price card. The next time you’re at Costco or …more

The Blending of Journalism and Paid Content

Should publications try to fool the reader? The obvious answer is no, but perhaps a more nuanced view should rule the day. Maybe it’s OK — dare I say helpful — to fool the reader, if by doing so, the publication serves up information that the reader cares about. I raise the issue after stumbling …more

The Branding of the NBA and the Golden State Warriors in China

David Stern, who ruled the NBA as commissioner for 30 years before stepping down in 2014, deserves credit for making the long-term commitment to building the NBA’s brand in China. The arrival of Yao Ming certainly spiked interest as did Linsanity — yes I know while Jeremy Lin’s heritage is Taiwanese, he still impacted perception …more

When Price is the No. 1 Criterion in Selecting a Communications Consultancy

Whether you’re buying soft-serve yogurt, a car or communication services, everyone wants value. After walking through the doors of the Willow Glen Creamery multiple times, I still calculate the per-ounce price for a mini vs. small vs. medium size to ascertain the best value. Yet, the per-unit price shouldn’t be the primary driver behind the …more

Sometimes Backlash to a Brand Deviating from the Status Quo Has a Happy Ending.

Sometimes not. Twitter is testing the concept of longer tweets, allowing a chosen few to access up to 280 characters. A blog post from a Twitter product manager explained the radical thinking: “We want every person around the world to easily express themselves on Twitter, so we’re doing something new: we’re going to try out …more