Brandcrumbs: Why Brand Naming Fails

(This brand naming post is part of an ongoing series of posts we’re calling Brandcrumbs, which are bits and pieces of branding advice left over from our regular conversations about real-world brand positioning challenges.) Brand naming is one of my favorite things to do at MarketPlace. I love the process […]

Three Things Food Startups Need to Know about the Food Industry

Although the food industry has historically been dominated by entrenched major brands, startups and venture capital have begun to move aggressively into food and beverage and agriculture, rightly perceiving the industry to be both exciting and profitable. High-profile food startups like KRAVE and Blue Bottle Coffee have found success bringing an entrepreneurial, […]

On Brand Gestalt: Making a Brand More than Human

I’m a nerd. I grew up with a Nintendo controller in my hands; I’ll stay up until the small hours to catch Vincent Price or Hammer Films horror marathons; and my personal geography is dotted with mountains of unread books—on topics ranging from 17th century Dutch painting to the history […]

Look Good, Feel Good, Brand Good (Valuing a New Website)

We regularly say that a company’s website, designed and developed correctly, is more than a marketing tool; rather, it’s a brand asset that benefits all marcomm efforts and increases profitability for years to come. Typically, we develop websites as a result of or in tandem with a brand identity project (logo, […]

From Clean to Clear: Transparency at the Food Leaders Summit

For years now, we’ve been discussing the implications of transparency with our partners and on our blog. So we’re incredibly excited to be partnering with the Food Leaders Summit April 27-29 in Chicago. We’ll be in Booth 130, so we hope you’ll say hello while you’re there. If you’re registering […]

Sparkles and Hybrids: 2 Beverage and Flavor Trends for 2015

The Rise of the Bubbles When the convenience store a convenient two-block walk from my house opens a refrigerator slot for that old stalwart LaCroix, then we’ll know that flavored sparkling waters have graduated from trend to fixture. Until then, it’s fair to say that we’re in growing trend territory. […]

2015 Food Marketing Trends & Other Assorted Gifts

With Christmas just a few days away, we’re thinking about gifts. As the new year approaches, we’re thinking about what’s in store for 2015. As marketers, we’re thinking about lists. So we figured that since we’re doing all this thinking about gifts and other good things, we’d share our lists […]

A Hoppy 2015 Beer Trend Prediction

It’s always fascinating to see the trajectory of beer styles coming to prominence in America. One emerging style (not yet officially recognized in the BJCP style guide) that I’m eager to track and that I think is going to make a huge splash in the US market in 2015 is […]

Don’t Throw the Past Away: Marketing Old New Products

I confess: I’m obsessed with tomatoes, particularly in the late summer and fall. Much of my summer has been dedicated to conducting a sustained defensive action against the local squirrels to preserve my plants—a war which, I am happy to report, I am currently winning. I come by this obsession […]

The Trouble with Marketing Natural Foods

It’s widely recognized that consumers are seeking more “green” options, from organic produce to low-footprint proteins. Retailers are stocking more of these products, making the sector one of the fastest-growing areas of the food business for farmers, distributors, and retailers alike. It’s a good time to be selling anything perceived […]

Low-FODMAPs: the Next Gluten-Free?

I have become spam. My family and friends think I was hacked because I sent them an email saying “I lost 10 pounds in just one week!” But I actually did lose ten pounds in a week . . . and here’s how you can, too! I’ve been gluten-free for […]

Instant Coffee & the Problem with Single-Sector Marketing

Smithsonian.com’s K. Annie Smith recently published a fascinating post on the improving market share of traditional instant or ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee. In the United States, those brands haven’t fared well recently; the rise of Starbucks and the specialty coffee trend have shifted consumer tastes in a more high-end direction, and […]