2017: the Year of Unbranding?

The Guardian reports that the large UK bookstore chain Waterstones has opened three small branches without the chain’s branding. The three stores are individually named—Southwold Books, Harpenden Books, and The Rye Bookshop—located in small towns that previously lacked a bookstore, and have a smaller footprint than the typical branded store. […]

What Transparency in 2016 Might Mean for 2017

Transparency is the biggest trend reshaping the food, pet, and nutrition industries today. We have dedicated significant analysis to the trend on this site, but we also want to make sure our readers are aware of relevant news on the topic, whether we analyze it or not. This post represents our first […]

Navigating the New Sugars Added Label Requirements

The FDA recently announced changes to the Nutrition Facts label, with more details about sugar. Starting in 2018[1], the FDA will require Nutrition Facts labels to distinguish between sugars found naturally in ingredients and sugars added, both in grams and a percentage of daily recommended value. The FDA is recommending […]

Three Marketing Implications of the GMO Labeling Law

With a nationwide GMO labeling bill now signed into law, brands are attempting to sort out what the new requirements will mean for their products. Although the FDA has until summer 2019 to establish the full rules for the law—and even longer to enforce them—the length of supply chains means […]

Does Googling Count as Market Research?

Google vs Market Research As a college student circa 2005, I was brash enough with my newfound power of knowledge that I told my mother that Googling “didn’t count as research.” A few years later my mom asked me, somewhat pointedly, if that were still true, and though I had […]

Brand Complements for Animal Supplements

Over the last few months, we’ve worked alongside a successful B2B brand with over 45 years of experience in trace mineral animal supplements to launch its first consumer brand: TruCare Trace Mineral Supplements. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed working through the brand development process with them, beginning with brand discovery and market research, […]

The Pet Marketing Agency

 The Pet Marketing Agency The pet industry as recession-proof Dogs increasingly anthropomorphized within the family Nutraceuticals making (and will continue to make) serious inroads into the pet food industry Pets with social media accounts Pet food labels mirroring human food labels, typically six to 12 months behind Cat videos The above list […]

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 […]

Environmental Branding: Carpets, Coasters, and Clouds

What does CVS stand for? If you answered “Consumer Value Stores” or “Convenience, Value and Service,” color me impressed. Someone recently asked if I knew what CVS stands for. I said “murky carpet, oppressive red, and rows of overpriced wine.” This is not about CVS. This could be about why […]

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 […]

When to Fight Over Logos

As a brand development agency, we handle a lot of visual identity projects for our partners—both consumer-facing and B2B. Those projects are often the first tangible deliverable of a well-rounded branding campaign. As a designer, I love taking on that responsibility, especially the work that goes into crafting a logo—that […]