Read the latest news and trends affecting global brands. Siegel+Gale's monthly newsletter contains insights and perspectives on the keys to building elegantly simple, surprisingly fresh brand strategies, stories and experiences.

May 2013

Which mad man got simple right?

Did you catch the recent episode of Mad Men, where Don and Peggy make separate pitches for the Heinz ketchup account?

To recap, Don’s presentation boards consisted of close-ups of “ketchup-worthy” foods such as burger and fries with the headline “Pass the Heinz.” His logic: it’s more compelling not to explicitly say “ketchup” and not to tout that it’s the best ketchup…this can be inferred from the images.

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April 2013

Cutting through clutter to reach consumers

I’m always on the hunt for simplicity—a rare and valuable commodity because of its scarcity—so it caught my attention when T-Mobile recently announced its “Simple Choice” wireless pricing plan. My interest in the topic is hardly surprising—like many consumers, I have a smartphone and an iPad. I also just spent two years researching and writing a book entitled Simple: Conquering the Crisis of Complexity.

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March 2013

A critique of pure reason

Great brand names are tiny poems. They are elegantly simple expressions of truth. They express something poetically true about a company, product or service. They engage you abstractly and emotionally. Many are only one word long. There’s nothing more simple and beautiful than a one-word poem.

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February 2013

Corporate name changes are big news

One thing guaranteed to get press is a major corporate name change. Rarely do mainstream media, like the New York Times or Wall Street Journal, give a new corporate strategy platform or visual identity a headline—unless it provokes a disaster feeding-frenzy akin to the Gap debacle. But for some reason, big corporate name changes are almost always headline news.

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January 2013

Why is CMO turnover so high?

The average tenure of a chief marketing officer (CMO) is alarmingly short—just 42 months as of 2011. And to think, that’s up from 23 months in 2006. This seems like an incredibly high turnover rate for such an important position in the corporate hierarchy.

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December 2012

Crossing the divide: How Chinese companies adapt brand names for the global stage

The world is becoming one stage, and brands wanting to play on a global level are finding ways to position themselves better for international audiences. For many of these companies, it starts with adapting their names. A name can play a critical role in conveying who or what a brand is, and it’s important to get it right.

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November 2012

Innovation is the key to simplicity so why is it so complex?

The third edition of Siegel+Gale’s Global Brand Simplicity Index continues to prove that the brands that provide simpler experiences can charge a premium, and their stock prices will outpace others. But this time we’ve learned a lot more.

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October 2012

Simplicity rules

Google, Amazon, Apple—some of the strongest brands in the last decade. They have created billions in brand value and have industry—leading business performance. What else do they have in common? Their brand success can be directly tied to simplicity, to making life simpler for their users. They adhere to a set of simplicity rules to define their brand experiences. These rules are worth considering for any brand trying to simplify their customer experience and drive customer satisfaction, commitment and connection.

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September 2012

Chinese brands: Shift from production line to storyline

When it comes to brand strategy, many Chinese companies adhere to the following approach: focus on the quality of their products, but not the stories behind them. And they are always seeking ways to explain why people should trust them.

For example, mobile phone companies tend to emphasize how valuable their phones are in terms of price, function and quality. But consumers don’t learn how these brands work to create a product that enriches their (mobile) lives. Today, the general approach of Chinese brands tends to be highly rational, functional and focused on product specifics versus stories.

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August 2012

LinkedIn today: See all top headlines for who?

The new LinkedIn homepage has given the majority of its real estate to out-of-context updates, news headlines “for You” and advertisements. We all understand the shifting imperatives of well-established sites and the need to show real revenue to their long-suffering backers—and it’s not as if there wasn’t room for usability improvements. But I would have much preferred greater emphasis on group posts and profile changes, and a faceted profile search.

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