How to Avoid a Boeing-type Crisis

Wreckage of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302  (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

Brands must establish trust in order to survive. How do you regain trust in your brand when it has been lost? There is no doubt a plethora of people at Boeing asking that question today.  By now, billions of people around the world are aware of the crisis that Boeing, a leader in aerospace engineering […]

Reebok Chooses To “Be More Human”


Early in 2013, Reebok approached our team with the need to develop a deep, emotional understanding of the motivations of fitness customers and the context of fitness activity in 6 countries. Our team spent 6 weeks on a round-the-world journey to uncover the common beliefs, values and motivators for hard core fitness enthusiasts in order […]

A Letter from James Cash Penney to JCPenney

Golden Rule Store

In recent weeks, the saga over the fate of JCPenney has been all over the media and advertising industry trade publications, most recently with a warranty spat involving a customer unhappy with a defective engagement ring. We’ve been tracking the situation and decided to dig into the history of the brand and its founder, James […]

Jack Daniel’s & Gentlemanly Behavior


Commercial brands are increasingly engaging with social movements in order to better ground and express their core values. Working out the ethical implications of this sort of approach can be tricky; they have to be considered carefully on a case-by-case basis. We know that brands capable of recognizing and aligning with social trends can attract attention through – and reciprocally reinforce awareness of – the causes they espouse. But this raises the question of distinguishing positive social trends from negative ones.