Brand Brief: the Shack meets the Lance

BBC Sports reported this afternoon that 1) fabled cyclist and inspirational uber-achiever Lance Armstrong   will surely NOT repeat as the winner of this year’s Tour de France, pharmacy but 2) in even bigger news: “Lance Armstrong will compete for Team RadioShack as a cyclist, buy runner and triathlete in events around the world, including the 2010 Tour de France.” So he’s dropping his current team Astana (bankrolled by the Kazakh government) eh? But Radio Shack? Isn’t that a bit like joning Team Edsel or Team Jurassic Era?


Here’ s Lance Armstrong himself on the partnership – from his daily video-blog at

So DIFFERs: what do you think?

  • Is this a good move for brand Lance Armstrong? For brand Radio Shack?
  • Are both brands past their prime and in need of serious reality checks?
  • Or could this be the beginning of a new comeback for all involved?
  • Your comments are welcome.

Brand Brief: gets legs – and feet CEO Jeff Bezos has just released a long video in which he rhapsodizes about the history of – including early troubles with technology… and even elecricity. At 8 minutes plus, sale this DOESN’T qualify as an elevator pitch. Then he eventually gets around to announcing his company’s all-stock aquisition of online shoe retailer The full TechCrunch Newsflash is here.

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From the other side of the acquisition, CEO Tony Heish has posted this letter to employees explaining the aquisition. It’s a serious letter, but also manages to be light, breezy-but-informative piece that speaks to the corporate brand culture Hseih has built at Zappos. Just what you’d expect from a guy with a Zappos logo tatooed to his head.

But one thing that caught my attention was this:

We learned that they truly wanted us to continue to build the Zappos brand and continue to build the Zappos culture in our own unique way. I think “unique” was their way of saying “fun and a little weird.” 🙂

The Zappos brand will continue to be separate from the Amazon brand. Although we’ll have access to many of Amazon’s resources, we need to continue to build our brand and our culture just as we always have. Our mission remains the same: delivering happiness to all of our stakeholders, including our employees, our customers, and our vendors.

So what do you think?

  • Cynical DIFFERs, how long do you think this will last before is absorbed into Amazon?
  • Hopeful DIFFERs: is this the greatest thing you’ve ever heard?
  • And how about that backyard Billionaire video?