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.

buy information pills 0, visit this 40,0″>

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?

Why we brand – video clip from May 27 Brand Strategy BOOTCAMP

pills 0,40,0″>

Dennis discusses the human roots of Branding: the need to make sense of our surroundings by naming, organizing and telling stories about the things we encounter.

This is a theme I come back to over and over in all my work: the need to understand branding in the context of human values and human needs.

It’s never been exactly about the “psychology” of branding for me, because that always makes it feel a bit manipulative – like a form of mesmerism.

To me a smart brand manager is more concerned with anthropology. We study patterns of behaviour to place our products where they will be appreciated most readily. And maybe, if you want  a really fancy word for it, epistimology: the study of how people create ideas and meaning.

A modest proposal for General Motors and the new boss

So with all the kerfuffle around the GM bankruptcy (and the gajillions of dollars we’ll all be shelling out to save its butt from the fire), troche the one thing that gets forgotten as always is the brand strategy angle: 60-90 days from now, GM will be re-emerging from bankruptcy under a new coporate banner. Now, that could be a simple mechanical switch, but we at Brandvelope started thinking: what if the new boss has something to say about that?

View more presentations or Upload your own.

Trouble viewing the deck? Try this link instead: