Brand Bigotry

New Murketing column in the December issue of Fast Company:

Recently, Isaac Mizrahi had some choice words for those who look down on him for creating an apparel line for the big-box retail chain Target. Such critics aren’t merely snobs, he declared, they are “brand racists.” Well, that seems a bit much. For one thing, Mizrahi’s once moribund couture business was basically resurrected by his association with Target and the attendant buzz. For another, the implication that status is still organized in a strict top-to-bottom hierarchy seems a little out of touch with the more chaotic marketplace of today, where the right limited-edition sneakers bestow more prestige in the eyes of some consumers than any self-styled “luxury” ever could. That said, it’s precisely this chaos that makes brand bigotry a concept worth pausing over. Marketers pay a lot of attention to brand loyalty and cult-dom and devotion. But what about its opposite number–the brands you simply refuse to consider consuming? ….

Continue reading at Fast Company’s site.


Going for the Gut

New Murketing column in the November issue of Fast Company:

In the recent book Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious, psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer makes the case for intuition. Curiously, many assessments of the book took for granted that his arguments, familiar to readers of Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink, cut against conventional wisdom — that trusting intuition is, in fact, counterintuitive. As one friendly interviewer, casting Gigerenzer as a contrarian, put it: “In modern society, gut thinking has a bad reputation.”

Oh, really? …

Continue reading at Fast Company’s site.


Not enough Murketing in your life? Fast Company can help

Lately I’ve done some back-page columns for Fast Company, which is now edited by Robert Safian, who I’ve worked with in the past at American Lawyer, SmartMoney, Fortune, and Money. I guess I like working with him! And also with my editor on these columns, Denise Martin, with whom I’ve crossed paths at almost as many magazines.

If all that weren’t exciting enough (for me, I mean), they’re now giving my columns the rubric, “Murketing.” And the theme of the new one will be familiar to readers of this site, though perhaps expressed a little better than usual, thanks to being, you know, actually edited.

Nothing thrills advertising experts more these days than advertising made by…nonexperts. Clunky buzz phrases jostle for pole position to describe the trend — “user-generated content,” “citizen marketing,” “co-creation”–but the gist is always the same: The future of advertising belongs to consumers. Advertising Age even made “the consumer” its latest pick for ad agency of the year, arguing that “the most compelling content” is being made not by creative directors, but by “amateurs working with digital video cameras and Macs, and uploading onto YouTube.” …

Read the rest here, or in the October issue of Fast Company.