Family Astrology, Tradition, and the new Prince George

July 27 2013

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For those of you who follow this type of thing, you might know that there is a new heir waiting in line to ascend the throne of Great Britain, first name of George. There have been five kings named George since the Hanoverians came over from Germany to take the reigns in Britain, including "Mad" King George who lost the War of Independence that freed the United States to begin its march towards becoming a powerful world leader. So that's a little bit of context.

I thought I might mention that the new prince is a Cancer, a traditional water sign associated with ancestry and tradition. His father is also a Cancer, as was his grandmother, the emotive and well-loved Princess Diana. Now, baby George's mother is a Capricorn, a sign associated with a steady and sure-footed move towards worldly goals (natch) and with existing forms of authority. So his parents symbolize tradition, ancestors and authority, which is kind of a perfect representation of the British monarchy’s brand essence. This is not to say that this young prince won't do things differently, as the astrology of the world seems to indicate that he was born under a more populist kind of influence. So we have many years to see how that plays out, but as they say, it's looking good! Congrats to all!

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An American Heritage Brand: Twinkies

July 17 2013

When we think about America, we think about apple pie and baseball. What about other American classics, like Twinkies? Hostess Twinkies have been around since 1930, a true staple for generations of snackers. The cream-filled sponge cakes have never been the healthiest option but America has never seemed to care. It takes a strong brand to stay relevant and successful with such a processed, sugary product in today’s market, especially when fresher, organic options are being become more popular and widely available.

Twinkies took a hit last year when Hostess Cakes declared bankruptcy after a hostile fight with its union workers. Once the word got out that the factory was about to close, any remaining product sold out in the blink of an eye. Media stories abounded about people’s grief at the loss of an iconic American brand.  

Then Metropoulos & Co. and Apollo came along and bought Twinkies and other Hostess cakes for $410 million. Now this beloved, familiar snack is back on our shelves. The new boxes will showcase the tagline, “The Sweetest Comeback In The History Of Ever,” underlining the brand’s heritage position.

Despite their one-year hiatus, the Twinkie brand hasn’t lost its place in the heart of America. Reaction from the public seems promising, and a less iconic brand might have been mourned and already forgotten. The product will still have the same classic taste, as well as all the sugar and calories that come with it. Twinkies have a whopping shelf life of forty-five days, which may not be what it once was, but is enormous in light of the current trends towards local and fresh food and changed consumer consciousness.

So it seems that although the market for healthy food has only grown over the past year, consumers can’t wait to get their hands on Twinkies once again. This brand seems to be resilient to say the least, and it looks like the desire for this tasty treat will last a lifetime.


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Social Media Mishaps and Your Brand: Think Before You Tweet

July 03 2013

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With all the news about Proposition 8, the ban on gay marriage, being lifted in California, people are bound to share their opinions on the matter. Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion of course but shouldn’t certain individuals, such as CEO’s of large companies, be wary of what they say? Especially in today’s world where, with the help of social media, you can post something and millions will see it instantly. Of course you can delete an embarrassing picture or a few harsh words but nothing is ever really erased from the web.

Dan Cathy, president of Chick-fil-A, turned to social media earlier this week. He tweeted, in light of the Supreme Court’s recent actions in regards to same-sex marriage, “Sad day for our nation; founding fathers would be ashamed of our gen.” The tweet was deleted but as previously stated, once you put something out on the Internet you can never truly get it back.

Chick-fil-A immediately provided their own statement, which read, “Dan recognizes his views do not necessarily represent the views of all Chick-fil-A customers, restaurant owners and employees, so he removed the tweet to eliminate any confusion.” This rebuttal was a smart move on the company’s part; protecting their brand should be top priority. However it is too early to know for sure how much damage Cathy’s statement will end up creating.

This isn’t the first time Chick-fil-A has had to manage their brand image because of their CEO’s public, derogatory statements. About a year ago they dealt with the cover-up of a different but similar issue when Cathy shared his critique of the government’s dealings on same sex marriage laws. At that time, Chick-fil-A issued a follow-up statement that all members of the company do not hold their President’s views.

This past month, in particular, has been full of high-profile folks being careless with what they say. Well-known chef and television star, Paula Deen, was released from her contract with the Food Network due to racial slurs, which she openly admitted using. Her empire is estimated to lose 12.5 million dollars, which is pretty serious dough. Chick-fil-A might want to plan ahead for damage control. Brands have to be managed from the top down, and a CEO who is a loose cannon in public is bad for brand image.

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