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Posts by Chris Weissman

A New Era of Corporate Social Responsibility

This article was cowritten by Matt Fisher of 4thRight Partners. TopRight and 4thRight Partners will be cohosting a webinar on October 21st on the issue of CSR strategy. Sign up here! When a brand finds itself on the wrong side of a hot-button social issue, its communications team tends to fly into crisis mode. The…

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Who’s the Big Cheese Now?

Over my lifetime, I’ve learned that prices rise, people age, crises come and go, but there are some things that never change—like breakfast is always in the morning and dinner at night. Or is it? Kraft recently announced that their blue box macaroni and cheese product, typically on the dinner menu, is now “approved” as…

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Know Your Allies! The Dangers of Partnership

A colleague of mine recently wrote an article about the benefits of strategic partnerships. I enjoyed the piece, and I don’t disagree with his observations, but it got me thinking about a few counterexamples, none of which are particularly pleasant. Strong partnerships, after all, fail all the time—often in disastrous fashion. Though he made a…

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Brands of the World Unite! The Ten Hidden Benefits of Partnerships

A strong alliance is the only thing that wins wars. Prove me wrong. And I don’t just mean battles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe—although that’s a pretty cool illustration, too. In real life, everything from curing diseases to winning World War II to the mid-century battle for Civil Rights to humankind’s ability to send people…

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A Response to Seth Godin

When big or traumatic things happen, the clichés start falling like snow. In a time of coronavirus, these have predictably centered around notions of comfort, mixed with a little bit of harsh truth. “The new normal will be anything but ordinary.” “We’re all in this together.” “Embrace change or fall behind.” Etc., etc. But aren’t…

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A Harvard Degree for All?

Business guru Professor Scott Galloway has gotten at least one thing right: higher education is becoming a luxury good. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the administrators of the Harvards and Yales of our nation actually celebrate lower annual acceptance rates: the fewer new students they admit, the more they cheer. With legacy university endowments often being…

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Brand Building in Uncertain Times

Over the past 30 years, I’ve taken note of the different ways consumers respond to market uncertainty. In the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s, for example, shoppers tightened their belts. In 1999, panicked preppers flooded the stores to stockpile goods for (an ultimately illusory) Y2K. And after the great recession 12 years ago,…

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Kobe Bryant: The Man and the Brand

On January 26th, a helicopter crashed into the Calabasas hills in California, killing all onboard. Basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others lost their lives. They left behind families, friends, colleagues, and millions of fans who will never forget them and can never forget the impact Kobe had on them. But as…

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2020 Super Bowl Ads: The Good, the Bad, and the Meh

For advertisers and marketers, the Super Bowl is like, well—it’s like “The Super Bowl” for ad buys. With over 90 million viewers, the big game is a high risk/high reward competition for brands to see who can score the most audience attention in the shortest amount of time. Companies can plop down as much as…

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Whipping Brands Into Shape

I’m a total gym rat. I exercise each and every morning. Some days with intensity, others just to get the blood flowing. And as a relentless fitness freak, I can say there’s nothing I look forward to with more amusement than the month of January. January is when all you New Year’s resolution people show…

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5 Crises that Will Become Opportunities in 2020

From a political perspective, 2019 can make you shake your head in bewilderment. Impeachment hearings, election meddling, market turbulence, an increasingly polarized voter base—the list goes on and on. Pundits predicted that once the rest of the world realized America had lost its damn mind, they would point, laugh, and replace us on the world…

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Watch Your F*ing Tone!

We’re coming to the close of marketing planning season for 2020 and, not surprisingly, there have been dozens of articles written about Trends to Watch For in 2020. Google Ads, personalization, interactive content, video, SEO—don’t these takes all look eerily similar to those from 2019 and 2018? Perhaps there are some subtle differences, but it…

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