August 28, 2013

Unlike sex, despotism doesn’t usually sell. That doesn’t stop some marketers from trying. Entrepreneurs around the world are profiting from businesses and products named after blood-stained dictators. Goods that invoke Hitler, for example, are popular in India, where, it seems, some businesses think the pull of his charisma outweighs the negative connotation of his crimes. A Mumbai restaurant was recently forced to rename its Hitler’s Cross pizza after outrage from Jewish groups.

Social responsibility is no longer just an option for businesses, brands are learning. From TOMS shoes which fund the giving of shoes for people in need, to Warby Parker, which provides glasses to people in need for every pair sold, buying where your buck goes further (globally) is appealing. charity: water is a little different, as it is a proper non-profit, rather than a charity-driven business.

In response, gay columnist Dan Savage called for a nation-wide boycott of Stoli and other Russian vodkas. This weekend several bars in West Hollywood got into the act. Even though Stoli is a business, not a government that can enact policy, WeHo councilman John Duran told us why he supported the move by his city's businesses. "I mean I think that a boycott has two primary reasons, one of which is to target and protest where injustice is occurring, but also to raise public awareness."

The jovial tug o’ war and children’s ice-cream-eating contest wouldn’t look out of place at any town fair. But the family festivities in the battle-scarred Syrian city of Aleppo had a surprising organizer: al-Qaeda... The attempt to soften Islamic State’s image comes as it struggles to win support in the areas of Syria that are outside government control. Many residents view the group as a foreign force more concerned with imposing Islamic law than with fighting against President Bashar al-Assad and his allies.

Yoani Sanchez, the most famous Cuban blogger who advocates for the freedom of speech, is a distinct critic of the Castro’s administration. Although a recognizable figure around the globe, she has never been able to travel; yet, after twenty previous denials Sanchez was just granted permission to leave the island for the first time. Even though this fact itself constitutes a solid basis for assuming that a smaller part of Fidel’s legacy is disappearing silently, it is important to realize that a demure dissident ghost is present in each of Yoani’s actions.

Before one can attempt an exercise in branding, one has to understand what it is, how it originated and what core principles are at work to ensure success. Once this has been established, we will see how these principles can transform the Bangladeshi economy.

May 31, 2013

In the race to be the world’s dominant economy, Americans have at least one clear advantage over the Chinese. We’re much better at branding. American companies have these eccentric failed novelists and personally difficult visionary founders who are fantastic at creating brands that consumers around the world flock to and will pay extra for.

NaHHA’s work is based on communication between the Hawaiian community as the host culture and the tourism industry and tourists as a “foreign audience”, and is therefore closely related to public diplomacy...Although some of the mass hotels and other tourist corporations have been increasingly supportive of cultural initiatives in recent years, the industry’s priority is economic profit, which historically has lead to a commercialization of Hawaiian cultural elements for entertainment purposes.