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At BrandCulture, we don't stand on ceremony, celebrate conventional wisdom or honor sacred cows. Peruse cheers and jeers for the best, worst, oldest and very latest branding theory and practice...all with the assurance that every post here has passed our "Branding. Not Bull" promise. Won't you please join us?

Is the Whole Foods Brand Losing its Mojo?

John Mackey, the legendarily combative CEO of Whole Foods Markets (NASDAQ: WFMI) is back. Back to blogging, that is after an 11-month self-imposed hiatus while the SEC considered whether his two thousand + Yahoo! posts under the anagram “rahodeb” (borrowed from his wife Deborah Morin) violated securities regulations. Equal parts enfant terrible and éminence grise, Mr. Mackey seems surprised by all

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When is Destination Branding Really Destination Blanding?

It seems that having a nice town that people like to visit, or even a state that draws holiday and business dollars, just isn’t enough these days. If you really want to matter, you’ve got to have a “Destination Brand”. So locales as recognized as San Diego (Active Relaxation), as large as California (Find Yourself Here), and as sexy as Mackina

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Positioning your Brand on its History May Be the Key to its Future

In these modern times, there’s still a kitchen item you can give a woman as a present that counts as a real gift, rather than a gender stereotyping offense. I found out the hard way at Christmas ’06 that it’s not an immersion blender. No, it’s the KitchenAid stand mixer – a product whose throwback design and positioning hit a number of consumer sweet spots and command a serious price premium at retail.

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Death, Taxes and Jury Duty: Jury Service in Los Angeles

"I consider [trial by jury] as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution." -- Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Paine, 1789 Every year the fifty courts in Los Angeles County handle 2,700,000 new cases. This gives the system the ignominious distinction of being the largest court in the country. To fuel this formidable juggernaut of justice, Los Angeles calls 2.68 million residents every year for jury service – the equival

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Creatives Have Nothing to Fear – Except Poorly Designed Research

There always has been and likely always will be a contentious relationship between creatives and number-crunchers. Market surveys, and even focus groups, which require more art than science to analyze, are often seen by designers and writers as a gauntlet to be survived rather than an opportunity to gather unbiased information. Some advertising firms like Crispin Porter & Bogusky now eschew focus groups e

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Building an Authentic Brand: Walk the Talk, or Go Home

A former boss once asked me if I knew what the most important word in the English language was. “Perspicacity?” I offered keenly. “Persiflage?” He shook his head and with great sobriety said: “Authenticity.” I can think of other words that might be more important (love, defibrillator, and plunger come to mind), but since that day I’ve seen authenticity become a buzzword among branding agencies and their clients. It makes a lot of sense. Generation X is filling the “prime earning year

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Corporate Culture: Truth vs. B.S.

I just read an interview with Samuel Culbert—a professor at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and the author of Beyond Bullsh*t—arguing that how people talk to each other at work affects the success of their businesses. Culbert asserts that “bulls—t has become the etiquette of choice in office life,” and that it can undermine a workplace because “it makes people feel beaten up, deceived—even dirty.” He defines “bulls

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