Brainy Marketing at Forbes: Most Popular of 2013

I had quite a few posts at my Brainy Marketing blog at Forbes.com get shared extensively this year – here are 2013′s “biggest hits:”

Starbucks: Loyalty Program Misfire

starbucks-demotedStarbucks is great at marketing, but they did find a way to really irritate those customers who don’t drink enough coffee to retain their gold status. This post really hit a nerve – it’s closing in on 100,000 views, and the comments show the depth of emotion felt by scorned customers. Is punishment the best way to encourage additional consumption?

Read more: Starbucks: Loyalty Program Misfire

Five Marketing Lessons From Candy Crush Saga

candy-crushTo say the game Candy Crush Saga has become a craze is an understatement. With hundreds of millions of downloads, the “free” game is generating close to a million dollars a day for its developer, King.com. A big key to the game’s popularity is its highly addictive nature. Even if you aren’t in the casual game business, there are some important lessons we can take from its success.

Read more: Five Marketing Lessons From Candy Crush Saga

Did Maker’s Mark Commit Brand Suicide?

makers-markFor the last few days, the world of whiskey has been buzzing about the decision to cut the proof of Maker’s Mark bourbon from 90 proof to 84 proof. [UPDATE: After several days of public flogging, Maker's Mark has reversed its decision to water down its signature bourbon.] In an interview, the distillery’s chairman emeritus, Bill Samuels Jr., said that they had erred in their sales forecasts and diluting the bourbon was the best way to meet demand.

Read more: Did Maker’s Mark Commit Brand Suicide?

This Abercrombie & Fitch Blowup Could Be Different

a-and-f-logoClothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch just announced that same-store sales fell 15% in the first quarter and blamed inventory shortages. But, unless you’ve been living in a cave, you know that Abercrombie & Fitch has seen major social media blowback from some old comments made by its CEO, Mike Jeffries. He was quoted as saying, more or less, that he didn’t want overweight, unattractive, or unpopular people wearing his clothes…

Read more: This Abercrombie & Fitch Blowup Could Be Different

The Perverse Brilliance Of Abercrombie & Fitch’s CEO

abercrombie(This post predated the above one, and was published before A&F started to post negative financial results.) Abercrombie & Fitch’s CEO, Mike Jeffries, doesn’t like fat people. Or unattractive people of any kind. At least, he doesn’t like them as customers in his stores. The latest firestorm of criticism came after retail expert Robin Lewis told BusinessInsider why Jeffries won’t stock larger clothing sizes in Abercrombie stores…

Read more: a href=”http://www.forbes.com/sites/rogerdooley/2013/05/16/abercrombie-ceo/” target=”_blank”>The Perverse Brilliance Of Abercrombie & Fitch’s CEO

Is That Water in My Budweiser?

budHot on the heels of the Maker’s Mark “watered down” bourbon fiasco (see Did Maker’s Mark Commit Brand Suicide?), there’s a new controversy brewing. This time, it’s the iconic brewer Anheuser-Busch that is being accused of watering down their product. The firm, now part of InBev, is the target of a $5 million lawsuit claiming that the alcohol content of the product is below that stated on the label due to the addition of water. Budweiser, Michelob, and other A-B brands are said to be affected by the practice…

Read more: Is That Water in My Budweiser?

Yahoo Mail Background Annoys Users, Taxes Brains

yahoo-mail-500One of the things marketers love to do is create synergies and cross-promotions between products. A current effort, apparently a test, by Yahoo to tie in its recent Flickr acquisition with its large base of Yahoo Mail users seems likely to backfire if changes aren’t made…

Read more: Yahoo Mail Background Annoys Users, Taxes Brains

LinkedIn’s Sneaky Social Engineering

linked-in-ctaDo you get LinkedIn connection requests from people you have never met or don’t know at all? For me, at least, those kinds of notifications far outnumber requests from people I actually do know well. That may not be surprising – after all, the set of people we know is very small compared to a planet full of strangers…

Read more: LinkedIn’s Sneaky Social Engineering

Starbucks: How NOT To Sell A Coffee Maker

verismo-tipsI occasionally pick on Starbucks because they tend to be such good marketers. They have built an amazing brand, and use sensory and emotional marketing appeals very well. But, once in a while they swing and miss. In my neighborhood Starbucks (as, I assume, in many others) they are promoting their Verismo coffee maker, a pod brewer that delivers single cups of coffee.

Read more: Starbucks: How NOT To Sell A Coffee Maker

That’s just a small sampling of my 2013 posts at Forbes – see them all at Roger Dooley’s Brainy Marketing.

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— who has written 985 posts on Neuromarketing.

Roger Dooley writes and speaks about marketing, and in particular the use of neuroscience and behavioral research to make advertising, marketing, and products better. He is the primary author at Neuromarketing, and founder of Dooley Direct LLC, a marketing consultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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