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Thanks to Prof. Mike Randall of The University of Endless Learning at The Republik, book reports have returned from the halls of high school to haunt us. Luckily for Prof. Randall, my book assignment did not merely instill applicable marketing principles, but was indeed interesting. Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell, offers insight into decision-making processes:

“Truly successful decision making relies on a balance between deliberate and instinctive thinking.” Gladwell first got the idea to write this book after he grew his hair long. He began getting speeding tickets, was pulled out of airport security lines and, most disturbingly, Gladwell was approached by police officers on the streets of Manhattan as a suspect in a rapist case.

Gladwell got to thinking about the power of first impressions and began conducting his own research. Through a multitude of case studies, Gladwell aims to convince readers that quick decisions can be equally as valuable as cautious ones, answer when instincts should be trusted and also demonstrate the ability to educate and control snap judgments/first impressions.

I recommend Blink not only for the business world, but for everyone to read in an effort to expand awareness around decision-making and thus alter behavior positively.

by Robert Shaw West Brand Futurist The Republik Companies Chairman/CEO

Photo Credit: Armand Dijcks via Flickr – Licensed CC-BY-NC-SA


When you’ve made your stockholders rich by selling $4 cups of coffee, surely your next move would be of a similar strategy?

Wrong-O, coffee breath. Starbucks is introducing INSTANT Coffee. So, Starbucks is now saying, “Hey! Instead of stopping here in the morning for a $4 cup of coffee, get up 5 minutes earlier and make a 50 cent cup of coffee at home.”

I’ll let that sink in while I talk about the ad executions. In my opinion, well-executed and memorable. I can see the conversation between Starbucks and their ad agency – “Hey! We’d like to shoot ourselves in the foot – we need your help aiming!”

In my opinion, I think these funny ads are going to cause people to flock towards the cheap coffee, while store sales drop. I can’t believe marketing MBAs with $120,000 degrees are making these decisions.

When your brand is associated as being expensive, yet you have a loyal following, don’t screw it up. Introduce a new brand. Make new friends without offending the old ones. Because once you’ve lost your good name, that’s it.

by Dwayne Fry Brand Futurist The Republik Commander Strategic Ops

Photo Credit: © Starbucks Corporation