Jonathan Salem Baskin

Just Sell the Damn Cars

Fiat has utterly botched the intro of its quirky but very drivable 500 -- sales are under 50% of plan -- and it's about to fire people and hold a huge group-grope agency review to  come up with a new strategy. I have a simpler solution, which I hereby offer up for free: copy VW's Beetle and BMW’s Mini Cooper American launches.

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Bright Lights Project: Boeing

On Monday, Boeing celebrated delivery of its first 787 Dreamliner to a paying client (just think of the sweetheart deal All Nippon Airways got). At a development cost of more than $32 billion spread out over almost a decade, the model encountered every conceivable delay (and many that nobody had imagined), and it might not make any money until the 2020s, if ever.

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Don't Bogart That Einstein

The possible discovery of neutrinos that travel faster than the speed of light could not only change a hundred years of physics dogma, but it could make time travel possible...though one scientist comforted the world last week with the qualifier that "...it does not mean we'll be building time-machines anytime soon."

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Fickle

Download Fickle

For every argument that brand value matters (or that brands even exist as logical constructs of any kind whatsoever), there's a simple, stunningly shocking riposte: people don't remember much, and what they do remember doesn’t necessarily affect their behaviors as consumers.

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Bright Lights Project: Stock Markets

When I came up with the idea of writing a Bright Lights essay about stock markets, I was really thinking about brainstorming how retail financial services brands could better address the current gaping void between what's happening in the markets, and the needs of individual investors for meaningful and reliable information about it.

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CRM Did It, Eventually

Customer Relationship Management, or "CRM," is a broad idea that was successfully marketed starting at the turn of the century...and then fell far short of everyone's expectations. It’s useful now, but not in the ways any of its evangelists had hoped, and I wonder if business use of social media technologies will follow a somewhat similar path.

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Bright Lights Project: Apple

(Full disclosure: I worked for Apple on the original iMac launch, I have friends there whom I like and respect, and I am a customer. My observations aren't based on any insider knowledge, but rather constitute the musings of an old friend).

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More than 140 Characters

Twitter is expanding its staff and its efforts to communicate with the world, and in doing so is turning to a lot of the tried-and-true structures and approaches that its 140-character service helped destroy. The changes beg a few questions, most notably why?

 

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Bright Lights Project: HP

Hewlett-Packard is a Silicon valley legend. No, it invented the legend, or at least the stereotype of two guys founding a technology company in their garage, which is what Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard actually did in 1939 in Palo Alto, CA. It was a very successful company through the 1980s focusing primarily on scientific equipment, which made it turn down employee Steve Wozniak's original design for the Apple I, and then branching out to desktop devices like calculators, computers, and printers (but all arising from its focus on scientific uses).

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Hell Hath Frozen

Wait. Let me pinch myself. Burger King is forsaking its mascot in favor of food and experience content in its marketing. Gap has admitted that its marketing stinks, especially the mannequin campaign for Old Navy? No, a pinch isn't enough. I need a stiff drink, but only after I let out a loud, obnoxious, self-congratulatory I told you so

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