Chris Mims of the WSJ gave us our favorite brand / marketing story of the week. He covers the rise of the “microbrand”, a marketing-first product company enabled by the Scott Belsky-coined concept of a “brand stack” (theoretically similar to a tech stack).
Mims walks us through the required steps to create one, from product validation Facebook ads, to Shopify site-builds, to custom packaging startups, to UPS delivery of the product. It’s an intriguing look at the changing nature of tech-enabled consumerism.
P.S. Speaking of Scott Belsky, his new book, The Messy Middle, is next up on our reading list.
Julia Angwin’s new startup, The Markup, made headlines after landing $20 million from Craig Newmark. This podcast episode with Peter Kafka provides a great perspective on the future of storytelling with data.
The key takeaway — there’s a lot of great “data journalism” out there (think Nate Silver’s 538), but they mostly focus on doing statistical analyses on existing datasets. The goal of her new outfit is to create important new datasets that both their own journalists, and others can begin dissecting.
For the corporate marketing folks still afraid of putting your firm’s leaders “out there”, David Solomon of Goldman Sachs started off his CEO tenure with a casual conversation featuring his outgoing counterpart.
- There is a good deal of the conversation that seems genuinely unscripted.
- We are given the pleasure of hearing Lloyd Blankfein describe his tweeting style.
6. A NEWSLETTER
We spend hundreds of collective hours reading, studying and creating newsletters. To see a gallery of our favorites, and what makes them so good, go to TheEdge.Email. Each week we’ll recommend one of our favorites.
The Verge’s Command Line manages to bring a design aggressiveness in what appears to be a very simplistic newsletter package. They speak directly to their tech-forward, hacker-y audience with their terminal-y font, simplistic headlines, and snappy commentary. We highly recommend this newsletter as an easy way to keep up on tech news.
7. B2B COOL
Sans Forgetica is a new font that was designed using the principles of cognitive psychology to help you better retain information. It’s “more difficult to read than most typefaces — and that’s by design. The ‘desirable difficulty’ you experience when reading information formatted in Sans Forgetica prompts your brain to engage in deeper processing.”