The Edge.Email — 10th Edition

Welcome to the weekly newsletter from The Edge Group. For each edition, we pull together our favorite content on all things media, marketing, innovation, analytics and of course, email. If you’d like to learn more about the work we do, please get in touch here.


1. TRENDS

The rise of the Micro-Brand and the Brand-Stack?

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.

(WSJ)


2. AI

Burger King gets it

We’ve now at the point of the AI hype cycle where healthy skepticism is prevalent enough that Burger King’s new marketing campaign is all about poking fun at the genre of “AI-generated creative”.

(The Verge)


3. DATA

Trying to find that data word

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.

(Recode)


4. STORYTELLING

Hanging with David & Lloyd

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.

Edge.Observations:

  • 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.

(Youtube)


5. CREATIVITY

Meet Morgan Stanley’s Chief Cartoonist

You probably didn’t realize they had one, did you?

(FT Alphaville)


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.

Sign up for Command Line here


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.”

Swoon.

(Sans Forgetica)