From CBD to Zero-Calorie Sweeteners, the 2019 Expo West saw New Food Brands Disrupting with Products that Promote Wellness

From probiotic beverages to cauliflower carb substitutes, the number of disruptive food brands jockeying for attention at the annual Natural Products Expo West is only increasing year after year. For the 2019 event, more venues were added to the convention space to accommodate the huge uptick in eager exhibitors. This year we saw some trends that were very predictable as well as others that are taking the food industry by surprise. The real question about many of the trends we saw is which ones will take hold and appeal to…

International Women’s Day – Do We Really Need It?

I’m sorry. Okay, I’m sorry for saying sorry – nasty habit. But as a woman, I figured I’d just get the apology part out of the way up front. After all, it’s well-established that women apologize far more often than they need to, often for things that are not their fault. So now that that’s taken care of, let’s get to the real story – International Women’s Day. International Women’s Day (IWD) was started in 1911 by Suffragettes – then called a “militant organization” – to raise awareness of, and…

Traditional Banks are Winning in the Trust Arena and Challenging Fintechs on Innovation

Given the amount of media interest in fintech, including new online banks and apps with names like Chime, Evolve, and GoBank, one might think that the major banks are struggling to survive against an onslaught of competition, but don’t count the major banks out just yet. While the new companies are indeed solving for legacy problems and in so doing capturing the innovation conversation, banks such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase possess attributes that remain important to retail banking customers and maintaining their loyalty. Traditional…

Nightmare on Madison Avenue

Stephen Colbert’s stinging satire of Super Bowl “feel good” commercials (see here) last week might have caused more than a few marketing executives to have fitful, pre-game nightmares like this one: In a bid to put your brand on the map in a major way, you push your ad agency to come up with a powerful commercial worthy of spending $5 million for 30-seconds of airtime on the Super Bowl. The agency comes back with the idea that your company should express the values behind your brand and, like the…

Earning Those Eyeballs – and Leading the Conversation

  For brands, gaining and maintaining mindshare in today’s increasingly crowded media landscape can be challenging. Earning eyeballs and effectively leading conversations, in both traditional and social media, means thinking outside of the box and tapping into what consumers really care about. And that can be difficult: Some 56 percent of consumers think brands spend too much time looking for ways to force them to pay attention and not enough time thinking of ways to make them want to pay attention. So what makes consumers want to pay attention? What…

Corporate Purpose in an Age of Political Tribalism

At the 2018 Sustainable Brands New Metrics conference, RF|Binder Founder & CEO Amy Binder spoke about corporate purpose in an age of political tribalism, including the long-running link between profits and cause, the power of policy, both public and private, and how ESG and ratings agencies are catching up on what investors already know – that doing good is critical to doing good business. The complete speech can be found below.  Good afternoon. It is a pleasure to be here and I look forward to our discussion following my talk….

RF|Binder’s Social Impact & Sustainability Practice Expands With New Senior Hire

SAN FRANCISCO, December 2018 – RF|Binder, a fully integrated communications and consulting firm, announced today that Sarah Gwilliam, a senior practitioner with extensive experience developing social and environmental responsibility programs, has joined the firm as a Managing Director. Sarah will work out of RF|Binder’s San Francisco office further expanding the firm’s growing West Coast presence. Sarah brings deep experience in sustainability, supply chain, GRI reporting, philanthropy, cause marketing, and CSR. She has advised foundations, nonprofits, corporations, and government agencies. Prior to joining RF|Binder, Sarah was Director of Partnerships & Development…

Employee Activism: A Rising Challenge for Big Brands

As if Big Tech didn’t have enough problems – with major declines in their stock prices over the last few weeks – now comes an unprecedented employee walkout at Google. Yesterday’s walkout was a warning shot across the bows of boardrooms and C-suites, not just for tech but for all major brands. For years, companies across the technology sector and beyond have trumpeted their “purpose” in their corporate cultures, telling customers and employees alike about their commitment to making the world a better place and having a positive impact. Now,…

Global Citizens Take a Stand for Global Social Good

More than three weeks after Mashable’s most recent Social Good Summit – an annual gathering of progressive thought leaders and global citizens in New York – the conversations we heard and took part in are still giving us something to think about. This year’s summit – held at the storied 92nd Street Y during last month’s United Nations General Assembly week – focused on the theme “#2030NOW.” Speakers from around the world looked ahead to the year 2030, envisioning futures that we might aspire toward and assessing our progress as…