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STEVE SMITH

Steve Smith is Editorial Director of Events for MediaPost

Articles by Steve All articles by Steve

  • CityRow HIITs the Omnichannel Marketing Machine in Brand Insider on 01/06/2022

    Don't mistake CityRow for a Peloton wannabe. Both companies launched about the same time a decade ago. But CityRow started as a network of boutique HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) studios that only started selling connected home exercise machines several years ago. And for co-founder Helaine Knapp, the growing physical presence is the brand and marketing special sauce. As she tells Brand Insider this week, that omnichannel "flywheel" drives the two achievement metrics every D2C trains for - cost of acquisition (CAC) and lifetime value (LTV). As Knapp explains it, from lower-key content marketing to laser-focused performance advertising, D2C brand building is itself a bit of a HIIT exercise routine.

  • More Is More...If the Supply Chain Holds Up: Resident Home's Deep Diversification Model in Brand Insider on 12/28/2021

    Most of the hot direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands of the last five years built their brands around a clever or creative take on familiar necessities, be it eyeglasses, toothbrushes or mattresses. But as we have explored extensively in our own D2C Brand Insider events, a sustainable model requires new product development and brand extension beyond that first sexy release. Of all the many D2Cs I have covered, Nectar Mattress parent company Resident Home may have expanded its portfolio quickest and most aggressively. Since 2017, it not only has created multiple mattress brands and bedding products, but its Cloverlane home store has branched into wall decor, furniture, rugs and more. So when we sat down recently with co-founder Eric Hutchinson, it wasn't surprising to find that diversification was his mantra: not only in variety of product but in a radically omnichannel marketing and sales channel approach. But while diversification may be the mantra, the secret words are "supply chain."

  • Hims & Hers Takes The Channels Less Traveled in Brand Insider on 12/23/2021

    Like many D2C brands, health products maker hims & hers knows the math of performance branding. But as its use of paid social and search are familiar pages in the DwC playbook, the company has also been known to advertise above urinals, partner with the well-tressed JLo on Minoxidil, and speak to wives about ED. It is a cluttered world of online prescription and health solutions. Alex Chahin, Senior Director of Product Marketing, tells Brand Insider this week that building both brand and trust while also educating consumers requires a multi-channel engine. The fuel is not only by raw data but also insights into where consumers are in their journey and how they want to be engaged.

  • Canon's All-in-One Model: Marketing For The New Hybrid Workplace in Brand Insider on 12/17/2021

    The pandemic has transformed and accelerated secular shifts in just about every business segment, of course. And we know that the workplace has been impacted, but so have all of the product lines that service the work economy. Canon USA, which has products across the business and consumer tech productivity chain, is experiencing this effect, and it requires a rethinking of their approach to home and work technology marketing. Jerry Hsiao, Director of Business Planning at Canon USA, discusses this reorganization and digs into implications across the marketing chain. Home, office and home-office aren't what they used to be.

  • The Tale of the Storytelling Logo: Coldwell Banker Gets a New Suit in Brand Insider on 12/10/2021

    Does "the suit maketh the man" or "the man maketh the suit?" Coldwell Banker's answer to this perennial fashion question is - both. The century-old real estate brand has been rolling out new logos and attendant campaigns for its various consumer and commercial facing divisions over the last two years. CMO David Marine, who likens the refresh to a new suit of clothes, says the look helps modernize and more clearly express the corporate image and values that have been there all along. Or, to answer that classic question another way. It is what the man makes of the suit.

  • Snoopy, Peanuts and the Bite-Sized Messages of Brand Humanity in Brand Insider on 12/02/2021

    Seventy-one years after Charlie Brown and his neighborhood of friends, pets, unintelligible adults and kite-eating trees launched, the Peanuts' brand remains among the most recognizable around the world. Peanuts Worldwide, works with over 1000 partners across all borders on a range of properties and merchandise. This brand continues because of the strip's simple, resonant humanity, says Charlie Brown's CMO, Melissa Menta, SVP, Marketing and Communications Worldwide. As consumer brands trendily scramble to find their "meaning" and "align with values," this seems like a good time of year for them to ask a version of Charlie Brown's famous cry - Isn't there anyone who knows what having a brand matter in people's hearts and minds is all about?

  • Ancient Nutrition Super-Feeds Underserved Gen-X in Brand Insider on 11/24/2021

    Ok, Boomer! Move over. Time to make room for another aging segment to obsess about their health. Given their sheer numbers and buying power you would think that Generation-X would be overexposed in media. Just the opposite, says Amelia Thorn, VP of Marketing at supplements brand Ancient Nutrition. Her marketing research showed that their brand's target market is woefully underrepresented in commercial images. And so the company's first major brand awareness campaign around the "Superfoods So You Can" tagline lets X-er customers tell their own stories.

  • Breaking Through: Nutrabolt Ignites Fit Inspirationals In New C4 Push in Brand Insider on 10/14/2021

    Breaking through adversity is a central theme of performance beverage Nutrabolt's new C4 energy drink plan.

  • Foot Locker's 'CMO+': "Take Brand Marketing Off Your Resume" in Brand Insider on 09/24/2021

    Jed Berger, CMO of Foot Locker, doesn't really hate marketing. As he tells Brand Insider this week, it is just that he likes a great idea and a great product more. Product development and product marketing are becoming more intimately connected. When the product comes with relevance, with a story, then the marketing can be more authentic and even more efficient. This evolution is clearest at Foot Locker, which will have dropped literally hundreds of new sneaker model tie-ins just in the second half of 2021. When product relevance is put at the center, then marketing moves more towards demand generation. Suddenly consumer goods, like sneakers, come with their own pre-launch trailers, media buzz, press leaks, and a marketing plan that resembles a movie or video game release.

  • BI Rerun: Ideal Image MedSpas Build Back Better in Brand Insider on 09/02/2021

    Because of the fires threatening Lake Tahoe this week, we have postponed our Retail Insider Summit. But as our planned agenda suggests, there is so much about the omnichannel marketing experience in retail poised for radical change. I find most fascinating the ways in which our expanded digital interactions with a brand will change not only how we shop but how the retail environment itself is built. This struck home with me when talking with Ideal Image's CEO David Prokupek in the Spring. As he discusses here, the virtual face to face consultations that the pandemic accelerated for his MedSpas will fundamentally change the functionality, layout and interactions of the retail experience. It is one example of how the intervention of digital solutions for a retailer may deepen the human interactions with customers.

Comments by Steve All comments by Steve

  • 'B2B Marketing Is Dead': NI Rebrands In D2C Style by Steve Smith (Brand Insider on 09/09/2020)

    So true, Bart. I would love to heare about more b2b brands that are taking a b2c approach. 

  • 'Mad' Magazine's Famed Cartoonist Mort Drucker Dies At 91 by Melynda Fuller (Publishers Daily on 04/09/2020)

    Drucker's style was our childhood entryway to American TV and film for many of us. Everyone both at MAD and at all of its imitators tried to imitate Drucker. But even as a kid I could tell the real thing from the copycats. No one tutored us more effectively in how not to take these media industries too seriously. Like Jack Davis, Wally Wood, John Severin, Drucker's pemcil and brush had an outsized power in our lives and culture. Thanks Mort.

  • Obit: Pioneering Magazine Publisher Hugh Hefner, Dead At 91 by Joe Mandese (Publishers Daily on 09/28/2017)

    Malcolm X, Norman Mailer, Saul Bellow, James Baldwin, Jimmy Carter, Alex Haley (who originally interviewed Malcolm X for Playboy), Erica Jong, Germaine Greer, Bella Abzug, David Bowie - just a few of the interviews that still resonate for me decades later becasue they went deeper.and got closer to the figure's voice than anything else available. All of it sat within a package that was also irredeemably sexist and unapologetically wedded to the shallowest material pleasures of consumer culture. Somehow they were all of a frightening, contradictory, delusional, brilliant, craven, dazzling, piece that was America itself in the last half of the 20th Century.       

  • GenerationVexed by Bob Garfield (Garfield at Large on 04/10/2017)

    This is the fake news we need more of.

  • The Trump-ification Of 2016: The Super Bowl Implodes by Steve Smith (Mobile Insider on 02/08/2016)

    Luke. Thanks for that. Nice evolution of the argument. Although post-mass culture is more manageable than post-mass politics. Democracy still demands majorities to move forward. Mutli-party systems worldwide have long had to rely on coalition-building among varied three and four parties. One argument goes that the American two party system is already now based on coalitions of unlike-minded segments, and have been since the late 60s and the original Nixon Southern Strategy. Reagan's coalition of the blue collars, evangelixals and country club has always been an uncomfortable marriage. We are now seeing the seams show.  

  • The Trump-ification Of 2016: The Super Bowl Implodes by Steve Smith (Mobile Insider on 02/08/2016)

    Thanks Jon, Peter and both Georges for your comments. But take heart. I may sound depresssed, and this may all seem very depressing. But I think there is a real hunger for creative thinking in both commercial and political fields. History shows (American Renaissance, Civil War, Progressive Era, Great Depression, Modernism, post-WWII pop and high art in America) that it takes a loss of faith in old institutions to make us receptive to new ideas.  

  • Remembering A Legend We Lost In 2015: Joe Franklin by Adam Buckman (TVBlog on 12/15/2015)

    The WOR TV show was integral to my own passion for pop culture and respect for the troupers who hoofed, crooned, astonished and touched us from the stage. Joe had a humbling envy/respect of performers. His hospitality to performers of all stripes was an object lesson for budding media critics like myself that the people we wrote about were putting themselves out there in ways we never would. 

  • A Mass Medium Without Mass Media: Live TV Losing Default Status by Steve Smith (Data and Targeting Insider on 07/27/2015)

    Hi all. I agree with your reticence over trusting self-reported data, which is why I mentioned that caveat. The research is a tracking study of 1200 US TV viewers with broadband access, so there is a skew built into the sample. But what I found most interesting in this research was the attitudinal implications - the ways in which users admitted to watching TV with different levels of engagement and attention according to situation and source. This part of the research I find very recognizable in my and my household's own behavior has to do wil how and why we choose different sources. OTT video is chosen much more deliberately I think and is my default source for content I am ready to pay attention to. On the other hand, most live TV is on because I have made a choice not to pay close attention while I peruse books or a second screen. 

  • Verizon's 'No Cord Required' Mobile Video Service Launching Soon? by Steve Smith (MoBlog on 07/26/2015)

    @JS Oops. Missing work. The phrase should read "an OTT video market that will not lack players." Corrected. 

  • A Modest Proposal: Truly 'Native' Mobile Advertising by Steve Smith (MoBlog on 07/16/2015)

    DanielYes some vendors tried on their own to do this, which is why I am suggesting it needs to be done at the OS level or as a common standard within the infrastructure. Single players trying to make it happen won't 

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