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Michael Bollinger

Member since September 2014Contact Michael

Michael is President of Smith Brothers Agency, an expert in marketing CPG.

Articles by Michael All articles by Michael

  • Think Small in Marketing: CPG on 05/10/2017

    Fifty years ago this summer, Mike Nichols' "The Graduate" hit American movie theaters. The film's protagonist, Benjamin Braddock, played by Dustin Hoffman, is provided with some career advice in a penultimate moment when his parents' smugly successful friend suggests - "One word: Plastics." The moment captured the disillusionment of Baby Boomers and the desire to drop out instead of embracing a steady paycheck - and a seemingly spiritless life in chemical manufacturing.

  • Advertising In Echo Chambers in Marketing: CPG on 04/12/2017

    During last year's election season, we heard pundits and politicians bemoan the effect of algorithms on what news we see, serving up content that reinforces and echoes choices and preferences we've demonstrated through past behavior. Because I happened to watch the Billy Bush bus video, does that make me a Trump supporter? Or if I happened to get click-baited into watching a shark video, does some data engine tag me as an Animals Attack! fan? The answer to those questions appears to be, largely, "yes" and therein lies a problem for our society (we are confined to a machine-determined perspective) and for practitioners of CPG marketing. Is media fragmentation making it harder and harder to create broadly popular CPG brands?

  • 'The Shark That Can't Stop Swimming' in Marketing: CPG on 03/08/2017

    That's how "Fortune" recently described 3G's business model. The magazine goes on to say, "A central feature of this model is that it can't work forever. It builds value only by buying more companies."

  • A Rejuvenating Plunge Into Innovation in Marketing: CPG on 02/08/2017

    If you spend any time in CPG product innovation, you're likely using a"Jobs To Be Done" (JTBD) approach. Created by Harvard Business School professor and disruptive innovator Clayton Christensen, the JTBD approach simply suggests people don't buy products, they hire them to do specific jobs.

  • Wanted in Marketing: CPG on 01/11/2017

    Hollywood has largely equated the idea of being wanted in America with criminality. Whether it is westerns or gangster flicks or TV's John Walsh, we typically associate this word with the desire to capture the most despicable and dangerous of criminals.

  • Is CPG Advertising Boring The Industry To Death? in Marketing: CPG on 12/14/2016

    Ten years ago, the partners at our ad agency did an offsite meeting to plan our future. We were small and scrappy and talent-laden, but like the vast majority of agencies, we lacked any real point of differentiation.

  • Unchanging Man And The Lizard Inside in Marketing: CPG on 11/09/2016

    I am bombarded by content claiming to provide me with the insight to unlock the mystery that is marketing to Millennials. Born between 1981 and 1997, Millennials formed a crest of childbirths of 66 million during those years, considerably higher than the 55 million Gen Xers that came before, if not quite the pig in a python that was the Baby Boom at 76 million.

  • Good, Fast, Cheap in Marketing: CPG on 10/12/2016

    "Good, fast, cheap - pick any two" is a common phrase that defines the constraints on any initiative. If used as a lens through which to view the post-war packaged food industry, "fast and cheap" was clearly the choice of U.S. manufacturers and consumers. Indeed, the USDA reported that we spend significantly less on food than our grandparents did.

  • Optimizing Nutrition Apps for Broad Consumer Adoption in Marketing: CPG on 09/14/2016

    Apple recently announced a partnership with Nike, linking its Apple Watch with the Nike+ running app. I wish more collaboration between tech giants, food and beverage manufacturers and grocery retailers were keeping nutrition apps apace.

  • Sunday Morning Coming Down in Marketing: CPG on 08/10/2016

    I confess. I'm a junkie for the Sunday morning political shows: "Meet The Press," "Face The Nation," "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," "Fareed Zakaria GPS," and "Fox News Sunday."

Comments by Michael All comments by Michael

  • CPG Brand Relevance In A Post Supermarket World by Michael Bollinger (Marketing: CPG on 08/12/2015)

    Just a difference in nomenclature, Ken. I used "big box" to group Costco, Sam's Club, BJ's, etc and "specialty grocery" for the likes of Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Aldi, etc. We could certainly create more groupings than I did here, but the trend towards shopping multiple channels is clear and primarily at the expense of traditional supermarkets, just the way specialty retail chipped away at department store customers.

  • U.S. CPGs Grew 2.1% in 2014; Smaller Players Continue To Grab Share by Karlene Lukovitz (Marketing Daily on 03/13/2015)

    Not surprising that small to mid size companies continue to carve market share from larger competitors. Those with a kingdom to defend will never match the zeal for innovation and risk borne by smaller competitors. What we found especially interesting at last week's Natural Food Expo was the success small to mid sized CPG brands are having in sections of grocery and mass - like Frozen and Impulse - where large manufacturers have long blamed poor results on dramatically shifting consumer behavior. So is the shift of shopping focus from center store to the perimeter to blame for declining sales of frozen meals? Brands like Amy's, Gardein and Evol are growing just fine in frozen because they are in sync with the consumer's desire for HEALTHY convenience. And big food told us that consumers' use of mobile devices was to blame for sales declines of confections at checkout. But better-for-you snacks and beverages - like RTE popcorn brands (Popcorn Indiana and Angie's Boom Chicka Pop) and RTD teas (Coca-Cola's purchase of Honest Teas is a win for Big Food here) are pushing less healthy brands off the racks and out of coolers at checkout.

  • Re-examining Trade And Consumer Marketing In A Consumer-Controlled World by Michael Bollinger (Marketing: CPG on 12/10/2014)

    No, POP isn't dead. Nor is broadcast. But most CPG marketers are lagging their consumers' behavior shift - and leaving money on the table.

  • How Many Agencies Does It Take To Screw In A Lightbulb? by Michael Bollinger (Marketing: CPG on 11/12/2014)

    Agree the best solution is simple roster reduction. I wasn't offering in-house or UGC as recommendations. They are solves that are often suggested by others.

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