Are Pod People Turning Detergent Makers into the Living Dead?

Laundry pods, those compact plastic sacks that contain pre-measured amounts of soap, seem tailor made for people who over-pour and over-use liquid or powdered detergents. Unless you're one of the makers of the pods, the sales of which have resulted in an actual decrease in dollars flowing to corporate coffers. Should product innovation be all about the bottom line – no matter how popular some products might be with customers?

GQ Spring/Summer 2014 Fashion Report

Spring and Summer 2014 fashions, a GQ report suggests, are all about bold – not necessarily screaming -- colors, eye-catching accessories and a fair amount of cheeky snarl. As in Bieberesque, not Brandoesque, snarl. Consider these “must-have” items.

7 Ways CPGs Can Leverage Web and Mobile Communities

Any CPG can set up a Facebook or YouTube page and hope the traffic links in from there. What if you could construct your own online community that could live within your company’s site, where customers could talk to one another as well as the brand, and the brand hands out content ranging from coupons to videos? Here are 7 ways for leveraging the online community.

The Neighborhood Market Returns

Just when Americans seemed sold on big-box grocery stores as the answer to meeting or beating the monthly food budget, along come several national chains that want to sell people on an idea once thought extinct: Buying household groceries from the friendly neighborhood market. Is a significant change afoot? And will product manufacturers need to change their go-to-market strategies?

Brand Mascots: An Endangered Species

The growing trend to ditch the brand mascots of yesteryear – costumed characters, furry animals and/or talking cartoon characters whose playful presence lends a spirit of fun and identity to a brand – has been gathering momentum in recent years. Changing an image is one thing. Erasing an entire brand’s populist/institutional memory is another. What gives?

What’s on the PR/Social Media Horizon for 2014?

And how can your company take practical advantage of those forecasted changes? Like now? Here’s PR blogger Jessica Lawlor’s suggestions for action.

Dos and Don’ts of Celebrity Travel Styles

The great artist Noel Coward once observed, “Why do the wrong people travel when the right people stay at home?” If you're one of those traveling afar this summer, thank your lucky stars. And pay close attention to 10 dos and don'ts that reveal the travel habits and styles, rightly or wrongly, of America’s celebrities.

Corporate Philanthropy: Good for Business, or Just Plain Good?

Where should companies draw the line on corporate philanthropy? Is all charitable giving considered “good giving”? Should getting a bang for your buck be part of every marketing effort, including ones intended to “give back” to the community? Even PBS gives you a DVD when you donate enough cash. Corporations have feelings, too, you know.

Fitness Trends for 2014

Exercising like a caffeinated maniac with breaks in-between – aka, High-Intensity Interval Training – recently took first place among the predicted Fitness Trends for 2014. Unseated from first place for the first time since 2008? Educated, Certified and Experienced Fitness Professionals. Here are the Top 10 Trends for 2014.

13 Beauty Trends for 2014

What does it say about the nature of fashion when the strongest motifs are those that come from makeup, hair and nails? When the accent outweighs the melody, it’s certain that sexiness isn't far behind. With a whip and a few cleverly designed chains. Do such tricks dominate? Or do they seduce?