Coordinates 01-02.16

In this month’s Coordinates 01-02.16, we share articles putting points on the trend horizon. We cover topics on Economy & Industry, Consumer & Culture, Brand & Marketing, and Design that give insights into which direction the wind is blowing.


Economy & Industry

Antara Haldar writes an impassioned piece arguing that growth and scale is not always the path to success. Using Stumptown Coffee as an example, Haldar argues that smallness that allows for personal connection can be a critical factor in a business’s success.  Read more at The Atlantic >

Amazon now has more pricing power and has increased its threshold for free shipping on non-book orders likely to lure shoppers into its Prime program. Read more at Marketing Land >

Will Zappos’ experiment with the management practice called Holacracy work? Read more at >

Macy’s is taking a new approach to clearance merchandise pricing, following some other retailers who have tested simplified pricing approaches to make it easier for consumers to make choices and buy. It’s a balance between giving shoppers the exciting feeling of playing a game and getting a deal with transparency and ease. Read more on The Washington Post >


Consumer & Culture

Government can do good. In this article from Politico, read how urban planning and the cooperation between government and business can work together to revive a city, in this case Des Moines, Iowa, making it a thriving metropolis today. Read more at Politico >


In today’s digital world, companies need to look beyond physical product as to where they will win in the future. Innovation needs to be viewed more broadly to address real consumer problems. As such, a good example is Ford, which is investing in understanding where transportation needs are headed beyond the car. Read more at The New York Times >

Similarly, Sesame Workshop, the makers of Sesame Street, have just created Sesame Ventures to invest in for-profit companies that will forward its mission to mission “to help kids grow smarter, stronger, and kinder.”  Read more at Fast Company >

The New Yorker, like so many media outlets, is transforming its content into new digital mediums. In this case, the magazine has turned some of its stories into new short-feature films on Amazon Prime. Read more at Adweek >

Wearable devices are for your feet, too. Read more at ReadWrite >


How do you revive a cult brand after a significant fall? Read more about the evolution of Lululemon at The Business of Fashion >

Similarly, is it too little, too late for Barbie? Mattel is trying to revive the languishing brand through marketing and product innovation. Take its “Imagine the Possibilities” campaign launched last Fall, or the launch of the talking Hello Barbie, and now the launch of Barbie’s that are more representative of what real women look like. Time will tell if such efforts will reverse the slide, as kids look elsewhere for entertainment. Read more at The New York Times >


Fashion brands offer more to learn about branding than most marketers give it due. Read about Trey Laird, founder of Laird + Partners, who has helped shaped fashion brands over the last decade and more. Read more at The Business of Fashion >


Nike is launching its first Youtube series around its women’s campaign “Better for It.” Read more at Adweek >


Whether or not the Zoolander movie itself is any good, its marketing has been brilliant. From product placements to PR, Zoolander 2 has been a success.

IHOP continues to be forward-thinking in its use of digital media, now partnering with Snapchat to increase engagement with special filters. Read more at Adweek >

Tech companies are starting to get called to verify their claims. Read more at ReadWrite >



Pepsi is introducing a campaign to leverage the power of emojis—non-verbal, graphical communication—to increase engagement with the brand and with sodas this summer. Read more at USA Today >

When designing a brand’s logo, make sure it matches the brand’s meaning. Read more at Fast Company >

Target upgrades its Market Pantry packaging to be more appealing to Millennials and not look so store brand. Did it succeed? Take a look at The Dieline >

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.