Coordinates 07.18

Welcome to Coordinates 07.18

A newsletter for busy business, brand, and marketing leaders who want to stay in the know and be inspired about ways to make a positive impact on their business, brands, organizations, and for themselves.

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At the beginning of the year, we, amongst others, wrote a few articles about how consumers are seeking brands that stand for more (a purpose) and make a bigger contribution to society.

Here’s an article from the latest HBR with a step-by-step guide to how you can build a purpose driven organization, which can result in more engaged employees, have a strong halo to your brand, and even deliver better business performance.


Building on the theme in the Strategy section… For many employees today, work has become life-sucking. Perhaps the decade-long lack of economic productivity improvement has more to do with the lack of focus on making work interesting and engaging for workers.

Shake up your own thinking on how to build an organization that thrives with this article, talk, and podcast:

  • Read about creating structures that balance “employee empowerment and operational discipline” with examples from Netflix, Alaska Airlines, and Warby Parker.
  • Listen to how one leader is “leading with joy.” With so much of employee happiness hingeing on bosses and company leaders, how can you do the same to make your workplace an environment where people are excited to commit their time?
  • Finally, listen to Adam Grant’s “A World Without Bosses” podcast and learn from a company that successfully operates with a flat structure and no managers, giving each individual autonomy over their own work.


It’s about time. Delivering marketing messages at the right time, that is, not just to the right person with the right message. A good article from Think with Google on building your marketing around delivering messages just in time. 

This article champions the idea of putting technology in the background to create “invisible consumer experiences.” In other words, how do you make your product or service about the customer and their experience, rather than making it about the technology itself?

We made a similar case at the beginning of the year—for brands to focus more on delivering rich consumer experiences rather than leading with technology. Read more at Weathervane Forum >


Learn more about the possibilities and application of scentsRead or listen to the podcast and get inspired as to how scent can add to your brand and customer experience.

ICYMI: Get my new eBook, “The Book of Brand Mythology.” A lot of fallacies exist about branding, so we debunk 15 myths and note helpful tools. Find it here >


I continue to be inspired by some brands’ ability to deepen their brand meaning through the content they produce. Check out:

  • Herschel—its lookbooks and bi-annual journal do a great job of emphasizing the brand’s positioning around design, fashion, travel, and quality.
  • Bonobos, with its campaign featuring male role models that ties nicely to its brand positioning.
  • National Geographic (even though it’s a content-centric organization), for its ability to maintain relevance as a longstanding brand in a content-overload world and have the most followed Instagram account at the beginning of this year.
  • Goop, for its coverage of leading edge topics, mixing content, commerce, and community, and moving into multiple formats from podcast to print magazine to live events.

Curious to know who’s on Time’s top 25 most influential people on the Internet list? Read more >


1 in 3 consumers agreed with the statement, “I like to seek out new, small brands rather than buy from known, large brands.” Does your big brand stand a chance? Read more at Weathervane Forum >


If you’re searching for start-ups or early innovation in a particular space, this map can help you find where to hunt. Dig into these cool mappings of Kickstarter projects >

And if you want to learn from a company that was on the forefront of technology and laid the groundwork for the iPhone but in the end failed, read this Fast Company article about the lessons from General Magic.


A theme this month on how creative endeavors can foster good in the world:

A new podcast series worth listening to from SY Partners. It’s “about designing a future that’s made for all of us—and the best in us.”

And on the same thread, here’s a talk from IDEO’s David Webster on “How We Can Help Technology to Be Good.”­­­­

Finally, an interview with Amanda Parkes, the Chief Innovation Officer of FT Lab, which is leading the charge on making the fashion industry more sustainable by “helping new technologies and sustainable innovations connect, collaborate, and create.” Read more at psfk >


Whats Trending

Food Just for You. The next frontier of food innovation—personalization. Read more at Weathervane Forum >

Book in Brief

“The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism,” by Olivia Fox Cabane. Want to increase your presence and impact with people? Then this is a must read full of sound tips and great exercises to help you understand the principles of charisma and make them stick.

Learn more about the book in this article >
Or, have a listen to an interview > 
Convinced you want to dig in? Get the book.

Have a Listen

An interview with Mary Beth Laughton, EVP Omni Retail Sephora, from CMO Moves with Nadine Dietz. Great insights on how to think about Omni Retail marketing today from a person and company on the forefront and doing it well.

Like hearing from Weathervane Forum? Share it with others. Thanks! 

Want to have a say?

Thanks to those who have already provided us with input. We’d love to hear from more of you to help us shape what we cover in this newsletter. Tell us the what you’d love to know but never have time to dig into, the types of things you find inspiring but can never dig up yourself.

Take our brief survey here(It will only take 3 minutes, promise.)

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