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Is a DTC Strategy Right for Your CPG Brand?

March 17 2023 / admin

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) strategies boast higher margins while enabling brands to own their story and customer data; allowing them to small-batch test new products and increase customer reviews. As an emerging brand, it may be appealing to cut retail expenses completely and shift funds to a direct-to-consumer approach. But is a direct to consumer strategy right […]


Finding CPG success in Direct-to-Consumer 

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Direct-to-consumer provides ample opportunities for emerging brands. With more channels and ownability over the process, DTC gives you the opportunity to experiment with your business model as well as product offerings based on consumer insights.  Bringing bold and interesting flavors to their respective verticals, Daily Harvest and Mobcraft are two direct-to-consumer CPG brands that center […]


How To Use Three Legacy Brand Marketing Pillars To Set Your CPG Brand Apart

February 26 2023 / Drew Patrick

As an emerging brand, it’s hard to ignore the saturation of large-scale brand success. With marketing, manufacturing and legacy on their side, big brands have the ability to roll out new flavor SKUs and praiseworthy campaigns without breaking a sweat. In contrast, as brands like yours are trying to disrupt consumer habits, deciding where your […]


5 tips for creating a customer profile

May 19 2022 / Alyssa Smith

If you’ve found yourself tasked with creating customer profiles for your brand or organization and you don’t know where to start, it’s important to first remember two key things: Customer profiles do help inform product development, messaging, media placements, empathy, customer experience and more Customer profiles do not answer your shoppers usage patterns, provide or […]


What Makes for a Successful Rebrand or Packaging Redesign?

May 16 2022 / Drew Patrick

Embarking on a rebrand or packaging redesign can be a daunting task. After all, it’s literally your identity we’re talking about here. It doesn’t have to be that intimidating, though. And with some expert help, the benefits are sure to far outweigh any discomfort. Follow these suggestions, and I guarantee you’re going to make the […]


How to ensure a successful rebrand launch

October 14 2020 / Drew Patrick

Rebrands are a second chance at a first impression. Rebranding allows companies to evaluate, refine, and organize priorities within their business: what is important to them and why, who their audience actually is, how to engage them, etc. Rebrands should be a reflection of that soul-searching. But change is hard, which is why rebrand launches […]


The battle for shelf space: Lessons from 3 successful brands

December 10 2019 / Drew Patrick

As an emerging food or consumer packaged goods (CPG) brand, you might feel like getting that first order from a big retailer like Whole Foods or Walmart means you’ve made it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a huge accomplishment—and one worth celebrating—but it’s just the beginning.   While having the right messaging and packaging design […]


Know your customer and technology will fall into place

August 21 2019 / Drew Patrick

Originally posted on as a guest post by Skidmore Studio President, Drew Patrick. Back in the day, shopping was a simple affair. People went to the store to buy things. Then the internet happened. In order to keep up, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers rushed to create an online experience for their customers. Most didn’t do […]


Every brand’s guide to slang, memes, and Internet Speak

January 28 2019 / Drew Patrick

Does speaking internet count as being bilingual? If so, we at Skidmore Studio are skilled translators capable of guiding you and your brand on a journey through this vast territory of garbled, unstable language. The slang, memes, and writing style of the web are incredibly important tools in any modern communicator’s kit of parts. The […]


3 food-focused clients we’re extra grateful for

November 14 2018 / Drew Patrick

There’s a lot to be thankful for this year. We have a new owner. We’ve experienced 200 percent growth in office dog attendance. And every time we step out the front door or take a walk around town, we see how Detroit has gotten a tiny bit more vibrant. One of the best things about being […]


Brand over marketing: The 60/40 split

June 28 2018 / admin

Here’s an idea that may be controversial: You should be investing more time and effort (and therefore $$$) into your brand than your marketing. Sure, we’re a little biased (we’re a branding studio, after all), but the data backs it up. “Media in Focus,” a report on the effects of mass marketing produced by Google […]


Mastering the “Stop, Hold, Close”

May 10 2018 / admin

As one of the most important brand–customer touchpoints, a brand’s packaging needs to stand out from the competition, while also answering how the product solves a customer’s needs. Here at Skidmore, we use the “Stop, Hold, Close” method – a process for getting the most out of that sliver of time a customer spends contemplating […]


Striving for extraordinary partnerships

November 3 2017 / admin

Recently I was asked, “What makes a really good client?” My initial reply was to spout off a series of thoughts I developed over the years working with clients of all shapes and sizes. Statements that were primarily from the studio’s perspective, like…They need to be big thinkers. They need to have a budget. They […]


Menu writing tips from a hungry copywriter

October 11 2017 / Drew Patrick

Menus are everywhere – the cozy chalkboard at your neighborhood café, the oversized menu at the local burger joint, the minimalist menu at your favorite upscale restaurant. Big or small, simple or complex, beautiful or merely functional, menus are arguably the most important touchpoint between a restaurant’s brand and its customers. However, as pervasive as […]


Talking to your audience

August 28 2017 / admin

Most brands these days are learning how to walk the walk and truly uphold their brand values, but can they talk the talk? In this week’s episode of Branding Bites, Shawn and Kacha share their knowledge on how to better identify, talk to, and connect with your audience. Rather read than watch? Check out the transcript below! // TRANSCRIPT Kacha: Welcome to Branding Bites, […]


3 things all insurgent brands must do

August 9 2017 / admin

We all love to root for the underdog. It’s why the Rocky films have grossed over $1.5 billion worldwide. Rocky Balboa, one of the most beloved underdog movie characters of all time, beat Apollo Creed, Mr. T and that huge Russian dude, with a simple philosophy: Don’t play by their rules. This “upstart” attitude holds […]


Detroit dining and bonbon branding

January 10 2017 / admin

Detroit has been featured in some of the country’s most respected publications and topped lists of America’s hottest food cities. And as Detroiters ourselves, we can confirm: the food is incredible. But there is also much to learn from the brand building efforts of some of Detroit’s most successful restaurants and chocolatiers. In this week’s […]


Instagram Live & FOMO for restaurants

December 20 2016 / admin

We enjoy a special guest this week as Sara joins Kacha in the hot seat to share strategies for Instagram Live, menu item branding, and more. Click play for their answers to questions including: How can restaurants make use of Instagram Live? (at :30) What has made HopCat a success with millennials? (at 2:13) How […]


Restaurant apps, biscuit theaters, and Airbnb

November 28 2016 / admin

In this week’s episode of Branding Bites, Shawn and Kacha dive into the world of restaurant apps to discuss which restaurants are delivering a great app experience. And as always, they share their thoughts on everything of note in food, beverage, and branding this week! Click play for their answers to questions including: When is […]


Branded videos and virtual reality

November 16 2016 / admin

There is a lot of focus on branded video content in the food marketing space right now. Take Chipotle’s School of Guac, Cap’n Crunch’s Earliest Show, and Jack in the Box’s Cravings Hotline for example. In this week’s episode of Branding Bites, Shawn and Kacha discuss branded video content and its role in the food […]


Millennial slang dictionary: November 2016 updates

November 6 2016 / Drew Patrick

We created this millennial slang dictionary to help marketers decode words and phrases trending on social media. And since these trends change constantly, this entry is regularly updated with additions, deletions, and new examples. November 2016’s new additions are highlighted and include: curve, GOAT, receipts, feels bad man, and smol. This month, we’ve also retired “fomo”, […]


Building a cult brand and redesigning Taco Bell

October 31 2016 / admin

In this episode of Branding Bites, our strategy director, Kacha Azema, and our design director, Shawn McConnell, got together to talk about what’s happening in restaurant marketing this week. Tune in for their responses to questions including: How successful were Frontier Lager’s recent #findflavour Instagram ads? (at 0:13) How can a restaurant achieve cult status […]


Celebrating a centennial by keeping in step with the times

August 8 2016 / Shawn McConnell

Last year the National Parks System attracted 305,000,000 people. That’s more visitors than Disney theme parks, the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NASCAR combined. And this year is looking even better. You have to admit – for a government agency to pull these kind of numbers, it’s pretty impressive. How does a 100-year-old organization maintain its […]


How to win the Labatt Games & other brand activations

August 2 2016 / admin

Just a few days ago, I was crowned a winner of the Labatt Undomesticated Games. If you know anything about the event, you probably want to hear my team’s strategies for dominating the oversized slingshot. But that’s a secret I’ll never tell. Instead I want to share my thoughts on the event as a millennial […]


3 tips for creating brand experiences millennials love

July 25 2016 / admin

Marketing leaders have an incredibly complicated task in trying to optimize their marketing spend while achieving the best return for their brand. While plenty will debate the merits of spending in the traditional vs. digital spaces, it’s the experiential world that may be most deserving of your investment – especially if you want to stay […]


TL;DR and other reminders to keep your copy in check

July 12 2016 / admin

As a writer and a millennial – and one who specializes in millennial-focused copywriting, no less – I am painfully aware of the challenges faced by brands writing for this audience. We hate advertising1, use fast-moving language steeped in internet and pop-culture allusions, and –­ due to infamous amounts of screen time – are constantly […]


To podcast, or not to podcast

June 28 2016 / admin

If you want to reach millennials, there’s a pretty compelling argument that podcasts are a place you want your brand to be. Thirty-five percent of millennials listen to at least one podcast a week,1 and 63 percent have bought something they heard advertised on a podcast.2 With these kind of stats, the question shouldn’t be whether […]


The Taco Bell effect: QSRs’ digital opportunities with millennials

June 21 2016 / admin

It’s no surprise that millennials, the “foodie generation”1 that loves to share experiences, is big on hashtagging, tweeting, and ‘gramming their meals.2 But did you know that 83 percent of millennials connect with brands on social media and 62 percent say such engagement will make them loyal customers?3 When you look at all the data, it’s easy to […]


The celebrity spokesperson is dead…or is it?

May 31 2016 / admin

If you believe what you hear, the celebrity spokesperson is dead. Talk is rampant in blogs and at conferences that the savvy millennial consumer doesn’t respond to paid endorsement. They say that customers want to hear from other customers, that UGC is the silver bullet. And while peer-to-peer marketing is certainly effective, the days of […]


Creating magical moments at every consumer touchpoint

May 17 2016 / Shawn McConnell

Let’s say you’ve got a billion-dollar brand that produces magic at every turn. Your innovative approach is second to none, and people of all ages tremble with excitement at the mere mention of your name. But somehow you’re not seeing the kind of results you want to see. Maybe there aren’t enough products flying off […]


Nothing compares 2 Prince – in music or marketing

May 3 2016 / admin

Last Thursday, while at lunch, my phone blew up. Texts and emails and media alerts all pinged at the same time as a friend and colleague rested his hand on my shoulder. That was the moment I found out that my idol was gone and the world had lost an amazing creative soul. Everyone who […]


Yik Yak holds potential for the right marketers

April 26 2016 / admin

When Lewis & Clark ventured into the American west, the leaders of their day believed they would find opportunity in a wild and untamed continent. Today, marketers are exploring a different kind of uncharted territory, looking to apps like Yik Yak for the opportunity to connect with the millennial audience. The brave among us may […]


The making of a cult brand

February 16 2016 / Shawn McConnell

Nestled deep in the idyllic Belgian countryside of West Flanders lies one of the most sought-after brands in the world. A brand whose product demand far outstrips the supply, and one whose marketing budget has hovered steadily around $0 for the last 175 years. Despite the remote location and total lack of advertising, this company […]


Marketing lessons from Netflix’s Making a Murderer

February 1 2016 / admin

Unless you live under a rock…in the middle of nowhere…you’ve probably heard about (if not binge-watched) the hit Netflix series Making a Murderer. The 10-part documentary follows the story of Steven Avery, a man from Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, who was wrongly imprisoned 18 years for a sexual assault he didn’t commit. Soon after his release, […]


Rethinking ROI and content marketing

January 11 2016 / admin

As consumer behaviors change and evolve so do those of brands and marketers. No longer do we live in a world of one-way promotional messaging, but one where consumers have the power to interact, change, and mold a brand. In our 60-second guide to millennials, we note that 62% of millennials are more likely to […]


Holiday hangover? 5 lessons to legitimize your binge-watching

January 5 2016 / Shawn McConnell

Welcome back from another holiday break. What better way to kick off the new year than by legitimizing your holiday binge-watching? Let’s take a closer look at a few classic films and see how you can use some of the most memorable scenes to your advantage. Home Alone “This is my house. I have to […]


How to craft your mobile strategy

December 8 2015 / admin

There’s one source of unquestioned authority on anything related to internet search: Google. So it’s worth paying attention when Google CEO Sundar Pichai drops some new insight, as he did in their last quarterly earnings call just over a month ago. Pichai announced that for the first time ever, there are more mobile searches than […]


Why you should alienate your other audiences

November 30 2015 / admin

One of the most common questions we hear about connecting with millennials is how to do it without alienating other audiences. We say: alienate them. You can’t target any audience when you aren’t focused. Trying to connect with millennials while catering to other audiences is like playing darts while wearing a blindfold. You might hit […]


When big brands and personal brands collide

November 17 2015 / admin

The personal brand. It’s important to millennials, but what does it matter to corporate brands, and the people tasked with promoting them? As millennials are building their personal brands, they’re using products and companies to convey something about themselves. Tapping into this phenomenon could be an extremely successful and authentic approach to native advertising, but […]


Your best shot for getting shared

November 9 2015 / admin

We’ve all been there. A client or team member mentions making a viral video and we all slouch down and cringe. Not because the idea of making great video content is scary, but because the goal of creating something that will go viral is a risky one that is out of our control. What we […]


How leading brands can use beacons

October 20 2015 / admin

People talk about the physical world and the digital world as two separate places – but they’re not. They’re one place, called the modern world. Consumers live in this world. And as marketers, we need to transcend bits and atoms, to create magical moments and meaningful conversations no matter where, when, or how people engage […]


What marketers can learn from Taylor Swift

October 13 2015 / admin

There is no question: Taylor Swift knows what she’s doing. As an entertainer, a performer, and – most importantly – as a marketer, Swift is killing it. In only a few years, she has become one of the most beloved and buzzed about musicians in the country. With 50.5 million followers, she’s the most popular […]


Hail to the chief!

September 28 2015 / admin

Six months ago I shared with you a manifesto of sorts, my personal credo to “Dare Mighty Things.” This statement is based on a quote from Teddy Roosevelt and it is a daily reminder for me to be willing to risk much, even if it means failing more often. A year ago, it helped Skidmore […]


Improving the in-store experience

September 22 2015 / Shawn McConnell

In-store marketing can be the baptismal waters for immersion into your brand. Done wrong, it’ll be completely invisible – or even worse, an absolute annoyance. Done right, it’ll lead your customer to do exactly what you want. So how can you do in-store marketing the right way? Here are a few tips to get you […]


Social Influence: Turning sales into marketing

September 15 2015 / admin

If you’re like most companies, your sales are a quiet affair. Your customers move through the purchasing process privately, making decisions and buying products without broadcasting it to the world. Take Josie for example. She’s attracted by your latest ad campaign, explores what you have to offer, decides she wants your widget and then—silently, invisibly—she […]


Make your advertising matter in the digital age

September 11 2015 / admin

Millennials are living in the digital world. They are fully immersed – communicating on social media, shopping online, streaming movies – and blurring the line between physical and digital more than ever before. While TV reigned supreme as the top advertising medium for decades, the cable cutting generation is in a different space altogether. As […]


How to drive sales by improving experience

August 4 2015 / admin

As the CMO of a top entertainment brand you’ve got a sharp eye on your metrics. Above all, I bet you’re tracking sales numbers carefully. Sales are important, sure, but they look backward instead of forward. By focusing only on sales, you’re missing an opportunity to drive numbers instead of just reading about them. Let […]


Crash course in 2015 digital marketing buzzwords

July 28 2015 / admin

The digital world moves quickly. Every day there’s a new trend or term popping up that requires us to determine its relevancy and figure out if and how it applies to our work. These terms change frequently, so we don’t expect our clients to know every current buzzword and be able to drop it into […]


Social media is a two-way street: How to improve your social strategy

July 21 2015 / admin

Anyone who’s responsible for the communications and marketing efforts of their brand certainly understands the importance of having a meaningful presence on social media. But if your brand hopes to engage millennials, having a presence is not nearly enough. In a day and age where 81 percent of Twitter users expect a same-day response, you […]