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Stefan Mumaw

The New New

 |  by Stefan Mumaw

Here is the brand crossroads: ratchet up your interrupting or recognize the shift and feed the behavior. Instead of looking for interruption opportunities within content that people want, create the content that people want.

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John Kuefler

The three keys to communicating authenticity

 |  by John Kuefler

For someone to advocate for your brand, they must be willing to put their own reputation on the line. When customers become brand ambassadors and promote your brand for you, there’s nothing better. But a knowledgeable enthusiast consumer will never take that step without confidence that the brand is for real.

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Kent Stones

The era of immediacy - part II

 |  by Kent Stones

If there is even a small problem or issue with your brand, don’t think it’s going to just blow over or that nobody will notice. All it takes in this era of always-on, always-connected, always-communicating is one person to start a movement.

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5 pet specialty brand building strategies

 |  by

SuperZoo 2013 is almost here, and if you’re like most pet specialty brands you’re probably trying to lay out your plan for tackling the sprawling show. We all know there will be mountains of information, abundant demonstrations and, hopefully, inspiration at every turn. To make the most of your investment, use these 5 Brand Building Tips as your compass in Vegas:

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Chris Ralston

The power of brands that wear in, not out

 |  by Chris Ralston

Products or services that have a successful track record and a positive reputation convey a sense of trust. And that’s one of the most powerful things a brand can inspire in a user—and that a user can share with someone else. Trust nurtures enthusiasm, and enthusiasm is contagious.

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Tug McTighe

We’ve brewed up a whole new website for Free State.

 |  by Tug McTighe

When your ad agency’s located right down the street from one of the best brewpubs in the area, you drink their beer a lot. Then, when you get that brewpub as a client and start helping them with packaging and promo materials for their burgeoning distribution business, you drink their beer even more. You know – for, um, “research.” 

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John Kuefler

Ad relevance can be the magic bullet. As long as we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot with it.

 |  by John Kuefler

At a recent client meeting we were engaged in a lively debate about various media tactics—television, outdoor, online banners, PPC, etc.—and their relative effectiveness. Everyone had an opinion based on his or her own personal experience—the proverbial “focus group of one.” A couple of anecdotes from the discussion brings a critical media planning issue into focus: relevance.

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Tug McTighe

Specialty brand in-store displays go digital

 |  by Tug McTighe

We’ve been in the specialty brand business for nearly 30 years, and in that time we’ve seen an explosion in the number of choices available in the way these products are marketed to shoppers. This article will discuss the way it was (delicious cardboard displays), the way it is (kind of a hodgepodge of everything) and the way it will be (digital, digital, digital).

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Kent Stones

Details—more than important for specialty brands

 |  by Kent Stones

I hope to sear into your brain the importance for specialty brands to pay attention to the details, no matter how small or inconsequential they may seem. It’s these little things, when taken together, that have a huge impact on the psychic income people get from buying products or services. If specialty brands don’t do these things well, they’re really no different than their mass competitors.

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Tug McTighe

What is a category enthusiast?

 |  by Tug McTighe

Category enthusiasts are critical to specialty brands, and we have been studying them and why they’re so important for quite a while. Years in fact. This article will first explain what the category enthusiast is and then let you know why they are so important to specialty brands and specialty retailers.

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Tug McTighe

Self-serve beer stores? O Canada!

 |  by Tug McTighe

With our focus on craft beer here at CC – check out our Boulevard and Free State work if you please – we always have our eyeball on interesting stuff happening in the world of delicious beer. Here is something certainly interesting from the Beer Store in Toronto.

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Chris Marshall

Goose is just the first to fly off the island

 |  by Chris Marshall

Many people were surprised (and angry) to hear the news that Anheuser-Busch had purchased Chicago’s Goose Island Beer Company. We at Callahan Creek were not. Working with great microbreweries and regional brewers like Free State and Boulevard, we understand how successful the craft beer market is and how attractive companies in it are becoming to the bigger players.

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Kent Stones

What specialty brands can learn from art

 |  by Kent Stones

I had the privilege recently of helping a local non-profit art center think about their brand and develop a strategy for increasing the support and use of their facility. They were facing a significant problem: despite their 35 years of service to the community, funding sources and participation were not...

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Chris Marshall

Old stores vs. new stores

 |  by Chris Marshall

While all retailers aim to provide a consistent shopping experience, maintaining consistency between old stores and new stores can be a challenge and can have an impact on shopper marketing programs. On our most recent visits, we toured two stores from the same chain that were relatively close in proximity, but the differences in their shopping experiences couldn’t have been greater.

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John Kuefler

The end of the cash register in specialty retail?

 |  by John Kuefler

If you have shopped at an Apple store recently you have had a unique (but not for long) check-out experienced - find any store associate and they swipe your credit card with a card reader attached to their iPhone. "Need a receipt? We'll email it to you."

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Kent Stones

How great service started with a "no"

 |  by Kent Stones

As a fan of specialty brands, I generally focus on buying products at retail locations that specialize in the category in which I am interested. I love that employees at specialty stores know more about what I'm interested in and can provide invaluable help in figuring out what to buy because they have experience with the product.

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Kent Stones

What specialty brands can learn from finance

 |  by Kent Stones

Each of us has a personal “balance sheet” and “income statement,” but they go far beyond our financial lives. Specialty brands can learn to influence a shopper’s personal “income statement” to improve the probability they will choose your brand over others.

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Kent Stones

Is it always best to be a first mover? Maybe not.

 |  by Kent Stones

Here at Callahan Creek, we’re always learning. One of the most enjoyable parts of my job as a strategic/account planner are the days when we take a few hours and debate, discuss and challenge each other on the issues our clients are facing. No pressure, no expectations - just a good old-fashioned intellectual exchange. I want to share a recent talk given by fellow Creeker Jennifer Blandi...

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Tug McTighe

People hate brands (but they really don't have to)

 |  by Tug McTighe

As technology and mobile devices march ever forward, brands out there – the big and the small – are coming under increasing fire. After all, within moments of hearing about something a company or retail brand has done or not done, or experiencing the actions of a brand for yourself...

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John Kuefler

Using 2D bar codes

 |  by John Kuefler

When marketing specialty brands to category enthusiasts, it is critical to satisfy consumers' appetite for product information to make informed purchase decisions. This short video explains what a 2D bar code is...

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Kent Stones

The importance of knowing your stuff

 |  by Kent Stones

Recently, I experienced something that is fundamentally important to a specialty brand’s success: the importance of the person selling that brand being really smart about the product, competitive options and use of the product.

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Kent Stones

Dinner at 4:30 and a 10% discount

 |  by Kent Stones

Yesterday when I arrived home, I spied something on the counter that I have to admit I had been anxiously awaiting. A large, thick envelope with four glorious words on it: "Welcome to the AARP."

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Chris Marshall

Is specialty still special?

 |  by Chris Marshall

For the past couple of years, all we’ve heard about is an economic Armageddon. Research companies started using terms such as “value-conscious,” “staycation” and “conscientious cost cutters” to help segment changed shopping behavior and rationalize declining sales. Reports began...

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