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Why Didn't They Say Anything?

I decided a long time ago not to feel anything.

Because feeling meant pain.

It meant that I would get my heart ripped out of me.

For a long time, I guess, my strategy worked.

As my mom used to say, when she was angry at me -

"You are cold as ice."

But her words, sharp and incisive, went past me. Life was challenging for me, it was hard to deal with other people and we had a lot of drama at home.

I simply could not risk going there.

All of that is water under the bridge now, thank God.

To the point where now, I easily cry.

I cry at TV commercials!

What made it safe for me to feel again?

The gift of people, experiences and material support that He has placed in my path.

But along the way I've learned that most people bear their suffering in total and complete silence.

Unlike babies, who cry, they stoically bear the burden.

Until one day it's a heart attack, or cancer, or even death by train.

Often they simply walk out the door with nothing but the clothes on their back.

And when it …
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Successful Product? Don't Forget To Give It A Brand

FOXBusiness calls it "The $500,000,000 Trend Spinning the Toy Industry Upside Down."

I call it a boring and pointless waste of time.

Either way I'm betting you can't name a single brand in the category.

As a trend watcher, here are three products I believe will go mainstream by 2020. (Of course, the extent to which this happens will depend on the laws, regulations and policies surrounding implementation):
Marijuana - for medicinal or recreational purposes Sex robots - as a substitute for human companionship and as a therapeutic aid for trauma victims, those with phobias, etc. Bitcoin - as a replacement for paper currency, gold or silver  As a marketer I'm not here to debate the worthiness of these products or to suggest I know anything about their functionality. I don't.

But I can smell a trend like a hound dog. And in that capacity I point out to you three markets with immediate appeal to wide swaths of the population, which are in my opinion at the tipping…

The Jewish Perspective on Deceptive Advertising

From the Talmud:
Deceptive Quality/Advertising Puffery: Misleading one's customers into thinking that the quality of the item they purchased is much better than it really is would be geneivat da'at. This case is similar to the Talmudic case (Babylonian Talmud, Chullin 94a) involving selling shoes made from the hide of a dead animal and misrepresenting them as coming from the hide of a slaughtered animal. Deceptive advertising would be one way of dishonestly raising customers' expectations regarding the quality of products. Selling products with misleading nutritional information, e.g., selling nutrition supplements as weight-loss, wrinkle-elimination, or memory-improvement aids when there is no evidence that they have any such beneficial effect, would also fall under the prohibition of geneivat da'at. Read more at: http://www.jlaw.com/Articles/geneivatdaat.html
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By Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D. All opinions are the author's own. This is a personal account u…

Perfectly Imperfect (Guest Post)

This post was written by Chana Rivka Herbsman, a high school student and my niece. It is an excellent analysis in its own right. But I asked her to let me publish it for another reason: She is a primary target for cosmetics marketing, reflecting on the messages she's getting about this product. Very often, marketers cater to our unconscious mind; we can fight back against destructive, exploitive messages by really thinking about what it is they're telling us. And I agree with her conclusion: Makeup can be a really positive thing, as long as you don't fall for the message that you must be perfect, or strive to be perfect, in order to somehow be acceptable - DB

Concealer. Cover up. Cover Girl. There seems to be a running theme here. The unifying purpose of makeup is the ability to hide blemishes and feel, even for a short period of time, flawless.  That feeling of perfection is what bonds women of all ages throughout the country. 

The downside is the perpetuation of the decep…

Lipstick on a Pig = Waste of Time

Recently a debate arose over the fundamental meaning of branding.

The context was a call for volunteers to help with the user interface of "The Good Country," a project aimed at making the world more inhabitable for all.

Conceptually, the idea goes, we all get to "vote" on the elections taking place in other countries. Given the opportunity to offer our two cents, we will take the time to actually learn about those countries, form educated opinions, and become more aware of how one nation's actions affect the others. (See the TED Talk.)

The project's founder, Simon Anholt -- well-known for the concept of "nation branding" a.k.a. "place branding" -- does not view this effort as "branding."
I’d like to explain that the Good Country and its two first projects (the Good Country Index and the Global Vote) actually have little or nothing to do with place 'branding.' That term seems to stick to everything I do, even though I…

5 Steps to Understanding Market Segmentation

Find out who your customers are. Don’t rely only on quantitative data. Get out there and mystery shop. Find out who is buying your products and services, and why.Break up your customers into segments. Don’t focus on superficial single factors like age and gender. Rather, try to find a consumer insight for each of your key groups. For example, full-time caregivers take their toddlers to Panera so they can get a quick, wholesome meal, let the kids run around and take a bit of a break.When you believe you have arrived at your key customer segments (keep the number of segments down, let’s say 5 at most), start optimizing your offering for each one. For instance, Panera might want to set up a child-safe area near the eating booths; offer table-side service for caregivers watching the children play; and offer add-on specials for take-home dinners.Test out how well your efforts are going by developing a tester group for each demographic and checking in with them regularly. Also keep tabs on …

What A $7.50 Cup Of Wine Means To You

$7.50 for single serve wine in a cup? 
Absolutely. 
I saw Zipz on Shark Tank and knew it would be a huge hit. Kevin O'Leary who is the toughest (and in my view sharpest) Shark, invested. 
Watch for the single serve market to continue to explode. Some analysis here. __________

By Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D. All opinions are the author's own. This is a personal account unrelated to and not sponsored by the author's employer or any other entity. Photo by Dr. Blumenthal.