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Battle of the Intergalactic Brandzillas

Op Ed by Liz Nickles

November 19, 2020

Where is Mothra when we need him? Mothra was the below -the-title star of the Godzilla sci-fi movie series, a supersized moth flapping in Godzilla’s wake with a mission to protect humanity from monsters that threaten it. He seems to have gone into retirement somewhere beneath Japanese waters, but we could have used him in the nuclear run-up to the 2016 presidential election—and today. Maybe he free-lances in the gig economy?

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By Liz Nickles (author Brandstorm)

Leadership & Management Books Magazine
Q2, 2016

Do you hear them ROAR?

Brandzilla leaders, once rarified creatures, are not so stealthily taking over. Thanks to the Brandzilla Effect, without a brand, your garden-variety leader is not even going to make it to the mezzanine. Making the quarter and generating profit is just the ticket to get you to the security checkpoint of the Brandzilla Building, where more is more.

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Donald Trump & Harley Davidson:
Deconstructing the New Political Paradigm

By Liz Nickles (author Brandstorm) & Laurie Ashcraft

Marketing & Sales Books Magazine
Q3, 2015

As long as there have been politicians, political branding has done a brisk business. As Charles deGaulle observed, “In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant.” Louis XIV was “The Sun King.” Abraham Lincoln was “The Great Emancipator.” JFK was Camelot. In today’s brand-o-rama world, there has never been a greater scramble for politicians to put a firm stake into a branded identity, to stand for something that can instantly communicate their persona and appeal to constituents and persuade voters to become supporters.

Click here to read more at Marketing & Sales Books Magazine

'Je Suis Charlie': Branding a Movement
By Liz Nickles

February 2015

Looking at “Je suis Charlie” from a branding perspective, and also from a cultural perspective, it’s interesting to note that its commercialization also happened very quickly. Social movements, religious movements, and civil rights movements rely on the ability to spread word and get their themes out to the masses. “Je suis Charlie” has been a very powerful theme, and as it grew stronger, so did its controversy. For instance, the theme was, not surprisingly, quickly trademarked, but you have to wonder what’s going to happen to the integrity of a theme when, as happened in this instance, someone trademarked it in the laundry detergent category. It’s always interesting how opportunists hijack trending topics for financial gain. This is not unusual, especially now that social media exalts numerous phrases and themes at such a rapid pace.

Click hereto read more at Expert Marketer Magazine

Expert Marketer Magazine
EMM 5 - Q1, 2014
View the article (in pdf format)

How to Build a Killer Brandzilla
By Liz Nickles, author of Brandstorm

Brandzillas are to brands what the gods on Olympus are to mere mortals. Brandzillas are marketing gold, but, historically, building a killer Brandzilla has not been as simple as a matter of money. Coca Cola started with $1. Nike started in the trunk of a car. Today, the internet provides a massively fertile environment for accelerated growth. Twitter grew from nothing in 2006 to 485 million members, or 21% of the global internet population as active users, at the end of 2012; eleven-year-old Justin Bieber sang with a tin cup on Canadian street corners, and by age 16 had over 223 million mentions on Google. But the internet is just the engine. Be it Virgin or vampire, Apple or avatar, the DNA of all killer Brandzillas share one core attribute that, when ignited by technology, has created the breeding ground for Brandzillas: empathy.

Click here to read more at Expert Marketer Magazine

Branded From the Beginning
By Liz Nickles with Savita Iyer
Winter 2013

One of the best ways to get a brand in the game is to be there from the start, literally. Today, there is an infinitely scalable benefit to this because the Web allows immediate and incalculable access to a person’s life. Branding starts immediately, when Dad, or whoever is the family chronicler, whips out the video camera or the iPhone and records the baby’s first breath. As I write this, the Optimum cable service is running a commercial in which a new parent announces, “She was on Facebook before she was born.” Once the video is uploaded onto Facebook’s Timeline, a virtual brand is born—and broadcast to the ages.

Click here to view the full article from the Conference Board Review

You Say Tomato; They Say Tomahto…
How to sing from the same song sheet in a post-merger culture

It’s not an
uncommon story:

A merger is announced—two important corporate names join forces to create a superpower. Management and shareholders are highly optimistic about the new value proposition. Meanwhile, below the line, it’s another story—the story of oil meets water. One company dresses casually; the other is strictly suit and tie. One is entrepreneurial; the other, hierarchical. One values the 18-hour work day; the other places a premium on work-life balance. In the company dining room, rumblings are overheard at different tables:

To view this article on merger culture issues by Liz Nickles, please click here.

The Impact of Generation Y
Once upon a time, there was work and there was life, and rarely the twain met. If you didn't leave your work at the office, you took it home in a briefcase. Work was almost a physical thing, a creature, an entity—sometimes a monster you wouldn't want intruding on your life. The briefcase would thump onto the table in the hall by the front door. There it would sit, big, ugly, and intrusive. An interloper.

To view this chapter on work/life balance from Liz Nickles’ book, THE CHANGE AGENTS, please click here.


By Liz Nickles

Change is not just in the air. It’s hit the ground running—already in the DNA of what was once a seemingly impenetrable group—the elite, high net worth client. Driven by a spectrum of factors from gumption to globalization, today’s most affluent men and women are forging a new profile that wealth managers and financial institutions must not just acknowledge, but embrace, creating products, services and experiences that meet the needs of this transformational group. Financial advisors who  really want to know their client had  better get to know the new new client. Here, a capsule summary of key concerns:

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The View from Everest: A C-Suite Perspective

By Liz Nickles

everestThe air is thin. The risk is great. The path can be treacherous and is not often clear. The skills to succeed involve talent, teamwork, leadership and decision-making under constant stress and blinding-pace change. A misstep can be fatal, success inspirational. Climbing the 29,035 feet to the summit of Mt. Everest, the world’s most challenging peak—or helming a global organization in the most challenging times the modern world has known—have much in common. Today’s C-level executives—CEO, CFO, COO, and their peers—inhabit a rarified atmosphere and face unique challenges.

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Jackie Started The Legend of JFK 'Camelot'
Ben Zimmer
Nov. 22, 2013

In the remembrances of John F. Kennedy's presidency this week as the 50th anniversary of his assassination passes, one word continues to resonate above all: Camelot.

The name of King Arthur's mythical court city has its roots in medieval romantic literature, but thanks to skillful media manipulation by Jacqueline Kennedy after her husband's death, "Camelot" remains a potent mythmaking metaphor for the Kennedy administration.

The name first appeared as "Camaalot" in a 12th-century French poem about Lancelot written by Chrétien de Troyes, but etymologists are unsure if that was intended to refer to a real-life British location, such as Colchester (known in Latin as Camuladonum) or Cadbury (situated near the River Cam).

Click here to view the full article from the Wall Street Journal

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