Business Thoughts

#BreakoutBrand moment: CVS is on target with Target buy

I never would have considered going to Target to fill a prescription, but I would if there was a CVS pharmacist behind the counter dispensing the medication and answering my questions.

With this week’s big acquisition news – CVS buying 1,600 drugstores from Target – two Breakout Brands with a history of customer-centric innovation are coming together in what looks like a big win for both.

Target gets to offload a business line that was not performing as well as hoped, while potentially bringing new customers through its doors by offering expertise from the nation’s largest dispenser of prescription drugs, the biggest operator of health care clinics (the great Minute Clinic concept) and the second-largest pharmacy-benefits manager.

Meanwhile, CVS gets 1,600 new locations in 47 states, the chance to get in on a new Target “Express” concept targeting urban markets, and the cache of “rubbing brands” with a powerhouse retail brand that remains iconic in the U.S., despite some recent setbacks such as the failed Canada expansion.


By |June 16th, 2015|Blog Post|0 Comments

What Google’s Hotel Finder really means for travel industry marketers

A couple of years ago, Google put the fear of, well, Google in the entire travel industry when it enabled Hotel Finder.

Predictions were dire, ranging from radical changes in booking behavior to the collapse of travel aggregation sites. However, little of that actually occurred, and the Kayaks, Expedias and TripAdvisors of the world are doing just fine. In fact, in some instances they’ve diversified their service offerings.

We thought this would be a good time to review what Hotel Finder has really meant to the travel industry.


By |May 19th, 2015|Blog Post|0 Comments

The best Mother’s Day gift for working moms: Family-friendly policies

Mother’s Day is upon us. While many companies remain focused on using the holiday to drive sales, the holiday also offers a great opportunity for businesses to take stock in how family-friendly they are as an institution.

As a working mom, I love hearing about businesses like celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe’s that invest in family-friendly policies. For a smaller company, Rachel Zoe took a relatively big step this week by opening up a fully-staffed, complimentary nursery for the working parents she employs. It’s a move that certainly motivates me to purchase more of her products, the same way that American Express’ fully paid maternity and paternity makes me feel good about being a cardholder for nearly two decades.

Creating a family-friendly work environment and a corporate culture that promotes work-life balance drives customer and employee loyalty, the latter of which should be a major priority for employers. But sadly in the U.S. it’s not.


By |May 8th, 2015|Blog Post|0 Comments

Richard Branson and Sheryl Sandberg believe fixing gender bias can change the world

In a recent interview, Bloomberg’s Emily Chang showed not only why Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg deserve to be role models for all, regardless of gender, but she also put an exclamation point on key gender issues that drag down business.
While I encourage you to watch the entire piece on the “Balancing Act,” we’ve provided a Cliff Notes version of the top insights from the interview. And, just for fun, see if you can decide who said which quotes – Sheryl or Richard. (The answers are at the bottom of this story.)


By |April 27th, 2015|Blog Post|0 Comments

Millennials are the new King Kong

Decades ago, the Boomer generation took to the food industry like Godzilla took to Tokyo. Fast food chains like McDonald’s thrived and the microwavable burrito proved the most innovative thing since sliced bread (seriously, pre-sliced bread didn’t exist until the 1920s).

Now, these companies must adapt to the new generation – millennials.


By |April 15th, 2015|Blog Post|0 Comments

The race to think like a millennial

At the PRSA 2013 International Conference this week, I attended a session on building millennial leaders. I‘ll take all the help I can get in this department, but I’m still not sure anyone has really figured it out yet.

We all know the stereotypes (check out Sh*t Millennials Say), and we also know there are many exceptional millennials who are doing amazing things. We certainly have some fantastic millennials at rbb, including our own Rafael Sangiovanni, who was named one of PR News’ People To Watch in PR in 2013.

One of the most interesting points brought up was a comment from the audience. There is a theory that society is cyclical, repeating itself every fourth generation.


By |October 30th, 2013|Blog Post|0 Comments

The plain truth about mentors

I’ve always been annoyed by the word mentor. It conjures up visions of an elegant, silver-haired businessman patting the shoulder of a younger colleague in a fine restaurant while imparting sage advice.

In the business world, having a mentor is as much a status symbol as a Rolex. When people talk about their mentors, it sounds like they are giving a eulogy.

But when the Public Relations Society of America gave the founder of my firm, Bruce Rubin, a lifetime achievement award, I had to face facts. While it never came with a bow on it, or was part of a formal training program, I have a mentor – and a damn good one.


By |October 10th, 2013|Blog Post|1 Comment

Different schools of communication have lots to teach each other

At the Global PR Summit in Miami this week, I was fortunate enough to sit in on a panel discussion called “It’s a Conversation, Not a Campaign: What Marketers Can Learn From PR.”

The panel featured C-suite communications executives from the likes of Lenovo and Proctor & Gamble discussing how traditionally separate communications disciplines are becoming more and more integrated in today’s digital world.

That is, marketers must learn to speak the language of PR and social media to meaningfully engage today’s consumers. The top piece of information most public relations practitioners (83 percent of those surveyed) think marketers need to learn is that reputation is a consequence of the authentic behavior of an organization.


By |October 31st, 2012|Blog Post|0 Comments