Blog

On Channels and the Life of Content

This past holiday weekend I had the chance to spend time with my younger brother and a cousin who are about the same age (sophomores in college). Bits of their conversation I overheard were typical of their age, but one subject caught my attention: television commercials. The first bit of their joking I noticed was …

Q & A with Keller Fay.

Our very own Megan Byrd and Justin Gammon getting Face to Face. If you hang out here often you know we are big fans of Ed Keller and Brad Fay. Their company, Keller Fay, is a Word of Mouth Research Consulting firm. We base a lot of our work on their insights. For example, 90% …

Brains on Fire is looking for a vibrant, people-loving, financial and quality control freak!

Thanks for helping us spread the word about about this very KEY position at Brains on Fire. Here’s the complete listing for the COO/Director of Client Services Role I just posted on Linked In: You’ll feel a different kind of energy within our office, just like our clients feel it in our work. That means …

What do you love?

I love GOOD magazine. The online version is just one of my “feel good” breaks in the middle of the day. I visit it when I want to, well… feel good. My latest discovery is a series on “What do you love?” What a great question. So often we ask people what do you DO. …

Word of Mouth via Toaster

My wife and I live in a small mill house, and storage space is a valuable commodity. Our kitchen is actually larger than many of the galley-style builds in similar houses, but the layout still leaves us with very little counter space. Which means we have to make choices. Microwave or toaster oven on the …

Defining Good Writing

Last week someone posed an interesting question: “What makes writing good?” The more I tried to answer, the more it felt like trying to describe the color yellow or explain infinity. When you stumble across a piece of good writing, you just get it. You feel it before you know it. You’re compelled to save …

We need your help.

That’s Ramsey. We’re always looking for amazing talent. Brains on Fire is looking for another pirate to join our crew! We’re looking for a smart, eager to learn, WOMM loving, Public Relations savvy person to help us spread the Brains on Fire love around the world. You’ll be responsible for planning and executing our speaking …

Stories vs. Slogans

Stories live forever. Slogans live until the ad agency gets tired of them. Stories are real. Slogans are made up. Stories pull you in. Slogans push out a message. Stories are deep. Slogans are shallow. Stories are personal. Slogans are impersonal. Stories are passed on by word of mouth. Slogans are forced on us by …

Is All of That ‘Noise’ a Bad Thing?

How many times have you heard talk about the dreaded ‘noise’? The other day a friend of mine lamented about how digital camera prices have dropped to a point where ‘everyone’ is calling themselves a ‘professional photographer’ and its creating so much ‘noise’ in the industry. But it seems to be everywhere – from startups …

Nostalgia, Mad Men and Emotions

Yours truly at a Brains on Fire Mad Men Christmas party a few years back. I’ve never gotten caught up watching the show, Mad Men. But the other day someone showed me a short clip that got stuck in my heart for many reasons. Take a minute and watch it. Don’t you love that? The …

The End User is Not the Only User

I am not a product designer. I’m not even a designer. But I noticed something recently that made me think hard about the process of developing products and experiences. My wife and I were eating at a burrito chain where one of the new Coca-Cola “Freestyle” drink machines was installed (1). I’m not a soda …

Hello (and some photos) From Chicago

We’re at the WIT. Love the little brilliant details in this hotel, like birds quietly chirping in the halls. I’m in Chicago this week at Womma‘s womm-u with Cordell and Geno. And I’m so glad we all came. Honestly, I wish everyone from Brains on Fire could attend. Yesterday’s keynote speaker Steve Knox is shiny …

6 Things Food Trucks Can Teach us about Social Media

Food trucks are all the rage. They’re popping up everywhere, embodying the principles of not only fine dining, but fine design on the go. There are food truck lunch breaks, food truck festivals, even food truck weddings. And now food trucks are teaching us a thing or two about social media. This weekend I came …

The things that make us happy. And human.

Poster available via weareyawn.com Hmmmm. The things that make us happy are not really “things” at all, are they? Today Cordell sent me this brilliant Harvard Business Review article. I love the question that Umair Haque asked his social media friends. What makes us human? In one word, preferably. The most common answers were: empathy, …

You Are Who They Say You Are: I say “Starbucks,” you say ???

What words or phrases come to mind when you see a Starbucks logo? What feelings do you associate with the Porsche seal? What do you think about when you pass a truck with the FedEx mark painted on its side? Here’s a fun little midweek find that will give you some insight on how other …

Dreaming Cow: Great Story, Great Brand, Great Packaging, Great Yogurt

Isn’t it wonderful when you run across a product that breaks through the flood of commodity-mediocrity and makes you smile? (I’ve written before about how a company called FieldCandy accomplished this with tents.(1)) I was in a regional grocery store recently, and a package of yogurt jumped off of the shelf and did just that. …

Visual Pollution.

Photographer and typographer Tony de Marco has been out documenting the move toward Sao Paolo’s clean city in a sequence of images published on Flickr. The city, he says, is starting to feel more “serene”. Years ago I seriously considered dropping out of the marketing world. I hated being a part of the visual noise …

Bringing Back Recess

Yesterday was one of those unusually cool autumnal days we don’t see a lot of this time of year in South Carolina. The kind of weather that compels you to slow down and take note of the world. The choreography of leaves dancing in the wind. A man walking a matching pair of dogs down …

Arousal, Word of Mouth Marketing and WOMM-U

Yup. Kind of blurry iphone photo. But that’s Geno. Quick — before you read this post, drop and give me 50 push ups. Nope. I’m not kidding. I’m doing an experiment. Do your push ups, (I’ll wait.) Then keep reading! Ok. Done? Good. I’m getting excited about going to WOMM-U in May. Are you going? …

Do you make your customers feel at home?

I’ve always loved the front door of Brains on Fire’s worldwide headquarters. Do you see the face? The other day Cordell and I had a little email exchange. I’m not sure how it even began, but somewhere along the way he shared this thought: I sometimes wonder if our modern age has created an entire …