I like to research, think, talk about, and put into action novel ideas on how to make marketing more reliable, sustainable and profitable, and I’m really interested in the intersections between commerce and culture.
This means I’ve been called called “a merry iconoclast,” “lucid and cutting,” and “groundbreaking,” among other things both favorable and not. I’ve written six books, the latest — Branding Still Only Works on Cattle: A New Model for Brands in the 21st Century — was published in March, 2013. A Thousand Words: Why We Must Fight the Tyranny of Brief, Vague & Incomplete — was published in late January, 2013, and Tell the Truth: Honesty is Your Most Powerful Marketing Tool, was published in April, 2012 (and is now available in audiobook format). The second edition of Histories of Social Media: 2,000 Years of Do’s and Don’ts, was also published in 2012 in paperback and ebook formats.
I regularly keynote meetings and lead workshops based on the work I do as president of Baskin Associates, Inc., the marketing decisions consultancy I founded in 2003.
My experience totals nearly 30 years of work driving consumer purchases and building strong brands, having led a number of marketing initiatives that crossed both digital and offline domains for such world-class brands as Apple, Blockbuster, ConAgra, and most other letters in the brand-name alphabet. What I have learned over the years is that behavior matters more than intention, and I’m so convinced of the utility of action that I’ve actually trademarked the term “brand is behavior.”
When I’m not working with clients, I write a bi-weekly column on leadership for the CMO Strategy section of Advertising Age, as well as regular essays as a contributor to Forbes and daily tidbits of social history at Histories of Social Media. I’m also a Senior Fellow Emeritus at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. I’ve also co-founded CONSENSIV, a reputation ROI services firm.
I began my career at Grey Advertising, where I worked on integrated marketing campaigns for consumer products such as Duncan Hines’ cookies and Joy Dishwashing Liquid. I also ran major public relations programs for Edelman Worldwide, both in New York and Los Angeles. I received a degree in English Literature from Colby College, Waterville, Maine, in 1982.
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