A case study in logo overconfidence

McDonald’s new Out Of Home poster campaign
McDonald’s new Out Of Home poster campaign

As a marketer who started out in design and cut his teeth doing both at Netflix, I am of the opinion that graphic design, in the service of business, always has a job to do. That job changes company-to-company and project-to-project. Whether it’s to attract new customers, getting current customers to buy more, or amplify a brand — there’s always a job to be done.

And it should come as no surprise that creatives get into advertising and design to be, well, creative. Unfortunately, there is a tipping point at which a clever, well-thought-out approach can become too clever. And…

To get the drop on the competition is to obtain an advantage by acting before they do. But in order to get the drop, companies need to be able to see what’s ahead.

People tend to think of how innovative both have been as they’ve dominated their respective industries. That is true, but one aspect that doesn’t get enough attention — their strategic approach to the entirety of the customer experience. They didn’t merely focus on delivering a great product or service, they sought to improve the customer ecosystem.

Netflix Everywhere

When Netflix launched streaming in 2007, it seemed to catch the…

Brand is the sum total of everything a company does and how it interacts with the world. One of the benefits of having a clearly articulated brand position is that when events occur, whether internal or external, you have a guide for how to react.

And with the AMC/GameStop stock scenario last week, we were given insight into two brands — one that is mostly business-centric and one that is customer-centric.

Both trading apps Robinhood and Public.com halted the ability to buy AMC Theatres and GameStop stock last week. I won’t get into the details as to why, as it…

Over the last couple decades I’ve worked on a numnber of naming projects. From companies to divisions to even an open source code project for Intel. So when Apple announced the name of their streaming service as AppleTV+ I was amused at what I considered a “meh” name. Then came Disney+, EPSN+, and the announcement of Discovery+. I was sneering at the seeming laziness exhibited in naming these new services.

Except I was wrong. Like, way wrong. Here’s why.

Brand equity has real value

To see why, we need to start with the concept of brand equity. You can think of brand equity like a…

Why the future of marketing isn’t just personalization — putting it all together is what matters

Personalization: the action of designing or producing something to meet someone’s individual requirements.

Curation: the selection, organization, and presentation of online content, merchandise, information, etc., typically using professional or expert knowledge.

The promise of personalization as it pertains to marketing has been that companies can leverage customer browsing and purchasing data to merchandize other relevant products they may want to buy. But as much as that data tells a company all about a recent purchase, it rarely speaks to the why behind the buy. Which is where curation comes in. Curation expands the possibilities of what can be merchandized, whether…

It has never been easier to build a website. Between Squarespace, Wix, and others, one can get a website up and running in hours. Which is both a blessing — and a curse.

The reason it’s a blessing should be fairly obvious. It can be done quickly, with relatively little cost. Gone are the time-consuming days of needing to hire a designer and then find a website developer to create the site. These WYSIWYG services operate using a small library of templates. All one has to do is choose a template and you’re good-to-go.

For SMBs, those efficiencies are a…

There’s an old saying that “sales fixes everything.” The idea is that as long as a company is selling, everything is a-ok. But for startups, the reality is that sales won’t fix everything. Robust sales do two things. First, the sales revenue extends the runway — more revenue means more money to cover operating costs and re-invest in the business. Secondly, sales actually provides the opportunity to fix some things that have yet to be addressed. If a company doesn’t solve those things, no amount of sales will save the company.

When startups first launch, getting to product-market fit is…

By March of 2020, it was clear that the COVID-19 had come to America and was set to spread quickly. Many municipalities and states issued “shelter-in-place” orders asking folks to stay home and only venture out for essentials, like groceries. This also meant that gyms were deemed non-essential and were shut down.

Peloton, who makes high-end spin bikes for home, and offers classes via the internet from Peloton instructors, seemed perfectly positioned to take off. After all, people who have become accustomed to going to gyms or exercising outdoors were suddenly left with few options. …

It looks like Apple will be releasing Apple Glass (boy, I hope they don’t name it that. One might think, “Hey, wasn’t Google Glass a total dud?” Yes, but there are some things going for Apple which could make the glasses a hit where Google Glass fell flat.


With the COVID-19 pandemic we’ve all learned that the more you touch things, the more you’re at risk of getting it on your hands. And studies have shown, we all touch our faces without thinking a lot throughout the day. Apple Glass (still hope they don’t call it that) will allow people…

For my entire eleven-year span of working at Netflix, we were content aggregators. All of our content (with the very brief exception of Red Envelope Entertainment original content experiment) was licensed from TV and movie studios.

This meant that if we were to use any visual assets for marketing other than the DVD box art — what’s known as “cover art,” we had to go through the long and arduous process of getting pre-approval by the studios. For a company that loved to learn and move quickly, this was all but a no-go.

Barry W. Enderwick

Brand/marketing executive, former Netflix, MZ. I write on startups, strategy, business, culture & design. Also on Instagram @craftbarry @inthechipswithbarry

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