How The Lance Armstrong Foundation Became
Chuck Salter takes a fascinating look at how Livestrong CEO Doug
Ulman and Austin-based Milkshake Media created the Livestrong
brand out of a nondescript corner of the Lance Armstrong Foundation
Web site -- the online resources center where people shared stories
of their survival battles.
"We thought they wanted medical resources," says Milkshake founder Kat
Jones. "They wanted to talk about how cancer had changed their lives
emotionally, physically, and practically."
They looked for a name that would reflect a line -- "All I wanted to do was
tell people to fight like hell" -- from Armstrong's autobiography. When they
tested Livestrong in focus groups, they found it was controversial. "You
cannot tell someone diagnosed with cancer to live strong," said one survivor.
Jones knew she had a winner right then. "One thing I've learned," she says, "is
that when things are polarizing, it's right."
Holiday Inn Plans To Turn Its Bars Into
Wall Street Journal
We swore off re-reporting on Holiday Inn's $1 billion makeover of its
3,400 hotels worldwide after it launched its $100-million "Stay You"
campaign in spring. But Kris Hudson reports that it has a new way to re-grab our
attention. It's redesigning and expanding its hotel bars to make them livelier
The bars will be the center of several Holiday Inn services, including the
restaurant, game room and business center. The chain is reacting to a study of
10,000 guests in six major cities that found that frequent customers -- mid-level
road warrior types -- want to be around other people rather than holed up in their
"These are more extroverted, charismatic people who like people," says Kevin
Kowalski, svp of global brand management for Holiday Inn's U.K.-based parent,
InterContinental Hotels. "They're not going to hang out in their rooms and watch
In fact, if all goes according to the marketing plan, these "social animals" will eat
more food at the bar instead, improving margins in a number of ways that mostly
have to do with reducing labor costs -- leaving, one presumes, the displaced wait
Vibram's Five-Toed Running Shoe Making
Maybe you've seen someone wearing the Vibram Five Fingers
(www.vibramfivefingers.com) running shoe that sports five toes and
looks like something a pollywog playing dress-up might wear around
the lake house. If you have, says Vibram USA CEO and president
Tony Post, you've probably been tempted to ask him or her about it.
And that's been the success of the product.
"It's all been social media, grassroots marketing, a lot of one-on-one
conversations, frankly, is what it's been that's built this business," he tells
Natalie Armstrong. And when bigger companies copy his product, he's
counting on those relationships to keep it going. "People will always find a
way, even if it's not an exact copy to design around something, so at the end
of the day it's really about your relationship with the consumer," Post says.
There now are more than 700 distributors for the shoe, which forces runners
to land on their forefoot instead of their heels, in North America. Post says
the company has "never run a single ad" for the product, which targets
young, active people interested in anything from fitness training, running and
outdoor activities to yoga.
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