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Instagram as Authentic Engagement, but Engagement with Who?

There are dozens of articles on how to market your brand through Instagram or attract influencers, touting the benefits of Instagram as authentic engagement with consumers. But there is considerably less discussion around the role influencers and their audiences play in branding as a two-way street or how deeply the Instagram format itself alters branding strategy and impact. In the old days, consumers could sample brands’ offerings in catalogues. Then blogs offered a new form of richer, deeper engagement centered on the blogger’s influence and appeal. But blogs are so in depth that a reader can only keep track of a few, not to mention that the text and image heavy blog articles don’t necess

Swiping Right: The Power of Gamification or How to Be a Better Employee and Person through Technolog

Gamification is one of the biggest trends we at Great Lakes GrowthWorks have seen in the past few years. Perhaps the most relevant and far-reaching example of gamification in our society is Tinder, the dating app that has millions of people swiping right or left. Though many aspects of Tinder are gamified, the design of swiping right to approve and left to signal disapproval has made its way into common parlance and is a widespread practice. People can even swipe on political candidates, issues, jobs, and just about everything else because of Tinder’s success in gamifying the selection of a choice. Today I’ll take you through how gamification is helping people acquire and assess skills, incr

More than a peek inside: brands that are succeeding by being transparent with their consumers

As consumer demand for transparency is growing, companies are working to find a way to achieve transparency in one aspect of the business or another. Consumers are looking to get a sense for the cost or pricing structure, environmental impact, manufacturers’ working conditions, and more. Now the brands we choose to purchase from or wear not only say something about our style, but they can also say something about what we stand for. By choosing to purchase from a company that prioritizes work-life balance and positive workplace culture for its employees, we are saying that is something important enough to us that we are choosing to support it with our dollars. Several apparel brands are now s

3 Ways Brands are Crafting Retail Experiences through Brick-and-Mortar Locations

Traditional department stores were once social hubs whose role in consumers’ lives extended far beyond retail. Since the 19th century, shopping has been about the spectacle as much as the merchandise. After all, seeing Christmas decorations in stores was once a special occasion for the family rather than something that made us cringe (partly because they didn’t put them up in September, to be sure). In some countries like South Korea, in-store restaurants became an opportunity for women to mingle. Yet these days, more and more malls and shops are closing their doors under competition from online shopping. As the convenience of online purchasing erodes the necessity for brick-and-mortar store


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