✍️ This piece was originally published as part of my new Substack newsletter, the Marketing Mind Meld. Subscribe there for weekly marketing reads!

It’s been a long month for Twitter.

After scrambling to brainstorm misinformation labels and trying to survive amongst an entire subset of their users losing their sanity, the company decided to throw a bone this past week by releasing something new: a feature it calls Fleets.

What are Fleets? Fleets are effectively another version of the popular stories feature. The UI and core functions are familiar to most social media users — if you’ve used Facebook or Instagram, you’ve likely seen the row of circles at the top, all platform users sharing an image or video. …


✍️ This piece was originally published as part of my new Substack newsletter, the Marketing Mind Meld. Subscribe there for weekly marketing reads!

December 29th, 2019 changed the trajectory of my life as a marketer.

After a cold kept me in bed for a good part of the morning, I slipped to the refuge of my phone and began my journey on a new app called TikTok.

The rest is history. Whether it was nonsensical skits, dance challenges, music, or even simply the sheer energy of content creators, I was hooked. …


Kit Kat, McDonald’s, and State Farm are just some of the many brands that have nailed iconic jingles — what’s unique about their strategy?

It was an early Saturday evening — I was heading back to my home in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco walking by a row of brightly-lit bars on Valencia Street. I heard the distant commentary of a basketball game while my phone tried to focus its gaze on the Google Maps directions.

The game cut to commercial and I suddenly heard the following sound:

Bah-da-ba-ba-bah!

I didn’t have to look up from my Google Maps to know it was a McDonald’s commercial. I briefly ignored it while the commercial moved on — but not for long. …


✍️ This piece was originally published as part of my new Substack newsletter, the Marketing Mind Meld. Subscribe there for weekly marketing reads!

Next time you take a roadtrip, here’s a fun game.

Take a minute to look at all the food fast restaurants you see along the highway. Think about patterns you see amongst the restaurants.

You might notice something subtle, something you would miss if you didn’t look close enough.

Fast-food restaurant logos are largely the same color.

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Think about it — almost all use some combination of red, yellow, and white to illustrate their brand identity.

Is it a coincidence? A secret pact of some sort written between the fast food overlords? …


Most brand redesigns immediately evoke a strong negative reaction — what does this tell us about humans?

✍️ This piece was originally published as part of my new Substack newsletter, the Marketing Mind Meld. Subscribe there for weekly marketing reads!

I was a Smuckers kid.

A strawberry jam addict.

Smuckers become a regular part of my formative years, something as ubiquitous in my routine as biking to school or cursing out the Red Sox.

Even years later, I can see it in a grocery store and immediately feel the warmth of home, the excitement and sense of calm that came with finishing up the school day.

Naturally, like many others, my eyes perked up at the news that came in late September. …


✍️ This piece was originally published as part of my new Substack newsletter, the Marketing Mind Meld. Subscribe there for weekly marketing reads!

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Photo by Serzio Arze on Unsplash

I’ve been thinking a lot this past week about sponsored ads on social media.

How much ads suck. How can we make them less disruptive. How can we make them more bearable to the eager, impatient, internet surfing human.

But to understand where this train of thought around online ads comes from, let me rewind and take you back last week to a quiet sunday night in my apartment.

Fueled by half a Blackberry Hint and cold ramen, I was finishing up a design brief while casually binging a show that had gained some casual notoriety in the marketing world. …


✍️ This piece was originally published as part of my new Substack newsletter, the Marketing Mind Meld. Subscribe there for weekly marketing reads!

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Photo by Inlytics on Unsplash

Quarantine leading to big existential changes is nothing new.

Linkedin has becomes its latest victim, recently taking the wrapping off its first large redesign in almost four years.

Now, there are lots of things Linkedin could fix — better filters for job searching, more variety in a feed full of aphorisms, dark patterns in direct messages, and that weird thing where the algorithm sends you job recommendations pretending you’re the second reincarnation of Jeff Bezos.

But, Linkedin ended up rolling out a long-rumored version of its own Stories — the popular, ephemeral video and photo vignettes that have become a major engagement engine on Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook. …


✍️ This piece was originally published as part of my new Substack newsletter, the Marketing Mind Meld. Subscribe there for weekly marketing reads!

“I feel my throat tightening. It’s not the coronavirus or smoke. It’s rage — rage radiating up from my belly and my heart. We’re trapped inside because of the pandemic and because of the fires, but ultimately we are most confined by the inequality, selfishness, and greed that created this moment. Even in the wide-open West, we’re still stuck in the United States of America.” — Emma Marris

I’m writing this piece in the midst of a historically destructive wildfire season on the West Coast. In the past few months, more than 1 million acres have burned in Oregon. One in every 33 acres of California has burned. In fact, of the ten largest wildfires in California history, five of them have happened this year.


✍️ This piece was originally published as part of my new Substack newsletter, the Marketing Mind Meld. Subscribe there for weekly marketing reads!

On April 15, 1947, twenty six thousand fans gathered at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn to watch their home baseball team, the Brooklyn Dodgers, beat the Boston Braves on a bitingly cold afternoon.

With 2 RBIs off Braves ace Johnny Sain, Brooklyn’s Pete Resier was the unequivocal star of a largely uneventful win. But we remember April 15 vividly today not for Sain, Resier, or any actual highlight in the game.

We remember it specifically for the major league debut of the Dodgers second basemen: the son of Georgia sharecroppers, a promising Negro league player named Jackie Robinson. …


✍️ This piece was originally published as part of my new Substack newsletter, the Marketing Mind Meld. Subscribe there for weekly marketing reads!

It’s been a week.

From Joe Harris to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, my twitter feed has been a cacophony of takes from a Democratic National Convention warning of peril to the bloodthirsty battles of the NBA Bubble (Go Celtics!) — but the real damage was not so much to my Twitter feed as it was to my email inbox.

These were ~10 of more than 50 emails I received over the course of the week, covering the nomination of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. …

About

Kushaan Shah

Growth @Livongo • Bostonian • Fan of sports and quirky theatre • Marketing Nerd • Weekly reads http://mindmeld.substack.com ✍️

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