A fascinating case study on the power of K-pop, a new paradigm in promotion, and the psychology of an undeterred fandom

I have to start this piece with an embarrassing confession.

Before 2021, I had never heard a song by the boy band BTS.

Sure, I knew who they were. I had loosely followed the rising popularity of their work and of K-pop in the US. …

MIND MELD

Most of us probably overspend or have eaten “healthy” — what subconscious secrets drive our relationship with food?

Welcome to MIND MELD: Deep dives into the psychology and human behavior that drives products, brands, and marketing strategies.

It all starts with an innocent trip to Trader Joe’s.

You just need bread, milk, and dish soap.

In the blink of an eye, you escape into a vortex of impulse…

For a long time, I thought of the spectrum of burnout as a speedometer.

If you’re working long hours and going at 110%, you’ll feel the pain. You need to dial it back before it screws you. …

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

This past Monday, for the first time in almost two years, I felt true pain.

The Maryland Terrapins, my beloved alma mater, had just suffered a soul…

MIND MELD

What does the NFT craze mean for marketers and brands?

Welcome to MIND MELD: Deep dives into the psychology and human behavior that drives products, brands, and marketing strategies.

A couple of weeks back, I was chatting with a friend and fellow NBA fan, who told me to check out this site called NBA Top Shot, a site that sells…

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

When I was fourteen years old, my uncle helped me start my first stock portfolio.

Until I was ready to make my own decisions, it was mostly…

MIND MELD

Budweiser, McDonald’s and Apple are just some of the many brands that have nailed iconic Super Bowl Ads — what’s unique about their strategy?

Welcome to MIND MELD: Deep dives into the psychology and human behavior that drives products, brands, and marketing strategies.

Growing up in Massachusetts, I spent most of my Super Bowl evenings fairly stressed.

In the roughly twenty Super Bowls I’ve watched since 1999, my Patriots have played in nine of…

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

I was eight years old at Universal Studios when I first learned about the existence of ET, Steven Spielberg’s mini extraterrestrial masterpiece.

I was enamored by its…

MIND MELD

An analysis of the categories of memes: topical, social, reactionary, nostalgic, utilitarian

Bernie Sanders in mittens superimposed on opening shot from the TV program Friends in which cast sits outdoors on a couch
Welcome to MIND MELD: Deep dives into the psychology and human behavior that drives products, brands, and marketing strategies.

Last Wednesday was the U.S. inauguration, a day typically reserved for surprising celebrity appearances, bold platitudes from the new president, and general atmospheric optimism for the incoming political party.

But if…

Everyone has that one moment.

Your first job. Your first successful meeting. Your first conference panel. Your first launched marketing campaign.

An indelible feeling of accomplishment. You’re on top of the world.

Then — without warning — your insides squeeze.

You start asking yourself questions.

What if it was just…

Kushaan Shah

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

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