Head-scratching trends: For businesses and consumers, adding alcohol to fitness has benefits

The link between drinking and sports isn’t limited to the fans who are tailgating or buying overpriced beverages at the stadium. There are “beer league” sports teams designed to facilitate socializing. The drinking-while-exercising trend is notable because it’s expanding to individual sports, creating a new type of social atmosphere and encouraging camaraderie at gyms, group fitness classes and among runners.

Many react to the combination of drinking and exercise as a head-scratching juxtaposition of disparate objects. But it doesn’t take much to begin to understand the appeal.

A recent article in the Washington Post provided a nice overview of the trend, emphasizing business forays into this new territory. One example is the addition of beer and wine to Life Time Fitness clubs. It’s a lesson in user experience: if the gym becomes a social hub beyond just a place to work out, it … Read More »



Jet.com made the cut for Equal Pay Day

In early April, Jet.com made a statement about Equal Pay Day by literally taking 21% off of certain products. The online CPG retailer, and equal pay advocate, hosted a Facebook Live session that featured a water laser-cutting machine that sliced through items like shaving cream, a package of diapers, toothpaste, a frying pan and a flat screen TV.

The e-shop’s stunt was part of an effort to draw attention to the gender wage gap, a cause that’s been gaining attention recently. The discrepancy has inspired women, men, political institutions and brands to coalesce around the notion that women make 77 cents to the dollar that men earn. Though, to be sure, it’s a social issue that’s not without controversy around its necessity or its veracity.

As a demographic that’s partially defined by their commitment to social responsibility, Conscious Consumers are concerned about … Read More »



What really is a Conscious Consumer brand?

I’m often asked what defines a Conscious Consumer brand.

Let’s begin by addressing what defines a Conscious Consumer. He or she is a person who recognizes that “my consumption impacts myself, my family, my community, and the world at-large. I consider issues of health, environment, and social responsibility when I make decisions.”

So what defines a Conscious Consumer brand? The operative word in the statement above is “consider” and like consumers, Conscious Consumer brands fall into segments. Depending on how many considerations you include in your brand activities, the amount of time you’ve spent implementing these actions and your values will determine where you reside.

Our torchbearers are leading the way and paving a path for others to follow. Brands like Tom’s of Maine, Ben & Jerry’s, and REI have been doing this for quite some time. Others like Warby Parker … Read More »



Fairview Health Systems Commitment to Healthy Behaviors

This past Monday, Fairview Health Services stopped selling sugary beverages in all of its hospitals, clinics and pharmacies. This includes all Fairview cafeterias, vending machines, gift shops and retail spaces. No soft drinks. No sugary sports drinks. Sugar-free syrups replaced all sugared syrups in coffee shops. While this doesn’t prohibit guests from bringing in their own sugary drinks, and some patients still might need a sugar-sweetened beverage due to a medical condition, Fairview Health Services has taken a definitive stand against sugar.

This announcement is definitely newsworthy. However, Fairview has been taking steady steps in “improving their community health strategy.” In 2016, Fairview was recognized by the Partnership for Healthier America (PHA) with the Healthier Future Award because of its efforts to provide healthy alternatives for its staff and patients. In the past year, Fairview Health Services has labeled all items … Read More »



The role of public media in an algorithmic world

A recent Westminister Town Hall Forum in Minneapolis got us thinking about the role of “public” media in a brand’s messaging. By public media I am not referring to NPR or public TV – but rather media that is broadcast out into a “public space” versus served directly one-on-one by an algorithm. The Forum itself has an interesting history – started in 1980 by a local church to “engage in pubic dialogue and reflection on issues of the day.” It has always been free and open to anyone who cares to attend and attracts the top thinkers, writers and change agents worldwide.

This particular discussion featured Frank Bruni, New York Times Op-Ed columnist, on the topic of Media in the Age of Misinformation. Much of the content focused on the very real issue of “fake news and alternative facts,” but his comments … Read More »