Hello, World.

SparkIf you know me, you know it looks a little different around here. Until today, I had the URL pointed at my old site, Rachel’s Lunch.

As a college sophomore, I started Rachel’s Lunch on a lark. I needed a way to blow off steam, and for a while, it was fun. Then, maybe due to the pressure of so many other food bloggers taking gorgeous photos and writing click-baitey titles and making a cornucopia of festive holiday recipes, it got to be a little less fun. Instead of a hobby, it became a chore, and then something I just started to neglect.

But the thing is, I enjoy writing and sharing what moves me, and though I may have lost interest in food blogging, I definitely didn’t lose interest in blogging. That being said, I haven’t lost interest in food, either; it’s just that I’ve got a lot of other interests that I want to blither about too.

They say a successful blog has a focus and gets posted on a schedule. A successful blogger culls their audience and creates relationships and treats their blog like a business.

But, where’s the fun in that?

With this blog, I’m dialing it back and keeping it simple. I’d like for you to read it, which is why I’m posting it on the World Wide Web and not keeping it in my diary. But that doesn’t mean I want a lifestyle blog franchise deal, with sponsored posts and professional photos and polished advertorials masquerading as my opinions.

So, I hope you enjoy this scaled-back, keep-it-simple, bare-bones approach to blogging. I’m interested in marketing, so sometimes I’ll post about that. I’m interested in food and travel and books and movies, just like everyone else, so instead of categorizing my blog as one thing or another, I’ll just leave it at this: Quotidiana. The everyday things: The ordinary, the mundane, and perhaps sometimes inane. I’ll post when I feel like it, and you can read it when you feel like it.

How about that?

Cults and today’s brands

Are modern brands taking notes from cults? An article by Derek Thompson in this month’s Atlantic suggests as much. Creepy? Yes. But, there’s still something to be learned, I think. The author quotes Douglas Atkin, who says, “The common belief is that people join cults to conform…Actually, the very opposite is true. They join to become more individual.” Harnessing this insight has proved successful for a number of companies.

The article has certainly generated some visceral responses on both sides of the issue. So, is it creepy, or advice worth taking? Read it here.

Branding Frozen and the Power of Good (and Relatable) Storytelling

This whole feminism thing is really taking off lately.

Sure, some people still shy away from the “F” word, but let’s face it. Major news sites and media companies have special channels dedicated to women’s interest pieces, and they’re talking about more than the latest hair trends and sex tips: There are real, important conversations happening about how to be successful in our careers and family lives, taking on misogyny in the untouchable world of Silicon Valley bro culture, and how to get men involved in the fight for equal rights.

Even Disney, prime purveyor of the princess myth, is on board. Lately Disney has been making an effort to get away from the whole damsel in distress trope, and I don’t need to tell you that with Frozen they really hit the nail on the head. Embracing the idea of empowering, strong female characters isn’t just keeping up with the times, it’s good for business.

Frozen

In addition to getting major buy-in from us modern ladies who don’t put all of our stock in whether or not the shoe fits, Disney has turned Frozen in to a major branding opportunity. In the days where brand loyalty is said to be in decline, Frozen has succeeded and then some. That’s thanks, according to the author of a recent New York Times piece, to the quality of the story. Read it and see what you think. Although most marketers aren’t writing stories that will become full-length blockbusters, it still stands to reason that a good story goes a long way in creating a good brand.

Now, I’m thinking about how I can integrate effective, relatable storytelling into my daily life as a marketer.