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Branding Lessons From the Shady History of the Oreo Cookie

I love a good branding story and the history of the Oreo cookie has plenty of fascinating hooks. The story starts with two feuding brothers, Joseph and Jacob Loose, who ran competing bakeries that came up with two cookies that were essentially the same: the Hydrox and the Oreo. For years the Hydrox dominated, until the 1950s when … Read more

Problemshifting and the Myth of Food Shortages

Every few months, there are stories about an impending food crisis. From the death of the humble banana, to the loss of fertile farming land to doomsday stories of outbreaks at food production plants, there are plenty of things to be afraid of. Yet the truth, proven by facts and data, is that the world is growing more than enough food … Read more

Coca-Cola Imagines the Future of Refreshment with “Coca-Cola Coffee”

I spent four years in a place that acclimatizes you to believe there is nothing strange about having a Diet Coke for Breakfast. I’m speaking, of course, of my time living in Atlanta doing an Undergraduate degree at Emory University which is sometimes known, thanks to it’s large endowment from the brand, as “Coca-Cola University.” … Read more

Trader Joe’s and the Slow Death of Brand Personality

Update – Two weeks after this post was originally published, Trader Joe’s issued a new statement sharing that they do not consider these brand names to be racist and instead will be keeping them intact.  I believe brands should act in human ways and have a personality. In fact, I wrote a book on it … Read more

What Boxed Mac & Cheese Can Teach You About Disruption and How One Brand Quietly Embraces Its Racist Name | Non-Obvious Insights #222

This week’s stories include the reimagining of some racist logos from the past, the emerging field of digital nutrition, the dangers of Facebook Groups and what the popularity of boxed mac & cheese can teach us about disruption today and what it may mean for our long-term future. For longtime readers of this email, I … Read more

5 Non-Obvious Megatrends Changing Our World In 2020

For the past ten years I have gone through an annual ritual of publishing a book about trends that describe our shifting culture and business environment. Over the past decade, my team and I have identified and written about well over 100 trends covering everything from the rise of the #metoo movement (a trend we … Read more

4 Big Trends From The 2019 Super Bowl Ads That Explain Our Culture

The best part of the Super Bowl experience is always the advertising. That was particularly true this year thanks to another joyless victory by the Patriots in quantifiably the most boring Super Bowl ever. As a lover of marketing strategy, the big game always offers a chance to dissect the best and worst of how … Read more

Selfie Dysmorphia, Celebrities Abandoning Social Media and the World’s Biggest Universal Income Experiment | Non-Obvious Insights 01.24.19

Why Every Ski Map Looks The Same This past weekend was a big one for skiing and so this article was interesting and timely – all about the life and work of a man who has drawn hundreds of ski maps for resorts. It is a fascinating reminder that there is beauty in the details of … Read more

Robot Layoffs, Disappearing Street Food & Asymmetrical Jeans | Non-Obvious Insights 01.17.19

Japanese Hotel Has First Round Of Robot Layoffs I first wrote about the Henna hotel, staffed entirely by robots, more than two years ago. It seems that the experimental property in Japan has discovered a hopeful truth: people sometimes prefer people. And so it may also be the first example in history of robots being … Read more

How Hot Dog Water Became The Hottest New Health Drink In America

hot dog water

Hot Dog Water officially launched this week and you can have some for just $38 a bottle. Before you roll your eyes in disgust, would it change your mind to learn that it helps restore the body’s homeostasis after an electrolyte imbalance? It is only if you read till the end of the small print … Read more

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#1 WSJ & USAToday Bestselling Author

Rohit is the author of 8 books on trends, the future of business, building a more human brand with storytelling and how to create a more diverse and inclusive world.

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