What do you think of when you hear the word Velveeta? Me too, childhood — complete with piping hot Campbell’s tomato soup — and perfectly melted grilled cheese sandwiches. Later in life, at least for me, came liquid gold and RO*TEL queso dip, usually on weekend game days. And, my daughter might add to

Good homemade mac-n-cheese dishes are a real weakness for me, so this past weekend I couldn’t resist capturing this image from a local restaurant menu:

Although our daughter wasn’t with us for this particular experience, I couldn’t help being amused by the “not kraft mac n cheese” menu item, as she has been probing a

Brace yourselves everybody, I have some bad news: Hamburger Helper is no more. But wait! Don’t jump yet, friend. Thanks to the General Mills marketing department, and fueled by a loss of market share to new competition from Kraft, Hamburger Helper has been reborn. Let me introduce to the new and improved brand: Helper

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What does Twitter have in common with Kool-Aid, Mickey Mouse, and Spam? Maybe nothing, at least yet, but I predict that it will soon, unless Twitter retains some talented PR help in a hurry. Why?

The Kool-Aid, Mickey Mouse, and Spam brands all have spawned secondary or alternate and negative non-trademark meanings that have become part of the English language, meanings in each case that lack positive brand associations, to say the least. If Twitter is not careful it will find itself “following” the likes of Kool-Aid, Mickey Mouse, and Spam, and be in the similar undesirable position of tolerating language changes that distract from their brands and favorable brand messages, to be left watching others make generic use of their brand names to communicate a variety of ideas and meanings that are neither flattering nor brand building.


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