SPARK Blog

Bright ideas and innovative thinking are among the most important tools SPARK uses to further our clients' strategic growth and ongoing success. You'll find some of our latest thinking here.


The Language of the Latest and Greatest

Posted by Rachel Braun Scherl | Monday, July 21st, 2014

As a business strategist and marketer, I have worked with lots of brands and advertising agencies to develop or prove claims - the messages that companies say about their products to get people to buy them. You have heard many of them and even remember some - three out of four dentists surveyed, the best, fastest, newest, whitest, sexiest, latest and greatest. My personal favorites are the ones that try to impress you with language that might sound good, but is 100 percent meaningless. For instance, "Nothing works better" - which is basically a fancy way to say that this product works exactly the same way, no better or worse, than any other product in the category.

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All the News That’s Fit to Print—Unless, of Course, You Are Too Bossy

Posted by Rachel Braun Scherl | Monday, May 19th, 2014

All the News That’s Fit to Print—Unless, of Course, You Are Too Bossy

Does anyone really know what happened between Arthur Sulzberger and Jill Abramson at the New York Times? I have read every article I could find over the past few days written about the dismissal of the Times' first female managing editor. What are the lessons we are supposed to learn from this or more importantly, teach our children.

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Just Trying to Keep the Wheels on the Wagon

Posted by Rachel Braun Scherl | Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Just Trying to Keep the Wheels on the Wagon

Gwyneth, I want you to know I feel your pain, girlfriend. I am trying to appreciate how it must be hard being a gorgeous Oscar-winning movie star, with limitless funds, on a movie set where someone feeds you and gives you a trailer to take a nap and probably drives you and your kids places with out messing up your designer clothes or your perfect hair. But in all seriousness, I don't begrudge your general fabulousness -- even though there is very little about your life that I can relate to as a working mom (except for the show-stopping outfits that I wear to work). You, like all of us, are just trying to do the best you can with the specifics of your own life.

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Moments of Moxie: A Weekend of Wisdom from Women (of All Ages)

Posted by Rachel Braun Scherl | Friday, February 28th, 2014

I was back at my alma mater last weekend for a conference titled, Find Your Moxie: Duke Women Creating Change. If you look up the word "moxie," all the definitions communicate a sense of energy and dynamism.

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Improving the World, One Brilliant Idea at a Time

Posted by Rachel Braun Scherl | Thursday, February 13th, 2014

I don't know about you, but I am constantly amazed at how some of the most mundane activities in life have been transformed with elegant, brilliant solutions. I can pay my bills from anywhere, and I can fill my car with gas without interacting with a human being (except in New Jersey where apparently the government thinks we are not capable of doing this for ourselves). I can ensure that I get an exit row seat on any plane, take photographs in rapid fire and find a date without going anywhere (okay, I don't date since I have been married for almost 24 years). I can shop for absolutely anything from Band-Aids, eyeglasses, shoes, clothes, childcare, furniture or even a car -- all without ever leaving my couch.

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