The Naughty & Nice Brands of 2023 with Matt Williams

matt williams 2023

This week we have a special holiday episode of the On Brand podcast with the “Naughty and Nice Brands of 2023.” This seasonally appropriate snapshot of brand behavior was developed by the smart folks at Brand Federation. The consultancy’s Chief Growth Officer Matt Williams joined me to discuss which brands have been naughty and nice this year.

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About Matt Williams

Matt Williams is chief growth officer for Brand Federation, a brand strategy consultancy in Richmond, Va. Prior to joining Brand Federation in 2019, Williams was CEO of the Martin Agency, one of the world’s most recognized advertising agencies, where he managed strategy development for world-class brands like GEICO, OREO, UPS, Discover Financial, Walmart, and more. Williams also is Clinical Professor in the marketing department at the Mason School of Business at William & Mary. He teaches in the MBA program and is the developer and Faculty Director of the school’s Online Masters in Marketing.

Naughty List for Brands 2023

  • WeWork This coworking space used branding as a cover for a crappy business.
  • Bud Light — This beer brand’s withdrawal of supporting Dylan Mulvaney is a complete fold on their conviction: a beverage “for every person, for every occasion.”
  • Zoom — This video conferencing service, synonymous with making 21st-century knowledge work from anywhere possible, called employees back to the office.
  • Silicon Valley Bank — This banking brand’s collapse was rooted in miscommunication.

Nice List for Brands 2023

  • Garth Brooks — This country singer is exemplifying conviction with his new bar in Nashville with one simple rule.
  • Airbnb — This short-term rental brand responded quickly to the wildfires in Maui.
  • Mattel — This toy company released a movie based off an iconic doll brand, and made the brand even more iconic by empowering women.
  • Delta Air Lines — An airline met some unintended brand turbulence but teaches an important lesson for brands — knowing when to admit mistakes.

Brands that Santa is Watching in 2024

  • Open AI — This emerging tech brand is de-mystifying and popularizing generative artificial intelligence, but recent drama with their board and CEO puts their future at stake.
  • Apple — This technology company has always been known for its innovative hardware, but releases this year are a far cry away from what the brand has been known for.
  • Beyond Inc. — This newly formed parent brand for home goods businesses has gone through it all – bankruptcy, acquisition, and a new brand architecture.
  • Barnes & Noble — A national book retail chain unveiled a new brand plan that doesn’t appear to have any consistency.

Want more naughty and nice? Check out Brand Federation’s YouTube video on the Naughty and Nice Brands of 2023

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!