Uber and Barclay credit card

Facebook on Wheels: Why the Uber/Barclays Co-Brand Card Is Big News

By Vanessa Horwell / Aug 8, 2017

Reports of Uber partnering with Barclays on a co-brand credit card surfaced last week, making Uber the first ridesharing company with its own financial services ‘product.’ The announcement comes on the heels of Lyft closing a $600M capital raise and a $7.5B valuation as it expands aggressively to new cities across the US. Uber’s co-brand …

Learn More
B2B News

The Strong Take by ThinkInk: B2B & Tech, the Newest News That Matters

By THINKINK / Aug 4, 2017

We live in interesting times. So much of the narrative today is about innovation and disruption, huge shifts that are re-defining business, marketing and plain old life – from ridesharing and mobile wallets to big data and artificial intelligence. These are really happening, however, nothing happens overnight. Every innovation and disruption takes painstaking effort, trial …

Learn More
Mobile Retail and the Future of Car Buying

Mobile Retail and the Future of Car Buying: A Warning from the Airline Industry

By Jason Cardona / Aug 2, 2017

For decades, airlines have watched their fares sell at commodity prices as consumers increasingly enjoy the expanse of online options. Settled into a routine of paying commissions to sell their own inventory to Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), airlines were generally happy to pay up as there had never been such an accessible way of reaching …

Learn More
branding and advertising in sport

Quiet, Please: How the Tradition of Wimbledon Plays Out In Brand Sponsorship

By Vanessa Horwell / Jul 18, 2017

In the 1989 sports-movie classic “Field of Dreams,” Kevin Costner builds a baseball diamond in an Iowa cornfield and magically meets the “Shoeless Joe” Jackson and the rest of the 1919 Chicago White Sox – better known as the Black Sox for fixing the World Series. The scandal symbolized the loss of innocence in sports …

Learn More
Airline Disruption

More Turbulence for Airlines: How One Flight Ignited a Consumer Revolt

By Vanessa Horwell / Jul 17, 2017

Even though technology continues to revolutionize every aspect of our personal and commercial lives, some things are still unavoidable: death, taxes and crappy air travel.  Airline disruption? That’s unavoidable, too. Earlier this year, United Airlines faced a public relations disaster after airport police, at the carrier’s request, violently removed a passenger from an overbooked flight. The …

Learn More
Fake News

Fake News, PR & Pitching Real Stories: Protecting Clients in the ‘Post-Truth’ Era

By Vanessa Horwell / Jun 20, 2017

The rise of Donald Trump and the troubling dynamics of our rapidly changing political environment have added several new phrases to the national discourse: “Fake news” is one of them, “alternative facts” another. The latest unfortunate addition to the repertoire (this one coined by alt-right media activist Jack Posobiec) is “reality journalism”… which of course …

Learn More

Big Banks and Fintech do Battle Over Personal Financial Data

By Vanessa Horwell / Jun 2, 2017

In our ‘Internet of Things’ era, consumers and online businesses engage in a continuous, invisible exchange of data every day. As any privacy-minded Internet user understands, however, the complexities of that exchange are nearly impossible to navigate – even on a one-to-one basis, with a trusted brand – since companies’ data collection and usage policies …

Learn More

What’s Next for Women in Tech? (And Why Are We Still Having this Conversation?)

By Vanessa Horwell / May 26, 2017

If you still think there’s no such thing as bad publicity (ask our president), a quick review of Silicon Valley’s “woman problem” should set you straight. For as long as I can remember, the Bay Area has been ground zero for a wealth of systemic issues related to women’s experiences in the technology sector. The …

Learn More

The Sharing Economy, Hotel Industry Disruption and the Changing Travel Landscape

By Vanessa Horwell / May 19, 2017

Since Airbnb’s debut in 2008, the home-sharing startup has gone from nuisance to nemesis for the hotel industry. For nearly a decade, hospitality executives largely dismissed the impact Airbnb would – or rather, could – have on their businesses. As recently as 2014, two industry leaders played down the threat (or perceived lack thereof) posed …

Learn More
Mobile payments and mobile commerce

Are Mobile Payments & Mobile Commerce Finally Tying the Knot?

By Vanessa Horwell / May 10, 2017

Over the past few years, we have seen a steady growth of mobile payments across all industries. In a study last November, 93% of consumers surveyed by Deloitte reported using their smartphones for “shopping.” By that measure, shopping is the number two activity (second only to work) for which consumers use their mobile devices. Today, …

Learn More
Empathy Marketing

Injecting Empathy into Marketing: Profoundly Optimistic, or Profoundly Cynical?

By Vanessa Horwell / Apr 18, 2017

Advertising Age recently published an opinion piece positing that empathy is “picking up steam” and likely to become an official marketing buzzword for 2017. Like many themes I’m seeing this year, empathy (in the context of advertising and marketing) is both a visceral reaction to our collective political anxieties and a fallback for brands when …

Learn More

Crisis PR, and the Loyalty Numbers Game

By Vanessa Horwell / Apr 6, 2017

There is a number – 72 – that I can’t get out of my mind. It’s the percent of airline loyalty programs ‑ 72% – that claim to have been victims of fraud. I’ve used this number before, most recently in an article in which I shared a few thoughts about loyalty program fraud. The …

Learn More