Learning From Some of America’s Hottest Brands

AdAge recently published their special issue on America’s Hottest Brands. I think looking at what individual brands are doing to succed in their incredibly different categoris is a great way to come up with ideas that translate into actions for your brand.

This may seem like an odd choice for Gen Yers, but is a leader when it comes to customer service. is an online retailer that helps new parents order everything from diapers to cribs, delivered to their doors the next day. The customer service representatives at this company are available 24-7. Most importantly, they do not make money on their first transaction with a customer. They believe each customer is an investment.

This is such an interesting way to look at networking, internships and jobs. Every interview or networking connection does not necessarily equate to a job. However, each meeting is an investment- you may not turn a profit, but you could learn what not to say in an interview, or even get a connection or a job out of it.

Kettle Foods

Kettle Foods makes the famous Kettle Chips (which are delicious by the way – and no, they did not pay me to say that). Kettle Foods uses crowdsourcing , social media, friends and family for new flavor ideas.

Similar to the idea of crowdsourcing for new potato chip flavors, you can ask family and friends for their advice on applying to internships or jobs. Often, they might know someone who works in the industry you are interested in, and may be able to connect you to them.

Many of your friends in college are also a underused resource. Some of them have likely spent time researching companies in your desired industry- they may know of opportunities that you may be interested in. Ask about their past internship experiences- it may provide relevant insight about a specific company or general industry you are interested in.

Mtn Dew

Mtn Dew is a unique soda brand that focuses on its true target audience. This is an important lesson for college students. Stay true to yourself, because people can tell when you are faking it.

If you aren’t really interested in a job or internship, do not waste time pursuing the opportunity. It will be obvious to anyone interviewing you. You are unique and should find opportunities that allow you to use what you bring to the table- do not lose faith in that.

Tesla Motors

For those of you who do not know, Tesla Motors is a car company that creates electric vehicles. They are a new brand and they have gained massive brand recognition from celebrity purchases.

The best part of their brand is that almost all of the people who buy one of their cars beome brand ambassadors. They advocate for their brand wherever they go and with whomever is interested.

Developing brand ambassadors is the best way to move your brand forward. Your bosses and the people you work with can become brand ambassadors. They will become amazing references for you. This is so crucial especially when you are interviewing for jobs. If you have an amazing reference, it may get you the job over someone else.

Virgin America

Virgin America has a great social media presence. They use social media to respond quickly to customers’ problems. For instance, they will go to the gate to meet a customer who had a bad flight, or communicate with the flight crew to make sure a passenger gets his or her meal.

Having a social media presence is a must for any Gen Yer. It is the newest and latest in marketing, and it is a great way to make personal connections and find possible job opportunities. Having a positive digital footprint allows anyone who searches your name to see the best of what you’ve done and who you are.


Shannon is a senior at Boston University majoring in Advertising in the College of Communication. She has experience working for NBC Universal in New York City as well as PJA Advertising and Marketing in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She loves clean functional digital design. Digital is the future of advertising and marketing and Shannon likes to stay involved and on trend. Visit her website or follow her on Twitter.

Related posts:

  1. Are you learning everything you need to know?
  2. Learning Doesn’t Stop in Class
  3. Personal Branding with Purpose: What’s Your Intention?

One Response to “Learning From Some of America’s Hottest Brands”

  1. avatar Annelie Näs says:

    Thanks for this article Shannon, I really liked the connections that you made. Especially the one with and seeing every meeting as an investment. I should spend some more time on that.

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