( guest lecture on future branding trends @ google venice )

I’m grateful for the chance to speak at the Google Venice campus recently and I wanted to share a slice of what I typically deep dive into when I’m traveling around the world, speaking on the future of branding:


Industry observers noted Popeyes' new chicken sandwich looked a lot like the Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich with its pickles and buttered bun. Chick-fil-A tweets, “Bun + Chicken + Pickles = all the [heart] for the original” about its own chicken sandwich. To which Popeyes replied with a cryptic, “... y’all good?”

Thinknum, a web platform that allows investors to get data driven investment ideas by monitoring companies' websites, declared Popeye’s the winner of what is now referred to as the spat it called “Chickengate”.

Hundreds of thousands of internet users rushed to defend Popeyes. This show of support allowed Popeyes to pick-up 25,000 new followers overnight. In contrast, Chick-fil-A picked-up just 10,000. Popeyes announces that they have run out of the sandwiches.

In the end, Popeyes earned anywhere from $20 million to $23 million from its new chicken sandwich and the controversy that attended its reveal. Equivalent to the ad value across digital, print, social, TV and radio in only 11 days. Some say a lot of the hype that led to the success of Popeye's chicken sandwich can be credited to... Black Twitter.


  • Did people REALLY like chicken or did they enjoy the messaging of supporting the little guy?

  • Imagine if instead of rushing to the aid of Popeyes, we rushed to the aid of social organizations or other small businesses that need your support?

  • Social Media, especially Black Twitter was quickly dismissed as an anomaly, not a trend. Why?


Diversity and Inclusion: Today, 60% of Latinos are Millennials or younger. 50% of the Black population is Millennial or younger. In addition to their sheer numbers, the economic strength of Black and Latino consumers is on the rise, representing the two largest multicultural market groups and accounting for a combined $2.5 trillion in annual purchasing power.

Emerging Technologies: The Future of Work, Automated tools, AI, and technology are making workflows easier to manage to trim the fat with costs and time wasters. This provides more opportunities for brainstorming, creativity, and using emerging technologies to your advantage; Targeted Ads are becoming more critical to your success.


Now, if this interests you and you want to learn more… just take one step to level up and choose one of the following:

  1. Follow me and DM me on Instagram: @cjjohnsonjr. I’d love to hear from you.

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  3. Book me for your next event, lecture, seminar, panel, etc and let’s dive into the latest news you should know.

CJ JohnsonComment