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185 Where Is Consumer Spending Heading? | Pirates Perspective

LOM_Episodes-185 Pirates Perspective Consumer Spending

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, we are presenting some Pirates Perspective from our newsletter, Category Pirates about consumer spending trends.

Eddie Yoon, Christopher Lochhead and Katrina Kirsch of Category Pirates discuss the latest consumer spending reports and what they mean for the retail category and retail category queens. They also dive into a category opportunity for McDonalds and how it could impact the future of food delivery.

Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind.

The Changing Retail Landscape

Eddie Yoon examines the evolving economic landscape and its impact on U.S. consumers. Employing a Category Science lens, Eddie highlights significant disparities in economic indicators. Disposable personal income in July saw a mere 0.15% uptick, the year’s lowest, while personal consumption expenditures (PCE) surged by 0.82%, marking a 2023 high. This income-spending disconnect raises concerns.

Eddie notes the imminent return of student loan payments, averaging $503 per month, which may strain disposable income. Loan delinquencies, nearing 2020 levels, signal financial challenges. Notably, a fourfold increase in young adults aged 25 to 34 living with parents since the 1960s reflects economic constraints driving lifestyle changes.

Prompted by Christopher, Eddie also identifies two contrasting trends: robust growth in experiences and personal transformations versus declining interest in traditional goods. While international travel and categories like medical aesthetics flourish, traditional retailers like Target, Kroger, and Home Depot report declining revenues. Eddie predicts a future marked by consolidation and M&A, with only a select few brands and private labels surviving.

Navigating the Shifting Consumer-Driven Economy

Christopher Lochhead and Eddie Yoon then tackle the intriguing dual signals in the economy, driven by increasing digital influence on consumer behavior. On one hand, positive indicators suggest the American consumer remains a key economic driver, with retail sales growing by 0.6% in August and a forecasted real GDP growth of 3.5% for the third quarter.

However, Eddie Yoon emphasizes the underlying shifts: Consumers are driving economic growth through increased credit spending, but it raises questions about sustainability. Many are making significant changes in their financial habits, including declining college enrollments, reduced home purchases, and a lower birth rate, all contributing to a redefined economic landscape.

The trend toward single-person households, now at 29%, signifies a fundamental shift in the traditional nuclear household model. While the macroeconomic picture may still appear positive, these changes point to a significant remaking of the American economy, shaped by evolving consumer preferences influenced by digital transformations.

McDonald’s Dilemma

Christopher and Eddie then discuss McDonald’s recent announcement to phase out fountain drinks inside their stores by 2032, which highlights a significant shift in consumer behavior. Currently, 40% of their revenue is generated through app purchases, delivery, and drive-thru, indicating a decline in physical store visits. This trend reflects the changing preferences of Native Digitals, who prefer digital-first experiences and the conveniences they bring.

As consumers become more discerning and value experiences over material possessions, businesses need to adapt to these mega trends. Eddie Yoon points out that while some trends are favorable, like digital and app-focused sales, the shift in product mix poses challenges. McDonald’s heavily relies on the profitability of fountain drinks, which drive a substantial portion of their margins. However, the convenience of home beverages and changing consumer preferences may lead to a decline in the sale of large-size drinks at McDonald’s, impacting their profitability in this area.

To learn more about the Pirates’ solution to McDonald’s dilemma and more on consumer spending trends, download and listen to the episode. If you want to join in the discussion, subscribe to Category Pirates and find more Pirates Perspective buried around the beach.

Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and subscribe on iTunes!

330 The World’s Leading Alien Hunter: Harvard’s Top Astronomer Dr. Avi Loeb, Author of Interstellar

FYD EPISODE 330 Dr Avi Loeb

On this episode of Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different, Dr. Avi Loeb makes a return to discuss why traditional science and academic circles still consider researching aliens as taboo. If you are not familiar with Dr. Avi Loeb and his work, you can check out our previous conversations with him (FYD 202 & FYD 230).

Dr. Avi Loeb is the most credential scientist and astronomer ever to say that we have been visited by something outside of our galaxy that is alien in nature. He also has a new book out called Interstellar: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life and Our Future in the Stars.

And now, Professor Loeb with his team are the first ever to discover and retrieve interstellar objects that landed on Earth. And even further, Professor Loeb says that he thinks there’s a case to be made that these remnants of these objects that came from outside of our solar system and landed in our ocean could be alien. So if you are interested in that and things from outside our earth, stay tuned to this episode.

You’re listening to Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different. We are the real dialogue podcast for people with a different mind. So get your mind in a different place, and hey ho, let’s go.

Dr. Avi Loeb and his Interstellar discovery

The conversation begins with Christopher expressing his admiration for Professor Loeb’s work and delves into the controversial nature of his recent actions. Professor Avi Loeb then talks about his expedition to Papua New Guinea and its connection to a significant interstellar discovery.

Professor Loeb explains that his journey to Papua New Guinea was prompted by the detection of a fast-moving object that collided with Earth in 2014. This object exhibited unusual properties, including its high speed and material strength. It was determined to have come from outside the solar system, which sparked initial skepticism among his colleagues but was later confirmed by the US Space Command.

To investigate further, Professor Loeb led an expedition to the Pacific Ocean, where the object had crashed. The team used a specialized sled with magnets to collect millimeter-sized particles from the ocean floor, which had rained down during the object’s explosion. After extensive searching, they found molten droplets and other materials that provided crucial insights into the object’s composition and origin.

Dr. Avi Loeb and the Spaceballs

Professor Avi Loeb then talks about the remarkable discovery of spaceballs, which are unusual spherical objects with unique compositions.

Professor Loeb also adds that the expedition was a significant effort funded by private donors, emphasizing the extensive work put into the project. He then talks about receiving the spaceball materials at his doorstep via FedEx, and he wasn’t concerned about a slight delay given the billions of years it took for the materials to arrive on Earth.

They then talk in detail about the analysis of these spaceballs, with Professor Loeb’s intern, Sophie Bertram, helping to discover and analyze a significant number of them. They found three high-yield regions along the meteor’s path, suggesting these regions might correspond to the flares observed during the meteor’s entry. The composition of these spaceballs, dubbed “Bilbao,” was unique, containing elements not found in known Earth, Moon, Mars, or asteroid materials. This composition further supports the idea that these materials originated from outside the solar system.

Dr. Avi Loeb on the skepticism of Traditional Science

Professor Loeb explains that initially, there was skepticism from some colleagues and reviewers when the data about these interstellar landings that occurred in 2014, leading to a delay in publishing the findings.
However, three years later, the US Space Command formally confirmed the object’s interstellar nature with a high level of confidence. This confirmation prompted Professor Loeb to plan an expedition to Papua New Guinea, gather a team, design specialized equipment, and secure funding.

During the expedition, they discovered unique materials known as “spaceballs” that didn’t resemble anything from the solar system. This discovery further supported the US Space Command’s assertion about the object’s interstellar origin.

Professor Loeb expresses frustration with astronomers who clung to traditional models and refused to revise them in light of new data, referring to it as the “Stone Age of Science.” He highlights the importance of adjusting models when they don’t align with observed data.

To hear more from Dr. Avi Loeb and his interstellar discoveries, download and listen to this episode.


“The world’s leading alien hunter”—New York Times Magazine

Dr. Abraham (Avi) Loeb is the Frank B. Baird, Jr., Professor of Science at Harvard University.

He received a Ph.D. in Physics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel at age 24 (1980-1986), led the first international project supported by the Strategic Defense Initiative (1983-1988), and was subsequently a long-term member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton (1988-1993).

Loeb has written 8 books. These includes most recently, Extraterrestrial (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2021), and about 800 papers (with an h-index of 113) on a wide range of topics. Topics include black holes, the first stars, the search for extraterrestrial life and the future of the Universe.

He had been the longest-serving Chair of Harvard’s Department of Astronomy (2011-2020), Founding Director of Harvard’s Black Hole Initiative (2016-present), and Director of the Institute for Theory and Computation (2007-present) within the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

He is the Chair of the Board on Physics and Astronomy of the National Academies (2018-present). Additionally, he is also an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the American Physical Society, and the International Academy of Astronautics.

Loeb is a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) at the White House and a member of the Advisory Board for “Einstein: Visualize the Impossible” of the Hebrew University.

He also chairs the Advisory Committee for the Breakthrough Starshot Initiative (2016-present). Further, he serves as the Science Theory Director for all Initiatives of the Breakthrough Prize Foundation.

In 2012, TIME magazine selected Loeb as one of the 25 most influential people in space. In 2020 Loeb was selected among the 14 most inspiring Israelis of the last decade.

Click here for Loeb’s commentaries on innovation and diversity.


Learn more about Dr. Avi Loeb!

Harvard |  Harvard.eduWikipedia | Science Today

Amazon Books – Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth

Amazon Books – Interstellar: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life and Our Future in the Stars

Harper Collins – Interstellar: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life and Our Future in the Stars

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and subscribe on iTunes

184 Building Your Digital Reputation with Josh Greene, CEO of The Mather Group

On this episode, we have a powerful dialogue with our guest, Josh Greene about what it really takes to build your reputation online and do legendary marketing in the digital world.

Josh Greene is the CEO of The Mather Group. In a world of digital marketing BS, sophomores hacks and self-congratulatory vanity metrics, Josh is the real deal.

Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind.

Josh Greene on Marketing and Reputation Management

The episode starts off with a discussion about marketing trends and reputation management with Josh Greene. They touch upon the impact of AI on marketing strategies and delve into reputation management techniques. Christopher highlights how individuals with negative reputations try to bury their past misdeeds in online search results. Josh explains that reputation management involves manipulating search engine rankings to push down negative content and make it less visible, while at the same time providing more positive information about you or your company.

They also touch on the evolving landscape of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), with Josh emphasizing that SEO is not dead but constantly changing. He notes that traditional SEO tactics, such as keyword optimization, have evolved due to changes in Google’s algorithms and the increasing importance of AI-driven queries.

Josh Greene on what is the Internet thinking about you

They also discuss the topic of the evolving landscape of SEO and the impact of AI, particularly in large language models like ChatGPT and Bard. As mentioned earlier, Josh highlights how SEO has evolved beyond optimizing for Google to also include considerations for AI-driven queries. He then emphasizes the importance of managing one’s online reputation in this context.

On the topic of AI, Christopher shares his experience with ChatGPT, mentioning how it produced relevant results related to category design, which led him to ponder the connection between AI training data, the internet’s content, and these AI models’ abilities to provide meaningful information. He also mentions that experts in various fields, including category design, are actively teaching AI models to enhance their understanding and capabilities.

Josh Green on how to stand out from the crowd

They then discuss how to stand out in the digital landscape, particularly in the context of AI and SEO. Josh explains that AI models like those used by Google rely on credible sources, with Wikipedia and Google’s patent tool being primary sources. He emphasizes that credibility, links, and signals play a significant role in determining the relevance of content for AI models. Much like in SEO, authoritative content with strong signals will have a more substantial impact.

Christopher adds that AI is evolving similarly to SEO and mentions that some individuals are already trying to exploit AI for personal gain by selling courses on how to manipulate AI models. He highlights the importance of providing valuable content to help people rather than merely trying to stay ahead of trends or exploit emerging technologies.

They both agree that the key to success in the digital age, whether in AI or SEO, is delivering valuable content and expertise to genuinely assist others rather than chasing quick fixes or trends promoted by self-proclaimed gurus. They also note that having a real impact requires substance and credibility, not just buzzwords.

To hear more from Josh Greene and on how you can build your online reputation, download and listen to this episode.


Josh Greene


Connect with Josh Greene!

The Mather Group | LinkedIn

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and subscribe on iTunes!

329 The Power of Words with Dr. Valerie Fridland, #1 Bestselling Author of “Like, Literally, Dude”

FYD EPISODE 329 Dr Valerie Fridland

Nothing is more powerful than words. Yet we seldom realize that our most private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of languages and images, which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society. Today, we go deep into the power of words and much more with our guest, Dr. Valerie Fridland.

Dr. Valerie Fridland is a professor of linguistics at the University of Nevada in Reno. She writes a popular language blog on psychology today called Language in the Wild. Her new book is the number one bestseller. It’s called, Like, Literally, Dude, arguing for the good in bad English. So if you love words, thinking, and thinking about words, you’re gonna love Dr. Valerie.

You’re listening to Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different. We are the real dialogue podcast for people with a different mind. So get your mind in a different place, and hey ho, let’s go.

Dr. Valerie Fridland on how Language evolves over time

The conversation starts with Christopher asking if the emergence of new phrases that some people dislike is a part of how language changes and develops. Dr. Valerie Fridland explains that language evolution involves a combination of factors, including how our brains and mouths work, societal influences, and the goal of maximizing communication with minimal effort. Language not only conveys information but also communicates social facts and signals about relationships and context.

Dr. Valerie mentions that language naturally tends to become more efficient in terms of pronunciation over time. For instance, sounds that are harder to articulate tend to simplify, such as the evolution of “th” sounds into sounds like “f” or “v.” Despite these natural linguistic changes, people often criticize them as lazy or uneducated.

Christopher shares examples of pronunciation differences he’s noticed over time, like the word “details” and “insurance”. Dr. Valerie explains that these changes often involve shifts in stress patterns, where certain syllables become emphasized while others are de-stressed. This shift in stress patterns can be influenced by various factors, including the influence of other languages or dialects.

The shifting of words due to culture and society

Dr. Valerie and Christopher then continue the discussion about the shift of words due to cultural and contextual changes over time.  They explore the evolution of the word “stone” from its Old English origins as “stainaz” to its modern form, which was influenced by contact with Old Norse and Anglo Norman French. This emphasizes how language changes in response to historical interactions and influences.

They also discuss the evolution of the word “partner” and how it reflects changes in societal attitudes towards relationships. Initially associated with business partnerships, “partner” expanded to include romantic or committed relationships, especially within the LGBTQ+ community as social acceptance grew. Younger generations commonly use “partner” to refer to their significant others, regardless of their gender or marital status. Valerie explains that language adapts to describe new concepts or changing social norms, often by repurposing existing words rather than creating entirely new ones.

Dr. Valerie Fridland on Neologism

Neologism refers to the creation of entirely new words, not borrowed from other languages. Christopher initially confuses neologism with someone who invents new words, but Dr. Valerie Fridland clarifies that it involves creating completely new words.

They discuss examples related to language innovation. Christopher mentions how businesses like Starbucks introduce new words or repurpose existing ones to create new categories, as seen with “latte” and “grande.” Valerie explains that these are not neologisms but rather the borrowing or repurposing of words.

The conversation delves into the concept of creating new words through morphological processes like adding suffixes, as seen with “palooza” and “gate.” These processes involve attaching meaningful elements to existing roots, creating new words that build on old word parts.

Christopher provides an example of how he playfully tweaks expressions to make them more accurate, such as saying “to make a long story longer” instead of the common “to make a long story short.” Dr. Valerie describes this as a form of linguistic extravagance, where novelty and unexpected language use attract attention and cognitive focus.

To hear more from Dr. Valerie Fridland and the power of words in our culture and society, download and listen to this episode.


Valerie M. Fridland, Ph.D.

Sociolinguist, Professor, Author

With a PhD in linguistics, Dr. Valerie Fridland is a Professor and former Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of English at the University of Nevada in Reno.  An expert on the relationship between language and society, her work has appeared in numerous academic journals and she is co-author of the book Sociophonetics.

​Dr. Valerie also speaks and writes widely for a popular audience. Her language blog, Language in the Wild, appears in Psychology Today and her lecture series, Language and Society, is featured with The Great Courses.  Her first book for a popular audience, Like, Literally, Dude: Arguing for the Good in Bad English, is available for pre-order with Viking/Penguin Press.  She has appeared as a language expert on a variety of media outlets such as CBS News, NPR and Newsy’s The Why and is regularly featured on podcasts and radio.

Dr. Valerie Fridland lives with her husband and two teenagers in the beautiful Reno/Tahoe area.


Connect with Dr. Valerie Fridland!

Dr. Valerie’s website | LinkedIn | Language in the Wild | Like, Literally, Dude

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and subscribe on iTunes!

328 Crime, Justice, & America with Morgan Wright & Steve Murphy, Hosts of The Game of Crimes Podcast

FYD EPISODE 328 Morgan Wright and Steve Murphy Game of Crimes Podcast

On this episode of Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different, we have a riveting dialogue with two of America’s favorite crime fighters. The hosts of the Game of Crimes Podcast are here: Morgan Wright and Steve Murphy.

Steve Murphy was one of the real DEA Narcos who took down Pablo Escobar. The Netflix series Narcos is based on his work.

Morgan Wright spent 18 years in state and local law enforcement is a highly decorated police officers state trooper and detective. He was even trained by the original members of the FBI as Behavioral Science Unit on serial crime profiling, which led him to training spies and spooks at places like the NSA.

If you’re a crime buff care about justice and or care about the future of the United States, you’re going to love this episode.

You’re listening to Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different. We are the real dialogue podcast for people with a different mind. So get your mind in a different place, and hey ho, let’s go.

How Gangs are extending their Influence in certain parts of America

The conversation starts off with Steve Murphy sharing shocking revelations about Mexican gangs and their influence on California laws. He mentions their podcast called “Game of Crimes”, which has been running for over two years, and their recent episode about an interview with a former member of the Mexican Mafia, referred to as “Mundo.” They emphasize not sharing his real name due to safety concerns, as there is a history of violence associated with such revelations.

Steve explains further how criminal groups like the Mexican Mafia manipulate the California penal system and legislators. They work to secure more lenient laws, better prison conditions including improved food, reduced responsibilities, and access to phones for conducting criminal activities from behind bars. The speaker expresses how these criminals mock the California legislators, exploiting their reluctance to confront them, resulting in laws that favor the criminals. This situation is portrayed as detrimental to honest taxpayers in California, who end up losing out.

On Gangs using children in their operations

The conversation continues as they discuss the disturbing trend of gangs involving children in their criminal operations, particularly in relation to Mexican fentanyl gangs and trafficking. Christopher expresses his shock about the leniency of consequences for minors involved in serious crimes due to certain laws in California. He describes a conversation with a police chief who shared a case of a 14 or 15-year-old who stabbed a rival gang member and received only a three-month ankle bracelet as punishment.

They then delve into the concept of gangs using children, mentioning how historically even New York City drug dealers employed young kids as lookouts. Steve Murphy shares insights into the psychology of recruitment, explaining how gangs exploit children’s need for attention and affection, particularly in impoverished neighborhoods where parental support may be lacking, and the allure of earning “easy money” even as a child. This dynamic leads to these kids being drawn into gang activities.

Morgan Wright adds that Mexican fentanyl gangs are trafficking even children, who are forced into various criminal roles such as drug distribution, human trafficking, and even employment. He highlights the shift in focus for cartels from drug trafficking to human trafficking due to the increased profits and lower risks involved. The term “Minutemen” is mentioned, referencing how quickly kids are released from custody due to relaxed laws, allowing gangs to maintain control over them easily.

Keeping children out of jail

Morgan Wright then stresses how important it is to keep children out of the streets and jails, so they do not fall further into the machinations of these gangs.

“The intervention has to start early and often because if you don’t, they’ll arrive at a path to where as he could either stay on the good side, or he could go to the other side. And it’s that age around 12 or 13 is the one of the most critical times for a kid.”

– Morgan Wright

He says that once these kids start getting involved in gangs, it’s like a rabbit hole that sucks them in deeper, and it’ll be harder to get them out later on. You’ll not only be fighting the gangs, but also these young adults as well, because now they think that’s the only thing they can do with their life.

To hear more from Morgan Wright and Steve Murphy and the current state of Crimes and Justice in America, download and listen to this episode.


Morgan Wright

Morgan spent 18 years in state and local law enforcement as a highly decorated police officer, state trooper and detective.

He solved a lot of cases, interviewed a lot people, and interrogated a bunch of suspects.

In fact, he was trained by the original members of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit on serial crime profiling.

This led to him training spies and spooks at places like the NSA.

Morgan’s sister once accused him of being a spy because he was spending a lot of time in foreign countries like Pakistan, Turkey, Colombia and the Middle East.

To this day, Morgan denies that accusation, saying “You can’t prove it…so there.”

He continues to do a LOT of stuff on television talking about cyberterrorism and other things Murph doesn’t understand.

Morgan is the co-host of The Game of Crimes Podcast.

Steve Murphy

Yes, he and Javier Pena helped catch Pablo Escobar. So he’s got that going for him.

Netflix made a big deal out of it and created one of the most successful series ever called “Narcos”.

The scenes where Steve looks good are all true according to…Steve.

During his long career he helped bring down dangerous drug traffickers, dismantled criminal organizations, and worked with state and local law enforcement to go after the worst of the worst.

Their bestselling book “Manhunters: How We Took Down Pablo Escobar” is a must-read for anyone who wants to know what it takes to bring down the world’s first narcoterrorist.

When Steve isn’t podcasting or getting lost driving around town, he and Javier are traveling the globe doing live presentations. Check them out at DEA Narcos.

Steve is also the co-host of The Game of Crimes Podcast.


Connect with Steve Murphy and Morgan Wright

LinkedIn: Morgan Wright | LinkedIn: Steve Murphy | DEA Narcos

The Game of Crimes Podcast | Manhunters: How We Took Down Pablo Escobar

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and subscribe on iTunes!

183 What Barbie Can Teach Tech CEOs About Marketing

183 What Barbie Can Teach Tech CEOs About Marketing

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let’s take a look on what the movie Barbie did to reach such an overwhelming success, and what Tech CEOs can learn about their approach to marketing.

Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind.

Barbie’s Approach to Marketing

Christopher Lochhead opens up the dialogue with pointing out the things that the Barbie producers did that made it a blockbuster win, particularly with what they did on the marketing side. According to Christopher, Barbie pulled off the greatest “lightning strike” framework of any brand in 2023.

One of the notable things that stood out was that Barbie spent $145M on producing the film, while spending almost $150M on marketing.

Let that sink in: $145M to make it, $150M to build it up.

Most companies would consider it outrageous to do such a thing, opting to focus their resources on building the product and spending what’s left on marketing, if any. And this is why most of those companies fail to make a mark and carve out a market early on in their product’s lifecycle.

How about Barbie? Well, it spent a combined $295M, but that marketing approach resulted in $1B in sales. $145M to make it, $150M to build. $1B in revenue.

Barbie’s Missed Opportunity

That said, Christopher did point out a few missed avenues that Barbie could’ve made to take advantage of their marketing strategy. For one thing, they left the digital space widely untapped, spawning newsletters and enticing new generations of girls to getting into collecting Barbies and other related merchandise.

Another thing they could’ve done is get older fans together and start building out a community in the digital sphere and talk all things Barbie. Not only does it heavily hit people in their nostalgia, but it can also help expose those older generation’s children into Barbie, and then you are back to point no. 1.

The Recession that Never Came

One of the things that Christopher also noticed with Barbie’s approach is that people are still bracing for a recession that seemingly never came, or at least was not as full-blown as we were expecting it to be. While everyone else was still timidly testing the waters, Barbie decided it would make a big splash instead.

So for Tech CEOs out there, it may not be the time to be holding down the fort. Rather, it should be a good time to try and hurl some lightning strikes in the market and see if you strike gold.

To hear more about Christopher Lochhead’s views on Barbie’s success and how it can teach tech CEOS about marketing, download and listen to this episode.


Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger.

He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur.

Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist.

In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion.

He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive.

Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and subscribe on iTunes!

327 Queer In The C-Suite with Jim Fielding, Bestselling Author of All Pride No Ego: A Queer Executive’s Journey to Living and Leading Authentically

Many of us are different; and for many of us being different is a superpower. But what do you do if your different is not always accepted in the business world? How can you use your different as an advantage? We get into that and much more with our guest, Jim Fielding.

Jim Fielding has had an extraordinary executive career, working at the highest levels of some of the most well-known and respected corporations in the world companies like The Gap, Disney, DreamWorks, and 20th Century Fox. And Jim’s got a stunning new book out. It’s called All Pride, No Ego: A queer executive’s journey to living and leading authentically.

Today, we get into all of it: from how to have a legendary career as an openly gay man and how to be different. We also dig into many of the thorny social dynamics that are being discussed and dealt with right now around the LGBTQ+ community in modern America.

You’re listening to Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different. We are the real dialogue podcast for people with a different mind. So get your mind in a different place, and hey ho, let’s go.

Jim Fielding on being Different and having the Freedom to follow it

The conversation starts off with Jim’s younger years, as he reveals that he felt different around the age of six or seven and had a sense of destiny beyond his hometown.

He grew up in Toledo, Ohio, near Lake Erie, and had a middle-class upbringing with a firefighter father and stay-at-home mom. But he has always felt that his parents gave him a sense of freedom early on.

Jim’s book, which was initially meant for 2024, has taken on more urgency amid the evolving LGBTQ+ rights movement. He shares how it has evolved into a platform for conversations, community building, and addressing inequities. They then talk about the impact of the book and how Jim is using his platform to advocate for marginalized communities and human rights.

Jim Fielding on the state of queer communities then and now

They then talk about the state of queer communities over the years. Jim Fielding discusses the evolution of attitudes towards LGBTQ+ individuals and their experiences.

Jim reflects on the changing landscape and the challenges faced by the queer community. He notes that the current situation feels like a mix of progress and regression, with moments of hope interspersed with concerning headlines about anti-LGBTQ legislation and discrimination. Jim emphasizes the need to own the narrative and stand up against efforts to push the community back into the closet. He draws parallels to historical moments, such as the fight for rights in the 1960s and the AIDS crisis in the 1980s.

Despite all these, Jim’s optimism remains strong, bolstered by the resilience of the queer community and the activism of younger generations.

On standing up and being an Ally

The conversation then shifts to Christopher’s perspective as an ally and his observations about changing attitudes. He contrasts the comparatively accepting atmosphere of the 1970s and 1980s, exemplified by cultural icons like David Bowie and Annie Lennox, with the challenges faced during the AIDS epidemic and subsequent backlash. He expresses confusion about the shifts in attitudes and experiences, wondering if his memories of acceptance were naive or if there has been a recent shift.

Jim offers insights into the impact of the AIDS epidemic on perceptions of the LGBTQ+ community and the subsequent challenges it faced. He discusses how this period led to a more pronounced demonization of LGBTQ+ individuals, especially by conservative groups. They also touch on the struggle for marriage equality and the ongoing fight for LGBTQ+ rights.


Jim Fielding, a proud Ohio native and Indiana University Hoosier, started his career on the department store floor.

Over the next 30 years, he would lead some of the world’s most beloved media and retail brands, including The Gap, Disney, Claire’s, Dreamworks, and 20th Century Fox.

Jim is known for his ability to combine storytelling and product merchandising into unforgettable consumer experiences. As culture builder and talent spotter, he has recruited and trained global leaders in a variety of disciplines and at all levels.

Today, Jim spends his time and talents on independent media, entrepreneurship, higher education, and philanthropy.

He’s a Partner at Archer Gray, an independent media company inspiring change through storytelling and innovative brand collaborations.

Jim is also the founder of the boutique consultancy, Intersected Stories, and proudly serves as part-time Executive-In-Residence for IU Ventures and The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

He is also an active angel investor and advisor to early-stage startups and their founders.

Jim has been active in philanthropy for over 25 years, serving on the boards of charitable organizations like Make-A-Wish, GLSEN, Kidspace Children’s Museum, and the American Red Cross.

He was recognized by the Walt Disney Company as Executive Volunteer of the year in 2011.

More recently, Jim has become a vocal advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and social justice.

Jim currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his partner, Joseph, and their dogs, Cricket and Olive. In the summers, you will find him lounging lakeside in Northern Michigan.


Connect with Jim Fielding!

Archer Gray | LinkedIn | Instagram | All Pride, No Ego | More about Jim

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and subscribe on iTunes!

182 Is Twitter’s Rebrand to X a Category Design Play? | Pirates Perspective

LOM_Episodes-182 Pirates Perspective Twitter Rebrand to X

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, we are presenting some Pirates Perspective from our newsletter, Category Pirates.

Eddie Yoon, Christopher Lochhead and Katrina Kirsch of Category Pirates discuss Elon Musk’s recent move to rebrand Twitter to X. They also speculate why Elon made such a move, and what he could have done from a category design perspective.

Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind.

Twitter to X

Elon Musk’s choice to rename Twitter as X has left people puzzled, questioning why he would give up a well-known brand and introduce a new one. Katrina follows up that the others think the move might be aimed at entering a different category, possibly related to financing. She wonders whether it would have been wiser to create a new company instead of rebranding Twitter.

Eddie Yoon discusses the debate surrounding the cost of rebranding and the value of legacy brand identity. He highlights that classic economic theory suggests ignoring sunk costs, which are expenses from the past, and instead focusing on future opportunities.

Eddie mentions that while some argue against rebranding due to the value of Twitter’s legacy brand, most consumers prioritize what a brand can offer them in the future rather than its past reputation. He suggests that rebranding can make sense when a company wants to enter new categories and emphasizes the importance of looking towards future opportunities rather than dwelling on the past. In Musk’s case, he’s not banking on the legacy of the brand itself, but the established userbase that Twitter has, who have a high potential of also buying in to what new category Twitter, now X, might become.

Elon Musk’s Mistake with the rebrand

While Christopher Lochhead agrees with Eddie Yoon’s points, he also believes that Elon Musk made a mistake by rebranding Twitter without clearly unveiling his vision for the new category of service he wants to create. He argues that a rebrand should be part of a strategic launch of a new category and not just a standalone action. The value of a brand lies in its perceived leadership in a relevant category, and in this case, the microblogging category may not be as impactful as before.

Although Elon Musk’s approach might not align with the ideal category design strategy, his reputation and influence will likely still garner attention when he eventually presents his big vision for the new category. But it definitely will lose some steam because the rebrand has become open to interpretation, rather than being focused on the intended category creation.

X as a financial category

The three further discuss the possibility of X creating a new currency or incorporating cryptocurrencies into its platform. Eddie mentions that X is already experiencing a shift in money flow, with revenue coming from both advertisers and users.

They also speculate that Elon Musk might have plans to introduce financial services or a new token (X token) on Twitter/X, incentivizing creators and potentially offering various payment options, including cryptocurrency. They compare this potential move to American Airlines’ frequent flyer program, which essentially created a currency in the form of loyalty points.

While they acknowledge they don’t have insider information, they highlight that Musk’s background with PayPal and his desire to make X a vital part of everyone’s life might lead to interesting developments.

To hear more about the discussion on what Elon plans to do with X, download and listen to this episode. If you want to join in the discussion, subscribe to Category Pirates and find more Pirates Perspective buried around the beach.

Don’t forget to grab a copy (or gift!) of one of our best-selling books:

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and subscribe on iTunes!

326 The Well-Lived Life with 102-year-old Dr. Gladys McGarey, “Mother of Holistic Medicine” & Bestselling Author

FYD EPISODE 326 Dr Gladys McGarey

We all want to live life well and long but oftentimes, life gets in the way of having a legendary life. But what if there are secrets to a well lived life? Today, we have a life affirming real dialogue with the legendary Dr. Gladys McGarey.

Dr. Gladys McGarey is a general practitioner, co-founder of the American Holistic Medical Association, and she’s a category designer who is considered the mother of holistic medicine.

Dr. Gladys is 102 years old; she began her medical practice at a time when women couldn’t even have their own bank accounts. She’s got a new number one best seller out and it’s already in its second printing, called The Well Lived Life, a 102-year-old doctors six secrets to health and happiness at every age. This conversation takes some fascinating and unexpected turns, and we hope you join us for it.

You’re listening to Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different. We are the real dialogue podcast for people with a different mind. So get your mind in a different place, and hey ho, let’s go.

Dr. Gladys McGarey on the Importance on focusing on Life and Love

We start the conversation with Dr. Gladys, who is more than 100 years old, and they discuss how amazing it is to communicate through modern technology.

Dr. Gladys expresses her conflicted views on technology’s impact, suggesting that the lack of real-life experiences and love in young people’s lives might contribute to violence.

She then shares a story about using dogs in the classroom to provide children with a sense of real love, which could prevent harmful behaviors. She also talks about the power of animals to bring joy and love, and how Dr. Gladys’ upbringing in India reinforced the importance of love in healing and how it is a powerful medicine, as described in Dr. Gladys’ book.

Dr. Gladys McGarey on how to make do with what you have

Dr. Gladys discusses the benefits of modern technology, as well as acknowledge some concerns that herself has. She reflects on her medical career, recognizing the limitations of past practices and the importance of evolving with new knowledge.

She shares a dream that led to the realization of the interconnectedness of masculine and feminine energies. They explore the concept of feminine gestation and manifestation, emphasizing the need to understand and appreciate this process in addition to traditional manifestations. Dr. Gladys suggests that acknowledging and accepting this holistic approach could lead to better outcomes, instead of rejecting them outright.

Find her Voice in her 90s

In her 90s, Dr. Gladys had a breakthrough in finding her voice and embracing her true humanity.

She had always sought validation from others and struggled to trust her own voice. Through a dream, she had a profound realization that her voice mattered and was essential to express her soul essence. This led her to write a book with a deeper focus on the inner aspect of the Divine, emphasizing life and love.

She believes that as humans, we are reaching for our true humanity, understanding the importance of caring for each other and the Earth rather than seeking dominance. Dr. Gladys sees simplicity in embracing life and love as essential elements of our existence.

To hear more from Dr. Gladys McGarey and her views on how to live a fulfilled life, download and listen to this episode.


Dr. Gladys McGarey is 102 years old in 2023, at the time of the publication of her book “The Well-Lived Life: A 102-Year-Old Doctor’s Six Secrets to Health and Happiness at Every Age”

Dr. Gladys is also still a consulting doctor.

Recognized as a pioneer of the allopathic and holistic medical movements, she is also a founding diplomat of the American Board of Holistic Medicine.

She is the cofounder and past president of the American Holistic Medical Association, as well as the cofounder of the Academy of Parapsychology and Medicine and the founder of The International Academy of Clinical Hypnosis.

Dr. Gladys lives and works in Scottsdale, Arizona, where for many years she shared a medical practice with her daughter.

She currently has a medical consulting practice, maintains a healthy diet, and enjoys a good piece of cake every now and then.


Connect with Dr. Gladys McGarey!

Dr. Gladys’ Website | The Well-Lived Life | More info on Dr. Gladys

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and subscribe on iTunes!