Have you ever wondered why milk is required in public school lunches? The United States is the only country in the world that requires children to drink cow’s milk.
“Holy crap, what are we doing? Why are we feeding – especially to children, of which 70 percent of them cannot digest – Why are we making them drink this fluid?”
It’s a little weird, no?
Maybe it wasn’t so weird in the 1940s… 1840s… or 840s…
Today, however, we’ve learned a thing or two about how cow’s milk affects our bodies.
“Upwards of 70 percent of the world’s population cannot digest cow’s milk, and it makes you quite sick – this lactose intolerance. I’ll tell you, it’s pretty awful.
“Wheezing, stuffy nose, coughing. And then big-time gut distress: constipation, diarrhea, bloating, cramping.
“It’s pretty gnarly.”
It may take some time for us to shake the familiarity of cow’s milk in our diets. We’ve been inundated with cow’s milk (or just “milk,” for the layperson) from ads, culture, government requirements, lobbyist pressure, and dairy farmers.
Here’s The Truth About Milk…
Milk is meant for the babies of the mammals producing it. Cow’s milk is for calves. Human milk is for babies. Cat’s milk is for kittens. You get it.
Mammalian milk contains the necessary fats and vitamins for us to grow into strong healthy grown mammals. We, and every other infant mammal, contain an enzyme that allows us to digest that milk. That enzyme disappears once breastfeeding has concluded.
Northern European farmers were among the first to go “You know what? I want to try that cow’s milk. I mean… why not, right?” roughly 6000 years ago. Or so the theory states. Over time, they developed a genetic mutation to the enzyme that allows us to digest milk. These humans evolved to digest cow’s milk for as long as they were alive.
This familiarity with cow’s milk extended into the business world when it came time to make money off of that sweet, sweet utter juice. Milk was everywhere: delivered to our door by the milkman, in our schools, in our breakfast cereals.
Imagine getting made fun of for not putting milk in your cereal as a kid. Guess who’s the weirdo now, Stacy?!
Soon enough, “Got Milk?” entered the zeitgeist. Along with it, the idea that to be a successful athlete, you needed to drink milk. If Cal Ripken can play more consecutive games than any other baseball player, it must be the milk, right?
Speaking of athletes. Did you know that milk is the official sponsor of Team USA?
PED – Performance Enhancing Dairy
“New Zealand and the United States are the only countries in the world whose Olympic Committees are not government funded. They have to go out and get private funding.”
Enter the dairy industry to save the day! With “Got Milk?” featuring every famous athlete under the sun, it makes total sense that they would sponsor the Olympics. Since the government can’t be bothered, apparently.
“I have been exposed to and definitely pressured upon throughout that journey that milk – the mammalian secretions of the cow – are the only real way for athletes to recover from hard workouts, the only real way to build muscle and muscle tissue, and to repair and recover.
“I started to peel back all of the layers on everything that I had been taught and learned and really recognized that it was truly coming from a marketing perspective, not from an evidence-based perspective.”
It was at that moment, during the 2012 London Games (after winning the Silver in cycling), that inspired Dotsie Bausch to start Switch4Good.
“I had this idea to put on a commercial on the closing ceremonies of what then was the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang on NBC that basically has seven of us, all Olympic athletes from four different countries.
“We’re standing up and saying, ‘Hey, guess what? We don’t need cows’ milk to recover. This isn’t the truth. It’s not a thing. And there are thousands of athletes that are finding a new way forward.’
“The dairy industry got it kicked off after it aired three times.”
Angering The Milk Masters
That move only served to fire Dotsie Bausch and her fellow athletes up. After being silenced by the dairy lobby, Switch4Good only got deeper and more motivated. The best way to crush your adversary is to silence them, right?
Smooth move, milk hawkers. You couldn’t just let it be. You just had to keep making your milk money.
Thanks to Big Milk’s fear and power, Switch4Good got strategizing.
“We work in two ways: behavior and culture change, but we also work on systemic change. We do quite a bit of work right now specifically to change the laws in the United States: that children have to be fed cow’s milk in schools. And if they don’t want one, they have to have a milk note from their parents.
“So, we’re working with members of Congress. It’s actually a regulatory change, not a statutory change. So it doesn’t have to be voted on.”
They even had a win.
“One of our big wins from last year was getting the dietary guidelines of America to put soy milk in as nutritionally equivalent so that here is a choice.
“Now we have to implement the choice into schools.”
Soy milk?! In public schools?! How… reasonable.
Some of you may consider soy milk in public schools to be hippie nonsense. But you’d be wrong. What is nonsense is drinking mammalian secretions from a mammal that is not at all related to humans.
Frankly, gorilla milk would make more sense.
Switch4Good and its mission to convert all dairy consumers into non-dairy consumers is an uphill battle. There isn’t just resistance from the powerful dairy industry. There’s personal resistance from smaller communities.
It wouldn’t be America without someone yelling, “You can’t tell me what to do!” Right?
Dotsie Bausch understands this better than you think.
“I grew up for thirty-five years of my life eating animals and the products of animals . . . loving animals, but mistreating them via I was a competitive horseback rider. So, it’s a journey and it’s painful to unpack 100 percent.”
“If you believe that we’re all equal – and I mean all – whether you have four legs or two, whether you have hair all over your body or just on your head – that [humans and animals] should have a relationship of mutuality and respect, not extraction.
“And that is how we treat so many animals – especially our food – as a product to extract from.
“That’s not equality, and I don’t think that’s fair.”
Convincing The Milk Drinkers
When it comes to convincing people to Switch4Good (see what I did there?) the strategies vary. What often gets people in the door is their own health. Say you want to cut dairy out and you start by drinking your coffee black. The idea of keeping yourself healthy is enough to check out Switch4Good and what they have to offer.
That, as Dotsie Basuch has pointed out, isn’t the “stickiest” of strategies. People give up on themselves for a variety of reasons.
If Dotsie Bausch and company want people to Switch4Good (look, I did it again!) they need to consider all strategies. One of the “stickiest,” according to market research, is the ethics side to this debate.
How Does Bessie Feel?
Imagine, just for a moment, that you’re a cow. You’re just trying to live your life, eating your cud, enjoying the sun, lying down when it’s about to rain. It’s kinda nice, no?
All is well when – suddenly – your perfectly nice day is interrupted by forcible impregnation.
You carry your calf to term, about nine months or so. Then you give birth (hopefully with the help of a ranchhand in the midst of their own coming-of-age story).
THEN, if forced impregnation wasn’t enough, you have your beautiful baby calf taken away from you.
Now, the milk you have produced to make your calf big and strong is now being harvested and extracted for some other entitled mammal to consume from a tiny paper carton in between math and gym.
Not only that, but sometimes it’s wasted through the nose of some snotty child, or mixed with chocolate like some kind of dessert! It’s even been used to ruin perfectly delicious coffee.
So, you’re forced to have a calf, it’s taken from you, and so is the milk you produce. All for the glorious pleasure of wealthy industry tycoons. Then, next year, it happens all over again.
Not so fun being the cow, is it?
Taking On Big Milk
Dotsie Bausch and Switch4Good have their work cut out for them. They’re fighting an uphill battle against industry, government, culture, and the stubborn.
“We’re still at the beginning. So quite honestly, I feel proud of the team that goes out every day – no matter how many doors are slammed in our face – because the door slams multiple times a day. It’s not like we’re getting water to children in sub-Saharan Africa. Everybody on planet Earth is like, ‘Yup, that’s a good idea!’ We are still seeding the idea that [consuming dairy] is not a good idea.
“We’re not doing something that’s popular. We’re doing something that’s straight up against the grain . . . eye-to-eye with the status quo. And it’s hard to get up every day with hope because it’s not wildly popular what we’re doing – nor do many people want to lean into it – it’s very hard to get attention and recognition.
“It’s the fierceness and the grit of the team to wake up every day and get creative and keep fighting.”
If anyone can get everyone in the world to Switch4Good (last time, I swear) it’s Dotsie Bausch and company.
Will you Switch4Good?
Embrace Failure to Unlock Success: 3 TED Talks That Show Us How
We’ve all experienced it – that sinking feeling of disappointment in the wake of a perceived failure. It’s a universal moment where aspirations seem to crumble and self-doubt looms large.
If you’re in that place right now and are looking for inspiration, you’ve landed on the right article.
In this post, we delve into three TED Talks that unpack the enigma of failure and its unexpected role in cultivating success. These talks offer a kaleidoscope of perspectives on why failure isn’t just an inevitable milestone but a necessary companion on the road to success.
1. Embrace the near win (Sarah Lewis)
When talking about success and mastery, the concept of failure often carries a negative connotation, something people try to avoid. However, in her enlightening 2014 TED Talk, “Embrace the Near Win,” art historian Sarah Lewis offers a refreshing perspective on the role of near-failures in our journey toward success.
Her insights, drawn from a blend of personal experiences and historical anecdotes, reveal the hidden power of the almost-failure, the near win, in shaping our path to mastery.
Lewis’s journey into understanding the value of near wins began with her first job at the Museum of Modern Art, working on a retrospective of painter Elizabeth Murray. She recalls a significant moment when Murray pointed out that some of her early works didn’t meet her expectations. One piece, deemed a failure by Murray, was discarded, only to be rescued by a neighbor who saw its value.
This incident sparked a realization in Lewis: success is fleeting, but the pursuit of creativity and mastery is a continuous process. It’s not the success itself but the near wins along the way that propel us forward.
“Mastery is not a commitment to a goal but to a constant pursuit.” – Sarah Lewis
Lewis extends this concept through the metaphor of archery, describing a visit to watch varsity archers. She observed the archer’s paradox, where the path to hitting the target involves aiming slightly off-course. This paradox mirrors the journey to mastery – it’s not about hitting the bullseye with every shot but understanding and valuing the near misses that drive continuous improvement.
As Lewis eloquently puts it, “Mastery is in the reaching, not the arriving. It’s in constantly wanting to close that gap between where you are and where you want to be.”
- Actionable Tip: Start recognizing and valuing your near wins. Whether in professional endeavors, creative pursuits, or personal goals, take time to reflect on those moments that fell just short of success. Understand that these instances are not failures but stepping stones towards mastery. They are opportunities to learn, adjust, and grow. By embracing your near wins, you align yourself with a mindset of continuous improvement and lifelong learning.
You can watch Lewis’ TED Talk here.
2. Success, failure, and the drive to keep creating (Elizabeth Gilbert)
Elizabeth Gilbert’s journey, as recounted in her 2014 TED Talk “Success, Failure, and the Drive to Keep Creating,” is a profound exploration of the emotional landscapes shaped by both success and failure.
Gilbert, best known for her bestselling book “Eat, Pray, Love,” delves into the complexities of how success can be as disorienting as failure, offering a raw and honest perspective on the creative process and the importance of staying true to one’s passion.
Gilbert begins her talk with a humorous anecdote about being recognized for “Eat, Pray, Love,” setting the stage for a deeper discussion on the aftermath of success. She describes the daunting task of writing a follow-up book, knowing it would be impossible to please everyone. This predicament led her to a significant realization: the importance of writing for the sake of creation itself rather than for the outcome.
“I had to find a way to make sure that my creativity survived its own success.” – Elizabeth Gilbert
Gilbert takes us back to her early days as an unpublished diner waitress, a time filled with rejection and self-doubt. Despite the constant setbacks, she found solace and purpose in writing. This period taught her a crucial lesson: her love for writing was greater than her fear of failure. She states, “I loved writing more than I loved my own ego.” This mindset was what propelled her through the darkest times and what she later relied on after her success.
- Actionable Tip: identify what you love more than yourself, make that your home, and anchor yourself in it. When faced with the extremes of success or failure, remind yourself of this foundation. It’s not about the accolades or the setbacks; it’s about the devotion to what you truly love. This grounding force is what will keep you balanced and focused, no matter what life throws your way.
You can watch Gilbert’s TED Talk here.
3. The unexpected benefit of celebrating failure (Astro Teller)
Astro Teller’s 2016 TED Talk, “The Unexpected Benefit of Celebrating Failure,” offers a fascinating glimpse into the culture of X (formerly Google X), a place he describes as a ‘moonshot factory.’
Teller’s insights provide valuable lessons on how embracing failure can drive innovation and lead to extraordinary achievements.
Teller begins by describing the unconventional atmosphere at X, where an aerospace engineer might collaborate with a fashion designer. This diversity fosters an environment where radical ideas are not just encouraged but expected. The key to their approach is to tackle the hardest parts of a problem first, actively seeking to ‘kill’ their projects early on.
“We’ve got this interesting balance going where we allow our unchecked optimism to fuel our visions. But then we also harness enthusiastic skepticism to breathe life, breathe reality into those visions.” – Astro Teller
One of the most compelling aspects of Teller’s talk is the balance between “unchecked optimism” and “enthusiastic skepticism.” This approach allows the team at X to dream big and remain grounded in reality.
They celebrate the process of learning through failure, which is a radical departure from the norm in most organizations. As Teller puts it, “We spend most of our time breaking things and trying to prove that we’re wrong.”
- Actionable Tip: Create an environment where failure is not just accepted but is seen as a valuable part of the learning process. Encourage experimentation and risk-taking, and when failures occur, focus on the lessons learned rather than the setbacks. This approach can lead to a more innovative, resilient, and dynamic team or individual.
You can watch Teller’s TED Talk here.
What Are Marketers Doing in 2024? [Budgets, Platforms, and AI]
There’s one topic dominating the marketing sphere: artificial intelligence (AI). And many marketers are hopping on board the AI train. Aside from AI, what other strategies are marketers investing in? Plus, what are their plans for achieving their marketing goals in 2024?
Sagefrog released its 2024 Marketing Mix report. They surveyed various professionals across different niches and received 2,400 responses. According to 48% of the participants, they will increase their marketing budgets. Most marketers will focus their efforts on event, direct, and content marketing.
Meanwhile, Canto reveals that marketers aim to increase content volume rather than raise their budget in 2024. Plus, here are the top five current challenges with the content creation process:
- Keeping up with the increasing demand for multiple channels
- Allocating budget and resources
- Aligning teams for better collaboration and workflows
- Locating and accessing assets
- Maintaining brand consistency
Marketers can leverage various channels to promote their business and cast a wider net to entice a new audience. For instance, WARC also published their survey (The Voice of the Marketer 2024) on which platforms marketers will invest in 2024. YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram are their top three platforms to post more content on.
Another survey that marketers participated in was Mediaocean’s “The Mediaocean Current: The 2024 Advertising Outlook.” Marketers for this survey will increase advertising investment on social media platforms, digital display and video, and connected TV.
AI and Marketing
Over 300+ marketers participated in Foundation Inc.’s report: “The State of AI Marketing.” Most marketers use AI in the workplace and for content creation. Despite adopting AI for content creation, these marketers believe that AI-generated content is worse compared to content created by humans. Plus, the marketers think it’s moderately useful to their job.
Kaltura has also provided another survey on AI use in marketing. Marketers in their study said they will increase AI usage in 2024. At the time of the survey, 88% had experimented with AI and 69% had subscribed to an AI tool. Like the previous study, marketers aren’t still completely satisfied with AI use. For instance, their top three reasons for not using AI are:
- Data security
- Integration with current systems
- Ethical and privacy issues
Besides that, they’re also not impressed with AI’s tone of voice, quality of generated content, and committing SEO penalties.
Effective Marketing Strategies
Now that you have the pulse on the latest marketing trends learn which strategies are effective in driving your marketing goals in 2024.
Hubspot reports that these are the top five trends that create an impact:
- Short-form videos
- Content presenting brand values
- Influencer marketing campaigns
- Social media selling
- Mobile-friendly website
If you want to capture your audience’s attention in a few seconds, short-form videos must be added to your content calendar. The content is up to you, but make sure that it’s edited properly and published on various platforms to reach more audiences. You could hire an actor to represent your brand. Or, you can use animation to make it even more compelling. But if you don’t have an editor on board but want to try videos, you can use AI-powered video editors to convert your written content.
Content Presenting Brand Values
If you want to connect with your audience and vice versa, you need to be transparent with your brand values. Authenticity brings you closer to your audience. One way you can go about this is by publishing a blog post about the purpose of your brand or business. Another example could be presenting your authentic brand through videos. Employees can be your “actors” and show how they interact with customers and exemplify your values through customer service and communication.
Influencer Marketing Campaigns
You can never go wrong by reaching out to influencers to introduce your brand to a whole new audience. Ensure that you find the best influencers to include in your marketing campaigns. The best way to find influencers without browsing manually is by using an influencer marketing platform. This helps you find the best influencer for your niche.
Social Media Selling
Dedicate some time to promote your products or services on social media through social selling. Social selling can entice followers and your target audience to watch your livestream. A new audience can learn more about your products while loyal customers get the latest updates, exclusive products, or service discounts!
This one’s easy to do with a web developer on board. After all, many internet users use their smartphones to browse and shop. Optimizing your website for mobile will enhance user experience. In turn, it will lead them to browse your website without a hitch. Additionally, if you have an optimized mobile website, this allows users to purchase without having to switch to another device.
Now that you’ve seen what marketers will be up to in 2024, the question is, should you do what other marketers are doing in 2024? On the one hand, you’d like to follow their strategies since theirs have worked in the past and are replicating or yielding better results. On the other hand, you might prefer doing what could work for your business and adjusting strategies.
King of Couture: How Bernard Arnault Turns Everything into Gold
The world of couture is one of opulence and decadence, and it is ruled by a king who built a global empire from the world’s finest threads and most luxurious fragrances. We’ve heard about Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, but most of us are unaware of Bernard Arnault, the Chairman and CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. Let’s learn about this modern-day King Midas and billionaire saga.
Born in Roubaix, France, in 1949, Bernard Arnault was one of the five children of Jean Arnault and Marie-Josèphe. He grew up in a middle-class household, thanks to the engineering company his father owns. At 18, he moved to Paris, where he studied civil engineering and graduated with honors. During this time, he was able to visit famous fashion houses, developing an interest in the luxury goods niche.
After graduation, Arnault returned home to work for his father’s construction business. His business savvy enabled him to turn the business into a success. From this, he gained enough money to invest in the stock market and branch out to found his own investment company, Groupe Arnault. Through this, he started acquiring stakes in many other companies, including luxury spirits company Moët Hennessy and fashion brand Louis Vuitton.
Bernard Arnault’s acquisition of the two companies led to its merger to become LVMH. Before the end of the 1980s, LVMH became one of the world’s top luxury goods brands. He became chair and CEO in 1989 and has since held these positions.
Under Bernard’s leadership, LVMH became the owner of a wide array of high-end brands: Christian Lacroix, Loewe, Givenchy, Céline, the DFS group, and Sephora, to name a few. The company owns many more household name brands in more than 70 countries. This success made Bernard one of the world’s wealthiest men and one of the most influential in the fashion industry.
Expanding His Kingdom
These key tactics summarize Bernard Arnault’s business expansion strategy:
1. Strategic Acquisitions: Arnault’s acquisitions of iconic brands across various sectors have made him master the deal, strengthening LVMH’s foothold in the industry. We can find its reach in the following:
- Fashion: Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Fendi, Kenzo, Marc Jacobs, Emilio Pucci, Celine, and Stella McCartney
- Watches and Jewelry: Bulgari,Tag Heuer, Zenith, and Chaumet
- Wine and Spirits: Moët & Chandon, Hennessy, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, Dom Pérignon, Ruinart, and Krug
2. Building Synergies: Arnault’s acquisitions do not end there, he integrates them within LVMH. It uses synergies across divisions for shared resources, cross-brand collaborations, and leveraging brand prestige.
3. Empowering Brand Identity: Arnault respects the individual heritage and identities of all the brands he acquires. He knows that each brand has a unique character that has its own specific audience. Thus, he maintains each brand’s creative autonomy and artistic direction to ensure authenticity and quality.
4. Innovation and Craftsmanship Focus: Arnault invests in research and development to make sure that each brand is innovative. He also greatly values traditional craftsmanship to maintain each brand’s highest quality standards.
5. Global Expansion: Arnault’s recognition of the emerging economies in Asia and its growing luxury market enabled him to aggressively expand LVMH’s presence through store openings, partnerships, and customized marketing campaigns.
6. Communication and Marketing: Arnault understands the power of storytelling and developing a strong brand image. He believes in using targeted marketing campaigns, celebrity endorsements, and hosting exclusive events to create a desire and exclusivity for LVMH brands.
7. Long-Term Vision: Arnault looks to the future with LVMH by always looking for new growth opportunities without compromising the company’s core values.
Bernard Arnault’s Net Worth
With a net worth of $162 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, it would seem that Arnault has that Midas touch. He has this knack of turning everything he touches into gold. Struggling brands were revitalized into lucrative powerhouses. Brand names such as Dior, Dom Pérignon, and Givenchy rose in value and popularity thanks to this King’s guidance.
With a stellar orchestration of ambition, strategic mastery, and speaking the exquisite language of luxury, Bernard Arnault is truly a King. He built his kingdom by spinning gold from the threads of fashion, champagne, and expert craftsmanship. His relentless innovation and respect for heritage have him etched his name in the luxury industry.