Mario Batali

With the beginning of a new year comes all sorts of prompts from brands, infomercials and various social media toward new behaviors — e.g., weight loss, exercise, decluttering, eating healthy, simplifying your financial record keeping, etc. It's also a good time to ask yourself just how exactly your company helps its customers achieve their goals. Is your brand inspirational and motivational enough to turn your customers into doers? Let's look how one brand masters the art of motivation:

As part of the launch of her cookbook, "My Father's Daughter," actress and GOOP newsletter publisher Gwyneth Paltrow partnered with home decor flash-sales website One Kings Lane to curate a one-day sale. Prior to the sale, Paltrow hosted an A-list dinner party where she cooked recipes from her book for guests like actress Cameron Diaz and chef Mario Batali.

Lord & Taylor will open its first Lord & Taylor Home store Sept. 3 in Paramus, N.J. The high-end retailer will stock labels including Gordon Ramsay, Mario Batali and Kate Spade. A second Lord & Taylor Home location will open in Shrewsbury, New Jersey, later this month.

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