Branding Insights

Diminishing Returns

28 Dec , 2009  

The good people at Kohl’s would be wise to consider the law of diminishing returns and slow the pace of email promotions. I’m always happy to sign up for promotional programs.  I sign up in part to learn about good deals.  But I mainly sign up to see what people are doing in terms of […]

Branding Insights

McDonald’s Internet: Points of Parity, Points of Difference

17 Dec , 2009  

Yesterday McDonald’s announced that it would be introducing free internet access.  This is a good move and a long overdue one. There are two important concepts when it comes to positioning: points of parity and points of difference.  When a brand establishes a frame of reference, or competitive set, there are obvious points of parity.  […]

Crisis Management

Timing is Everything

14 Dec , 2009  

I spent the last week in Turkey teaching a course on branding.  While I was there a major snowstorm descended on Chicago. So I followed the storm, from a distance, by frequently checking the Chicago Tribune web site.  And as the snow flew, who bought all the advertising space on the Chicago Tribune home page?  It […]

Crisis Management

Tiger Sponsors Laying Low

9 Dec , 2009  

It is always delightful when theory and reality align.  I spend a lot of time in my courses at Kellogg discussing marketing theories.  I also spend time explaining why the theories don’t always work.  Every situation is unique, and sometimes companies violate basic marketing rules and succeed nonetheless. In the Tiger Woods case, the theory […]

Crisis Management

GM: CEO Churn and Branding Problems

2 Dec , 2009  

Yesterday General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson stepped down.  Apparently the GM board, concerned that things were not changing quickly enough under his leadership, asked him to step aside.  Fritz was CEO for less than a year. Churning through CEOs is not the way to fix GM. General Motors has many, many problems.  But perhaps the toughest […]