Branding Insights

Learning from Kraft: Results Matter

15 Apr , 2015  

Kraft Singles

It has been a rough few months for Kraft Foods. In late December CEO Tony Vernon stepped down. This was a blow for the organization because many people at Kraft liked his approach to leadership. He valued brands and people and was making some smart moves. Then in March, 3G Capital announced plans to acquire […]

Branding Insights

Wild, REI and the Power of Product Placement

27 Mar , 2015  


Last week I was in Europe teaching in Germany and Denmark. On the flight home I finished Cheryl Strayed’s book Wild and then watched the movie. I recommend both. Two brands get special recognition in Wild: Snapple and REI. Outdoor retailer REI particularly stands out. In the movie, Strayed struggles with blisters because her boots […]

Branding Insights

Spirit Airlines: The Power of a Clear Strategy

23 Feb , 2015  

Spirit Airlines

This weekend I had the opportunity to fly on Spirit Airlines for the first time. My assessment: the company has a terrific strategy, but the branding needs some work. I hadn’t planned on flying Spirit, but last week I spent a few days skiing with my family in Breckenridge, Colorado (and dislocated my shoulder in the process, but […]


Branding Insights,Super Bowl Ads

Carnival Corporation and Brand Portfolio Strategy

13 Jan , 2015  

Carnival will be advertising on the 2015 Super Bowl. The move makes sense; Carnival Corporation is by far the world’s largest cruise company and wants to get people in the U.S. excited about taking a trip. This a good time for such a message; the economy is getting better and people have money to spend. […]

Branding Insights,Career Advice

The Marketer’s December Task: Look Back

18 Dec , 2014  

Looking Back 3

We are close to the end of the year. This is an important time for marketers to take a look at the business and reflect on how things have gone. Business leaders don’t devote much time to looking back. There is constant pressure to update the plan and execute, so people tend to work on the […]

Branding Insights

Four Scary Spots

30 Oct , 2014  

Four Scary Spots

It is Halloween, a day for frights and spooky scenes. So here are four exceptionally scary ads to consider. Dale Carnegie This is truly a frightening ad. The setting is all too familiar: someone with a gun and a mask. While the setting is a bank robbery, it feels like a school shooting. This is any […]

Branding Insights,Career Advice

Irrational Optimism and CMOs

18 Aug , 2014  


The Chief Marketing Officer Council is out today with the results of its annual survey of marketing leaders. I was struck by two figures: – 81% of marketing leaders believe that share growth is likely and attainable this year. – 10% of CMOs are worried about their jobs. These figures suggest that marketing executives are an […]

Branding Insights

The Power of Brand Partnerships: EBay, Sotheby’s, Pizza Hut and Hershey’s

14 Jul , 2014  

Four big brands are in the news today with new partnerships. EBay is teaming up with Sotheby’s to sell art online. The two companies will sell eighteen different types of items with internet bidding. Pizza Hut is working with Hershey’s to build its dessert business. The pizza giant announced today that it will start selling the […]

Branding Insights

Does Twitter Build a Brand?

18 Jun , 2014  

Many branding executives ask me about Twitter. Is it an important branding tool? Is it worth the effort to have a Twitter presence and monitor the discussion? I’ve been a bit skeptical of Twitter for many years. It feels a bit promotional and fleeting. Does anyone really use it? Can it really help brands? I now […]

Branding Insights

Kraft’s Disappointing Annual Report

14 Apr , 2014  

It is annual report season, the time of year when companies send out proxy information and annual reports to investors. I own a few shares in several companies so my mailbox fills up with these documents. It is interesting to see what the firms choose to send. An annual report is an important branding tool. […]