Branding Insights,Career Advice

Brands, Baseball and Missing the Call

2 Apr , 2014  

Brayden King, one of my colleagues at Kellogg, is in the news this week with a new study about baseball. It is a fascinating bit of research and highlights why brands matter so much. King worked with Jerry Kim from Columbia Business School on the study. They looked at umpire accuracy, comparing the umpire’s call […]

Branding Insights

Volvo, Van Damme and the Future of Marketing

27 Nov , 2013  

The world of marketing is changing. Traditional media vehicles are losing effectiveness as people communicate in new and different ways. Mass audiences are fragmenting into small segments. Developing a point of difference is harder than ever. Many business leaders are uncertain about the future. What will great marketing look like in the years ahead? Volvo’s […]

Branding Insights

India: Six Surprising Things

12 Nov , 2013  

I am just back from a three-day trip to India; I was in Kolkata to speak at the 2013 Brand Conclave. It was a terrific event. Here are a few things that surprised me: – Low income consumers in India generally buy the most expensive cement. I had an interesting conversation with a marketing executive from one […]

Branding Insights

Geico, Airshows and Positioning

18 Aug , 2013  

The Chicago Air and Water Show is going on today. The weather is perfect with clear skies and bright sunshine. The U.S. military is absent this year, since the government decided to cut funding for air shows as part of the sequester negotiations. Government leaders promised the world would end if the cuts took place. […]

Branding Insights,Brands in the News

Angelina Jolie’s Smart Decision

16 May , 2013  

This week Angelina Jolie announced that she had preventative mastectomy surgery to reduce her risk of breast cancer. People are debating her decision to have the surgery. Most seem be fully supporting the move. She clearly made a smart decision in announcing it as she did; Angelina Jolie dramatically enhanced her personal brand. By proactively […]

Branding Insights

Three Things We Can Learn from Ron Johnson

9 Apr , 2013  

Ron Johnson is out at JC Penney. His seventeen month stint at the retail giant will go down in history as one of the great leadership fiascos of the decade. We can learn a lot from Ron Johnson’s tenure at JC Penney. Here are three of the key lessons.   – It is easier to […]

Branding Insights

The Switzerland Puzzle

8 Apr , 2013  

In late March I spent several days over in Zurich leading a program for a global pharmaceutical company. I found Switzerland to be a surprising place. The first surprise was that the prices are remarkably high in Switzerland. I had perhaps the most expensive cup of coffee of my life at Starbucks across from the central train station in […]

Branding Insights

Learning from Tesco’s US Disaster

9 Dec , 2012  

Last week British grocery giant Tesco threw in the towel and announced that it would stop investing in its U.S. business. The company will either close or sell its nearly two hundred store “Fresh & Easy” chain. This isn’t surprising news; the U.S. business had apparently been struggling for years. Since its opening in 2007, Tesco has […]

Branding Insights

A Remarkable Political Ad

20 Sep , 2012  

A Remarkable Political Ad

The 2012 presidential campaign is in full swing as Mitt Romney and Barack Obama battle for voters. Unfortunately, I don’t get to see much of it since Obama will almost certainly win Illinois. Romney is fighting elsewhere. Political campaigns are marketing battles; the candidates are fighting for votes, not sales. The challenge is to win […]

Branding Insights

Calling Your Customer an Idiot

9 Sep , 2012  

Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair, is in a bit of hot water. According to the Irish Independent, O’Leary recently called Ryanair passenger Suzy McLeod an “idiot” and “stupid.” When asked about this odd approach to customer service, O’Leary did not back down. He explained, “I had not been intemperate, I had not lost my temper […]