Branding Insights

Differentiating Vanilla

2 Apr , 2010  

Selling mainstream spices and seasonings has to be an enormous challenge.  There are a number of strong brands in the market and there is always a risk that people will assume all the brands provide similar quality, and buy on price.  In a tough economy I suspect that many people are very willing to let price drive […]

Branding Insights

Integrity and Healthcare Reform

5 Mar , 2010  

I am astonished by the healthcare reform debate. Let me focus on just one issue. Apparently in the proposed legislation, ten years of incremental tax revenue is used to pay for six years of benefits. In other words, taxes go up immediately and the benefits begin in a few years. And by using ten years of […]

Branding Insights

Healthcare: Here’s a Better Idea

28 Jan , 2010  

“But if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know.”                                                             President Barack Obama Last night President Barack Obama asked people to let him know if they had a better idea […]

Branding Insights

Smart Phones Wars: Not Going to End Well

7 Jan , 2010  

It seems like everyone is launching a smart phone these days. Earlier this week Google started selling a smart phone.  Today Dell rolled out a new one.  Motorola is still aggressively promoting the Droid.  Apple keeps investing in the iPhone.  RIM is spending heavily on Blackberry.  Palm, Samsung and Nokia are still in the game.  HP and Cisco […]

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.  […]

Branding Insights

The Lufthansa Mystery

15 Nov , 2009  

This weekend I flew from London to Frankfurt on Lufthansa, and I am now very puzzled. The flight was terrific.  It left on time, the plane was clean and shiny, there were free newspapers at the gate, the flight attendants were friendly and helpful and the in-flight service was excellent.  Despite the fact that it […]

Branding Insights

Starbucks: Segmentation and Profits

7 Nov , 2009  

This week Starbucks reported some very strong financial results. Overall operating income for the third quarter improved from $14 million in 2008 to $199 million in 2009. In the U.S, profits more than doubled. This is very impressive because revenues in the U.S. were down during the same period by -4%. Operating margin in the […]

Branding Insights

Branding Tuna

22 Sep , 2009  

The New York Times on September 21 featured an interesting article about branding tuna in Japan.  It is a wonderful example of the power of branding. Sashimi is big business is Japan, with tuna attracting much of the attention.  And the finest Pacific bluefin tuna in Japan supposedly comes from a small town called Oma. […]