Brands in the News

BMW Embraces its German Roots

13 Dec , 2017  

BMW is one of the world’s top German brands. For many years, however, the company has intentionally downplayed its German roots, striving to be both German and local.  It was only somewhat German. This strategy was perfectly brought to life in BMW’s 2014 Super Bowl ad, called “Built in America.” The spot featured an earnest […]

Brands in the News

Trouble at Coca-Cola

3 Oct , 2017  

The Coca-Cola Company has come out with a new advertising campaign. You can watch the ad here and read more about it here. My overall assessment? Things aren’t going well at Coke. The new campaign is clearly designed to improve perceptions of Coke. The ad features two employees, Jon and Willie. Jon is a hydrologist, and […]

Brands in the News

Branding Observations from a Trip to Europe

2 Aug , 2017  

A few thoughts while flying back from a quick trip across the pond. I spent a few days with my family in three wonderful and historic cities: Prague, Paris and Florence. Macron and the Power of Hope Things feel upbeat in Paris. We had dinner with several different French families, and all expressed excitement and […]

Brands in the News

Learning from Kermit’s Downfall

24 Jul , 2017  

Last week Disney fired the voice of Kermit the Frog. Steve Whitmire had played the famous green frog for the past 27 years. As he said in an interview, “Playing Kermit is my life.” While details are a bit sketchy, it appears that Whitmire was a difficult employee. He refused to perform at certain events and […]

Brands in the News

The Value of a Polished Annual Report

6 Jul , 2017  

We are near the end of annual report season. If you own many individual stocks, by now you have received a flood of reports and proxy statements. Some people get excited about spring because of baseball and flowers; I look forward to reading about different companies. It is interesting to see how firms approach this annual […]

Brands in the News

United’s Branding Disaster

10 Apr , 2017  

Yesterday United Airlines forcibly removed a passenger from an overbooked flight. Other passengers captured the incident on video. You can watch it here. A Huge Problem It is hard to overstate how bad this is for United. Let’s review what happened: – United boards too many people and won’t offer enough money to entice someone to take a later […]

Brands in the News

Celebrating Kellogg’s New Global Hub

29 Mar , 2017  

This week the Kellogg School of Management officially opened the doors of its new global hub. The building is spectacular, with stunning views of Lake Michigan, a soaring atrium and state of the art rooms. I held my first classes in the facility on Monday morning. You can read more about it here. I was […]

Brands in the News

Milka and Oreo: A Debatable Combination

21 Mar , 2017  

Some brand combinations make a lot of sense. The Intel brand has long been a good fit with Dell; Cruise giant Carnival is a reasonable partner with the Houston Texans; Lufthansa works with German luxury luggage brand Rimowa. When I managed Bulls-Eye BBQ Sauce, we partnered with Burger King on a BBQ Burger. All of these pairings […]

Brands in the News

Revising Obamacare: Fixing the Wrong Problem

9 Mar , 2017  

This week politicians and lobbyists are debating the future of Obamacare. Republican lawmakers have proposed a revision that makes few people happy; Democrats are unanimously against it. Many Republicans don’t like it either. You can read more about it here. A few days ago I had the opportunity to talk with Professor Craig Garthwaite, my […]

Brands in the News

The New York Times Finally Invests

28 Feb , 2017  

Last week The New York Times launched a bold new marketing campaign featuring print ads, outdoor ads and television spots, including an ad that ran on the Oscar’s on Sunday. You can read more about it here. I have three thoughts about the new effort. It is about time. The Times last ran television ads […]