Brands in the News

Why Marine Le Pen’s Rebranding Won’t Work

20 Mar , 2018  

Last week, French politician Marine Le Pen announced that she wanted to rebrand her political party. Going forward, the National Front (NF) party would be known as Rassemblement National—or National Rally. Le Pen suggested the move in order to generate publicity and, more important, broaden support following her electoral loss to Emmanuel Macron. The NF’s Problem […]

Brands in the News

Saving SeaWorld

27 Feb , 2018  

It is hard to imagine a brand that has taken more hits than SeaWorld. The company operates twelve theme parks in the United States and is best known for its spectacular shows featuring killer whales, including the star of the show, Shamu. For many years, parents and kids have delighted in the remarkable parks, marveling […]

Brands in the News

Brands to Watch in 2018

2 Jan , 2018  

Happy New Year! At the start of each year, I like to offer a brand forecast. Like the year that just ended, 2018 will bring opportunities and challenges for many brands. Here are a few in particular to watch. Sears Many old guard, brick and mortar retailers are struggling, and Sears in particular lost its […]

Brands in the News

Looking Back on my 2017 Brands to Watch

27 Dec , 2017  

Each year I highlight a few brands to watch. Let’s take a look at how things worked out for some of my 2017 selections. Amazon My question about Amazon: could the company keep the momentum going despite the lack of significant profits? The answer is pretty clear—absolutely. When I wrote my post last year the stock […]

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 […]