Brands in the News

Build-A-Bear’s Pay Your Age Fiasco

18 Jul , 2018  

Last week was the big “Pay Your Age Day” at Build-A-Bear. As you have probably read, the event did not go well. People certainly responded to the offer, but so many families and kids showed up that Build-A-Bear had to halt the event and turn people away. This was – to put it mildly – unpopular. […]

Brands in the News

Drop the Fifth Third Brand!

23 May , 2018  

Yesterday Fifth Third Bank announced that it would be acquiring MB Financial Bank. The move gives Cincinnati-based Fifth Third an opportunity to do something it should have done a long time ago – drop its ridiculous brand name. The combined institution should become MB Financial Bank or adopt a completely new name. Every once in […]

Brands in the News

Budweiser’s Smart New Product

10 May , 2018  

Last week, Budweiser announced that it will be introducing a limited-edition beer this summer called Budweiser Freedom Reserve Red Lager. The beer was apparently inspired by a recipe that George Washington wrote in his journal in 1757. Is this a good idea? Absolutely. Budweiser is a famous but troubled brand. Consumption has fallen steadily over […]

Brands in the News

Bill Cosby: A Predator and Savvy Brand Builder

1 May , 2018  

This week I wrote about the Bill Cosby brand. He was a master brand builder, and used his remarkable brand to cover for his predatory behavior. Brands are powerful and can be used for good and evil. You can read the article here: http://fortune.com/2018/04/30/bill-cosby-rape-sexual-assault-trial-jail/

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 […]