Brands in the News

Communicating a Price Change

18 Apr , 2016  

Two weeks ago I wrote on this blog about a new fee from Homeaway, a vacation home rental giant. I noted that the pricing move made good sense for a number of reasons. The post generated quite a response. I’ve received a series of comments, many of them thoughtful, from Homeaway and VRBO customers. The […]

Brands in the News

Student Loans and Buyer’s Regret

7 Apr , 2016  

One of the big issues in the U.S. today is student loans. People are astonished at the debt young people are dealing with, and presidential candidates are proposing various solutions that range from lower interest rates to debt forgiveness. This all makes sense. Student loan debt is increasing at a dramatic pace because colleges are […]

Brands in the News

Why Homeaway’s New Fee Makes Sense

29 Mar , 2016  

Home rental giant Homeaway recently began charging a new fee to travelers. This has caused an uproar in the rental world. Despite the initial adverse reaction, the fee is a smart idea. Homeaway is the largest home rental website in the world. It owns a range of sites including VRBO.com, homeaway.com, and vacationrentals.com. Collectively, there […]

Brands in the News

Playboy Wisely Covers Up

24 Feb , 2016  

Last October Playboy announced a dramatic and surprising change – the brand would no longer publish pictures of nude women. It was a shocking announcement. Playboy, after all, was a pioneer among adult magazines. When Hugh Hefner launched the magazine in 1953, its defining characteristic was racy photography. Many people wondered where Playboy was heading with […]

Brands in the News

Chobani’s Dangerous Game

11 Jan , 2016  

Chobani is out this week with some bold new advertising. My assessment: this is a risky strategy. The new campaign from Chobani takes aim at yogurt giants Yoplait and Dannon, attacking their ingredients. Here are some highlights from the full-page newspaper ads Chobani ran yesterday: Look, there’s potassium sorbate as a preservative in Yoplait Greek 100. Potassium sorbate? Really? That stuff is […]

Brands in the News

Five Brands to Watch in 2016

1 Jan , 2016  

The new year will bring challenges and opportunities for brands around the world. Here are five brands that will be particularly interesting to watch. Chipotle Things are not going well for this high-flying restaurant chain. After a stunning run, the brand is facing significant safety issues, its healthy image battered by a series of outbreaks. Customers […]

Brands in the News

Looking Back on 2015’s Brands to Watch

23 Dec , 2015  

Last year, I identified five brands to watch in 2015. With the year winding down, this seems like a reasonable time to check in on them. I’ll post a list of brands to watch in 2016 on January 1. Lufthansa Lufthansa began 2015 facing some significant competitive challenges. The company needed to respond to the growth of both […]

Brands in the News

Tesla’s Branding Challenge

23 Oct , 2015  

It has been a rough couple months for Tesla. Elon Musk’s acclaimed firm reduced its 2015 sales forecast in August, announcing that it wouldn’t hit its production target of 55,000 cars, and earlier this week Consumer Reports pulled its recommendation of the Tesla Model S. The company’s stock now trades at about $210 per share, […]

Brands in the News

Nike’s Remarkable Consistency

25 Sep , 2015  

Nike this week reported some tremendous financial results. The stock is up almost 9% today. The company’s market capitalization is close to $100 billion. The remarkable thing about Nike is that the company continues to do well by remaining consistent with its core brand promise. Nike isn’t inventing new categories. It isn’t launching a ton […]

Brands in the News

Burger King’s Marketing Coup

2 Sep , 2015  

It has been a long time since I put the phrases “Burger King” and “marketing excellence” together in the same sentence. For many years, Burger King has been struggling to come up with something notable to say. The brand’s marketing campaigns in recent years included an odd subservient chicken and a creepy King character. The […]