Defense

Maclaren’s Challenge

12 Nov , 2009  

Things are not looking great for Maclaren.  The British stroller company announced this week that it was recalling more than a million strollers that it had sold over the last 10 years because there are 12 reports of finger amputation due to the strollers. The recall news has spread quickly all around the globe; it was […]

Brands in the News

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 […]

Defense

The Fading Brett Favre Brand

3 Nov , 2009  

There was a remarkable scene in the NFL yesterday: Brett Favre was repeatedly booed at Lambeau Field. It was notable scene because for many years Brett Favre was a much-loved character in Wisconsin.  He played for the Green Bay Packers for 16 seasons and went to two Super Bowls with the team. Favre’s awkward departure from the […]

Defense

Learning from Nina Yoder

30 Oct , 2009  

You can learn something very important by doing a Google search on Nina Yoder. I did the search this evening and got 1,090,000 hits.  Ms. Yoder has certainly made quite a splash in the internet world. The problem, of course, is that almost all of this publicity is negative.  Ms. Yoder is a nursing student at the […]

Defense

Attack of the Droid

26 Oct , 2009  

There are some brands that seem untouchable.  They are so revered it is difficult to say a bad thing about them.  This list includes Virgin, Nike, Barack Obama, Bono and, perhaps most of all, Apple. How can you say something bad about Apple?  This is the company that brought us the iPod and the iPhone […]

Defense

GM: Still Struggling with Marketing

23 Oct , 2009  

If there is one company in the world that needs some compelling marketing it is General Motors. GM emerged from bankruptcy on July 10 and is now largely owned by its unions and the U.S. federal government.  The company was able to cut costs through the bankruptcy process, but ultimately it will need to hold and […]

Defense

Bud Light Golden Wheat

20 Oct , 2009  

Saturday Night Live’s October 17 broadcast was a notable event.  For the first time in the show’s 35 seasons, a single advertiser, Bud Light, bought all the national advertising time.  Bud Light used the sponsorship to launch new Bud Light Golden Wheat, the latest addition to the Bud Light family.  Golden Wheat follows the 2008 […]

Brands in the News

Pure Michigan

16 Oct , 2009  

Now here is a real marketing challenge: sell Michigan as a vacation destination.  Yes, Michigan, the land of failing auto companies, the bumbling Lions and desolate Detroit.  It isn’t the sort of place that stirs the soul.  I suspect both Hammond and Newark both fall higher up the list of places to visit for most […]

Defense

Healthcare Reform: Where are the Benefits?

12 Oct , 2009  

There is broad agreement in the United States that healthcare reform is good concept.  Indeed, it is very hard to oppose it.  It is also hard to oppose the environment, human rights and world peace. But there is very little agreement about the plans being considered.  From a marketing perspective, I think there are two obvious […]

Defense

Cash for Clunkers: No Way to Build a Strong Business

7 Oct , 2009  

Anyone who has run a business knows two things about short term discounts.  First, big discounts feel great.  Nothing buoys the spirits like a quick and dramatic jump in sales. Second, this happy feeling rarely lasts.  Once the discount ends sales inevitably slump, often for a prolonged period of time.  The only way to get […]

Brands in the News

The Starbucks Via Challenge

5 Oct , 2009  

Let me start with a confession: I failed the Via challenge. This morning I stopped by my local Starbucks.  I tried Via and then I tried the brewed coffee.  And I couldn’t tell the difference.  I was completely stumped. I find this rather astonishing.  I am quite a coffee fan and I drink a lot of […]

Brands in the News

Chicago’s Olympic Marketing Miss

2 Oct , 2009  

There will be a lot of second guessing here in Chicago now that the city’s Olympic bid has failed.  People will probably point to a weak final presentation, an over-reliance on celebrities and the geographic composition of the IOC.  These are all fair points. One issue that certainly played a role was the lack of […]