Brands in the News

Six Brands to Watch in 2017

30 Dec , 2016  

With the holiday season in full swing, it is time to start thinking about the year ahead. Here are six brands to watch. Amazon Amazon is flying high, and the story is all about expansion and growth. The company is opening physical stores, getting into the shipping business and expanding private label options. It even […]

Career Advice

Being Great is Not Enough

16 Dec , 2016  

Last week I helped pick teams to participate in the Kellogg Biotech and Healthcare Case Competition. This is an annual event held at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in which eleven teams of business students from around the world gather to present their assessment of a business case and compete for a $5,000 cash […]

Brands in the News

United’s Strategy: All Things to All People

30 Nov , 2016  

One of the core concepts I teach in my Marketing Strategy course at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management is that no one company can be all things to all people. The problem is that people are different. Delighting one person might mean providing a top quality product at a very high price, but pleasing […]

Brands in the News

Marketing Observations on the Trump Victory

9 Nov , 2016  

Donald Trump stunned Hillary Clinton and the world by winning the election. Here are four observations on his victory and what it means for marketers. Don’t trust the research data Few people expected a Trump victory. The most sophisticated researchers, using the most advanced techniques, were quite confident in their projections. In recent days the […]

Brands in the News

REI’s Brilliant Branding Move

27 Oct , 2016  

Last year, outdoor retailer REI shut down the day after Thanksgiving. REI executives explained that they made the move in order to give its employees and customers an opportunity to enjoy time outside over the holiday. The company encouraged people to take a break from all the shopping chaos of Black Friday and explore trails and parks instead. […]

Branding Insights

The Power of Comparisons

10 Oct , 2016  

Last month, a new study came out that evaluated the impact of activity trackers such as Fitbit and Jawbone on weight loss. The conclusion was quite clear: the devices did not have a positive impact. If anything, they actually made things worse. According to the study, people lost more weight without them. You can read […]

Branding Insights

The Great Brand Portfolio Debate: Unilever vs. P&G

28 Sep , 2016  

It is always interesting when two firms in the same industry embrace completely different strategies. Both companies are presumably led by smart and savvy business leaders, both have the same overall goals of increasing profit, driving growth and building firm value, and yet they come to very different conclusions and take divergent strategic paths. A […]

Brands in the News

A Disappointing Campaign from American Airlines

31 Aug , 2016  

Every once in a while, you come across a truly lackluster bit of advertising, the kind of marketing that makes you wonder who signed off on it. The new campaign from American Airlines falls into this unfortunate category. The New Campaign American’s new advertising effort kicked off this week. The core message: “The world’s greatest […]

Branding Insights

Marketing and the $7,000 Pig

4 Aug , 2016  

Last weekend my son Charlie and I spent a day in Wisconsin at the Racine County Fair. One of the highlights was watching the market pig auction. Every summer dozens of young people raise pigs for the auction. They buy piglets in the spring and then spend months feeding and caring for the animals. At […]

Branding Insights

Rebranding a School

26 Jul , 2016  

Government leaders in Chicago are considering rebranding some public schools to increase their appeal. The idea is interesting, but it isn’t likely to work on its own. Rebranding is more difficult than it seems. Some public schools in Chicago have very negative perceptions. People associate them with poor teaching and disappointing academic achievement. There is a […]