Brands in the News

United’s Lovable New Campaign

18 May , 2022  

The world is full of mediocre advertising. There are commercials that simply deliver a product message, and many of these are perfectly fine. There are spots that promise a happy family and life, and these can work ok. Most advertising just does what it is supposed to do: slightly increase purchase interest. On occasion, however, […]

Brands in the News

Student Loans and Good Decisions

28 Apr , 2022  

Last week I moderated a panel discussion at Kellogg on personal finance with three successful Kellogg alumni. It was a great session; the panelists shared their learnings about saving, spending, working with a partner and making career shifts. For me, the most surprising part of the discussion was about student loans. All three panelists had […]

Brands in the News

Evaluating the 2021 Annual Reports

14 Apr , 2022  

It is annual report season. If you own individual stocks, this is the time of year when annual reports and proxy statements arrive in your mailbox. I like to dabble in stocks and I’ve been reviewing this year’s mailings. It is amazing how some companies invest in their annual report and mail out a well considered update on […]

Brands in the News

A Branding Disaster at the Oscars

28 Mar , 2022  

A disaster. That is perhaps the one word we can use to sum up the Academy Awards this year, an event most notable for Will Smith attacking Chris Rock. The Branding Impact The Oscars were a disaster for Will Smith. At his time of great success, the moment when he should be celebrating and enjoying congratulations, […]

Brands in the News

The Transformation of Brand Russia

16 Mar , 2022  

Brands are the associations linked to a name or symbol, and these connections are usually created over time. At first the Nike swoosh was just a swoosh, but today it has enormous meaning. Once created, brands are difficult to change. Brand repositioning, shifting the meaning of a name, is one of the great marketing challenges. All […]

Brands in the News

2022 Brands to Watch

12 Jan , 2022  

Welcome to 2022! Every year I highlight a few brands to watch, brands that are heading into a particularly interesting year. This year I have five selections. The Olympics Rarely has there been a more interesting time for the Olympics. The big question: can the Olympics separate the event from the host country? The Olympic […]

Brands in the News

Looking Back at my 2021 Brands to Watch

30 Dec , 2021  

Each year I identify a set of brands to watch – brands facing interesting challenges and opportunities in the coming year. With just a few days left in the year, let’s look back at my 2021 selections and see what happened. COVID As I projected, one brand dominated all others in 2021: COVID. I feared […]

Brands in the News

CEO vs Economist: Who’s Right?

15 Dec , 2021  

One of the best things about teaching at Kellogg is that I get to hear and learn from remarkable business leaders. This week I had a particularly interesting morning. I first heard from a noted and gifted economist, who was commenting on trends in the global economy. Then I heard from the CEO of a […]

Brands in the News

Grand Seiko’s Branding Challenge

1 Dec , 2021  

The world of watches is a fascinating space for branding, and one of the most puzzling brands is the Grand Seiko. Watches and Branding When it comes to marketing something, there are two things to consider. First, there is the actual product or service. Second, there is the brand. When people see an offering, they […]

Brands in the News

Aldi, McDonalds and Honest Discussions

18 Nov , 2021  

An Aldi closed recently in Chicago. What happened next illustrates a basic problem in our country. The Closing The Aldi in question was located in the West Garfield Park neighborhood, on the west side of Chicago. It is a troubled area. For example, life expectancy for people living in the neighborhood is 16 years less […]

Brands in the News

A New World for Business Leaders

20 Oct , 2021  

Every few classes, I look at one of my presentation slides and notice that something is off. I think, “Wait. That doesn’t look right. I need to fix it.” Sometimes it is a spelling or grammar mistake. Other times I notice that a particular example no longer works. And then there are the moments when […]

Brands in the News

Inflation’s Slow Build

29 Sep , 2021  

Inflation is getting a lot of attention. Prices are rising across categories, and the U.S. is hitting the highest inflation rates that it has seen in a very long time. Over the past 12 months, inflation was a remarkable 5.3%. The Transitory Inflation Theory Many economists have projected that this increase in inflation will be […]