Brands in the News

A Troubling Trend in Not-For-Profit Branding

22 Jul 2024  

There seems to be a trend developing in the world of not-for-profits: rebranding. Many organizations are moving from descriptive brands to broad, general brands. In most cases, this is well-intentioned but a bad move. The Trend In recent years, a series of not-for-profits have rebranded to general, inspirational names. Here are a few examples: -The […]

Brands in the News

Presenting Tip: Don’t Use PowerPoint Notes

20 May 2024  

I teach marketing strategy, branding, and biomedical marketing at Kellogg. One of my core beliefs is that it isn’t enough to develop smart strategies; you also have to communicate them persuasively to get people on board. A few years back I wrote my book on the topic, How to Wash a Chicken: Mastering the Business […]

Brands in the News

A New Stadium for the Chicago Bears

30 Apr 2024  

The Chicago Bears last week unveiled plans for a new lakefront stadium. It is a spectacular proposal: a gorgeous stadium with views of the downtown skyline. The cost? More than $4.5 billion. All this raises four questions. Is a new stadium necessary? Sports teams thrive in glorious venues. The better the fan experience, the more […]

Brands in the News

Rethinking College Tuition

11 Apr 2024  

Colleges are announcing tuition and other costs for the 2024-25 academic year. Washington University in St. Louis is increasing tuition and fees by 4.5%, bringing the cost of attending to $87,644 (including tuition, housing, meals, student health, and activity fee). Yale is increasing tuition and fees by 3.9% to $87,150. Bucknell’s is up 4.75% to […]

Brands in the News

Brand Portfolio Questions for Tesla

29 Mar 2024  

The golden company Tesla is in the news for disappointing results. The stock price is down, and people are wondering about the company’s prospects. Tesla is facing many different issues, ranging from competition to the erratic behavior of Elon Musk. One of the most interesting problems is Tesla’s brand. The Tesla Brand Tesla has soared […]

Brands in the News

Chicago’s Misguided Attack on Dollar Stores

14 Mar 2024  

To make good strategic decisions, it is important to identify the potential options and then think deeply about which one is best. Not thinking through the implications can lead to bad choices. The simple, obvious answers that seem right often aren’t. Chicago’s City Council provides a good example. The group recently passed a series of rules […]

Brands in the News

2024 Brands to Watch

10 Jan 2024  

Each year I highlight some brands to watch. These are brands facing unique situations as the year begins. You can see my 2023 list here, along with a look back at what actually happened here. Below are my 2024 picks. Harvard It has been a rough stretch for Harvard. The university has been attacked on […]

Brands in the News

Looking Back at my 2023 Brands to Watch

2 Jan 2024  

Recently I’ve started off the new year by highlighting some Brands to Watch. These aren’t necessarily the best or worst brands, they are simply brands that I project will be heading into an interesting stretch. As we begin 2024, it is time to look back at my 2023 Brands to Watch and see how I […]

Brands in the News

A Huge Branding Move by McDonalds

15 Dec 2023  

Last week McDonalds opened the first CosMc’s, a new restaurant concept built around drinks and snacks, in Bolingbrook, Illinois. CosMc’s serves items including coffees, lemonades, cookies, pretzel bites and ice cream. This is a huge move from McDonalds, and it makes a lot of strategic sense. You can learn a lot about brand portfolio strategy […]

Brands in the News

Why Teslas Sell and EVs Don’t

10 Nov 2023  

There is a strange situation developing in the world of electric vehicles. As companies ramp up production and the government showers the market with incentives, demand isn’t expanding as fast as expected. This all seems strange. Tesla managed to sell a lot of cars, at high prices. As EV prices decline, demand should expand dramatically. […]

Brands in the News

Ironman’s Branding Challenges

26 Oct 2023  

I am back from a trip to Hawaii; I flew back last Sunday, just in time for my Monday class. That isn’t a best practice but it all worked out ok. I was in Hawaii to see my daughter Claire compete in the Ironman World Championships in Kona. She did great, surviving (the most important thing) […]

Brands in the News

Getting Rid of a Tough Business

5 Oct 2023  

I’ve had an old Tommy Hilfiger shirt hanging in my closet for about 10 years. I could never figure out when to wear the shirt; it had a bold pattern and didn’t go with anything. Then it started to get dusty, which is always a bad sign. Last weekend I gave up and donated it […]