Brands in the News

Lipitor, Pfizer and Pharma’s Branding Problem

11 May , 2012  

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that Pfizer is giving up on Lipitor, dramatically cutting back on marketing support. This isn’t surprising. Lipitor, Pfizer’s multi-billion dollar cholesterol lowering medication, lost patent protection at the end of 2011. A number of generic medications will soon enter the market, so Lipitor won’t be able to maintain […]

Brands in the News

Best Buy and the Great Amazon Tax Subsidy

8 May , 2012  

Best Buy is certainly struggling.  The company’s stock was above $50 per share back in 2007.  Today it is trading at about $20. The company is closing stores and analysts are skeptical about the future. The company has a number of issues to address but I suspect the most important issue is what I call the […]

Brands in the News

Pepsi’s Upbeat Spin

6 Apr , 2012  

What do you say in your annual letter when you’re running a company that has delivered disappointing returns for investors and is getting clobbered by competitors? If you are Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo, you talk about all the positives. According to her just published annual letter, things are going quite well at Pepsi. She […]

Brands in the News

Apple and the Power of Differentiation

28 Mar , 2012  

You can learn a lot about marketing strategy by studying Apple. Perhaps the most important point is this: be different. The folks at Apple clearly understand the power of differentiation. They are masters at both creating it and destroying it. Apple does a phenomenal job creating products and services that are unique and special. The […]

Brands in the News

Buying a New Car: Observations and Learnings

20 Feb , 2012  

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I bought a new car: a 2012 Honda CRV. The entire experience was remarkable, and it highlights the core marketing challenge we all face. Earlier this month we visited our local Honda dealer, Fletcher-Jones. We use Fletcher-Jones for service. We did a test drive on a new CRV and liked […]

Brands in the News

Hilton Recovers

12 Dec , 2011  

Last week I wrote a post about my stay at the Minneapolis Hilton and how the front desk team didn’t respond when I informed them that my visit was rather disappointing.  I used it as an example of a missed opportunity in service recovery. Several hours after I put up my post, however, I heard from […]

Brands in the News

Hilton’s Missed Opportunity

8 Dec , 2011  

Service recovery is incredibly important, especially in a world with blogs, Facebook and Twitter.  An unhappy customer can do a lot of damage. Sometimes there isn’t much you can do; the person is unsatisfied for one reason or another but you don’t find this out and so can’t address it.  It is hard to deal […]

Brands in the News

Groupon’s Problem

18 Oct , 2011  

Groupon is gearing up for an IPO. My advice to the team planning the offering is quite simple: move quickly. Andrew Ross Sorkin has as an interesting article on Groupon in today’s New York Times. He notes that Groupon has a number of rather significant issues, including a fairly low cash balance and a working […]

Brands in the News

A Risky Move by Netflix

19 Sep , 2011  

Netflix today announced that it was splitting the company into two business units operating under two different brand names. The internet video streaming business will retain the Netflix name. The traditional DVD business will now be called Qwikster. You can read the email CEO Reed Hastings sent to current Netflix customers at the end of this post. This […]

Brands in the News

The Chicago Tribune’s Premium-Edition Strategy

6 Jun , 2011  

Today the Chicago Tribune announced that it would be introducing a premium edition of its home delivery newspaper. According to Crain’s, the Tribune will apparently now be available in two versions: the standard home delivery paper and a premium home delivery version with expanded content and features. The new version will be more expensive. You […]

Brands in the News

Nokia Cuts Ovi

16 May , 2011  

Today Nokia announced that it was dropping the Ovi brand, replacing it with Nokia. My opinion: the move makes sense but it doesn’t solve Nokia’s core branding challenge. Nokia created the Ovi brand for its software products and services. On the Ovi website you can find software for mapping, email, games and music. The concept […]

Brands in the News

Why Green Products Don’t Sell

22 Apr , 2011  

The New York Times has an interesting article on the front page this morning: “As Consumers Cut Spending, ‘Green’ Products Lose Allure.” The article notes that sales of a number of environmentally friendly products such as Clorox’s Green Works have fallen sharply. The article presents the results of a study done by Sanford C. […]