Brands in the News

A Remarkable Political Ad

20 Sep 2012  

The 2012 presidential campaign is in full swing as Mitt Romney and Barack Obama battle for voters. Unfortunately, I don’t get to see much of it since Obama will almost certainly win Illinois. Romney is fighting elsewhere. Political campaigns are marketing battles; the candidates are fighting for votes, not sales. The challenge is to win […]

Brands in the News

Calling Your Customer an Idiot

9 Sep 2012  

Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair, is in a bit of hot water. According to the Irish Independent, O’Leary recently called Ryanair passenger Suzy McLeod an “idiot” and “stupid.” When asked about this odd approach to customer service, O’Leary did not back down. He explained, “I had not been intemperate, I had not lost my temper […]

Brands in the News

Olympics Advertising: Building the P&G Brand

6 Aug 2012  

The Olympics is entering its second week, so it is a good time to take a look at the advertising. I’ll post my thoughts on a few of the spots this week. First up: P&G P&G became an Olympic sponsor in 2010. This year we are seeing the company’s first big campaign. The overall message […]

Brands in the News

PepsiCo’s Yogurt Challenge

15 Jul 2012  

PepsiCo is entering the yogurt category. Last week a number of news outlets reported that the company will soon start selling yogurt in several cities in the Northeast. PepsiCo has formed a partnership with German dairy company Theo Muller and will sell yogurt under the Muller brand. This isn’t a small introduction; the two companies […]

Brands in the News

Sara Lee becomes Hillshire Brands

5 Jun 2012  

Sara Lee announced today that it is changing its name to Hillshire Brands after it spins off its coffee division. This is a smart move but I wonder if the executives at Hillshire missed an opportunity. There was little chance the company would keep the Sara Lee brand. Sara Lee is closely associated with frozen desserts, […]

Brands in the News

Apple’s Big Expectations

30 May 2012  

According to CEO Tim Cook, Apple will soon be launching some amazing new products. Yesterday at the D: All Things Digital conference Cook said, “The juices are flowing. We have some incredible things coming out.” Cook is clearly raising expectations for the new products. You don’t use the words amazing and incredible lightly. Is this a […]

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 […]