Defensive Strategy

Goldman’s Falling Brand

22 Apr 2010  

Goldman Sachs is an incredibly special brand. Goldman is a clear industry leader, with a respected, admired and feared brand. People from Goldman are smart, tough and refined. If someone from Goldman gives you a ring, well, you will probably take the call. But this is all changing. Goldman seems to be emerging as one of […]

Defensive Strategy

The Big iPad Question: What is it?

15 Apr 2010  

One of the core parts of any positioning is the frame of reference.  Before you can tell someone about the benefits of a particular product you first have to tell them what the product is.  This is a type of, well, what?  It is hard to discuss the unique benefits of chocolate ripple ice cream, […]

Defensive Strategy

Tide Dry Cleaners?

31 Mar 2010  

P&G is one of the world’s top marketing companies. So P&G’s focus on expanding into services such as Tide Dry Cleaners and Mr. Clean Car Washes is worth a bit of discussion. Is this the future for consumer brands? You can see the logic behind the move. Perhaps most importantly, it opens an enormous growth […]

Defensive Strategy

Hong Kong’s Branding Paradox

26 Mar 2010  

The people in Hong Kong have an incredible luxury goods. Every high-end brand, it seems, has an enormous store: Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Rolex, the list goes on and on. There is no question luxury brands sell exceptionally well. At the same time, Hong Kong is full of people selling copied products. In one twenty-minute period, […]

Defensive Strategy

A Booming Economy

22 Mar 2010  

I’ve been in Hong Kong the past few days and the local economy appears to be booming. The South China Morning Post has reported the following pieces of news since I’ve been here: Minimum wages are going up by 18% Benefits are going up by almost 6% Unemployment is below 5% There is a growing […]

Defensive Strategy

SeaWorld Bounces Back

1 Mar 2010  

On February 24 a whale at SeaWorld killed trainer Dawn Brancheau in front of astonished spectators. Three days later, on February 27, SeaWorld resumed shows. SeaWorld president Jim Atchison stated that the animal, a killer whale named Tilikum, would remain part of the show. SeaWorld is dodging a potential branding disaster. It is hard to imagine anything more […]

Defensive Strategy

Tiger’s Very Small Step

22 Feb 2010  

Tiger Woods took a step toward rebuilding his brand on Friday, but it was a small step indeed. His statement on Friday was most notable for what was absent, including most of the press, questions and a timetable for his return to golf. And, of course, Tiger’s usual confidence and poise. I think the only […]

Defensive Strategy

P&G’s Olympic Shocker

16 Feb 2010  

The 2010 Winter Olympics are turning out to be quite surprising, at least in terms of the advertising. Topping the list is P&G, which this weekened unveiled a new advertising campaign that represents a huge strategic shift for the company. P&G has long been one of the world’s best examples of a company with a […]

Defensive Strategy

Toyota’s Nightmares

3 Feb 2010  

Here is a nightmare to think about. You are driving along in a car when it suddenly and for no apparent reason starts speeding up. You can’t stop it; the car just goes faster and faster. You try to get it to slow down but you can’t. The brakes don’t work. You weave in and out […]

Defensive Strategy

A Good Deal on Pizza

12 Jan 2010  

Last week Nestle announced that it was buying Kraft’s pizza division for $3.7 billion.  Since that time a number of people have commented that the deal was not a smart one for Nestle. I disagree completely; I think the deal is a brilliant move by Nestle. Nestle is the clear leader in frozen meals in […]

Defensive Strategy

Timing is Everything

14 Dec 2009  

I spent the last week in Turkey teaching a course on branding.  While I was there a major snowstorm descended on Chicago. So I followed the storm, from a distance, by frequently checking the Chicago Tribune web site.  And as the snow flew, who bought all the advertising space on the Chicago Tribune home page?  It […]

Defensive Strategy

Tiger Sponsors Laying Low

9 Dec 2009  

It is always delightful when theory and reality align.  I spend a lot of time in my courses at Kellogg discussing marketing theories.  I also spend time explaining why the theories don’t always work.  Every situation is unique, and sometimes companies violate basic marketing rules and succeed nonetheless. In the Tiger Woods case, the theory […]