Defensive Strategy

GM: CEO Churn and Branding Problems

2 Dec , 2009  

Yesterday General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson stepped down.  Apparently the GM board, concerned that things were not changing quickly enough under his leadership, asked him to step aside.  Fritz was CEO for less than a year. Churning through CEOs is not the way to fix GM. General Motors has many, many problems.  But perhaps the toughest […]

Defensive Strategy

The Tiger Brand in Trouble

30 Nov , 2009  

It is hard to imagine a stronger brand in sports than Tiger Woods.  He is the perfect athlete: incredibly gifted, focused, disciplined, well spoken and of high moral fiber.  The Tiger brand includes achievement, humility and a dedication to family.  All of which makes the unfolding drama around Tiger’s car crash Friday morning very puzzling.  What […]

Defensive Strategy

Does the Black Friday madness make sense?

24 Nov , 2009  

We are just days away from the biggest retailing day of the year in the United States: the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday. It is a huge retail day for many reasons: people have the day off, Christmas is just a few weeks away and everyone is feeling content and happy after spending a day […]

Defensive Strategy

Maclaren’s Challenge

12 Nov , 2009  

Things are not looking great for Maclaren.  The British stroller company announced this week that it was recalling more than a million strollers that it had sold over the last 10 years because there are 12 reports of finger amputation due to the strollers. The recall news has spread quickly all around the globe; it was […]

Defensive Strategy

The Fading Brett Favre Brand

3 Nov , 2009  

There was a remarkable scene in the NFL yesterday: Brett Favre was repeatedly booed at Lambeau Field. It was notable scene because for many years Brett Favre was a much-loved character in Wisconsin.  He played for the Green Bay Packers for 16 seasons and went to two Super Bowls with the team. Favre’s awkward departure from the […]

Defensive Strategy

Learning from Nina Yoder

30 Oct , 2009  

You can learn something very important by doing a Google search on Nina Yoder. I did the search this evening and got 1,090,000 hits.  Ms. Yoder has certainly made quite a splash in the internet world. The problem, of course, is that almost all of this publicity is negative.  Ms. Yoder is a nursing student at the […]

Defensive Strategy

Attack of the Droid

26 Oct , 2009  

There are some brands that seem untouchable.  They are so revered it is difficult to say a bad thing about them.  This list includes Virgin, Nike, Barack Obama, Bono and, perhaps most of all, Apple. How can you say something bad about Apple?  This is the company that brought us the iPod and the iPhone […]

Defensive Strategy

GM: Still Struggling with Marketing

23 Oct , 2009  

If there is one company in the world that needs some compelling marketing it is General Motors. GM emerged from bankruptcy on July 10 and is now largely owned by its unions and the U.S. federal government.  The company was able to cut costs through the bankruptcy process, but ultimately it will need to hold and […]

Defensive Strategy

Bud Light Golden Wheat

20 Oct , 2009  

Saturday Night Live’s October 17 broadcast was a notable event.  For the first time in the show’s 35 seasons, a single advertiser, Bud Light, bought all the national advertising time.  Bud Light used the sponsorship to launch new Bud Light Golden Wheat, the latest addition to the Bud Light family.  Golden Wheat follows the 2008 […]

Defensive Strategy

Healthcare Reform: Where are the Benefits?

12 Oct , 2009  

There is broad agreement in the United States that healthcare reform is good concept.  Indeed, it is very hard to oppose it.  It is also hard to oppose the environment, human rights and world peace. But there is very little agreement about the plans being considered.  From a marketing perspective, I think there are two obvious […]

Defensive Strategy

Cash for Clunkers: No Way to Build a Strong Business

7 Oct , 2009  

Anyone who has run a business knows two things about short term discounts.  First, big discounts feel great.  Nothing buoys the spirits like a quick and dramatic jump in sales. Second, this happy feeling rarely lasts.  Once the discount ends sales inevitably slump, often for a prolonged period of time.  The only way to get […]

Defensive Strategy

Southwest’s Gamble

29 Sep , 2009  

Southwest Airlines has once again taken a different path in the airline industry. While virtually every major carrier is now charging people to check bags, Southwest continues to offer free baggage checking.  And Southwest is now promoting this fact with some bold, in your face advertising. The spot currently running features Southwest baggage handlers discussing baggage […]