Defensive Strategy

Corning’s Gorilla Glass Campaign: Good Thought, Weak Execution

10 Apr 2012  

Corning is running a rather striking campaign for Gorilla Glass, its high-tech materials for mobile devices and televisions. The latest ad features a large gorilla and a big number two.   Does it work? Well, the thought is right. Corning is trying building a brand around its unique glass. This makes a lot of sense. […]

Defensive Strategy

The Mondelez Challenge

21 Mar 2012  

Kraft today announced that it will call its new snacks company Mondelez International. Later this year Kraft Foods will split into two companies, a grocery business and a snacks business. The grocery business will retain the Kraft brand name, which makes perfect sense because many of the grocery products actually use the Kraft name: Kraft salad dressing, […]

Defensive Strategy

Coors Light Iced Tea

9 Mar 2012  

This week the Chicago Tribune reported that Molson Coors will be introducing a number of new products including Coors Light Iced Tea. You can read the article here:,0,3634860.story The goal is to build sales through innovation so that the company doesn’t have to rely so heavily on cost reduction projects to drive profit growth. […]

Defensive Strategy, Super Bowl

Dannon Fights Back

3 Feb 2012  

Dannon will debut its first Super Bowl ad on Sunday, promoting its Oikos brand of Greek yogurt. The move seems a little debatable on the surface. Oikos is a small brand, with nothing close to the size or reach of big Super Bowl advertisers such as Budweiser, Toyota or Samsung. Other small food brands have […]

Defensive Strategy

Carnival’s Branding Problem

23 Jan 2012  

This is tough time for Carnival, the world’s largest cruise company. The big issue, of course, is the sinking of the Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy. This is a branding disaster for Costa and for Carnival. The problems are fairly obvious. First, it is tragedy, with more than a dozen deaths. Second, this […]

Defensive Strategy

Cardinal George’s Branding Lesson

9 Jan 2012  

Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George recently provided a vivid lesson in the power of branding. Several weeks ago, organizers changed the route and start time of Chicago’s gay pride parade. Cardinal George was concerned that the new schedule would result in the parade interfering with the morning worship service at a neighborhood church. On Christmas, a […]

Defensive Strategy

The Sears Endgame

29 Dec 2011  

This week brought more bad news from Sears, with the company reporting weak holiday sales and announcing that it would close more than 100 stores and take a $1.8 billion charge. Sears is a fading enterprise. Sales are down from $53.0 billion in fiscal year 2007 to $43.3 billion in 2011. The stock is trading […]

Defensive Strategy

Dunder Mifflin Paper

28 Nov 2011  

Quill, an office supply company owned by Staples, announced today it was introducing Dunder Mifflin paper. Dunder Mifflin, of course, is the fictional company featured on NBC’s popular show The Office. So is this a smart move? I think so, for three reasons. First, it will create enormous PR buzz. The news is already showing up in […]

Defensive Strategy

Black Friday Fades

23 Nov 2011  

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is a day unlike any other. It is the one day of the year when everyone in the United States is expected to go shopping. And many people do. Stores feed the frenzy with aggressive deals, encouraging people to get out early and line-up for the biggest savings. The […]

Defensive Strategy

Three Notable Articles

17 Nov 2011  

Today’s Wall Street Journal has three notable articles about branding. All three are worth a read. The first article is one about the challenge of creating a powerful brand experience when shipping items through the mail. This is a significant issue; when a customer purchases a product at a high-end retailer, the buying experience is an […]

Defensive Strategy

Walmart’s Healthcare Opportunity

9 Nov 2011  

This morning NPR reported that Walmart was planning to become a major player in healthcare in the United States. This afternoon Walmart denied the story, saying the document NPR saw was real but “overwritten and incorrect.” Reuters quoted Dr. John Agunobi, president of Walmart U.S. health & wellness as saying, “We are not building a […]

Defensive Strategy

A Thermostat’s PR Triumph

28 Oct 2011  

Thermostats are not the most exciting devices. I would put them right up there with water heaters and door hinges in terms of overall interest, things that fall in the category of “items you need but don’t think much about.” This is why I am so impressed with what Nest pulled off this week. Nest […]