Career Advice

Making Sense of Girl Math

29 Nov 2023  

If you’ve spent much time on Tik Tok this fall, you’ve likely seen videos about Girl Math, a set of rather debatable financial principles. Here is an example. Now it is easy to dismiss Girl Math as just bad financial thinking, but it isn’t that simple. Some of the insights behind Girl Math are valuable […]

Brands in the News

Why Teslas Sell and EVs Don’t

10 Nov 2023  

There is a strange situation developing in the world of electric vehicles. As companies ramp up production and the government showers the market with incentives, demand isn’t expanding as fast as expected. This all seems strange. Tesla managed to sell a lot of cars, at high prices. As EV prices decline, demand should expand dramatically. […]

Brands in the News

Ironman’s Branding Challenges

26 Oct 2023  

I am back from a trip to Hawaii; I flew back last Sunday, just in time for my Monday class. That isn’t a best practice but it all worked out ok. I was in Hawaii to see my daughter Claire compete in the Ironman World Championships in Kona. She did great, surviving (the most important thing) […]

Brands in the News

Getting Rid of a Tough Business

5 Oct 2023  

I’ve had an old Tommy Hilfiger shirt hanging in my closet for about 10 years. I could never figure out when to wear the shirt; it had a bold pattern and didn’t go with anything. Then it started to get dusty, which is always a bad sign. Last weekend I gave up and donated it […]

Presenting and Teaching

Presentation Learnings from a Dave Ramsey Event

22 Sep 2023  

I am a huge fan of great presentations. Unfortunately, in the business world many (most?) presentations are weak; they are plodding, cluttered and dull. People like to blame PowerPoint, but the issue isn’t the software platform. I think the issue is that people haven’t studied and just don’t know how to present well. My book […]

Brands in the News

Jimmy Buffett: Entertainer and Brand Builder

8 Sep 2023  

A couple years back I was walking around my neighborhood in Chicago and noticed a group of people wearing Hawaiian shirts and carrying stuffed parrots. It was an unusual sight. A block further along, I came across a similar group. And then another group. It was a bizarre situation; in my part of Chicago, you […]

Brands in the News

Rolex’s Big Move and Controlling the Brand Experience

25 Aug 2023  

Rolex is in the news today; the brand is buying Bucherer, one of the most important watch retailers in the world. This is a dramatic move which will have implications for Rolex and the broader watch industry. It also reflects an important trend in the world of branding. Rolex Across the globe, Rolex is one […]

Career Advice

Back to the Office

9 Aug 2023  

This week has brought three interesting stories, all with a common theme. The takeaway: it is time to get back to the office. The Stories The first big story is that Taylor Swift is wrapping up the first leg of her Eras Tour. It has been a stunning entertainment spectacle. Her performances have brought joy, […]

Brands in the News

The Twitter Branding Debacle

25 Jul 2023  

It has been a remarkable week in the world of branding, as Twitter rolls out one of the strangest rebranding efforts that I have ever seen. I suspect it will go down in history as an example of poor strategic brand management. The Announcement On Sunday, Elon Musk announced that the Twitter brand was going […]

Brands in the News

Bud Light and Northwestern

11 Jul 2023  

The main reason to study marketing efforts is to learn. If we can understand what is happening, we can identify things that seem to work and capitalize on those. We can also see mistakes and try to avoid making the same ones again. All of this brings us to two brands in the news: Bud […]

Presenting and Teaching

Making Sense of Course Feedback

30 Jun 2023  

One of the most unpleasant parts of teaching is reviewing the course feedback. Most instructors try to create a great class; I certainly do. So, reviewing the student evaluations is a stressful moment. Even when most of the comments are positive, the feedback from disappointed students can be painful. The Importance of Feedback Teaching is […]

Career Advice

Financial Advice for Graduates – 2023

13 Jun 2023  

It is commencement week at Kellogg. Yesterday, I processed into the commencement ceremony with my faculty colleagues and watched the graduates receive their degrees. It was a terrific event. Seeing young, talented people embark on a new phase of life with energy and excitement is inspirational. Each year I offer graduates some financial advice. I’m […]