Politics

Ad Review: A Weak Effort from Joe Biden

17 Aug , 2020  

Last week I reviewed one of Donald Trump’s recent ads. I thought it was a pretty effective attack on Joe Biden with a clear message and benefit. You can read my review here. This week, I am looking at a recent spot from Joe Biden. A COVID-19 Plan This new spot, called Real Plans, is […]

Politics

Trump’s Powerful Attack Ad

13 Aug , 2020  

We are heading into election season! This means there will be a lot of political advertising to look at. Over the next several months I will be reviewing the spots. My focus will be effectiveness: will the ad actually work? Will it sway voters? I will keep my political views out of the analysis. I […]

Politics

How Biden Can Win: Learn from Reagan

21 Jul , 2020  

I recently posted an article explaining how Trump might win in November. The key move would be to portray Joe Biden as sympathetic to rioters and looters and hostile to the police. A law and order campaign would likely resonate with voters and give Trump critical momentum. Joe Biden needs to take a different approach. […]

Presenting and Teaching

How COVID is Sparking Innovation in Kellogg’s Branding Program

8 Jul , 2020  

COVID 19 is causing disruption for brands all over the world. It is also sparking innovation. Recently I’ve seen this happen with the executive education branding program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Disruption and Innovation Perhaps my favorite topic to teach is defensive strategy. When competitors attack, brands have to defend aggressively. Failing […]

Presenting and Teaching

Spring Teaching and Zoom: The Student Feedback

30 Jun , 2020  

Last weekend I sat down and read through the student feedback from my spring quarter Biomedical Marketing courses. Reviewing student feedback is always a strange experience. There are the positive comments, and these are delightful. It is a pleasure to hear from students that they learned something and valued all the effort that went into […]

Career Advice

Financial Advice for Graduates – 2020

17 Jun , 2020  

If you follow my blog, you know that each year about this time I post some financial advice. It is primarily for the new Kellogg MBAs about to graduate, but I think it is relevant for anyone starting out on a new career. The advice is based more on hard-learned lessons than advanced financial modeling. […]

Politics

Ashley’s Story and How Trump Might Win in November

9 Jun , 2020  

The world is a complicated place, and people don’t like complexity. Marketers can succeed if they can simplify the decision process. This is one reason brands are so powerful: a strong brand simplifies choice. With this idea in mind, the fall presidential election is shaping up to be complicated for Joe Biden. Ashley’s Story One […]

Presenting and Teaching

Figuring Out the Fall Quarter

6 May , 2020  

How do universities reopen in the fall? That is the urgent question at hand. This is a difficult issue. Most schools seem to be still figuring it out and not saying too much. Cristina Paxson, president of Brown, wrote a powerful editorial for the New York Times. Robert Robbins, president of University of Arizona this […]

Presenting and Teaching

Zoom Teaching – Week Four Observations

30 Apr , 2020  

I am now in my fourth week of teaching on Zoom; so far I’ve taught 21 class sessions and I’m starting to feel more settled. I also did a round of student feedback. Here are some observations on the transition. It Works My biggest learning is that Zoom teaching works. I can present material, answer […]

Brands in the News

Reopening: Conflict Ahead

17 Apr , 2020  

A month ago I predicted that the world would shut down in a bid to slow the spread of the Corona virus, partly because health leaders did a very poor job explaining why it was important to shelter in place. In the absence of a compelling message, government leaders would have to use force to […]

Career Advice

Making the Transition to Online Teaching

1 Apr , 2020  

I am a few days away from teaching my first official online class. The past week has been a blur of webinars and Zoom discussions. I am not ready for the new quarter, but I am getting there. Here are four things I’ve learned. Online Teaching is Better Online teaching is an improvement, at least […]

Career Advice

Time to Update the Marketing Plan

18 Mar , 2020  

Many companies develop annual marketing plans. This is a natural approach – it aligns with the fiscal calendar of most firms, and it matches the natural pace of the year. Sometimes, however, it is necessary to revise the plan mid-stream. This is one of those times. A Different World Things have changed dramatically for companies […]