Brands in the News

BMW’s Joy

18 Mar , 2010  

Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal featured a rather striking insert from BMW. The message: BMW creates joy. The advertisement reads: We do not make cars. We are the creators of emotion. We are the keepers of thrill. We are the guardians of one three-letter word. Joy. This is quite a change from BMW’s long time focus on […]

Brands in the News

Healthcare Reform: Where are the Savings?

11 Mar , 2010  

I am hoping that someone reading this post can help me answer a basic question: how will the proposed healthcare reform reduce costs? It is very hard to disagree with President Barack Obama when he says that we should reduce inefficient and unnecessary healthcare spending. I am entirely in agreement. Who can be against that idea? […]

Brands in the News

Integrity and Healthcare Reform

5 Mar , 2010  

I am astonished by the healthcare reform debate. Let me focus on just one issue. Apparently in the proposed legislation, ten years of incremental tax revenue is used to pay for six years of benefits. In other words, taxes go up immediately and the benefits begin in a few years. And by using ten years of […]

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 […]

Super Bowl

The $200 Super Bowl Ad

11 Feb , 2010  

Stuart Elliott, from The New York Times, wrote in an article earlier this week that the cost to produce one of the Doritos spots that ran on the Super Bowl was less than $200. $200. That is an astonishing figure. I spent many years at Kraft managing brands such as Miracle Whip and Taco Bell.  […]

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 […]

Brands in the News

Healthcare: Here’s a Better Idea

28 Jan , 2010  

“But if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know.”                                                             President Barack Obama Last night President Barack Obama asked people to let him know if they had a better idea […]

Brands in the News

The End of Free Content at The New York Times

20 Jan , 2010  

You don’t have to attend Kellogg to know that it is hard to make a lot of money by giving things away.  Selling products for nothing might make you feel good and it will often attract a crowd, but it is not a smart way to run a business.  There isn’t any profit in that particular business […]

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 […]

Brands in the News

Smart Phones Wars: Not Going to End Well

7 Jan , 2010  

It seems like everyone is launching a smart phone these days. Earlier this week Google started selling a smart phone.  Today Dell rolled out a new one.  Motorola is still aggressively promoting the Droid.  Apple keeps investing in the iPhone.  RIM is spending heavily on Blackberry.  Palm, Samsung and Nokia are still in the game.  HP and Cisco […]