Brands in the News

Aldi, McDonalds and Honest Discussions

18 Nov , 2021  

An Aldi closed recently in Chicago. What happened next illustrates a basic problem in our country. The Closing The Aldi in question was located in the West Garfield Park neighborhood, on the west side of Chicago. It is a troubled area. For example, life expectancy for people living in the neighborhood is 16 years less […]

Presenting and Teaching

Don’t Use Virtual Backgrounds!

3 Nov , 2021  

The business world is slowly emerging from the COVID lock-down. Front-line workers have been on the job throughout the pandemic, delivering packages, cooking meals and repairing engines. Managers and executives are just now going to meetings, traveling to visit customers and attending in-person discussions. Still, it is quite clear that virtual communication will remain a […]

Brands in the News

A New World for Business Leaders

20 Oct , 2021  

Every few classes, I look at one of my presentation slides and notice that something is off. I think, “Wait. That doesn’t look right. I need to fix it.” Sometimes it is a spelling or grammar mistake. Other times I notice that a particular example no longer works. And then there are the moments when […]

Brands in the News

Inflation’s Slow Build

29 Sep , 2021  

Inflation is getting a lot of attention. Prices are rising across categories, and the U.S. is hitting the highest inflation rates that it has seen in a very long time. Over the past 12 months, inflation was a remarkable 5.3%. The Transitory Inflation Theory Many economists have projected that this increase in inflation will be […]

Super Bowl

Why Super Bowl Spots Are Selling Quickly

14 Sep , 2021  

NBC last week announced that advertising space on the 2021 Super Bowl was close to sold-out, with just a few spots remaining. Prices are up dramatically this year, with a thirty-second spot going for $6.5 million. This is an enormous change from last year, when CBS had to scramble to unload advertising time, and the […]

Brands in the News

Rebranding the Taliban

3 Sep , 2021  

The U.S. and its allies are now out of Afghanistan, leaving the Taliban in control. It is a remarkable victory for the Taliban; there were fireworks and celebrations as the last U.S. plane left the Kabul airport. Once the celebrations are over, of course, reality will set in. Afghanistan has vast troubles, and people are […]

Brands in the News

Ulta’s Target Growth Opportunity

25 Aug , 2021  

This is a big month for Ulta, as the giant beauty retailer opens its first mini-shop in Target. This is just the first in what will be hundreds of locations. In the Marketing Strategy course that I teach at Kellogg, I highlight that strategy is all about choices. Analysis is good, but ultimately it comes […]

Brands in the News

It All Makes Sense: Buy Now, Pay Later and Vaccine Hesitancy

10 Aug , 2021  

I’ve been catching up on reading this week and was struck by two stories. Two Stories First, vaccine hesitancy continues to be a major issue and uptake is falling short of expectations. Joe Biden’s July 4 prediction that we would be past the virus by Independence Day was far too optimistic. We missed out on […]

Presenting and Teaching

Seven Things We Should Learn From Zoom Teaching

21 Jun , 2021  

This week I’m celebrating the end of a most unusual academic year – I just wrapped up my spring quarter courses. It was a busy twelve months: I taught a total of 10 courses in the Kellogg MBA program, including classes in Beijing, Miami, and Koblenz, Germany. Of the ten, four were in-person, five were […]

Career Advice

Financial Advice for Graduates – 2021

21 Jun , 2021  

Last week I attended the Kellogg School of Management’s commencement ceremony. It was a spectacular event: a beautiful day with blue skies and pleasant temperatures, inspiring speeches and enthusiastic graduates. Simply being there in-person felt like a gift. Each year I provide some financial advice to graduates. I am a marketing professor, not a finance […]

Politics

Defining the Republican Brand

6 May , 2021  

It is rare to see a brand face a clear positioning decision. In most situations, brands change gradually over time, with the brand leaders working to nudge perceptions one way or the other. A brand might want to seem a bit more inclusive or innovative or young. The Republican party is in a unique situation; […]

Brands in the News

Finally, Some Great Vaccine Marketing

13 Apr , 2021  

The COVID-19 pandemic has been marked by loss, lockdowns and a conspicuous, almost embarrassing lack of great marketing. In recent days, however, things are changing – some leading marketing companies are stepping up. It is not a minute too soon. The Need for Marketing Marketing shapes behavior. By identifying and tapping into needs and wants, […]