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Archive for January, 2012

Branding & Leadership

Brand Threat: The Out-Of-Touch CEO


Brand Strategy Bank of America

“Bank of America Corp. is scrapping its plan to charge a $5 monthly fee for making debit card purchases after an uproar and threatened exodus by customers.” –Bloomberg, 11.1.11

 “Netflix has decided to can Qwikster, the DVD-rental spin-off it announced to unlimited screaming last month.” –-Wall Street Journal, 10.10.11

“Barely a month into Meg Whitman’s tenure as chief, Hewlett-Packard announced on Thursday that it would not sell the company’s dominant personal computer business — closing off a strategic path offered by her predecessor.”–New York Times, 10.27.11 

These stories might be laughable if they weren’t such a tragic waste of shareholder value.

Most every company says it values its customers, and hates to ‘walk away’ from them. Leaders are called on to make tough decisions they believe are in the best interests of their companies. And sometimes, these decisions advantage some customers at the expense of others. That doesn’t make them bad decisions, just risky ones.

But leaders of some of our greatest brands act like they have forgotten (or never knew) what every junior brand manager surely knows — to test potentially risky messages and find ways to mitigate their negative impact. Instead, senior leaders are acting like bulls in a china shop, awkwardly and prematurely broadcasting their strategic decisions in ways that destroy their company’s (and their own) reputation and value.

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Brand Management

Brand Management: Process And Responsibilities


Brand Strategy Brand Manager Brand Management

Brand Management Process: Key Components

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Brand Audit

Brand Audit: Guardian Of Brand Health


Brand Strategy Brand Audit

The health of a brand needs to be critically maintained and managed if it’s to contribute sustained value to customers and brand owners over the long term. Of the many tools available for brand owners and managers to assess the well being of their brands, the brand audit is the most widely used and misunderstood.

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Brand Positioning

Brands Live In The Mind


Brands Live In The Mind

Brands are not things; rather brands are a representation of a highly valued idea that resides in the minds of consumers and stakeholders alike.

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Customer Insight

Consumer Behavior: From Trading Up To Trading Off


Brand Strategy Value Proposition Shopping

The opposite of trading up is not trading down. In fact, there is no opposite of trading up; shopping behavior is more nuanced than that. When shopping hit the skids after the financial crisis, there was a lot of talk about a new normal of frugality, as if the only thing possible after a decade-plus of trading up was a generation to come of nothing but trading down. It’s clear now that those prognostications were flawed, not to mention overly pessimistic.

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