HOW THE MIGHTY, AND YOUR BRAND, CAN FAIL

    Last week I mused about the closings of Treasure Island Foods and Dominick’s in the Chicago area. But a mighty giant of yore is seeking bankruptcy, Sears. This would have been unimaginable in its hey-day (it’s been around for 132-years surviving WW I & II, and the Great Depression) as it would be […]

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Musings on Brand Decline and Failure

  My wife is saddened that Treasure Island Foods is shutting its doors on Friday, 12 October 2018. Treasure Island Foods, has been a staple in the Chicago area, owned and operated for 55-years by the Kamberos family.  Julia Child described Treasure Island Foods as “America’s most European supermarket”, but that was a long time […]

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Are You a Half-Full or Half-Empty Marketing Manager?

The interview process can be quite trying. There are those interviewers whose questions are directed to find out what is wrong with the candidate. These are the half-empty managers. They have limited vision and poor managerial skills. Then there are those managers who want to find out what the candidate has going for her/him and […]

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How Do You Want To Be Perceived?

Imagine for a moment that you are a candidate for a senior marketing position with another company. You submit your resume expecting that you’ll receive an invitation to interview. After all your credentials are impeccable. You’ve attended some the best schools, served as an officer in a marketing club or sorority/fraternity, graduated in the top […]

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The Creative Brief – Are You Using It to Inspire the Creatives?

There is a belief among many marketers and agency account managers that the creative brief needs to inspire the creative team. Poppycock (a much more reserved expression than how I really feel about it)! The creative team should be inspired by the challenge of the work and the leadership of the client. The client’s job […]

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Nike – Do Or Don’t Do It?

By now nearly every marketer and sports enthusiast is familiar with the new Nike ad featuring Colin Kaepernick, former San Francisco Quarterback who is, perhaps, better known for starting a movement to protest racial injustice by taking a knee during the American National Anthem than he is for his exploits on the NFL gridiron. It’s […]

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Where’s Your Focus?

President Trump has been levying and threatening tariffs on select countries and industries. Steel and aluminum are two such industries to be targeted. Harley-Davidson, expecting a decline in profits due to the increased cost of steel and aluminum needed to manufacture their choppers has been exploring making parts overseas to scooter around the tariffs. In […]

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Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

We know what it means to be competitive. Saying that your company or brand is competitive just doesn’t cut it. Nor is wanting to be competitive sufficient to improve your brand’s outlook. It takes more to be competitive. It is about being prepared to win in the marketplace, to beat the perennial leader, to grow […]

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What It Means To Be Competitive

Senior managers will claim that their company, brand or new marketplace entry is “competitive.” Yet so very often their products are “me-too,” further contributing to the “age of sameness” in an era characterized by a proliferation of products (i.e., an “age of abundance”) in virtually every market. Additionally, they’re under-funded and/or their organization is not […]

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Competition Will Make Us Better Or Break Us

  Taxi cabs have been memorable in Chicago but not for exceptional service. There was a time when you’d get into a cab in Chicago only to discover that your driver spoke little English, if any at all. Nor might they know how to get you to your destination via the most direct route. The […]

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