Category — Positioning

Sports Team Names Reveal Something… UC Santa Cruz has had the "Banana Slug" as an Unofficial Name and Mascot. Is this a Beneficial "brand" for them?

Sports teams can select names and identities that really are often interesting and intriguing. Some time ago I learned that University of California Santa Cruz had selected the banana slug as a mascot, and I took pause. They describe their mascot as “a bright yellow, slimy, shell-less mollusk commonly found on the redwood forest floor…” Certainly this brand is unique and memorable, but is it positive for the school?

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September 15, 2010   3 Comments

When Co-Branding Really Works. Bloomberg Businessweek is a powerful combination.

The acquisition of Businessweek by Bloomberg created a natural reason to put both brands together… and it is a good example of when a co-brand strategy can really work. It may seem obvious where it all ended up, but I am sure there was some serious consideration before the dual brand name was engraved in the masthead. Kudos to Bloomberg.

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August 16, 2010   7 Comments

How will Tesla Position its Luxury all-Electric Car?

Tesla Motors is scheduling an IPO to raise more capital and complete development of an all-electric car that will eventually sell for $50,000. One issue they need to contemplate is how to position the new car in the marketplace that already has a plethora of environmentally friendly hybrid offerings.

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June 28, 2010   13 Comments

When Brands Lose Meaning… Ford to Send Mercury to the Graveyard

The telling sign of yet another automotive brand signals the importance of having a differentiated and relevant position in the marketplace. The economic times we live in have forced Ford to terminate the Mercury brand.  But if you think about it, the Mercury brand didn’t really have a clear meaning and wasn’t differentiated from competition. Keith Naughton of Bloomberg writes about the end of the Mercury brand after seven decades.

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June 1, 2010   19 Comments

For BP, Being "Beyond Petroleum" Depends on How They Act

By now, there has been a lot reported and written about BP. The branding debate has been about whether their “Beyond Petroleum” proposition can be sustained. The answer lies in how they choose to act.

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May 21, 2010   2 Comments

The New United Airlines… a Merger to Survive

United Airlines and Continental are merging, and that signal alone indicates how difficult business has become. It is too bad the merged company can’t signal a new kind of airline, but that isn’t in the cards in this economy.

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May 3, 2010   10 Comments

Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty in the same Bed. How Many Brands can Hertz Support?

It looks like Hertz will be buying Dollar Thrifty. This presents a number of challenges related to which brands they keep, and whether the jettison any. The market leader Hertz in now in 146 countries with 8,200 locations, and this is what is attractive to Dollar Thrifty. Access to better systems and more locations. So from an operational standpoint, there are valuable synergies.

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April 27, 2010   18 Comments

Google's Name may be Limiting for its Future

In an interesting feature in CNET News, Tom Krazit raises an interesting point that the Google brand has come to mean search, but their business is becoming much more than that. He speculates that Google will have to redefine its brand. I think there is another way to skin that cat.

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April 23, 2010   74 Comments

Changing a Name Changes Everything

I have loved Japanese edamame for some time. Today I found out they were soy beans. Ouch! Names can really reframe perceptions and gain new levels of acceptance. Before I continue let me lace up my “running shoes.” I don’t wear “sneakers” any more.

Here is what set me thinking about name evolution. In the New York  Times, Nicholas Kristof writes about one of the world’s leading  specialists studying wild dogs in Africa. In his drive to change the negative stereotype of the words “wild dogs”, he has rebranded them “painted dogs.” What he has been able to do is transform the perception of a reviled varmint into an exotic animal that should be preserved. Very clever. [Read more →]

April 19, 2010   39 Comments

Help me save California Pizza Kitchen (CPK)

One of my favorite “casual dining” restaurants announced today that they were looking at strategic alternatives for the company. They need an infusion of capital, but more importantly, they need a better handle on what their brand stands for. [Read more →]

April 12, 2010   9 Comments