Category — Transparency

Brands that Deceive will Ultimately Lose

False advertising is not new. But now, more than ever, it is time for brands to clean up their act and show some respect to their consumers. Truth and transparency are foundations of strong brands in today’s world.

Having grown up in South Africa, I am addicted to Rooibos tea, a naturally caffeine free tea that grows exclusively in a few small regions in South Africa. When I first moved to the US 15 years ago, rooibos tea was no where to be found in stores. Fortunately that has changed over the years as tea has become more in vogue and many established brands like Bigelow and Lipton have expanded their range to include rooibos and other tea varieties. [Read more →]

January 8, 2013   Comments Off on Brands that Deceive will Ultimately Lose

What Branding and PR Professionals Can Teach One Another

“Long-term brand equity and growth depends on our ability to successfully integrate and implement all elements of a comprehensive marketing program.” – Timm F Crull, Chairman & CEO of Nestle

Branding and public relations (PR) professionals have a great deal in common. Branding professionals develop and communicate a promise. PR professionals bring that promise to life through stories, case studies, videos, events and points-of-view. Despite the common ground, branding and PR professionals don’t always collaborate. In some cases, this is because accountabilities reside in different departments. In other cases, it’s because each discipline has its own way of doing things.

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May 1, 2012   Comments Off on What Branding and PR Professionals Can Teach One Another

“Less is More” is the New Paradigm in Building Brands

Who would have predicted that in the year 2012, a silent movie would win the Oscar for Best Picture? The fact that “The Artist” defied the odds is a manifestation of consumers’ demand for “less is more”. Consumers are rejecting the “bigger is better” culture that dominated the late nineties and 2000’s and came crashing down with the global economic crisis. Add to that the daily barrage of information, advertising, news, social media and politics and you have a consumer audience begging for simplicity, less clutter, honesty and integrity.

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February 28, 2012   Comments Off on “Less is More” is the New Paradigm in Building Brands

Brand Transparency Taken to the Limit

Brand marketers are in the throes of deciding how transparent their brand must be. This is a significant issue in many boardrooms around the globe. A close friend was in Turkey last week, and sent me the photo below of the Oscar Watch store in Istanbul… they actually sell “Genuine Fakes”. Talk about transparency… they are making money on telling the truth.

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June 15, 2011   Comments Off on Brand Transparency Taken to the Limit

Why Buy the Expensive Tylenol Brand any more? Where Trust intersects with Value.

A feature in the Sunday New York Times about Johnson & Johnson struggling with many of it’s consumer brands raises a much bigger issue… when you lose trust in a brand name. The specific manufacturing problems and recalls for J&J open up consideration of less marketed store brands. In that moment where value intersects with (brand) price, it will be interesting to see how consumers shift shopping behaviors over the near to longer term.

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January 17, 2011   1 Comment

Will the Apple Brand Take a Hit for it's Poorly Performing iPhone 4? Not in the Long Term.

Steve Jobs has shown how a true leader can step up to an issue and use the dialogue to keep his brand strong. While a difficult situation, Jobs showed the world that Apple values its brand in the long term, and will do what it takes to maintain the loyalty of its franchise. As CNET reported, “…Jobs grits teeth, solves the iPhone 4 ‘crisis’.”

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July 19, 2010   5 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

Hero Apricot Preserves Have Lost Me as a Loyalist

What turns me off is when a manufacturer tries to pull the wool over my eyes.

One of my little sins has been buying Hero preserves from Switzerland. I first discovered the brand in France years ago. It is an upscale line of jams and preserves that has amazing quality and consistency. That ended this week. They just totally changed the product to become a “fruit spread” instead of a “preserve” and tried to make their package for the lower quality product look as identical as possible to the original. I can guess at why they did this, but the reason isn’t important. By trying to fool me into sticking with them (like I wouldn’t notice) they jeopardized our “relationship.” It’s not the product that I am mad at. It’s the Hero brand. They tried to pull the wool over my eyes.

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May 16, 2010   19 Comments

Tylenol Redux… Will McNeil handle the FDA's Report?

The FDA recently released a report chastising a McNeil Consumer Healthcare factory for poor conditions where Children’s Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl and other products are produced. This will be another test to see how McNeil will behave, and whether they will act as responsibly as when Tylenol was pulled off the market decades ago.

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May 11, 2010   24 Comments

Weathering the Storm. Goldman Sachs and Toyota.

There are many brands we love to hate. Today’s bad-boy brands de rigueur are Goldman Sachs and Toyota. Sure, we constantly complain about some of the mega-brands like Microsoft, Simon Cowell, ExxonMobil, and the New York Yankees, etc. But that reaction is a combination of jealousy of their sheer market power and resentment that we can’t live without them.

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April 21, 2010   38 Comments