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

When Separating Brands Really Works

Back in the late 1980’s, Toyota made a bold business decision to separate its luxury products into a new company to compete directly against Mercedes and BMW. The creation of the Lexus brand quickly was followed by Nissan (formerly Datsun) renaming its luxury business Infiniti. This was brand separation with many questions. How much brand equity should be shared with the parent? Does Toyota quality or engineering bring anything to the party for Lexus? Can Toyota be believable as the manufacturer of a luxury product? Should a Lexus dealer be situated in or near a Toyota dealer? Should they look the same? Should they act the same? [Read more →]

March 15, 2010   36 Comments