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The Ford Motor Company is reviving the Lincoln Continental, a car it discontinued producing in the U.S. in 2002. Last fall the Lincoln Continental begin selling in China and seems to be doing well.
The Cadillac family of luxury cars has long eschewed the use of brand names in favor of numbers and letter. A sad branding mistake. I tried hard to think of a Cadillac brand but couldn’t. STS comes to mind, but in my mind’s eye I’m not even sure what one looks like. A Lady Gaga shoe perhaps? So I Googled Cadillac brand names and Wikipedia brought me to a page filled with numbers and letter and only a couple of names: the Fleetwood (in the 50s), Coupe DeVille (60s) and the El Dorado (80s). How quickly we forget.
The alphabet soup of model names Cadillac uses is, I suspect, intended to shine the light on the master brand. It’s not a good move. The Escalade was a great brand name, so we know they can do it. Maybe they’re waiting for a really nice car design before launching a new brand name?
Moving the Cadillac corporate offices to SOHO in NYC was a good first move. I’m thinking some nice designs and names aren’t too far away. Peace.
PS. The current Lincoln names are no better, MKC, MKS, MKK. Oy. At least they have the Continental brand to work with.
Tags: automobile industry, automobile market, Cadillac, car brand names, car brand names versus letter and numbers, Coupe DeVille, El Dorado, escalade, ford motor company relaunch of Lincoln continental, lady gaga shoes, whats the idea, whatstheidea, Wikipedia
The Kraft Heinz merger being orchestrated by 3G and Warren Buffet is a financier’s dream. Lot of money to work with. Kraft, a stalwart in the US. Heinz a global consumer goods company. A number of billion dollar brands to work with – brands like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and Heinz Ketchup. Lots of room to make big topline money and big bottom line cost cuts.
The only downside we’re hearing about is the fact that processed foods, high in sugar, salt and other less than healthy additives, are supposedly under consumer attack. And those are the sweetspot of Kraft. Certainly we’re reading about Millennials trying to eat healthier. Darren Seifer, analyst at market research company NPD says this trend toward healthier eating will be slow in coming. The word he used was “tectonic.” I beg to differ. Consumption patterns, can change at the drop of a hat with good reasoning. Once we get the lobbying money out of the way, and consumers understand the health risks of carbonated soft drinks, high fructose corn syrup and processed food stuffs, consumption habits will change.
And then, to adapt, R&D will change leading to reformulations. Were I Warren Buffet or Jorge Paulo Lemann, I’d take some of my hard earned and invest it in next generation, healthier-for-you food products today. Look at the growth of Hain Celestial. Last I looked their portfolio was growing by double digits. Peace.
Tags: 3G brazil, Darren seifert, hain celestial, healtheri for you foods, Heinz, Heinz ketchup, Jorge Paulo lemann, kraft food, kraft macaroni and cheese, NPN, warren buffet, whats the idea, whatstheidea
In marketing there are “does” and “talkers.” You can’t become a talker without first doing but after you get your talker stripes it becomes easy to go on the speakers’ circuit. One of my favorite brand and marketing “doers” is Taco Bell’s CMO Chris Brandt.
First off, he gets branding. He understands when you have a powerful brand idea, in his case “Live Mas”, you need to articulate and share it. Everywhere. By enculturating it inside a company, it then seeps out every pore. Next you need to innovate. Innovation provides learning. And marketing is nothing if not constant learning. With all deference to the people selling agile this and agile that, you also need to know when to pull the plug – as Mr. Brandt has with the waffle breakfast taco. This time last year it was touted as the company’s largest new product launch. Today it has morphed into a Biscuit Taco. (Maybe use a little American maze in the recipe?) The point is, Mr. Brandt’s engine is always running. Good thing because he’s in the retail fast food business. Next to selling door to door, retail offers the most immediate response to effective marketing. One year of waffles and Mr. Brand knew he had to make a move.
Lastly, Mr. Brand is using a hot ad agency, Deutsch-LA. These Westies are doing some great work. Traditional and digital. They may not get branding strictures with the vigor of Mr. Brandt, but they don’t have to. As long as they have him to drive the taco bus. Peace!
Tags: chris brandt, deutsch, deutsch los angeles, doers and talkers, Live mas, retail advertising brand strategy, taco bells brand strategy, the cmo of taco bell. Biscuit taco, whats the idea, whatstheidea
Readers know my branding equation has three variables: claim, proof planks and proof points. The Affordable Care Act has one primary goal: improve patient outcomes. The big honkin’ goal is to make America less sick. If it works, the cost of care will go down. America spends $18-19 of every $100 on healthcare. If we prevent disease we can cut that number substantially.
We are in year 2 of implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the CMS (Center for Medicare Services) and most other number-gatherers are hard-pressed to find evidence of improved population health. We have lots of claim little proof. I understand big data takes time, but frankly, I think we’re not looking hard enough.
Rather than spend hundreds of millions on web site usability, call centers, systems integrators and community outreach, can’t we cut off a piece of that pie and hire 100 data analysts whose sole mission is to quantify health improvements in communities with improved health services?
As more patients have access to physicians and more patients are educated in ways to prevent high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease the numbers will improve. Daily. We just have to turn loose some data nerds. The data is there – it’s probably at Aetna, Blue Cross and United Healthcare – we just have to find it. And publish it. And celebrate it.
We have the claim right, now it’s proof time. Peace.
Tags: aetna, Affordable care act, affordable care act is succeeding, big data in marketing, blue cross, claim and proof in branding, claim and proof in marketing, data nerds in marketing, proof the affordable care act is working, united healthcare, whats the idea, whatstheidea
As a brand and marketing consultant my job is to “redistribute marketing wealth.” For start-ups I like to create wealth anew. For challengers I target leaders and attempt to sheer off big chunks of revenue. And for companies in leadership positions my mission is to bully their way to greater share.
To most, the phrase “redistribution of wealth” feels like a liberal pursuit. Certainly in politics it suggests the antithesis of free enterprise and capitalism. But not in branding. Not in marketing. It’s all about free enterprise. Marketers who facilitate attitude and actions that change the way people purchase win. Marketers who invest in changes that impact how they sell, behave and go to market, are actively participating in capitalism. Conversely, those who do not invest and who do things the same or incrementally are left bobbing up and down in the market.
Business people who want to redistribute marketing wealth, first and foremost must understand where that wealth comes from. It does not comes from banks, or angel investors or last year’s topline – it comes from consumers. Voters with pocketbook. The best form of free enterprise must include consumers in the equation. If your business plan treats consumer the same, year after year, there will be not wealth redistribution. There will be stasis.
Tags: business planning, business planning tips, marketing tips, redistribution of marketing wealth, redistribution of wealth in marketing, stasis in business planning, whats the idea, whatstheidea
I’ve posted a number of times about the role of learning in marketing. If we help consumers learn the value of brands we’re more apt to gain favor and loyalty. The discovery of new product information and utility is a learning moment which is much better than by being taught by rote recitation of benefits.
We all know the most common leaning environments – schools – aren’t always that effective. Kids are bored. They can’t concentrate. They’re not engaged. So it helps to introduce a little entertainment. Today’s marketing, certainly today’s advertising, tends to be very entertainment focused. Too much so.
The best work helps consumers learn but holds their interest through entertainment. These Deutsch Volkswagen spots on diesel engine myths are a wonderful example of learning and entertainment. Watch all three.
Tags: Advertising, deutsch, learning in marketing, volkswagen, volkswagen diesel spots, volkwagen diesel spots, whats the idea, whatstheidea
This is a blog about brand planning and marketing. There are millions of marketers in the world and only a thousand or so brand planners. Most brand planners also known as account planners work at ad agencies. The rest are consultants like me, hiring themselves out to agencies or working directly with marketers.
A brand planner is a strategist. In my case, I am an up stream strategist who helps organize product, experience and messaging. My tool is a specialized brand plan, consisting of one claim and 3 proof planks. The word plank was borrowed the political world. Each brand plan has three key planks, all of which support the claim. It’s a family.
What resides in a proof plank? Real examples. Evidence. Existential proof of the brand claim. No platitudes. No marko-babble. No blather or bluster. Just proof. People remember proof. They remember it before claim. In healthcare there is lots of talk today about “evidence-based” medicine. That’s what makes a great brand plan. Proof and evidence.
For examples or just a chat about evidence based brand planning, write Steve at WhatsTheIdea.
Tags: brand plan tool, brand planners, claim and proof, existential proof, one claim and 3 proof planks, political planks, proof planks, steve at whatstheidea