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    The Decay of Brand Differentiation

    by  • September 25, 2015 • 0 Comments

    There’s a host of reasons why great brands decay. High on the list is weak marketing, weak management, and weak strategic discipline. I could add a dozen more. I won’t. I will say that the crux of the matter is the incessant pressure on management to maintain or rediscover corporate growth.

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    Knowledge Is Power. Data Isn’t.

    by  • September 8, 2015 • 0 Comments

    How many times have you heard that “knowledge is power?” I’m guessing that without much thought, you readily nod your head in agreement. In every vocation, from academics to business to politics, the knowledge theorem and its power corollary is seemingly undeniable.  Knowledge Theorem:  Information + Knowledge = Better Decision-Making.  Power Corollary:  Better Decision-making = Power

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    Stop Trying to Do More and More

    by  • August 5, 2015 • 0 Comments

    2dPic (3)In Theodore Levitt’s The Marketing Imagination, the renowned marketing professor said there was no such thing as a commodity, only people who think like commodities. Differentiation is still the name of the marketing game. Distinction in service, image and promise allows a brand to occupy a piece of a customer’s busy mind. More importantly, differentiation is the brand’s raison d’être, its reason for being that causes customers to think of it when they are ready to shop. And when they do shop, this is the brand that goes into real and virtual shopping carts.

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    Stubbornness and Strategy: Birds of a Feather

    by  • July 16, 2015 • 0 Comments

    canada-geese-348290_640From as far back as my days in brand management, I have held a deep affection for strategy. This might have something to do with the fact that I can be stubborn. Good strategists are also stubborn, even pigheaded. Why is that? Because without strategic stubbornness, the hard barrier lines that contain the strategy will blur. And when a brand or company’s positioning blurs, customers become confused.

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    Culture Doesn’t Trump Strategy

    by  • June 10, 2015 • 0 Comments

    goats-692660_640In the last 40 years of the 20th century, strategy was the champion of business supremacy. As a critical success factor, strategy turned into a lucrative industry for a host of consulting firms such as McKinsey & Company, and the Boston Consulting Group. Smart strategic thought became the conduit for propelling companies to decades of top tier performance.  In the new economy, culture is the poster child of corporate success.

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    Change is Bad

    by  • April 22, 2015 • 0 Comments

    earth-216833_1280Okay, so I’m going to start by admitting that my heading was a ‘hook’ to get you into this post. Here’s the deal; the notion that “change is bad” is blasphemy in today’s world of business. In fact, change is one of the most proliferated subjects in blogs, books, and social media chats. I understand why, and so do you; change is vital to progress in every field of endeavor. Without change, stagnation sets in. This explains why it is so easy for people to become caught up and desensitized by the “change is good” paradigm. Well, change is not always good. Change can be bad. Very bad.

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    Why Leaders Believe that Tomorrow is a Better Place

    by  • April 13, 2015 • 1 Comment

    g9600_elonB.inddTo every one of us, the future is important. Maybe it’s because the future is where we are going to spend the rest of our lives. Or could it be something more, something about the human spirit that has us looking ahead to a better future for ourselves, our families, and every living thing on the planet. One thing is for sure; you won’t get to a better future without foresight.

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    Kraft-Heinz Merger. Déjà Vu all over Again.

    by  • March 26, 2015 • 0 Comments

    150325082859-kraft-heinz-custom-2Kraft is a rather interesting case in shareholder value. For years management has failed to generate organic growth. So they’ve chosen the easier growth route of acquisitions, mergers, divestments, and more mergers. And through it all, shareholders have been rewarded with lucrative stock gains.

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    What Connects Coca-Cola, Lego, In-N-Out, Intuit, and Nike? Focus.

    by  • March 18, 2015 • 1 Comment

    LegoComplexity has many definitions; excessive complication is the simplest. In today’s business, chronic complexity is stifling, stagnating, and bringing companies to their knees. This is why we hear so much about focus from C-suites and corporate boards. CEOs talk focus all the time and nod to its importance, but few take the necessary measures to cut through complexity and clear a path to clarity and coherence.

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    50 Shades of Decay

    by  • March 7, 2015 • 1 Comment


    Now that I have your attention, the decay I am actually referring to is the 50 warning signs of corporate decay. Watch out for them in your organization. If you spot four or five, work on resolving them, now. Ten or fifteen mean that you are already in the quicksand. Revival is not too late, but whatever you do . . . remember, the steps you take must be transformational, not incremental. Sick companies are never turned around by doing more of the same, better.

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    Board of Directors Resolution: Pay Attention to Culture

    by  • February 20, 2015 • 0 Comments

    zappos-vector21st Century corporate governance is a busy job. Acting on behalf of shareholders, boards of directors are paying attention to an escalating list of risks and rewards from a firm’s undertakings. Like many activities within any organization, “the squeaky wheels get the grease.” Other than in desperate situations such as ‘turnarounds,’ culture seldom ranks as a pressing matter in the boardroom. That’s a big mistake. 

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    How to Thrive Against Giants

    by  • February 4, 2015 • 0 Comments

    PrintWhen you know that your company will never be the low-cost producer nor will it ever have enough cash to outspend the big cat, there’s no choice but to find other ways to skin that cat. Thousands of small to medium sized businesses are successfully doing this. “How?” you ask. The answer lies within those factors that do not require fat bank accounts. There are far more than you think.

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