• Beauty Marketers: Best in Class

    by  • August 15, 2011

    A couple of years ago, Advertising Age published an impressive 20-page tribute to L’Oreal, entitled 100 Years of Celebrating Beauty. The piece described a passionate marketing company who has believed in the power of advertising and branding for most of its 100 years. Over those years, the L’Oreal moniker has become synonymous with the image of the quintessential Parissiene – upscale, exclusive and aspirational.

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    Market(ing) Meltdown: Don’t Worry, Be Happy

    by  • August 9, 2011

    I’m going to admit at the outset that I’m not a stock market expert. In fact, I pay little attention to the daily moves of the market or the individual stocks in my portfolio. For those of you still with me, here’s my quick take on the current market meltdown – or should I say marketing meltdown?

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    Is There a CEO Afterlife?

    by  • August 7, 2011

    Those of you who have followed my blog have an idea of how I’m spending my time as a retired CEO. I’m working – not for money, for fun. Beyond my recreational life (weapons of choice being a tennis racquet or a golf club – on a good day I use both), I’m writing about business leadership, branding and life. I’ve also written a historical novel, although I’m still trying to find a publisher who isn’t afraid to invest in a newbie, grey-haired writer in a market going through drastic change. Bottom line, I love a challenge and I’m every bit as goal-oriented as I was thirty years ago.

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    Old Brands. New Hands. Last Stands

    by  • August 1, 2011

    I realize I’ve been around a long time whenever I reminisce about the brands I was associated with in my early career. A few are still leaders, some are shadows of their former selves, the rest are dead. My first job was with Bristol-Myers, the maker of notable health and beauty aids Ban Deodorant, Clairol, Bufferin and Excedrin. At that time, Bristol-Myers also marketed a slew of also-rans such as Ipana and Fact Toothpaste, Vitalis Hair Tonic, Softique Bath Oil and Mum and Trig Deodorant. Where are they now?
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    The Green Thing

    by  • July 26, 2011

    This tale has been making the rounds on the internet. If I knew the creator’s identity I would have given due credit as my guest blogger. Have a chuckle.

    In a line at the grocery store, a cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own bags because plastic bags were terrible for the environment. The woman apologized to the cashier and said, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”
    The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today, because your generation didn’t care enough to save our environment.”

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    What Makes ABSOLUT, Absolute?

    by  • July 24, 2011

    absolutABSOLUT Vodka’s advertising campaign is one of the most successful and longest running consumer products campaigns in the history of advertising. The original concept, created by Art Director Geoff Hayes in a bathtub, and perpetuated by several creative notables, has managed to stand the cruel test of time and create the 3rd largest-selling liquor brand on the globe. How has this campaign lasted so long?
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    When to Take My Name off the Door – by Guest Blogger Leo Burnett

    by  • July 20, 2011

    John Bell – As 1967 came to a close, Leo Burnett was almost out the door of the agency he founded. But before he packed up his sketchpad, pencils, awards, tributes, and memoirs, he spoke to his employees for the last time. 44 years have passed since Leo delivered this speech and much has changed in the world of advertising – but not the values and tenets of his message. Read it, or watch it, and you’ll know why. http://www.youtube.com/embed/7WUxb8YB88o

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    The Nuts and Bolts of the 1-Page Strategic Plan

    by  • July 17, 2011

    I am delighted that so many readers of the CEO Afterlife blog have asked for details of the content that goes into the 1-Page Strategic Plan. Start with deep strategic thought and the right conviction. Leaders with a ‘do-more-of-the-same but better’ attitude are destined for mediocrity. The strategic plan is not the annual budget. This is the break from day-to-day operations; it is the organization’s future. The senior folks charged with crafting the plan must enter the process with a mindset that is analytical, intuitive and creative. By its very nature, the 1-pager doesn’t give you much real estate to work with, even with a small font.

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    Green Company, Red Products, Black Ink

    by  • July 10, 2011

    There’s unlikely a responsible CEO in America who hasn’t at one time, said, “You know what folks? Our business should be more sustainable.” Whether the CEO is driven by personal ethics, a socially changing world, or headlines praising “sustainable” organizations, business is finally responding to the green trend—albeit slower than many would like to see. And although our business leaders may have the “will” to transform their companies, the “way” is continually blocked by inefficiencies, higher costs and unacceptable returns on the investment in technology. Yet, in the case of Houweling’s Nurseries of Camarillo, California, it was the economic mandate of corporate America that introduced the tomato grower to the world of green business. Crassly capitalistic and commercial?  Perhaps. But the result is a world-class model of agricultural sustainability. Who can argue with that?
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    You’re Not a Real Marketer Until You Create a Brand

    by  • July 4, 2011

    Soon after its birth in the nineteenth century, The Procter & Gamble Company became the world’s quintessential brand marketing institution. Its economic rewards have been staggering. Selected by Fortune in 2011 as the world’s fifth most admired company, P&G boasts an array of brand leaders, 22 of them surpassing $1 billion in annual sales. With a 137,000 employees in 80 countries, it is likely that P&G has churned out more than a hundred thousand marketers during its 174 years in business. I venture to guess that over 99% of them have never created a brand from scratch.

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