• 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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    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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    Should the Strategic Plan Rest in Peace?

    by  • June 27, 2011

    At one time, business executives believed that strategic planning was the answer to all of their problems. The process that started in the 1950’s evolved through various strategic analyses including SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats), Michael Porter’s competitive strategy model, core competencies, strategic intent and business transformation. Today, many are questioning the strategic plan’s usefulness. There are many reasons for this. I’ll give three:

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    A Boomer’s Advice to Marketers: Go Ahead, Make My Day

    by  • June 19, 2011

    This year, I’ll turn 68. I still can’t believe it. Half a century has passed since I was in high school; it feels like a decade ago. In my mind the images of the ‘60s remain vivid – the assassination of a President, a man walking on the moon, a war in southeast Asia, the civil rights movement, a band from Liverpool, a California girl, the discovery of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll. I am one of 80 million born between 1946 and 1964 in Canada and the United States. I am a baby boomer.

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