10 Obscenely Easy Ways to do Better Marketing

Brand marketing and strategy can be very complicated, analysis driven, or even intimidating.    But much of the time, it just isn’t.     Here are 10 obscenely easy ways to do better marketing.    And this isn’t about one particular company, rather, all too many.

1.     Focus –  If you haven’t already, figure out what business you really are in (it’s not what you make, it’s whose problems you solve), what drives your business model, and what you need to attack first.    Less is always more, and more profitable.
2.     Develop your Business Strategy – This needn’t be the all-consuming five-year plan that is both painful and rarely used.    Just figure out what direction you want to head, make sure you know why you want to head that way (versus other alternatives), and make sure that direction is financially sound.      This is CEO and Board stuff, and it’s critical.    But it’s all too frequently not done. Continue reading


Levi’s’ Lame Advertising Campaign: Provocative and Pathetic

Levi’s current brand advertising and communication are fabulous examples of ‘what not to do.’

Here’s a classic case of an advertiser and their agency who are so desperately trying to “break through the clutter,” that they forgot that good advertising is supposed to sell more stuff and enhance the brand’s appeal. But wait, the concurrent viral ‘Unbutton Your Beast’ campaign is even worse. Unbutton Your Beast Both communication efforts give the consumer absolutely no performance or emotional reason to go buy a pair of Levi’s. And they do nothing to enhance the brand’s image, and quite a lot to tarnish it instead. What’s the message? Levi’s is for amorous pathological liars? Millions of dollars gone badly astray. Meanwhile, Levi’s reports disappointing sales and profit performance globally, and in particular, North America. Cause and effect? You bet. Continue reading

General Motors’ Demise: Losing Brand Relevance

Could General Motors have managed once-great brands much worse?  With or without a bailout, nearly all of dinosaur21GM’s brands are classic examples of brands that lost their relevance with consumers.   How did the market share leader, with a portfolio of brands that delivered exceptional performance (Pontiac) and aspirational image (Cadillac) fall so far?    As always, consumers’ lifestyles and preferences changed over time; General Motors did very little to respond.  Continue reading