Congrats to Heineken for Updating its Bottle in the U.S.

Heineken is introducing a new, taller bottle in the U.S. in order to help it’s flagging sales. It is a smart move on many levels, and it will be successful.  But imagine the internal debate about change.

Heineken Lager Beer was established in 1873 in the Netherlands, and still uses the same recipe. It was the first beer imported into the U.S. after prohibition, in 1933, and has been a consistent bell weather brand. But while they once commanded a leading share of imports, Corona, craft beers, and even traditional competitors have introduced newer packaging and flavors, and Heineken has suffered. Today, Corona outsells Heineken almost 2 to 1. So it was out of necessity Heineken considered an alternative to the squat green bottle that has been their structural heritage. Funny how competition pushes a brand to better understand it’s equities.

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September 20, 2012   No Comments

Building the Next Generation of Consumers thru the Brand Experience

My three boys have never enjoyed grocery shopping with me, and quite frankly, nor have I enjoyed taking them to the grocery store with me.  So imagine my surprise when, after a recent trip to the newly opened Whole Foods Market in our neighborhood, they commented on what a “cool store” it is.  I was even more surprised to hear them say, “can we come”, the next time I announced I was going to Whole Foods.

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July 7, 2011   No Comments

Zero Degress of Separation… Getting a New Dog Food Brand Directly to the Dog.

In Germany, a pet food is being launched by a company that needed an innovative way to launch a new product with a very small budget. They created a novel concept where a dog owner, standing in front of a billboard on the street, checks in by mobile device to Foursquare, and a dispenser instantly delivers the product, right there, at pet level. Dog eats, is happy, and becomes conditioned that this is a place worth visiting. What a brilliant idea to forgo the gatekeeper (pet owner) and get the product sample to the end user. The dog now “commands the owner.” Thanks to financial guru Peter Farnsworth alerted us to GranataPet.


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April 18, 2011   No Comments

Why Buy the Expensive Tylenol Brand any more? Where Trust intersects with Value.

A feature in the Sunday New York Times about Johnson & Johnson struggling with many of it’s consumer brands raises a much bigger issue… when you lose trust in a brand name. The specific manufacturing problems and recalls for J&J open up consideration of less marketed store brands. In that moment where value intersects with (brand) price, it will be interesting to see how consumers shift shopping behaviors over the near to longer term.

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January 17, 2011   1 Comment

Starbucks of the Future… an Idea that Feels Just Right for the Brand

Starbucks is introducing a new concept idea this week. It will serve regional wine, beer, cheese, soup and other small dishes. While designated by location (e,g, “Olive Way store”), it will indicate it is “by Starbucks”. The interior will be more like a cafe that has been in the neighborhood for years, but extremely eco-friendly. This evolution into an after work, evening business just feels right for the times.

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October 22, 2010   25 Comments

Gap's Reversal on Changing its Logo is a Testament to the Power of Social Networks.

In a stunning reversal, US retailer Gap introduced a new logo, and then, four days later, bowed to consumer pressure not to change it. The story here isn’t Gap’s misstep, but the amazing ability of social networks to influence significant decision-making on such an important issue. The ability to learn about, think about, and respond to new ideas is a demonstration of the new social collective and its impact on many things, especially business decisions.

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October 13, 2010   11 Comments

Why I’m Giving You Something from Tiffany This Year

It looks like upscale shoppers may lead us out of the recession. Tiffany’s sales are up globally. So are sales at Saks, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales and Nordstrom. High-end shoppers are leading the way.

But what is interesting to me is the attraction to these strong brands as the vehicle for higher end spenders. Under the assumption that the wealthy have a great deal of liquidity as they have been hording their cash and not investing in the market, they are apparently spending their money on brands they can trust. [Read more →]

March 23, 2010   36 Comments