John Malmo

Commentator

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Commentary
7:43 am
Wed April 24, 2013

If You Can't Finish, Don't Start

Little boys growing up in the ‘Thirties were taught not to start something that they couldn’t finish. Initially, that meant don’t punch somebody bigger than you in the nose.

It’s a wonderful warning to keep in your head throughout your career. Because a starter who can’t finish loses credibility. Socially. Athletically. In government and business.

Great ideas that don’t materialize have little value. From track to golf, and in every business career, it’s not how you start. It’s how you finish. 

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Commentary
7:30 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Make Icons Likable, Not Weird.

The Burger King
Evan Agostini Getty Images Entertainment

There are few devices better than an icon, or mascot, to help build personality and awareness for a brand.   And creating a successful icon is not a terribly difficult process.   But Burger King managed to screw it up.

As for personal tastes, I have always thought a Burger King hamburger was the best-tasting among fast-foot burgers. But the weird-looking, and weirder-acting, speechless, and spooky king that’s driven Burger King advertising for years is a dud.

Thankfully, new Burger King owners think so, too, because he’s being dethroned.

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Commentary
7:36 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Water And Music Top The Sales Charts

H20 Tunes
Justin Willingham WKNO-FM

When I think about all the inventions and discoveries in my lifetime, it’s mind-boggling. Plastic. Television. Computers. Cell Phones. Jet airplanes. Color photography. 

And that doesn’t scratch the surface.

But I believe the most extraordinary marketing successes have been achieved for two products that are centuries old: drinking water and music.

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Commentary
7:36 am
Wed March 27, 2013

American Airlines Looks The Part

American Airlines' Redesign
Credit Justin14 / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike

Despite all its problems in recent years, including bankruptcy, American Airlines has retained a certain aura. Consider every other airline brand in the world and tell me you could pick one better than American Airlines.

Then look at the graphics on airplanes of all the world’s airlines. Find one cleaner, more professional-looking than American. That silver airplane with classic Helvetica type. 

When I began flying for business in the ‘Sixties American was dominant. No competitor in the U.S. compared with American service.

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Commentary
7:36 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Without Trust, Brands Lose Equity

Credit Riccardo Arata / fotolia.com

We spend our lives in a branded environment. We buy branded products and services. We work for companies that are trying to build their brands. Some of us work in a brand-building role.

At the very least, we spend our money with a keen awareness of brands.

Why? What is it about a brand that influences us so? What makes a brand worth billions? What makes one bar of soap worth twice as much as another?

The brand.

What is a brand, anyway? One word: trust. The definition of a brand is trust.

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