John Malmo

Commentator
EventImages21 / fotolia.com

Rolls-Royce has hired its first advertising agency in America.  The task for the agency is to create a new, younger image for the car that is a cliché for wealthy, old men with chauffeurs.  

The company believes its appeal to well-heeled, older buyers remains strong, but Rolls-Royce wants to capture younger, affluent drivers as well.  Word is that the agency is likely to utilize a lot of live, promotional events, as opposed to traditional media advertising.

Khlda Rhmn / fotolia.com

It’s too simple to say some business executives perform better than others.  Way too many factors determine a company’s success or failure than just the actions of the CEO.  Especially companies that have been around for a long time.

WKNO

I talk a lot about brand names. Because a great brand name makes everything easier. 

We have great brand names in Memphis.  FedEx, although the company originally didn’t want people saying FedEx, is a great brand. Federal gave the brand credibility in its earliest days.  Auto Zone, though not the original name, is a strong brand. Better, I think, than the original, Auto Shack.  LifeBlood’s a classic. 

A great brand name you’ve probably never given a thought about is WKNO. Think about it.  Public broadcasting in America has been a fact since the early Twentieth Century.

When Companies Grow Up

Oct 19, 2011
Adrian Pingstone / WikiMedia Commons

Almost all companies start out doing one thing.  Terminix sold termite control.  Added pest control; now blows insulation.

Remember when Kraft meant cheese?  Now Kraft means everything from salad dressing to cigarettes.

FedEx, too, used to mean just one service: absolutely, positively overnight delivery service.  Now add trucking, office supplies, printing and I’m sure there’s more I don’t know about.

So now comes a new FedEx advertising campaign designed to "tell all the cool things we do to help people solve problems."

Be a Mystery Shopper

Oct 12, 2011
@sculpies / fotolia.com

There’s one thing that everybody in every company can do to help make the company successful: be a mystery shopper.  Test how easy it is to do business with your company.

A couple weeks ago I tried to make a reservation for a golf package on Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.  I went to the web site and called the direct number for the hotel on a Saturday evening.  I was told to call back between nine and five on Sunday.  I tried another number on the web site and got an answering machine with an announcement that I needed an extension number to reach anybody.

Lou Gerstner resurrected IBM with no previous knowledge of IBM’s business. He proved that a lack of company, even category, experience can be overcome. Gerstner was the exception.

A CEO with the full body of knowledge about a company and its category has a huge leg up. CEOs who grow up in a company know the pressure points at every level. They know where each job fits in the total scheme. They know the industry. And that means they know the competition.

The Airline Business Model is Dead, by John Malmo

Memphis, TN – The life of an airline chief marketing officer must be absolute hell. For all but Southwest, airline brand stature in America is in the toilet. They hemorrhaged money. Cut flights. Cut people. Cut cities. Cut advertising. Raised fares. Added extra fees for everything but the co-pilot. The traditional airline business model doesn't work anymore.

Brand Positioning

Jan 21, 2009

01-21-2009 - Brand Postioning - by John Malmo.

Memphis, TN – Election day 2008 will go down as the biggest marketing day in history. President Barack Obama successfully defeated both the best known woman in the country, Hilary Clinton, and a very well-respected war hero and fellow Senator, John McCain. The President won, in part, by finding a brand that worked, and sticking with it. While the others kept redesigning their campaign efforts, Obama stuck to one word: Change.

Pages