John Malmo

EventImages21 /

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 /

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.


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 /

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.