marketing

Is there something to like about Sara Lee?

I’ve kept my eye on Sara Lee for several years now, originally because the company was a poster child of the Loss of Focus principle. But in 2005 new CEO Brenda Barnes introduced a plan to streamline Sara Lee, which analysts would have described as a conglomerate but could more accurately have been characterized a beast. Launched in 1939 as ...

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Happy 60th Anniversary China!

When Are We Seeing A Parade Of Chinese Global Brands? by Idris Mootee Happy Birthday China! China celebrated its rise to a world power over 60 years of Communist rule recently, showing the world their capabilities in its biggest-ever parade of state-of-the-art military hardware. It has come a long way and still has a long way to go. I attended ...

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Innovation Perspectives – Should Marketing or R&D lead?

This is the fourth of several ‘Innovation Perspectives‘ articles we will publish this week from multiple authors to get different perspectives on “Where should innovation reside?” Here is the next perspective in the series: by Drew Boyd Who leads innovation in your company: marketing or R&D? It’s a trick question, of course. But it’s a useful question for Fortune 100 ...

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Bias for Action

Should one of your company, department or individual core values be a bias for action? What does that mean? It means you take action. Get projects, products and campaigns to market quickly. You test. You spend more time executing, learning and improving. You let the market help you make decisions vs. doing it in isolation. You test quickly instead of ...

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The Impact of Trends on Business

Today’s post was inspired by a witty piece authored by Wally Bock on the topic of fads. If you’re not familiar with Wally’s work, I’d recommend checking him out on a regular basis. When you looked beyond the humor, Wally made some great points about the impact (or lack thereof) of the latest fads, trends, business theories, gimmicks, concepts conveyed ...

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Five Key Characteristics of an Entrepreneur

I briefly followed a Twitter conversation yesterday afternoon that attempted to define what a real entrepreneur is. It stemmed from one individual’s frustration that some small company employees considered themselves entrepreneurs, even though they did not own or start the company. I wonder if it matters. Furthermore, I love the idea of employees – at big companies and small – ...

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A Cosmetic Fix?

One of the questions I’m frequently asked by corporate leaders struggling to manage in the current environment is how far to go with their cost-cutting measures. With their companies suffering sales declines, they’ve got to trim somewhere to maintain profitability (and in some cases to stay afloat), but they don’t want to cut the wrong things. Recent moves by Jean-Paul ...

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Keep Your Cool. Speed Can Kill.

I recently came across an interesting quote from Michael Schumacher, the seven-time Formula One champion. He said, “To perfect things, speed is a unifying force. To imperfect things, speed is a destructive force.” Business, like auto racing, is a world of imperfect things. Always has been. But as the pace of change continues to increase, both the danger and the ...

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New Features Are Not Innovation

Dot one…Recognizing the remarkable success of Apple’s iPhone, Palm launches the Pre, which (according to its ads), “does things iPhone can’t.” True enough, and as an iPhone user I must say that the Pre’s exclusive features are appealing. There’s just one problem–I don’t believe for a minute that the iPhone won’t adopt the same features within months. Given the time ...

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Don't Be Commoditized

by Steve McKee The other day I met with about a dozen smart, aggressive CEOs, all of whom run successful companies. Most of them, like most of us, are struggling in the current economic environment. The conversation turned to the pressure on margins they’re facing, particularly in industries where distinguishing one competitor from another can be difficult. The question on ...

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