Posted by Dale Buss on July 3, 2014 11:51 AM
One of the most influential marketers in the world, Procter & Gamble, executed a big shift in its organization this week. On July 1st, its entire marketing function relaunched as “Brand Management” in a sweeping reorganization that gives a broader purview for brand-centric marketing and thinking.
The move comes as P&G's former CEO, Bob McDonald, is in the news after President Obama nominated to him to take over and make over the troubled Veterans Administration.
With P&G now led (again) by A.G. Lafley, the company's brand-led restructuring, announced by the company in February, is aimed at creating “single-point responsibility for the strategies, plans and results for (each) brand,” a spokesperson told Ad Age.
The shift away from "marketing" towards "brand" changes titles and locks down broader responsibilities for hundreds of marketing directors and associate marketing directors at the world’s biggest advertising spender, now officially brand directors and associate brand directors. Eliminating "marketing" from titles doesn't mean marketing is a thing of the past, however.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 2, 2014 05:20 PM
As women finally move up the corporate ladder in significant numbers, their personal philosophy and style are a study in contrast. Take it from one of the few female CEOs on the Fortune 500. “I don't think women can have it all. I just don't think so. We pretend we have it all. We pretend we can have it all,” stated Indra K. Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo, in an interview at the Aspen Ideas Festival this week.
It's a different message from the Lean In female empowerment movement founded by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, whose go-for-it challenge to young women is, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”
Another female CEO, General Motors head Mary Barra, was asked in a recent (and controversial) interview with Matt Lauer if she can be a good mother and run GM. "I think I can. I have a great team," Barra responded, "and I have a wonderful family and a supportive husband, and I'm pretty proud of my kids the way they're supporting me in this." The social tide quickly turned to question whether Lauer would ask the same of a male CEO, but to wonder why Barra didn't refute the blatantly gender-biased question.
As for the CEO of Yahoo, “The press may be in a world of its own making when it comes to reports on Marissa Mayer,” notes Forbes. “Instead of appearing like a leader who’s reviving what was a failing digital media company at a time when it’s on the cusp of monetizing billions of dollars to improve the company further, she’s a lady who falls asleep before a meeting.”Continue reading...
Posted by Alicia Ciccone on July 1, 2014 04:14 PM
The GM safety recalls have officially reached nauseating levels. On Monday, soon after Kenneth Feinberg, the GM-appointed attorney who will run the brand's compensation fund, announced details of the filing and payment process, GM announced that an additional 8.4 million vehicles would be recalled, most for the same ignition switch issue at the center of the brand's ongoing crisis.
Globally, GM has now recalled over 29 million vehicles in the first six months of this year, and while CEO Mary Barra's newfound diligence may help curb further accidents and injuries, the ever-expanding roll call of recalled vehicles, now dating back to 1997, is painting a much more grim picture of GM's future as a trustworthy automotive brand.
Even still, GM has recorded its best June since the recession. But how long will consumers continue to be enamored with a brand that can't keep its vehicles on the road?Continue reading...
what girls want
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 1, 2014 02:22 PM
With already more than 150 careers under her tiny belt, Barbie, the iconic—and sometimes controversial—doll from Mattel, has officially become an entrepreneur as the doll's 2014 career of the year. The launch puts her in the company of a growing tide of female leaders, including the one-in-five that are leading startups.
Like any smart entrepreneur, Barbie is already hard at work building her network on LinkedIn, where she's pitching her new business, "Dream Incubator," in which she acts "as a consultant, helping girls around the world play out their imagination, try on different careers, and explore the world around them."
Her page features a lengthy resume, because after all, "when anything is possible, a girl is tempted to try everything she can," and includes insights from a group of female entrepreneurs, inlcuding the founders of One Kings Lane, Plum Alley, Girls Who Code and more, “who all have inspiring stories for girls today and are truly #unapologetic about living their dream.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 27, 2014 09:54 AM
IKEA joined a still-limited list of US retailers that is raising minimum wages voluntarily even as the issue of boosting the legally required minimum pay for low-wage workers continues to roil American business and politics.
The maker of inexpensive Scandinavian furniture said that it will raise the average hourly minimum at its 38 US stores to $10.76 an hour, a 17 percent increase, with actual new pay rates varying locally depending on the cost of living in a particular area. The new average would be $3.51 above the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The new policy will raise the pay of about half of IKEA’s 13,120 US employees.
“This stems back to Ikea’s decision to create a better everyday life for our people,” Rob Olson, IKEA’s acting president for the US and its CFO, told the New York Times. “We of course are investing in our co-workers. We believe they will invest in our customers, and they will invest in IKEA’s stores.”
Plus, he told USA Today, the company can absorb the pay increase partly because it has cut costs in recent years. The wage hike will narrow profit margins but ultimately should benefit the bottom line, he said. IKEA has no plans to raise prices, cut staff or reduce hiring. The move also is a “shrewd business tactic that helps retailers attract top talent,” an economic analyst told The Huffington Post.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 26, 2014 02:53 PM
General Motors CEO Mary Barra is expanding her public persona with news media appearances such as one on "The Today Show" this morning. But the spreading stain of increased GM recalls—because of a new level of transparency that Barra herself deliberately created—finally could begin to take a bite out of the company where it counts most: in dealer showrooms.
GM confirmed it has issued a “stop order” to its dealers to halt delivery of 33,000 of its 2013 and 2014 Chevrolet Cruze sedans because of a potential problem involving an airbag inflator made by Takata—the same Japan-based supplier whose air bags have been at the center of a spate of recent recalls by Ford, Honda, Nissan and other brands.
GM already has issued 44 recalls this year covering 20 million vehicles globally, including the extremely damaging ignition switch-related recall that is responsible for at least 13 deaths, and the stop order on some Cruze sales may end up being a recall as well, the company said yesterday.
“We are going to continue to look at the data that we get and we are going to take the action that we need,” she said. “That's our commitment to customers. If we find an issue, we are going to deal with it."Continue reading...
Posted by Bob O'Brien on June 26, 2014 12:30 PM
This week Interbrand, in partnership with Deloitte, released its annual Best Global Green Brands report for 2014, ranking the top 50 among its 100 Best Global Brands. While automotive brands continue to dominate this year’s ranking, there were some significant shifts—especially at the top.
For the first time since the inaugural report in 2011, there is a new No. 1 Best Global Green Brand: Ford unseated Toyota, which fell to No. 2 after three years at the top. Rounding out the top four is Honda at No. 3 and Nissan at No. 4, demonstrating the dominance of the automotive sector in the ranking of sustainable and socially-responsible initiatives.
Are car companies doing something different? Why do consumers and experts recognize one industry as being more effective than others? We sat down with Emma Hrustic, Global Director of Brand Intelligence at Interbrand, to talk methodology, transparency and why auto brands are running away with the race.Continue reading...
Posted by Elisabeth Dick Oak on June 19, 2014 12:14 PM
GM CEO Mary Barra’s long road to redemption continued this week with her most recent appearance before Congress. As the face of the “new GM,” the company’s hopes for a comeback may rest not just on what Barra is saying, but how she’s saying it.
From the moment the news broke, Barra has owned up to every aspect of the debacle with a straightforward, the-buck-stops-here message. “I want to once again express my sympathies to the families that lost loved ones and to those who suffered physical injuries,” she testified on Wednesday before the House Commerce Committee. “I am ever mindful that we have a special responsibility to them, and the best way to fulfill that responsibility is to fix this problem by putting in place the needed changes to prevent this from ever happening again.”
Straightforward? Absolutely. Sincere? Probably. Compelling? Among others, John Oliver, host of HBO's Last Week Tonight, would disagree. Although Oliver’s show is a satire, he’s not wrong when he says, “she rolled a shiny, new statement proudly off GM’s PR assembly line.” Barra’s message is an important one, but her words sound as canned as most of GM’s communications. More importantly, she never even references GM’s customers.Continue reading...