How to brand a destination?

Is place branding a money trap invented by evil advertising agencies? Is it a fool’s gold for destinations? Has any place ever benefited from so-called place branding? How about this scary stat?: 86% of place branding projects fail within a year of introduction. Is there a way to break this curse? Let’s figure out the…

Systems thinking and Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers is one of the greatest franchises in the history of modern sports. They won the NBA championship 16 times and missed the play-offs just five times! I have always admired the “championship-or-bust” mentality of this organization. After a couple of “relatively” unsuccessful seasons, the Lakers decided to assemble a “super team.” They signed…

Systems Thinking and Toronto Raptors

Two years ago, I wrote an article about the Raptors’ brand strategy or lack thereof. Recently, I asked the Raptors Republic community what has changed over the last two years. The topic generated decent interest and started an excellent dialogue, so I decided to edit my comments and share them with you. It is about…

The Chief Answer Officer

A couple of months ago, we talked about ways to improve the effectiveness of meetings and projects. Today, we’d like to address the same topic, but offer a different solution… In her must-read book The New How, Nilofer Merchant shares one of her observations: She analyzes the lack of responsiveness of large organizations and identifies…

Branding Czech Republic Part 1

I have always thought that the most difficult branding projects are the place branding ones. As such, I have written quite a bit about the unique challenges of these beasts. The reality is, unfortunately, most of them are destined to fail and this is proven by hard data. Months ago, Czech Republic revealed its new…

Why do place brands fail? The mistakes of the consultant. Part 1

NEWS FLASH: 86% of place brands fail within a year of introduction! Over the past ten years, k629, a place-branding consultancy, has developed a database of more than 5,000 place brands. From that data source, they have found that only 14% of place brands continue a year from launch. They estimate nearly $75 million has been…

Are you asking the right questions?

Have you ever left a meeting questioning why you were even summoned in the first place? What was the objective of the session – if it had any? What was the convener trying to achieve? I don’t know about you, but I have been to too many such meetings, in which we, collectively,  wasted valuable time…

Brand Jordan

NBA lockout is about to end. The hot topic of discussion is what’s the damage to Brand Jordan? Michael Jordan is arguably the greatest basketball player of all times. But his skills and will are not enough to explain how he became the magnetic person that he is. During his Hall of Fame induction speech,…

Key to customer loyalty

There are some brands that I find so successful. I call them magnetic. One of those brands is Maui Jim, the sunglass company. The brand is best known for its high quality, reasonably priced and fashionable polarized sunglasses. I bought my first Maui Jim sunglass in 2008. Since then, I bought two more. As rational…

Smoothies and Tim Hortons… Success or failure?

Last week we talked about Starbucks’s recent experiment of serving alcohol in some of its locations. We ended up recommending them to create a second brand. We also said, on our next article we will focus on a successful line extension from Canada: Tim Horton’s, one of Starbucks’ archrivals. For those of you who are…

What’s in a name?

I love working with a brand named after its founder because they make my life much easy. The majority of brands still communicate merely what they’ve got (their products, their services, or their features.) Only a small number of brands communicate their “promise”, which is definitely a better marketing strategy. A promise is the universally-accepted…

LeBron James: Really a villain brand?

A lot has been written and said about LeBron James and his famous decision to sign with the Miami Heat. So why address this topic now? Hasn’t everything been said about “the decision?” My answer is “no”, because nobody looked at this issue from brand strategy perspective. So let’s put our branding goggles and see…