Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Best Brands in the United States

Best Brands in the Land
Happy Halloween! In what will hopefully become an annual tradition, I present to you my list of the top ten brands in the United States. To create this list, I relied heavily upon my opinion of the general perception of each brand versus its competitors, and how much of a premium the brand can charge because of that perception. I didn't get hung up on revenue data or market share numbers — I just went with what I see and hear every day and threw in my own opinion from a marketer's point of view.

Here's my list, starting with the best brand in the land:
  1. Victoria's Secret — The brand became a household name by charging a premium for products that very few people see when worn; and then turned that brand equity into a complete line of clothing.

  2. Google Do you use any other search engine? I'll bet you've even used the word "Google" as a verb.

  3. Apple The iPod, iTunes, and iPhone have defined their categories.

  4. Facebook The dominant social network in the US. They even made a movie about it -- Google, Microsoft, and Apple can't say that.

  5. McDonald's The king of consistency in quick service restaurants. The way the company can scale its efforts across thousands of restaurants always amaze me.

  6. Ebay If you were going to buy or sell a used product online, would you go anywhere else?

  7. Coca Cola Yes, there's Pepsi, but if you order a cola in a restaurant, what are you most likely to ask for?

  8. Harry Potter After seven best-selling books and a soon-to-be-released seventh blockbuster movie, there's now a theme park in Orlando.

  9. Tide In a market flooded with competitors of all shapes and sizes, and despite the Great Recession, Tide maintains a market share of more than 40%.

  10. Breast Cancer Awareness This cause has been able to own the color pink as a way to spread its message. Other causes have tried to rally around other colors, but they haven't been nearly as successful as breast cancer awareness has been with the color pink.
Add This To Your To-Do List
What did I forget? Where am I wrong? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

There's never a lack of ideas

Thursday, October 14, 2010

$#*! My Dad Says

Lost in Translation
William Shatner now stars in a comedy series on CBS that has been adapted from a Twitter feed called Sh*t My Dad Says. I've been a fan of Justin Halpern, the Twitter account's author, for a while, and I'm happy that he's been able to profit from his feed. However, I worry about the success of the show since the success of Halpern's Twitter posts comes because they pack a lot of comedy in just 140 characters. I have not seen the television show, but I worry that stretching a bunch of 140-character one-liners into a 30-minute series is doomed to fail from the beginning.

But maybe there's an alternative way to translate the Sh*t My Dad Says Twitter account to television without losing its punch of comedy:

Pardon the Interruption

What if CBS took the top 150 posts from Halpern's dad and made them into ten-second spots that aired in between each commercial during prime time for one day of the week throughout the whole fall season. The ten-second bits would be just as funny as the Twitter feed itself, and TV viewers would have a reason to watch all of the commercials for one night each week. Instead of trying to gain a large audience of viewers to watch a show called $#*! My Dad Says, CBS would be gaining a large audience of viewers who would watch an evening of shows. Seems like a win-win situation to me.

Add This To Your To-Do List

Sometimes a great idea can't be extended, made bigger, or shrunk down. It works well just the way it is. Think long and hard about what makes your great ideas work before you decide to change them in order to "make them better."

There's never a lack of ideas.

Thanks to Maggie Redmon, my friend and former co-worker, for thinking up this post.