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brand strategy

Nadella's Strategy for Streamlining, Reharmonizing Microsoft

Posted by Dale Buss on July 17, 2014 04:42 PM

Satya Nadella has finally made clear how he would like to re-program Microsoft: simplifying its infrastructure and streamlining the employee base as part of repositioning the company around the growth of mobile computing and applications and the cloud.

In the second of two major memos to Microsoft employees, the new CEO today relayed the painful news that the company will be cutting up to 18,000 jobs over the next year, including about 12,500 professional and factory positions that are related to Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s handset business.

“My promise to you is that we will go through this process in the most thoughtful and transparent way possible,” Nadella wrote in his memo.

The layoffs are Microsoft’s largest ever. But adding the Nokia business in April padded Microsoft’s payroll of 100,000 by another 25,000 people. Daniel Ives, an analyst with FBR Capital Markets, believes that the “larger than expected” layoffs hinted at Nadella’s plans to simplify Microsoft’s infrastructure.Continue reading...

brand strategy

P&G Puts Emphasis on Brand as Former CEO Heads to Washington

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...

brand strategy

Lafley Emphasizes P&G's Broad Brand Value in 2nd Term as CEO

Posted by Dale Buss on September 5, 2013 01:54 PM

A.G. Lafley's first turn running Procter & Gamble was transformational for the company as he bought Gillette, shed the company's food brands and put innovation on a pedestal. For what he has called his "second shift," Lafley has indicated that his emphasis will be less on overhauling the company and more on making sure P&G as now constituted is doing the best that it can.

"I'm just elevating the focus on execution, everybody gets it," the P&G CEO said this week at the Barclays Back to School analysts conference in Boston. "When we execute, we like the results. What's more important, consumers like the results better, customers like the results better and in the end we like the results better and our shareholders like the results better."

Lafley said he's focusing on boosting productivity, "improving operating discipline," "investing in innovation and go-to-market capabilities" and "re-establishing value creation as our primary measure of success." He's also making some big bets by restrategizing some of P&G's iconic brands.Continue reading...

brand survivors

Kodak CEO Outlines Path to Emerging from Bankruptcy in 2013

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 30, 2012 01:28 PM

Eastman Kodak announced this week that it had the financing in place "to successfully execute its remaining reorganization objectives and emerge from Chapter 11 in the first half of 2013." Today, Kodak chairman and CEO Antonio M. Perez updated the progress toward that goal since filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January.

Perez, in the video above, discusses the four areas Kodak has been working on during this Chapter 11 reorganization period: resolving legacy costs and issues in the US around retiree pension benefits, with an agreement reached in October and downsizing of its US workforce; "increase liquidity in the US," its biggest cost center and lowest profit center (with $1B in sales outside America); selling off non-strategic IP and patents; and "focusing on our most valuable businesses" — namedly, commercial imaging, as it moves away from its consumer businesses.

"This is a difficult process," he states. "Neither our employees, customers or suppliers doubted why we were doing what we're doing, and they've been there with us all the way. So thank you, thank you all."

brand strategy

Marissa Mayer Steers Yahoo! Through the High C's

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 27, 2012 03:02 PM

Big moves are afoot at Yahoo!, where new CEO Marissa Mayer this week outlined her strategy for a new era at the company she joined from Google in July. In an all-hands meeting Tuesday at the company’s Sunnyvale, California headquarters, Mayer outlined her vision for personalizing the Web for users, from content to email to ads, while expanding that user base, talent pool (witness her new CFO hire, "Silicon Valley legend" Ken Goldman) and advertiser partners. 

Articulating her vision of "four C's" (Culture, Company goals, Calibration and Compensation), Mayer wants Yahoo! "to become something users touch every day," according to Business Insider, and to achieve that, the company must move more quickly, with employees having more ownership over and resources for their projects which will be approved only if they have the potential to scale to 100 million users or $100 million in revenue. As AllThingsD detailed, Mayer also spoke of more "acqui-hires," buying small companies for tech talent rather than products, and emphasized mobile as an area where Yahoo! "will be strong" by 2015.

While the company remains one of the world's most popular websites with more than 700 million monthly users of its email service and readers of its news pages, stiff competition from Facebook and Google and diminished online display ad prices have led to stagnated revenue. Dominance in the billion dollar industry of contextually relevant ads is up for grabs and Yahoo! is staking its claim. To that end, Yahoo! and Media.net just announced a long-term agreement to launch Yahoo! Bing Network Contextual Ads to provide web publishers with customized ad units that display relevant text ads from across the Yahoo! Bing Network.Continue reading...

brand strategy

RIM Faces Shareholders, But Question Remains: Will BlackBerry Make It?

Posted by Dale Buss on July 10, 2012 04:56 PM

Research in Motion leadership squeaked through the company's annual presentation to shareholders Tuesday morning with a minimum of contention and even with its existing board of directors intact.

That doesn't mean shareholders who attended the meeting at its corporate hometown of Waterloo, Ontario, were at all happy with the cratering of the BlackBerry brand, RIM's huge financial losses, its announcement of massive layoffs, the musical-chair game of top management, the shrinking stock price, or the company's widely bemoaned executive decision to delay the launch of the crucial BlackBerry 10 phone until next year.

And they're certainly not happy with how the iPhone and Droid have eaten BlackBerry's lunch lately or how some corporate customers already are contingency planning for a day when BlackBerry might no longer exist or be viable.Continue reading...

brand challenges

P&G Trims Sails to "Achieve More Balanced Growth"

Posted by Dale Buss on June 20, 2012 04:11 PM

Procter & Gamble keeps lowering expectations for investors, partly because P&G keeps getting disappointed by shoppers worldwide.

One of the world's largest CPG companies and marketers cut forecasts for its fiscal fourth-quarter (April-June 2012) revenues and earnings today, citing weakness in developed markets such as Europe and North America, less progress than hoped for in emerging markets, and its own inability to cut costs and streamline the business as fast as CEO Bob McDonald would like to.Continue reading...

retail watch

JCPenney No. 2 Exec Takes Fall for Failed Turnaround Strategy

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 18, 2012 06:35 PM

J. C. Penney Company, Inc. today ousted its JCPenney brand president, Michael Francis, who oversaw the retailer's merchandising and marketing operations, with a terse statement that "We thank Michael for his hard work at jcpenney and wish him the best in his future endeavors."

Francis, who was hired last October "at great expense" (as the New York Times retail reporter tweeted, in light of his whopping $12 million signing bonus) from Target is seen as taking the fall for his boss, company CEO Ron Johnson, the former Apple top retailer who oversaw JCP's new brand strategy in January. Now, of course, the heat is on Johnson to clean up a mess that was arguably of his own making.

For an executive whose goal is to "simplify" matters internally and externally, it was Johnson who championed the idea of killing coupons and sales in favor of "fair and square pricing" (a reference to its logo), so-called "monthlong value" and "everyday low" pricing and twice-monthly clearance events on every first and third Friday (aka "payday" in America). The brand recently scrapped that strategy and is re-embracing the dreaded s-word — "sale."Continue reading...

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