Yogi Berra once lamented that, “The future ain’t what it used to be.”   Today companies have a related complaint:  “Brand loyalty ain’t what it used to be.” No longer can brands expect long-term loyalty, even from its most faithful customers.  As economic pressures mount, competitive landscapes shift, and life simply happens, it may seem pointless […]

Consensus Advisors just released their 2009-2010 Retailer Health Ratings (RHRs) report.  The RHRs measure and compare retailers over a five-year period on: healthy growth asset utilization pricing power balance sheet strength The report and webinar were really interesting and so I thought I’d share some of the insights and my reactions. […]

Companies need to make money – I get it.  And as a capitalist at heart, I generally subscribe to the business practice of charging what the market will bear. But as I’ve learned about the recent pricing decisions of two high-profile institutions of American culture – Starbucks and The New York Times – I’ve wondered […]

This week’s BusinessWeek features two stories back-to-back that together make an important point for all businesses trying to navigate today’s recessionary times. First is a piece on Target’s apparent move down market, “Look Who’s Stalking Wal-Mart.”  It outlines several moves by Target that seem to be taken from Wal-Mart’s playbook. Then there’s the article, “Why […]

Within a month of each other, two articles appeared in BusinessWeek about  luxury brands.  The articles, about Coach and Tiffany & Co. respectively, describe how the brands are dealing with the decrease in demand due to the recession.  Each has devised a strategy for lowering its prices without tarnishing its brand. […]