The Starbucks logo wasn’t broke, but they fixed it anyway

By: Special Guest Author James Gregory, CEO, CoreBrand
February 2011 Communication

Chief executive Howard Schultz had the right idea about evolving the Starbucks logo, but his solution shows some of the hubris that got the company into trouble a few years ago. The best brands are built upon a clear business strategy translated into a clear brand strategy. A brand strategy is consistently communicated to both internal and external audiences until it becomes the DNA of both employees and customers. Starbucks accomplished this mission, and then killed it.


American Airlines vs. Sabre Holdings: Destruction or Creation of Airline Traveler Value?

February 2011 Partnership, Pricing 4 Comments

In January 2011, American Airlines (AMR) and Sabre Holdings, parent company of Travelocity, came to loggerheads over content, fees, and the role of global distribution systems in the future of air travel.  While American Airlines seeks to gain efficiencies and customer intimacy by encouraging customers and ticket brokers to connect directly with the American Airlines information systems, Sabre Holdings decries a reduction of choice and transparency and responds with a lower placement of American Airlines offerings in their distribution system. Is American Airlines squeezing the distributors and harming customers or is this a strategic shift that improves welfare?


Nuts & Bolts of Sales Management, Book Review

February 2011 Selling 2 Comments

Time and again, Treace noticed the same sales and corporate management missteps that led to poor performance in failing companies. In Treace’s book, these all-too-common errors are described along with practical, proven solutions to help sales executives and non-sales executives evaluate and cooperatively support the company’s sales efforts. This practical information is what you didn’t learn in business school. Below are a few of the topics covered in the book, each of which will provide readers with a strong foundation for understanding how to build an outstanding sales operation—whether they are a CEO, CFO, COO, sales manager, or sales rep wishing to move into management.


“You’ve got to go out there and kill what you’re going to eat.”

Andrew Mason, CEO Groupon

  1. Anytime someone say’s they are doing something for your benefit, QUESTION.
  2. The end goal of any sales meeting is to produce more sales, period. SELL
  3. The mermaid is a complex design, and most customers will recognize this symbol as “the coffee formerly known as Starbucks.” KISS
  4. Price isn’t the only metric of value. BENEFITS DRIVE VALUE
  5. Execution can be taught; morale cannot. GOALS ARE ACHIEVABLE. FANTASYS, NOT SO MUCH.
  6. Blockbuster mistakenly believed they were in the video rental business and. They weren’t. They were in the home entertainment business. KNOW THY CUSTOMER