Entries by Jay York

Value Meals And The Decline of Brand Experience

Value.  KFC, Wendy’s, Jack in the Box, Arby’s, McDonald’s, Burger King are all offering value meals. Even Starbucks is offering ‘Pairing Menus,” a euphemism for value meal along with steep promotions on coffee drinks. Here is the problem. Value is more than price per offering. Value is not on the menu board. Price is on […]

Southwest Airlines Tendencies for Trouble And Elliot Investment Management’s Plan

Whatever your opinion of private equity companies, their potential for financial engineering when taking over a company or their forcing of operational and managerial changes, the Elliot Investment Management letter and presentation to the Southwest Airlines’ Board of Directors is insightful.  However, as Forbes points out, all of Elliot Investment Management’s ideas are about “extracting […]

The Arrogance of Brands Finally Meets The Perils of Purchaser Pushback

What do McDonald’s, Target, Walgreen’s, McCormack, Applebee’s, Campbell’s, Kellogg’s and other national brands have in common today? Each is having a comeuppance. This is long overdue.  Consumers are saying “no” to over-priced brands and for good reason. There is increased pushback from customers who have just had it with continual price hikes. Brands such as […]

The Toyota Way? Brand-Businesses Need A New Quality Revolution

What has happened to quality? This is no trivial question.  When you think about all the quality issues plaguing products and service, you recognize how shocking is the current state of quality. Brand-businesses need a new quality revolution. Think about the state of quality: Of course, there is Boeing. Which is a horrible situation. But, […]

Beyond Meat Tries Again

Beyond Meat, the plant-based protein alternative, just concluded its Quarter 1 2024 earnings call. Creator and CEO Ethan Brown spent a good portion of the call explaining the rationale behind the brand’s new strategy.  From observations, strategically Beyond Meat never really focused on its brand promise. Customers never really understood what was relevant and differentiating […]

Starbucks And The Third Place

After Starbucks recent second quarter 2024 earnings call, founder and past three-time CEO Howard Schultz posted comments about his hand-picked successor’s strategy. Mr. Schultz reacted to statements made to analysts by Starbucks’ CEO, Laxman Narasimhan and CFO, Rachel Ruggeri, where both executives described Starbucks’ “underperformance.” Mr. Narasimhan and Ms. Ruggeri also handled analyst questions with […]

Peloton Is Not Netflix

Another crisis at Peloton. CEO Barry McCarthy is suddenly gone. Possibly, the strategy Mr. McCarthy created, to apparently turn Peloton into Netflix, is gone with him. Mr. McCarthy was seen as a technology business pro, someone who had experience in lower-price, subscription-based businesses like Netflix.  But, anyone who follows Netflix knows that the streaming subscription […]

Huggies, Pampers And The Demographics That Matter

Recent data show that US fertility rates are dropping. US women are giving birth “at record low rates,” according to the CDC. Demographers’ current concern is the “replacement rate.” Replacement rate is the total fertility rate at which women give birth to enough babies to sustain population levels – that is, replace a generation. Replacement […]

Nike: Five “Don’t Do” Behaviors To Avoid

Nike has seen better times, according to The Wall Street Journal. Many recent strategic choices have not worked to Nike’s benefit. Part of Nike’s current problematic situation is that Nike violated some critical brand-business building principles. Sure, there were extenuating circumstances as a result of Covid-19. But, the pandemic and the way in which customers […]

Red Lobster May Be Washed Away

Brands do not always survive financial engineering. Sears is an example. Bed Bath & Beyond is another. Toys R’Us is still struggling after a bankruptcy and collapse. Quiznos survived bankruptcy but is a small shadow of its former self. Some brands are lucky. Some brands manage to slog through numerous mergers, spinoffs and sales to […]