Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Let's grow up - accountability for efficiency supply

I like asparagus.

When I was a kid, I didn’t like asparagus. Or broccoli. Or bok choy. Or a big salad. But, evidently, I’m not a kid anymore, because I like them all now.

When I was a kid, I wanted breakfast cereals full of sugar and food coloring. However, Mother usually made oatmeal. When I was a kid, I’d rather eat candy than healthy food. My parents knew what was good for me, which was a good thing because, as a kid, I sure didn’t. My parents took the responsibility to provide what I needed, not what I wanted, because what I wanted tended to be bad for me, and I didn’t like what tended to be good for me. Consumption in my house was not determined by my child-like demand for junk food - I was consuming healthier food because my parents were responsible for the supply.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Segmentation Part 2 - Acura needs a true flagship

Our first installment in this series introducing luxury branding and segmentation, presented the A8 flagship as a key component in Audi's turnaround, as well as a critical piece of the segmentation puzzle. I'd like to look at the Acura brand through the lens of segmentation to reveal the not-so-hidden fundamentals that provide a constructive answer to the question "why isn't Acura - with all its technical and engineering quality - more recognized as a luxury brand?" I'm not even going to entertain discussion of "near luxury" as a segment (does Honda really need an entirely new brand to compete with a Chrysler 300 or a Buick or a Nissan Maxima? I don't think so either).

Audi & Segmentation

Audi recently announced that its 2011 A8 would be 130mm longer than it already is, ensuring that its flagship remains the quintessential expression of Audi luxury. It reminded me of an article I drafted some time ago but never got around to sharing, and prompted me to finally share it, so here it is.

Audi had been a premium brand with its popular 4000 and 5000 series sedans in the 80s, but went through some tough times in the late 80s/early 90s. Down for the count, the turnaround is a nearly peerless business success story. Audi's revitalization can't be simplified as though it happened overnight, and I certainly had no seat on their board by which I can reveal any secrets, but one prong of their attack can be readily identified - a clearly defined segmentation strategy.