Matthew Ferrara, Philosopher

All posts tagged branding

Readers of our column know that we called the beginning of the end of search engines some time ago, when we noted that Facebook and MySpace had already started to generate more ad views and targeted traffic than Yahoo and Google. Unfortunately, Microsoft didn’t seem to have read our post, and went ahead with Bing. Microsoft calls it a “decision engine” and it certainly works differently than the traditional search sites. Yet technology improvements aside, none of the ┬ásearch engine players have considered the basic question: Do people really “search” for things on the internet any more?

Yesterday, Chrysler announced it was going to suspend production at ALL of its North American factories until mid January. This was excellent news – for those of us who believe business is a rational process of allocating scarce resources to meet consumer demand. Others may think it’s just a political ploy to get politicians to fork over taxpayer money for the “poor, hardworking (?) UAW laborers” who will go be furloughed over the holiday. Regardless of your stand on the auto maker bail out (would just one new outlet please interview Honda or Toyota during this debate?) there remains a  Read more

Take a look around and you’ll likely notice something about today’s “brand names” in business. Too many of them are crumbling. Now, I don’t mean “imploding” like Bear Stearns; that’s too amazing a disaster to consider anything more than pure mushroom-cloud brand bomb. Rather, I mean the slow rot of some of America’s most “trusted” names in commerce. Sears. Hertz. Ford. American Airlines. Even “recent” brand wonders like Dell computer are disintegrating like rusty chrome bumpers on a ’74 Oldsmobile Delta 88 (a brand that no longer exists itself). Why are these brands – once market leaders and marvelously profitable  Read more