Here’s Who Could Lead Uber Out of its Scandals

…Who can steer Uber into a new chapter? JP Mangalinda at Yahoo asked me who should be the COO Travis was looking for. I recommended a woman. Here’s why:

Read more with Yahoo Financial.

Taxi!

How Uber Can Fix Its Reputation

“An arrogant behemoth”

From Yahoo Financial:

Dean Crutchfield, a New York-based branding specialist, struck an even more dire tone than Kerris.

“The first thing they have to recognize is that brands, like people, get sick,” Crutchfield explained. “Uber needs to admit it’s slightly broken. This was a cool, game-changing brand, and now it’s an arrogant behemoth. It sort of lost itself in its success. One has to respect customer and driver’s emotions, and I think they’ve forgotten about that. It’s a problem not just of their business, it’s a problem of the leadership. That leadership reflects poorly on the brand.”

Crutchfield pointed to United Airlines’ (UAL) recent controversy, in which a passenger was forcibly removed from a flight. United CEO Oscar Munoz exacerbated the public backlash by initially blaming the passenger for the brouhaha. United subsequently issued several apologies and promised a sweeping review of policies, particularly around crew behavior and passenger incentives.

“[T]here was a real arrogance where the CEO did not recognize their weaknesses and faults,” Crutchfield said.

Uber, for its part, knows it has a serious problem on its hands. Kalanick told employees in March he planned on hiring a COO “who can partner with me to write the next chapter in our journey.” Uber board member Arianna Huffington, meanwhile, is helping lead an “urgent” investigation into one engineer’s sexual harassment claims against the company.

But while that’s certainly a start, it’s clear company-wide changes to Uber must go far deeper. Full article.

It’s Not Just You: Advertising Insiders Think Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner Ad Was A Disaster

…By Vanessa Wong at Buzzfeed

…The protest alluded to “emotional events and very significant issues that affect the core of American society,” brand consultant Dean Crutchfield told BuzzFeed News. “They piggybacked on a crusade and didn’t have permission to do so. People found it tasteless and crass. It was trivializing grief.”For Pepsi, the debacle adds to a much bigger and more existential problem: Its core product is getting less popular by the day. Soda has become one of the main targets of public health advocates, and cities are starting to pass

For Pepsi, the debacle adds to a much bigger and more existential problem: Its core product is getting less popular by the day. Soda has become one of the main targets of public health advocates, and cities are starting to pass taxes on sugary drinks. Even diet sodas are in decline.

“This is the last thing they need. Their business is pretty fragile now,” said Crutchfield. “This is very embarrassing for the brand.”…

For the entire article

Brilliance Versus Trust?

Conundrum or simple decision? You decide:
Bril·liance
ˈbrilyəns/
noun
noun: brilliance; noun: brilliancy
  1. intense brightness of light.
    “the nights were dark, lit only by the brilliance of Aegean stars”
    Synonyms: brightness, vividness, intensity

    • Vividness of color.
      Synonyms: brightness, vividness, intensity

    • Exceptional talent or intelligence.
      “he’s played the stock market with great brilliance”
      Synonyms: genius, intelligence, wisdom, sagacity, intellect

      Trust
      trəst/
      noun
      1. Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.
        “Relations have to be built on trust”
        Synonyms: confidence, belief, faith, certainty, assurance, conviction, credencereliance
        “Good relationships are built on trust”
        Law: Confidence placed in a person by making that person the nominal owner of property to be held or used for the benefit of one or more others.verb: believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of.
        “I should have trusted her”

Turn Me On

Grscreen-shot-2016-12-16-at-4-11-43-pmeat brands are about storytelling and brand voice success comes when you mitigate the turned-off reaction.

Procter & Gamble Co. is striking back in the razor wars

screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-9-34-50-amCategory busters abound, P&G fires a salvo with a digital campaign taking aim at online rival Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club. Here’s what I shared with Sharon Terlep at The Wall Street Journal:

“Being less serious — and less ostentatious — is a smart move for Gillette, which turned consumers off with decades of marketing aimed at making men feel obligated to buy its razors. The category has been dominated by inadequacy marketing, with things like ‘The best a man can get,” Gillette’s tagline. The Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s come at it with something fun and innovative. The “Welcome Back” concept creates some curiosity, and that’s what it’s about. The question is: Is it too late?”

Brand USA?

screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-4-11-43-pmThe greatest brands in the world have a palpable sense of mission about them. The United States of America gave the world a chance to be different. Its soul is radical. It’s history full on. America has always been a lightening rod, a country that goes charging into the fray as a liberator, a savior, and a protector. Does a divisive country weaken Brand USAs image abroad?

From President-elect Trump and street protests to New Balance sneakers alight and a red-hot stock market is Brand USA facing a chronic and debilitating decline as pundits suggest? Will Trump’s bold, arrogant and cocksure rise to the top job, his rhetoric, and choice of cabinet magnify the issue of our international role and standing? Will it be a leg up, a close shave or a deep cut?

screen-shot-2016-11-12-at-1-34-40-pmInside Brand USA there’s a dysfunctional dynamic. Today the country’s divided it lacks cohesion and confuses the world. Right now there’s no one brand that America can rally behind because there is tension between the extreme poles of right and left. The self-denigration inside America, the frustration, lack of self-worth and self-esteem is seen by the world and affects people’s perception. For many onlookers Trump supporters were about making America white again, moving away from the “United Colors of America”. An America that embraces everyone to an America that’s isolationist is a starkly different place.

A country’s wealth is not measured by what it has, but whom it helps with it. Because of this, the world admires America, but many ask what will be the basis of America’s claim to moral superiority going forward. Our greatness has not come from winning, but from leadership with common values and shared responsibilities: power is not a right it’s a responsibility. America had a clear positionscreen-shot-2016-11-12-at-1-36-43-pm
in WW2, the cold war, Regan and Obama. As Tocqueville said when he traveled the country, “America is great because it is good and it is not great when it’s not good”.

A thought is as real as an IED. Might the world be concerned they’re going to see an imperial mission for America with Trump at the helm? A brand doesn’t live by itself so for Brand USA to assert that it has no interest other than self-interest is unsustainable in the modern world and our role within it. That’s the equivalent of Trump saying he has no interest other than being elected.

screen-shot-2016-11-12-at-1-31-44-pmThrough all the mud slinging, speech giving and handshakes the burning issue for Brand USA is what is America’s true motive going to be as it handles multiple, urgent and important short and long-term crises simultaneously while formulating coherent long-term strategies? For now, political hysteria reigns, befuddled, malevolent and irrational, but just as things never turn out as Presidents promise, they rarely turn out as badly as pundits warn. Keep flying high America.