Global Marketing Tuesday: Chipotle And Persona



(1) Persona: The personality of your brand

Our brand’s persona gives people something to connect with. We want them to relate to our brand like they’re a person.

(2) Factory farm: A farm that is similar to a factory

I grew up on a farm, but it was nothing like today’s factory farms. We milked cows by hand and the cows were free to go wherever they wanted.

(3) Natural ingredients: Parts of food that aren’t changed with technology

Our carrots are all natural. They’re straight from the ground to the box to the store. We don’t use any chemicals at all.



1. Why does Chipotle use a movie like this?

a. To sell more burritos

b. To create a world that strengthen’s their brand’s persona

c. To create a bond with the customer

2. What persona does Guerlain have?

a. Expensive and difficult

b. Sexy and adventurous

c. Fun and healthy

3. What persona does Chipotle have?

a. Tasty and safe

b. Fast and efficient

c. Healthy and kind

7 ________________________



By Jeremy Schaar

“Anything you want to, do it. Want to change the world? There’s nothing to it…”

Two lessons ago, I presented the eight Ps of luxury marketing. Today, we’ll continue to look at how companies use those eight Ps. Not all of the companies in this series are luxury brands, but they all use elements of luxury branding. Today, we’ll look at Chipotle and Persona.

Chipotle is a Mexican fast food restaurant. They sell burritos and tacos and so on.

Persona is an idea used by lots of companies. Luxury brands often try to put their products in fantastic worlds filled with sex and adventure. Then, you buy that product because you like the sexy and adventurous persona. Compare this video from the Guerlain perfume house with the Chipotle’s video above.

Guerlain uses the video to set their perfume in a specific world and give their brand a specific persona. Chipotle does the same. They both give their brand a persona. In the case of Chipotle, they’re saying that the world is full of factory farms, but Chipotle is different. They use natural ingredients. They’re healthy and kind. Chipotle is a big business, but they want their brand to live in the world of local farmers and good food. It’s a wonderful world and persona for a food brand.

Got questions or comments? How about practicing some new vocabulary and posting your thoughts on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter?


Answers To Today’s Questions

B, B, C


You Can Do It All Yourself But You Dont Have To

Business Strategy Monday: Ready For Growth?



(1) Proactive: To do something before you need to

I want you to be proactive. Don’t wait for me to tell you what to do.

(2) To align: To get people to feel the same way

We need to align the marketing and production teams.

(3) To harness: To use something for your advantage

We’ve harnessed our strong technical background to build a cool mobile application.



1. What is Booz and Company’s “Fit for Growth Index”?

a. The ways a company can align strategy

b. A score for how likely a company is to grow

c. The ways a company can grow

2. What’s the key point about spending?

a. Cut waste

b. Spend on underfunded areas

c. Spend on the stuff important for success

3. Why might alignment be important?

a. You need the right people

b. You need the right skills

c. You need people to work towards the same goals

7 ________________________




By Jeremy Schaar

In this lesson, you’ll learn some good vocabulary and how to tell if a company is ready for growth.

Have you heard about Booz and Company’s “Fit for Growth Index”?  They’ve identified three things that are important for growth. They also created a way to score those things so that companies can get a rating that’s easy to understand. You can think of it like a company taking a test. Their formula is a little complicated. You can click on the picture above or on this link to read all about it. (You’ll need to register at their site first.)

Here’s how they describe companies that are ready to grow:

First, they create clarity and coherence in their strategy, articulating the differentiating capabilities that they will need to win in the marketplace.

Said simply: A company should understand well why they will succeed.

Clarity means clear. Coherence means that there are no conflicts. To articulate is to say. A differentiating capability is something you can do better than your competitors.

Second, they put in place an optimized cost structure and approach to capital allocation, with continual investment in the capabilities critical to success, while proactively cutting costs in less-critical areas to fund these investments.

Said simply: They should spend their money wisely. This means cutting money in unimportant areas so they can spend on the stuff that’s really important for success.

Optimized means best possible. Cost structure is how much they’ll pay for things. Capital allocation is where they spend money. Continual investment means they’re always spending. Capabilities are things they can do. Critical to success means really important for success. Proactively means before it’s necessary.

Third, they build supportive organizations. They redesign their structures, incentives, decision rights, skill sets, and other organizational and cultural elements to more closely align their behavior to their strategy, and to harness the collective actions of their people.

Said simply: Employees should be able to do the company’s strategy. This means having the right people and motivating everyone to work well together.

Supportive means helpful. Incentives are the things that make us work well. To align means to get people to think the same way. To harness means to take advantage of, to use well.

Got questions or comments? How about practicing some new vocabulary and posting your thoughts on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter?


Answers To Today’s Questions

C, B, C


You Can Do It All Yourself But You Dont Have To

Supply Chain Wednesday: Lean Production and Poka-Yoke



(1) Lean: Without waste

It’s a very lean operation. They don’t have money for anything that’s not essential.

(2) Implement: To start using a process

We need to implement a new training program. The old one is terrible.

(3) To eliminate: To remove, delete, destroy, etc.

If we don’t eliminate the waste around here, we’ll all lose our jobs.



1. Why is lean manufacturing popular?

a. It adds value to products

b. It eliminates stuff that doesn’t add value to a product

c. Both A and B

2. Which one of these is an example of poka-yoke?

a. A rubber bar that prevents tall trucks from entering a warehouse

b. A manager that finds a faster way to process orders

c. A robot that brings the correct items to you

3. How might you explain poka-yoke to someone?

a. It’s things that reduce waste

b. It’s things that add value to a product

c. It’s things that stop us from making a mistake

7 ________________________



By Jeremy Schaar


Today on the blog you’ll learn what lean manufacturing is. You’ll learn about a specific way to implement lean manufacturing and you’ll learn three sentences that you might use on the job.

Concept Lean manufacturing is when you try to make everything add value to the final product. If it doesn’t add value to the final product, then you don’t do it. You eliminate it.

Here’s a simple example: Imagine that your company packs and ships books. Every time you finish packing a box with books, you check to make sure everything is tight by shaking the box. However, you never repack the books. They’re always tight. You can eliminate the shaking. It’s not adding any value.

Lean manufacturing is always looking for ways to eliminate things that don’t add value.

Example Toyota is famous for lean manufacturing. They have many ways of making sure everything adds value to the final product. One way is called “poka-yoke”. It’s a Japanese term that basically means “avoiding mistakes”. The idea is to build things into the system that will stop mistakes that would subtract value.

Here are some examples of poka-yoke:

  • A safety on a gun, so you can’t fire it accidentally
  • A loud beeping sound when a truck moves backwards, so no one gets hit
  • A check-list that makes sure you’ve done all the tasks
  • A picture of what a completed item should look like

On The Job Here are some sentences you might use at your job

Starting a conversation: I was reading about this Japanese idea of poka-yoka. Do you know about it?

Explaining poka-yoke: Basically, it’s anything that prevents us from making mistakes

Making a suggestion: I was thinking there might be some easy ways for us implement poka-yoke and reduce errors around here.

Got questions or comments? How about practicing some new vocabulary and posting your thoughts on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter?


Answers To Today’s Questions

B, A, C


You Can Do It All Yourself But You Dont Have To

Global Marketing Tuesday: Nintendo and Paucity



(1) Gaming console: The thing you use to play video games

The most popular gaming consoles are made by Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft.

(2) To brag: To tell something good about yourself (or someone else)

I try not to brag about my salary, but I brag about my kids’ accomplishments all the time.

(3) Fabulous: It means “very good”, but is often used with fashion. Click here to see “fabulous”.

That’s a fabulous bag. Where did you buy it?



1. What is the paucity strategy?

a. A way to make something expensive

b. Increasing price until few items are sold

c. Making your product rare

2. How does Nintendo negotiate well with WalMart?

a. By limiting supply

b. Through long meetings and hard work

c. By supplying as much as WalMart wants

3. Why do people brag about buying a Nintendo console?

a. It’s hard to get one

b. It’s an amazing product

c. All their friends have one

7 ________________________




By Jeremy Schaar

Last week we looked at the elements of luxury branding. They were performance, pedigree, paucity, persona, public figures, placement, PR, and pricing.

Most brands, however, aren’t luxury brands. But the elements are useful for many brands. This week, and in the coming weeks, we’ll look at how the different elements of luxury branding can be used.

Nintendo isn’t a luxury brand, but they release a new gaming console every five years or so. At those times, they use one of the elements of luxury branding: paucity.

Again, paucity means rare. And Nintendo has used paucity to great success.

When I was a kid, Nintendo released the Super Nintendo. We all wanted one, but not everyone could find one. No one understood why. Couldn’t they just make more? The same has been true for other consoles. The picture above is of a guy who was very excited that he got to buy a Wii. He looks like he won something! That’s some pretty great marketing when someone gives you money and looks like he won.

Nintendo argues that they don’t know how many consoles to make and that production is hard. Don’t believe it. They sell millions of consoles, but they could sell more. They make their products rare on purpose.

They do it for the same reason that luxury handbag brands make their bags rare. When the product is rare, they can control price and create buzz.

Think about a company like Walmart. Normally, they control the price. Selling something in WalMart is so important for companies, that they must accept whatever WalMart demands. But not Nintendo. WalMart will charge whatever price Nintendo says because Nintendo’s product is rare. If WalMart doesn’t accept the price, Nintendo will just send the truck to another store. It won’t affect their sales at all.

Second, paucity creates buzz. Newspapers write about people trying to find a Nintendo Wii. People who do buy one get excited and and brag to their friends. In future years, this buzz continues to generate sales.

The strategy only works, of course, if the product is really good. A handbag should be fabulous and the Nintendo Wii should be a lot of fun to play.

Nintendo has used this strategy for almost 30 years. So, the next time Nintendo makes a new gaming console, don’t believe them when they say they don’t know how many to make and that it’s hard to produce as many as they want. They know exactly what they’re doing. It’s a very successful marketing strategy.

Got questions or comments? How about practicing some new vocabulary and posting your thoughts on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter?


Answers To Today’s Questions

C, A, A


You Can Do It All Yourself But You Dont Have To

Business Strategy Monday: Why Microsoft’s Strategy Has Changed



(1) Bargaining Power: This is your strength when negotiating.

The fewer competitors you have, the greater your bargaining power will be.

(2) To pay a premium: To pay extra for something.

For a special service, like fast shipping, we often pay a premium.

(3) Competitive challenges: The things that make it hard to do well

Competitive challenges change from year to year, often because of technological innovations.



1. What does it mean for Microsoft to sell software independent of hardware?

a. The software price higher

b. Microsoft doesn’t sell hardware, just software

c. Microsoft bundles hardware and software together

2. Why does it matter that hardware isn’t a commodity anymore?

a. People won’t buy Windows if the hardware is bad

b. Windows needs to develop hardware that works well

c. Microsoft’s previous strategy was to guarantee good hardware

3. Why does it matter that Android is free?

a. It increases competition for Windows

b. Companies have no reason to partner with Microsoft

c. It will affect the price of Windows negatively

7 ________________________



By Jeremy Schaar

Microsoft is still making lots and lots of money. So why does everyone talk about them like they’re a dying company? It’s because we can all see how they could fail. Last week, I discussed what made Microsoft so successful. This week, you’ll learn the two things that caused Microsoft to change its strategy. You’ll also learn what their new strategy is and you’ll learn some great strategy vocabulary.

That looks like a nice tablet, but why would Microsoft make it? Their strategy was to sell software independent of hardware. Microsoft let Dell and other companies sell hardware. They sold software because the hardware was a commodity, but everyone needed the same software because of network effects. (See last week’s lesson.)

Two things changed. First, hardware stopped being a commodity. The features on your phone and tablet matter now. So, if Microsoft wants to continue to sell Windows, it needs to come with awesome hardware.

But why not just partner with a hardware producer like Samsung? They might not have the bargaining power they did before, but they could still sell a great operating system. The second thing that changed is that Google gives away Android for free. So why would anyone buy Windows?

The only possible solution is to be like Apple. They need to sell both the hardware and the operating system together. If they have the best combination, then people will pay a premium for it. This is why Microsoft had to buy Nokia.

So Microsoft’s new strategy is to be like Apple. I’ll discuss the consequences of that decision and the competitive challenges Microsoft will face in the future next time.

Got questions or comments? How about practicing some new vocabulary and posting your thoughts on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter?


Answers To Today’s Questions

B, A, B


You Can Do It All Yourself But You Dont Have To

« Previous Entries Next Entries »