Alignment Archive

Animal crackers with which we are all familiar were not a brand.  Animal crackers are a commodity with many different manufacturers over the years, even a few now, but the niche category has been all but owned since 1902 by Nabisco with its Barnum Animal crackers.  WHY?? In 1902, Nabisco created a special package of […]

Why not? Can you differentiate a drinking glass in a compelling and ownable way, and become famous for it? Well, the Tervis Tumbler™ is just that.  Except they are not a Killer Brand, because as successful as they are, very few people know about them by name, even when they are drinking from one.  Are […]

Here is a new and very definite KILLER BRAND that I recently discovered.  How can one company own a 62% share of a highly fragmented category? Meet Vic Firth.  Every heard of him or his company?  If you play the drums you probably have. Vic Firth drumsticks are the undisputed Killer Brand in the drumstick […]

Weakening The Brand

Happens all the time in publishing.  The most recent is Tami Hoag who over the last 15 years has become a New York Times best selling mystery writer.  I can pick up a book by Tami Hoag without knowing who wrote it, and can identify the writer within a chapter at the most. However Bantam, […]

You can brand anything.  Over 50 years ago, the Butterball turkey was introduced, and for 40 of those years once it achieved broad geographical distribution, it has been the number one brand of turkey, even though it has been owned by different companies. Number one for 40 years.  No Thanksgiving should ever pass without brand-interested […]


The Chicago Lyric Opera House has been home to Jenny Lind, Enrico Caruso, and other great voices thru history. It also enjoys one of the truly great slogans or copy lines that I have ever heard.  “If these walls could talk, they would sing.”

A restaurant in Chandler, Arizona, represents virtually every principle of Killer Branding.  Called the Heart Attack Grill, it features really good tasing food, that is absolutely bad for your arteries.  The alignment is awesome from the Single Bypass Burger (one patty) to the Quadruple Bypass burger (four patties).  Burgers don’t even have lettuce.  In fact, […]

Can a woman’s handbag be a Killer Brand?  Of course.  Anything can become a Killer Brand.  The Chanel Bag, known as the 2-55 bag because it was first designed in February, 1955, is a true Killer Brand. It was built on the expecation that if you owned one and used it, you distinguished yourself as […]


Every time I stay in a hotel and find Neutrogena French-Milled soap, I cringe. When I was at Neutrogena we tightened our strategy, and built the market value of the brand from $15 Million to $88 Million in three years. Eight years later on the same strategy, Neutrogena sold out to Johnson & Johnson for […]

Noticed in Atlanta.  Wilson’s The Leather Company featuring canvas and hard-case, non leather baggage and cases. Just feels completely wrong when you walk by stores that have been filled with various items, all in leather for so many years.  It is a pity.