Ants are small. But they are remarkably strong for their size. They are also able to adapt to almost any environment, including the man-made one. Elephants, on the other hand, are remarkably strong but not in direct proportion to their size. In fact, they have innumerable weaknesses due to their prodigious presence, and can only survive in an environment that is kept intentionally free of human intrusion.
What, oh what does this have to do with branding?
In mergers & acquisitions, a lot of time and effort is spent in valuation of the business assets of the company being acquired. Almost always the company with greater tangible assets (the elephant) is acquiring one of lesser (the ant), which makes obvious business sense.
The bigger company then goes on, in an almost perfunctory manner, to swallow, digest, and eventually eliminate the brand of the smaller company that has been acquired.
This does not always make the most sense. What if the smaller company actually has far more poten…
“You should resign. You should give back the money you took while this scam was going on and you should be criminally investigated.” Ouch. Imagine if that was a public official leveling such a charge at you, the CEO of a heretofore well-respected financial services institution. Think of the damage done, not only to your personal reputation, but to the brand value of your company and the morale of your people. Yet this is exactly what John Stumpf, CEO of venerable Wells Fargo Bank, had to endure at the hands of Senator Elizabeth Warren this week. This Senate hearing came on the heels of a scandal in which bank employees, under reportedly intense pressure to cross-sell products to make their numbers, fraudulently opened new accounts for customers without their permission. To make matters worse, Stumpf appeared to blame the proverbial “few bad apples” for the trouble, although it appears as though the number of apples fired as a result was somewhere north of 5,000 and none of them, oddly…
Ad Age: Virgin America doesn't use much TV or print at all, so what are your thoughts on the future of the more traditional advertising mediums? Mr. Branson: Conventional television obviously is dying as an advertising medium and will continue a slow death, whereas obviously the web and other forms of new media will continue to grow. It will clearly be sharing its grave with radio, newspapers, magazines, billboards, posters, and the like, right?
While I admire Mr. Branson immensely, I think making such broad and unsupportable statements is a bit beneath his integrity.
He also announces here that he will be moving Virgin into banking in the coming year. The brand's future brand essence is "People's Champion, Slayer of Giants" so I think that fits in quite nicely with the Virgin ethos, don't you?