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Ira Kalb
Ira Kalb is a professor of marketing at the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California and President of Kalb & Associates, a marketing and business consulting firm.

Entries by Ira Kalb

DeflateGate: Brady Suspension Overturned While Image Issues Remain

(5) Comments | Posted September 3, 2015 | 4:06 PM

District Judge, Richard M. Berman, overturned Tom Brady's four-game suspension criticizing NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, for dishing out "his own brand of industrial justice."

In the spring, the NFL came down hard on Tom Brady and the Patriots -- suspending him for four games, fining the team $1 million, and...

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Apple Watch: Success or Failure?

(5) Comments | Posted August 30, 2015 | 12:26 AM

Last year at about this time, Apple announced a number of new products including the Apple Watch. Without knowing the constraints Apple faced in the introduction of this watch, I was critical of the branding -- particularly the name choice. I thought it should have continued the i-single syllable brand...

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Everything From A to Z: Google Creates a Winning Brand Platform With Alphabet

(0) Comments | Posted August 13, 2015 | 3:45 PM

Google's recent announcement that it is creating a holding company named Alphabet shows a level of brand sophistication not seen before from the search giant. Apart from acquisitions of other brands such as Android and YouTube, most Google brand names have been line extensions such as Google+, Froogle, Google Maps,...

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Physics of Marketing: Portals and Branding

(0) Comments | Posted August 5, 2015 | 9:57 PM

From Star Wars, Star Trek and all the other science fiction movies you may have seen, you probably know that portals or wormholes are postulated pathways through the fabric of space-time so it can be traversed must faster. That's exciting because our nearest stellar neighbor, Proxima Centauri, is...

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More Physics of Marketing: Keeping the Forces in Balance

(0) Comments | Posted August 4, 2015 | 4:44 PM

For those that have followed my posts, you may have noticed that I sometimes apply concepts of physics to marketing. In many ways, physics can be a good metaphor for marketing.

In this one, I continue that notion with the concept of balance. Newton's 3rd law says for...

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Is Offering the Windows 10 Upgrade for Free Good or Bad?

(2) Comments | Posted July 29, 2015 | 2:45 PM

Microsoft is introducing its Windows 10 operating system for free to licensed users of Windows 7 or 8. Free is a powerful word in marketing. Who doesn't like receiving products for free? At first glance, this strategy appears to be a winner. However, effective marketing is often counterintuitive, and it...

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Brand Lesson: 'Spokescreatures' Often Work Better Than Spokespeople

(0) Comments | Posted July 8, 2015 | 5:12 PM

It's been a tough week for spokespeople. Yesterday, Subway and spokesman Jared Fogle announced that they have suspended their relationship pending a child pornography investigation of Russell Taylor, the executive director of Fogel's charity. This comes after news that Bill Cosby admitted, in a deposition, that...

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Macy's Joins NBC Telling Trump "You're Fired!"

(0) Comments | Posted July 1, 2015 | 11:33 PM

As a result of disparaging remarks Donald Trump made about undocumented immigrants from Mexico, Macy's announced that it will no longer carry the Trump menswear collection. They join NBC Universal, which announced Monday that it would remove him as host of the Apprentice and no longer air Trump's Miss USA...

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Customer Service or Lip Service?

(0) Comments | Posted July 1, 2015 | 5:02 PM

Remember the "old days" when you could buy a product and count on competent service after purchase? Doesn't it seem that those days are long gone? Instead of customer service, most customers get lip service. And, what comes out of those lips are insincere clichés that "customer service" reps must...

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Mondelez: Why the Choice of a Name Is so Important

(0) Comments | Posted June 16, 2015 | 2:25 AM

It has been over three years since Kraft spilt into two companies. The grocery group retained the Kraft brand identity -- calling itself Kraft Foods Group and kept the stock symbol KRFT. The snack foods group held a company contest to create a new name. The "winner" was...

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10 Common Mistakes Managers Make That Hurt Their Business

(0) Comments | Posted June 12, 2015 | 7:15 PM

Fortunately (and unfortunately) many people that start and run a business often don't know the problems and difficulties they are likely to face. Why do I say fortunately? If they knew about all these problems, they probably would not start the business in the first place. Regarding the unfortunate part,...

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The Secret to Successful Innovation: Not Being Afraid to Fail

(0) Comments | Posted June 5, 2015 | 9:59 PM

In early May, Elon Musk introduced the world to something very new and innovative -- batteries and systems to store renewable energy and provide power to just about everything. The invention, however, is not the most amazing part. It is scale and risk that Musk and Tesla has...

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Rewarding Brand Switchers at the Expense of Loyal Customers Will Ruin Your Business

(2) Comments | Posted May 30, 2015 | 1:20 AM

Mobile service providers are doing it. Banks are doing it. Just about every company, run by people without marketing brains, is rewarding brand switchers at the expense of their loyal customers. That is what is happening under the guise of attracting new business.

Paying you to switch, but not giving...

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Hidden Costs From Our Dependence on Fossil Fuels

(41) Comments | Posted May 24, 2015 | 4:37 PM

If you have ever visited Santa Barbara, it is absolutely beautiful -- except for the oil rigs visible offshore. In 1969 one of those rigs had a blowout that caused 4.2 million gallons of oil to spill. At the time it was the biggest disaster in U.S. waters....

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Remember the Old Days When Bad Guys Robbed Banks?

(0) Comments | Posted May 21, 2015 | 12:50 AM

It used to be that bad guys, called bank robbers, robbed banks. Now the banks are robbing us. Authorities just fined five of the world's largest global banks $5.7 billion for rigging benchmark interest rates. This brings the tally of fines assessed seven top banks in Europe and...

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You Have to Be a Little Crazy to Be a Marketing Consultant

(1) Comments | Posted May 19, 2015 | 5:47 PM

A marketing consultant has to sell a product that most don't understand, to people that are not sure that they need it, and are skeptical of its value. So why would anyone want to do marketing consulting? Good question. There are many answers, but for marketing reasons, I will limit...

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It's Time to Discover the World's Best Kept Secret -- Finland

(32) Comments | Posted May 14, 2015 | 3:43 PM

As summertime rapidly approaches, many are looking for a vacation spot that is different, interesting, and safe. While not on most people's radar screen, Finland is the place I'd recommend.

After numerous trips to Finland to do consulting and teach at Aalto University, I learned a lot of things...

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DeflateGate: Cheating or Something Else?

(3) Comments | Posted May 11, 2015 | 12:00 AM

The NFL came down hard on Tom Brady and the Patriots - suspending him for four games, fining the team $1 million, and taking away first and fourth round draft picks in 2016 and 2017. This punishment is a result of the Wells Report that states "it is more probable...

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Suddenly the Kardashians Are Interested in Bruce Jenner's Transformation

(27) Comments | Posted May 6, 2015 | 8:36 PM

After Diane Sawyer interviewed Bruce Jenner about his transformation to a woman, Kris Jenner tried to distance herself from her former husband in the media. She told Radar online and other media that she has cut off all contact with him and is pretending that he does not...

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Disney Synergy Machine Making Huge Profits From the Marvel Franchise

(0) Comments | Posted May 3, 2015 | 7:04 PM

Marvel branded characters fed into the Disney's marketing machine have produced huge returns for the Mouse House. Since Disney acquired Marvel in 2009, the 10 films that have been released have grossed over $7 billion in box office revenue. Of course, films are only the starting point of Disney's revenue...

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