Do your employees hate working for you?

What’s the fastest way to kill your brand?

We can all think of lots of ways. But one of the fastest must be to make your employees hate their job. is a 6-year-old website that lets employees rank their employer according to specific criteria, leave comments, be they nice or scathing.

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No wonder Northwest Airlines is disappearing

I wrote about United’s terrible customer service here, so to be fair, here’s a story about Northwest, which will soon disappear as it is absorbed by Delta.Smart People Don't Fly Northwest

Yesterday and today, I had one of those “I’ll never fly this damned airline again” experiences on Northwest.

Because Northwest was late out of one airport, by its own fault (mechanical problems), and even later into the gate at the next airport, again by its own fault, at least a dozen of us missed our connecting flight when it would not wait even five minutes for us to arrive. Instead, they stranded us overnight in Detroit.

Here’s what happened. Continue reading

Thank you to WalMart, The Martin Agency, and our troops

It’s not too often you want to thank a company and its ad agency for a commercial. Here’s a wonderfully touching spot. Congratulations to all involved.

Most important, thanks to every one of our service men and women, and their families, especially during the holiday season.

If any of you Martin folks read this, please send along some credits.

Tackling a real marketing challenge: Major League Soccer

Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer are one of the year’s big marketing success stories. An expansion team, they’ve sold every available seat and then some; they sold a huge number of season tickets; they’ve become the hot ticket in Seattle. They’ve created a compelling atmosphere inside the stadium. Paying special attention to the on-the-field product, they’ve made the playoffs and may well set even more records.

Yet Major League Soccer hasn’t enjoyed the same success everywhere.

The league has lost significant attendance in some markets, beyond what you might expect from the economic downturn. They’ve experimented with marketing plans that focus on youth soccer players, on Latinos and on young adults, with spotty results. And some of the product is, frankly, disappointing.

What type of marketing effort should the league make in this day and age?

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If you’re going to make bad advertising, why not make it REALLY bad?

That’s a pretty cute headline I saw in the lobby at my local Bank of America the other day. “Buy Pizza, Get Dough.” Get it? Don’t worry, not many other people do, either.

Buy Pizza, Get Dough, from Bank of America

Tabletop poster with flier, at a Bank of America branch

It made me think of some less cute headlines that have been in the news lately:

Is it too much to ask BofA to be less jovial about their schemes to stockpile more of our money — especially when they’re back-dooring fee increases on things like safe-deposit boxes and giving Merrill Lynch executives huge bonuses?

A few BofA headlines I’d like to see… Continue reading