What makes a company successful?...

... delivering products and services that are relevant and create impact among consumers.

I combine my expertise as a Marketing executive in a Fortune 500 company and my passion as an investor to find the Companies that I think have "cracked the code" with consumers. Advertising does work. When I see a new product that fits relevant consumer trends, and that is supported with a campaign that I find particularly shrewd and innovative, I know that Company is potentially a great investment.

One of the great investors of all times, Peter Lynch, recommends to "buy what you know". You watch TV, go to the supermarket and walk around everyday. Observe... look around: what you see can make you money in the stock market. Now, let's be clear: a Company is not good just because it advertises. What we have to look for is great products supported with -and enhanced by- great advertising. The principle is simple: if something is good enough to draw your interest, it will be of interest to millions of persons just like you.

It is my goal to share with the reader my findings in the world of marketing which I think will turn into great returns for investors. Profit from it!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Java energy, Monster profits

When driving by a gas station the other day, I saw a sign announcing the latest hit on one of the most amazing success stories in the last years. Hansen Naturals (HANS) has been riding wild on the base of its very successful line of energy drinks, Monster. The sign that I saw advertised the latest addition to their Monster product range: Java Monster. In my view, a stroke of pure genious. Energy drinks as a category has seen double-digit growth in the last years, ever since Red Bull was introduced in the US several years ago. Hansen Naturals was able to take the lead in the category through a shrewd mix of great, cutting-edge products, aggressive distribution, and a vigorous line-extension strategy. Much has been said about Hansen Naturals and the wild increase in its share price. Many have questioned its valuation. The stock reached an all-time high north of $68 in early November, just to fall back to around $40 after what some considered a soft quarter. Yet, the share price has recovered to $49 in just a few weeks. The growth story behind Hansen Naturals is far from over. This latest introduction of Java Monster is just one more indicator of the firm grip the management has on its consumers' trends and lifestyles. Uniting two of the most relevant staples in today's Gen-Yers (energy drinks and coffee) in one product is quite smart, and as mentioned, it only demonstrates that Hansen Naturals is way capable of keeping its finger in the pulse of this important segment, and that it has the creativity and the executional drive to decisively act on the insights. As long as Monster continues to show such a proactive and vibrant vitality, profits will folow. And so far, it seems there is plenty of energy behind Monster.