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!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

GM: renewing heritage

In this series of postings, I am discussing the various signals I am seeing that, in my view, point to a rebirth of General Motors (GM) as a leader –beyond sales volume- in the automotive industry, and therefore, profile the Company as an attractive investment. In my previous posting "Full speed for General Motoros", I explained why I think the work behind Cadillac is just right. Now, I’d like to turn my attention to another treasure been dusted by GM off from the antiques coffer: Buick. Support behind Buick is not new. Since several years ago, GM has been trying to rejuvenate this brand, but its efforts had been, at best, tepid and somewhat erratic. What was Buick? A family car? The launch of the Rendezvous seemed to suggest that. A sports car? Tiger Woods took a few swings at it. It feels like GM knew there was valuable heritage in that brand, but was not finding the right way to unleash it in all its full potential. Then Lacrosse and Lucerne made their debut. Mmmh… I am sure Buick dealers started to see a slightly different type of crowd asking about these models. Sleek, with an abundance of features, nicely appointed, yet with the promise of a brisk, fulfilling driving experience. A true sub-premium offering was born. GM had found the sweetspot for Buick. An elegant, pleasant, smooth experience but with the impetus of a thoroughbred. Beatiful!! Actually, not a bad positioning, is it? And hence “Drive beautiful” was coined. A great product vision does not need much explanation. Once you hit the “big idea”, the way forward becomes clear. The right concepts and communications just flow out of this big idea. And “Drive beautiful” has engendered a series of great Buick models that completely belie the previous perceptions of Buick as a stodgy, old and declining brand. The latest addition to the family is the Enclave, a bold yet sophisticated SUV experience. Buicks are beautiful, paying off a concept that is absolutely in tune with today’s inward-looking consumer, who gives special value to aesthetics, harmony and a personal sense of pleasure. Buick is then yet another great proof of General Motors promising revival.

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