noinnovationThe Apple acquisition of Beats shows that Apple is on a downward spiral as a brand.  There I said it and before all you Apple zealots get your bowels in a snit let me explain.  The strength of Apple has always been in the simplification and excellence of its products.  You’ve probably seen Beats by Dre headphones around before — they’re incredibly trendy. The company’s annual sales revenue is reportedly around $1.5 billion.  But are they good? The consensus is a big, fat “no.” Beats can cost upward of $379, and a chorus of music geeks argue they’re not worth the price. ”In terms of sound performance, they are among the worst you can buy,” Tyll Hertsens, editor-in-chief of the audiophile site told the New York Times in 2011. He called them “extraordinarily bad.”  Has any Apple product been classified as the worst you can buy?

Performance-IconA new study has lambasted marketers’ financial skills and the marketing programs run by education providers, claiming that as many as 90% of marketers are not trained in marketing performance and ROI, partly due to the fact that nine out of 10 marketing courses don’t have a unit focused on the topic.  Because of this educational void, 80% of marketers struggle to properly demonstrate the business effectiveness of their marketing spending, campaigns and activities to their top management, the report says.

kcup-300x223The popularity of capsule coffee systems like K-Cups and Nespresso is a marketing marvel. aGreen Mountain Coffee Roasters estimates that around 13% of all U.S. households have one of their devices. But the real money comes from not from the machines but from the single serve capsules. Ounce for ounce, consumers are generally paying anywhere from $35 – 60 a pound for the ground coffee inside these capsules therefore getting consumers to pay for these capsules is very lucrative.  However forcing consumers to use your capsules is not a good strategy.

UnknownSaya Weissman pointed out  that while many brands decided to tweet Martin Luther King Jr. quotes in honor of the holiday — a move that itself can vary in tone from tactful to dumbfoundingly tacky — others took MLK Day as just another opportunity to hijack some social buzz.  Consumers took issue and it’s just another way they are putting brands and companies on notice “don’t try and bullshit us to sell stuff!”