May 2, 2021

Suicide By Politics Cuts Both Ways

We've often discussed the brand damage done by getting a company involved in politics. We've primarily been critical of liberal corporate CEOs who want their brand to be "Woke". But it's not just liberals who make this mistake. Case in point: the "My Pillow Guy", one Mike Lindell.

Don't jump to conclusions, I don't much like this guy. I think he's a wannabe and a hanger-on and those who get close to him will end up embarrassed. No matter how much he continues to spend on advertising a certain percentage of the population will decline to buy his bedding products because they are aware of his political activities.

But, now that I've jumped ugly on Lindell, I'll come to his defense. He's likely doing damage to a company that he built and (as far as we know) he owns 100%. He will be the sole victim of his political missteps.

That's far different than an accidental CEO who wanders in off the street, rides around in corporate limousines for a few years, and unexpectedly ends up in control of the entire brand. In other words, if you built it, you have a right to burn it down. If you're just a temporary caretaker of other's decades of hard work you need to proceed with caution.

April 27, 2021

Caution: McSpin Ahead

Tomorrow (4/29) McDonald's Corp. will release results of operations for the first quarter of 2021. This has been preceded by the usual flood of analyst reports and press articles. But this time there's something missing from the predictions and media coverage.

While most parties expect impressive results there has been little mention of how bad sales were during the depths of the pandemic. Instead, the focus is on what the company is doing this year to build sales. This time it's all about the crispy chicken line of sandwiches. There is little or no mention of "easy comps".

This way management can rattle off a list of their successful initiatives and boast about how well their plans worked for shareholders. The press will ignore the soft comp aspect because it's much more fun to write about new products and the latest social media event.

This creates a problem for McDonald's Owner/Operators in that it will intensify the pressure from analysts concerning the next new product line. In addition, Wall Street will expect McDonald's USA to start opening dining rooms and return to all-day breakfast ASAP
Menu creep is about to reurn to McDonald's.