Apr 28, 2009

Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should

Governor Lingle should veto the new taxes on tourists — that goes for the increases in the TAT and also for the car rental taxes buried in the highway bill.

One of my first jobs in Hawaii was at the Sheraton Waikiki. Our administrative offices were on the fourth floor and every day I rode the elevators, envious of visitors smelling like coconut oil. They seemed oblivious to the hideous Dorothy Draper interior design, and thought Waikiki unbelievably cool.

That was in 1973. A lot has changed in the last thirty five years, but one thing hasn’t: our absolute dependence on tourism to keep these islands going. The first time the legislature levied the “TAT,” we didn’t live our lives online. This time, we live our lives online and loyal visitors who follow Hawai`i know what we do when we need more money. We tax them, and hope they won’t notice. Continue reading »

Sep 3, 2008

Hawaii Should Come First

Bleah Hawaii. Finally, we have made the New York Times editorial page. Not so ironically, the editorial piece on Hawaii was third in a list – the first being The Wrong Priorities and the second being Great Wall of Fluff. That pretty much sums up Hawaii’s current dilemma.

Now we hear that “sewage spills are not unusual in U.S.” — that Los Angeles has had more than 4500 sewage spills in a 10 year period, that Louisville and Jefferson County have been dumping sewage and storm water into the Ohio River totaling “billions of gallons each year.” Well – as the Church Lady would say on Saturday Night Live: “Isn’t that special?”

This is a whole new twist on Hawaii’s age old worry that things are better on the mainland. In a real life demonstration about the old adage of birds not pooping in their own nest, Hawaii has done that and more. Never mind that we made the right decision to direct the stuff in the (recently cleaned up) Ala Wai Canal, we have made the wrong decisions year after year after year. Hawaii is the home of “if we can’t see it, it won’t hurt us.” Continue reading »

Jul 3, 2008

Contemporizing Your Corporate Identity is Key to Brand Strength

Most customers have probably not noticed the simple changes that have been made to update the Pizza Hut, Burger King, 7 Up and Evian identities – but those subtle changes are key to keeping these consumer brand giants – well, GIANT.

We expect mass retail brands to revitalize their corporate identities periodically – but many businesses don’t apply this sound practice to their own logos. Updating and contemporizing corporate identities helps strong brands to say on top – even in the corporate sphere. Sometimes, corporations use the introduction of a new product to mark a change in corporate identity – as IBM did with the introduction of the ThinkPad – signaling IBM’s intention to recapture the ground it has lost in one of its most important brand values: innovation. Continue reading »

Dec 3, 2007

Brand in the ( Workplace ) Environment

Paying close attention to extending the brand’s positioning to its stores has made Starbucks the universal “third place between home and work” and given the company “a unique advantage over most other consumer brands – we are both a place and a product you consume,” according to Howard Schultz, the founder of Starbucks. The consistency of the environment with the brand promise are also key to the success of McDonald’s, The Gap, Footlocker and Jamba Juice – to name a few.

If the branded environment is so important to customer experience, and employees are likewise the messengers of brand essence – then bringing the brand to life in the workplace should be at the top of a CEO’s agenda. But, as we all know, most companies look to the bottomline and not employee experience of the brand when considering how to design or renovate the workplace environment. Continue reading »

Jul 3, 2006

Women in Red: And I thought we hated dressing alike.

Should they both dress in red for the debate? That’s probably the only thing the pollsters didn’t ask us. When they called for the 50th time, my smart aleck Canadian husband handed over the phone, saying “Ask not for whom the bell polls. It polls for thee.” I took the calls. I answered the questions. I am interested in this because brand strategy is my business. I was hot on the trail of the developing brands of our gubernatorial candidates. Digging and digging, the faceless polltakers tried hard to find out what would really shock me about Linda or Mazie.

You saw it in the commercials. Mazie worked with Ben Cayetano for eight years! Ohmigod. That proves that she is not a person in her own right. Never mind that she has always been a maverick. Never been a good old boy. Fought for everything she ever got.

And Linda. She bought government cars from a family firm, costing the taxpayers of Hawaii … exactly the same amount, or possibly less, than if she had bought them from someone else. And she gave a non-bid contract to a well-known, capable, well-respected … member of her own party! Each day, I turned on the television. I was reeling. How shocking! How surprising! Continue reading »

Gloria. Circa 1955.



Gloria. Circa 2012.




Other than working for the American Red Cross in Korea for two years, Gloria Garvey has lived in Hawai`i since 1971. Her opinion and other writing has appeared in: The American Philatelist. Honolulu Weekly, The Honolulu Advertiser, The Honolulu Star Bulletin, The Star Advertiser, Hawai`i Reporter, Pacific Business News, Island Scene, The Design Management Journal.

Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.