Good Week: Snapchat – Extending their stay at the top of the “BrandSnark 3” for another week, Snapchat – they officially changed the corporate name to “Snap” for a broader purview – announced plans for an IPO that’s speculated to value the company at $20-$25B. The value of brand-power? Just three years ago, Facebook nearly acquired Snapchat for $3B. Another ascendant brand about to IPO: Trivago, Expedia’s hotel-booking property.
Bad Week: JPMorgan – The investment bank gets nailed with a total of $264B in fines for hiring the children of China’s political and business elite in an attempt to win business in that country. The SEC called it “systemic bribery” in levying its $130M fine. The DOJ and the Federal Reserve agreed, piling on an additional $72M and $62M, respectively. Case Study: Rare coordination between multiple federal agencies in going after about the only group with a worse brand image – investment bankers.
Worse Week: Lowe’s – Speaking of “nailed,” only 24 hours after rival Home Depot posted McMansion-sized Q3 numbers, Lowe’s profit was down $357M from Q3 2015, due largely to heavy debt charges and lagging customer traffic in its newer stores.