Good Week: Chobani – CEO and founder Hamdi Ulukaya shares the yogurt company’s success by giving each of his 2,000 employees shares of stock that could total 10% of the company’s value should it be sold or go IPO. Saying “this isn’t a gift. It’s a mutual promise to work together with a shared purpose and responsibility,” Ulukaya demonstrates the essential role of culture in making a great brand. Or a great yogurt.
Bad Week: Apple – What’s rare? The Branding 101 poster-child having a bad week. Even rarer? Apple posted its first quarterly drop in revenue in more than 12 years, largely a result of a second-quarter drop in iPhone sales. Investor Carl Ichan dumped his Apple stock, which was down by as much as 8%. Add this wallop to the shots sustained in its recent battle with the FBI and no matter how you slice it, Apple’s showing some bruises.
Worse Week: Volkswagen – [I’m seriously considering re-naming this section “Worsewagen”] As if VW’s not in deep enough legal spaetzle with the Justice Department and the EPA, now the National Labor Relations Board is filing a complaint over the company’s refusal to engage in contract talks with the UAW. The last time so many people piled onto VW was in a microbus in the parking lot of a Grateful Dead show.