These companies all have terrific management teams that have crafted incredible images. Their planned and unplanned marketing campaigns tend to go off without a hitch. They know their respective audiences and they each serve them so well.
Starbucks took off and ran with digital
. Just an outstanding example of brilliant competence. They have reached some sort of scale with a tech-friendly, mobile customer base so they took technology to them in a way no other retailer really has. For as much as Whole Foods is tapped into its core shopper, it could learn a lot from Howard Schultz and Adam Brotman's innovative strategies.
made an excellent case for McDonald's marketing
last week in another must-read article. McDonald's tends to make its customers feel good about themselves, whereas
(WMT - Get Report)
, despite its seemingly well-intentioned pitch of "low prices," makes them feel like losers.
If we learned anything from Apple when Steve Jobs was alive and even more so now when's he gone, it's that image and marketing mean a ton. Apple once had this down. LULU, SBUX, WFM and MCD pretty much always have and definitely do. That's not changing anytime soon.
LULU may continue to feel pressure, but if you're a long-term investor -- I'm talking a multi-year, not multi-quarter time horizon -- it probably makes sense to scale into a position on every noise-related pullback. There's not much structurally wrong with Lululemon's grand plan to expand mindshare and market share geographically and across existing and forthcoming product lines.
-- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.