Back on June 3rd, I analyzed Wachovia’s miserable treatment of the venerable 120-year-old AG Edwards brand it acquired at the end of 2007. I predicted the bank would soon be bought out, and wondered how its acquirer would treat the 128-year-old Wachovia brand.
Now we know. Welcome to Citi.
The clues that I didn’t see as I rode my Washington Mutual shares into the dirt were there in Wachovia. In the latter’s case, two key areas for future planning were (a) a poorly managed integration [check], and (b) continuing to divert much-needed capital toward acquisitions while the core business was failing [checkmate].
For years, growth in bottled water sales has been a constant. As the comedian Lewis Black says, people leave their homes each morning clutching a liter of water, “fearing they will never see water again!”
Along comes the eco/green trend, a new driver for this business. The outcome I guess most bottled water companies considered was “good for us - drinking bottled water is a green thing, right?”
The outcome they should have thought of: “What if all these greenies start to focus on litter, and the gazillions of throw-away plastic bottles our industry generates?”
Caught flat-footed, the bottled water industry is seeing a decline in sales, and has a tough road to hoe to get back control on the marketplace. It might never, at this point.
How about one example whose future is still in the air?
The burgeoning developments in the “peer to peer payments” industry is one I think marketers should start considering now. Start tracking companies like Obopay and developments in contactless payments. These were originally designed for the unbanked and for low-ticket purchases, but there are other possible outcomes. What if they catch on with the banked? And for higher-priced items?
Trying to divine the future is difficult, of course. But if you take the simple way out and view it the same way as everyone else, including your competitors, don’t be surprised to find one day you’ve been acquired by Citibank.
MORE DATA YOU SHOULD KNOW…Roughly one-half of U.S. small business with annual revenue of less than $5 million accept three or fewer checks per day.