Posts tagged Cornell University Johnson School

Marketing Executive One-On-One Coaching: An MBA Student’s Perspective

 The two-day coaching annual Marketing Executive Coaching Program held at the Johnson School at Cornell University inspired Sydney Chernish, MBA ’16, to surround herself with smart, like-minded people who will push her to excellence. The below article was written by Sydney Cherish, MBA ’16, a first year Johnson marketing MBA student, who participated in the 8th Annual Marketing Executive Coaching Program and was published on the Johnson Cornell University web site.

After finishing two weeks that were jam-packed with Battle of the Brands, midterms and corporate briefings, participating in the Marketing Executive One-on-One Coaching program was a welcome break from our usual madness. This annual mentoring program, hosted by Warren Ellish ’77, MBA ’78, visiting senior lecturer of marketing and president and CEO of Ellish Marketing Group, brings top marketing executives back to campus to mentor Johnson MBAs focused on marketing. The opportunity to interact with leading marketing executives as well as the break in routine enabled us to take a step back and reflect on the bigger picture of why we’re here at business school.

I knew I would have the opportunity to interact with accomplished, executive-level marketers by participating in the Marketing Executive One-on-One Coaching. What I did not anticipate was how incredibly kind and invested these executives would be in our personal development and future success. For two days, 36 executives took time out of their careers (or retirement in a few cases) to come to Ithaca to participate in panel discussions, one-on-one coaching sessions, Q&A forums, and, of course, lots of good food and conversation.

I was scheduled to have individual conversations with three executives. We spent those hours chatting about their past experiences, some of their favorite projects, what they value in an employee, and what they think makes a good marketer. During this time, each one also strove to understand my career aspirations and what was important to my personal development. Based on our conversations, they each gave me advice on my career as well as how to craft my story. Each of the executives brought unique backgrounds, experiences, and points of view to our exchanges, but one common theme surfaced throughout all of our conversations: each executive stressed the importance of finding the right company fit. They credited their career successes to finding a culture where they could thrive and grow.

The importance of culture was not a new concept to me; fit and culture were two of my main criteria in choosing which business school to attend, and why I ultimately chose to come to Johnson. However, as we’ve all become increasingly stressed out about finding a summer internship, I’ve noticed a tendency to broaden my search criteria in order to be sure I would have something rather than the right thing for me. The executives’ echoes about fit were a welcome reminder at the right time; I recommitted to putting fit as a top criteria for my job selection. I want to surround myself with smart, like-minded people who will push me to excellence, while building a network that will last for the rest of my life.

Next year, I will encourage each and every MBA student focused on marketing to take advantage of this unique and empowering program. I hope that they will also have the opportunity to step back from the busy life of the core to gain some much-needed perspective and to enjoy the talented executives who comes to campus to participate in the Marketing Executive One-on-One Coaching program.

Warren Ellish, CEO of Ellish Marketing Group and Cornell Johnson School Senior Lecturer Hosted the 8th Annual Marketing Executive Coaching Program

Cornell Marketing Executive Coaching ProgramOn November 6 and 7, 2014, 98 students and 36 of the most distinguished marketing executives came together for the eighth annual Marketing Executive One-On-One Coaching Program. Hosted by F. Warren Ellish, visiting senior lecturer of marketing and president and CEO of Ellish Marketing Group, the program gives marketing students at Johnson at Cornell University opportunities to network with and be mentored by leading executives in the marketing world. Coaches comprise chief marketing officers, CEOs, executive recruiters, brand consultants, and advertising executives.

The event kicked off on Thursday, November 6, with a roundtable discussion, titled “The Role of Marketing Innovation.” Panelists include Jim Goldman, former President and CEO of Godiva Chocolatier; Pat Lafferty, CEO of the creative agency BBH North America; and Vithala Rao, Deane W. Malott Professor of Management and professor of marketing at Johnson.

The panel was followed by an evening reception, at which host F. Warren Ellish shared with students the importance of networking and the truly small nature of the marketing world. Each executive was introduced, not by career background, but by the connections they have with colleagues in the room. These connections included college classmates, associates, bosses, mentors, clients, and significant others.

The program resumed on Friday, November 7, with 180 individual one-on-one mentoring sessions, by 36 executives, with 98 students.  Of the 36 executive coaches, 24 were Cornell University alumni. The event concluded with a luncheon, sponsored by the student-run Marketing Association, where students may network and pose final questions to their executive coaches.

“The one-on-one format offers students a chance to ask experienced experts questions they might be reluctant to ask in a less personal setting,” said Cynthia Saunders-Cheatham, executive director of Johnson’s Career Management Center(CMC). “Students have the opportunity to gain mentors who continue to help them with suggestions, contacts, and leads though out their careers.”

 

Warren Ellish Delivers Keynote Address To International Franchise Association Emerging Franchise Conference

Warren Ellish Franchise and Brand Positioning SpeakerGreat day in Dallas presenting the Keynote Address to the Internatinal Franchise Association Emerging Franchisor Conference. I enjoyed sharing insights on world-class branding and brand positioning with the future great franchise leaders. Great turnout and enthusiastic group. Met so many new wonderful people and some old friends at the conference.  It is always a pleasure to add thought leadership to a great association.

Don’t just sit in the present to wait for something to happen in the future

International Franchise Association Emerging Franchisor Conference – GO BIG OR GO HOME!

IFA Emerging Franchisor ConferenceEver wondered what it is like to be given all tools necessary and then told to build something? Well, as many of us know, it’s definitely a challenge to start on your own! However, given the proper resources, it could end up being the best learning opportunity! Now take that approach and apply it to your business. If you are a growing franchisor and looking for the premier franchising networking event filled with resources, then look no further!

The 2014 Emerging Franchisor Conference is an interactive platform for executives of brands that are just stepping into the market. Join fellow professionals who have been in the business for quite a while to gain tips and apply proven strategies on how to make your brand shine!

Keynote addresses: Hear Warren Ellish, President & CEO Ellish Marketing Group and member of the faculty at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management talk about World-Class Branding, Catherine Monson, CEO of FASTSIGNS International discuss corporate culture and Mary Kennedy Thompson of the Dwyer Group, give her “Lessons in Leadership.” After hearing their motivational stories there is no doubt that you will be recharged and ready to GO BIG!

Not only does this event advise you on the necessary steps to reach the top, but it helps guide you in the right direction, especially in connection with your franchisees. Building trust from the start is crucial in any relationship so enhance the connection with your current franchisees while creating new relations. By the end of the conference, you will know who you want to play a key role in your business, what you want from them, and where to put them in action.

Some key aspects of the conference that should not be missed like the “Discussion with Franchise Founder’s and CEO’s”, the notorious “Think Tank” session, a case study of audience engagement and of course, the infamous roundtable discussions where you get up close and personal with the best of the business!

Don’t just sit in the present to wait for something to happen in the future, take a plunge in this unique educational opportunity offered by IFA and register for the 2014 Emerging Franchisor Conference in Dallas, November 18-19 today!

I look forward to seeing you in Dallas at this great IFA conference.

Warren Ellish to Address IFA 2014 Emerging Franchisor Conference

Warren Ellish Franchise and Restaurant SpeakerWarren Ellish, President & CEO of Ellish Marketing Group and Senior Lecturer at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management will be the opening speaker at the International Franchise Association 2014 Emerging Franchisor Conference. The convention will be held on November 18, 2014  in Dallas, Texas at the Sheraton Hotel.  Warren will address “The Three Critical Steps to Positioning Your Emerging Franchise Into a World-Class Brand.”

The IFA Emerging Franchisor Conference is designed for franchise operations executives, CEOs, COOs, Presidents, franchise development executives, franchise marketing experts, franchise relations specialists and anyone responsible for the growth and efficient operation of their franchise system. The conference is specifically designed to address challenges and opportunities unique to franchise systems who are looking to grow. This is a prime networking and educational conference for franchisors that are ready to take their systemInternational Franchise Association to the next level. This program will feature franchise leaders sharing what they learned when they were trying to build their brand. Attendees will hear motivational stories, expert tips and proven strategies that helped them attract new franchisees, build brand recognition and a loyal customer base, increase productivity while streamlining operations. Simply put, this is a must-attend event!

Don’t Let A Point Of Similarity Become Your Point Of Difference

Successfully identifying and securing a powerful brand positioning is of critical importance to every brand. It is helpful to anyone who wants to influence other people. Whether you are promoting a product, a service, a cause, a candidate, an organization, an institution or even yourself and your own career. Positioning will aid in getting your desired message across to the people you want to reach and make an impression that lasts. One of the critical steps in developing a powerful brand positioning is to identify your brands point of difference – – the specific consumer benefit which you want consumers to associate most readily with your product or service. What does your brand do that no one else’s brand does as well and that your target cares about? When defining your brands point of difference, don’t let a point of similarity become your point of difference. So often I see this.  When speaking recently to industry audiences on branding and brand positioning (National Restaurant Association ShowInternational Franchise Association National Convention and Entrepreneurs’ Organization Global Leadership Conference) or to the executive teams of clients, I ask three short questions: How many of your grew up wanting to be average? Or just like everyone else? Or of good quality? Rarely do I see any hands or much of a positive response. However, many brand leaders are perfectly OK about making their brands just like this – – average, just like everyone else and good. Many of the items that are an integral part of your product/service but are not preemptive, ownable and defendable become points of entry into your competitive set and are nothing more than points of similarity. Yes, they are all important to your product or service and in many cases you must deliver on these flawlessly just to be in business. But this is not what sets you apart, not a reason a customer should or will choose to use your brand over competitor brands, and most definitely this is not a reason for them to ever become a brand advocate. For more information on how to quickly and affordably position and brand your business to succeed in today’s competitive marketplace, visit www.ellishmarketing.com, or reach Warren directly at 303-762-0360 or .

Building Your Brand – Is Your Restaurant or Franchise Brand Strategically Positioned?

 

Is your restaurant or franchise brand strategically positioned with its message clearly communicated? Are you sure?

You don’t have to embark on a lengthy and expensive consumer research study to find out if your restaurant or franchise brand is strategically positioned with its message clearly communicated. Just try this quick and easy exercise. You may be surprised by what you learn.

Ask each member of your management team, each member of your marketing organization, and key external strategic and creative resources to answer the following three questions:

  1. 1.    What business is your brand in? Your “frame of reference”.
  2. 2.    What is the “target market” for your brand?
  3. 3.    What are the “points of difference” for your brand? Note: List no more than three.

Analyze your results. If you observe either or both of the following, your brand positioning can most definitely be strengthened:

  • Significant inconsistency in the answers to most if not all of the above three questions.
  • “Points of difference” that are really “points of similarity” to your competition or simply “points of entry” in your business – and not pre-emptive, ownable and defendable attributes that are important to your target market.

Successfully identifying and securing a powerful brand positioning is of critical importance to every brand. It is crucial to anyone who wants to influence other people, whether you are promoting a product, a service, a cause, a candidate, an organization, an institution or even yourself and your own career. Positioning will aid in getting your desired message across to the people you want to reach and making an impression that lasts. Positioning is the way in which you want the consumer to think about your business (products and services) relative to competing brands. It is the most basic of all strategic statements, provides the blueprint for the marketing and development of the brand, and focuses the efforts of all those involved in brand activities.

Without a concise brand positioning statement with a competitive “point of difference” and complete management alignment behind this positioning, it will be difficult to communicate a clear and meaningful message about your brand. A brand must make a strong impression that lasts and translates into profitable sales and long-term growth.

What are the three critical elements of a brand positioning statement?

1 – Target Market: Composed of consumers considered to be good potential users for your product/service. Don’t think demographically. Think about what the similar set of needs and/or concerns are which motivate this group of consumers’ purchase behavior.

2 – Frame of Reference: Describes the consumer grouping of like products or services (or competing brands) with which your product or service competes.  It is easy to think about this as “what business are you in”. Make sure you consider all of the options that a consumer has available to satisfy a specific need.

3 – Point of Difference: The specific consumer benefit that you want consumers to associate most readily with your product or service. What does your brand do that no other brand does as well and that your target cares about?  Why should your target value your brand?

Don’t let a point of similarity become your point of difference. One of the critical steps in developing a powerful brand positioning is to identify your brands point of difference – – the specific consumer benefit which you want consumers to associate most readily with your product or service. So when defining your brands point of difference, don’t let a point of similarity become your point of difference. So often I see this. 

When speaking recently to industry audiences on branding and brand positioning (National Restaurant Association, International Franchise Association National Convention, Entrepreneurs’ Organization Global Leadership Conference) or to the executive teams of clients, I ask three short questions: How many of your grew up wanting to be average? Or just like everyone else? Or of good quality? Rarely do I see any hands or much of a positive response. However, many brand leaders are perfectly OK about making their brands just like this – – average and just like everyone else.

Many of the items that are an integral part of your product/service but are not preemptive, ownable and defendable become points of entry into your competitive set and are nothing more than points of similarity. Yes, they are all important to your product or service and in many cases you must deliver on these flawlessly just to be in business. But this is not what sets you apart, not a reason a customer should or will choose to use your brand over competitor brands, and most definitely this is not a reason for them to ever become a brand advocate.

A brand is not a mark. A brand leaves a mark. Believe it or not, your customers do not really care about your brands’ name, your logo, or your tag line. What they do care about is who your brand is, what it stands for, what your brand offers and why your brand is different. People want to love brands. They want to feel amazing about using your brand. So stop worrying about the name of your brand, your logo or your tag line.  Focus you attention on clearly positioning your brand and gaining complete management alignment behind that positioning. The end result will be the development of a concise positioning statement, agreed upon by your core management team.

Properly position your brand and you will be in good company. I’ve worked with hundreds of global, national, regional and local brands including many restaurants and franchises – – all using a disciplined approach to developing a clearly defined brand positioning statement. Each of these clients that focused their attention on brand positioning have reaped the benefits of their efforts.

—————-

Warren Ellish is a senior marketing executive with over 30 years of client and consulting experience in consumer products marketing, restaurant marketing, franchise marketing, dental marketing and retail marketing. He is a renowned marketing and branding consultant, lecturer and speaker on branding and brand positioning, is President and CEO of Ellish Marketing Group and is a member of the marketing faculty at Cornell University’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management. Ellish was named to the Advertising Age “Marketing 100–the superstars of US marketing”.

Mr. Ellish has a successful track record of assisting the senior leadership of highly competitive multi-unit trade area driven businesses (with a focus on restaurant and franchise brands) generate high returns on investment based on a strategic focus to drive profitable traffic and product mix.  A significant amount of his work has been with start-up, emerging and turnaround businesses.  He has launched many new brands and concepts that became successful growth businesses while also revitalizing many once formidable brands that lost their way to become strong competitors once again.  He has been responsible for developing brand positioning for hundreds of well-known international, domestic, regional and local brands.  His core practice areas include: brand positioning, restaurant marketing and franchise marketing for domestic and international clients.

Warren Ellish to Present Keynote Address to CARSTAR 2014 National Franchise Conference

 

Warren Ellish, President & CEO of Ellish Marketing Group and Senior Lecturer at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management will be the keynote speaker at the 25th annual CARSTAR National Fracnhise Conference. The annual conference will be held on Sunday June 22, 2014  in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Warren’s keynote will address the importance of consistently and properly positioning the CARSTAR brand to gain the competitive edge.

CARSTAR is North America’s most trusted auto body repair experts.

EO of Louisiana and New Orleans Chamber Present… Warren Ellish

Reserve Your Table for EO Louisiana and the New Orleans Chamber’s Third Quarter Business Luncheon & Entrepreneur’s Expo on August 22nd!

EO Lousiana & New Orleans Chamber of Commerce

Join Entrepreneur Organization of Louisiana and the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce on August 22nd for our third quarter business luncheon series.

Our keynote speaker F. Warren Ellish is President and CEO of Ellish Marketing Group and Senior Lecturer at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management. Named “Marketing 100 – the superstars of US marketing” by Advertising Age, he will discuss The Three Critical Steps to Positioning Your Product or Service Into a World Class Brand. To read his full bio please click here. An Entrepreneur’s Expo will be held prior to the luncheon. Entrepreneurs from all sectors are encouraged to exhibit their products or services! The Expo is free and open to the public.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

9:30 am – 11:30 am: Entrepreneur’s Expo 

11:00 am: Luncheon Registration opens

12:00 noon – 1:00 pm: Program & Lunch

Hilton New Orleans Riverside

Versailles Ballroom, 3rd Floor

2 Poydras Street at The Mississippi River

New Orleans, LA 70130

 

Buffets, Inc. Names Philip Friedman And Warren Ellish To Board Of Directors With Focus On Brand Turnaround

EAGAN, Minn., Dec. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Buffets, Inc. has appointed seasoned restaurant executive Philip Friedman and highly accomplished marketing executive F. Warren Ellish to its Board of Directors, thereby completing the new seven-member board of directors formed after the company emerged from bankruptcy.  Both executives possess over 30 years of restaurant industry experience and each has held leadership positions at growth and turnaround brands in the restaurant and hospitality industries.  The appointments are effective immediately.

“These are true leaders with proven track records of success,” said Rob Webster, Chairman of the Board of Buffets, Inc.  “Both Warren and Phil have the practical knowledge of what it takes to turn around and grow a brand, and they understand the need for strong corporate governance.  We are pleased to add them to our board of directors, and are excited for the future of our organization with their support and expertise.”

Philip Friedman
Philip Friedman currently serves as Chairman and CEO of Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina, an 85-location casual Mexican restaurant chain he acquired in 2011, and as President of P. Friedman & Associates, Inc., a strategic planning and management consulting company he founded in 1986.  Friedman previously served as Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of McAlister’s Corporation, a quick casual concept he acquired along with a group of investors in 1999.  During his tenure, McAlister’s grew from 27 to 300 restaurants in 22 states. In 2005, Friedman led the successful sale of McAlister’s Corporation to Roark Capital Group.

Friedman was awarded Nation’s Restaurant News’ 2009 Golden Chain Award honoree for his success with McAlister’s and The International Foodservice Manufacturers’ Association’s Silver Plate award for his enduring and outstanding achievements in the Chain Restaurant Full Service category.  He was also honored by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) as a Cornerstone Humanitarianfor leading McAlister’s in outstanding community involvement.  He received an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, as well as a MA in Political Science and a BA in History from the University of Connecticut. Friedman serves on the Board of Directors for Diversified Restaurants, Boudin Bakeries & Restaurants and Silver Diner Corporation as well as on the boards of the National and Mississippi Restaurant Associations.

“Phil will help us deliver on our brand vision of offering real food and real choices, while creating real connections with our guests,” said Anthony Wedo, Buffets, Inc. Chief Executive Officer.

F. Warren Ellish
F. Warren Ellish is a senior marketing executive with extensive experience in consumer products, restaurants and retailing. Ellish has been responsible for successfully positioning hundreds of well-known brands and has a track record of delivering outsized returns in competitive industries.  In 1995, Ellish founded his own marketing consulting company, Ellish Marketing Group LLC, and for the past 17 years has been advising the senior leadership of numerous leading brands and companies from a strategic marketing perspective.  Prior to forming Ellish Marketing Group, he served as a founding partner and Vice President of Marketing for Boston Chicken, Inc. (Boston Market), where he helped create a new brand in the “home meal replacement” retail category.  Ellish also served as Vice President of Marketing and an executive committee member for Red Lobster Restaurants (Darden), Vice President of Marketing for Luzianne Blue Plate Foods, and other senior marketing positions with Burger King Corporation, Johnson & Johnson and PepsiCo.  Ellish was also named to Advertising Age’s “Marketing 100 – The Superstars of US Marketing.”

Ellish received both his BS and MBA from Cornell University, where he currently serves as a member of the marketing faculty at the SC Johnson Graduate School of Management.

“I have known Warren for 20 years and have seen his track record of repeated successes first hand,” Wedo said.  “He has helped launch start ups and driven brand turnarounds.  I know that his breadth of experience will be extremely helpful as we move this brand forward.”

Friedman and Ellish will serve alongside current 2012 Buffets, Inc. Board Members: Chairman Rob Webster, CEO Anthony Wedo, David Merritt, Todd Brown and Santino Blumetti.

About Buffets, Inc.
Buffets, Inc., the nation’s largest steak-buffet restaurant company, currently operates 347 restaurants in 35 states, comprised of 337 steak-buffet restaurants and 10 Tahoe Joe’s Famous Steakhouse restaurants.  The restaurants are principally operated under the Old Country Buffet®, HomeTown® Buffet, Ryan’s® and Fire® Mountain brands.  Buffets employs approximately 18,000 team members and serves approximately 100 million customers annually.  For more information about Buffets, Inc., visit online at www.Buffet.com.

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