Brands to Trust – Campbell Soup and QNX

campbell-soup1I just read an article in the Economist’s annual round-up publication, in this case, The World in 2009. (And yes, I know, I’m a bit behind in my reading…) The article was called “Flight to Value – No Nonsense Brands will Prosper in 2009”. It opens with the assertion that on Sept 29 last year when the first Wall Street bail out plan was rejected, the S&P’s 500 index plunged and all of its constituents fell in value except for one, the Campbell Soup Company. The author then goes on to make the prediction that in 2009 the brands that will do well are those that represent good quality, no nonsense, and excellent value for money.

Perhaps there isn’t an obvious correlation between Campbell Soup and QNX – unless you count the fact that I always introduce myself as Linda Campbell “like the soup” to help people with my last name. As such I’m inspired to make this soup to software comparison and observe that like the soup, QNX has fared well during these hard times and much of our ongoing success can also be attributed back to the core values of quality, excellent value, and a no-nonsense approach to business.

I think there is something to be said about conservatively run companies and their staying power. QNX has never been based on a high flying culture; even our CEO travels economy class. During the good times, this type of fiscal responsibility can seem a bit restrictive but it has served us well time and again as we weather various macro-economic storms.

Ironically on the same day as I was reading this old article, I picked up the Wall Street Journal. On page B1 of the April 3 edition, there is an article called “The Perks Keep Flowing Despite Outcry”. This article talks about a company – an auto supplier out of Toledo, OH – that having just recently emerged from bankruptcy protection has managed to spend 2.3 million over the last year on chartered planes. Why? To fly their chairman and vice chairman back and forth to their homes in California.

Maybe their shareholders are wondering if this type of expenditure represents a no nonsense approach to business and good value?

By Linda Campbell (like the soup) 🙂

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