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retail watch

Macy's Dials Up Omnichannel Strategy Ahead of Holiday Shopping Blitz

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 17, 2014 01:29 PM

Macy’s is making a bigger investment in omnichannel retail technology ahead of the major holiday shopping season by creating a more personalized and interactive shopping experience for consumers in-store, online and on mobile devices. 

A pioneer in the implementation of RFID technology, Macy's will be rolling out shopBeacons to all of its locations across the US and will be expanding its partnership with Shopkick to drive consumer engagement in-store. 

“Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s remain committed to operating at the forefront of innovation, as well as fostering a locally relevant shopping experience in every store,” said Terry J. Lundgren, Chairman and CEO of Macy's, in a press release. “We are a multi-faceted retailer with stores, technology, Internet capability and mobile access that come together for our customers. They are at the center of all our decisions, and our ongoing research and development will continue to help us understand how to personally engage with them.”Continue reading...

brands under fire

Nestle Scorched for Tapping California Water, but It Won't Be the Last Brand

Posted by Dale Buss on September 17, 2014 11:47 AM

Nestle Waters is involved in one of the first major brand disputes relating to the devastating drought in California. But it's likely not to be the last tangle over how brands and products use water in the parched Golden State as California increasingly goes drip-dry and state residents have been urged to cut their water usage by 20 percent.

In the case of Nestle's bottled-water brand, a conservation group is petitioning to stop Nestle from tapping its site in Cabazon, which bottles water from a nearby spring in Millard Canyon under the Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water brand. The League of Conservation Voters wants Nestle CEO Paul Bulcke to stop "taking water from the state, bottling it, exporting it out of the state and profiting." Another group, Global Call for Climate Action, has criticized Nestle Water because its plant sits on a Native American reservation where it's immune from state regulation.

To this, Nestle Waters has replied basically: We're one of the most responsible industrial users of water in the state. Go pick on other businesses, ranging from soft-drink plants to agricultural growers, that are much more intensive users. Nestle Waters previously came under fire in Canada for its water collection practices. Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: General Mills, Subway, Clear Channel and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 17, 2014 09:35 AM

TOP STORIES

General Mills sees profits drop 25 percent on decline in US sales.

Subway deploys mobile payments to all 26,000 US locations in partnership with Softcard, the mobile wallet formerly known as Isis.

Sony warns of $2 billion loss and trims mobile unit.

NFL lobbied to meet with women's activists as sponsors face protests and weigh pulling out, and the Minnesota Vikings switch course and bar Adrian Peterson. (Update: Nike has dropped its sponsorship of Peterson.)

Scotland's looming independence vote prompts Richard Branson and other business leaders to make contingency plans. 

MORE BRAND NEWS

Absolut licenses Andy Warhol images for holiday campaign.

Adobe helps bring 3D-printed shoe to life.

Airbus sells some defense businesses.

Allstate hosts college-football Twitter challenge.

ALS Association tries to avoid pitfalls after monetary success of Ice Bucket Challenge.Continue reading...

trademark wars

Trademark Watch: Honey Badger Don't Care, Fish Sauce Wars and more

Posted by brandchannel staff on September 16, 2014 06:02 PM

Creator of "Honey Badger Don't Care" Brand Sues for Trademark Infringement (UPI)

"Defendants not only sold infringing merchandise, but strategically chose to advertise their infringing merchandise by using plaintiff's video, which was generating millions of views. Defendants even provided a website link to plaintiff's video, right alongside their advertisements of infringing merchandise, causing customer confusion and ramping up unlawful sales in the process."  

In Court, a Trademark Battle Turns Personal for Two Fish Sauce Makers (Los Angeles Times)

"Last week's federal trademark trial between the two fish sauce companies pitted a family-owned, three-decade behemoth in the Asian food industry that sells five lines of fish sauce against a newcomer that prides itself on making a premium, artisan version that has become the darling of celebrity chefs. The testimony ventured beyond the legal technicalities of trademark law into the personal stories behind the making of the odoriferous sauce."Continue reading...

auto motive

Cadillac's de Nysschen Takes Calm Approach Despite Sales, Brand Erosion

Posted by Dale Buss on September 16, 2014 05:13 PM

Cadillac's new boss is making no bones about his plans for elevating the General Motors luxury brand in its competition with BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz: Don't cheapen the brand by discounting prices in the face of weaker sales, and make the right changes on a steady basis so that Cadillac eventually can attract the higher-end clientele it is still seeking.

That's the basic strategy Johan de Nysschen has been laying out since he left the worldwide helm of Infiniti to take the worldwide helm of Cadillac last month, promising the most power over the brand and its products that's ever been held by a Cadillac chief.

"We cannot deny the fact that we are leaving behind our traditional customer base" with such a strategy, de Nysschen vowed to Automotive News. "It will take several years before a sufficiently large part of the audience who until now have been concentrating on the German brands will find us in their consideration set."Continue reading...

sporting brands

NFL Backpedals as More Brands Get Dragged In to Domestic Violence Fray

Posted by Dale Buss on September 16, 2014 03:40 PM

The National Football League continues to try to power through its season of peril like a running back knocking down linebackers. But sponsors, social critics and pro football players themselves continue to make the brand's problems hard to forget. 

The latest developments following the Ray Rice scandal include a move by Radisson Hotels to suspend its sponsorship deal with the Minnesota Vikings over its decision to reinstate star running back Adrian Peterson after the team's own investigation of his indictment on child-abuse charges. A Houston TV station reported that Peterson was accused in 2013 of hitting another son, Bloomberg reported.

Other endorsement partners for the time being were standing by Peterson, who was a league MVP and had high marketability scores, according to the St. Paul Business Journal. Nike, Castrol and Wheaties were among the brands still monitoring the situation.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Urban Outfitters Ignites Social Rage (Again) with Blood-Stained Sweatshirt

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 16, 2014 01:43 PM

Urban Outfitters may have found its moral outrage tipping point (again). 

The controversial Millennial retailer of vintagey hipster everything caught some serious flack this week for selling a one-of-a-kind "Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt" that looked to be treated with spattered blood.

The fashionably faded, "slouchy fit" sweatshirt was posted online with a sinister call-out, "Get it or regret it!" that added to the rage of consumers that pointed out the $129 sweatshirt's unfortunate relation to the 1970 Kent State massacre in which National Guard members gunned down four college students at a Richard Nixon protest.  

After the sweatshirt quickly sold out and the design spread around the internet (and even was put up for sale on eBay), the retailer tweeted the following apology:

Urban Outfitters sincerely apologizes for any offense our Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt may have caused. It was never our intention to allude to the tragic events that took place at Kent State in 1970 and we are extremely saddened that this item was perceived as such. The one-of-a-kind item was purchased as part of our sun-faded vintage collection. There is no blood on this shirt nor has this item been altered in any way. The red stains are discoloration from the original shade of the shirt and the holes are from natural wear and fray. Again, we deeply regret that this item was perceived negatively and we have removed it immediately from our website to avoid further upset.Continue reading...

brand revival

Long Live the '90s: Coke Brings Back Surge in Amazon E-Commerce Tie-In

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 16, 2014 10:33 AM

Facebook might not have been around in the '90s, but enthusiasts of one of the decade's most-coveted caffeinated beverages made good use of the social network to get the attention of Coca-Cola. As a result, Coke announced yesterday that it would bring back Surge soda after a 12-year hiatus—a first for Coke—and sell it exclusively on Amazon, in what is the brand's first e-commerce-only product push.

The citrus-flavored soda, which competed with PepsiCo's Mountain Dew back in its heyday, will be available in 12-packs of 16-oz. cans featuring the original Surge design for $14. The limited time offering sold out multiple times on the first day of sales.  

“If expectations are met, this may be only the first of a variety of efforts we explore to launch niche products through e-commerce relationships,” said Wendy Clark, president of sparkling and strategic marketing, Coca-Cola North America, in a press release. “This will be a great learning experience for us and a refreshing opportunity for fans.”Continue reading...

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