Posted by Dale Buss on July 23, 2014 05:38 PM
Ford has been making noise about reviving the Lincoln brand for a few years now, but it took a change at the top, from Alan Mulally to new CEO Mark Fields, for the company to get really serious about it.
Fields, who took the helm on July 1, just named a new executive to oversee Lincoln and has been touting his plans for the underutilized luxury brand as he took over for the retired Mulally earlier this month. Reports have come out suggesting that Mulally never warmed up to the Lincoln brand even late in his tenure and was willing to let it die as so many other venerable auto brands have done in the last several years, including Pontiac, Plymouth and Ford's own Mercury.
Fields' appointment of Kumar Galhotra, who formerly headed up engineering for Ford, as the new president of Lincoln signifies a promising change in the thinking around the luxury brand, which was previously led by Jim Farley, who was and will remain Ford's CMO.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 23, 2014 03:28 PM
LinkedIn is steadily becoming a major focus for brand marketing thanks to its commitment to value-added B2B services like self-publishing that allow brands to build themselves up online.
With an in-house ad business through its "Sponsored Updates" feature and its recent acquisition of Bizo and Newsle, LinkedIn is increasingly giving brands a platform to promote their content and services to other brands and potential employees.
“Publishing solid, optimized content on LinkedIn allows you the opportunity to showcase your brand, and reach a significant amount of qualified potential customers, not only through LinkedIn’s own site search, but also via the search engines themselves," Business2Community notes.
But beyond publishing, several brands are using LinkedIn's platform to generate some interesting conversations. A major innovator in the social travel space, KLM, has launched a service on LinkedIn that allows followers to ask travel-related questions. Alternately, Mercedes-Benz is using the site to promote its 2015 C-Class line with a “Driven to Perform” contest that will award a LinkedIn user with a two-year lease of a Mercedes C300.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 23, 2014 01:49 PM
Whoever tries to hack into Target’s data next is going to have a lot more to dig through. The retailer's new app, In a Snap, aims at improving its foothold in the mobile shopping space by allowing users to take pictures of Target products in print (magazines, catalogs and newspapers) and then simply click to buy.
The free app, which uses advanced image recognition technology, allows consumers to have their product shipped or held for them at a local store—all part of Target's big push to ramp up e-commerce and click-and-collect efforts as it continues to feel the pressure from Amazon, Walmart, and fast-fashion retailers. In a Snap joins Target's other app, Cartwheel, which serves as a coupon-serving shopping companion.
“It’s a single-purpose app that will appeal to Millennials and college students or anyone not averse to downloading an app,” Target spokesman Eddie Baeb told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
The app's launch is timed to Target advertising running in Real Simple and Domino magazines, part of the brand's back to school campaign for college-aged consumers with a new registry and web video series, Best Year Ever, that features YouTube stars helping students with dorm room makeovers.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on July 23, 2014 11:52 AM
Restaurants in China can take heart in the fact that their newly found brand nadirs are not unilateral. A new tainted chicken supply scandal has seen Burger King, Starbuck's, McDonald's, Papa John's, Subway, TGI Friday's and Pizza Hut caught in a PR disaster with Japan's Yoshinoya, 7-Eleven and even a local sacrificial lamb, China's Dico's chain.
As Apple (and McDonald's and other foreign brands) know, China's state media loves nothing more than picking national brands up by knocking foreign brands down. Indeed, there is already a whole microsite dedicated to bashing the foreign brands (and even Dico's) that have been linked to supplier Shanghai Husi Food Co. Ltd. Taking a note from America's Watergate-based nomenclature, the scandal is being called "Foul Meat-gate" ("臭肉门").
Even as Chinese food scandals go—and there are a lot to choose from—the latest one is pretty ugly. But in a situation where everyone is a loser, there is one brand that's losing worse than others.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 23, 2014 10:28 AM
The forerunner to the modern flush system was patented in 1775 by London watchmaker Alexander Cummings, and ever since, designers and inventors have tried to create a better mousetrap for a basic human activity. But access to a flush toilet divides the globe. According to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, an estimated 2.5 billion people worldwide, or two out of every five, don’t have such access.
The need is great (nearly 1.5 million children die each year from food and water tainted with fecal matter) and the category is ripe for innovation, which spurred the Gates Foundation to launch the Reinvent the Toilet challenge in 2011 as part of its commitment to water, sanitation and hygiene.
We recently profiled American Standard CEO Jay Gould, whose company has partnered with the Gates Foundation on Flush for Good, an initiative to improve sanitation and community health in emerging markets.
The Gates fund has helped other such innovations as the Loowatt waterless toilet invented by Virginia Gardiner has raised nearly £2m in funding in total. A biodegradable lining runs around the bowl that pushes waste into a cartridge that gets broken down by microorganisms into biogas and fertilizer. The technology this week had a successful debut at the Latitude Festival in the UK.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 23, 2014 09:02 AM
Apple sees iPhone sales roar while iPad whimpers, as company gets patent for “iTime” watch.
Chrysler recalls 792,000 older Jeep Commander and Grand Cherokee models for ignition-switch problem.
Ford CEO Mark Fields, in one of first major moves, taps top engineer to lead Lincoln and product revival.
McDonald’s expects further challenges in business fundamentals this year.
Coca-Cola is relying on mini-cans to restore brand romance as earnings and revenue slide.
MORE BRAND NEWS
American Apparel hopes to decide fate of CEO Dov Charney next month, report says.
Applebee's will turn its Instagram over to foodies for the next year.
Cheerio's scores a win with new #HowToDad campaign.
Danone weighs expansion opportunities.
Deutsche Bank is blasted by US regulators for reporting problems.
Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off more than 400 PGA golf instructors on weak golf sales.Continue reading...
video killed the _____ star
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 22, 2014 06:15 PM
The proverbial casting couch has been replaced by homegrown YouTube stars, and this year's 18,000-plus attendees of VidCon's fifth annual conference is proof positive that online content creators are a big business.
Google’s YouTube is the training ground for young, ambitious creatives seeking fame and with 72 hours of video uploaded every minute to channels with thousands of subscribers, the phenomenon of video bloggers is becoming more lucrative by the day—for creators, and the major brands that want to sponsor them.
“I think [online video content] is a huge cultural phenomenon that no one can take credit for or explain or understand,” said VidCon co-founder Hank Green. “We’re all just sort of watching it happen and trying to reflect it and ride along with it in the most effective ways we can.”
Over the past four years, video has exploded into prime real estate for advertisers as digital video ad spend rose to $4.2 billion last year, and is projected to reach $6 billion this year. And with many vloggers speaking to younger audiences that are the target of big brands, the business opportunites seem endless.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 22, 2014 04:12 PM
Campbell Soup already has tried just about everything in its efforts to jump-start growth in the last few years under CEO Denise Morrison. And now the packaged-goods giant says it's going to try more of just about everything in a bid to finally get over the stagnation hump—and supercharge revenues by 20 percent to become a $10 billion company within the next five years.
Morrison plans to reach that goal with a flurry of new products, greater leveraging of Campbell's recent acquisitions and the likelihood of more acquisitions ahead to counter the slow-growth "new normal" in the US packaged-goods industry and to pick up the company's uneven recent efforts to spur new organic growth.
She and other Campbell executives told an investor conference this week that, among other things, they plan a blitz of more than 200 new products in 2015 that will include protein bars and shakes to capitalize on the protein trend, the first organic varieties of Campbell Soup including flavors such as chicken tortilla and garden vegetable, and a new range of V8 flavors that seek to seize on the juicing trend with varieties such as Purple Power, a veggie blend with beets.Continue reading...