let's make a deal
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 10, 2013 12:45 PM
Shares of Barnes & Noble soared 24 percent after it was reported Thursday that Microsoft is considering a bid for the retailer’s Nook e-book business.
Microsoft is reportedly offering $1 billion for the Nook brand and the digital assets of Nook Media on top of their $300 million investment last year to develop Nook content for Windows 8 tablets. "Our complementary assets will accelerate e-reading innovation across a broad range of Windows devices, enabling people to not just read stories, but to be part of them,” said Microsoft president Andy Lees at the time. "We're on the cusp of a revolution in reading."
But the revolution stalled as the Android-based Nook has been a money-loser for B&N, not helping America's biggest bookseller compete against Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 8, 2013 06:26 PM
Target Corp’s Cartwheel, released in public beta today, combines social networking and discounts in the retailer’s latest move to lure traffic to its physical stores and away from online rivals.
As brick and mortar retailers struggle for relevance, fighting the growing trend of “showrooming,” they’re turning to social media to attact consumers with unique deals. Target worked with Facebook for about a year on Cartwheel, whose tagline reads, "A whole new spin on saving," where shoppers can choose from hundreds of deal items such as Target's own Threshold home goods as well as brand goodies like M&Ms candy and Coca-Cola soft drinks.
The Cartwheel launch includes 700 new offers, and claiming any one generates automatic News Feed posts on Facebook unless the user turns them off.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 6, 2013 02:39 PM
Amazon launched its Android app store in China over the weekend, becoming the first Western technology company to offer paid-for Android apps in China. (Google’s Chinese store offers only free apps.) The update effectively launches a new version of Amazon's app store built in Chinese in the form of an Android app, along with a Chinese-language site for developers.
It’s a promising alternative to Google Play for Chinese developers like Tencent and Sina. TechCrunch notes that Amazon's app store provides easier access for developers, who previously had to sell through third-party stores, a global customer base and an "attractive revenue sharing model."
Currently, there are home-grown services that offer paid apps to the Chinese market, the worlds largest in mobile, but many local versions are pirated or have malicious software issues. The Amazon store promises "quality and safety testing" and may very well be the prelude to the launch of its Kindle e-readers in China.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 1, 2013 03:50 PM
For decades, the eponymous mascot of Chuck E. Cheese has appeared to the general public as an extremely sizeable mouse that’s eaten a little too much of the famed restaurant’s pizza. For a time, the guy even carried a cigar around with him. But in a world that has heard a steady drumbeat against child obesity, it hasn’t exactly looked good to have a mascot who looked like he could lose a few pounds.
On Tuesday, Chuck E. Cheese execs and shareholders at the CEC Entertainment’s annual meeting in Texas met a slimmed-down version of Mr. Cheese, whose transformation began last year when his illustrated form changed shape in advertising and signage to become a lot more rock star than his past version.
With the change came the disappearance of the man who was his longtime voice, Duncan Brannan, and the introduction of Jaret Reddick as the new voice of Cheese, according to the Christian Science Monitor. Reddick, of course, is the lead singer of pop-punk band Bowling for Soup, which has a few albums Cheese execs probably wouldn’t want their mascot singing on, such as “Drunk Enough to Dance” and “A Hangover You Don’t Deserve.”
Changing the mascot may be the simplest thing CEC does this year. The 36-year-old company announced in February that its profits fell 20.7 percent to $43.6 million in fiscal year 2012. That’s a little surprising for a brand that was just named the No. 1 kid-friendly restaurant by Technomic's Consumer Restaurants Brand Metrics, based on customer surveys over the last two years.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 17, 2013 07:35 PM
Mondelez International's first-of-its-kind Mobile Futures Network is teaming brands with top entrepreneurial minds to bring pilots to market in as little as 90 days.
"The Mobile Futures program has been an extraordinary experience for all of us at Mondelez International,” said Bonin Bough, vice president of global media and consumer engagement. “It has given us the opportunity to work with and learn from leading mobile innovators to enhance how we engage with our consumers.”
The pilots, focused on mobile-at-retail, social TV and SoLoMo (social/ location/ mobile) technology to enhance consumer experiences and drive impulse purchases have launched across multiple brands under the Mondelez umbrella. The global company hopes that the service-y and social tie-ins will help build brand relevance beyond obvious user engagements for brands like Chips Ahoy! and Stride Gum.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 11, 2013 12:37 PM
What products would you make smarter? That's the question General Electric is asking in its bid to create consumer-facing products with GE patents.
No stranger to the Internet of Things, GE has once again partnered with Quirky, a type of social network for inventors to license thousands of its patents to Quirky community members for development.
“There are a host of consumer applications that we haven’t had the ability to focus on,” Beth Comstock, CMO GE told the The New York Times. “That just isn’t our core business.”Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 9, 2013 11:53 AM
After a little finagling and creativity, Playboy has managed to relaunch an impressive content-heavy app for the iPhone, all while playing nice with Apple's staunch no-nudity clause.
The new Playboy for iPhone app positions the brand as digital bespoke of the Playboy lifestyle with articles on travel, clothes, food, cars and girls. "As the on-the-go extension of the Playboy brand, our new app brings the best of Playboy with original, thought-provoking and enticing bite-sized content that captures our design-driven and discernible style," said CEO Scott Flanders in a press release.
The rebuilt app is designed to feed new Gen Y fans the content they crave—and that's not just graphic photos of the lady of the month. The app is targeting younger men who’d "rather consume the content digitally on their device than on their couch in paper form," Altimeter Group’s mobile strategy analyst, Chris Silva told Freep.com. "The way people are consuming and buying their media has totally changed."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 2, 2013 04:04 PM
More than 425,000 cell phones are decommissioned each day in the United States, but that doesn’t mean people don’t want their phones. In fact, they can’t get enough of them and, even though big global brands including Samsung and Apple eat up a massive part of the global market, there is still plenty of money left over and plenty of companies that would like a piece of that action.
Now you can add Facebook and maybe Amazon to that list.Continue reading...