2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

brand challengers

BlackBerry Bleeds Cash as Stubborn Board Looks for Success In B2B

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 20, 2013 04:33 PM

The prognosis for BlackBerry seems to be getting worse and worse. The company lost an astounding $4.4 billion in the third quarter, its seventh-straight quarterly loss. 

The company started the year with high hopes that its January launch of its Z10 handset would be a game changer. Alas, it was not and things have gone downhill from there. After toying with a buyout offer from Fairfax Financial, the company announced in November that CEO Thorsten Heins would step down and be replaced by John Chen, and instead accept an infusion of $1 billion from Fairfax and shareholders. 

The impression was that BlackBerry would step back from its consumer-facing business, and instead focus on software and B2B relationships. And, according to the New York Times, a new deal with Foxconn, the manufacturer of iPhone and others, will help the company do just that. 

It has worked with Foxconn for some time but its new five-year partnership “seems to be a way for BlackBerry to effectively hand over some of its handset business without running afoul of Canadian foreign investment laws,” the Times reports. The pair are planning to “jointly develop and manufacture some phones with Foxconn in the future, including a new model aimed at the Indonesian market” and other emerging markets.Continue reading...

brand revival

BlackBerry Gets a Billion Reasons to Survive with Last-Minute Investment from Shareholders

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 4, 2013 01:42 PM

BlackBerry seems to have more than a few lives. The company that has had one foot in its grave for months now has been revitalized through an infusion of $1 billion from its largest shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings and “an unnamed group of institutional investors,” according to the New York Times. 

After issuing a public plea last month, the mobile company announced that it was no longer on the market, cancelling out a plan that would have seen the company go private under Fairfax Financial for $4.7 billion. The company also announced that CEO Thorsten Heins would be stepping down and will be replaced by interim CEO John Chen, formerly of Sybase, a mobile software company, who will also serve as the executive chair of the company's board of directors. Fairfax CEO Prem Watsa will also join the company's board following the investment. 

Despite the decision to not go private (for the moment)—which sent shares tumbling 16 percent—there are still entities that could make bids for BlackBerry, including a group that consists of co-founder Douglas Fregain and Qualcomm.Continue reading...

end of an era

BlackBerry Looks to Exit Consumer Market with $4.7 Billion Sale to Fairfax Financial

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 23, 2013 04:53 PM

Once the dominant face of the mobile marketplace, BlackBerry has experienced a most epic tumble from the top as it has continued to bleed cash and market share at the hands of major mobile manufacturers Apple and Samsung.

In a last-ditch bid for survival, the company announced Monday that it has signed a letter of intent to be sold to its biggest shareholder, Canada's Fairfax Financial Holdings, for USD $4.7 billion. The sale comes on the heels of the company's Sept. 20th earnings report that it lost an astounding $1 billion in one quarter, and related plans to shed one-third of its global workforce.

“BlackBerry has fallen on hard times recently, but we have every confidence it will be successful again,” Fairfax chairman and CEO Prem Watsa, the Canadian billionaire who resigned from BlackBerry's board before the announcement, told the Globe and Mail. Fairfax, the paper reports, “has put together an equity consortium” that aims to take the company private for $9 per share. A final agreement is expected by Nov. 4.Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

Cisco Replaces "The Human Network" With "Tomorrow Starts Here"

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 10, 2012 04:29 PM

Cisco wants to be more than the largest manufacturer of computer networking equipment. It wants to guide customers through the myriad possibilities of the Internet of Everything, a phrase it's co-opting in service of its new brand positioning.

The tech brand has shut down its six-year-old tagline, "The Human Network." Its new tagline, unveiled today in a $100 million campaign — "Tomorrow Starts Here," a phrase you'll find, fittingly, all over the Internet and beyond: on its homepage and on social media as a promoted hashtag on Twitter, on its Facebook page, in a new TV campaign, in an infographic, in a series of blog posts, and in a new print campaign that comes to life via augmented reality and Cisco's mobile app.

The brand's chief marketing officer, Blair Christie, told TheStreet.com that it's more than just a campaign and new tagline.Continue reading...

brand survivors

Kodak CEO Outlines Path to Emerging from Bankruptcy in 2013

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 30, 2012 01:28 PM

Eastman Kodak announced this week that it had the financing in place "to successfully execute its remaining reorganization objectives and emerge from Chapter 11 in the first half of 2013." Today, Kodak chairman and CEO Antonio M. Perez updated the progress toward that goal since filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January.

Perez, in the video above, discusses the four areas Kodak has been working on during this Chapter 11 reorganization period: resolving legacy costs and issues in the US around retiree pension benefits, with an agreement reached in October and downsizing of its US workforce; "increase liquidity in the US," its biggest cost center and lowest profit center (with $1B in sales outside America); selling off non-strategic IP and patents; and "focusing on our most valuable businesses" — namedly, commercial imaging, as it moves away from its consumer businesses.

"This is a difficult process," he states. "Neither our employees, customers or suppliers doubted why we were doing what we're doing, and they've been there with us all the way. So thank you, thank you all."

what becomes a legend most?

Cisco Rewrites History With Helen of Troy Spot

Posted by Shirley Brady on August 22, 2012 04:11 PM

Cisco has taken on historical themes before, imagining Paul Revere with a Cisco Cius tablet and an updated Braveheart in the office. Above, its new video evokes Helen of Troy vs. hackers insides a Trojan horse virus, a means to communicate the brand's value protecting small business networks. Tagline: "The right network changes everything."

social marketing

Survey Says: Yelp Helps, But Not With Groupon?

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 12, 2011 11:59 AM

A new study out of the Harvard Business School finds that restaurants reviewed on the site can count on higher business. Even a one-star increase on Yelp's five-star ratings scale, according to WSJ.com, "was associated with a 5 to 9% increase in revenue."

The research comes as businesses, especially small businesses, are pondering the benefits of participating in group-buying deals such as Groupon or LivingSocial. They offer not just good deals but new experiences is possibly new parts of your city that haven’t been fully explored. That’s all well and good for the consumer. But for the businesses offering the deal, it might mean eventual bad news.Continue reading...

social media watch

LinkedIn Helps Brands Get More Social

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 6, 2011 11:58 AM

LinkedIn announced two new features today at its Connect:11 event, as the world’s largest professional network augments its status with brand marketers.

CEO Jeff Weiner made the announcements about moving their platform to increased consumer engagement with Company Status Updates that enable admins of Company Pages to share their company news, videos, jobs, and industry articles, and LinkedIn Certified Developer Program that connects marketers and agencies with experienced developers leveraging the LinkedIn platform.

“At LinkedIn, we want professionals to be able to interact and build relationships with the brands and companies they value in the way that’s most relevant to them,” stated Mike Gamson, SVP Global Sales.

Building on the site's Company Pages, which created a “robust ecosystem of more than two million businesses and tens of millions of followers,” today’s announcements “accelerate brands’ ability to engage directly with their audiences in a professional context and a social environment they trust,” said a company release.Continue reading...

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