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BMW, in a First, Shares Its Logo and Design Chops with Other Brands

Posted by Dale Buss on November 12, 2012 05:51 PM

First BMW opened its first retail store, in Paris, last spring. And now, the brand is spreading itself around the world with a new licensing strategy that, for the first time, takes its marques outside the dealer channel with new products.

Now bearing the BMW imprimatur and logos are a variety of new licensed product lines that bring the automaker to a new range of lifestyle brand partners, including Maclaren baby strollers (coming in January) with four-wheel suspension and "ergonomic removable seat liner," Aspex sunglasses with 360-degree pivotable hinges, Group III travel accessories included BMW-branded luggage, and Ball Watch watches.

"This is something they've never really done before, but BMW decided that this [program] could really help build impressions and engage the customer," Jeff Lotman, CEO and founder of Los Angeles-based Global Icons, the brand-licensing agency working with BMW, told brandchannel.Continue reading...

chew on this

Happy Family Expands Organic Superfoods Range for Kids

Posted by Dale Buss on July 9, 2012 01:27 PM

It's hard to resist a brand that has the word "happy" in it. And so Happy Family, a leading organic brand of "superfoods," has earned the title of "Rockstar of the New Economy" from Fast Company magazine and B Lab, a nonprofit that promotes social and environmental responsibility by companies.

There was a lot more that earned the designation for Happy Family, which already was named Inc. magazine's fastest-growing packaged-food company of 2011. In five years, the New York-based company has skyrocketed to $35 million in sales from practically nothing, and CEO Shazi Visram is looking at doubling revenues for the second year in a row in 2012.

Happy Family boasts a big range of products aimed right at the worry spot for American moms: how to get their young children to want to eat healthy snacks. The company's product line ranges from pouches of fruit puree for babies to organic grain-snack "puffs" for toddlers to frozen mac-and-cheese balls and Salmon Stix for grade-schoolers. It's planning an additional 10 new products before the end of the year.Continue reading...


What to Expect When You're Expecting? A Movie and Sam's Club Deal

Posted by Dale Buss on March 23, 2012 05:05 PM

Most authors are content to toil away on their work just hoping for commercial success in the conventional sense. Getting a book published would be nice, for instance. But a select few have created not only tomes but also expertise, a niche, a media presence and a brand that they can take to the bank in all sorts of different ways.

J.K. Rowling created that sort of property with the Harry Potter books. And Heidi Murkoff is a virtual best friend to legions of pregnant (especially first-time) moms thanks to the What to Expect When You're Expecting series, whose flagship title is now in its fourth edition.

A movie of the same title is due out on May 18th, starring Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Elizabeth Banks, Matthew Morrison, Anna Kendrick, and Chace Crawford (watch preview clips above and below). And in another extension of the What to Expect brand, mass merchandiser Sam's Club has produced a line of WTE-branded baby products, while Murkoff has signed on to write for every issue of Sam's new bimonthly magazine.Continue reading...

mom's the word

Look Who's Talking: For Huggies, It's That Swinger Alfie

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 21, 2012 04:24 PM

When most Brits hear the name "Alfie," they think of Michael Caine's skirt-chasing cad in the 1966 movie of the same name (with all due respect to Jude Law's reprisal of the character).

Now there's a new swinging Alfie out of the UK — chatting up his girl/friend Evie, about the benefits of Huggies' "drylock system" which promises to keep a baby's skin dry for up to 12 hours and help prevent leaks. He even has his own Twitter handle — presumably because he's too young to give out a mobile number.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Stroller Giant Maclaren Declares Bankruptcy. But Is It a Scam? [Updated]

Posted by Abe Sauer on March 1, 2012 01:29 PM

"Contributing Design Editor, The Wall Street Journal. Interior designer. Founder of NettoCollection, ex-Creative Director of Maclaren Nursery by David Netto."

So reads the Twitter bio of acclaimed designer David Netto, the end bit indicating the residual fallout from his bombshell tweet on Feb. 27 announcing that he had "resigned as creative director of maclaren nursery today and am disassociating myself from the company." The abrupt resignation as creative head of the British stroller brand's nursery division came three days after Maclaren US ever so quietly announced it was seeking Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.

Yes, the more-affordable-than-a-Bugaboo stroller brand that also appealed to celeb parents such as Brad and Angie, that The New York Times once compared to swine flu as a "major health threat" for jamming New York's gentrified Brooklyn sidewalks, has quietly filed for Chapter 7 and apparently, forgive the pun, folding. What the hell happened that Netto forcibly ejected himself from the chic crib he had constructed for the British-owned Maclaren?Continue reading...

brand extensions

High Chair a Low Point For BabyBjorn?

Posted by Abe Sauer on June 8, 2011 10:00 PM

BabyBjorn, the baby carrier brand everyone loves to paint with the Yuppie label (but which non-Yuppie parents still swear by) has a new brand extension, high chairs.

The sensible new direction results in a new $300 chair that the brand swears is worth the price. Why? Technology, baby!Continue reading...

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