Posted by Dale Buss on May 10, 2013 10:31 AM
Audi is feeling its oats as a brand, with steadily growing ambitions that now encompass expansion in South America in addition to North America, as Volkswagen's luxury brand attempts to beat out BMW for worldwide premium-segment leadership.
China has been Audi's strongest foreign market for a while. But with luxury-brand competition growing there and European luxury buyers strapped by the continent's recessionary economy, Audi executives have been casting their vision increasingly to the Western Hemisphere for growth. They already have managed to score impressive gains in the US market in terms of sales and brand prestige—but only in America does Audi significantly trail BMW, and Mercedes-Benz for that matter, in actual unit volumes.
Aiming to change that, Audi executives joined local and federal officials in Mexico over the weekend in laying the foundation stone for a $1.3 billion plant that will begin turning out a new version of the Audi Q5, its best-selling crossover, in mid-2016.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on April 25, 2013 10:30 AM
The fight against childhood obesity is a global one, and McDonald's is being reminded of that fact by a surprising fine by a Brazilian consumer-protection agency over the chain's promotion of its Happy Meals.
It seems that Procon, an agency in Sao Paolo, didn't appreciate McDonald's 2010 promotion of Happy Meals that leveraged toys from the movie Avatar as well as a local television series, according to a lawyer for Procon who talked with Reuters. "This is not an isolated case," he told the news service. "There's no need to appeal as they do to children without the maturity or rationality to enter the market as consumers."
The lawyer, of course, forgot to mention "parents," who are supposed to provide the "maturity" and "rationality" to supervise their children. But such trivialities haven't made much of a difference in do-gooders' global attacks on McDonald's for offering food that parents want to buy for their children, including Happy Meals.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on April 24, 2013 05:38 PM
Havaianas, best known to the world's consumers as the brand that represents the ubiquitous flip-flop, turned 50 in 2012. It was a year in which the Brazilian company made enough flip-flops to circle the world 50 times.
Carla Schmitzberger, who oversees the brand in her role as head of the sandals business unit at Havaianas' parent company, Alpargatas, said that until the 1990s, "mostly poor people wore" Havaianas. "However, there was a small group of wealthier people that were wearing the product, but they were wearing them at home, and they were embarrassed to be seen with them because they were considered a poor person's footwear," she shared in an interview in the latest edition of Interbrand IQ.
Indeed, the brand was launched in 1962 with the goal of outfitting Brazil's peasants — not by a Brazilian but by a Scotsman, Robert Fraser, who was inspired by traditional Japanese shoe design.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 19, 2013 03:46 PM
Gap has had rough times in recent years, with hundreds of store closures and executive swaps. But the clothing company is hedging a unique plan that it hopes will help it continue growing market share worldwide under the helm of its new, more focused Creative Director Rebekka Bay.
Glenn Murphy, the company’s chairman and CEO, rolled out the blueprint Thursday, noting that the brand aims to franchise Old Navy locations internationally, add Old Navy and Banana Republic stores to the brand’s presence in China and have a stronger push across all channels for all of its brands, including Athleta, Piperlime and Intermix, Mediapost reports.
"We see [the opportunity for global growth] particularly in some countries where in our category, you're talking about double-digit growth just to keep up with the market," an exec said during the call, according to Fool.com, which named China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia as a few of the countries in question. Old Navy is expected to be the first of the Gap brands that goes into Asian markets that it hasn’t entered just yet. Up to 85 stores are expected to be opened before year’s end and 10 of those will be outlets.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 21, 2013 07:27 PM
The world’s financial situation isn’t exactly peachy keen just yet, but the global population appears to be up for traveling. Both luxury and budget brand hotels are popping up across the world.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts, which came in at the top of its category in the recent 2013 Harris Poll EquiTrend, “expects to have enough cash in the next three years to add another global luxury brand bringing their total to ten.”
Mitzi Gaskins, VP/global brand manager for JW Marriott, noted that the “luxury space is growing a lot” and is “anticipating 50 percent growth over the next four to five years with 79 JW hotels up and running by 2015.” Less than half of the 30 or more hotels that the brand has in the pipeline are in the United States. Gaskins told Fortune that the luxury markets that are growing fastest are “top tier destinations and gateway cities,” noting that the JW brand was opening soon in Cabo, Turks & Caicos, Macao and Hanoi, and had “just launched” in Venice.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on March 11, 2013 08:45 AM
Adidas aims to outrun Nike with bouncier shoes (Boost), Google ad test and increased soccer focus as Confederation Cup and FIFA World Cup loom, while Nike feels the heat in China.
Disney's Oz: The Great and Powerful wins weekend box office, marking a comeback for Disney's studio arm.
Old Spice introduces wolfish marketing director to boost men's animal magnetism.
America's Brand USA global marketing arm expands reach with $200M boost and German campaign.
Apple CEO Tim Cook may testify in e-book antitrust suit.
Beam looks past corruption scandal with new brand strategy in India.
Bumblebee and Chicken of the Sea expand U.S. tuna recall.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 20, 2012 01:20 PM
You think Apple was the first to think of the iPhone? Well, OK, maybe they thought up the iPhone, but there was somebody in front of them who cooked up the IPHONE. And now the smartphone-buying public of Brazil will get to be confused by them.
An earlier incarnation of IGB Eletronica SA, a Brazilian consumer electronics manufacturer, applied for exclusive rights in Brazil to register its products under the name IPHONE way back in 2000. Apple’s iPhone didn’t launch until seven years later. There was no confusion for more than a decade since IGB hasn’t released any products under that name. But that is all about to change.
IGB will start selling its $290 Android-based IPHONE in Brazil with the first model called Neo One, Reuters reports. This news comes only a week after Apple started selling its iPhone 5 in the country.
It doesn’t appear that Apple will take IGB to court, particularly after losing a battle last month with a Mexican telecommunications company that is selling the – wait for it — iFone. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reports that IGB may end up filing suit against Apple: "The two brands can't coexist in the market," said Eugenio Staub, president of IGB’s Gradiente. "It's up to Apple to make a move."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 18, 2012 03:08 PM
Check out the trash collection area of any restaurant. The containers overflow with the remnants of packaging that once contained the food now found on the eatery’s tables and its customers' stomachs. More than 75 million tons of packaging waste found its way to landfills in the U.S. alone in 2010, Slate reports. A waste, but what's a person to do?
Help is on the way. Researchers are moving quickly toward creating edible packaging that consumers won’t have to throw away. A fast-food chain in Brazil, called Bob’s after founder (and tennis champ) Robert Falkenburg, wrapped its burgers in edible wrappers and encouraged its customers to just not bother unwrapping before eating during a one-day promotion earlier this month, AFP reports.
Bob’s — the country’s first fast-food chain, established in 1952 — was so successful at testing its edible packaging, at right, that not a single customer threw away the wrappings, according to PSFK. The Guardian, meanwhile, notes “two US companies (that) are currently vying to be the first to commercially exploit” this marketplace.Continue reading...