Posted by Dale Buss on February 19, 2013 04:06 PM
The Ford family brand is taking on a new sheen as the great-great-granddaughter of Henry Ford—Elena Ford—has been promoted higher in Ford Motor Co. than any family member in history—and her new responsibilities come in the increasingly important area of global dealer and consumer experience.
The former director of global marketing operations, now vice president, joins cousin Bill Ford, executive chairman and cousin Edsel Ford, a director of the company, which is controlled by family members who hold veto power with Class B voting shares. Bill Ford had risen to CEO of the company in 2006 and then demonstrated some of the legendary family smarts by hiring Alan Mulally from Boeing to become the new CEO and take the company to the next level. That's exactly what Mulally has done in setting Ford back on the path of long-term prosperity.
Elena will now have a role that promises to be increasingly crucial, not only to Ford but in an area where all its competitors are striving as well: ensuring that customers experience the brand in a consistently satisfactory way. Having been part of last year's "Go Further" dealer roadshow, she'll now oversee global dealer strategy, planning, training and consumer experience and report to Ford CMO Jim Farley. Among other things, she will oversee plans to introduce the Lincoln brand to China next year.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 29, 2012 05:04 PM
One of the beautiful things about social media is that suddenly there is a way for everyday consumers can reach out and actually communicate with a brand without having to sit on hold waiting for a customer-service agent who might have no idea what you’re talking about.
Some companies have a team of people who keep busy all day monitoring and responding to the posts that flood in from Twitter and Facebook. We’re all just looking for human contact, right? And if a brand can give that to a consumer, that can’t hurt the brand loyalty.
Of course, plenty of brands don’t have a team of people doing that, either, so it’s not shocking that a new study has found that the responsiveness of 20 top U.S. retailers on Facebook is, well, “uneven, at best,” according to CNN.
As brands rush to meet Friday's deadline to curate their Facebook Timeline, it's sobering food for thought — but there's good news for brands that have already made the Timeline switch.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on March 7, 2012 12:04 PM
If nothing else, it has to be a lot of fun being associated with businesses owned by Virgin. Behind them all, whether it's Virgin Bingo or Virgin Hotels or another of the myriad Virgin-branded businesses, you can always bank (literally) on the sometimes loony but always shrewd iconic entrepreneur, Richard Branson, Virgin's brander-in-chief. Don't think of them as brand extensions so much as Branson extensions — reflections of the Virgin founder's personality, passions and interests.
You can pretty much depend on Branson's trademark wit and showmanship in the promotion of a Virgin brand. The latest campaign from Virgin Mobile USA is testament to that, going so far as to depict what it must have been like "growing up Branson."Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 29, 2012 12:04 PM
While some hotels may be considered trendy, you wouldn't think a major global hotel chain would watch lifestyle trends so carefully that it would launch brands around them.
But InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) is different. Back in 2004, IHG introduced Hotel Indigo, widely regarded as the first of the boutique hotel brands that started a trend among large hoteliers. In 2007, IHG started refurbishing its somewhat dowdy Holiday Inn brand and gave franchisees until the end of 2010 to "contemporize" or risk losing rights to use the iconic name. Today, most Holiday Inns have been updated to reflect a whole new look. Holiday Inn Express, which pioneered the limited-service hotel segment in 1990, is one of the fastest growing hotel brands.
Now IHG is bringing a new hotel brand to the chain's biggest U.S. cities, bucking the trend of major chains making investments in Asia and Europe while avoiding a soft and saturated North American market. The just-announced brand, called EVEN Hotels, is all about lifestyle — a healthy one.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 9, 2012 12:03 PM
Online shopping is continuing to grow, but it still only accounts for less than 10% of actual retail sales, according to USA Today. However, consumers are much more informed about the products they buy and the best prices available due to research done on smartphones and online.
Because of this, some retailers are beginning to integrate interactive touchscreen experiences within their own retail spaces. In one high-profile example, Macy’s has been testing a four-foot-wide, interactive-touchscreen-covered Beauty Spot kiosk at four of its locations since November.
Powered by Intel, which is looking to make shopping more of an interactive, engaging experience, Macy's new touch-enabled intelligent connected system helps "self-directed" customers (the ones who shirk employee assistance with a dismissive "Just looking!" response) navigate the cosmetics section.Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Shirley Brady on February 8, 2012 02:34 PM
KLM announced its in-flight "Meet & Seat" matchmaker service in December, a social media-enabled opt-in feature allowing passengers to find compatible seatmates (like-minded or aligned business interests) based on their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles — and hopefully make the brand's flying experience more enjoyable (or at least memorable).Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 12, 2011 11:00 AM
In yet another step underscoring its seriousness about finally becoming a major factor in the U.S. market, Volkswagen has shifted one of its top American executives to the new position of VP of customer experience.
Mark Barnes, who was COO and head of sales for Volkswagen of America, moves to his new post with the corporate charge to “better manage the entire customer experience within VW” for U.S. customers, said VW US CEO Jonathan Browning.Continue reading...
customer relationship management
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 19, 2011 04:00 PM
Military financial services company USAA (short for United Services Automobile Association) is the #1 brand for customer experience in America, according to the just-released 2011 survey ranking the top 100 brands, as selected by US consumers polled by Nunwood.
Based in San Antonio, Texas, USAA ranked first with a 8.34 CEM rating for consistently delivering on its brand promise: “For those who stood tall for this country and for their families, we stand ready to return the favor.”Continue reading...