Will Santa or the Grinch Reign this Holiday Season? Forecasts Disagree

Posted by Dale Buss on October 8, 2014 04:50 PM

Will American consumers deliver a spicy trove of holiday cheer in the stocking of retailers this upcoming Christmas season—or a lump of coal?

Two widely-watched prognosticators have come up with radically different forecasts as shoppers spread out to stores and hit their favorite e-commerce sites to buy their gifts, as omnichannel shopping increasinbly becomes the norm.

The National Retail Federation forecasts a 4.1 percent increase in holiday spending, about one-third better than the 3.1 percent increase in 2013 over the prior year, and a far sight better than the 2.9 percent average annual increase over the previous decade. This optimism is ratified by a prediction by Deloitte that foresees a gain of 4 to 4.5 percent.

But another consultancy, PwC, just came out with a more pessimistic outlook, which predicts an "average household spend" in the US of $684 this holiday season, down by more than 7 percent from the actual spend of $735 last year.Continue reading...


How Ford, Intel and McDonald’s Align Sustainability Perception and Performance

Posted by Paola Norambuena on June 30, 2014 06:47 PM

At the June 24th New York City launch of the Interbrand and Deloitte Best Global Green Brands 2014 report, the theme, the Power of Participation, highlighted the most important aspect of sustainability: that the challenges we face—climate change, water crisis, resource depletion—are challenges we face collectively. And it requires collective action.

With Ford replacing Toyota as the #1 brand on the study, Susan Rokosz, Senior Environmental Engineer at Ford Motor Company, took the stage as part of a panel to discuss a critical aspect of the ranking: the alignment between performance and perception.

Even when people are provided with sustainable product options, “Consumers only see a Ford.” Which is why Ford’s commitment is at the very complex, global supply chain level—recognizing that this is where collective action matters a great deal.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Branding Responsibility: An Insider's Look at Interbrand's Best Global Green Brands

Posted by Bob O'Brien on June 26, 2014 12:30 PM

This week Interbrand, in partnership with Deloitte, released its annual Best Global Green Brands report for 2014, ranking the top 50 among its 100 Best Global Brands. While automotive brands continue to dominate this year’s ranking, there were some significant shifts—especially at the top. 

For the first time since the inaugural report in 2011, there is a new No. 1 Best Global Green Brand: Ford unseated Toyota, which fell to No. 2 after three years at the top. Rounding out the top four is Honda at No. 3 and Nissan at No. 4, demonstrating the dominance of the automotive sector in the ranking of sustainable and socially-responsible initiatives. 

Are car companies doing something different? Why do consumers and experts recognize one industry as being more effective than others? We sat down with Emma Hrustic, Global Director of Brand Intelligence at Interbrand, to talk methodology, transparency and why auto brands are running away with the race.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Microsoft, Google, Apple and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 27, 2014 09:14 AM

In the News

Microsoft posts record sales as Ballmer prepares exit; competes with Amazon on cloud storage prices; admits to Syrian Electric Army email breach; and releases global study on power of technology.

Google pushes back against data localization, faces protest in San Francisco, buys artificial intelligence startup DeepMind and announces global patent agreement with Samsung.

Apple reportedly eyes mobile payments service, as hopes are high for Q1 earnings release on Monday.

AIG says it’s on offense as corp rep restored.

AT&T quashes rumors of Vodafone bid.

Accenture tries to grab STEM graduates early.

Ally Financial readies pre-IPO roadshow.Continue reading...

Rumor Control: Gen Y Consumers Are Still Interested in Autos

Posted by Dale Buss on January 22, 2014 07:33 PM

After further research, auto brands' biggest fears about Generation Y seem to be founded in developing realities: They aren't as interested in cars per se as previous generations, and the ones who are can't afford them as easily, according to new research by Deloitte.

But there's also some good news for the car industry: Millennials haven't given up on car ownership, and the more technology and alternative powertrains that companies employ in their vehicles, the more likely this demographic cohort is likely to find a way to buy them.

"Cars aren't at the top of the list but they are on the list for Gen Y purchase consideration, at No. 3 or 4," Tom Peyton, assistant vice president of national advertising for Honda, told brandchannel. That assumption is driving the new advertising campaign for Honda Civic that is aimed in large part at Millennials. "A lot of them still want a car. I'm not buying into the idea that it's Armageddon for young buyers."Continue reading...

brand challenges

Brand Loyalty Slides as Retailers Fight to Keep Customers Tuned In

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 16, 2013 03:53 PM

As brand loyalty continues to slide for the third consecutive year, Deloitte's annual American Pantry Study shows close to nine in 10 consumers are choosing private-label or store brands over national brands.

"Every manufacturer has been affected by this," said Pat Conroy, vice chairman and U.S. Consumer Producers Leader at Deloitte. "None of the manufacturers had as many must-have brands as they thought they did. The playing field has fundamentally changed. It will not go back to the way it was right before the recession…Manufacturers must find a way to differentiate the product and find a better way to get the product into the consumer's pantry."

As for consumers, an air of remorse hangs over their heads from a past filled with careless spending habits, which was exacerbated by the recession. “They tried various lower cost options and the vast majority of them found there was little noticeable difference in quality. This was an epiphany for the consumer," adds Conroy.Continue reading...

brand revival

Blockbuster U.K. Gets Second Chance

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 25, 2013 12:41 PM

Blockbuster U.K. is rising from the ashes after plunging into administration—a form of bankruptcy in Britain—in January when accountancy firm Deloitte assumed day-to-day operations while looking for a buyer.

"We are working closely with suppliers and employees to ensure the business has the best possible platform to secure a sale, preserve jobs and generate as much value as possible for all creditors," said Lee Manning, joint administrator and partner in Deloitte’s restructuring services at the time. 

The pioneering DVD and video rental company that entered the U.K. market in 1989 is struggling to survive in a burgeoning and highly competitive world where digital real estate trumps physical and streaming is de rigueur. Since January, a number of the brand's 528 stores have been bought up by Morrison's supermarket, and now, Gordon Brothers, a private equity group, has stepped in to buy 264 stores for an unspecified amount, subsequently saving nearly 2,000 jobs.Continue reading...

brand challenges

HMV Fights to Save "Well-Loved Brand" From Collapse

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 15, 2013 02:12 PM

While some version of HMV has been fighting the good fight for recorded music since the late 1800s, it looks like the retail chain’s ability to lift its fist to the air could soon be coming to an end.

While the brand outlasted plenty of other music retailers (Tower and Virgin come to mind), HMV is finally joining all those that have gone before it, seeking the British equivalent of bankruptcy protection and halting trading of its shares on Tuesday in the hopes that it will find a way to survive.

Not much has worked for the company since it started attempts to adapt back in 2007. Books, DVDs, and computer games are all not selling well there, either. As the BBC reported, the company failed to draw new customers as it broadened its offerings, causing disappointment among its core consumer base as CDs made room the number of CDs they could offer because of all of the new products.Continue reading...

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