brand strategy

No Brands are Safe as Lafley Takes Apart P&G to Rebuild It

Posted by Dale Buss on August 19, 2014 04:39 PM

The first time around running Procter & Gamble, CEO A.G. Lafley was in an expansionary mindset that prompted the CPG giant to acquire Gillette, swoop up and deploy outside innovations such as the Crest Spinbrush, and beef up brand after brand and market after market to transform the company into a global consumer-good marketing juggernaut.

Not so much this time around. In his second turn as chief, Lafley is addressing questions about P&G's business model that are just as fundamental as during his first tenure. But the answers he's been coming up with are much less pleasant, as he forges a strategy based on cutting costs, reorganizing operations and shedding many of the 100 underperforming brands that he's currently reviewing as he tries to re-energize a company beaten down by the slow-growth economy and challenged as never before by CPG rivals. His idea is to turn fewer, better-performing brands into greater growth engines for the company.

News of possible gambits for Lafley, quite naturally, have been popping up since he announced the strategy earlier this month. Braun shavers—which just returned to TV thanks to a new partnership with the NFL—and Duracell batteries are the two largest assets likely to be divested, Reuters reported based on sources. Cheer and Era laundry detergent brands may also end up on the chopping block, the Wall Street Journal reported. Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Mercedes-Benz, FedEx, Taco Bell and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 18, 2014 09:41 AM


Mercedes-Benz is found guilty of fixing prices in China, report says.

Dollar General enters bidding for Family Dollar at $9 billion.

FedEx faces additional charges in prescription-drug delivery case.

Taco Bell launches dollar menu across the US. 

Cadillac mars rollout of important new Escalade.


Airbnb launches program to focus on hosts. 

Apple wins Emmy for best commercial, beating out Beats, Nike and GE. 

AT&T Stadium unveils state of the art technology as San Francisco 49ers gear up for first game in brand new Levi Stadium. 

Campbell Soup has NFL star Richard Sherman dangling from helicopter in new Chunky soup ad.

Cutrale and Safra prepare to make Chiquita bid hostile.Continue reading...

celebrity brandcasting

Want More Mariah and Jay Z? Just Sip and Scan

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 24, 2014 07:20 PM

The world of celebrity-endorsed products knows no bounds. That's why Mariah Carey and Jay Z have teamed up with former Def Jam CEO Kevin Liles on two new, interactive beverages: Butterfly and 40/40. 

The beverage bottles deliver exclusive content to super-fans via the Go N'Syde app. “With Go N’Syde, an artist like Mariah can program this every day. She could say, ‘Hey I just got out of the studio, why don’t you go inside Butterfly with me right now?’ And then you’ll see her studio,” said Liles, now chief creative officer and exclusive Curator of Content for Go N’Syde.

Simply hold a smartphone up to a Go N’Syde bottle and an interactive menu appears, sans bar code or QR code, offering photos, videos, sweepstakes offers and more to fans, much like Lady Gaga tried to do with her community for her "Little Monsters." 

“We’re really creating it so that you get a real Mariah Carey life experience, by scanning the bottle and going inside,” he added. “So when you purchase a bottle you have an antenna into Jay Z or Mariah’s network, and that’s what’s so exciting about it.”Continue reading...

charging up

Starbucks Helps Cut the Cord with Nationwide Rollout of Duracell Powermats

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 12, 2014 01:36 PM

After a successful pilot run of Duracell "Powermat Spots," Starbucks is rolling out wireless phone chargers across the US. The powermats, which are seamlessly integrated into tables and countertops in Starbucks and Teavana cafes, will begin wider distribution starting in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

"The way we interact with power today is unchanged since the time of Thomas Edison," Powermat president Daniel Schreiber told The Verge. But Powermat and Starbucks are moving customers beyond "sticking two pieces of metal into a hole in the wall" by creating "something invisible and part of the furniture in the most literal sense of the word."

The partnership with Duracell Powermat—a joint venture between Procter & Gamble's Duracell brand and Powermat Technologies—and Starbucks “is transforming the way consumers get power to their phones, in much the same way it made WiFi a standard amenity in public places,” said Stassi Anastassov, President of Duracell at Procter & Gamble, in a press release. “This endeavor is a critical step in Duracell’s vision to make dead battery anxiety a thing of the past.” 

Over the next three years, more than 100,000 table chargers will be installed in Starbucks' 7,500 company-owned stores in the US, which follows the brand's improvement of its in-store Wi-Fi network. "Starbucks believes this is another step in staying ahead of the curve when it comes to in-store technology," Adam Brotman, chief digital officer at Starbucks, told USA Today.Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

Big Personalities—and Their Sponsors—Set to To Take the Field at Super Bowl XLVIII

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 23, 2014 06:56 PM

Two unexpected sports stars have emerged ahead of the Feb 2. Super Bowl between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos. 

Derrick Coleman, the star of Duracell's internet-to-TV ad has gained worldwide attention for his encouraging tale that chronicles his life as a deaf athlete. The heart-warming underdog story was originally intended to just run on the internet, but launched on broadcast TV on Jan. 10 following an excess of positive feedback. The ad landed on the No. 2 spot on Ad Age’s Viral Video Chart this week after garnering over nine million views.

But that was pre-game. Following the Seahawks' win over the San Francisco 49ers, another star emerged, though with a rougher entry. Fellow Seahawk Richard Sherman made the internet explode after he reportedly mouthed off to several 49ers players and then delivered an equally jarring post-game interview to reporter Erin Andrews.

Sherman caught serios heat from fans on social media who called him "selfish," "nasty," and "unsportsmanlike," among other things, (though now the tide is changing). While Sherman later apologized, marketers saw a rising star.Continue reading...

brand battle

In Defense of Seahawks Fans: Duracell Looks to Show Positive Side at Sunday's Game

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 15, 2014 03:51 PM

The Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers will meet on Sunday to vie for a Super Bowl spot in a game that's sure to be a blow-out—if you're talking noise levels, of course. Beyond the legendary rivalry between the two teams, the Seahawks' CenturyLink Field has claimed the title of loudest stadium in the NFL after causing not one, but two minor earthquakes during home games.

To add fuel to the playoff fire, two brands are now battling to show their TV spots during the game's broadcast—one from Beats by Dre, featuring 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick blocking out the jeers of overzealous Seattle fans with his headphones, and another from Duracell, which spotlights the story of Seahawks running back Derrick Coleman, who is legally deaf and uses a hearing aid powered by Duracell to hear the cheers of his fans. 

While the Beats by Dre ad has been running throughout the playoffs and will likely be shown during this weekend's game, Duracell is reacting to a surge of positive reactions to its Coleman ad, and is hoping to secure a spot during the nationally televised game, Ad Age reports.Continue reading...

web watch

Starbucks Drops AT&T, Teams with Google to Serve Faster Connectivity

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 1, 2013 12:23 PM

Starbucks is busy reinterpreting the internet cafés of yore as it moves to create an indulgent lifestyle brand for its loyal customers.  

Beginning in August, new company-operated Starbucks locations in the US will be equipped with WiFi, provided by Google, that is up to 10 times faster than what is currently offered in existing US Starbucks cafes through AT&T. 7,000 existing Starbucks locations will receive the improvements over the next 18 months. 

Level 3 Communications will upgrade existing WiFi devices and manage connectivity with several solutions including DSL, cable modems and multiple T1 lines.Continue reading...


Duracell Launches Quantum Line as Crucial Battery Buddy to First Responders

Posted by Dale Buss on July 31, 2013 06:26 PM

With major natural disasters prominent in the US lately, P&G's Duracell battery brand has been handed a major—if unfortunate for the victims—branding opportunity. Duracell's new Quantum high-power battery line is tailor-made to harness the brand's long association with the front-line "first responders" who arrive on the scene ahead of everyone else, often depending on battery-powered devices.

Duracell, owned by P&G since it bought Gillette in 2005, is introducing Quantum as its most powerfrul line of batteries, carrying a 20 to 30 percent price premium over regular Duracell units. The new line—which will replace the existing Ultra premium line—is red instead of black underneath the "copper-top" coloring of each Duracell battery.

And while disposable-battery sales in general have flattened out over the last few years as rechargable batteries have become commonplace for digital devices, brands such as Duracell and Eveready have been able to make up some of the financial shortfall by emphasizing longer-powered, higher-priced, higher-margin product lines.Continue reading...

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