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Brand News: Lay's, Sony, Starbucks and More

Posted by Dale Buss on March 19, 2015 09:04 AM


Lay's creates first Pinterest-based cookbook for Wavy chips.

Sony has launched Play Station Vue streaming-video service in three cities and sets prices starting at $49.99 a month.

Starbucks deals with blowback on #RaceTogether effort, and meanwhile foresees enough growth for $100-billion market cap as it outlines delivery-service plans.

Target agrees to pay $10-million data-breach settlement as it finally raises worker pay, and retailer extends return window to one year.

Yahoo exits China.Continue reading...


Auto Rankings: Buick Rises in Consumer Reports, J.D. Power Annual Surveys

Posted by Dale Buss on February 25, 2015 05:15 PM

Buick Regal

It’s a very good day for Buick. Two of America's most-respected arbiters of automotive quality and reliability—Consumer Reports and J.D. Power—both agreed that the GM-owned near-luxury brand continues to gain significant ground in the US market.

Other brands and companies that scored particularly well across the two reports that were released this week were Lexus, Toyota, Tesla, Subaru and Chevrolet.

Most Chrysler brands, however, were notably positioned on the below-average end of the 2015 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability study. Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Harley-Davidson Goes Electric, American Apparel Frees Dov and More

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 19, 2014 08:52 AM


Harley-Davidson unveils first electric motorcycle with Project LiveWire experience tour of America's fabled Route 66.

T-Mobile is offering free music streaming via Rhapsody, Spotify and Pandora, and loaner iPhones for a week to test its network.

Lego mixes bricks with clicks for Lego Fusion.

American Apparel ousts controversial CEO Dov Charney.

Yo one-word messaging app, designed in eight hours, raises $1 million in funding.


AMC’s The Walking Dead producer accuses Game of Thrones network HBO of promoting piracy.

Bridgestone signs on as top Olympic sponsor.

Feed the Children has a new logo.

Google touts search ads for lifting brand awareness.

Haggar bets on vintage fashion to revitalize brand.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Comcast, Apple, Walmart and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 13, 2014 09:27 AM

In the News

Comcast acquires Time Warner Cable in mammoth deal as it eyes Netflix turf.

Apple says it doesn't procure blood metal and talks about launching updated TV set-top box.

Walmart sees pitchman Mike Rowe come to defense of retailer on social media.

GM recalls 600,000 older vehicles to replace ignition switches.

Avon nears bribery settlement.

Cisco sees growth hit by sagging tech demand.

Fiat taps Sean "Diddy" Combs to tout 500 line worldwide.

Ford reveals GPS privacy practices.

Intuit sees Super Bowl ad pay off.

Kind sues Clif Bar in nutrition bar packaging dust-up.

Lexus keeps crown in J.D. Power reliability survey.Continue reading...


AT&T Debuts Less Cluttered, Experience-Oriented Concept Store in Chicago

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 2, 2013 05:12 PM

The next 10 years of retail are going to be quite different from the last 100, mostly because of the introduction of digital, AT&T retail head Paul Roth told AllThingsD. So the company is about to change its entire retail experience, starting with a test store in the suburbs of Chicago.

The store features different areas, each styled after areas of a home. "Technology can be intimidating for people, but when we put them in a friendly, comfortable environment, we show them how technology can enhance their lives," Dave Fine of AT&T told the Chicago Tribune.

One very obvious thing that the new concept store is missing is cash registers. Instead, transactions will be completed with mobile devices anywhere in the store with any store employee, Forbes.com reports. “The future of retail is all about personalized service and education,” Roth told the site.Continue reading...

Flunking J.D. Power but Spooking Rivals, Nissan has More Moves in Store

Posted by Dale Buss on June 20, 2013 07:15 PM

Nissan has made other auto brands in the US market pretty nervous with its aggresssive incentivizing and its quick spike in market share. But taking its most proactive posture in years, the brand is far from finished, with new vehicles, new marketing campaigns and new distribution strategies providing hope that Nissan's gains won't dissipate soon.

There is one big new hurdle, however: Nissan fared poorly in the influential J.D. Power Initial Quality Study of US automotive brands this week, plunging to No. 31 this year from a tie for the No. 10 spot a year ago, a more precipitous drop than any of the other 34 brands in the survey. It wasn't immediately clear why; the brand did place three vehicles in Power's listing of the best vehicles in each market segment.

Nissan's jolting moves to pick up at least temporary market share have been getting attention this week, including a $580 price cut on the Altima family sedan, a major move in a very important and competitive segment that helped Altima sales rise by 41 percent last month. Rivals are worried that Nissan's lucrative new incentives could trigger a domino effect of other brands being forced to match them.Continue reading...


Chevrolet Ramps Up New Advertising, Models as It Rides Quality Wave

Posted by Dale Buss on June 20, 2013 04:28 PM

Chevrolet can't take much time just basking in the unprecedented praise its vehicles received this week in the new J.D. Power automotive quality report. That's because brand executives have the opportunity to add to the good run with a spate of important new Chevrolet vehicle launches and fresh marketing initiatives planned for the rest of the year and into next year.

It was quite a coup for the brand to land five of its vehicles in top segment ratings by Power, even though some of them were at the ends of their life cycles, like the 2013 Impala. Chevy's strong showing as a brand—overall it jumped from 15th last year to fifth this year, led by its pickups and SUVs—was all the more meaningful because it was accompanied by a huge surge by other GM brands and the company overall.

Now, under the leadership of new Chevy CMO Tim Mahoney, recruited from Volkswagen of America, and Chris Perry, vice president of global marketing for Chevrolet, marketers will try to harness this new honor as well as continue laying the groundwork for and executing launches of a run of important new Chevy vehicles this year. They include the new Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck that is rolling into Chevy dealerships now, the completely overhauled and impressive 2014 Impala full-size sedan and the all-new Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.Continue reading...


GM, Porsche Biggest Winners in New J.D. Power Quality Rankings

Posted by Dale Buss on June 19, 2013 03:14 PM

The influential J.D. Power & Associates ranking of Initial Quality of auto brands in the US is out today, and the big winners are General Motors and some of its brands, as well as Porsche, Audi, Hyundai, Kia, and Chrysler. 

The main losers in status, defined by the exhaustive study of quality perceptions among American consumers, are BMW, Ram, Mazda and Nissan. Ford and Lincoln brands basically broke even on a combined basis compared with their reduced status from a year ago.

Porsche came out as the top-performing brand overall, rising from third place in 2012. But for the first time, GM could be considered the top-performing company overall in the closely watched study, placing two brands—GMC and Chevrolet—in the top five of the Initial Quality Study (IQS) released today. The annual survey measures the number of problems on 2013 cars and light trucks that buyers report after 90 days of ownership, and so it's a crucial look at very current consumer perceptions and marketplace realities.Continue reading...

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