brand news

Brand News: Monster, McDonald's, Verizon and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 7, 2015 09:09 AM


Charlie Hebdo satirical newspaper office in Paris is attacked by suspected terrorists, killing 12 and injuring at least 7.

McDonald's faces PR crisis in Japan after vinyl fragment is found in McNugget and tooth is found in fries, as Sydney de-branded cafe concept gains attention.

Monster sues Apple for fraud over Beats deal.

Verizon rejects rumors of AOL interest, looks to rival Dish's Sling TV with web TV network.

Calvin Klein signs Justin Bieber to new campaign with Lara Stone.Continue reading...

brand strategy

With Juicy Juice Sale, Nestlé USA Makes Good on Promise to Streamline Brands

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 2, 2014 11:16 AM

Nestlé USA today announced the sale of its kids-oriented Juicy Juice beverage brand, making good on its statement to the Wall Street Journal earlier this week that the company intended to sell "languishing" brands and streamline its portfolio.

The world’s largest food and beverage company has been juggling a portfolio that runs the gamut from hair nets to safety shoes, with seven independent US businesses occupying 87 factories using more than 100 separate suppliers—a situation that thwarted efficiencies such as bulk discounts in its biggest market. 

All that has changed since Paul Grimwood took over Nestlé SA's beleaguered U.S. operations in January 2013 as Chairman of Nestlé’s operations in the U.S. and CEO of Nestlé USA, including selling its US frozen pasta business earlier this year.Continue reading...

chew on this

Balance Bar Hopes to Whet Appeties with 'Anti-Resolutions' Campaign

Posted by Dale Buss on December 23, 2013 10:42 AM

The traditional weight-loss business is struggling, which may have created a new opportunity for a non-traditional participant. Balance Bar has launched an "anti-resolutions pledge" campaign for would-be dieters that asks them to skip their annual strenuous and demanding January promises that so often end in failure.

Owned by NBTY since last year, the nutrition-bar brand—one of the creators and original major players in the segment—is touting The Balance Bar Pledge, which it calls "an anti-resolutions pledge that encourages people to skip the tradition of setting overly ambitious and sometimes-unachievable goals and instead make one small step each month that supports their health, wellness and overall happiness."

Of course one of those presumed steps is to buy and eat the 20 varieties of Balance Bar's nutrition energy bars. But the brand also offers advice from "lifestyle expert Laurel House, kown as TheQuickieChick," such as taking May to "surround yourself with motivating people" and "taking care of your body" in August.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Global Slowdown Forces Unilever to Axe Thousands of Products, Employees

Posted by Dale Buss on December 6, 2013 02:47 PM

Maybe the glum economic view in Europe is souring the perspectives of CPG-company CEOs there. Or maybe they're the ones most looking at the global economy without rose-colored glasses these days. In any event, both Unilever and Nestle have announced significant new moves that will bring about big new skinbacks in their portfolios—and marketing.

Unilever stunned followers of the company by announcing that it aims to cut the number of individual products it sells by a whopping 30 percent by the end of next year so that it can become more efficient and navigate a global economic slowdown that it admits it was slow to confront, according to Reuters.

As a result, the Anglo-Dutch maker of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Lipton tea, Knorr soups and Dove personal-care products—among many other brands—is cutting about 2,000 jobs, including about 800 alone in marketing, and will continue to adjust its portfolio.Continue reading...

chew on this

Dead Weight: Nestle Sells Jenny Craig to Curves Owner

Posted by Dale Buss on November 7, 2013 03:39 PM

Nestle already has put PowerBar on the block in its strategic overhaul of its brand portfolio to thin underperforming ones. Now it's Jenny Craig's turn to leave the Swiss nest amid continued tumult in the weight-management business.

In a move signaled a couple of weeks ago, the global food giant struck a deal to sell the struggling "Jenny" business to North Castle Partners, likely for significantly less than the $600 millon Nestle paid for the business in 2006, according to the Wall Street Journal. The equity firm's buyout fund only has $100 million to spare.

North Castle plans to combine Jenny Craig and its current 600 weight-management centers in the US and elsewhere with Curve International, the female-oriented fitness-club franchiser that it purchased last year, the newspaper said.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Twitter, Abercrombie & Fitch, Nestle and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 7, 2013 08:20 AM

In the News

Twitter prices IPO at $26 for today's launch. 

Abercrombie & Fitch will increase styles, sizing to improve sales. 

Nestle sells Jenny Craig.

Amazon offers olive branch to independent bookstores.

Bitcoin hits all-time high. 

Facebook debuts new like and share buttons. 

Fiat says Italy car market shows no signs of recovery.

Rob Ford, Toronto mayor, admits to using crack cocaine—while wearing an NFL neck tie.

GM expands online Shop-Click-Drive program nationwide.

Google is ordered to remove sex images by French court.Continue reading...

brand strategy

To Stay Fit and Nimble in Slow Market, Nestle Plans to Shed Underperforming Brands

Posted by Dale Buss on October 4, 2013 10:43 AM

Once, PowerBar was a pioneer of the nutrition-bar segment, a unique product that joined Silk soy milk and a handful of other far-sighted innovations as the harbingers of a whole new American better-for-you-food trend.

But now the brand is merely one of hundreds, nay thousands, of energy bars and other bar formats that take an entire aisle at some US supermarkets, and so Nestle has decided PowerBar isn't pulling its weight. The Swiss food giant reportedly is looking to sell PowerBar and many other "underperforming" units in a brand house cleaning that long has been urged upon it by advisers.

In many ways Nestle is a model of modern multinational brand management, having built and expanded powerful franchises in segments ranging from chocolate to water to baby food to coffee. Other industry CEOs point to Nestle as the paragon, a company they're trying to fashion theirs after.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Nutrisystem Seeks More Do-It-Yourself Dieters for Digital Expansion

Posted by Dale Buss on October 3, 2013 10:51 AM

Digital do-it-yourself diet plans have shaken up the weight-loss business, but Nutrisystem is trying to shake off the impact—and shape up itself.

Dawn Zier, the CEO who came last year from Reader's Digest Association, believes that new retail and digital initiatives, as well as more discipline in its core home-delivery business, are beginning to turn around Nutrisystem. The company posted about a 20 percent drop in revenues for the second quarter, but Zier told brandchannel that Nutrisystem's biggest-yet retail initiative, at Walmart, and fledgling efforts in the online realm are starting to deliver results.

"Our turnaround is on track in terms of the things I said we need to do: return to direct-marketing fundamentals, focus on costs, and product and program innovation," she said. "And choose a handful of growth initiatives, not too many—focus on areas where we can expand and grow."Continue reading...

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