brands with a cause
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 25, 2013 06:16 PM
Starbucks met with investors last Wednesday to filled them in on the farm its buying in Costa Rica—a company first—as well as the expansion of its three-year-old My Starbucks Rewards program, now allowing folks who buy SBUX products in grocery stores as well as in other Starbucks-owned brands such as Teavana to earn points that they can redeem over in Starbucks cafes. The hope is to double the loyalty program to nine million folks by the end of fiscal year 2013.
But the biggest moment of the meeting was likely when CEO Howard Schultz proved he was worthy of being made to look heroic in a comic book by responding forcefully to a shareholder that questioned the company’s support of Washington state’s same-sex referendum last year: “We want to embrace diversity,” he said. “The lens in which we are making that decision is through the lens of our people. We employ over 200,000 people in this company, and we want to embrace diversity.” He went on to suggest that the shareholder was more than welcome to sell his shares and take his money elsewhere. “This is not an economic decision,” he said. And then was applauded by other shareholders.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 9, 2013 09:03 AM
Apple reportedly working on a lower-end iPhone.
H&M reveals launch plans for & Other Stories store brand.
Lance Armstrong to discuss doping in exclusive live-streamed Oprah Winfrey interview as new allegations arise.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos doesn't care about profit margins.
American Airlines upgrades international travel.
Asus looks to share in Google Nexus glory.
Audi A7 self-driving autopilot car goes for a spin at CES.
Beauty brands including Philosophy try oxygenating products.
Best Buy's former CMO lands at LivingSocial.
Boeing sees formal probe of Dreamliner.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 3, 2012 12:02 PM
Starbucks execs likely haven’t had to caffeinate to get energized for the job ahead of them in the United Kingdom, even as they promote the annual 12 Days of Gifting and a holiday promotion via LivingSocial.
Sales are declining in the market, customers aren’t happy, and a House of Commons committee report singled out the brand along with other multinationals for avoiding taxes.
Starbucks has made £1.3 billion ($2 billion) in the UK over the last three years but has shelled out no corporate taxes in that same time, reportedly paying only £8.6 million ($13.7 million) in UK income tax since 1998.
The company claimed that it was losing money on its paperwork while telling investors that it had a profitable business in the UK, and chairman and CEO Howard Schulz reassured British customers of the company's commitment to the UK.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 12, 2012 03:54 PM
The challenges facing Groupon are mounting as the daily deals pioneer struggles to create a viable business model. As Reuters notes, interest by consumers and merchants in its daily-deal local offerings continues to wane, and it is far from clear that the Chicago-based startup can offset the decline in the bulwark of its original business model with other services that will generate enough business to keep it afloat.
Accordingly, Groupon's market capitalization has dropped to just $1.8 billion, down 90% from nearly $13 billion when its stock went public at $20 a share a year ago in the second-biggest US IPO since Google. Key executives and salespeople continue to jump ship, while it's also coping with controversy over its accounting methods.
Even though Groupon had more than 4.3 million customers last month, and "an annual run rate of nearly $1.5 billion in global billings and nearly $500 million in revenues shortly after its one-year anniversary in September," according to a company spokesperson, the now-apparent weakness in its business model means that imitators, such as the Amazon-backed LivingSocial, are having unprecedented problems.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 18, 2012 05:52 PM
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney aren't the only ones who want the votes of women this fall: Chevrolet is also pursuing women for the new Malibu, and so the brand has enlisted designer Isaac Mizrahi to get some fashion-forward attention for a vehicle that hasn't been known for being on the cutting edge of couture.
Mizrahi has designed a preppy collection (in patriotic colors of red, white and blue) of Chevy Malibu-inspired clothing, Malibu Style. It's exclusively being sold on the LivingSocial deals website, with its six pieces ranging from a bright blue totebag to an oversized watch, at prices ranging from $78 to $298.
The New York-based Mizrahi has colllaborated in the past with the likes of Target and QVC, but this collaboration aims at getting women to take a closer look at a nameplate that otherwise might not get their attention.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on September 5, 2012 04:04 PM
— Howard Schultz
"No where is success a given, especially in China." That's a rough translation of Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz's August 29 column at Chinese business site Wabei.com.
Schultz is right, Starbucks success in China was not a given, and its future success is not a foregone conclusion. But just a week later, Starbucks (星巴克) was the fifth highest trending topic on Weibo, China's 400-million user microblog network. Many of the posts were photos of lines dozens of people long, queues that Coca-Cola didn't see for its massive Olympics giveaway Monday in the U.K.
The reason? Starbucks locations in southern Guangdong were giving away free cups of drip coffee to celebrate the brand's 10th anniversary in the province — creating a physical rush akin to the social frenzy in the U.S. for the java giant's LivingSocial deal this week.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 14, 2012 01:07 PM
Groupon, grandfather of daily deal websites and portmanteau for "group coupon" is under scrutiny after its second quarter revenue fell short of expectations, exacerbated by the frail European economy which curtailed online coupon sales.
In the biggest decline since November’s IPO, its shares fell 23% to $5.80 on Monday, leaving the company with a market value of $4.88 billion, significantly less than the $6 billion buyout offer from Google before it chose to go public.
“We had some challenges in Europe,” commented Groupon's chief financial officer Jason Child. “Because over half of our business is outside the U.S., the strengthening of the U.S. dollar versus the variety of currencies that we transacted declined since we gave guidance last quarter.” Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 17, 2012 12:58 PM
Things seem to be a lot more serious at Groupon headquarters in Chicago these days. There are more accountants and lawyers, and fun-loving CEO Andrew Mason is cracking fewer jokes, according to a profile in Bloomberg Businessweek magazine.
That's because at least two very serious things are going on at the originator of the online-enabled, locally based discount deal. First, Groupon is straining to cope with growth expectations now that later-coming rivals such as LivingSocial, Yelp and others have mimicked its local deals business model.
But second, Mason and company have become very deliberate about advancing his plan to elevate Groupon above its competition — and to ensure its long-term future and robust growth — by becoming a key digital partner to small businesses across the range of their application needs. That means not just helping them produce a quick glut of customers responding to a Groupon-advertised coupon but also becoming what Mason calls "the operating sytem for local commerce" with tools such as loyalty programs, scheduling software, and potentially a credit-card payment service.Continue reading...