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brand news

Brand News: McDonald's, Uber, Walgreen and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 20, 2014 09:31 AM

TOP STORIES

McDonald's in Ferguson, Mo., becomes headquarters of protest coverage as brand names first US VP of digital, rolls out bagged McCafe coffee with Kraft across US, and sets to offer mandarin oranges.

Uber hires former Obama campaign chief as lobbyist and tests delivery service in D.C.

Staples accelerates turnaround actions as sales continue to fall.

Walgreen shakes up executive ranks after projection was off by $1 billion.

Petsmart explores possible sale.

MORE BRAND NEWS

AirAsia takes advantage while Malaysia Airlines wallows in tragedies.

Apple soars to stock record amid optimism about upcoming products.

Audi airs Emmys promo that's heavy on celebrity cameos (at top).

Boeing may boost production of its bestselling 737.

Brita recalls thousands of child water bottles.Continue reading...

sporting brands

With Thursday Night Football, CBS Joins Brands Betting Bigger on NFL

Posted by Dale Buss on August 19, 2014 02:52 PM

In many ways the National Football League brand has become a 365-day-a-year enterprise. But there's still nothing for football fans like the traditional kickoff of the actual NFL season, which begins September 4 when the Green Bay Packers visit the Seattle Seahawks.

That means the NFL itself, and the increasing number of other brands that depend on its success, are about as keyed up right now as the kicking team getting ready to rush down the field to defend their first kickoff.

Arguably no brand has more at stake this NFL season than CBS, which paid the league handsomely to add a package of games under Thursday Night Football to complement the network's Sunday programming. CBS will begin on September 11 airing a package of eight games that it hopes to turn into a prime-time powerhouse much like ABC did with Monday Night Football decades ago. The league launched its Thursday-night broadcasts a few years ago by airing them only on the NFL Network.Continue reading...

mobile commerce

Target Snaps Up Mobile Shopping Innovation with Image Recognition App

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 23, 2014 01:49 PM

Whoever tries to hack into Target’s data next is going to have a lot more to dig through. The retailer's new app, In a Snap, aims at improving its foothold in the mobile shopping space by allowing users to take pictures of Target products in print (magazines, catalogs and newspapers) and then simply click to buy.

The free app, which uses advanced image recognition technology, allows consumers to have their product shipped or held for them at a local store—all part of Target's big push to ramp up e-commerce and click-and-collect efforts as it continues to feel the pressure from Amazon, Walmart, and fast-fashion retailers. In a Snap joins Target's other app, Cartwheel, which serves as a coupon-serving shopping companion. 

“It’s a single-purpose app that will appeal to Millennials and college students or anyone not averse to downloading an app,” Target spokesman Eddie Baeb told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The app's launch is timed to Target advertising running in Real Simple and Domino magazines, part of the brand's back to school campaign for college-aged consumers with a new registry and web video series, Best Year Ever, that features YouTube stars helping students with dorm room makeovers.Continue reading...

app watch

Brands Jelly-Up as New App Gets Out of the Gate

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 24, 2014 12:35 PM

Biz Stone’s Jelly is just two weeks old, but the mash-up of social and search has reached a roiling boil among fans and brands that were quick to adopt the new tech. 

Jelly scored 28,275 active users on the first day with 100,000 questions asked in the first week. According to Digimind, during the first weeks of January, 77 percent of Jelly’s users were speaking favorably online about the app while 19 percent were negative.

The gently altruistic brand whose tag line is “Let’s help each other” relies on humans rather than algorithms to gather and parse information. “If we’re successful, then we’re going to introduce into the daily muscle memory of smartphone users, everyone, that there’s this idea that there’s other people that need their help right now," said CEO Biz Stone, a co-founder of Twitter. 

A handful of brands have dived in head-first—and whether or not they are using the app correctly is open to interpretation.Continue reading...

retail watch

Lowe's Partners with Porch to Offer Customers Complete Home Improvement Package

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 14, 2014 07:29 PM

Retail is all about customer experience, and home improvement chain Lowe’s is doing its part to give consumers start to finish guidance on their most challenging projects. The retailer has partnered with Porch.com, a site that recommends home improvement professionals, to help their customers get the job done once they leave the store. 

Lowe’s employees in 139 stores in North Carolina, South Carolina and Seattle are using Porch to find and suggest contractors, handymen and other professionals for customers looking for a helping hand beyond what Lowe's employees can offer. As part of the partnership, Lowe’s has also joined Porch’s stable of investors.

“For us, it’s a great tool for our associates to have in the store,” Jay Rebello, VP business development at Lowe’s, told the Charlotte Business Journal. “People have an idea that they want to fix their house up, do something nice, and it requires not just products but products and expertise, and the know-how to get the project done.”Continue reading...

retail watch

Brands Set Off on All Out Marketing Blitz in Race for Black Friday Sales

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 27, 2013 07:02 PM

Thanksgiving is a time to share with loved ones, express gratitude, and take stock of the ad frenzy that is holiday shopping. And with brands turning the clock forward on Black Friday promos, marketing teams are in an all-out race to grab the attention of savings-hungry consumers. 

According to research from Shareablee, of the top 25 retailers on Facebook in the first half of November, Walmart accounted for 27 percent of the total shares by fans, followed by QVC with 9 percent, and Macy’s and Nordstrom at 8 percent. On Twitter, BestBuy is dominant with 30 percent of retweets in the category, followed by Nordstrom at 9 percent, Ebay and Target at 8 percent respectively and Walmart at 6 percent.

Target has outpaced all retail competition with six times more Black Friday posts than any other brand, while JCPenney’s one Black Friday post earned the highest level of engagement with over 54,000 likes, comments and shares.  

Are you planning on braving the crowds? If so, here's some offers to keep an eye out for:Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Verizon, Panera Bread, Johnson & Johnson and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 20, 2013 09:18 AM

In the News

Verizon unveils big-box superstores in bid to reinvent wireless.

Panera enters single-serve home-coffee market.

Johnson & Johnson agrees to artificial-hip settlement of at least $2.5 billion.

Bitcoin regulation is argued.

Burger King enters India via joint venture.

Dodge tests coattails of Ron Burgundy.

Ford plans to reveal all-new Mustang on Dec. 5 and said Edge concept at LA Auto Show provides glimpse of global SUV ambitions.

Home Depot registers 50 percent rise in digital sales and Lowe's net profit surges.

JCPenney loss widens but turnaround firms up.Continue reading...

brand challenges

Sears' Drop in Core Appliance Business Compounds Problem for Failing Brand

Posted by Dale Buss on August 26, 2013 10:40 AM

Sears results keep eroding, with no end in sight. Now the giant retailer's maladroitness has begun affecting the operation that arguably has kept the brand afloat: appliance sales. Not even a successful shopper-loyalty program has been able to turn things around for the company that used to be America's largest store.

Lately it's been easy to lose sight of Sears' woes. For one thing, at least one other traditional retail giant—JCPenney—has had things way worse over the last year or so. Also, Sears has been able to spark some gains at its other major brand, Kmart, with exposure from its popular and cheeky "Ship My Pants" and "Big Gas Savings" ads.

But Sears is suffering. Last week the retailer reported a $194 million loss during the second quarter as same-store sales fell by 1.5 percent. Sears hasn't turned a profit since 2010, and sales, which stood at $53 billion a decade ago, have dwindled steaily to $40 billion in 2012 as customer traffic ebbed and Sears sold assets to raise cash.Continue reading...

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