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brand news

Brand News: Mobile World Congress, McDonald's and More

Posted by Dale Buss on March 2, 2015 09:14 AM


Apple CEO Tim Cook stokes excitement for Apple Watch and sees rivals scrambling at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where IBM unveils new batch of enterprise apps with Apple ... Samsung unveils all-aluminum eco-friendly new Galaxy S models and launches mobile wallet ... HTC unveils move into virtual reality headsets with Vive headset ... Intel launches chip for low-price smartphones ... Oral-B promotes Bluetoothbrush and dental care app ... and IKEA reveals wireless-charging home collection with Qi standard.

Costco names Citigroup and Visa as credit partners as it replaces American Express.

Airbnb reportedly raising funding at $20 billion valuation.

McDonald's new CEO takes over, ready to deliver change.

Volvo tests self-driving car on Swedish roads.Continue reading...

branding together

Despite Millennial-Wooing BMW, Mary Kay Stays True to Pink Cadillac

Posted by Dale Buss on December 9, 2014 11:01 AM

Mary Kay pink Cadillac

Cadillac may be struggling to revive its sales and redefine its brand, but there's no doubt about the value of Cadillac to Mary Kay Cosmetics. The leader in multi-level beauty-products marketing has proudly entered its 45th year of awarding pink Cadillacs to its top salespeople. The Mary Kay Pink Cadillac even has its own Twitter feed.

In fact, GM has painted more than 100,000 custom cars for Mary Kay over the decades since founder Mary Kay Ash purchased five Cadillac Coupe de Villes, had them repainted to match the "Mountain Laurel Blush" in a makeup compact that she carried and rewarded the company's top five salespeople, according to marketing blogger David Meerman Scott. 

For Halloween, the Cadillac "dressed up" in various costumes and fans could vote for their favorite online, Scott reported. (No surprise: Miss Piggy won.) By staging promotions such as these, the brand's Twitter feed "helps modernize the brand by making its icon retro cool," the blogger added.Continue reading...


Nu Skin China Scandal's Repercussions for Other Direct Sales Brands

Posted by Abe Sauer on January 17, 2014 12:44 PM

"The direct-selling market, which helps create jobs and diversify retailing channels, is forecast to achieve double-digit growth in China in the coming years."

That was the takeaway from an April 18, 2013, giddy and optimistic report from mainland state newspaper China Daily, titled "Nu Skin sees $1b in sales for anti-aging products." And yet, less than a year later, another state media newspaper report has sent Nu Skin stock plunging, casting the company's heretofore rosy China future in deep, deep doubt. Investors are jittery as its stock halted trading in the wake of China's investigation into its selling practices.

What's more, just as the pharmaceutical scandal that proceeded it, Nu Skin's China meltdown should serve as a warning to other direct-selling brands operating in China.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Sears, Apple, HSN and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 22, 2013 09:27 AM

In the News

Duchess of Cambridge goes into labor as People and US Weekly gird for extensive coverage of UK royal birth.

Sears tries to go upscale—way upscale.

Apple investigates security breach on its servers and tests larger screens for iPhones and iPads.

HSN rebrands to shake dowdy status.

Boston Market harnesses Big Data for promotions.

CarMax solidifies status as unrivaled used-car leader.

Carnival Cruise uses Instagram to redistribute existing 15-second ads.

Chipotle plies ingredient and menu diversity.

Coca-Cola and other major sponsors assess pre-World Cup marketing landscape in Brazil.Continue reading...

brands under fire

PETA Protest Leads Urban Decay to Boycott China, Win PETA Award (UPDATED)

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 10, 2012 10:18 AM

The old saying goes that the Chinese word for "crisis" (危机) is composed of two characters representing both "danger" and "opportunity." Though fallacious, this old trope could not better describe the manner in which cosmetics brand Urban Decay turned a self-created crisis into a public relations windfall.

About a month ago, Urban Decay announced that it would be breaking into China's cosmetics market. And why not? In 2011, China's cosmetic sales hit 110 billion yuan ($17.8 billion), a increase of nearly 19 percent over 2010. According to a 2012 report by Li & Fung Research Centre, during one month in 2011, Urban Decay's competitors Estée Lauder and Clinique saw sales increase by almost 10 percent alone.

Looking at all that money, what Urban Decay lost sight of was its core mission, amongst other things, was all about refusing to test on animals. (China, meanwhile, required animal testing to certify Urban Decay's products.) No surprise, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) lambasted the brand's "Decaying Principles":Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: AT&T, Groupon, Maker's Mark and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 2, 2011 09:04 AM

In the News

American Airlines parent AMR bankruptcy could foist huge losses on key creditors.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs honored with exhibition highlighting his patents and trademarks.

AT&T blasts federal critique of T-Mobile deal, as AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile deal with Carrier IQ privacy concerns.

Barnes & Noble continues to struggle financially with digital transition.

Chili's drives menu changes and sales with retrofit.

Disney raises dividend to highest level in 20 years.

Fiat closes plant as European demand falls.

GM offers to buy back Volt from owners.Continue reading...

The Key to Customer Loyalty: Delight

Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 24, 2011 06:30 PM

When Tony Vernon, the president of Kraft Foods North America, told analysts this week that "we must work even harder at customer and consumer delight," he was mirroring the results of the latest "Customer Loyalty Index." 

According to the 2011 Customer Loyalty Index issued by the customer loyalty consultancy, Brand Keys, today's consumers are looking for the best total experience when they interact with a brand.

Robert Passikoff, Brand Keys founder, says, "Consumers want meaningful innovation that results in a higher level of experience. Satisfaction has never been more cost-of-entry; delight is the new differentiator."Continue reading...

traveling brands

Is China Buying The American Dream?

Posted by Laura Fitch on November 19, 2009 12:06 PM

Chinese consumers just can't get enough of American brands, according to CBS News. But as a resident of China, I disagree.

Certainly many brands, especially luxury brands, are relying on China to bolster sales numbers amidst dismal international earnings. But where is there actual evidence that Chinese consumers are specifically choosing American brands over others?

There are more Benzes on Beijing streets than Buicks, more Gucci sales than Coach, and hip kids are just as likely to be wearing Japanese designer BAPE hoodies as Nike kicks. China has a thirst for brands, period.

Where the brand comes from isn't as relevant as its reputation, and in this sense, the Chinese market is a very international one. There's no denying that certain American brands are doing a very brisk business here. Cosmetics giant Mary Kay is good example of the possibilities of branding hitting the bullseye.Continue reading...

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