Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 22, 2013 07:36 PM
It's graduation time and many of those college graduates are moving back in with their original roommates—their parents.
Bloomberg Businessweek is targeting twenty-somethings with a campaign encouraging those ‘boomerang kids’ to head-out on their own with the lure of a one-year subscription to the magazine. The “Bloomberg Businessweek Gets You Ahead” campaign website offers 42 e-gift cards that parents and friends can send to Gen Y-ers still living at home for an added kick in the behind—and a good laugh.Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 22, 2013 05:36 PM
The Facebook generation is so over Facebook, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center.
After surveying 802 teens, ages 12 to 17 about their online habits, it turns out that Facebook has become a "social burden." "While Facebook is still deeply integrated in teens’ everyday lives, it is sometimes seen as a utility and an obligation rather than an exciting new platform that teens can claim as their own."
While 94 percent of teens are maintaining their Facebook accounts, more and more continue to migrate to Twitter and Instagram as largely parent-free zones that give them a greater ability to freely express themselves. According to the survey, 11 percent of teens had Instagram accounts, 5 percent have Tumblr accounts and 7 percent have accounts on Myspace.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on May 22, 2013 10:38 AM
When you're stuck in neutral as McDonald's has been lately, you begin to try a little bit of everything. Expanding the menu. Focusing on value options. Sacking your chief of US operations. And, now—reducing the menu.
On the heels of its elimination of the Angus Burger, Fruit & Walnut Salad and Chicken Selects, there are reports that other McDonald's U.S. menu items are on the chopping block too as the chain scrambles for ways to maximize traffic and revenues while minimizing costs to deal with stubbornly reluctant consumers. It's also part of how the chain hopes to woo back millennials, as CEO Don Thompson is expected to outline at the company's annual general meeting on Thursday.
Caesar Salad, McSkillet Burrito and the Southern Style biscuit may also disappear, according to a franchisee e-mail obtained by Bloomberg. These would be further cutbacks in McDonald's core menu at a time when the company increasingly has been emphasizing the traffic-building value instead of "limited-time" items such as popcorn chicken and McRib sandwiches.Continue reading...
let's make a deal
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 20, 2013 12:22 PM
In what Yahoo hopes to be a life-altering deal, the aging internet company acquired social media site Tumblr for $1.1 billion, affectively gaining the attention of millions of users that visit Tumblr monthly (that is, if they all don't jump ship first).
Purchase rumors began to swirl last week after the company's CFO Ken Goldman spoke of Yahoo's "aging demographic" and their need to be "cool" again. With the acquisition now official, Yahoo will suddenly be knee deep in the content-consuming, uber-engaged millennials that it craves, but the question is whether Tumblr's core users will stick around for fear that Yahoo will alter the blogging site—or whether advertisers and brands can handle the rough-and-tumble world of Tumblr.
However, CEO Marissa Mayer was quick to assure users (with her first Tumblr post, of course; she also launched her own Tumblr and showed a sense of humor over the "WFH" debate) that Yahoo would "not screw it up" and had no plans to tamper with the site or its crew. Mayer's post, in the copyright-flouting spirit of Tumblr, used an image that without first getting its creator's permission.
Founder David Karp—who is slated to become Forbes' youngest billionaire—will remain at the head of the company along with his team. According to Mayer, it seems the only major plans Yahoo has for Tumblr (besides not screwing it up) are more opportunities for native advertising (aka advertorials or sponsored content, which Karp & Co. have been testing in the wake of earlier stumbles) in addition to implementing Yahoo search on Tumblr to start mining all that juicy millennial user data.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on April 19, 2013 10:32 AM
Chick-fil-A has a handle on great fast food, good service, enthusiasm about the brand and a winsome advertising campaign. But the chain has spent a good deal of the last couple of years defending the traditional-values advocacy of CEO Dan Cathy, scion of the founder of Chick-fil-A; parrying accusations by the gay-rights community and attempting to come to some accommodation with them.
Now, back to what the brand really wants to be known for: its food and service. As part of a new "transparency push," Advertising Age says Chick-fil-A will offer instant "behind-the-counter" tours to anyone who wants them. And it plans to overhaul its salads and line of chicken wraps to position them as even healthier menu options than before.
The tours are to be offered at Chick-fil-A's 1,700 locations, the magazine said, on an instant basis. That could pose some operational challenges. "It's a nice warm fuzzy, but the challenge is, how are they going to do this if they're in the middle of a hugely busy lunch or dinner hour?" Joel Cohen, a restaurant-marketing consultant, told the magazine.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on April 16, 2013 02:24 PM
Thanks to the efforts of a handful of entrepreneurs, American fast food is moving from a form of nutritional epithet to add an entirely new dimension: a fledgling business model that uses the quick-serve platform to get better-for-you fare into the mouths of more willing consumers.
At the same time, not to be outdone, traditional fast-food chains are tacking heavily into more nutritional fare after several years of more or less playing at it. Taco Bell, for instance, has just announced its strategy to offer healthier menu options, while McDonald's is veering more deeply into wraps.
LYFE Kitchen is probably the best known of the cluster of promising better-for-you startups which also includes Clover, Veggie Grill, Tender Greens and Native Foods Cafe. New York Times Magazine writer Mark Bittman chronicled some of what these brands are doing.
"After the success of companies like Whole Foods [and] Annie's and Kashi, there's now a market for a a fast-food chain that's not only healthful itself, but vegetarian-friendly, sustainable and even humane," he wrote. "And, this being fast food: cheap.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on April 2, 2013 01:03 PM
Beijing's ban on fixed gear bicycles or "fixies" was dismissed on local English language blogs as an April Fool's gag. But then China's state-run media carried another report that Fujian, a southeast province outside of Shanghai, had also banned fixies. It followed numerous late March anti-fixie stories in the Chinese press.
China's brewing war on fixies, the ubiquitous accessory of US hipster culture and an increasingly popular creative outlet for free expression for China's similarly hip youth, is very real. And further actions like those in Fujian and Beijing could turn out to be a blow to a market that is just beginning to blossom.
"If the 'fixie' has no brakes, it cannot be ridden on the road and the police will punish riders according to the law," read the March 26 declaration from the Beijing Morning Post. The Post had noted that in Fujian's Zhangzhou city, a 13 year-old girl riding a fixie without brakes was recently killed in a traffic accident.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 25, 2013 05:38 PM
McDonald's has a problem. While the fast-food brand remains No. 1, it doesn’t even rank in the top 10 for the increasingly sought-out cohort of the 59 to 80 million people ages 23 to 36 in the U.S., widely known as millennials.
McDonald's is concerned enough to be specifically targeting this group, identified as highly valuing customization and choice with a major new product launch, McWrap. "They're 80 million [people] but they're influencing the next 80 million, both younger and older," said Gary Stibel, CEO at New England Consulting Group.
The McWrap, a.k.a. "Subway buster," comes in three varieties: sweet chili chicken, chicken and bacon and chicken and ranch, grilled or crispy—and depending on the chicken parts, ranges from 360 to 600 calories. According to an internal McDonald’s memo, it "affords us the platform for customization and variety that our millennial customer is expecting of us. Our customers are consistently telling us, particularly millennials, they expect variety, more choices, customization and their ability to be able to personalize their food experience."Continue reading...