Best Global Green Brands 2014

brand news

Brand News: Abercrombie & Fitch, HP, Taco Bell and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on May 23, 2014 09:18 AM

TOP 5 STORIES

Brands to Watch

Abercrombie & Fitch is getting more modest.

Amazon hires more robots, escalates battle with Hachette.

Barclays fined $44 million over gold price fix.

HP to lay off up to 16,000 workers as results disappoint.

Taco Bell spin-off won’t get beer milkshakes after all.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Acura renews Jerry Seinfeld web series for four more seasons.

American Express sees a $25 trillion opportunity in mobile.

ANA acquires Brand Activation association.

Arby’s sells the sizzle in record-breaking 13-hour commercial bid.

Boeing is taking a page from Apple's design philosophy book.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Tired of Floundering Chain, Darden Cuts Its Losses with Red Lobster Sale

Posted by Dale Buss on May 16, 2014 02:46 PM

Darden Restaurants finally has sold Red Lobster, for $2.1 billion, to a private-equity firm. But nobody seems happy with when or how it happened, or the result, and the brand’s future under the ownership of Golden Gate Capital remains far from a sure thing.

The problems that led to Darden’s decision to unload Red Lobster—while keeping for now its other restaurant brands including Olive Garden—began with a deterioration in the brand over a period of several years tied in large part to a tendency to over-discount.

“We think we’ve gotten out of balance in terms of having a few too many discounts," Darden CEO Clarence Otis told investors in a recent conference call. "An important part of the Red Lobster brand is, for a lot of guests, it is a special-occasion experience and we want to make sure that we continue to deliver on that and we aren’t pushing those guests out with too much of a focus on the discounting side.”

Same-store sales for Red Lobster had declined in seven of the past eight quarters, only part of which could be attributed to the overall tough environment for fast-casual restaurants as they struggle with a sluggish economy and more upscale incursions by quick-serve chains. And, noted Bloomberg, “The brand … had limited growth potential because many of its customers are elderly and don’t go out to socialize often.”Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Red Lobster, Comcast, Pinterest and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on May 16, 2014 09:13 AM

TOP 5 STORIES

Brands to Watch

As contentious net neutrality proposal gets FCC greenlightComcast tightens data limits and firms up new "SpinCo" unit.

Red Lobster is sold by Darden for $2.1 billion.

Pinterest funding round brings valuation to $5 billion.

GM agrees to pay "substantial fine" over switch recall.

Microsoft celebrates Nokia acquisition with stylish brand book, and gets ready to reveal new Surface tablet.

ALSO IN THE NEWS:

Abbot Labs to buy CFR Pharmaceuticals for $2.9 billion.

Barclays stars in London Pride event's first ad campaign.

Cadbury's Dairy Milk touts ice cream in the UK with #freezethejoy push.

CBS unveils plans for 24-hour digital news channel.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Alibaba, Airbnb, HP and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 7, 2014 09:12 AM

TOP 5 STORIES

Brands to Watch

Alibaba files for U.S. IPO that is expected to be record-breaking.

Airbnb hires Coca-Cola's Jonathan Mildenhall as CMO.

Fiat Chrysler five-year plan elevates Chrysler brand, downplays Dodge.

HP invests $1 billion in cloud computing.

Twitter stockholders sold massively as lockup expired; stock price plunges.

MORE BRAND NEWS:

AOL acquires consumer-tracking platform.

Coca-Cola lifts lid on agency bonuses for cutting-edge work and drops "You're On..." tagline for Diet Coke.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Investors Unimpressed with Darden's Olive Garden Strategy (or New Logo)

Posted by Dale Buss on March 4, 2014 05:41 PM

Darden Restaurants executives have launched a new logo and menu changes at Olive Garden that, they proclaimed, will lead to a "brand renaissance" for the chain as they're rolled out.

But activist investors Barington Capital Group says: Don't bother. They believe Darden should be selling Olive Garden as well as the Red Lobster chain that both they and the company agree should be separated. It feels that Darden should fully focus on its specialty unit that includes rising chains Capital Grille, LongHorn Steakhouse and Yard House to help overcome financial doldrums for the company that have continued for several years.

Darden CEO Clarence Otis made the case to investors this week that he and his executive team can revive a slumping Olive Garden chain at the same time that they bid adieu to Red Lobster, whose customer base has become increasingly promotion-oriented. Olive Garden will get fresh attention instead of the boot.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: McDonald's, Rovio, Goodyear and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 23, 2014 09:22 AM

In the News

McDonald's brings in outsider as new CMO and ends "challenging year" with flat quarterly earnings, as it comes under tax scrutiny in France.

Rovio wants to be a bigger brand than Coca-Cola.

Goodyear and workers end fight in France.

AOL buys firm that personalizes web searches.

Arby's promotes variety with new ad strategy and calls new Smokehouse Brisket sandwich its most successful new product.

Boeing adds workers to boost Dreamliner production.

Kenny Chesney sues over unauthorized merchandise. 

Chili's introduces Fresh Mex menu.

Coach reports weak North American sales.

Darden defends Red Lobster spinoff plan amid investor resistance.Continue reading...

chew on this

Darden Hopes Less Becomes More By Jettisoning Red Lobster Brand

Posted by Dale Buss on December 19, 2013 01:45 PM

The restaurant business remains tough, and so it didn't take long for Darden to say "uncle" to an activist investor who believed that the best path for the owner of Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains was to spin them off into a separate company while clustering its faster-growing startup concepts in another.

Darden met Barington Capital Group halfway on Thursday by declaring that it will jettison Red Lobster and take other steps. It'll hold a tax-free spinoff of the seafood brand to shareholders or it might sell Red Lobster in a move aimed at boosting lagging shareholder value and profitability.

"As consumer demand dynamics have changed, Red Lobster's priorities and operating support requirements have come to differ meaningfully from those of Darden's other brands," the company said.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Target, Whole Foods, Chipotle and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 19, 2013 09:18 AM

In the News

Target hit by credit card breach of as many as 40 million customers that started on Black Friday.

Whole Foods stops selling Chobani in favor of non-GMO yogurts.

Chipotle joins fast-casual pizza race.

A&E suspends patriarch Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty over anti-gay remarks.

Allstate launches new online game to help avoid holiday mayhem.

AstraZeneca buys out Bristol-Myers Squibb in diabetes joint-venture.

Bayer buys cancer-drug partner Algeta for $2.9 billion.

Boeing loses out to Saab in providing fighter jets for Brazil and taps likely CEO successor.

Chevrolet sees a top US marketer leave.

Christie's finalizes appraisal of Detroit Institute of Arts collection.

Daimler gets stake in Aston Martin with engine supply deal.

Darden spins out Red Lobster amid shareholder pressure.Continue reading...

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