Posted by Abe Sauer on April 26, 2013 12:45 PM
China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.
This week: Apple's slow(er) sales... Quake relief PR... Japan's sales woes... Electric vehicle hopes... Rolls Royce driving... Retail trends... China's oldest scissors maker... Ai Weiwei "snap bracelets,"... liquor ad increase... Boo-hoo Yahoo... Caterpillar... Airbus... Airline outfits... Desperate hotels... A giant rubber duck... and more.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 27, 2013 05:24 PM
The question of adding brands has become a hot topic for auto companies these days as they revisit strategies from before the Great Recession. Fiat, Chrysler and Volkswagen are among car makers that have become bullish on new brands while General Motors, Ford, Toyota and Hyundai are among competitors that haven't moved in that direction.
It didn't seem that this would be an issue as recently as three years ago. GM famously shed Saturn, Saab, Hummer and Pontiac (a few years after killing Oldsmobile) as it shrank down for the 2009 bailout, while Ford finally deep-sixed Mercury after decades of keeping it on life support. Going lean with brand architecture, the thinking was, would be the future as automakers focused on globalizing product platforms and marketing to keep things simpler, more cost-efficient and, they argued, less confusing to consumers.
Though lately, some players have been throwing that logic out the window—seemingly to good effect.
Chrysler, for instance, spinned off Ram from Dodge, began adding Fiat to its brand stable in the U.S., created an SRT performance sub-brand and announced that, soon, Fiat will be bringing Alfa Romeo to the United States again. Meanwhile, it has been bulking up its other brands with new products, such as Jeep, which just announced that it is resurrecting the venerable Cherokee nameplate for 2014. Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 16, 2013 05:32 PM
Despite being passed around to a few different owners over its lifespan, 64-year-old Saab has been around long enough to build up a strong brand. It went bankrupt back in 2010, but now is expected to be turning out a new breed of cars in the next few years thanks to the new ownership of Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), a partnership between China's National Modern Energy Holdings and Japan's Sun Investment.
NEVS will be turning Saab into an electric car, which likely won’t be on the market for a few years. But when it does, something will be gone from Saab that's survived all the other changes: the griffin on its logo.
The mythical creature that has the body and tail of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle will still be found on Saab trucks and planes, which are not owned by NEVS and will remain with their current manufacturers. For now, a griffin-less logo will represent the company.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 7, 2012 05:04 PM
Don't cry for Suzuki. The company's exit from the U.S. market simply eliminates its exposure to one of the world's most competitive markets for automakers, where Suzuki has been beating its bumper against a wall, and allows the Japanese company to focus on domestic and emerging markets where it's doing quite well, thank you.
In fact, the brand won't entirely disappear in America, Bloomberg notes: "Suzuki will stop the sale of new automobiles in the U.S., though it will continue offering motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and boat motors."Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on September 4, 2012 12:08 PM
Does anyone remember Linsanity? The media melee last spring engulfed NBA fans in NYC and beyond when an unknown player and Harvard grad of Taiwanese parents rocketed to stardom with the New York Knicks. The term "Linsanity" came to describe the Jeremy Lin phenomenon. Brands, sensing an opportunity to tap into the China market via the NBA's new Asian sensation, rushed to cash in on Lin. One of those brands was Volvo.
Volvo? Yes, Volvo. Now, Lin's first Volvo commercial for the China market has finally been released. While Volvo is trying to appeal to well-heeled Chinese consumers about their aspirations versus the status quo, it's less than Linspiring.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on September 3, 2012 08:48 AM
It's Labor Day in the U.S., a public holiday which has become America's biggest retail sales day of the year.
Apple takes aim at Samsung's Galaxy S III in amended patent complaint, as Samsung stock takes a beating and company's culture, strategy, labor practices and PR tactics come under fire in wake of California ruling. Samsung and other Apple mobile rivals including Nokia are rushing new smartphone announcements ahead of expected Sept. 12th new iPhone reveal.
Abercrombie & Fitch brand cools, prompting store closures.
Allstate plans addressable TV campaign in U.S.
Apple offer to Amazon revealed in European e-books price-fixing inquiry.
Barack Obama plans to focus on issues at Democratic National Convention this week as jobs debate heats up this Labor Day.
BP's former CEO Tony Hayward returns to the spotlight.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 8, 2012 12:59 PM
General Motors is scrutinized daily by thousands of automotive and business journalists as well as investors and U.S.-government policymakers and a whole host of other people, and yet there remains a mystery about exactly why GM CMO Joel Ewanick became persona non grata so abruptly on July 29th. The latest disclosures, via Bloomberg News, paint a picture of a relationship betweeen Ewanick and his CEO that unraveled in part over lack of decorum.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 8, 2012 09:02 AM
American Airlines faces record safety penalty, tests hotel baggage delivery service.
Amazon sees pay-off from locker service, looks to acquire more patents.
Apple shelves "Genius" TV campaign, puts former designer on the stand against Samsung and plans to beef up security.
AT&T sees 20,000 employees go on strike.
Bank of America brings discounts to bank statements.
Chiquita seeks new CEO as Undercover Boss star exits.
Chrysler’s Dodge pulls out of NASCAR.Continue reading...