traveling brands

Check In, Check Out Sheraton’s Rebranding Efforts

Posted by Anthony Zumpano on September 30, 2009 04:49 PM

How does a hotel brand get customers to experience its revitalized rooms? With a free night’s stay, of course.

Sheraton has been a brand in decline, unlike Starwood siblings W and Westin. The most recent Consumer Reports ratings ranked Sheraton as the worst in its category, based on value, service, upkeep, and problems; customers have blogged about the brand’s poor quality as recently as today; and even Hoyt Harper, Starwood’s senior VP of brand management, admits that “some of the hotels were substandard.” 

So to celebrate the brand’s multi-billion-dollar makeover, Sheraton is launching a campaign offering more than 2,000 free overnight stays at 86 of its freshened-up hotels in the US and Canada on October 23.Continue reading...

brand science

Media Elites "Shocked" Wal-Mart Wins Their Flawed Survey

Posted by Anthony Zumpano on September 29, 2009 10:11 AM

For the Wal-Mart brand, it’s aisle number one.

According to a rather odd survey conducted by “60 Minutes” and Vanity Fair magazine, Wal-Mart was selected as “the best corporate symbol of America today” by a 3-to-1 ratio over runner-up Google. The other choices were Microsoft, the NFL, and Goldman Sachs.

Jeffery Fager, executive producer of “60 Minutes,” was surprised by the results. “I wouldn’t have guessed that Wal-Mart would have run away with that,” he said.

Really? Could Mr. Fagan be that out of touch with the average American? Whether you love Wal-Mart or hate it, or simply go there to people watch, few brands have made such a deep impact on Americans and their spending habits.Continue reading...

best global brands

Coke Wants Its Fans To Enjoy A Click And A Smile

Posted by Anthony Zumpano on September 25, 2009 12:30 PM

It’s no surprise that the Coke, number one brand in Interbrand's Best Global Brands 2009, is moving more aggressively into the digital marketplace. Coca-Cola's longtime success owes much to their ability reach customers in ways that go way beyond the actual product.

Pepsi, who has targeted younger cola fans for decades with pop-culture icons from Michael Jackson to Britney Spears, is ahead of Coke in online branding—and not just for the under-21 texting crowd. The brand is launching Pepsi We Inspire, a digital community intended for African-American moms. Pepsi understands that, especially in the long-tail world of the Internet, there’s no single “Pepsi Generation.” Continue reading...

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Yahoo’s $100M Campaign: Too Much, Too Late?

Posted by Anthony Zumpano on September 24, 2009 03:40 PM

How much money should a brand spend on self-promotion? For Yahoo, it’s a nice, round number: $100 million.

This nine-figure marketing campaign will focus on ads in a variety of traditional and new media over the next 15 months in the ten countries where the company’s soon-to-be 600 million customers live.

For a new-media brand, Yahoo has been looking rather, well, geriatric lately next to top Internet searcher Google, not to mention whippersnappers Facebook and Twitter. Sure, Yahoo’s been around for almost 15 years, but Apple is more than twice as old and never fails to generate brand buzz. Continue reading...

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best global brands

Dell, Slipping To Second Place, Adds Perot's IT Services

Posted by Anthony Zumpano on September 22, 2009 02:17 PM

How big an asset is being an established tech brand? Apparently, in a sector where "the role of brand is falling," according to Interbrand, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in great shape.

Dell, one of many brands suffering a drop in value over last year, is 35 on Interbrand's Best Global Brands 2009 rankings, but dropped 12% in Brand Value, and is no longer the go-to personal computing company. (That would now be HP.) The annual report blames Dell’s "failure to fully adopt netbooks as a flagship product in timely manner."

But Interbrand also points to "Dell’s track record of successful branding and efforts to cater more directly to needs of customers," praise vindicated by Dell's announcement yesterday of its acquisition of Perot Systems, an IT services provider with deep roots in electronic health records, a potential beneficiary of healthcare reform.Continue reading...

best global brands

Emotional, Sensory Experiences Help Nike, IBM, And Other Top Brands

Posted by Anthony Zumpano on September 21, 2009 11:00 AM

Nike was a winner in Interbrand's Best Global Brands 2009, gaining 4% in Brand Value.

One of several companies to break through the recession-year clutter with promotions that built an emotional bond, Nike teamed up with Apple (up a dazzling 12%, cracking the BGB top 20 for the first time) for the virtual-but-actual Human Race, in which runners from all over the world race locally, but are connected globally via the iPod-based Nike+ running system.Continue reading...


What’s That In Your Windex?

Posted by Anthony Zumpano on September 17, 2009 03:36 PM

Are there actual lemons in lemon-scented Pledge? You may soon find out.

The strength of brands employed for household cleaning and polishing used to be measured by how clean and polished they rendered your home, but as environmental awareness goes further mainstream, even people who aren’t seeking “green” products want to know whether that bottle of Windex will create or exacerbate an illness or condition.

Lawmakers, an industry group, and environmentalists are wrangling—and are actually in agreement, mostly—over how and how many ingredients should be disclosed for each product. A major issue for the Procter & Gambles and Colgate-Palmolives is the fear that certain trade secrets (e.g., that lemon smell) will be revealed: Imagine the threat to McDonald’s if it had to list its “special sauce” ingredients on every Big Mac wrapper. (On the other hand, Coke is able to list ingredients without revealing its storied secret formula.)Continue reading...

Harry Potter Horns In On Mickey's Turf

Posted by Anthony Zumpano on September 16, 2009 03:19 PM

Like "Sorcerer's Apprentice II": The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a theme park at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure whose 2010 opening was recently announced, promises to be not only a nirvana for Pottermania, but also a magical display of branding.

That one of the most popular brands in the world—having grown from a book to a multi-volume series that spawned several films to a merchandising empire—is entering the enchanted land of roller coasters and amusement attractions shouldn’t surprise even the most naïve Muggle. The depth of the source material, from settings to characters to plots, makes not merely a couple of Potter rides, but a complete mini-theme park featuring its own “interactive shopping” experience, a no-brainer branding extension.Continue reading...

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