Posted by Anthony Zumpano on October 13, 2009 03:35 PM
Ten years ago, Apple Computer products were sold online or at computer retailers like the now-liquidated CompUSA. Today, the Apple Store is the jewel of many a mall and generates nearly five times the revenue as Best Buy per square foot of retail space.
So it’s no surprise that Disney called on one of the guys responsible for boosting its film fortunes – Pixar’s Steve Jobs, who you might also know is the CEO of Apple (and is on Disney's board of directors) – to help Disney inject some “think different” magic into its line of stores.
Steve’s advice: “Dream bigger.” That a computer company is demanding more creativity from the world’s largest entertainment factory, which once launched an initiative called “Where Dreams Come True,” says a lot about both brands.Continue reading...
Posted by Anthony Zumpano on October 12, 2009 07:39 PM
Restaurant name disputes aren’t new, and in the New York metro area they can be as tumultuous as Yankees/Mets debates, such as the fight over the Patsy’s Pizza name that continues to rage despite a jury trial and court order.
More recently, a federal judge has ruled that a Long Island restaurant can call itself the Original Vincent’s Clam Bar even though the (small-o) original Vincent’s, which was established in Manhattan’s Little Italy in 1904, still exists.
For older restaurant brands, the year of establishment is part of its appeal. The most popular steakhouse in New York, Peter Luger, promotes its legacy with “Est. 1887” in its logo. McSorely’s Old Ale House claims to be the oldest bar in New York, but a 1995 New York Times article disputed not only its date of establishment, but also whether it’s even the oldest bar in the city.Continue reading...
Posted by Anthony Zumpano on October 12, 2009 06:40 PM
Though it’s arguably taking over the world, even Google isn’t big enough to ignore the Federal Communications Commission, which is demanding more info about the intricacies of Google Voice.
Google claims the service is merely in the call-management business – e-mailing and transcribing voicemails, for instance – but AT&T charges that Google Voice, by blocking some calls to rural areas, violates phone service-provider laws, thereby making it subject to FCC regulation.
Google counsel Richard Whitt blogged that AT&T is “using regulation to block or slow down innovation” – guess which company Whitt thinks is the innovative one – and says the real issue is about “outdated carrier compensation rules that are fundamentally broken and in need of repair by the FCC.”Continue reading...
Posted by Anthony Zumpano on October 9, 2009 05:08 PM
Branding strategies go beyond product promises to appeal to different audiences in a variety of ways. Some consumers only buy American. Others check the label for artificial ingredients. Still others are swayed by a brand’s Fair Trade status.
Del Monte Foods is approaching dog biscuit-buyers with a cause-related sales tactic: Every purchase of Milk-Bone dog treats helps the charity Canine Assistants, which provides service dogs for the disabled and others in need.
Pet charities are savvy at branding. A current tear-jerking SPCA campaign stars singer Sarah McLachlan. But there have been few “buy this, help that” campaigns targeting dogs or dog products, the notorious 1973 National Lampoon cover (“If you don’t buy this magazine, we’ll kill this dog”) notwithstanding.Continue reading...
Posted by Anthony Zumpano on October 8, 2009 05:02 PM
With the exception of Diet Coke and its siblings, most brand extensions don’t arrive 80 years after the original. And few are as polarizing as the new collection of Winnie the Pooh stories, which introduces Lottie, a sassy otter, to the furry folks at the Hundred Acre Wood.
Authorized book sequels, commissioned after the original authors have died, are uncommon, and noteworthy; examples include a pair of Gone With the Wind sequels by separate authors as well as two updates to The Godfather by Mark Winegardner. What the original sources have in common is that they were adapted into films, where they enjoyed a much wider audience than the print material, and the announcement of new content delivered the same kind of publicity and backlash that greeted New Coke.Continue reading...
Posted by Anthony Zumpano on October 7, 2009 03:21 PM
At one time, private-label products might have seemed like substandard items whose main appeal was to customers who put cost above quality. But now, store brands are investing in market research and challenging their nationally advertised competitors. A typical tub of Kroger Deluxe peach ice cream has been taste-tested by 100 people before it could share freezer space with those high-end containers of Breyers.
Kroger, the largest grocery store chain after Wal-Mart, has one of the deepest private-label manufacturing networks in the US, and enjoys a greater percentage of sales from private-label products than its value-priced competitor. Wal-Mart has been making a private-label push, and the focus, naturally, is on lower prices: its main house brand is called Great Value and its packaging is as no-frills as possible.Continue reading...
Posted by Anthony Zumpano on October 2, 2009 05:07 PM
The hue of Tiffany's signature blue boxes may verge slightly toward green. But who would have expected the jewelry giant to lead a green revolt against one of its own potential suppliers?
Four luxury companies, including a pair of class-ring manufacturers, have joined some of America’s top jewelry brands in boycotting the use of any gold extracted from Pebble Mine, a mineral exploration project in Alaska that critics say will disrupt the world's most productive salmon fishery. Tiffany & Co. is leading the list of brands representing nearly $4 billion in annual sales.Continue reading...
Posted by Anthony Zumpano on October 1, 2009 12:08 PM
Brands with user-generated content have to be on alert for user-generated damage. As Facebook increases its ad partnerships on the way to achieving positive cash flow, some questionable affiliate ads appearing on the site have directed users’ ire at the social networking brand itself.
If you’ve used your Facebook account recently, you may have seen ads for Mylife.com, implying that a young, hot, scantily clad female has been Google-hunting you. But, Forbes reports, the ladies in those photos probably don’t know they’re appearing in those ads.Continue reading...