Posted by Abe Sauer on May 15, 2013 10:54 AM
Minnesota nice gave way to a bit of Minnesota irony on Wednesday as Governor Mark Dayton signed a bill legalizing gay marriage equality in the state. The irony is that Governor Dayton is the scion of the Dayton's department store chain which became monster retailer Target, the same Minnesota-based retailer that created a PR disaster for itself when it funded his vehemently anti-gay rights opponent in 2010.
Target was no more forward looking just three years ago than it was last year. It's a lesson in brand legacy other companies can learn from.
Just six months after a statewide referendum to ban gay marriage failed, Governor Dayton signed a marriage equality bill before more than 7,000 onlookers. The move makes Minnesota the 12th state to legalize gay marriage. How shortsighted does Target Corp.'s only three-year old reasoning look now? In 2010, when the brand came under fire for supporting Dayton's anti-gay equality Republican challenger Tom Emmer, the retailer said its decision was "based strictly on issues that affect our retail and business interests." That statement—and Target's foot-dragging over the consumer outrage and protest in the wake of the news—severely damaged Target's theretofore gay-rights-friendly image. The brand damage has faded but lingers to this day.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on May 6, 2013 10:37 AM
20 dead children is the kind of PR disaster from which no product category could flourish—except for one. In the wake of the Dec. 2012 Newtown school shooting, gun makers are reporting record profits. Sturm, Ruger & Co. just recorded a 53 percent increase in post-Newtown Q1 profits.
Ironically, the exact same publicity that is boosting profits is creating a fraught sales environment. Post Newtown, small individual errors that may have been ignored a year ago are now huge potential PR crises, like when a gun made for kids kills them. While gun makers have been on the messaging defensive for months, they are just waking up to the fact that they have to also be offensive.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 7, 2010 11:02 AM
AOL is selling, or shutting down, Bebo, the networking site it bought in 2008 – for $850 million.
A recent internal AOL memo summed it up: “It is clear that social networking is a space with heavy competition, and where scale defines success. Bebo, unfortunately, is a business that has been declining and, as a result, would require significant investment in order to compete in the competitive social networking space."
When AOL purchased Bebo it was a popular British site, but it never got a grip in the US, entering the fray of social media as it was powerfully on the rise.Continue reading...
Posted by Sara Zucker on January 12, 2010 10:44 AM
Foot Locker will shutter 117 locations in 2010, mainly Foot Locker and Lady Foot Locker stores. The shoe chain plans to cut 120 jobs in the process, though it has not been announced how many of those will be salespeople. For the current fiscal year, the popular shoe brand has opened 37 stores, while it closed 190 stores, and updated or relocated 160 others.
By cutting stores and its workforce, Foot Locker hopes to streamline and reorganize its business to mitigate the negative consequences of the recession and sluggish sales. Richard A. Johnson, former CEO of Footlocker's European outfit, was appointed to run the struggling brand, which is comprised of Foot Locker US, Footaction, Kid's Foot Locker, and Lady Foot Locker.
"We expect the consolidation of our Foot Locker businesses under the direction of one management team to help us clarify our Foot Locker family of brands position in the retail marketplace," said Ken Hicks, Foot Locker Inc.'s CEO.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on January 7, 2010 10:25 AM
DVD sales are down, way down, by a whopping 13 percent in 2009, in fact. As consumers curtail their purchases of DVDs, it would seem logical that the DVD rental business -- Netflix's specialty -- would be booming, right?
Wrong. And for a few reasons.
Fortunately, Netflix is a dynamic, self-aware brand. It realized early that DVDs rented via the mail would eventually be replaced by on-demand streaming rentals. So Netflix took steps and positioned itself for the future.
Warner Bros. Studio, however, has other plans, and is crippling Netflix's marketing and distribution strategy at its very source.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on December 14, 2009 04:20 PM
Much has been written about how Tiger Woods is in the gutter and how his sponsors are scrambling to do damage control or distance themselves from him. But the victim of his transgressions that stands to lose the most is the game of golf itself, or more specifically, the Professional Golf Association (PGA).
For the last decade, the PGA has been buoyed -- if not outright carried -- by Tiger Woods. In many ways, Woods took the sport mainstream the same way Michael Jordan elevated the NBA a decade earlier. Thanks largely to Woods, PGA Tour prize money rose from $70 million in 1996 to $278 million this year. And now that Woods is taking an unpredictably long break from the sport, the PGA could be in serious trouble. How bad might it be? The sport experienced a taste a year ago when Woods took time off from the circuit for knee surgery.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 17, 2009 03:32 PM
It will probably go down as the single worst merger in communications history. When Time Warner and AOL tied the knot in 2001, CNN founder Ted Turner, Time Warner’s Vice Chairman at the time, called it "better than sex, " according to USA Today. Though the deal was then valued at $163 billion, AOL's value when it spins off on December 9 is likely to be less than $3.5 billion.
What went wrong? Just about everything. The merger that was supposed to "herald the future of content distribution via the Internet" was bad from the beginning. It was hampered by everything from a genuine culture clash, to incompatible business models, to nagging problems with the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission.Continue reading...
Posted by Sara Zucker on November 9, 2009 04:55 PM
In an effort to rework its brand structure, La Perla will consolidate its current lines into three core brands. Their newest line, Villa Toscana, which offers lingerie, beachwear and loungewear designed for contemporary, "aspirational" customers, will absorb La Perla's Anna Club, Aquasuit and Joelle brands.
The Black Label, Limited Edition and Bridal labels will be consolidated into the highest-end line, called simply La Perla. La Perla Studio, Malizia and Glamour will combine to form La Perla Studio.
In rethinking its strategy, La Perla's overall goal is to distance the brand itself from its fairly recent, fashion-oriented positioning. Trend-driven lingerie was good for the brand, but was beginning to create a disconnect with consumers.Continue reading...