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Ikea Entering the Hotel Business

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 16, 2012 10:03 AM

Europe’s financial difficulties continue and consumers are counting their Euros. Such a situation doesn’t bode well for the travel industry, which is why budget hotels have started popping up all over the continent and consumers that are actually traveling are using them more than they used to.

Budget hotel sales figures in 2011 were up 10 percent, Reuters notes, which means it was eating up 41 percent of the $162.5 billion European hotel market.

That kind of cash has enticed some folks to get into the budget-hotel biz or spread their brand. Germany’s Motel One is moving into the UK, Belgium, and Austria. Travelodge, which already has more than 500 hotels in Europe, opened four in London in July and is planning to open nine more in Europe before year’s end. Continue reading...

brand extensions

Lululemon's Little Sister Tests the Waters in America

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 13, 2012 10:05 AM

Canada's upscale yogathletic brand lululemon has a younger sibling: ivivva athletica, a dance-inspired activewear label for girls and teens that has been dipping a pointed toe in the tween/teen market with a modest debut in Canada and a co-branded line with Disney.

The younger brand has been available in lululemon’s hometown of Vancouver and in Calgary, and this summer has been quietly slipping south of the border to the US via showrooms (not full-blown stores) to test the waters in Bellevue and Seattle, WA, plus Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.

“A note to all of our amazing + loyal ivivva girls: an ivivva SHOWROOM is a little different from an ivivva STORE," a blog post explains. "A showroom is a small space that we open in new cities to show a few pieces of our product line. It is the perfect place to go to get decked out in all of your core essentials and try on all of our sizes so you know what size to order in all of the crazy colours online! And, if you want more, you can always purchase online using the iPads in our showrooms.”

Parent company lululemon athletica, of course, is the yoga-inspired athletic apparel lifestyle brand that, while a little overreaching to some observers, has certainly raised the barre in technical fabrics and functional designs, not to mention in convincing women to pay a premium for yoga pants. But will lululemon moms stretch their wallets as wide for their dance-, track- and gymnastics-obsessed daughters?Continue reading...

brand extensions

I Want My Sharpie TV: Brand Making a Mark With Artsy Music Lovers

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 30, 2012 10:01 AM

Sharpie loves fan input, evidenced by last year’s takeover of YouTube’s home page with user-generated art in an interactive mosaic ad that generated more than 62 million impressions in one day.

This year, Sharpie is inviting fans to create artwork for a music video for indie-pop band, California Wives, making their debut at the MTV Video Music Awards in September, in a campaign from Draftfcb Chicago.

Now through August 6th, submissions are open via the brand’s Facebook page and website. “What we’re really about is putting fans at the center of our story,” Ryan Rouse, global director of marketing for Sharpie, tells Marketing Daily. “It’s not about ambushing an audience with an ad; it’s about taking the passion within our community and amplifying that.” Continue reading...

brand extensions

Spoon Boom: Why PepsiCo is Dipping Into US Yogurt Craze

Posted by Dale Buss on July 9, 2012 03:01 PM

It may be too early to say the cola wars are over, although it's clear that PepsiCo is ready and willing to take on another archrival. Following years of competing with Coca-Cola with its array of beverage and snack food brands in the U.S., PepsiCo is now getting into the red-hot yogurt market and adding Dannon to its competitive set.

Faced with a U.S. yogurt market that is more crowded than ever with brands, and demonstrating almost no growth except in the Greek yogurt category, PepsiCo announced Monday that it's introducing a fresh brand to yogurt-loving Americans — and one that isn't focusing on Greek — via a new partnership with the Theo Muller Group, Germany's largest privately held dairy

That's the prospect for Muller Quaker Dairy when it finally enters stores in northeastern and mid-Atlantic states with three lines of yogurt products birthed by the joint venture. Muller Quaker promises "innovative premium" products that aim to create differentiation and taste excitement in a U.S. yogurt category that PepsiCo executives believe is lacking both.

"It's been an 'I gotta have it because it's good for me' kind of a product," Dr. Mehmood Khan, who oversees PepsiCo's global research and development, commented to the New York Times. "The 'wanna have it' was missing."Continue reading...

brand extensions

Liquid Branding: Lemmy Pour You a Motörhead Bastards Beer

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 15, 2012 04:17 PM

It seemed a little odd last year when punk metal icons Motörhead decided to do a little brand extending and it took the form of a red wine, Motörhead Shiraz. Fans of the band aren’t exactly known for playing polo and collecting antiques.

According to Gibson.com, though, the vino sold well enough that the band has decided to expand on its alcohol-based brand extensions. So prepare ye, world, for Motörhead Bastards Lager, a beverage that aligns with the popular perception of the group’s heavy metal fan base.

One small problem, thöugh — the new brew is only available in Sweden (it debuted at the recent Sweden Rock festival).Continue reading...

brand extensions

Coming to Vegas: Nobu Expands Brand With First Hotel

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 13, 2012 11:55 AM

For decades, new Las Vegas hotel/casinos have been incredibly over-the-top and, let's face it, garish: a pyramid, a pirate-themed one, a mini re-creation of New York City, King Arthur’s castle, the list goes on. But now a casino is heading in the opposite direction by leveraging the Nobu brand to attract a new clientele.

Nobu Hospitality partners including Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, along with designer David Rockwell and principals from Caesars Palace, held a press conference this week at the original Nobu in New York City to reveal the concept for the world's first Nobu Hotel, set to open in Las Vegas late 2012.

The design for the Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace looks to bring the zen palate of Nobu restaurants to life — an oasis for well-heeled high-rollers to calm their nerves and enjoy the good life after making (or losing) more cash at the city’s many gambling tables.Continue reading...

brand extensions

Pure Genius: What Won't Richard Branson Slap the Virgin Brand On?

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 30, 2012 11:01 AM

From his humble roots as a seller of vinyl LPs to the spotty youths of Great Britain, Sir Richard Branson has extended the Virgin brand name from record shops to an array of businesses including airlines, mobile phones, space and deep sea travel, hotels, bridal boutiques, cheeky health clubs, beverages (including vodka, cola and wine), gaming, banking and beyond. Now Brits will soon be finding the Virgin brand on another product: water.

The home of the elastic brand today announced a partnership with Israel-based Strauss Water to rebrand its Strauss Water UK business as Virgin Pure, a system that filters water straight from the plumbing system to provide consumers with chilled or boiling water “at the touch of a button.”

"I love businesses that help to improve our way of life,” Branson stated. "Pure, chilled and boiling drinking water at the touch of a button means no more lugging bottles home, waiting for filter jugs to trickle through or kettles to boil for that great cup of tea."Continue reading...

brand extensions

DeLorean and Audi Put Their Brands on Two Wheels

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 23, 2012 01:41 PM

Discerning bicycle enthusiasts with a taste for the finer things in life are in luck. Both Audi and DeLorean are producing cycles worthy of some attention. While the DeLorean sticks to the conventional man-made energy source, Audi’s concepts will provide a motorized option to help any cyclists who get a little bored with the continued cranking.Continue reading...

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