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Staying Truett: Chick-fil-A’s Path Forward in the Wake of its Legendary Founder

Posted by Darcy Newell on September 10, 2014 06:34 PM

Monday was a sad day for fans of chicken sandwiches and the Chick-fil-A brand—the company’s founder and chairman emeritus, S. Truett Cathy, died at age 93 in his home. 

For many, Cathy was the embodiment of the Chick-Fil-A brand. Having grown the company from a small Atlanta diner in 1964 to one of the largest (1,800 locations in 40 states) and most beloved chicken restaurants in the United States, Cathy exemplified the American Dream. And despite strong business acuity, he was known for not choosing profitability over piety. From the company’s founding, restaurants have always closed on Sundays for a day of rest—missing out on opportunities for substantial revenue gains.

Of course, this religious focus has not always bided well for the man or the brand. Recent lawsuits claim the company’ discriminated against non-Christians, the LGBT community and others, and sparked debate on the role of religion—and religious commentary—in business today. Despite this, Cathy remained revered by the brand's intensely loyal fans for the experiences (and delightfully simple sandwiches) he created.Continue reading...

brand faces

GM's Barra on the Hill: It’s Not What She Said, It’s How She Said It

Posted by Elisabeth Dick Oak on June 19, 2014 12:14 PM

GM CEO Mary Barra’s long road to redemption continued this week with her most recent appearance before Congress. As the face of the “new GM,” the company’s hopes for a comeback may rest not just on what Barra is saying, but how she’s saying it.

From the moment the news broke, Barra has owned up to every aspect of the debacle with a straightforward, the-buck-stops-here message. “I want to once again express my sympathies to the families that lost loved ones and to those who suffered physical injuries,” she testified on Wednesday before the House Commerce Committee. “I am ever mindful that we have a special responsibility to them, and the best way to fulfill that responsibility is to fix this problem by putting in place the needed changes to prevent this from ever happening again.”

Straightforward? Absolutely. Sincere? Probably. Compelling? Among others, John Oliver, host of HBO's Last Week Tonight, would disagree. Although Oliver’s show is a satire, he’s not wrong when he says, “she rolled a shiny, new statement proudly off GM’s PR assembly line.” Barra’s message is an important one, but her words sound as canned as most of GM’s communications. More importantly, she never even references GM’s customers.Continue reading...

brand faces

New CEO Mary Dillon Promises to Make Ulta Beauty Brand Look Even Better

Posted by Dale Buss on October 2, 2013 03:39 PM

Ulta Beauty is looking better to investors, customers, employees and retailers after the first three months of the reign of new CEO Mary Dillon. And with her plans to open more stores and introduce new products and brands to extend the Ulta franchise, Dillon hopes to keep all those constituencies smiling for some time to come.

The Bolinbrook, Ill.-based chain boosted second-quarter net sales by 25 percent, covering a period that overlapped Dillon's July 1 start at Ulta after leaving US Cellular, where she had been CEO since 2010. Dillon also previously was global chief marketing officer for McDonald's and president of PepsiCo's Quaker Foods unit.

"There's a big opportunity to drive overall awareness of Ulta as a brand," Dillon told brandchannel. "I don't plan any radical changes; I want to build on our foundation and strengthen it.Continue reading...

brand faces

Joe Weider's Passing Leaves Fitness Sales Legacy Behind

Posted by Abe Sauer on March 25, 2013 10:27 AM

Before there was CrossFit and P90X, there was Joe Weider's mustache. That iconic mustache and the entrepreneur who wore it—Joe Weider—who built one of the most famous brand names in fitness, passed away on March 23, with his final age of 93 probably his last endorsement for a lifestyle he'd been selling since 1936.

It's a sad truth that Joe Weider's passing probably would have gone largely unnoticed by the general public if not for a public announcement by none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger. The former California governor and (still) current Hollywood action star posted his condolences to both his Twitter account and official website.

For boys who spent time in the gym in a hopeless attempt to recreate Arnold's physique, the Weider brand was a common sight. Across squat towers, bench press seats and plates was the Weider name in a font that looked as strong and heavy as the equipment itself. And thanks to Arnold's attachment to the brand, the Weider name on something meant quality.Continue reading...

brand faces

New Pope Means New Brand for Catholic Church

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 14, 2013 01:16 PM

While the white smoke billowed out into St. Peter's Square and Pope Francis was introduced to the world, the Catholic Church’s legal team was busy behind the scenes.

As it's widely understood, the Catholic Church is as much a business as it is a religious beacon, and like any smart business, the Church protects its property. Vatican City and the Holy See are already the owners of such trademarks as “Benedictvs XVI Pontifex Maximus,” “Ioannes Pavlvs Pontifex Maximus,” “Stato Della Citta Del Vaticano,” and “Segreteria Di Stato," according to Forbes. Now, with a new pontiff in place, Vatican lawyers will be hard at work securing trademarks for everything Pope Francis related.Continue reading...

brand faces

2 Guys, 1 Campaign: Sonic Puts 2 Guys Back in the Front Seat

Posted by Dale Buss on February 22, 2012 02:25 PM

Raising hopes that fans might hear a reprise of classic lines such as "Go long!" for tater tots, Sonic is bringing back "those two guys" who sat in a car outside Sonic restaurants in TV commercials for eight years, letting their friendship humorously unfold over bites of Sonic burgers and whatever special the chain was running.

With a new, character-driven viral campaign seeded on a mock websiteYouTube, Twitter, Facebook and, er, LinkedIn, America's fourth-largest fast-food chain is bidding to have the two guys join Old Spice's Isaiah Mustafa and Ford's Focus Doug in the pantheon of heroes of recent marketing campaigns that have relied heavily on social media.Continue reading...

brand faces

Steve Jobs 1955-2011

Posted by Shirley Brady on October 5, 2011 09:05 PM

There may be no more eloquent tribute to Steve Jobs than Apple's homepage: a black and white photo of the brand's visionary in his classic black turtleneck, and the words "Steve Jobs 1955-2011" ... but we'll defer to his friend and rival, Bill Gates.

"The world rarely sees someone who made such a profound impact," Microsoft's founder tweeted tonight. "For those of us lucky enough to get to work with Steve, it’s been an insanely great honor," he added. "I will miss Steve immensely." As will we all.

brand faces

Eau de Gaga: Coty Signs Lady Gaga for Perfume

Posted by Jennifer Sokolowski on November 17, 2010 11:30 AM

This is one perfume that won’t be scented by wallflowers: Coty and the ever-outrageous Lady Gaga have announced a partnership to develop a fragrance that is expected to launch in spring 2012.

Lady Gaga will be Creative Director (a role that seems to be a staple in her endorsements) of the fragrance brand and the Coty Beauty Division will work closely with her and her Haus of Gaga team in creating the scent. 

Long anticipated, we can’t wait to see how they are going to distill “the brilliance of Lady Gaga into a fragrance that delivers a breathtaking olfactory experience,” as Steve Mormoris, SVP of global marketing for Coty Beauty, gushed in a press release.

 “A force like no other, Lady Gaga is explosive, provocative and sexy, three traits which pave the way for an extraordinary fragrance experience for consumers,” declared Coty CEO Bernd Beetz (a name that may have clinched the deal for the pop star).Continue reading...

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