Posted by Dale Buss on August 16, 2013 10:36 AM
Besides giving blood and waiting at the DMV, few things make human beings feel more like a commodity than renting a car. Brands have tried for years to differentiate themselves, but the car-rental experience pretty much boils down to the same dehumanizing process at every counter at every airport—until now.
Hertz—one of the guilty parties in the soporific sameness of its industry—has launched a global push behind making car rental a truly different kind of experience and is marketing the effort as "Road Trip by Hertz."
Hertz is dramatically overhauling some of its retail locations to offer concierge-style service, iPad stations for researching local information while recharging devices, games for kids, as well as printers and FedEx service, according to Marketing Daily. What's more, Hertz is making a variety of retail goods available on site, ranging from charging cords to beach bags.Continue reading...
Posted by Adeline Chong on August 14, 2013 04:49 PM
Just like the beloved snack cake Twinkies was rescued from the depths of its owner's bankruptcy, Borders, a longtime staple among US retail bookstores, is getting a new chance at life thanks to a few global bookstore lovers that snatched up trademarks and intellectual property rights at auction after the brand went bust in 2011.
When it was announced recently that Borders would resurface in Singapore before the year's end, book lovers and sellers alike greeted the news with cautious optimism. After all, Borders Singapore—which had operated under the independent Borders Asia Pacific—quickly became one of Singapore's most iconic and loved bookstores when it opened in 1997—even emerging as the group's best performing outlet in 2006—but it quickly met its demise in September 2011 after its owner, Australia's Redgroup Retail, fell to a similar fate as its US counterpart.
In Singapore, the store's demise then seemed inevitable, bankruptcy or not, as loyal customers became disgruntled at the deep discounts offered to non-members and customers at large were baffled by the store's poor book selection and foray into non-book items like toys and cookware. The frequent sales also created a discount mentality amongst customers, eating into margins. Globally, the group's late foray into e-books and its big push into sunset product categories such as music CDs were also cited for its demise.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 6, 2013 05:32 PM
Indian brand motorcycles were the first to be manufactured in the US, making their debut in 1901. The brand has all but disappeared since its heyday during the First and Second World Wars, however Polaris, which bought the brand in 2011 and also manufactures snowmobiles, ATVs and the Victory line of motorcycles, is releasing a new line of Indians.
Polaris took its new bikes—the $18,999 Chief Classic, the $20,999 Chief Vintage, and the $22,999 Indian Chieftain—on a mini-tour of Manhattan this week, garnering plenty of 'oohs' and 'aahs' from onlookers. But the real test will be whether the original American moto-brand will be able to reclaim marketshare from top competitors.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 5, 2013 07:33 PM
Cold-cereal sales are falling, so companies are doing whatever they can to boost revenue in other areas. General Mills’ Pillsbury division hasn’t used a brand mascot for its products since the Doughboy was introduced back in 1965, but now the company has added a new face to help boost the revenue of an old brand: Toaster Strudels.
Toaster Strudels have been doing battle with Kellogg’s Pop Tarts for 27 years and have recently lost some ground, especially on the heels of Pop Tart's release of peanut butter variations. According to IRI, Toaster Strudels sales dropped 1.1 percent to $204 million in the year ending July 14. Meanwhile, Pop Tarts is on the rise, growing 5 percent to $668 million during that same time frame.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 2, 2013 02:53 PM
Now that RadioShack is presumably done with its executive shuffle, the electronics retailer's new CEO, CMO and VP of store concepts are wasting no time in trying to get the company back into the minds of younger, hipper consumers. This week, the chain debuted a new logo and opened its first concept store in New York (above), a first-of-its-kind customer experience for the brand that it's billing as an "interactive technology playground."
According to the Dallas Business Journal, the Fort Worth, Texas-based chain plans to open several other concept stores in New York, New Jersey and Texas in the coming weeks before deciding on a new design to roll out to its entire footprint of 4,300 stores. The move comes at a critical juncture, as The Shack is in need of a serious revamp. It lost $63 million in the fourth quarter last year and $43.3 million in the first quarter of this year.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 1, 2013 10:37 AM
The comics industry is getting stronger, bringing in an estimated $700 million to $730 million last year, up from $660 million to $690 million in 2011, according to John Jackson Miller, the editor of Comics Chronicle. But the 20-year-old Vertigo, a DC Comics imprint that doesn’t follow the same, cookie-cutter superhero storylines, isn’t contributing much to that profit.
After 20 years of publishing without anything close to a big hit, there were lots of rumors that DC would pull the plug on Vertigo. Instead, DC is re-investing in the brand and launching six new series this fall, the New York Times reports. The hope is that mature readers, hip to the world of graphic novels, will pick up the new series and latch on in a different way than those following Batman’s latest squabble.
“Right now, we’re in the middle of Vertigo’s transformation from a relatively sheltered idea and talent farm to a much more competitive place,” wrote Marc-Oliver Frisch on his comic-culture news blog The Beat, according to the New York Times. “Whether or not this is going to help DC in re-establishing the Vertigo brand as a selling point, we’re going to find out in the next several months.”Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 24, 2013 03:09 PM
It's going to be the "Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever." At least that's what the new owners of Hostess are hoping as it prepares to relaunch the beloved snack brand on July 15.
After being off the market and offline for nearly 8 months, Twinkies, CupCakes, Ding Dongs and a host of other creme-filled baked goods will reappear on more store shelves than ever before, according to the LA Times. The brand, which was bought for $410 million by Apollo Global Management and C. Dean Metropoulos & Co. has re-emerged online through various social accounts and a revamped website to spread the word about the relaunch.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 13, 2013 12:56 PM
Remember Myspace? Well, it’s back with a $20 million ad campaign to help relaunch the once-defunct social network.
The brand, which has re-emerged thanks to some financial and emotional backing from Justin Timberlake and the Vanderhook brothers, hopes to lure up-and-coming and established musicians, producers and creatives with its new, completely redesigned platform.
"We really wanted to really represent the people that make this brand," Christian Parkes, head of marketing at Myspace told AdWeek. "Because it's not us in this room—we're the guys behind the scenes. But it's really about the community. The tone and spirit ... it's irreverent, slightly anarchistic, that's the tone and the attitude and the feeling."Continue reading...