Posted by Dale Buss on October 2, 2012 01:14 PM
How low can you go? If you're Carlos Ghosn, you want to build a car cheap enough that Nissan finally can compete in the very lowest-priced segment of auto sales throughout the developing world. So as promised earlier this year, Nissan — up 30 percent on Interbrand's just-released 2012 Best Global Brands report — is moving forward with a plan to delve into the ultra-low-cost car market by offering a model for about $3,000 to $5,000.
And the Nissan-Renault alliance has promised to do so through a revival of the Datsun brand. Nissan plans to offer six Datsun vehicles, beginning in 2014, at a price range lower than all but a handful of smaller car makers in China and India, Ghosn told the Wall Street Journal. A $3,000 Datsun would be about one-third of the price of the currently least expensive Nissan, the $8,000 Tsuru compact.
By not doing so previously, the CEO of Nissan and Renault said that the company has left itself out of about 40 percent of the potential market in countries including India, Indonesia and Russia. "We just see an opportunity," Ghosn explained earlier this year. "Today, in all the markets we are present, there is a level of price below which we cannot compete, we have no offering. The risk is to do nothing."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 3, 2012 05:15 PM
Scrapping its iconic slogan of 50 years, "We Try Harder," Avis has announced that it's switching to a new tagline: "It's Your Space."
Why? Sometimes brands may need to leave well enough alone. And arguably, Avis has been as associated with this particular bit of corporate mission-speak as seamlessly as just about any other brand has managed to fuse its identify with its tagline, such as Nike with "Just Do It" or Walmart back in the day with "Everyday Low Prices."
But new CMO Jeannine Haas, after delving into research to see how the brand is perceived, has determined that Avis Budget Group needs to position its flagship brand in a more relevant way for a business clientele that continues to evolve.
"Brand marketing to drive profitable growth is one of our strategic growth initiatives," she stated in a press release. "This campaign is our latest effort in delivering against this key objective."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 7, 2012 11:11 AM
As the world’s eyeballs continue to turn toward screens everywhere like flowers to the sun, there are some flights of fancy of yesteryear that don’t involve looking at flat grayness and are surprisingly having a resurgence.
Remember Rubik’s Cube? The simultaneously simple and complex symbol of the 1980s is seeing an uptick in sales, according to the New York Times. The latest wave of speedcubers dominated the attendance of the 2012 World Cube Association’s U.S. National Championship last weekend in Las Vegas. “Anybody blessed with the basic human senses can instantly ‘get it,’ ” said the toy’s creator, Hungarian architecture professor Erno Rubik, to the Times.
While that quality certainly helps the Cube (a brand owned by Seven Towns Ltd.) in its longevity, its appeal transcends play. “You can use Rubik’s Cube to teach engineering, you can use it to teach mathematics, and you can use it to talk about the interplay between design and engineering and mathematics and creativity,” said Paul Hoffman, president of New Jersey's Liberty Science Center, which will mark the Cube’s 40th anniversary in 2014 with an exhibition. “I’m hoping the Rubik’s Cube will excite a new generation and get them into engineering.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 25, 2012 04:04 PM
There's more riding on the shoulders of New York Giants star wide receiver Victor Cruz this year than hopes for the team's repeat of a Super Bowl championship: He also must bear part of the burden of turning around Campbell's woeful soup franchise.
Campbell will feature Cruz in a reprise of its "Mama's Boys" campaign of old for Chunky Soup, an iconic effort that harks back to when Americans still ate more Campbell's soup each year than the year before. That isn't the case anymore for Campbell even after the Great Recession, increased advertising spending, and the latest move — a spate of new products aimed at Millennials — have failed to turn around the fortunes of this venerable soup business.
That's why Campbell's CEO Denise Morrison this week was finally telling investors that, "by itself," the soup business "cannot take us where we want to go." Her vision of a Campbell of the very near future is based on its Pepperidge Farms brand, growing V8 beverage franchise and its recent acquisition of Bolthouse Farms and its packaged fresh foods and juices.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 18, 2012 11:07 AM
Three Italian Air Corp. buddies way back in World War I had the idea to start a motorcycle company after the war. One of them didn’t make it there, but his brother took his place and after getting a 2,000-lira loan from one dad, the trio commemorated their fallen friend by making the logo of their new company an eagle in flight.
Now Moto Guzzi is more than 90 years old and while you don’t hear its name every day, you likely do see its innovations. That’s something the company would like to remind motorcycle enthusiasts and so the manufacturer is making a digital push that will help celebrate the brand’s engineering and design, according to a company release. The new website will feature commentary from the brand’s designers, owners, and enthusiasts about Moto Guzzi as well as what it means to be original.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 11, 2012 01:10 PM
What to do with a product that failed the first time out of the gate? Kraft's Ritz brand managers are revisiting a 2009 product launch that crumbled with a relaunch focused around a Facebook game in a bid to target a younger demo of snackers. Ritz Crackerfuls is back with six flavors; classic cheddar, vegetable, garlic & herb, four cheese, sharp cheddar, cheese & bacon, all sandwiched between whole grain or multigrain crackers.
The relaunch campaign makes a direct outreach to younger consumers via Facebook. The product never clicked with the original target market of women 35 to 54, but with the subsequent popularity of social games and Facebook, the marketing mix has been fine tuned to skew a bit younger to reach those “who are looking for snacks to tide them over between meals,” said Katrina Cohen, Ritz Crackerfuls brand manager, to the New York Times.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 19, 2012 04:27 PM
If hard times killed your brand in the past few years, don’t give up your rights. You may need them down the line when you want to try and revive the brand, as Nissan is now doing with Datsun.
The Wall Street Journal reports that a slew of old brands are being revived since they already have name recognition and some brand loyalty built right in. Classic American brands including Astro Pops, Boast logo shirts, and National Premium beer will start appearing on store shelves, while the Seafood Shanty restaurant chain is getting another go.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on April 11, 2012 01:03 PM
In bygone days, kids gathered around in small groups to trade baseball cards of much-beloved star players. But today's kids are playing baseball video games on smartphones -- a fact of digital life that hasn't escaped Topps, the top manufacturer of baseball cards. To mark the beginning of baseball's 2012 season, Topps is venturing into the digital world in hopes of reinventing its legacy brand.
While the company began making bubble gum in 1938, Topps' claim to fame was the introduction of baseball cards in 1952. These wondrous little pieces of cardboard carried color photos of players on the front and thumbnail bios on the back. Packs of cards, which included a stick of bubble gum until 1992, became cherished possessions. Eventually, as baseball fans grew up, they recognized the value of the cards, particularly rare ones, as collectibles. Now "trophy cards," some with original autographs, have become hot items with adult collectors.
But what about those kids of today? In an effort to entice Gen Z, Topps has brought two baseball apps to the iPhone/iPad market, Topps Pennant ($2.99) and Topps Bunt (free). Android versions are also planned. Continue reading...