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...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 5, 2012 10:58 AM
Nissan was Datsun in the United States and other western markets before it was Nissan. And now Nissan is bringing back the Datsun brand for emerging markets such as India and Russia. But don't count on seeing Datsun anywhere else.
In the latest gambit by a global automaker to revive a "heritage" brand for purposes never imagined during the marque's first go-round, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn plans to revive the Datsun name to sell inexpensive cars tailored for fast-growing new markets beginning in 2014, according to Nikkei. Nissan plans to sell Daon vehicles priced around 50,000 yen ($6,200) first in India, Indonesia and Russia.
Dusting off Datsun, a move rumored for a while, would increase marques now in Nissan-Renault's portfolio including Dacia, Renault-Samsung and a stake in Rusia's AvtoVAZ. In fact, Dacia alreay is a budget brand managed by Renault and based in Romania, and the new Datsuns could end up being re-badged Dacias for sale in other markets.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 13, 2012 03:58 PM
Nearly two decades ago, Coca-Cola bought a lime drink in India called Citra from Ramesh Chauhan but then discontinued it and pushed its own Sprite instead. Now, the soda maker is testing out how Citra sells in some Indian cities and is planning a national rollout, according to the Economic Times.
The Economic Times hears that the drink “will be priced about 20% cheaper than existing lime-lemon drinks” such as Coke’s own Sprite and Limca as well as local soft drink brands owned by PepsiCo, Mountain Dew and 7Up. That will help Coke “target a wider audience and take on smaller brands” in the world’s second-most-populated country.
Industry observers are a little surprised by Coke’s plan, since Sprite is already India’s second-most-popular soda behind a drink even Roger Ebert would love, Thums Up, which is now manufactured by Coke. Sprite also leads the field in the “lime-lemon drinks segment, which is the fastest-growing soft drink category in India's 13,000-crore fizzy drinks market,” the paper notes.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 9, 2012 03:03 PM
Naming a new car after a venerable nameplate from its heyday is hardly a new ploy for the Dodge brand. Dodge did it with new muscle cars such as the Challenger a few years ago.
But today marked the first time that a Chrysler Group brand has gone back to the future for a nameplate since it has been controlled by Fiat. Dodge unveiled the 2013 Dodge Dart at the North American International Auto Show this morning, a new vehicle that should prove to be the most credible entry by the company in the compact-car segment since — well, since the heyday of the original Dodge Dart.
Accompanied by puslating techno music and lights in the predictable meme of auto-show unveilings, Reid Bigland, president and CEO of Dodge, said that the brand "wanted to create a world-class compact car" because Dodge wasn't "competing" in this segment with its Caliber model, introduced in 2006. "And we approached this segment with a clean slate — no baggage."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 21, 2011 10:01 AM
The Smithsonian Institute is 165 years old and isn’t hurting for visitors: 30 million people come calling annually.
Even so, the organization's executive team was dismayed to learn that that “its recognition had dropped to 77 percent for 18-to-24-year-olds, and that 25 percent of respondents think that the Smithsonian is ‘elitist,’” the Washington Post reports. Too many people were thinking of the place as America’s attic, and a confusing one at that. As its Twitter bio reads, "We're not a museum. We're 19 of them! Plus 9 research centers & the National Zoo."
Time for a brand refresh. The Smithsonian set aside $1 million to come up with a branding campaign that G. Wayne Clough, the Secretary of the Smithsonian, hopes will show that the Institute's diverse programming and educational activities represents a “conversation, not a lecture,” the Post notes.Continue reading...