Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 20, 2013 03:37 PM
After only a month, Jennifer Warren, the chief marketing officer for RadioShack, has given the 92-year-old company's image quite an overhaul. With hopes to become more relevant to younger consumers, the brand is pulling out every trick to try and woo a generation of digitally-savvy consumers into its aging stores.
Earlier this month, the electronics retailer released a new commercial advertising Beats by Dre's Pill speaker, a spot that's riddled with half-dressed women moving in suggestive ways. The spot features a soundtrack by Robin Thicke, which is available for download with the purchase of a Beats product. With over 1.8 million views, it's the retailer's best effort to attract attention to the host of other electronic brands it carries, especially hip ones like Beats by Dre, as it continues to battle its long-time reputation as a wires and batteries-type shop.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 7, 2013 12:38 PM
If love is the universal language, snacks may be the universal food. And that's one reason the spinoff of Mondelez International from Kraft Foods last year looks more and more like a good move, at least for Mondelez and its shareholders.
Mondelez's portfolio of global snack brands—ranging from Oreo to Cadbury to Trident—relies on emerging markets for about 40 percent of its revenue right now, and by 2020 the company projects that 110 million households in India, Russia and Brazil will move into the middle class, the socioeconomic stratum where serious snacking begins in most markets because consumers have achieved the economic wherewithal for recreational eating.
"As they do, we believe they'll step up their chocolate consumption by about three times," Bharat Puri, Mondelez's senior vice president of global chocolate, told analysts recently, according to Advertising Age.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 29, 2013 01:45 PM
Is JCPenney doing a dead-cat bounce, or is there real life remaining in the venerable retail brand in the post-Ron Johnson era?
George Soros is betting the latter. The famous (or infamous) investor has taken a 7.9 percent stake in JCPenney, a development that immediately sent the stock up by nearly 7 percent late last week. Soros's stake is still less than half that of hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman, who recruited Johnson as JCPenney CEO, and then helped sack him earlier this month. But at least, arguably, Soros is buying low.
Goldman Sachs has placed a bet as well on the possibility that new JCPenney CEO Myron Ullman (who also was CEO before Johnson's tenure of little more than a year) will be able to restore JCPenney if not to greatness, at least to long-term viability. The financier gave the company a five-year, $1.75 billion loan secured by JCPenney's real estate across middle America.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 24, 2013 07:48 PM
While the United States Postal Service is floundering, it apparently still has plenty of cash to fund a hefty contract that ensures mail is transferred between US airports. FedEx announced that it had won the bid to fly Express and Priority mail for the next seven years to the tune of $10.5 billion, despite some competition from UPS.
The new contract, which will begin in October, continues the previous relationship between the USPS and FedEx, and ultimately saves FedEx from another dip in profit and stocks.
“This contract win is a sorely needed shot in the arm for FedEx,” Justin Yagerman, an analyst at Deutsche Bank in New York told Bloomberg. FedEx shares have fallen 15 percent since its 2013 high on March 15. If that business had gone to UPS, the stock would have surely seen continued decline. Last year, FedEx received about $1.62 billion a year from USPS, while this new deal will see it receiving $1.5 billion. While the margins are lower, things could have been much worse.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 22, 2013 04:32 PM
Another traditional weight-loss brand is resorting to a radical change in its business model in an effort to avoid extinction by online dieting sites.
Nutrisystem has announced plans to sell a "5-Day Nutrisystem Jumpstart Your Weight Loss Kit" exclusively at 2,000 Walmart stores. It includes 15 entrees plus desserts, a free meal planner and program guide with access to free weight-loss counseling, all for the low, low price of $44.98.
"While there are many weight-loss products in the market, this is really the first of its kind—a true diet jumpstart in a box," Dawn Zier, Nutrisystem CEO, said in a press release.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on April 22, 2013 12:46 PM
"Stronger marketing" was one of the four identified strategies in a late 2012 "growth strategies" report from McDonald's Holdings Japan. The chain desperately needs some positive strategy in Japan, where McDonald's has reported 12 consecutive months of decreasing sales and a nearly 18 percent drop in operating profit.
Stronger marketing includes recruiting quality employees and brand ambassadors. To this end, McDonald's Japan has introduced the "Dancing McCrew," a viral hit about dancing through the workday.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 22, 2013 10:48 AM
Every game-changing relationship has an arc that eventually dwindles, and maybe even ends. Obama-Clinton. Manning-Colts. Kardashian-Humphries.
That may be the case with Chysler-Detroit. Even as the company has been moving some of its suburban employees to downtown Motown, Chrysler marketers are signaling a change in the three-year-old, market-changing relationship between Chrysler and the city that helped the brand and the company back up off the canvas and played a huge role in returning Chrysler to long-term viability.
"There are three words in 'Imported From Detroit,'" Olivier Francois, Chrysler Group's CMO, recently told brandchannel. "Everyone thinks of the noun, 'Detroit." And we might have put more emphasis initially on the noun because Eminem is a great ambassador and music is all about Detroit and Chrysler 'is' Detroit. And 'Detroit' brings a certain romance to the brand."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 19, 2013 08:11 PM
Richard the Cat, a.k.a., Pundit of People, remains Home Depot’s meme of choice as the brand welcomes spring some out-of-character humor.
The orange feline follows a human family as they pursue scores of DIY projects with questionable results and predictable mishaps. Comedy and social media is a pretty disruptive channel in the home improvement category, according to the brand. Home Depot CMO Trish Mueller credits the origin of the feline meme to an internal meeting last year where she proposed the idea. "Everyone has elves, reindeer, Santa, but one of the biggest things followed in the social space is cats," Mueller told Ad Age. "When I shared this with our leadership team, our CEO got it immediately. We're very lucky we have one of the hippest CEOs out there."
Richard, known for his quick-wit and sarcasm, calls his human family out on Tumblr as "how-to helpless.” Richard’s Meme Generator invites users to create memes starring Richard, in return for Home Depot gift cards worth up to $200 every week until June 3. The brand arguably took a chance on the meme, as Emery has acknowledged that the two are an odd pair; The Home Depot brand is authentic, innovative and attainable, while Richard’s cat-sona is sarcastic, superior and refined.Continue reading...