brand strategy

VIDEO: How to Leverage Brand Assets to Maximize M&A Deals

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on May 13, 2014 12:37 PM

So far in 2014, companies have announced over $1.3 trillion worth of mergers and acquisition transactions globally, according to Thompson Reuters. With nearly double the level of activity from a year ago, Josh Feldmeth, CEO of Interbrand New York, brandchannel's parent company, talks about the role of brand in mergers and acquisitions and how best to boost value and lower risk. Read more about Josh's M&A advice on the Interbrand blog, and follow him on Twitter at @joshfeldmeth.

brand strategy

Mondelez Bridges Gap Between Real-Time and Real Results with Project Sprout

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 12, 2014 12:17 PM

Branching out from its Super Bowl XLVII marketing moment in the sun, Mondelez has launched Project Sprout, a marketing initiative that puts multiple agencies on short deadlines to create advertising that boosts short-term sales and grabs social media attention. 

In killing off the agency-of-record model which Dana Anderson, SVP marketing strategy and communications, referred to as "no longer the pathway to Oz for clients or agencies," Mondelez is demonstrating how collaboration and quick thinking can lead to major marketing wins.  

"This is really about us thinking about global marketing differently," Eliza Esquivel, VP global brand strategy for Mondelez, told Advertising Age. The project, which launched earlier this year, uses "small in-market experiments that then can be measured to make sure that they are working and then those can be applied … globally."

The project lends itself to Mondelez becoming more "fearless marketers," Esquivel said, highlighting the importance of being "nimble and responsive" in an ever-changing marketplace.Continue reading...

brand strategy

eBay Embraces Content Marketing and Finds Its Voice

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 8, 2014 04:07 PM

Storytelling is a brand requirement these days. And as a digital brand with its own oft-repeated creation story—a "corporate myth" about collecting Pez dispensers—eBay is expanding its chops as an original storyteller and content publisher. Turning its homepage into a digital magazine it's calling eBay Today, the visually-rich digital hub presents a Pinterest-like grid that creates stories out of curated collections and timely themes. 

Hiring a chief curator and editorial director last fall in "tastemaker-in-chief" in Michael Phillips Moskowitz, eBay is now live on ebay.com, where users can scroll through picture-squares of product and collections, hovering over a headline for a drop-down description.

"We're now in the content business," explained Devin Wenig, President eBay Marketplace, to The Atlantic. "So, for the first time, eBay has a voice. We're telling stories. We have an editor. We have curators. And we have writers on-staff. You'll see that evolve to some longer-form stories, some really beautiful pictures... It's media-like."Continue reading...

brand strategy

No IPO Rush for Airbnb as Lodging Marketplace Capitalizes on Interest

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 8, 2014 02:22 PM

Airbnb, the online accomodations marketplace that has been shaking up the hotel industry, is headed for an IPO, but not before the San Francisco-based company snagged former Coca-Cola executive Jonathan Mildenhall to be its new CMO.

Life at Airbnb will likely be a bit of culture shock for Mildenhall, as Ad Age notes that the company spent only $300,000 on measured media in 2013, according to Kantar Media reports. That's pocket change for Coke, which plans to boost its media spend up to $1 billion by 2016. However, Mildenhall may have made a smart move since Coca-Cola is going through a shakeup of its own. An internal Coca-Cola memo obtained by Ad Age has it that the changes "will accelerate the profitable growth of Coca-Cola through world class marketing—both in North America and markets around the world." 

Meanwhile, Airbnb pulled in $450 million in funding last month in its latest round of financing, increasing its lifetime investment to $776.4 million and its valuation to $10 billion. But all that new cash doesn't have Airbnb rushing its IPO. 

"Going public is a means, not an end goal," CTO and co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk told Yahoo! Finance. "It's a way of raising capital, and our company is currently very well capitalized, so there's no need to think about an IPO right now."Continue reading...

brand strategy

HP Joins Cloud Computing Arms Race with Helion

Posted by Dale Buss on May 8, 2014 12:02 PM

HP believes there's plenty of room on the horizon for another cloud, so the brand known for PCs and printers is making its biggest foray yet into the softer side of the IT business.

CEO Meg Whitman has pledged to spend $1 billion over the next two years to create HP Helion, launching products and services for open-source cloud software via the rising platform, OpenStack, in a move that will compete with the two brands that have so far dominated cloud computing—Amazon and Google.

"This changes how we think about who we are competing with," said Bill Hilf, HP's vice president of cloud product and service management, according to the New York Times. As part of the move, the company's "public" cloud will expand from two to 20 of its 80 data centers worldwide within a year.

HP is putting all of its existing cloud offerings under the Helion brand and will indemnify its customers from any third-party patent claims that may arise against its open-source software. It will even extend that protection to the customers of their customers, the Times reported.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Fiat Chrysler Plan Meets With Skepticism—Especially Making Chrysler a Star

Posted by Dale Buss on May 7, 2014 05:17 PM

Of all the grand plans that Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne wove for investors and journalists as he revealed the company's new five-year plan at FCA headquarters in Michigan this week, the most ambitious—some might say fanciful—may be his objective of restoring Chrysler as a mainstream rival to the biggest brands in the U.S. auto industry.

For an industry that likes to play its car(d)s close to the vest, it takes guts to reveal your playbook—and even more determination from the top to the lot to execute those plans.

So analysts, investors and other stakeholders listened closely as Marchionne not only laid out his own plans to stay at the helm until 2018 but also spelled out specific goals for each of the brands within the newly merged entity. While skepticism ran high, his most achievable goal may be his plan to make a truly global competitor out of Jeep, a repositioning that already was underway and that will be amplified and accelerated by the product plans Marchionne detailed.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Comcast Hones In on Universal Theme Parks as Point of Significant Expansion

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 10, 2014 04:43 PM

Comcast has set the TV world aflame in the last few years with its purchase of NBCUniversal and its yet-to-be-finalized deal to acquire Time Warner Cable. But there’s another industry that Comcast is looking to be a serious player in as well: theme parks.

Comcast, which already had $2.2 billion in revenue last year from its theme parks and resorts unit, isn’t shying away from horning in on the territory long dominated by Disney, either. The company's Universal Studios is “investing hundreds of millions of dollars into theme parks in California and Florida.” While it is investing in new attractions for its Universal Orlando Resorts, it also building “the largest hotel construction project in North America: [an] 1,800-room, 1960s-themed Cabana Bay Beach Resort,” of which Comcast is sharing the bill with Loews Corp., the Philadephia Inquirer reports

Six hundred of the rooms will open this month, with the rest scheduled to open by year's end. With that, Universal will have 4,200 rooms, a 75 percent increase from the 2,400 it previously boasted, but NBCUniversal chief Steve Burke says the complex could have between 10,000 and 15,000 hotel rooms in time.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Chili's Heeds the Chipotle Effect As It Deploys Five Counter-Strategies

Posted by Dale Buss on March 10, 2014 02:16 PM

Chipotle has heavy footsteps. They've been haunting McDonald's and other fast-food outlets. Now it's Chili's that is heeding the effect of the fast-growing "other" Mexican-food brand.

Chili's now is trying to outflank competition from fast-casual chains such as Chipotle and Panera, Guy Constant, CFO of parent Brinker International, indicated to an industry conference this week—and it has been launching five major initiatives to do so.

First, the chain is refreshing its look with a system-wide rebranding of company-owned US locations, to be completed in fiscal 2015, according to Food Business News. Second, Chili's is increasing media spend where the brand had lost its share of voice, particularly national TV.Continue reading...

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