brand strategy

Kellogg's Looks to Emphasize the Simple Nutrition Behind Cereal for Turnaround

Posted by Dale Buss on February 19, 2014 06:47 PM

Kellogg's cereal sales are down, but the company isn't about to give up on breakfast. In fact, CEO John Bryant and other Kellogg's executives told financial analysts today that they're planning to use operational savings to double down on marketing the Kellogg's brand, including cereal and the "breakfast occasion."

The company is seeing robust growth in its snacks business, which is about as large as its cereal business, and the power of the Pringles chips brand in emerging markets has been especially rewarding. "We are selling every can we can make" of Pringles, Bryant said during the Consumer Analyst Group of New York meeting in Boca Raton, Fla., today.

But Bryant and his colleagues left little doubt about the overriding importance of "winning in breakfast with cereal." Yes, sales at Kellogg's flagship US breakfast unit declined by 4 percent last quarter as more Americans experienced what Bryant called an "unconscious migration" toward options such as eggs, toast, peanut butter and yogurt.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Chevrolet Reaping Brand Rewards from Big Gambits During Sochi Olympics

Posted by Dale Buss on February 19, 2014 10:47 AM

Chevrolet is in a brand-building groove right now, its CMO argues, and Chevy's huge marketing presence in the Sochi Olympics is a perfect fit with the goals that General Motors has laid out for 2014 for its biggest brand.

"There is a nice cadence of media properties this year, and we're still in the midst of a stream of major product launches," Chevy CMO Tim Mahoney told brandchannel. "The Olympics work was developed as a cohesive unit of communication to seed 'Find New Roads' and tell our story through our new vehicles.'

Thus, in its high-buzz TV ads that have laced NBC's Olympics telecasts for the last couple of weeks, Chevrolet has gotten entire new forms of mileage out of the "Find New Roads" tagline that it initiated a year ago. There was the first anthem ad for the games, including a depiction of a gay wedding, that underscored the "new" aspect of Chevy's positoning, for instance.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Sample Story: CPG Brands Ride Subscription Trend with Customized Samples

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 18, 2014 11:33 AM

With subscription services on the rise, it's no wonder that more traditional CPG brands are looking for ways to cash in on the sample trend. 

With the help of Exact Media, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Beyond the Rack and are all trying out a smart sampling network that targets their products to in-need consumers. 

Exact Media’s strategy differs from other sampling methods as it tracks a broad range of data including products being purchased, shopping basket size, gender and clothing size, and since consumers like retailer’s gifts, participating brands realize a 100 percent open rate on their samples.

"We're seeing marketers in every discipline move away from generic campaigns more toward targeted, measurable activities such as adwords," said founder Ray Cao, "and no one was doing that for sampling." 

Unilever is trialing the smart sampling service for its Tresemmé, Nexus, Dove Hair, Clear Dove's Men and Dove's Men hair care brands, placing samples in shipments going to customers of Beyond the Rack and, among others.Continue reading...

brand strategy

PepsiCo Nixes Idea of Splitting Company As Frito-Lay Powers Sales Gains

Posted by Dale Buss on February 13, 2014 06:04 PM

Whatever Pepsi Beverages and Frito-Lay accomplish from here on out, they'll do it together. That was the unequivocal message of PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi in the company's fourth-quarter earnings report.

She acknowledged pressure from activist investor Nelson Peltz for the company to spin off the dwindling soft-drink business from the robust snack business; Peltz also has said he'd like to see Frito-Lay combine with Mondelez but recently dropped that idea after getting a seat on Mondelez's board.

Nooyi said that she even had external consultants and bankers look at the possibility of dividing beverages from snacks. But she said that the company would remain integrated after all in part as a matter of scale. "Decoupling our beverage and snaCk businesses in North America would significantly reduce our relevance to our customers," Nooyi said, according to Reuters.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Lenovo Aims to Build Global Tech Brand to Rival Samsung, Apple

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 30, 2014 02:28 PM

Google’s mobile phone experiment has ended after just 22 months with the announcement that it sold Motorola's handset business to China's Lenovo Group for $2.91 billion. 

Following its $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility in 2012 to "supercharge Android," Google has uncharacteristically struggled to boost its market share in the mobile hardware business, with Motorola's global share of the smartphone market falling to about 1 percent in 2013. 

So while Google will retain Motorola's bank of 20,000 patents to be used to build up its successful Android brand, the aging brand's fate in hardware now lies in the hands of Lenovo—a little-known Chinese company that has been making some big moves in the tech world lately. In a blog post on the news, Motorola hailed Lenovo as its new brand steward.

“Lenovo has the expertise and track record to scale Motorola into a major player within the Android ecosystem,” Google CEO Larry Page wrote in a blog post about the sale. His sentiments are echoed by IDC analyst Ramon Llamas, who told the Wall Street Journal, "This gives Lenovo the all important foothold to get into North America.”Continue reading...

brand strategy

Foxconn Looks West for Expansion Opportunities

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 27, 2014 07:33 PM

Taiwan's Foxconn Technology Group, best-known as the major (and controversial) supplier of Apple’s iPhones and iPads, will likely be building high-tech factories in the US and low-cost plants in Indonesia in a major manufacturing shift away from China.

Labor issues and rising costs integral to "made in China" are forcing the world’s largest contractor of electronic products to stray from the motherland. "Foxconn has no choice but to do it," said Danny Lee, fund manager of Mega Financial Holdings, according to Reuters. "China is no longer a manufacturing hub for companies worldwide, especially so for the PC industry."

Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou, speaking at the company's 40th anniversary gathering yesterday, said, "Automation, software and technology innovation will be our key focus in the US in the coming few years."Continue reading...

brand strategy

Walmart Builds On Commitment to US Production as International Criticism Comes to a Head

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 27, 2014 11:53 AM

Walmart has joined Apple and Google on the "Made in the USA" bandwagon with a $10 million fund to support American manufacturing. Walmart US CEO Bill Simon also echoed the company's 2013 pledge to buy $50 billion in US-made products over the next 10 years.

A number of major CPG giants are pursuing suppliers with US production as wages in China increase and disasters in Bangladesh, Cambodia and elsewhere continue to put a black eye on brands with issues concerning worker safety and fair wages.

For instance, Kent International, a bicycle-maker that sells bikes at Walmart, is moving its international operations back from China to Clarendon, S.C. with plans to increase production by 500,000 bikes per year by 2016 and create 175 new jobs.

"One of the things we're seeing now in China is not only the cost of labor going higher, but the workers' attitude is getting more apathetic," Arnold Kamler, CEO of Kent Bicycles, told the Washington Post. "The factories in China are fighting with workers to make sure they don't take cellphones to the assembly line.”Continue reading...

brand strategy

Pepsi Adopts 'One Brand' Strategy for Pre-, Post-Super Bowl Marketing

Posted by Dale Buss on January 24, 2014 05:53 PM

Never mind whether Bruno Mars needs to don another pair of long underwear for the halftime show; that's a minor detail. The big picture for Pepsi for Super Bowl Sunday is that the beverage icon is taking a new "master brand" marketing approach compared with previous Big Game efforts.

What that means, explained Advertising Age, is that there will be fewer stand-alone ads in Pepsi's Super Bowl commercial portfolio for lines such as Diet Pepsi and PepsiMax and more of an uber presentation on game day that, in turn, is part of a weeks-long thrust by Pepsi.

Advertising "will speak from the brand point of view rather than the product point of view," Seth Kaufman, vice president of marketing for colas for Pepsi North America Beverages, told the publication. "We are fundamentally playing a different game ... no longer about 30 seconds" but "about a month-long, really, really meaningful program."Continue reading...

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