Posted by Dale Buss on July 10, 2012 04:56 PM
Research in Motion leadership squeaked through the company's annual presentation to shareholders Tuesday morning with a minimum of contention and even with its existing board of directors intact.
That doesn't mean shareholders who attended the meeting at its corporate hometown of Waterloo, Ontario, were at all happy with the cratering of the BlackBerry brand, RIM's huge financial losses, its announcement of massive layoffs, the musical-chair game of top management, the shrinking stock price, or the company's widely bemoaned executive decision to delay the launch of the crucial BlackBerry 10 phone until next year.
And they're certainly not happy with how the iPhone and Droid have eaten BlackBerry's lunch lately or how some corporate customers already are contingency planning for a day when BlackBerry might no longer exist or be viable.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 21, 2012 10:01 AM
Chobani made Greek-style yogurt part of the American food mainstream, and now the brand is trying to stay on top against catch-up efforts by every other major yogurt brand in the land.
Dannon, with its Oikos brand, has managed to join the startup Chobani brand on the top tier of the only category of yogurt consumption that is growing in the U.S. market these days. But the original Greek-yogurt brand in America, Fage, and Yoplait, which also is trying to play catch-up, are fading in their efforts to ride the boom that Chobani created.
Chobani already has become about a $1-billion concern over the past few years and owns nearly 50 percent of the category, according to a recent report by the Sanford Bernstein securities firm. Even after a furious catch-up effort, Dannon USA still has a less-than-20 percent share, and Fage 14 percent, while General Mills' Yoplait brand limps in with just 6 percent.
"We're dealing with some large organizations that aren't as nimble as Chobani," Niel Sandfort, director of marketing for Chobani, told brandchannel. "We're a billion-dollar company but still entrepreneurial. And we're continually investing in our core."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 30, 2012 12:54 PM
Hanes underwear has been serving the public’s undergarment needs since 1901 so it’s been through a few changes over the years. This company has rode through strong economies and plenty of tough ones. Tough is one way to define the company’s first quarter, during which it lost $26.8 million and revenue went down 3 percent.
Now Hanes is about to adapt again and make a number of changes. For one, HanesBrands is pulling out of Europe altogether, thanks to the economic instability and Eurozone crisis. It’s also getting out of the private-label biz in America. Not only that, any men who wear Hanes won’t have to deal with those itchy tags anymore. The North Carolina-based company is going entirely tagless. Who said you couldn’t make a good pair of underwear better?Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 24, 2012 05:06 PM
Joseph Wharton founded the world’s first business school more than 130 years ago, building on University of Pennsylvania founder Benjamin Franklin’s belief that the desire and ability to serve mankind should be "the great aim and end of all learning."
Now Penn's famed Wharton School has turned its management focus onto intself to come up with a new brand platform, "Knowledge for... ", proffering its resources and assets around themes including "Knowledge for Life," "Knowledge for Global Impact" and "Knowledge for Action."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 27, 2012 01:31 PM
Stagnation is a dirty word at Procter & Gamble, one of the world's most successful CPG companies. So P&G is making some strategic steps to re-accelerate growth, heighten profitability and combat what at least are perceptions that the company has slowed down as one of the industry's engines of innovation.
P&G CEO Bob McDonald told analysts last week at the annual CAGNY conference that the company will cut costs totaling more than $10 billion over the next five years, including $1 billion in external marketing spending and reduction of more than 4,000 additional jobs in non-manufacturing areas including marketing.
In his presentation, McDonald said the cuts also are meant to address a mismatch between where the company spends much of its money in developed markets such as the United States vs. emerging markets where sales are growing fastest. P&G also has been hit by rising commodities costs and consumer resistance to resulting price increases in some markets.
Appreciative investors immediately bid up P&G stock by more than $2 a share, to close at $66.71 a share on Friday. Among the sources of savings, McDonald said, will be having consolidating its marketing operation and using more lower-cost digital marketing, as well as launching more multibrand marketing initiatives such as a 30-brand P&G effort built around the 2012 Summer Olympics. Even so, McDonald stressed that he expects 2012 marketing spending to be "roughly" in line with the total last year.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 20, 2012 05:05 PM
Manoj Bhargava seems an unlikely billionaire, a man who pads around his office in New Balance sneakers, once ran the family plastics company, and dreams about making the world a better place.
Except that the 58-year-old Michigan entrepreneur came up with the idea for 5-Hour Energy a decade ago, established a crucial "first mover" advantage by creating the energy-shots category, and has held off Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Red Bull on the way to turning his enterprise into a $1-billion brand at retail last year.
By finally creating a public profile, the once-reclusive Bhargava hopes to gain attention for other business ventures that include technologies for water desalination, hydroponic farming and optimization of diesel power. And he's already made the world a much better place with the donation of $10 million to $12 million to charities, much of it to hospitals in India.
In the meantime, Bhargava told brandchannel, he's finally considering some brand extensions to add to the familiar 2-ounce plastic bottles of 5-Hour Energy and its ubiquitous yet lame TV ads.
"We are working on something, but I can't say right now what it is," Bhargava said. "When we come out with something, though, it'll be a slam dunk. It won't be a line extension that doesn't do anything; it's got to do something. If someone in my family, for example, wouldn't be interested in using the product, then I'm not going to sell it."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 2, 2012 05:45 PM
In April, it will be two years since the BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill that dumped nearly five million barrels of the black stuff into the Gulf of Mexico. The folks at BP would like everybody to move along now.
To help ease that transition, the company — the second largest gasoline marketer in the US — plans to invest $500 million over the next two years for an American marketing push, according to Convenience Store News.
According to the report, the plan is centered around “a distinctive fuel offer, improved customer experience, and a more compelling loyalty rewards program” with the hope that the company can become the “No. 1 fuels marketer east of the Rockies” again.
“In 2012 and beyond, BP’s commitment to its branded marketers will be second to none in our industry,” said Doug Sparkman, president of BP’s East of Rockies Fuels Value Chain, at this week’s 2012 BP Amoco Marketers Association (BPAMA) Convention and Business Expo, an annual gathering of BP marketers taking place in Florida.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 19, 2012 07:29 PM
Eastman Kodak Company’s filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it reorganizes its business raises “the specter that the 132-year-old trailblazer could become the most storied casualty of a digital age that has whipped up a maelstrom of economic, social and technological change,” as the Associated Press (via Time.com) puts it.
“Kodak played a role in pretty much everyone’s life in the 20th century because it was the company we entrusted our most treasured possession to – our memories,” said Robert Burley, a photography professor at Toronto's Ryerson University, to the AP.
And now those memories have been co-opted by the likes of Facebook’s Timeline (which just added 60 new apps) and other online memory-keepers in an age where the business of photography has moved to digital.
Although Kodak’s press release says, “The Company has made pioneering investments in digital and materials deposition technologies in recent years, generating approximately 75% of its revenue from digital businesses in 2011,” it was not enough to keep the venerable brand solvent.Continue reading...