Walmart Sinks in American Customer Satisfaction Index

Posted by Dale Buss on February 18, 2015 04:52 PM

Walmart everyday low price store

US consumers are less and less enamored of brick-and-mortar physical retailers but gaining satisfaction with online retailers such as Amazon, according to the new retail report by the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

The news from the survey of 70,000 US customers is especially bad for Walmart, which was named America's "most-hated" retail brand in the report, and a handful of other stalwart traditional-retail brands. But it's especially good for Nordstrom.

The researchers noted that "with the exception of internet retail, all retail categories show weakening or flat customer satisfaction" for its latest retail temperature check. Factors cited include higher prices, especially by discounters, while department stores and specialty retailers were relatively unscathed.Continue reading...

luxury watch

Digital Marketing Meets Luxury: Return on Interaction is the New ROI

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 18, 2015 02:51 PM

As digital marketing meets luxury brands, every interaction informs the next customer engagement.

“The luxury industry is at a turning point,” said Chris Moody, creative director at Wolff Olins, to an audience hosted by The Guardian in association with Harrods Media.

Representatives from Guardian Media Network, Harrods and Jaguar Land Rover participated in the event, and digital technology was center stage, as audience members submitted questions to the industry experts using iPads.

Laura Schwab, marketing director, Jaguar Land Rover, summed up the current luxury car conundrum: “The amount of times people actually go to a car dealership has diminished. By the time they get to the door, all they really want to do is test drive. All the research, everything, happens online.”

“We don’t do a lot of print,” she added. “For Land Rover it is close to zero, and for Jaguar a small percentage of our budget. We do no big bulk emails. We have moved away from newsletters and into personalised content.”Continue reading...

brand strategy

Uniqlo Parent Bows to Human Rights Pressure

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 18, 2015 12:16 PM

Fast Retailing, Asia’s dominant clothing chain, announced today a commitment to improve conditions for workers at its factories and that two of its China-based suppliers will reduce working hours following a report critical of factories making its Uniqlo garments.

Dongguan Tomwell Garment Co. has cut hours for factory workers, and Pacific Textiles Ltd. added one holiday per week and will reduce hours next month. The changes follow a January 11 report about working conditions at the two factories conducted by Students & Scholars Against Misbehaviour (SACOM), a Hong Kong-based NGO.

"Respecting human rights and ensuring appropriate working conditions for the workers of our production partners are top priorities for Fast Retailing, and in this we are completely aligned with SACOM," said Yukihiro Nitta, Fast Retailing Group Executive Officer responsible for Corporate Social Responsibility.Continue reading...

brand strategy

McDonald’s Spreads Lovin' Through Graffiti for Black History Month

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 18, 2015 11:34 AM

As comedian Chris Rock has pointed out, Black History Month is not only in the shortest month of the year, it's also the coldest—so don't expect to see many parades. But McDonald’s US is on a mission to extend the month into an all-year event. The brand launched last year as a Tumblr-based portal to help push the message.

As part of that effort the fast food giant has teamed up with a group of graffiti artists in Oakland, California, a collective that goes by the name of AeroSoul, for what it's calling the "Spread Lovin’" campaign—the next leg of its "I'm Lovin' It" reboot this year after the Super Bowl's "Pay With Lovin'" campaign.

The artists helping spread McDonald's message visually in their neighborhoods are part of the collective because they want to preserve and promote African art and pride, and use graffiti as a platform for positive messaging to inspire kids to remember that there is possibility and love in the world.Continue reading...


How Apple Reinvented Premium

Posted by Bill Chidley on February 18, 2015 10:05 AM

It was 1991 when we got our first Mac. It was a Macintosh LC, nicknamed “the pizza box”, and “LC” I now know stood for Low Cost, but I don’t remember it being cheap. In fact, at over $2000 it was the most expensive thing I had ever bought, next to my car.

A relentless series of desktops, PowerBooks and MacBooks, and now iPhones and iPads later, I still buy Apple products and expect to pay substantially more than for non-Apple choices. My new iPhone is at least two times the cost of an Android smartphone.

By definition, Apple products are premium because they cost more. But what needs to be recognized is that Apple has reinvented what premium means, and this reinvention is as profound as the innovation of the products they sell.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Burger King, Nestle, Snapchat and More

Posted by Dale Buss on February 18, 2015 09:19 AM


Burger King parent posts big sales gain in good sign for fast food industry.

Nestle USA removes artificial ingredients from more than 250 products including Nestle Crunch, Butterfinger, 100 Grand, Oh Henry and Baby Ruth chocolate bars.

Rolls-Royce and Bentley will compete in ultra-luxury SUV segment.

Snapchat reportedly seeks capital raising valuation as high as $19 billion.

Starbucks plans specialty coffee delivery service as Amazon expands one-hour deliveries in NYC.Continue reading...

follow the money

Bitcoin Watch: NYC <3 BTC?

Posted by James Mueller on February 17, 2015 05:05 PM

New York State is already poised to be the first state to establish Bitcoin-specific financial regulations, but will its largest city further legitimize the controversial cryptocurrency by joining the ranks of those that accept it as payment? New York City councilman Mark Levine is proposing just that, citing as motivators the potential savings on credit card fees, and the hope of attracting tech talent.

New York is not alone in its curiosity. Many companies have experimented with Bitcoin in the last year, including Microsoft, Dell, and Newegg. Almost all of these, however, don't ever touch Bitcoin directly, instead using a payment processor, Bitpay or Coinbase, to immediately transform a customer's Bitcoin payment into dollars., meanwile, not only accepts BTC in partnership with Coinbase, but also allows its employees to be paid in it.

Many skeptics are wary of Bitcoin, however, and not without reason: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau lists hacker vulnerability, lack of protections, high cost, and fraud risk as dangers to be aware of.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Apple Ticks Toward Smart Watch Launch; Car Makers Worry They're Next

Posted by Dale Buss on February 17, 2015 04:15 PM

Apple Watch silver wearable tech

At least Rolex and Citizen don't have to worry about Apple taking over their essential business: providing portable devices that mainly tell time. Apple's looming smart watch debut is more of a wrist-borne PDA.

But can carmakers assure themselves of the same sort of thing? The recent disclosure that Apple is sniffing around auto manufacturing (codename: Project Titan) as a diversification ploy is leaving the car industry pretty unsettled at the prospect that Apple is training its brand, its growing cadre of car experts (including some from Tesla)—and a chunk of its $178 billion in cash—on taking a chunk out of their hides.

It's not that Apple shoots aces on everything. Even as it's gearing up for an initial manufacturing run of five million units of the Apple Watch, its biggest major new product since the iPad in 2010, the company has backed away from its initial ambition to make the device largely a health-monitoring implement, the Wall Street Journal reportedContinue reading...

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