Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 24, 2012 02:41 PM
Two years after launching an exclusive denim brand in Asia, dENiZEN, Levi-Stauss has taken the low-cost denim line to China, India, Mexico, Pakistan, Singapore and last year to the United States (via an exclusive deal with Target) — but now it's phasing out the brand beyond North America in order to promote its core brands.
According to a statement provided by the company,
"Across our company, we are focused on driving profitable growth. We made the strategic decision to phase out the Denizen® brand from Asia and focus our resources behind growing the Levi’s® brand in this market. We’re working with our franchisee partners for a smooth transition and we’ll phase it out over the next twelve months. We are committed to Asia and will continue to serve consumers in Asia through our Levi’s® and Dockers® brands. We’re continuing Denizen in the North America in Target, where we’re currently in more than 1,700 US stores and expanding to Canada."
Posted by Barry Silverstein on September 18, 2012 11:56 AM
London may have been the Olympic city this past summer, but it was also "Audi City." The German luxury car brand launched its first digital showroom in London, just in time for the Olympics, pitching it in a movie-style trailer. The innovative concept was designed to digitally present Audi's entire line of cars in a compact space, using such "groundbreaking media technology," says Audi, as the ability for visitors to "digitally select their vehicle from several hundred million possible configurations and experience it in realistic 1:1 scale on screens that almost fill the entire space." More Audi Cities are coming soon.
Audi didn't start the trend of marketing cars in big city downtown areas, however. In May, BMW opened its first "BMW Brand Store" in metropolitan Paris, positioning it as "Future Retail." Unlike the Audi concept, real cars appear in the Paris space, along with an employee BMW unashamedly refers to as a "product genius" in a nod to Apple's retail concept, the "Genius Bar."
Not to be outdone, the iconic Rolls-Royce brand, a motorcar brand many might consider ultra-stodgy, is making a few breakthrough moves of its own. The venerable Rolls-Royce brand, has been around since 1904, but the British icon clearly don't want to be left behind in the 21st Century. In the fourth quarter, Rolls-Royce plans to open a boutique — don't call it a showroom — at Rama 3 in Bangkok, Thailand.
Rolls-Royce already has a Bangkok showroom, but the boutique, the first of its kind to be located in an upscale shopping mall, will feature additional products. Still, why open a "boutique" in Bangkok?Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on September 17, 2012 11:07 AM
"Car destruction ahead. Japanese made cars should turn around now."
So read the warning on a flattened cardboard box one Chinese man held up to traffic in the city of Xian. The man's advice was not based on fearful speculation either, as cities across China erupted in anti-Japanese protests over the weekend (including, The Economist notes, about 3,000 at the Japanese Consulate in Shanghai on Sunday), Japan's auto brands were bracing for the backlash. One man set his own Honda Civic on fire in front of a dealership. One of the more moving photos shared on social media was of a young woman, weeping as she begged protesters to spare her car.
Targeting Japanese products for boycott or destruction is nothing new in China. But this weekend's actions — sparked by ownership dispute over islands between the two nations — were especially dire, called the worst flare-up of tensions between the nations in decades by The New York Times. As Japanese companies ordered their workers to stay home and closed their factories over fear of reprisals, what's unknown is the degree to which Japanese brands have been hurt in China's marketplace.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on September 13, 2012 05:03 PM
It may not yet be a major earthquake, but there seem to be rumblings that luxury goods are undergoing some sort of seismic shift.
As Fashion Week was at its height in New York, instead of watching hemlines fashionistas were watching stock prices, as luxury apparel maker Burberry saw its shares drop over 20 percent Tuesday on issuing its first profit warning since 2008. It was an especially bitter pill to swallow for a brand that in January was named "International Retailer of the Year" and, in April, took the mantle of greatness from a bankrupt Aquascutum.
Bloomberg Businessweek labeled Burberry's slide as "an end to a three-year rally in the luxury-goods industry as wealthy shoppers cut back on past indulgences." While Burberry's report may have helped pull down shares of luxury giant LVMH and other luxury brands such as Prada and Richemont, it does appear demand for luxury goods has been softening recently.
Harry Winston indicated last week that there was lower interest in its luxury products, and last month, Tiffany projected lower profits for the year. Stacey Cartwright, Burberry's CFO, told Bloomberg Businessweek that she had spoken with other luxury goods marketers. "We know we are not alone in terms of what we've seen in the last couple of weeks," she said.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on September 11, 2012 05:36 PM
"Has Coca Cola ceased to be a mere brand and evolved into a historically important cultural artifact?" That question was tweeted by Duncan Jones, David Bowie's son who is better known these days as an award-winning filmmaker. Jones included a link to a BBC story on this week's historic return of the Coke brand to Myanmar, making its first delivery in more than 60 years.
"The Coca-Cola Company has been a part of the community fabric in countries around the world for decades," stated Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company. "In every nation and city where we do business, our employees strive to create economic value and build sustainable communities. We are privileged to once again have the opportunity to play a role in building a better future with the people of Myanmar."
In addition to referencing the Coca-Cola brand's position as the #1 brand in Interbrand's 2011 Best Global Brands report, the BBC notes that there are now "only two countries where Coca-Cola is not officially bought or sold - Cuba and North Korea ... due to trade embargoes with the US."
PepsiCo, meanwhile, last month signed its own distribution agreement to distribute Pepsi and its other beverage brands in the former Burma, with CEO Indra Nooyi commenting, "Over time, we believe we can build a strong business in Myanmar and play a positive role in the country's continued development."
Whatever that future holds, Nooyi announced other news today that impacts her company's continued development and her own succession plans: the resignation of PepsiCo president John Compton.
He's being replaced by Geneva-based PepsiCo Europe CEO Zein Abdalla, who is relocating to company HQ in Purchase, NY, and in turn handing over his office and title to Enderson Guimaraes, the current President of PepsiCo's Global Nutrition Group.
Posted by Abe Sauer on September 5, 2012 10:05 AM
One mooncake wears a thong. Another, called the "full monty," is a bare buttocks. One other mooncake, called "spread my cheeks," is exactly what it says.
The very unconventional line of mooncakes comes from Hong Kong's cheeky design maves at lifestyle brand/retailer G.O.D. (short for "Goods of Desire") and it, according to Jingdaily.com, "puts the 'moon' in mooncakes."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 27, 2012 11:16 AM
Last year, Toyota faced global headwinds, but this year it's benefiting from tailwinds. Meanwhile, its chief rivals for the title of worldwide automotive-sales leader — General Motors and Volkswagen — have run into their own problems, especially in a slogging Europe and a slowing China.
In a nutshell, that's why Toyota grabbed the lead over the other two companies in the first half, selling 4.97 million vehicles globally during the first six months of the year, compared with 4.67 million sales by GM and 4.45 million by VW, according to Automotive News.
That represents a reversal from last year, when GM led the world as Toyota struggled with production cutbacks because of the tsunami in Japan and floods in Thailand. "It shows it's a competitive world out there," commented Rebecca Lindland, an industry analyst with IHS automotive. That's an understatement.Continue reading...
a brand apart
Posted by Barry Silverstein on July 5, 2012 05:02 PM
In a clear signal that strong global brands can grab the hearts and minds of consumers anywhere, brands that are not homegrown are doing very well in the latest iteration of "Asia's Top 1000 Brands," published by Campaign Asia-Pacific with data from Nielsen. Two of the top five brands in the ranking — Apple and Nestle — are not of Asian origin, although the Korean brand Samsung placed first among all brands in the ninth year of the study.
Asia's Top 1000 Brands is based on Nielsen's analysis of consumer brand preference in 12 key regional markets across Asia-Pacific: Australia, mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
Interestingly, the study revealed that even Chinese and Indian brands seem to be facing challenges in gaining consumer recognition within their home markets. While last year's survey results placed eight Chinese brands within the top 20 brands ranked within China, this year's results had only three local brands. Only three local brands made it into the top 20 in India as well.
Homegrown brands continue to do well in certain markets. In South Korea and Japan, for example, Samsung, LG, Sony, and Panasonic have retained their dominance. But in such areas as luxury goods, global brands are winning the brand war.Continue reading...