brand news

In the News: Comcast, Apple, Walmart and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 13, 2014 09:27 AM

In the News

Comcast acquires Time Warner Cable in mammoth deal as it eyes Netflix turf.

Apple says it doesn't procure blood metal and talks about launching updated TV set-top box.

Walmart sees pitchman Mike Rowe come to defense of retailer on social media.

GM recalls 600,000 older vehicles to replace ignition switches.

Avon nears bribery settlement.

Cisco sees growth hit by sagging tech demand.

Fiat taps Sean "Diddy" Combs to tout 500 line worldwide.

Ford reveals GPS privacy practices.

Intuit sees Super Bowl ad pay off.

Kind sues Clif Bar in nutrition bar packaging dust-up.

Lexus keeps crown in J.D. Power reliability survey.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 revival

BlackBerry Gets Big Push from Pentagon on Road to Recovery

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 22, 2014 11:21 AM

BlackBerry’s eventual demise has been predicted for more than a year, particularly since its last batch of consumer phones made practically no impact on the mobile market. But it looks as if BlackBerry will live to die another day, as the brand has been on the up-and-up so far in 2014 and received a big vote of confidence this week from the US government. 

"The US Defense Department said its smartphones will be the primary device supported on a new network,” according to Bloomberg. By the end of January, around 80,000 of the company’s phones will be connected to the Department of Defense system. Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android will also be represented on the system but only with about 1,800 phones and tablets. According to Fox News, the phones are part of the Pentagon’s “new mobile program for unclassified work.”

The news of the order helped BlackBerry’s stock see a gain on Tuesday, while the stock has seen a 22 percent gain so far this year. That's a noticeable turnaround from 2013, in which the company's stock fell 37 percent to a 10-year low in December. The company, though, doesn't expect to turn a profit until 2016.Continue reading...

brands under fire

McDonald's, Lululemon Among America's Most Hated Companies: 24/7 Wall Street

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 13, 2014 07:45 PM

One would imagine you'd have to be pretty despicable to land on a "Most Hated" list, or just make some serious PR gaffes. The brands on 24/7 Wall Street's 10 Most Hated Companies in America list did a little bit of both, and this year's winner—McDonald's—may surprise some, but not all. 

In a year that has seen the Golden Arches be the face of the low-wage fight, falling fast-food sales and poor customer service, it isn't really shocking to see one of America's—and the world's—most prolific brands at the top of the list. 

Joining McDonald's in this unfortunate collection is unsurprisingly Abercrombie & Fitch, Electronic Arts, Sears Holdings, DISH Network, Walmart, JPMorgan Chase, Lululemon, BlackBerry, and JCPenney. 

Three of the metrics used to make up the list include customer service, stock performance, and employee satisfaction. The latter is part of what did BlackBerry in, as the company has had to dump a third of its workforce as it continues to bleed insane amounts of cash.Continue reading...

mobile brands

BlackBerry Will Go On, Chen Says (At Least in a Knock-Off Keyboard)

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 8, 2014 01:52 PM

Smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry used to rule the roost as the world aspired to have the same phones that chief executives and bigwig attorneys were tapping away on. But BlackBerry had little chance to survive when the likes of Apple and Samsung introduced more advanced, user-friendly technology that has since won consumers the world over. 

It seemed that the company formerly known as Research In Motion was going to take a long-term leave from the consumer market, focusing on business and software, but BlackBerry apparently still has some fight left in it. CEO John Chen said at CES 2014 this week that while the company was going to “focus on its enterprise business for the next 18 months,” it was still planning to keep in the consumer smartphone race as well.

After posting as astounding $4 billion loss and only selling two million of its new smartphones, Chen said BlackBerry needs to sell five times that per quarter in order for the company to break even.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Yahoo, Alibaba, McDonald's and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 8, 2014 09:23 AM

In the News

Yahoo overhauls its advertising platforms as Mayer puts on a show at CES

Alibaba integrates its payment service with China's Sina Weibo.

McDonald's looks to use sustainable beef by 2016.

Airbus names new US chief.

Amazon makes it difficult for new hires to stick.

Barnes & Noble promotes Nook head to CEO.

Bentley sees steady luxury sales in 2014.

BlackBerry renews its vows to the smartphone keyboard.

Boeing must slash costs of building Dreamliner.

Comcast halts erosion in video subscribers.Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

Bends, Germs and Jelly Crash the Exhibition Floor at CES 2014

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 7, 2014 08:04 PM

It’s actually tough to make a call on what’s trending at CES 2014 this week with any coherence, as the range of technologies and new products on display at the show's first full exhibit day range from racing robots and recreational drones to wearable sensors, power chargers, and bends, wedges and curves.

Speaking of curves, director Michael Bay’s (Transformers, Pearl Harbor) unfortunate meltdown at Samsung's event Monday night was strewn across the Twitterverse. While touting the virtues of Samsung’s latest curved-screen models, as large as 120 inches, the teleprompter failed, and “Bay himself couldn’t come up with a single reason why anyone should care," Forbes commented. “In a nutshell, the moment summed up the TV industry’s problems: there are plenty of new TV’s to ogle at CES 2014.” 

Korean companies LG and Samsung both unveiled TVs that bend from flat to curved with the touch of a button on a remote after years of selling the notion that flat screen panels were best. Sony, meanwhile, is pushing 4K resolution—a technology that is coming soon once the cost of adding that many pixels to your television is cheap enough for the mass market and the TV’s themselves become large enough to reap the benefit.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: General Mills, Walmart, BlackBerry and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 3, 2014 09:33 AM

In the News

General Mills removes GMOs from Original Cheerios.

Walmart recalls tainted donkey meat in China.

BlackBerry drops Alicia Keys as creative director.

5-Hour Energy charged to prove ad claims by Oregon AG.

American Airlines staff vote to keep new livery. 

Apple CEO Tim Cook takes pay cut for brand's performance.

AT&T goes after T-Mobile with up to $450 lure, and eyes mobile banking.

Ben & Jerry's appeals to Colorado potheads.

BMW builds bobsleds for US Olympic team.

Boeing faces key vote by machinists.

Burger King rebrands value menu.

Charlotte Hornets unveil new logo. 

Chrysler posts best annual sales in seven years as GMToyota US auto sales stall in December.Continue reading...

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