digital moves

Harry Potter e-Books Finally Available Via J.K. Rowling's Pottermore

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 27, 2012 01:22 PM

“Alohomora!” J.K. Rowling's Pottermore website to keep the world of Harry Potter alive on digital has finally opened its e-bookstore.

While Rowling's books have sold an estimated 450 million physical copies and been translated into more than 70 languages, the author had retained the digital rights as part of her book publishing contracts, so the e-book editions weren't immediately available — until the Pottermore (think "Potter" plus "ever more") digital brand extension plan was announced last June. Already, Slate is calling it a game-changer for publishing.Continue reading...

brand extensions

Real Madrid Builds Real Fantasy Island For Its Fans

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 27, 2012 10:10 AM

Plenty of sports teams invite fans to come watch them train, travel with them to away games, or come play ball with some of the players who were second-stringers way back when, but the Real Madrid soccer team in Spain is going way further than that.

The team has announced that it is constructing a $1 billion amusement-filled vacation resort and theme park on a manmade island in the United Arab Emirates that will be shaped like the team’s emblem and is slated to open in January 2015.

The club's management team told the press that they're confident it's "an emotional place for an emotional brand" — and a smart business extension that will satisfy hardcore fans and prove to be a 'real' money-maker. Critics aren't so convinced.Continue reading...

brandcameo

What to Expect When You're Expecting? A Movie and Sam's Club Deal

Posted by Dale Buss on March 23, 2012 05:05 PM

Most authors are content to toil away on their work just hoping for commercial success in the conventional sense. Getting a book published would be nice, for instance. But a select few have created not only tomes but also expertise, a niche, a media presence and a brand that they can take to the bank in all sorts of different ways.

J.K. Rowling created that sort of property with the Harry Potter books. And Heidi Murkoff is a virtual best friend to legions of pregnant (especially first-time) moms thanks to the What to Expect When You're Expecting series, whose flagship title is now in its fourth edition.

A movie of the same title is due out on May 18th, starring Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Elizabeth Banks, Matthew Morrison, Anna Kendrick, and Chace Crawford (watch preview clips above and below). And in another extension of the What to Expect brand, mass merchandiser Sam's Club has produced a line of WTE-branded baby products, while Murkoff has signed on to write for every issue of Sam's new bimonthly magazine.Continue reading...

brand extensions

Glock Misfires With Lifestyle Apparel Line

Posted by Abe Sauer on March 20, 2012 11:55 AM

The initial response to firearm maker Glock's "Glock Perform" apparel collection suggests the brand extension is lacking… performance.

Last year, we looked at how the once-exotic and prohibitively expensive Austrian handgun became a household name just months before the release of the book, Glock: The Rise of America's Gun.

Now, to celebrate its 25th anniversary, the firearm-maker is letting brand fans show their pride through a line of Glock-branded clothing. By its own definition Glock Perform "supports your lifestyle" and provides "Confidence in any situation." Continue reading...

personal brands

Madonna Zips Up Shoe Collaboration Ahead of New Album Release

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 19, 2012 02:02 PM

Truth or Dare hit movie theaters way back in 1991, but Madonna is still milking the brand. She's already selling Truth or Dare fragrances at Macy's and now she’s putting out a Truth or Dare shoe collection as a precursor to a fashion collection of the same name. The timing isn't coincidental — the singer's next album, titled MDNA, launches on March 27th.

The Truth or Dare line, a collaboration with Canada's Aldo Group, will offer more than 60 styles when it launches in August. The cost: between $89 and $349, the perfect price point for any Material Girl.Continue reading...

license to thrill

The Seinfeld Soup Nazi No More, NYC's SoupMan Expands Brand

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 19, 2012 10:09 AM

The guy who inspired the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld way back when has certainly made his fame continue to work for him. His company, SoupMan, Inc. is not expanding beyond the product he is best known for (and we don’t mean unpredictable anger).

According to a company press release, the SoupMan name is about to be spilled over a wide variety of products in “categories that include kitchen accessories, foods, souvenirs, apparel, condiments, kitchen appliances, tabletop, and more.” Get ready for SoupMan magnets, ladles, and, for the kiddies, stuffed animals.

"The SoupMan name and logo has become iconic and, as such, we are thrilled to be a part of the brand building with strategic licensees as well as direct-to retail-opportunities," said Rob Stone, a partner at the brand-development firm Excel Corp. who will be leading the charge for SoupMan. Continue reading...

sip on this

Starbucks Grinds Out New Territory with Its Own Single-Cup Coffee Maker

Posted by Dale Buss on March 9, 2012 12:33 PM

Talk about vertical integration! Starbucks is taking the concept to new heights — er, depths — with its announcement of the imminent introduction of its own machine to make single cups of coffee.

The product, named Verismo, will be launched soon and sold at some Starbucks stores as well as specialty retail locations right away and then more heavily marketed and sold in the fall. The machine was developed with Krueger, a German-based company, and it "combines Starbucks signature Espresso Roast and drink recipes with precise Swiss engineering and a patent-pending high pressure extraction capability," Starbucks said in a press release.

The move is yet another bid by Starbucks to broaden and deepen its franchise over the last couple of years. The company also today, in Amsterdam, was scheduled to open its first "concept shop" laboratory meant to imbue its retail outlets with more "local flavor." Inspired by concept stores in its hometown of Seattle, the new Amsterdam store features in-house-baked cookies, for instance, and will test other ideas. It's housed in an old bank vault in the city's historic Rembrandt square.Continue reading...

brand extensions

Virgin Mobile Taps Young Richard Branson for Self-Mocking US Pitch

Posted by Barry Silverstein on March 7, 2012 12:04 PM

If nothing else, it has to be a lot of fun being associated with businesses owned by Virgin. Behind them all, whether it's Virgin Bingo or Virgin Hotels or another of the myriad Virgin-branded businesses, you can always bank (literally) on the sometimes loony but always shrewd iconic entrepreneur, Richard Branson, Virgin's brander-in-chief. Don't think of them as brand extensions so much as Branson extensions — reflections of the Virgin founder's personality, passions and interests.

You can pretty much depend on Branson's trademark wit and showmanship in the promotion of a Virgin brand. The latest campaign from Virgin Mobile USA is testament to that, going so far as to depict what it must have been like "growing up Branson."Continue reading...

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