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...
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...
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
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
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...
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...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 2, 2012 03:04 PM
In a bid to pull ahead of Groupon and other daily deals sites, LivingSocial is expanding its brand.
According to a report by Reuters, LivingSocial will launch its first credit card in the next few months, with no annual fee, offered with Chase and Visa to all U.S. subscribers in an effort to draw repeat customers for its merchant partners.
"Small and medium-sized local businesses will never be able to have their own credit card or loyalty program. We will be able to bring them the benefits of that," the company's CFO, John Bax, told Reuters.
Merchants will be offered short-term funding similar to other co-branded credit card and loyalty programs including deferred interest payments and rewards for spending. With ten purchases monthly, cardholders earn ten ‘Deal Bucks’ credits extensible to all LivingSocial daily deals and special offers such as discounted travel packages.
The move is designed to increase its utility to its subscribers — and counter critics who accuse the daily deal industry of advertising big ticket discounts and not cultivating loyalty or enough repeat business.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 29, 2012 12:04 PM
While some hotels may be considered trendy, you wouldn't think a major global hotel chain would watch lifestyle trends so carefully that it would launch brands around them.
But InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) is different. Back in 2004, IHG introduced Hotel Indigo, widely regarded as the first of the boutique hotel brands that started a trend among large hoteliers. In 2007, IHG started refurbishing its somewhat dowdy Holiday Inn brand and gave franchisees until the end of 2010 to "contemporize" or risk losing rights to use the iconic name. Today, most Holiday Inns have been updated to reflect a whole new look. Holiday Inn Express, which pioneered the limited-service hotel segment in 1990, is one of the fastest growing hotel brands.
Now IHG is bringing a new hotel brand to the chain's biggest U.S. cities, bucking the trend of major chains making investments in Asia and Europe while avoiding a soft and saturated North American market. The just-announced brand, called EVEN Hotels, is all about lifestyle — a healthy one.Continue reading...