brand news

In the News: Chipotle, Abercrombie & Fitch, Quiznos and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 28, 2014 09:37 AM

In the News

Chipotle rolls out tofu-based Sofritas nationwide.

Abercrombie & Fitch cuts prices and looks to expand outlets.

Quiznos plans to file for bankruptcy.

American Airlines ends bereavement fares. 

Caterpillar loses big locomotive job.

Costa Rica launches new branding campaign.

Gap tops upbeat forecasts.

Hilton considers selling Waldorf Astoria Hotel. 

Michael Jordan tops list of highest-paid retired athletes.Continue reading...

chew on this

After Conquering Mexican Fare, Chipotle Looks to Apply Model to Asian, Pizza

Posted by Dale Buss on February 13, 2014 04:54 PM

Chipotle has been defining and redefining Mexican fast-casual food for some time now. Is there any reason to think it can't have the same kind of determinative effect in two other segments the company is eyeing for future growth?

While Chipotle has been racking up impressive sales gains and prompting desperate rivals to mimic its sustainable-ingredient positioning and other brand elements, the company also has been experimenting in earnest in Asian fare and artisan pizza, two categories where so far national brands haven't become prominent.

ShopHouse is designed to follow the same model as Chipotle, with guests building their meals as they walk the service line.Continue reading...

chew on this

Chipotle Leads Parade of QSR Brands Joining In On Sustainable Food

Posted by Dale Buss on February 12, 2014 05:19 PM

Looking for ways to jump-start a sluggish fast food market in the US, more brands are tacking toward sustainability positioning and "clean" ingredients as the king of that approach, Chipotle, doubles down on its own efforts as profits continue to rise. 

Latest to move in this direction are Chick-fil-A and Long John Silver's. The seafood chain said that it's planning a major brand relaunch this year, with a new tagline, "Think fish," that includes TV spots with environmental messaging, according to Ad Age.

"Anyone ever heard of free range?" a voiceover narrates one ad. "Get your next meal from the real frontier—fish sustainably harvested from the wildest place on earth."Continue reading...

mobile commerce

Square One Step Closer to Making Mobile Payments Mainstream with Whole Foods Deal

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 12, 2014 02:49 PM

American Express ran its “Don’t leave home without it” campaign for years, but it appears that consumers will soon be able to leave their homes without their AMEX or any other credit card, as mobile payments are on the rise.

Whole Foods Markets has made a deal with San Francisco-based mobile payments company Square to allow consumers to pay for goods with their smartphones using Square Wallet, and will implement Sqaure Register and Square Stand technology at checkout points within a select group of stores, The Street reports. That's not a bad deal for Square, which is rumored to be considering an initial public offering this year.

According to a press release, there will be a few “lab stores” that will test out the concept. "Together with Square, we'll deliver options to expedite checkouts, and we look forward to developing new concepts to further simplify and improve grocery shopping," said Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods. "Square's forward-thinking vision and technology makes them an ideal partner to create a convenient, responsive experience for our customers."Continue reading...

chew on this

You Might Just Visit the Golden Arches After Seeing Making-of McNuggets Video

Posted by Dale Buss on February 5, 2014 05:44 PM

Afraid to see how McDonald's Chicken McNuggets really are made? You won't be after you see a new video about the process made and proudly displayed by McDonald's of Canada.

At a time of broad concern about "pink slime" in beef and general questioning of how fast food is put together—stoked in part, of course, by the all-natural marketing efforts by Chipotle and others—McDonald's has taken a bold new step toward greater transparency that provides a look inside supplier Cargill's facility in London, Ontario.

"Customers want to hear more about transparency," McDonald's embattled CEO, Don Thompson, told investors on an earnings call in October. "They want to hear about provenance and where the food is from." Among other such steps, McDonald's plans to hunt down more "sustainable" beef for its supplies.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Microsoft, Facebook, AT&T and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 4, 2014 09:08 AM

In the News

Microsoft confirms rumored frontrunner Satya Nadella as new CEO. Bill Gates is stepping down as chairman but remaining on the board.

Facebook celebrates 10 years by thanking its 1.23 billion members as rumored "teen problem" may be overblown

AT&T hails Olympians with new app.

Lenovo and Sony reportedly eye PC business alliance.

Nestle sells PowerBarMusashi brands to Post.

Alfa Romeo names new rear-wheel drive platform “Giorgio.”

AppleMicrosoft join carriers in $750M pledge to education.

Apple is reportedly building out its own content delivery network.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Google, Facebook, Nintendo and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 30, 2014 09:26 AM

In the News

Google sells Motorola to Lenovo for $2.9 billion but is keeping patents, as company wins from Super Bowl-advertising activity on web.

Facebook reports 64 percent jump in fourth-quarter revenue thanks to continued growth in advertising on mobile.

Nintendo tries to save its gaming kingdom but still rules out smartphones.

Apple restructure of website may point to new Apple TV focus.

Delta Airlines goes Eighties in latest creative safety video.

Dow Chemical defends spinoff strategy.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles scraps dividend and gives glum outlook for Europe and Brazil.Continue reading...

branded entertainment

Chipotle Boosts 'Integrity' Message with Online Mini-Series

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 28, 2014 01:58 PM

Fast-casual juggernaut Chipotle Mexican Grill is taking its sustainable food efforts one step further with the launch of its own satirical, four-part series on Hulu. The branded content comes on the heels of the chain's most recent short film, Scarecrow, that criticized "Big Food."

Farmed and Dangerous will run alongside traditional entertainment videos on the site, becoming a cross between marketing and educational content to boost the brand's "Food with Integrity" mantra, which speaks to its commitment to use produce grown organically, dairy products from cows not treated with synthetic hormones, and animals raised humanely and free of antibiotics.

The fast-growing chain said its original series is not about “product integration,” but “values integration," according to the New York Times. "Farmed and Dangerous is meant to strike large emotional chords—it’s not about selling burritos,” said Daniel Rosenberg whose company, Piro, produced the series.Continue reading...

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