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Nissan's Deal with Cummins Bumps Fenders with Ram's Longstanding Partnership

Posted by Dale Buss on August 21, 2013 02:44 PM

The US pickup truck market keeps coming back, so brands are looking for every which way to gain an edge. Nissan, for example, has just turned to co-branding, while General Motors no doubt will be making a big deal about the stellar performance of its models in federal safety tests.

Both Nissan and Toyota mostly idled over the last few years in trying to improve their standing in the full-size pickup truck market as a downturn in the segment reflected the Great Recession and the toll it took on many important vertical markets for the vehicles, especially housing construction and contracting. But now that housing has bounced back and pickup trucks are outselling the general vehicle market again, the Japanese brands are re-focusing on a segment that long has been dominated by the Detroit Three.

Toyota, for instance, is building a new version of its Tundra full-size truck. And Nissan has struck a deal with Cummins to provide a turbodiesel engine in the 2015 calendar year. It'll be a 5.0-liter V-8 based on a design unique from the turbodiesel engine that Cummins long has supplied for the heavy-duty versions of Ram pickups, which is a 6.7-liter inline-six cylinder.Continue reading...

branding together

Beech-Nut, Goya Co-Brand Baby Food to Woo US Hispanics

Posted by Dale Buss on July 15, 2013 06:01 PM

Goya and Beech-Nut are hoping that a partnership will yield big results from the confluence of three trends: the growing Hispanic population in the US, the proliferation of food products aimed specifically at that demographic, and the rising interest of mainstream global CPG companies in exploiting the other two trends.

The two companies are expanding the availability of a co-branded line of baby food, called Beech-Nut Goya, that launched in April. The baby-food range is being promoted as "Authentic Hispanic flavors made especially for your baby" as it rolls out to stores across America, according to Ad Age. With Hispanics now accounting for one-fourth of all US births as the fertility rates and birth numbers of other major American demographic groups wane, the co-branded line makes sense for both brands.

The baby-food market has been getting a lot of attention lately from non-traditional but major CPG players, including Campbell Soup, which just bought Plum Organics and its baby- and toddler-food lines, and Groupe Danone, the Paris-based maker of yogurt, which at about the same time bought Happy Family, another organic-baby-food startup.Continue reading...

brand partners

Daft Punk Rides 'Get Lucky' High with Durex Condom Tie-In

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 12, 2013 10:39 AM

French dance sensation Daft Punk want their fans to have a good time, albeit responsibly. With that, the duo has partnered with Durex to release a “Get Lucky” brand of condom, named for the band’s million-selling tune of the same name that they produced with the help of Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers, The New Musical Express reports.

“We've come too far/ To give up who we are/ So let's raise the bar/ And our cups to the stars,” sings Pharrell Williams in the tune. Daft Punk is no doubt lifting its cups with the hopes of a whole new revenue stream.Continue reading...

sip on this

Coke Slims Down and Spotify's Up to Appeal to UK Youth

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 9, 2013 03:52 PM

Responding to increased awareness of health concerns and economic hardship, Coca-Cola is launching a slimline 250ml can in the UK and co-branding with Spotify, inviting consumers to engage with its Coke Placelists, which encourage consumers to tag where they are listening to music while imbibing on their Coke beverage.

The slimmer cans are rolling out across the company’s MyCoke portfolio which includes Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coke Zero, and are the latest in the soft-drink giant’s innovative marketing initiatives ranging from personalized bottles to twist-apart shareable cans.  

"Through the small can we are really trying hard to find the right connection," said Jon Woods, GM Coca-Cola for the UK and Ireland told The Telegraph, noting that with families' weekly disposable income down 5 percent in recent years, the new can is "our most affordable pack ever."Continue reading...

brand roadmaps

Intel Looks Inside for New CEO, While Brand Plans for Service Expansion

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on May 2, 2013 07:45 PM

While the computing world continues to shift around them, Intel has remained steady and true to form, remaing loyal to its infamous tagline: Intel Inside.

The company, which has staved off advances from competitors like Advanced Micro Devices and is posting $50 billion in annual sales has remained sure-footed even as it searched for a new CEO to take the helm after Paul Otellini retires in May. Despite rumors that the company was looking to an outsider to fill the role, its board selected current COO Brian Krzanich, an engineer who has been with the company since 1982. The company also elevated software honcho Renee James to President, Reuters reports.

While the duo will likely make a successful team, Intel hopes that the new appointments will aid in leading the company in a new, more mobile direction. While Intel's processing chips still sit inside many personal computers, the company is losing market share to companies like ARM, which makes rival chips for smartphones.Continue reading...

mobile brands

Facebook Phones Home With Mobile Launch on AT&T and HTC

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 4, 2013 06:41 PM

It’s here, and it’s not just a phone. Facebook's highly anticipated event today confirmed swirling rumors that the social network would release a product closely tied to a mobile device, and that product is Facebook Home.

"We asked ourselves if sharing and connecting are what matter most, what would your phone be like if it put your friends first?" Facebook stated. "Our answer is Home. Home isn't a phone or operating system, and it's also more than just an app. Home is a completely new experience that lets you see the world through people, not apps."Continue reading...

celebrity designers

Diet Pepsi Teams Up with Vern Yip for Limited Edition Designer Mini Cans

Posted by Dale Buss on March 29, 2013 03:16 PM

Converging with a major trend in branding, Diet Pepsi asked HGTV star designer Vern Yip to come up with a new limited-edition mini-can that will invite consumers to "Sip in Style" this spring. The soon-to-hit shelves can continues the brands' multi-platform "Love Every Sip" campaign that has starred Sofia Vergara in TV ads.

While arguably Yip comprises only a "light" instance of the phenomenon, Diet Pepsi's collaboration with him also adds to the growing number of partnerships between celebrities and brands to fill or originate "creative director" spots, including Alicia Keys and BlackBerry, Swizz Beatz and Reebok, Marc Jacobs and Diet Coke, Polaroid and Lady Gaga, Bud Light Platinum and Justin Timberlake and Intel and Will.i.am.Continue reading...

retail watch

JCP Tries to Turn the Tide with Markdowns, Chic Home Designers

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 28, 2013 03:25 PM

J.C. Penney recently resumed its marketing strategy of raising prices, then discounting them on its private brands which include St. John's Bay, jcp and Stafford and Arizona, which generate more than half of the company’s overall revenue. 

"While our prices continue to represent a tremendous value every day, we now understand that customers are motivated by promotions and prefer to receive discounts through sales and coupons applied at the register," JCP spokeswoman Daphne Avila told Reuters.

That means an Arizona crewneck T-shirt with an "everyday" price of $5 now has a $6 pricetag to accommodate a better markdown and arrive at the same price. The move is an effort to reverse a 25 percent drop in fiscal year sales. The practice is common in retail and used by rivals Macy’s and Kohl's.

“The company said that it has now realized that coupons and sales attract more customers and that this is the market trend,” writes Nautilus Investment Strategies on the reversal of CEO Ron Johnson’s earlier "no sale" stance. “Market analysts feel that at this point no strategy change is going to change the fate of the company as a large number of customers have already gravitated towards other retailers such as Target and Macy’s.”Continue reading...

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