Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 22, 2013 02:29 PM
For more than a century, there’s been a bar fight going on between the world’s biggest brewer, AB InBev (and all its predecessors) and Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar NP. Both claim they should have the rights to the name “Bud” in Europe.
The most recent winner is AB InBev after the EU General Court in Luxembourg “rejected Budvar’s appeal of AB InBev’s right to the EU trademark because the Czech company presented insufficient proof of the existing use of the name in some European countries,” Bloomberg reports.
Anheuser-Busch InBev NV claims to have been using the Bud name since 1876. Budvar did not exist until 19 years later. AB InBev put in an application for the trademark in July 1996 and, according to the court, Budvar couldn’t show that it had used the term across Europe before then.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 21, 2013 01:03 PM
In bringing Alfa Romeo back to the U.S. market this year, Fiat has three big goals for the move: broadening the car lineup of its joint stable with Chrysler Group; trying to re-establish an Alfa brand that long ago was tarnished in America; and boosting output at its home-market manufacturing operations in Italy.
Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne told Reuters at the Detoit Auto Show that Fiat plans to introduce an Alfa Romeo 4C sports car to the U.S. market late this year. Marchionne said that the biggest remaining obstacle is to "make sure we hit the powertrains dead on." Still, he told the news service, "We are finalizing the car now, so it should be" in the U.S. this year.
From an American perspective, Alfa Romeo is one of the wild cards that got thrown into the deck when Fiat acquired the carcass of Chrysler from the U.S. government in 2009. It exited the U.S. market about two decades ago with a tattered quality reputation. Now, Marchionne has built the marque into one that would have a shot even in today's highly competitive U.S. market.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 16, 2013 05:32 PM
Despite being passed around to a few different owners over its lifespan, 64-year-old Saab has been around long enough to build up a strong brand. It went bankrupt back in 2010, but now is expected to be turning out a new breed of cars in the next few years thanks to the new ownership of Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), a partnership between China's National Modern Energy Holdings and Japan's Sun Investment.
NEVS will be turning Saab into an electric car, which likely won’t be on the market for a few years. But when it does, something will be gone from Saab that's survived all the other changes: the griffin on its logo.
The mythical creature that has the body and tail of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle will still be found on Saab trucks and planes, which are not owned by NEVS and will remain with their current manufacturers. For now, a griffin-less logo will represent the company.Continue reading...
brand and bottle
Posted by Dale Buss on December 7, 2012 02:08 PM
No wonder Pantone has selected emerald green for its color of the year. It's Heineken's 140th anniversary, and the Dutch beer giant is unscrewing all the caps to celebrate.
Today in Amsterdam, the Dutch brand is debuting a video wall projection made from 5,000 beer bottles on the side of its headquarters building. Not in Amsterdam? Worry not — fans can check it out from 4pm ET to 10pm ET, every day from Dec. 7th through January 2nd, on Heineken's Facebook page and post on the brand's virtual wall.
And that's not all it's doing on Facebook.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 6, 2012 06:15 PM
Fashion retailers are embracing sustainability with ever-widening arms, becoming increasingly accountable for the byproducts their industry creates. With their latest moves, H&M and Marks & Spencer (M&S as it's better known) are leading the rack-pack.
Following in the footsteps of the UK-wide recycling push launched by M&S earlier this year, H&M is planning to launch the world’s first global clothing collective initiative, to be introduced in all of its 48 markets in February.
According to the fast-fashion retailer's press release, “Any pieces of clothing, from any brand and in any condition are accepted. In return, the customer will receive a voucher for each bag brought. The collected clothes are then handled by H&M’s partner, I:Collect, which provides the infrastructure in which consumer goods are repeatedly reprocessed and made available for new use."
“Our sustainability efforts are rooted in a dedication to social and environmental responsibility. We want to do good for the environment, which is why we are now offering our customers a convenient solution: to be able to leave their worn out or defective garments with H&M,” stated H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson.
No value was stated for the voucher H&M is offering in return for donations to in-store collection boxes to be processed by I:CO, as its Swiss recycling partner is branded; its tagline is "Rethink. Recycle. Reward."Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on December 6, 2012 11:01 AM
Next year is shaping up to be mixed, at best, for luxury goods. Continuing economic woes in the Eurozone, a flagging Japanese economy, and slow recovery in the U.S. will likely lead to modest spending on luxury brands in those regions.
At a recent fashion summit in Florence, Italy, luxury designers were downbeat. Michele Norsa, CEO of Salvatore Ferragamo, the Italian shoemaker, said: "Markets are very volatile. We must keep a cool head and define our forecasts day by day. ...The first part of the year will be slower. In the second part there will probably be a recovery. These are the signs we are receiving from all our markets." Michele Tronconi, the head of Sistema Moda Italia (SMI), Italy's fashion body, added, "Orders of goods to be delivered in the coming months have shrunk and I don't expect this trend to change soon."
Indeed, Italy is a microcosm of Europe's slide when it comes to luxury goods. Luca Solca, who heads luxury goods research at the Exane BNP Paribas investment group said Italy's luxury goods sales have taken an "abrupt hit" due to the country's austerity measures. Sales of luxury goods are expected to decline nearly 1 billion euros by year's end in Italy despite solid tourism. Globally, sales of luxury goods should grow about 5 percent in 2012 vs. 13 percent last year according to a report by consulting firm Bain & Co.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 14, 2012 10:01 AM
Prada has launched its first mobile app, an extension of a visual partnership with fashion illustrator Richard Haines — a major digital move for the Italian fashion label, one that it describes as the culmination of "a multi-platform project combining hand-made artistry and cutting-edge technology."Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on November 8, 2012 02:17 PM
Turns out that consumers around the world can't and don't just keep simply trading down in their eating habits as incomes and economies keep slowing or remain sluggish. Many just stop going out to eat altogether. Exhibit A: McDonald's just reported its first monthly decline in same-store sales from year-to-year, for October, since 2003, when the company in general was struggling.
This result — a 1.8-percent dip in global revenue at "same-store" restaurants open at least 13 months — reflects broadly on the state of the global economy, because if there's one thing that unites us as a species, it's eating cheap and fast food. Yet even though it's been promoting lower-priced menu items, McDonald's relevant revenues in October fell by 2.2 percent in both the United States and Europe, and by 2.4 percent in the region encompassing Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
It isn't clear how much of the bad number may reflect some kind of general slump in the fast-food proposition, in any market. But the European result isn't that surprising because the continent is sliding into recession again because of eurozone woes and consumers' loss of confidence that politicians and bankers can fix them. Cooling in China is one big reason for the drop in the Asian region.
So the U.S. results might raise the most eyebrows at McDonald's headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill. Three potential factors include McDonald's lack of recent "new product news" in the U.S., "an uptick in competition in the U.S.," and a drag from Hurricane Sandy, said Sterne Agee analyst Lynne Collier. Speaking of that competition, Wendy's reported higher revenues at "same" stores but lower profits mostly for accounting reasons. Its third-quarter increase of 2.7 percent in revenue at restaurants open at least 15 months — the sixth straight quarter of such growth — was welcome in view of the chain's concerted efforts to move a bit upscale with higher-quality ingredients and menu items.Continue reading...