Elena Ford Boosts Family Brand, Tackles Crucial Customer-Experience Arena

Posted by Dale Buss on February 19, 2013 04:06 PM

The Ford family brand is taking on a new sheen as the great-great-granddaughter of Henry Ford—Elena Ford—has been promoted higher in Ford Motor Co. than any family member in history—and her new responsibilities come in the increasingly important area of global dealer and consumer experience.

The former director of global marketing operations, now vice president, joins cousin Bill Ford, executive chairman and cousin Edsel Ford, a director of the company, which is controlled by family members who hold veto power with Class B voting shares. Bill Ford had risen to CEO of the company in 2006 and then demonstrated some of the legendary family smarts by hiring Alan Mulally from Boeing to become the new CEO and take the company to the next level. That's exactly what Mulally has done in setting Ford back on the path of long-term prosperity.

Elena will now have a role that promises to be increasingly crucial, not only to Ford but in an area where all its competitors are striving as well: ensuring that customers experience the brand in a consistently satisfactory way. Having been part of last year's "Go Further" dealer roadshow, she'll now oversee global dealer strategy, planning, training and consumer experience and report to Ford CMO Jim Farley. Among other things, she will oversee plans to introduce the Lincoln brand to China next year.Continue reading...

brand ambassadors

Marking 110 Years, Harley-Davidson Asks Kid Rock to Keep Rebel Image Alive

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 4, 2013 03:02 PM

Harley-Davidson is a modern-day symbol of rebellion and anti-authoritarianism. But over the 110 years of its existence, that hasn’t always been true. Thousands of Harleys were sent along with U.S. troops to World War I and World War II, for instance. 

But somewhere along the way, in the rise of outlaw motorcycle clubs like the Hells Angels, the Harley picked up a brand of rebelliousness — and over time, the company has milked that for all it's worth.

This year, as the company marks its 110th anniversary, it's partnered up with Kid Rock, whom it calls a “legendary musician and ‘American Badass.” For starters, the brand is serving as the sponsor of Kid Rock’s 60-city Rebel Soul tour, which began over the weekend.Continue reading...

super bowl

Super Bowl Ad Watch: Budweiser Tugs at Heartstrings With #Clydesdales Return

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 31, 2013 01:04 PM

Budweiser has unveiled its full Super Bowl ad — a rare move for the brand — ahead of Game Day on Sunday.

Titled "The Clydesdales: Brotherhood," the spot heralds the return of Bud's iconic horses, and features its youngest member, who was a week old during the commercial's shoot at the brand's Grant Farm stables.

The spot also promotes a Twitter hashtag, as more Game Day ads will feature this year: #Clydesdales. Watch below.Continue reading...

brand news

Victorinox Consolidates Its Swiss Army Knife Lines, Cutting Wenger Brand

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 30, 2013 02:06 PM

Need some tweezers? How about a toothpick? Maybe a bottle opener? Magnifying glass? Fish scaler? Pliers? 

Depending on what version of the Swiss Army Knife you buy, you can get them all — along with plenty of other handy little tools in one place.

Those days, though, appear to be coming to an end for one Swiss Army Knife brand. Wenger SA, which has been making the knives since 1893, announced Wednesday that it is cutting the cord on the business, Bloomberg reports.Continue reading...

detroit auto show

Chevy's New Stingray Gets Hearts Pumping for Corvette Brand

Posted by Dale Buss on January 16, 2013 06:55 PM

Talk all you want about German engineering, Japanese reliability and Korean ambition in the high-end automotive market. When it comes to getting the blood of car enthusiasts pumping, there's nothing quite like the Chevrolet Corvette.

Car aficionados continue to create buzz around Chevy's introduction of the seventh-generation Corvette at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week, the so-called C7. GM is deliberately invoking some of the 60 years of the car's history by calling its new version the Stingray. It harkens back to a special version of the Corvette in 1963 that set the design standard for the overmuscled sports car for the last half century.

Corvette has been known as the life's aspiration of a plumber or a gym teacher — its typical buyer is a white male in his 50s. But automotive journalists this week are hailing the new Stingray as a revelation: a car that simultaneously remains worthy of the Corvette's heritage but that also introduces a sort of panache — and the kind of technology — that should broaden its appeal with other emographics that wish to buy expensive cars.Continue reading...

brand challenges

HMV Fights to Save "Well-Loved Brand" From Collapse

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 15, 2013 02:12 PM

While some version of HMV has been fighting the good fight for recorded music since the late 1800s, it looks like the retail chain’s ability to lift its fist to the air could soon be coming to an end.

While the brand outlasted plenty of other music retailers (Tower and Virgin come to mind), HMV is finally joining all those that have gone before it, seeking the British equivalent of bankruptcy protection and halting trading of its shares on Tuesday in the hopes that it will find a way to survive.

Not much has worked for the company since it started attempts to adapt back in 2007. Books, DVDs, and computer games are all not selling well there, either. As the BBC reported, the company failed to draw new customers as it broadened its offerings, causing disappointment among its core consumer base as CDs made room the number of CDs they could offer because of all of the new products.Continue reading...

sip on this

Lipton Refreshes US Branding as Starbucks Heats Up Tazo, Teavana Tea Brands

Posted by Dale Buss on January 11, 2013 03:01 PM

Lipton is going back to basics, in a way, to add new aroma to its U.S. tea business with the first marketing campaign behind its staple black-tea products in America in nearly a quarter-century.

Lipton—the biggest name in tea globally, at over 100 countries and 100 years old—also has held on to its lead in the US CPG dry-tea market for decades, despite essentially having ignored its basic black teas in a marketing sense.

Now, the Unilever-owned brand has launched a campaign aimed at getting US tea consumers to "Drink Positive" (a play on "Think Positive") and to appreciate the uplift that tea can give them. It's also a move to increase the number of tea-drinkers by skewing younger.

The integrated campaign by DDB New York includes TV, digital (, its US Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter) and a visual refresh by making the iconic Lipton packaging a more vibrant shade of yellow.Continue reading...

game change

Monopoly's Game-Changing More Than Just a Token Move

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 10, 2013 12:47 PM

Hasbro's iconic game of Monopoly has taken on a bit of the feeling of Clue these days. Before the year is out, Monopoly players will need to say goodbye to one of their beloved playing pieces. Will it be the wheelbarrow, the thimble, or the shoe? Surely, nobody would willingly toss the dog, top hat, or racecar. Do the clothes iron and battleship have what it takes to stick around?

Like Clue, this mystery will be solved by those playing the game. Hasbro is fans consumers to weigh in on the Monopoly Facebook page and decide not only which playing piece isn’t even good enough to set itself on the lowly Mediterranean Avenue, but which one should replace it. The choices vary from diamond ring, guitar, toy robot, cat, or helicopter. Fans worldwide (the game is available in 111 countries and 43 languages) can vote once a day through Feb. 5.Continue reading...

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