Posted by Stephanie Startz on January 14, 2010 08:43 AM
Avon's little sister, Mark, reaches youth market through old and new: Direct sales and digital media. [NY Times]
Tasti D-Lite rewards Twitter and Foursquare users with card points based on mentions, checkins. [AdWeek]
Honda to offer Acura hybrids. [Bloomberg]
Ford may offer Lincoln brand overseas as a luxury vehicle. [MotorTrend]
Premier Foods, the UK's largest food producer, see 2009 sales reach £2.6 billion. [Times of London]
GM will halt production on Hummer until the sale to Chinese company is finalized. [NY Times]Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 21, 2009 02:58 PM
Regardless of whether General Motors ends up selling its Saab brand to Dutch sports-car maker Spyker Cars NV – or to anyone else – its apparent demise provides a depressing exclamation mark on a year in which the doomsayers about global automotive overcapacity were finally proven right.
Even during the worldwide, mid-decade economic boom, automotive analysts periodically would point out – and honest industry executives would admit – that automakers were headed for a capacity donnybrook. Even as Asian brands kept building new plants in North America and Europe, and General Motors and the Europeans kept adding capacity in Asia, those doing the relatively simple math kept saying: There’s way too much room to build cars, and sooner or later someone is going to have to pay for it.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 16, 2009 12:15 PM
It only makes sense: If an automotive brand looks like it has no future, American consumers are going to avoid it. They don’t want to be driving around in the equivalent of an Edsel, and car owners are always concerned about the long-term availability of parts and service on their rides.
And now J.D. Power & Associates’ annual “avoider” study proves just how powerful a disincentive it is to car buyers if they must worry about the future existence of a brand they’re considering.
About 18 percent of new-vehicle buyers surveyed earlier this year cited their concerns about the future of the brand as a reason for avoidance. This reason was included in the study for the first time, and it instantly registered a strong fourth place, behind avoiders’ timeless turn-offs of styling, price, and perceived reliability.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 3, 2009 06:52 PM
For decades, the founders and builders of General Motors relied effectively on a brand architecture based on creating lifelong customers by offering them brands and product lines “fit for every purse and purpose.”
So even the new, slimmed-down GM isn’t about to simply cast millions of its owners away as the company terminates its Pontiac and Saturn brands and peddles its Hummer and fate-uncertain Saab marques. Eliminating hundreds of GM dealers even of its surviving brands, such as Chevrolet, will untether even more customers.
After spending the last several years trying to wrest “conquest” sales from import brands, GM doesn’t want to make its hard-won customers easy marks for any competition.
That’s why GM is intensifying its efforts to reach 6.8 million owners of its abandoned brands who are now becoming “free agents,” and whose brand loyalty has become tenuous. It has just launched what Susan Docherty, vice president of U.S. sales, called a “massive initiative” to keep these folks in the fold, beginning with an “extensive” direct-mail campaign last month inviting them back into GM dealer showrooms for an oil change.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on November 5, 2009 09:46 AM
Another day, another dig at Hummer, the white hot epicenter of scorn from New York to Beijing. But environmentalists might want to check themselves: they may not have Hummer to kick around for much longer. And then what?
Brands are, of course, a set of attributes agreed upon by brand owner and consumers. And no brand may have suffered worse from the latter part of that arrangement than Hummer, the unthinking environmentalist's go-to brand shorthand for bad autoing. The brand is so synonymous with a lack of concern about the environment that it is assumed Hummer owners, while claiming they are attracted by the “American exceptionalism, rugged individualism, love of the frontier, community and freedom" characteristics of the brand, really just revel in the image of sticking it in Mother Nature's ear. Radical activist group Earth Liberation Front even set one Hummer dealership on fire several years ago.
But then there are facts.Continue reading...
Posted by Stephanie Startz on November 4, 2009 07:09 AM
GM backs out of Opel deal with Magna International. [WSJ]
Toyota considers evolving the Prius into a family of vehiches. [MediaPost]
Renault SA revives the legendary Gordine brand. [WSJ]
Chinese environmentalist Su Wei calls Hummer a "garbage brand." [Newsweek]
Kraft defends its Cadbury bid, generates $9 billion in financing. [Times of London]
China approves Disney theme park for Shanghai. [NY Times]
Marks & Spencer to sell branded grocery products. [WSJ]
Tool manufacturers Black & Decker and Stanley Works to merge. [WaPo]
(More headlines: Twinings, Adidas, Glenfiddich in China.)Continue reading...
start your engines
Posted by Anthony Zumpano on November 2, 2009 06:26 PM
Pitying the Hummer owner who must endure gas-price increases is like feeling sorry for the McMansion resident with skyrocketing property taxes. But as Rob Walker notes in the New York Times, gas-guzzler drivers are people, too.
And if you’re one of these people – as Walker cites in a new report by the Journal of Consumer Research that explores “consumer moralism” – you’re probably justifying your Hummer purchase as a (manly) display of your “American exceptionalism, rugged individualism, love of the frontier, community and freedom.” Even if your heaviest cargo is the weekly haul from Costco.Continue reading...
Posted by Stephanie Startz on November 2, 2009 09:00 AM
Ford reports surprise profit of $997 million. [NY Times]
Comcast close to final deal for NBC Universal. [NY Times]
Shanghai to unveil plans for $3.6 billion Disney amusement park. [Forbes]
Kraft expected to make hostile bid for Cadbury in a week. [Times of London]
Tata may allow assemblers to brand the Nano. [Business Standard]
Critics blast Kellogg's for suggesting its cereals boost resistance to H1N1 flu. [USA Today]
UK will purchase more Lloyds TSB, Northern Rock and RBS shares, may split banks into three new brands [NY Times, Brand Republic]. Santander and Virgin may bid for RBS shares [FT]. And RBS faces EU pressure to sell insurance brands Direct Line and Churchill [NY Times].
(More headlines: Bridgestone quits Formula One, Nestle, Bob Marley.)Continue reading...