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china

'Pandamonium' as Western China Prepares for Boom Decade

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 2, 2013 11:46 AM

It may be best known as the home of China's Pandas, but Chengdu may soon be more appropriately known for one of its other contributions to the world: money. Depending on who you ask, it was the late Tang or early Song dynasty when Chengdu, located in China's western Sichuan Province, became the global birthplace of paper currency. As hundreds of executives from Fortune 500 companies gathered at this month's Chengdu Fortune Global Forum, the city looked primed to forget the panda and return to its financial pedigree.

Unilever is opening its first west China manufacturing plant in Sichuan, and VW's Chengdu plant is already months into its goal of 450,000 cars a year (and maybe even, someday, a VW China "hover car"). And where better to drive to than Chengdu's shiny new Apple Store? Chengdu is fattening with global corporations ready to gorge on the simmering consumer growth promise of underdeveloped western China. The numbers are staggering.Continue reading...

logo-a-gogo

In Continued Quest for Millennials, Marriott Debuts Streamlined Look

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 18, 2013 12:46 PM

Marriott is going all-in on Millennials. The Bethesda, M.D.-based company is launching a new logo and tagline, "Travel Brilliantly" in its latest attempt to attract the growing market of young travellers looking for luxury at a value.  

The international hotel chain recently announced it will bring its European hotel brand, AC Hotels by Marriott, to the States to attract younger business travelers, while it is also planning to introduce a Millennial-friendly hotel brand, Moxy, across Europe in a partnerhsip with IKEA

What's in it for Marriott? According to the Washington Business Journal, “younger business travelers who make three or more business trips per year are a $35 billion market.” The chain hopes to attract the sought-after demo with a new, simplified "M" logo, a mobile app, offering different dining options, and allotting more open spaces in its hotels that can be used as public workspaces as well as streamlined rooms.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, Toyota, Allegiant Air and more

Posted by Dale Buss on June 5, 2013 09:03 AM

In the News

Apple faces a limited ban on product sales in wake of court victory by Samsung.

Toyota recalls nearly a quarter-million Prius and Lexus hybrids.

Allegiant Air emerges as most profitable airline in America.

Amazon plans major expansion of grocery delivery, report says, while it is attacked by French culture minister as "destroyer of bookshops" and reaches deal with Viacom to stream kids' shows.

Bloomberg begins fund to invest in startups.

Carl's Jr and Hardee's go after McDonald's disaffected Angus customers.

Chrysler challenge of federal recall effort on Jeeps is unusual.

Delta plans to reduce operations at Memphis hub.Continue reading...

china

The Week in China: Baijiu Looks West, Starbucks' Bathroom Brew, China's Voice Win and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on May 31, 2013 12:28 PM

China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.

This week: Pepsi taps into The Voice of China... why Baijiu is not like tequila... Samsung outsells Apple... Boss fashion shows... MBA kindergartens... Chengdu does Fortune 500s... Internet Explorer and China's banks... 3D printing boom... new Ikeas... the Backstreet Boys and pandas... Lenovo... and more.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

IKEA's Elk Lasagne Latest Product to Suffer Meat Mix-Up

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 8, 2013 11:41 AM

What North Americans know as moose and Europeans call elk apparently make a tasty meal. Since January, consumers in Europe and Asia could find the animal’s meat in lasagna sold at the Swedish furniture giant's stores. But recently there has apparently been a little something else in IKEA’s Elk Lasagna that consumers weren’t aware of: pork.

This isn't the first meat mix-up that IKEA has dealt with, as the company was one of several retailers implicated in the horse meat scandal that has swept across Europe. IKEA has been forced to remove its famed Swedish meatballs from its restaurants and frozen food aisles, and adding to its meat woes, the brand has just pulled nearly 18,000 units of its elk lasagne from its stores and websites after authorities in Belgium discovered the product contained a percentage of pork meat.Continue reading...

viral buzz

April Fools' Day 2013: Google Leads Brand Pranks Sweeping the Web

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 1, 2013 05:54 PM

Every April 1st, Google tries to outdo itself with a new array of April Fools' Day pranks, and this year was no different.

Users of Google quickly spotted a “Google Nose” link that appeared on April 1st that invited consumers to smell what they are seeing on the site, whether it is a campfire or a flower. Or, at least, it would let them “leverage new and existing technologies to offer the sharpest olfactory experience available.”Continue reading...

checking in

Amidst an Industry Boom, Hotel Brands Cash In on New Markets

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 21, 2013 07:27 PM

The world’s financial situation isn’t exactly peachy keen just yet, but the global population appears to be up for traveling. Both luxury and budget brand hotels are popping up across the world.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts, which came in at the top of its category in the recent 2013 Harris Poll EquiTrend, “expects to have enough cash in the next three years to add another global luxury brand bringing their total to ten.” 

Mitzi Gaskins, VP/global brand manager for JW Marriott, noted that the “luxury space is growing a lot” and is “anticipating 50 percent growth over the next four to five years with 79 JW hotels up and running by 2015.” Less than half of the 30 or more hotels that the brand has in the pipeline are in the United States. Gaskins told Fortune that the luxury markets that are growing fastest are “top tier destinations and gateway cities,” noting that the JW brand was opening soon in Cabo, Turks & Caicos, Macao and Hanoi, and had “just launched” in Venice.Continue reading...

checking in

IKEA and Marriott Team Up to Launch Millennial-Friendly Budget Hotel Chain

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 5, 2013 03:12 PM

Inter IKEA, the parent of IKEA, announced last summer that it was partnering with a hotelier to create a new hotel brand that oddly wouldn’t feature any of the Swedish furniture maker’s products. It’s now been confirmed at the Berlin International Hotel Investment Forum that Marriott is the partner and Moxy will be the name of the new affordable hotel chain, which plans to open 150 locations across Europe in the next decade.

“Moxy Hotels is the essence of the next generation traveler, not only Gen X and Y but people with a younger sensibility, for whom contemporary style is paramount,” said Arne Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott International in a press release. “Every aspect of the hotel was thoughtfully researched and crafted to reflect and deliver on the changing lifestyles and expectations of this fast-growing customer segment.” 

According to TravelBite, this will be Marriott’s first budget brand in Europe. Fifty of those locations should be up and running in the next five years and Inter IKEA will be ponying up $500 million to help out, the Wall Street Journal reports. While the hotels won’t use IKEA furniture, the company has found a way to keep construction costs down in a different way: “Many of the hotels will use rooms prefabricated offsite and then assembled like IKEA furniture, a modular type of construction that is new for Marriott.”Continue reading...

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