local branding

Lost in Translation: McDonald's Hmong and Hindu Cultural Marketing Missteps

Posted by Dale Buss on September 5, 2012 06:06 PM

One way McDonald's plans to keep on growing around the globe is to open itself increasingly to local tastes rather than simply trying to impose the Big Mac on every national market, which is how the chain started out. Interestingly, however, just as McDonald's is making such a move in India with new vegetarian restaurants, it's being tripped up by a matter of cultural sensitivity just a few hundred miles from McDonald's Chicago headquarters in the good ol' U.S. of A.

It seems that billboards in St. Paul touted McDonald's breakfast offerings in Hmong, the indigenous language of Hmong-Americans who comprise a major enclave of 64,000 people in the Twin Cities. The billboards put up by local franchisees — the first time McDonald's has ever advertised to Asia's Hmong community in the U.S. — were supposed to say, "Coffee Gets You Up, Breakfast Gets You Going."

But thanks to a garbled translation from English to Hmong, the text reads as gobbledygook to the Hmong-American population. McDonald's apologized for the error and set about to correct it immediately. Overseas, meanwhile, McDonald's newest culturally relevant move outside the U.S. — bringing vegetarian-only fare to some restaurants in India next year — is one of the biggest efforts by McDonald's in accommodating its brand to consumers outside its home U.S. market, and also inadvertently stepping on some toes.Continue reading...


Evoque the F-Type: Tata Defies Critics with Jaguar Land Rover Turnaround

Posted by Dale Buss on September 4, 2012 01:55 PM

Tata Group long has been one of India's most successful enterprises, a family-owned industrial conglomerate with its fingers in many aspects of a booming Indian economy. That included Tata Motors, which made (mostly) inexpensive little cars, including the "world's cheapest," the Nano.

But when Tata took over Jaguar Land Rover by buying the double-headed bastion of Britishness from Ford for $2.3 billion in June 2008, few western analysts gave the company a chance of succeeding where a huge American auto company had not been able to. Previous forays by powerhouse companies from emerging markets buying western outfits hadn't fared well, including Tata Steel's own acquisition of Corus Steel in 2007.

Doubters sniffed that Tata Chairman Ratan Tata, a car buff, had become too enamored of buying global brands, as Tata acquired Tetley Tea, Daweoo Commercial Vehicles, and the Pierre Hotel in New York. But Tata Motors has confounded those skeptics.Continue reading...


Automakers Bank on BRICS and Mortar

Posted by Dale Buss on August 10, 2012 05:03 PM

The future of the auto industry is made of BRICS, so global manufacturers increasingly are getting serious about making and selling their vehicles all over the developing world.

And some are defining BRICS — as in Brazil, Russia, India, and China, which have been "acronymed" into a sort of representation of promising, emergent national markets — more broadly, to include Africa and Southeast Asian nations.

Frustrated by the slow-growing domestic economy, a strong yen, and a problematic North American market, for example, Toyota has decided to build an engine factory in Brazil to cater to increasing demand in the world's fourth-largest auto market, as noted by Automotive News Europe (and Japan's NHK, above). General Motors and Ford have been players in Brazil for many years, and now increasingly Toyota and Nissan are expanding there.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Heineken, NASA, Unilever and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 6, 2012 08:51 AM

In the News

Heineken to assume control of Tiger Beer producer Asia Pacific Breweries for $4 billion.

NASA sees $2.5 billion Mars Rover "Curiositysuccessfully land, Twitter explodes.

Unilever sets sights on overtaking Skinny Cow with Magnum brand.

London 2012 Olympics boosts personal brands of Usain Bolt, Jessica Ennis, Michael Phelps, Gabby Douglas, and Andy Murray

Abercrombie & Fitch leads brands entering India via web partnerships.

Apple iPad grabs 68% of global tablet sales.

Applebee's woos late-night diners.

AT&T plans to phase out 2G networks.Continue reading...

London 2012

London 2012 Watch: Olympics Social Media Spoilers vs. #SavetheSurprise

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 24, 2012 03:18 PM

Social media mavens can't help themselves, as details leaked virally this week following Monday's technical dress rehearsal (that's the crowd above) for Friday's opening ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympic Games. The ceremony's artistic director, filmmaker Danny Boyle, begged those in attendance to "save the surprise" and even projected a Twitter hashtag (#savethesurprise) on the stadium's giant screens, but spectators tweeted pictures of the event and chatted up that the theme (spoiler alert!)...Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: iPad Mini, Getty, Barclays and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 4, 2012 08:55 AM

In the News

Apple plans smaller iPad to compete with Google Nexus, as Nokia gets touchy too.

Getty Images bidding nears $4 billion.

Barclays ex-CEO Diamond faces UK MP grilling as Bank of England faces tough decision.

Asian tourists flock to Europe for luxury bargains.

Asus aims to help athletes "find their zen."

Branded content shown to have limited impact in US.

China bans shark fin consumption in luxury crackdown, as mainland slowdown affects Hong Kong luxury spending.Continue reading...

follow the money

Crocs Expands in India With New Tagline, Styles

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 2, 2012 11:09 AM

Crocs is expanding the availability of its spongy footwear into the booming Indian market with a new tagline, “Walk in comfort, wear in style.” Asia is rapidly growing and may replace the U.S. as the largest market for the billion-dollar brand that is in almost 100 countries and posting a year-on-year sales increase of 40.5% in the first quarter.

Crocs entered India in 2007 through a franchising and licensing agreement, and the little shoe that could is now available in 13 cities across India through 26 exclusive stores (and one kiosk in Pune). 

“The new brand campaign sends the message that Crocs can be worn every day, for every occasion,” says Florent Andre Bailly, Crocs VP for West Asia, India and Africa.

“We are constantly touching new consumers because many people still think that Crocs is a clog company, and when they find out the wide range of shoes which are comfortable yet stylish. This in itself is a whole new growth driver for the business.”Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple China, Barclays, Bristol-Myers and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 2, 2012 08:45 AM

In the News

Apple pays $60M to end iPad trademark dispute in China, looks to secure ipad3.com domain.

Barclays scandal forces out chairman, saying "the buck stops with me."

Bristol-Myers agrees to buy Amylin Pharmaceuticals for $5B in cash, expands diabetes alliance.

Rupert Murdoch will rebrand the Wall Street Journal as WSJ as part of News Corp. split.

AMC parent ends AT&T U-verse TV dispute with long-term agreement, as Dish feud continues.

Applebee's rolls out fresh menu, look and campaign.Continue reading...

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