Posted by Shirley Brady on November 14, 2011 10:31 AM
Harajuku Mini, Gwen Stefani's highly-anticipated kids' clothing collection for Target, is now available in-store at select Target locations. With prices below $29.99, part one hit stores on Nov. 13, while part two of the affordable chic kids' collection — aimed at toddlers, boys and girls and tween girls — will launch on Dec. 25th.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 4, 2011 05:31 PM
It's nightmarish to consider from a corporate and brand perspective, but the record flooding in Thailand that has endangered lives is also wrenching apart supply chains for both Toyota and Honda, and could become a major disruption to their business. The fear is that the leading Japanese brands do not pass "Go Back to Market" and instead proceed right back to "Supply Chain Jail."
Not even eight months after the March 11 tsunami and earthquake devastated the big Japanese brands' supply lines stretching from Japan and around the world, company executives are confessing that they still don't know quite how badly they'll be nicked by the flooding. The waters didn't reach Toyota's own plants, for example, but they did badly affect suppliers in Thailand that ship electronic components for Toyota vehicles to the automaker's plants around the world.
Already, Toyota has cut back on overtime and Saturday work at its U.S. facilities through at least next week (and is sticking to a plan to open a factory in Indonesia), and Honda has conceded that up to half its North American production ultimately could be affected.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 1, 2011 11:58 AM
It was 29 years ago today that Honda began production in North America. The Japanese automaker just announced that it will sharply reduce its North American manufacturing — for the second time this year — because floods in Thailand have disrupted parts supplies. Honda will cut its North American output by half beginning tomorrow (Wednesday), and all six of its plants on the continent will be affected through next week.
About 80 percent to 90 percent of Honda and Acura vehicles sold in the United States are built in North America but are dependent on a few crucial parts, especially electronics, that are supplied from overseas — including in Thailand. The disruptions also will delay by several weeks Honda's introduction of a new version of its CR-V sport-utility vehicle.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 24, 2011 10:16 AM
Losing the final of your sport’s biggest global event after nearly winning in overtime is not an easy thing to live through, but getting boatload of cash out of the deal has got to make that bitter pill a little easier to swallow in retrospect.
That’s where Abby Wambach now sits, a few months after the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team lost the World Cup in a penalty-kick shootout after she had scored an overtime goal that was seemingly for the win before Japan somehow equalized. The U.S. was ready to love this team as it had the women of the World Cup-winning 1999. That team has a few members whose names live on: the star Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain (who famously pulled her own shirt off after scoring the winning goal), the tough vet Michelle Akers, and Julie Foudy, who has helped herself by becoming an analyst on ESPN.
For this summer’s team, the two names that will live on for some time are likely to be Wambach’s and goalie Hope Solo, who seemed to catch the fascination of America during the World Cup run. She broadened her fame by taking a stint on Dancing With the Stars, but hasn’t hooked into the same kind of sponsorship dollars that Wambach has, according to BusinessWeek.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 5, 2011 02:45 PM
Gucci bags, Apple iClones, New Balance sneakers, jeans of all stripes, Oakley sunglasses, you name it. Head out to any major urban strip, market or sidewalk vendor and you'll find a plethora of knock-offs laid out on a table, selling for a low, low price.
Well, fakers beware. There are now 38 countries committed to an international anti-piracy and anti-counterfeiting agreement.
At an Oct. 1st meeting in Tokyo, the United States and seven other nations signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which aims to stamp out piracy and intellectual property theft. Other new ACTA signatories include New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, Japan, and Morocco.
Prior to signing, the US was embroiled in debates over the sections of the agreement pertaining to IP protection on the web, a hot-button issue that alarmed online privacy watchdogs such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, with some concerned about ACTA's constitutionality.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 5, 2011 01:53 PM
True, Mercedes-Benz now trails BMW by about 8,000 vehicles as the two German luxury automakers jockey for designation as the No. 1-selling upscale vehicle retailer in the U.S. market for 2012. The title belonged to Lexus for several years, but Toyota's gold-standard brand has been working hard to rebound from inventory shortages after the natural disaster in Japan in March.
But Steve Cannon, CMO of Mercedes-Benz USA, told brandchannel he likes where his brand is positioned at the moment. Holding steady at #12 on Interbrand's Best Global Brands ranking, the company has introduced a half-dozen new or substantially overhauled models into the American marketplace this year.
Mercedes-Benz hasn't yet realized most of the anticipated sales punch from those introductions, because early launches, such as a new CLS sedan and SLK convertible, were relatively low-volume nameplates. The most recent, such as the C-Class sedans and M-Class SUVs, are higher-volume, bread-and-butter products.
Given that new products typically drive sales increases, Cannon believes that Mercedes-Benz is sitting pretty heading into 2012.Continue reading...
week in review
Posted by Michael Waltzer on September 23, 2011 04:30 PM
Our most-read blog posts of the past week include Social Media Wars, Starbucks, Coke's Bottle Sizes, and more:
#1 Coke Resizes, Broadens Less-Is-More Strategy
#2 Starbucks Makes a Splash with Designer Tees
#3 Social Marketing: The Latest Research on Boosting Facebook Engagement
#4 'Cool Japan' Branding Evolves with Uniqlo Logo Designer and 'Japan Next'
#5 Facebook Unveils Timeline for 'Friction-less' Serendipity
#6 Social Wars: Chilled Out Google+ Woos Irritated Facebook Users
#7 Target x Missoni: The Social Fall-Out
#8 China VW Dealer Uses Naked Models to Sell Das Auto (NSFW)
#9 Sonic Happiness: Coca-Cola Releases "The Great Happyfication"
#10 Starbucks Eyes Global Grocery Domination
Posted by Michael Waltzer on September 20, 2011 04:30 PM
It seems that George Clooney has finally gotten married... In a commercial for Norwegian bank DNB NOR. The video starts off, a la The Hangover, with a disoriented bride in a trashed hotel room. She looks around, finds her dress, and realizes she had been married the night before.
Franticly looking for clues to what happened, she goes through pictures of her with an unknown groom. All of a sudden George walks in claiming he didn't want to wake her up. They look at online real estate, and the commercial ends with the voiceover, "Some people are lucky in life. For the rest of us, saving up can be smart."
Sorry bachelorettes, although it was just a commercial, Clooney is currently dating someone (WWE star Stacy Keibler). But there's enough of him to go around... in commercials at least.Continue reading...