Posted by Dale Buss on July 13, 2012 05:05 PM
The archives of brand marketing crawl with attempts by CEOs to use themselves and their personas as the instrument of redemption for the brand. Look under "Steve Jobs and Apple," for instance, or "Lee Iacocca and Chrysler."
But what Akio Toyoda is attempting to do in this regard at the company his grandfather founded, Toyota Motor, may be even more remarkable than the notably successful efforts by Jobs and Iacocca. That's because he is doing it in a racing suit, in really fast cars, on real race tracks. Toyoda, CEO since 2009, has literally become the face of the passion that his company wants consumers to feel when they consider its cars.
"I see myself as a bridge who can talk to both racing pros and average car owners," the 56-year-old chief told reporters at a news conference earlier this year, according to a profile published Friday in the Wall Street Journal.Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Dale Buss on July 6, 2012 04:01 PM
Japan may be considered a "Western" country, but its tastes, not to mention culture, often strain comparisons with the rest of the West. But nowadays Pepsi is making some moves with new products in Japan that look like they're right out of its playbook for the rest of the world.
Pepsi Extra, for instance, is an addition to Pepsi's Nex range in Japan that is packed in 200ml cans and reformulated to feature added caffeine and increased sweetness, according to Beverage Daily. Packaged in a smaller and slimmer can than regular Pepsi, Extra is a clear play for energy-drink positioning.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 3, 2012 02:07 PM
UK supermarket giant Tesco is trying to stake a claim in the U.S. market with its Fresh & Easy grocery chain on the west coast, but it hasn’t done well, even after a “major revamp.” Now the company may just give up on making it in America, according to the Telegraph.
“If we see there is no chance of success, we’ll do as we’ve just done in Japan” and pull out, Tesco CEO Philip Clarke told shareholders, the Telegraph reports. “It is not about ego. We are businessmen.”
It's been a money-losing brand extension for some time. Fresh & Easy had losses last year of £153m ($239 million) and lost £186m ($291.5 million) the year before that.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 2, 2012 09:56 AM
The brand DNA of Toyota and BMW couldn't be more different — the first, the epitome of stodgy and reliable automotive transportation; the second, the Ultimate Driving Machine.
Even so, the two brands got together on Friday to announce that they will jointly develop sports cars, among other collaborations. The two companies, unveiling their plans at a press event in Munich, provided few details of the vehicles they expect to result. Industry observers predict the cars will be "high-performance, high-tech and green," as Edmunds.com senior analyst Michelle Krebs put it.
"I get so excited thinking about the cars that will result from this relationship," Akio Toyoda, CEO of Toyota, said at the press conference. BMW Board Chairman Norbert Reithofer hinted at the bigger upside for the partnership — the development of low-carbon vehicle technology — with his statement, "I am the one most looking forward to a sports car that is environmentally friendly and truly excites car fans around the world."Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 27, 2012 03:12 PM
PepsiCo’s archrival Coca-Cola may be sinking $5 billion into India, but it is finding a different way of reaching the international market: the Super Bowl.
Pepsi sponsored the Super Bowl’s halftime show back in 2007 when Prince and the Florida A&M marching band took to the field to entertain the masses. Since then, Bridgestone has been the sponsor of the halftime show. Now comes word that the beverage maker is returning to that sponsorship position, according to USA Today.
It's a significant move given that Pepsi ditched the Super Bowl in 2010, after spending $33 million on Super Bowl advertising a year earlier, in order to dole out more than $20 million in grants to non-profits and community projects via crowdsourced philanthropy under its Pepsi Refresh program.
Pepsi's return to the Super Bowl, where it's been a major sponsor over the years, comes as something of a relief to the NFL and its broadcast partners following GM's recent announcement that it's skipping the 2013 Super Bowl (and Facebook) ads in order to focus on China by sponsoring Britain's Manchester United football club.Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 26, 2012 10:51 AM
Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo just tried something a little different on Pinterest: a social marketing/branded content campaign, the "Uniqlo Dry Mesh Project," that aimed to cut through ‘scrolling slumber’ with a simultaneous pinning event (some might say hacking) that animate the images in real time to catch users' attention on the social scrapbooking site.
A series of branded mosaics were posted simultaneously on Pinterest across multiple categories (such as "Geek"). As users scroll through their favorites they encounter the giant blocks of images that coalesce into a larger, branded mosaic that appeared to animate on scrolling down. Images of Dry Mesh T-shirts — which are designed to keep the wearer dry by wicking away sweat — created the mosaics. The result was certainly a visually arresting animation for an otherwise visually boring, mono-colored product.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 25, 2012 08:55 AM
AB InBev closes in on buying remainder of Mexico's Grupo Modelo for more than $12 billion.
Apple adds Yelp check-ins to iPhone maps app, sees Motorola Mobility patent case shut down by federal judge and retail workers described by NYT as "loyal but short on pay."
Best Buy tries to regain edge before back-to-school season.
BlackBerry owner RIM reportedly considers a plan to split its company in two.
Cadillac surprises with integration of Apple's Siri voice.
Carl's Jr. and Hardee's set Spider-Man movie tie-in.
Dewar's announces three-year partnership with TED.
Dairy Queen gripes about New York menu restrictions as it enters the city.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on June 15, 2012 03:59 PM
McDonald's is a bellwether of the global economy. It sells a value proposition to mainstream consumers worldwide, and it's a huge force in virtually every market.
Right now, that might not be such a great thing, for McDonald's — or the global economy. Analysts and investors have been turning sour on McDonald's stock because of factors such as the company's dependence on a slumping Europe for 35 to 40 percent of its earnings, a same-store sales decline for May in McDonald's Asia Pacific-Middle-East-Africa region including China and Japan, and of course indications of a faltering economic recovery in the United States.
There's also the matter of greater competition for McDonald's. After years of stumbling to mount much of a challenge to McDonald's, both Burger King and Wendy's have shown signs of renewed growth lately.Continue reading...