2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards


JCPenney's Comeback Strategy Includes Wiping the Brand Clean of Any Trace of Johnson Era

Posted by Dale Buss on October 10, 2013 11:36 AM

If Ron Johnson were dead, he'd be spinning in his grave. Instead, the ousted CEO of JCPenney can simply watch from afar as his predecessor-turned-successor Myron Ullman dismantles the former Apple retail head's failed ambitious plan to transform the venerable retailer, piece by piece.

The latest back-to-the-future moves by Ullman? Scrapping the simple new logo that Johnson instituted as well as some of the ad-agency help that he hired. Such gambits are part of Ullman's efforts to ensure that Penney has bottomed out as the crucial 2013 holiday shopping season gets underway.

Johnson introduced the red-framed logo last year to great fanfare, "updating" the marque to simply "jcp" in a blue box in the upper-left corner of a square that was intended to invoke an American flag with its patriotic colors.

Instead, it became just another reminder to JCPenney's traditional customers that Johnson didn't really care about their business. So the old "JCPenney" logo in a simple red font is back—albeit slightly updated—marking the fourth logo in as many years for the embattled department store brand.Continue reading...

wisdom of the crowd

Ahead of UN Assembly, Global Leaders Convene to Promote Social Change

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 24, 2013 04:41 PM

It's UN Week in New York City, as global leaders descend to discuss challenges facing the world population. But before the members of the United Nations sit, several other initiatives and events are poised to take advantage of the influx of global leadership. 

Running through Thursday, Mashable's Social Good Summit brings together a broad group of societal and business leaders to tackle social problems with technology, including Richard Branson, co-founder of Warby Parker Neil Blumenthal, the CEO of Water For People, executives from Johnson & Johnson and dozens more. 

Former Vice President Al Gore, a featured speaker at the event, announced the launch of his latest environmental initiative, "What I Love," at the event. 

The experiential site asks visitors what they love to do, eat, wear and more, and then serves up a “personalized canvas of the immediate effect of carbon pollution on what they love, be it chocolate, beer, skiing, or shoes.” The site utilizes a partnership with the Climate Reality Project, an NGO that provides the scientific data behind the questionnaire results.Continue reading...

media triage

Jeff Bezos Buys The Washington Post, Stuns Media World

Posted by Dale Buss on August 5, 2013 06:06 PM

Jeff Bezos revolutionized the internet, e-commerce and bookselling (and then all retail) when he founded Amazon.com. Now he may want to do the same with newspapers, becoming the latest non-news-media figure to invest in a fading American print icon by buying The Washington Post.

It's difficult to believe that the e-tailing magnate will be able to do anything better with the Post than it already has in the traditional world of newsprint and ink, since that business model has become even more decrepit than the brick-and-mortar retail stores supplanted by Amazon's huge digital impact.

Another death knell for newspapers and their traditional ownership was sounded just a few days ago when Boston Red Sox owner and billionaire John Henry rescued the Boston Globe and other local print properties from the hands of the New York Times Co. by buying the once-proud publisher for a measly $70 million. There also remain rumors that the conservative industrialist Koch Brothers, along with several other non-media moguls, harbor a desire to buy Tribune Co., which owns the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune.Continue reading...

executive decision

First Report Card on Lafley 2.0 at P&G Leaves Wall Street Wanting More

Posted by Dale Buss on August 1, 2013 02:38 PM

The second A.G. Lafley era is under way at Procter & Gamble, and the first quarterly report card on his new tenure is—well, middling.

P&G today reported fiscal-2013 annual net sales that were up 1 percent, to $84 billion, and core earnings per share up by 5 percent. For the last quarter, which saw Lafley replace CEO Bob McDonald—whom Lafley had tapped to succeed him four years ago—revenues ticked up to $20.7 billion from $20.2 billion a year, slightly outpacing analyst expectations that previously had been downgraded.

"It feels good" to have Lafley back, P&G CFO Jon Moeller said on CNBC this morning. "I'm very optimistic about the future as we look forward."

To be sure, it's still (relatively) early days yet. But in the earnings conference call, Lafley said something which may have indicated that his task in restoring P&G to the greatness it enjoyed during his "first term" as CEO, from 2000 to 2009, might take a bit longer to achieve than when the company's board eased out McDonald in May and asked Lafley to return.Continue reading...

branding together

Google, Politico, Tory Burch Foundation Team for Lean In-Esque Women Rule Initiative

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 31, 2013 01:54 PM

After fumbling with that glass ceiling all too long, women are starting to gain some serious support among business and tech companies. 

Google, Politico and the Tory Burch Foundation have announced a partnership to create Women Rule, a programming and event series that highlights female leaders, their experiences and their advice to their female peers. 

The initiative will produce a four-part series in Washington, D.C., to be streamed online via a Women Rule media hub that will also sell Women Rule apparel, with the proceeds going to charities, including the Tory Burch Foundation.Continue reading...

brand revival

RadioShack Debuts Youthful New Store Concept, Logo

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 2, 2013 02:53 PM

Now that RadioShack is presumably done with its executive shuffle, the electronics retailer's new CEO, CMO and VP of store concepts are wasting no time in trying to get the company back into the minds of younger, hipper consumers. This week, the chain debuted a new logo and opened its first concept store in New York (above), a first-of-its-kind customer experience for the brand that it's billing as an "interactive technology playground."

According to the Dallas Business Journal, the Fort Worth, Texas-based chain plans to open several other concept stores in New York, New Jersey and Texas in the coming weeks before deciding on a new design to roll out to its entire footprint of 4,300 stores. The move comes at a critical juncture, as The Shack is in need of a serious revamp. It lost $63 million in the fourth quarter last year and $43.3 million in the first quarter of this year.Continue reading...

auto motive

Hyundai, Krafcik On Edge Over US Auto Pricing

Posted by Dale Buss on June 26, 2013 10:47 AM

Nissan's aggressive price discounts and incentives in May clearly distressed many in the US auto industry who'd hoped that the days of price-cutting, brand-eroding competition were done, at least so closely in the wake of the late-2000s industry restructuring and in the midst of an American-market recovery that only still seems to be picking up steam.

But no brand is more on edge than Hyundai over Nissan's gambit, which was enabled by at least a short-term decline in the value of the yen. That's because Nissan is one of its closest competitors across the board in terms of vehicle segments where they compete and don't compete. And most acutely, it's because Hyundai's tight supplies for the US market mean it could afford a price war perhaps least of any major brand.

"The first month [of Nissan price cuts] wasn't an indication of, oh, the re-pricing was successful or not," Hyundai US CEO John Krafcik said in Detroit recently, according to Automotive News. "It said if you put bigger discounts on your car, you'll sell more of them.Continue reading...

executive decision

Men’s Wearhouse Drops Founder and Pitchman George Zimmer in Questionable Move

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 20, 2013 02:39 PM

Men's Wearhouse founder George Zimmer may have been able to guarantee the way you'd look in his suits, but that same comfort didn't extend to his own job. In fact, Men’s Wearhouse tossed the 64-year-old Zimmer out the door Wednesday after he spent 40 years building the brand, starting with the first location that he opened with his college roommates.

No reason was given for the ouster but analysts suggested to The New York Times “that the conflict might be over the company’s efforts to appeal to younger customers, who could have been hampered by Mr. Zimmer’s continued presence in ads.” A person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that Zimmer, who still owns about 3.5 percent of the company’s shares, and his handpicked CEO, Doug Ewert, have had “repeated clashes” about buying back shares and selling off apparel chain K&G.Continue reading...

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