Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 15, 2014 11:17 AM
Crumbs will live to bake another day, but the road back to business bliss won't be paved with sprinkles. The cupcake chain will get a second chance thanks to a confirmed investment from businessman and TV host Marcus Lemonis, among others, but not before current investors get dragged through bankruptcy court.
After closing all of its stores and filing for Chapter 11 protection last week, Crumbs investors came off their sugar high as Lemonis and Fischer Enterprises (which backs Dippin' Dots) clarified their strategy to save the sweets retailer. Lemonis, CEO of RV retailer Camping World, Good Sam Enterprises and star of CNBC's The Profit series, will provide financing to Crumbs with the support of Fischer, who extended $5 million in credit to the cupcake bakery in January, through a new joint venture that will buy the chain out of bankruptcy.
The plan is to create a privately-held Crumbs chain—which will eventually carry ice cream, popcorn and other snacks from brands sourced from Lemonis' show—whose stores will become franchises.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on July 10, 2014 12:44 PM
What does a brand do with a problem like Dov Charney?
Not even a month after the American Apparel board canned its CEO and founder over supposed misconduct, eagle-eyed shoppers (via Buzzfeed) posted pictures of Charney shopping (or something) inside downtown Manhattan American Apparel retail locations, actions that appear to be in clear violation of the board's termination letter which stated he must get “advance written permission” to visit any American Apparel facility.
But maybe not. According to new SEC filings, American Apparel is getting a $25 million bailout from New York City hedge fund Standard General. It's a bailout that seemingly could keep Charney as a key figure in American Apparel's future.
Dov's weeks-long struggle to raise money to up his share of the company from 27 percent to 43 percent is chronicled in detail in a new Bloomberg Businessweek cover story on the drama. Granular to the extreme—Charney wore "white American Apparel socks" and used Uber during his travels from Los Angeles to NYC—the piece breaks down a decade-long soap opera that appears far from over. Indeed, Charney is still salaried and considered a "consultant."Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on July 8, 2014 04:43 PM
As noted here, TD Bank was a proud sponsor of the first WorldPride event held in North America. Also showing its colors in Toronto late last month: the smart auto brand, which sponsored the event's opening ceremonies in Toronto. And south of the border, on June 29, thousands of Apple employees and their families marched in the San Francisco Pride Parade, where employees were welcome by Apple CEO Tim Cook, who was lauded in today's Wall Street Journal as a "more collaborative" and compassionate leader than Steve Jobs. Check out both brands' 2014 Pride videos below.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 8, 2014 04:00 PM
The founders of two of the world’s most influential digital brands, Google and Facebook, have different views as to what the world will look like in the future—that's if their brands have anything to say about it.
Yet despite their different tracks, both Google's Larry Page and Sergey Brin and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg agree that the future is more about connections, whether it's reviving existing ones or creating new ones. In a chat with fellow billionaire Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures, Page emphasized the importance of reserving more time to spend with family and friends, and that work doesn't need to dominate our lives.
"If you really think about the things that you need to make yourself happy—housing, security, opportunities for your kids—anthropologists have been identifying these things," he said. "It's not that hard for us to provide those things. The amount of resources we need to do that, the amount of work that actually needs to go into that is pretty small. I'm guessing less than one percent at the moment.”Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on July 7, 2014 05:42 PM
The modern pizza industry was invented by two Michigan entrepreneurs who founded Domino’s and Little Caesar’s. The pair became the world’s biggest pizza moguls and now are reaching the end of their business legacies in two widely disparate ways, as Bloomberg Businessweek points out in its "Twilight of the Pizza Barons" cover story.
Tom Monaghan famously founded Domino’s a half-century ago in Ann Arbor, Mich., with a borrowed $500 to execute the chain’s now-iconic home deliveries. Around the same time, Mike Ilich opened a corner store selling pizzas in Detroit and called it Little Caesar’s.
The rest is fast-food history, as Domino’s has become a huge international presence through its franchised stores as well as No. 2 in US pizza-restaurant sales, with an 11.1 percent share compared with leader Pizza Hut’s 16.7 percent. Little Caesar’s still outranks rising Papa John’s for the No. 3 spot, with 8.8 percent of sales to 7.3 percent. Regional chains and independents sell the remaining 56 percent of American pizza pies.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 3, 2014 11:51 AM
One of the most influential marketers in the world, Procter & Gamble, executed a big shift in its organization this week. On July 1st, its entire marketing function relaunched as “Brand Management” in a sweeping reorganization that gives a broader purview for brand-centric marketing and thinking.
The move comes as P&G's former CEO, Bob McDonald, is in the news after President Obama nominated to him to take over and make over the troubled Veterans Administration.
With P&G now led (again) by A.G. Lafley, the company's brand-led restructuring, announced by the company in February, is aimed at creating “single-point responsibility for the strategies, plans and results for (each) brand,” a spokesperson told Ad Age.
The shift away from "marketing" towards "brand" changes titles and locks down broader responsibilities for hundreds of marketing directors and associate marketing directors at the world’s biggest advertising spender, now officially brand directors and associate brand directors. Eliminating "marketing" from titles doesn't mean marketing is a thing of the past, however.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 2, 2014 05:20 PM
As women finally move up the corporate ladder in significant numbers, their personal philosophy and style are a study in contrast. Take it from one of the few female CEOs on the Fortune 500. “I don't think women can have it all. I just don't think so. We pretend we have it all. We pretend we can have it all,” stated Indra K. Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo, in an interview at the Aspen Ideas Festival this week.
It's a different message from the Lean In female empowerment movement founded by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, whose go-for-it challenge to young women is, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”
Another female CEO, General Motors head Mary Barra, was asked in a recent (and controversial) interview with Matt Lauer if she can be a good mother and run GM. "I think I can. I have a great team," Barra responded, "and I have a wonderful family and a supportive husband, and I'm pretty proud of my kids the way they're supporting me in this." The social tide quickly turned to question whether Lauer would ask the same of a male CEO, but to wonder why Barra didn't refute the blatantly gender-biased question.
As for the CEO of Yahoo, “The press may be in a world of its own making when it comes to reports on Marissa Mayer,” notes Forbes. “Instead of appearing like a leader who’s reviving what was a failing digital media company at a time when it’s on the cusp of monetizing billions of dollars to improve the company further, she’s a lady who falls asleep before a meeting.”Continue reading...
Posted by Alicia Ciccone on July 1, 2014 04:14 PM
The GM safety recalls have officially reached nauseating levels. On Monday, soon after Kenneth Feinberg, the GM-appointed attorney who will run the brand's compensation fund, announced details of the filing and payment process, GM announced that an additional 8.4 million vehicles would be recalled, most for the same ignition switch issue at the center of the brand's ongoing crisis.
Globally, GM has now recalled over 29 million vehicles in the first six months of this year, and while CEO Mary Barra's newfound diligence may help curb further accidents and injuries, the ever-expanding roll call of recalled vehicles, now dating back to 1997, is painting a much more grim picture of GM's future as a trustworthy automotive brand.
Even still, GM has recorded its best June since the recession. But how long will consumers continue to be enamored with a brand that can't keep its vehicles on the road?Continue reading...