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Study: Toyota Customers Need Reassuring in Wake of Global Recall

Posted by Dale Buss on October 16, 2012 04:19 PM

It might be a stretch to say that Toyota didn't see this coming. But Toyota Motor executives are likely stunned by how quickly the brand's latest recall fiasco has affected the standing of the once-sterling Toyota marque, at least in the minds of some consumers. And soon it could affect the breakneck pace of Toyota's sales bounce-back in the U.S. this year.

Last week, Toyota announced a recall affecting 7.4 million vehicles worldwide, the biggest number seen in the auto industry in 16 years. The recall is to correct faulty electric-window switches that could catch on fire, but Toyota had reported no accidents or injuries as a result of this problem.

Presumably because this "massive Toyota recall" of 2012 sounds too much like the "massive Toyota recall" of 2010 not to mention subsequent recalls, consumer perception of Toyota's brand "has plummeted" according to YouGov BrandIndex research. Its score slumped badly over the last few days and now occupies the bottom in a chart of 32 car brands tracked by the service, down from sixth place just a week earlier.Continue reading...

ready for takeoff

Loews Hotels Offers TSA PreCheck-ins as VIP Perk

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 24, 2012 01:48 PM

Loews Hotels found its name in the news in recent days because the fire-alarm system of its Nashville hotel was set off by a drunken two-time Olympic gold medalist, snowboarder Shaun White. His schoolboy antics led to the whole place being evacuated and a contrite apology from the snowboarder. Not exactly the kind of security Loews wants to be known for.

Now the hotel chain is the first hospitality brand to participate in a first-of-its-kind security partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. U.S. citizens who sign on to Loews’ loyalty-rewards program, YouFirst Platinum, gain complimentary enrollment into the DHS’s Global Entry program and allows guests to expedite airport screening with TSA PreCheck.

"Partnerships are integral to the way we do business as a brand," stated Loews Chairman Jonathan Tisch. "Our collaboration highlights the importance of the public and private sectors working together to improve hospitality for all our guests, whether that be at our hotels or traveling through an airport."Continue reading...

that's entertainment

Hertz Woos Customers With Free Music Downloads

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 8, 2012 10:21 AM

Forget free GPS — Hertz is sweetening car rental deals by offering Gold Plus Rewards members free music downloads with every rental.

The brand's new Hertz Music Store, the digital dashboard for its Hertz's Movin' with Music program, lets renters acquire music from thousands of artists and in the kick-off the initiative, any Gold Plus Rewards member who rents a car through August 31, 2012 gets three free song downloads per rental.

"For Hertz customers, the connection between the open road and great music runs deep," stated Hertz Chairman and CEO Mark Frissora. "With the Hertz Music Store, loyal Hertz customers will have a new way to download, for free, the music they love, making their travel experiences even more enjoyable."Continue reading...

brand loyalty

American Brand Project Waves Flag for US Products, Jobs and Loyalty

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 30, 2012 03:03 PM

The outsourcing of jobs to foreign countries has been a constant presence for U.S. politicians, pundits, and the H.R. departments as they lay off Americans in recent years. The perception among consumers is that pretty much nothing is made in America anymore. And anything that is, isn’t totally high-quality.

This, of course, is completely bogus. While plenty of jobs have been shipped out of the country, there many companies that do all they can to make quality products and proudly hoist the "Made in America" banner. Those companies now have a major cheerleader in the American Brand Project, a patriotic social startup that rates just how American different companies are in order to help consumers make informed decisions on what to buy.Continue reading...

in it to win it

Cereal Thriller: Kellogg's Launches Loyalty Rewards Program

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 19, 2012 02:13 PM

Hey kids — eating cereal can earn you valuable prizes! Yes, you’ve got your airline loyalty cards and your hotel loyalty cards. You’ve got your “Buy 10 and Get One Free” cards at the shoe store, liquor store, and every other store. You’ve got your cash-back loyalty programs. And now you’ve got your cereal loyalty program.

In the vein of MyCokeRewards.com, Kellogg this week kicks off its own loyalty program. The idea is for consumers to visit KelloggsFamilyRewards.com and enter codes on each Kellogg product that they purchase. They then become eligible for rewards as well as the opportunity each day to win $200 of groceries.Continue reading...

social media watch

Quick, Local Engagement Matters for Socially Devoted Brands

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 3, 2012 03:02 PM

In a bid to set a new standard for “Socially Devoted” companies, a new Socialbakers study identifies businesses that succeed with open and responsive social communications, creating a benchmark for how businesses can drive customer engagement through such social media strategies.

“By defining Socially Devoted companies, we wanted to start a discussion in the industry,” said Socialbakers CEO Jan Rezab. “Socially Devoted companies communicate openly, actively respond to fans and make sure customers receive a quick answer to feedback or questions. Socially Devoted companies set a new global standard that other businesses can adopt to improve their social media marketing strategy.”Continue reading...

mobile marketing

Target Rolls Out Shopkick App Today

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 23, 2012 10:07 AM

Target is taking the lead as the largest retailer to offer its customers Shopkick points (known as "kicks") starting today.

Shopkick, free and available on iPhone and Android devices, rewards users with 300 “kicks” just for walking-in to a store. “After 6 months in the market, shopkick reached 1 million users. Today, it is the largest location-based shopping app in the world,” said Cyriac Roeding, Shopkick CEO and Co-Founder.

Target customers can now use those “kicks” to scan products ranging from food and cleaning supplies to electronics and toys, redeemable for Target gift cards, Facebook credits, dining gift certificates, iTunes downloads and donations to charities, as well as receive special in-store deals including coupons and discounts.Continue reading...


Sears Tests Local Personalized Shopping in Pittsburgh and Beyond

Posted by Shirley Brady on May 7, 2012 09:57 AM

Sears is testing local, personalized e-commerce with the launch of SearsLocalAd.com, which debuts today in Pittsburgh and a handful of other U.S. test markets. The details:Continue reading...

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