2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

china

The Week in China: Tourism's Death Trap, Auction House Tussle and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on October 11, 2013 01:42 PM

China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.

This week: Chinese tourism boom has a downside… auction house war in the making…  Starbucks struggling… Apple in Hong Kong… dumpling billionaire… Crayola charges into China… Alibaba-Tencent fight over mobile payments… Moët & Chandon on a boat… Maison Birks… and more.Continue reading...

logo-a-gogo

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...

retail watch

Expansion is the Name of the Game for Iconic Clothiers Brooks Brothers, Jos. A. Bank

Posted by Dale Buss on October 9, 2013 01:49 PM

Change is afoot in the long-stuffy business of dressing men for success. And the players aren't pulling their new strategies off the rack.

Jos. A. Bank has just bid $2.3 billion for troubled rival Men's Wearhouse in an unsolicited offer that quickly was rejected by the latter, while retailer Brooks Brothers is looking to take on competition by expanding its high-end brand beyond store shelves. 

Men's Wearhouse clearly has been weakened by sales and profit declines stemming from systemic problems as well as the recent ouster of the chain's founder and pitchman-in-chief, George Zimmer, who remains the company's largest shareholder.Continue reading...

retail therapy

Williams-Sonoma Combats Showrooming Issue with Private Labels, Customer Experiences

Posted by Dale Buss on October 8, 2013 05:38 PM

It was one thing for Best Buy and other big box, commodity chains to suffer from “showrooming,” but the practice now appears to be afflicting haute cuisine enabler Williams-Sonoma. And its new CEO Janet Hayes, who was named in March, is trying to do something about it.

The chain—a sibling brand to the Pottery Barn and West Elm housewares chains—has posted same-store sales declines for five of the last seven quarters as Williams-Sonoma copes with the growing scourge of showrooming—an action that the high-end retailer once didn't have to worry about because of its exclusive inventory. But now a host of brick-and-mortar and online rivals are presenting much of the same stuff, including upstarts Cutlery & More and Sur Le Table as well as Macy’s and Amazon, according to Bloomberg.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Fiat, BlackBerry, Macy's and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 7, 2013 09:22 AM

In the News

Fiat loses momentum in US comeback.

BlackBerry discusses bids with big-name strategic buyers that would dismember brand.

Macy's rethinks web plans in China.

Allstate outflanks online rivals.

Boston Market offers promotion related to idled government workers.

Burger King sees perception gains after "Satisfries" launch.

C-Span finds interest amid government shutdown.

Chevrolet will limit supplies of new Corvette at first.

Cracker Barrel and Kraft settle trademark differences.

ESPN drops International X Games.

Frito-Lay introduces glow-in-the-dark Halloween packages.

GM prods dealers to sell cars online.

Hershey plans plant in Malaysia.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Chrysler, Disney World, Arby's and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 24, 2013 09:36 AM

In the News

Chrysler files for IPO in valuation feud with UAW as company chokes on launch of new Jeep Cherokee

Disney World and Disneyland cut line-cutting privileges for disabled after abuse. 

Arby's names new CMO.

ADM plans to move top execs from Illinois plains to larger city.  

Bugatti plans to sell handbags to broaden appeal of luxury car brand. 

China will unblock Facebook, Twitter and the New York Times inside Shanghai Free Trade Zone. 

Citigroup cuts mortgage jobs as refinancing boom wanes.

Domino's upgrades online ordering.

Foxconn deals with large-scale worker fight on China campus.

Kraft Foods leverages Corn Nuts content in display ads.

Macy's campaign explains localization strategy.Continue reading...

retail watch

Macy's Battles Slump with Surprise CEO Visits, Consumer Data

Posted by Dale Buss on September 13, 2013 10:06 AM

It's not the same kind of drama he created on the witness stand in the Macy's suit against JCPenney and Martha Stewart last spring. But Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren can still generate some anxiety when he calls store managers from his car as little as 10 minutes before conducting a surprise visit. "The first five minutes are a little uncomfortable," he told Bloomberg.

These drop-ins have taken on added urgency for Lundgren and the chain, the publication noted, as Macy's struggles like many other retail chains with the slow-growth American economy, in which middle-income shoppers particularly are feeling a financial pinch. The iconic department store brand also is trying to do a better job of exploiting its digital database on customers without tripping on privacy issues.

Neither the back-to-school season nor a cool summer across much of the country nor even anticipation of the winter holiday season has helped national department store retailers regain the mojo that they last possessed before the Great Recession. The largest US department store chain, Macy's last month reported second-quarter profits that missed estimates and lowered its forecast.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Daily Beast, Mondelez, Pandora and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 12, 2013 09:31 AM

In the News

The Daily Beast loses Tina Brown.

Mondelez strikes unique deal with Twitter for in-house experts. 

Pandora names new CEO.

AT&T slammed for 9/11 tweet.

Aetna takes stand for health-cost reform.

Apple sees investors slam its "low-end" strategy as Google patent suit may get new life.

BlackBerry sees service business targeted by rivals.

Boston Market opens first new restaurant in seven years.

Chipotle targets "Big Food" with brand documentary.

Colgate campaign says "there's something in your Tweet."

Facebook gets stronger engagement on mobile than on PCs as FTC probes company on privacy issues.

Gorilla Glue branches out with first national TV ad campaign. 

Hilton files for IPO of up to $1.25 billion.Continue reading...

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