brand news

In the News: Boeing, Coca-Cola, Ford and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 13, 2013 09:19 AM

In the News

Boeing sees collapse of its renewed talks with machinists for 777X work.

Coca-Cola shakes up Americas management.

Ford plans to add 5,000 US jobs in 2014, hatches three new plants globally, and announces driverless-car initiative.

Bolthouse Farms leverages innovative Instagram tech.

DaVinci Wines debuts Facebook promo.

DirecTV explores online-video service and counts on addressable ads for future growth.

Google mulls designing its own server chips in threat to Intel.

Hilton explores creating new hotel brand aimed at affluent Millennials.

Hyundai plans to tout Genesis, Elantra in Super Bowl.Continue reading...

survey says

Amazon is Tops in Consumer Experience, While Facebook Hits a New Low

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 6, 2013 06:03 PM

Amazon remains on top of ForeSee's Experience Index, which forms a comprehensive picture of customer experience across the 100 best global brands across seven industries, as ranked by Interbrand.  in four key consumer categories, Satisfaction, Retention, Upsell and Recommend, 

Amazon, which ranked highest in Satisfaction, Retention, Upsell and Recommend, leads its biggest competitor, Walmart, by 15 points. 

Predictive of business success, the report features data for American Express, Apple, Amazon, Coca-Cola, Cisco, Facebook, Gillette, Honda, Google, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Oracle and more. 

Top findings include:Continue reading...

mobile commerce

Google Allows Consumers to Ease Into Mobile Payments with New Google Wallet Debit Card

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 21, 2013 11:28 AM

Google Wallet was ostensibly created so that consumers didn’t have to carry around their loyalty cards, credit cards, gift cards, and cash in their actual wallets.

But in a move that perhaps indicates that consumers aren't quite comfortable enough yet with mobile payments, Google has introduced the Google Wallet debit card. The card allows users to pay for goods at shops that accept MasterCard and withdraw cash from an ATM—all with funds from their Google Wallet account. 

The goal, AllThingsD notes, is to “mainly appeal to a subset of Google Wallet users who have had money transferred to them from another Google Wallet user and don’t want to wait a couple of days for the money to appear in their bank account.” For instance, users of Square Cash, the money-transferring spinoff of its mobile-payments parent, have to wait two or three days before funds appear in their account. There is also no monthly or annual fees associated with the Google card.Continue reading...

big data

IBM Dives Deep Into Tweets to Identify Core Consumer Needs and Wants

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 12, 2013 07:28 PM

Using technology to better understand consumers' wants and needs has hit a new stride as brands compete to target promotions and deliver personalized customer service.

While most major retailers have used predictive analytics for years, new technologies have augmented the statistical game to nuances heretofore unknown. For instance, IBM has begun testing technology that essentially assigns core psychological traits by analyzing a consumer's tweets.

“We need to go below behavioral analysis like Amazon does,” said Michelle Zhou, lead of the User Systems and Experience Research Group at IBM’s Almaden Research Center where the software was created, according to Mashable. “We want to use social media to derive information about an individual—what is the overall affect of this person? How resilient is this person emotionally? People with different personalities want something different.”

The software builds a personality profile based on the most recent hundred or thousand Twitter updates, scoring them against the "big five" traits used in psychology: extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience. It also scores on “values” (hedonism and conservatism) and “needs” (curiosity and social harmony).Continue reading...

retail

J.Crew Crosses the Pond in Search of Brits with Fat Wallets

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 8, 2013 05:37 PM

J.Crew has crossed the pond to bring its own brand of preppy duds to London's Regent Street, opening its first flagship outside North America today. The 17,000-square-foot store houses separate men's and women's shops, as well as Crewcuts, the retailer's children's boutique. The London expansion will also include two other retail locations, one women's and one men's store. 

Combatting an increasingly "promotional" retail environment in the US, the retailer hopes that greater brand awareness through physical locations in the UK will provide a needed boost. J.Crew has also opened 3 new retail locations in Canada recently, as well. 

"London was an easy decision,” said chairman and CEO Mickey Drexler. “It is a place where people understand and respect the integrity of great style and design."

Indeed, finding a place among London's High Street stores may be a better fit for the increasingly upscale J.Crew brand, whose prices are in stark contrast to its fellow shopping mall tenants in the US, such as growing fast fashion brands like H&M. But with some product prices in the UK bumped up almost 40 percent, the retailer runs the risk of creating sticker-shock in Europe. "I've heard rumblings about it," Creative Director Jenna Lyons said, regarding additional taxes and duties associated with having an international location, "and we're doing everything we possibly can to keep the quality of the product as good as it can be and maintain the tightest possible price."Continue reading...

retail

Afraid of Scrooge This Christmas, Brands Have Pivoted to Early Promotions

Posted by Dale Buss on November 4, 2013 03:49 PM

Halloween is barely a distant memory in retailing terms, but what really frightens store chains this week is the prospect that the quickly approaching holiday season will be a scary period for them.

Economic snapshots and projections aren't all that encouraging, and neither has been the sluggishness that retail brands have seen in their own stores so far this fall. So brands including Walmart, J. Crew, MasterCard and luxury auto brands already have joined Best Buy in getting what they hope will be an early jump on holiday spending.

Walmart, for example, is pulling forward seven big deals on items including TVs and tablets that were originally reserved for Cyber Monday, the first Monday after Thanksgiving, the Associated Press reported.Continue reading...

mobile commerce

MasterCard Teams with Wired to Build Buying Power into Digital Content

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 9, 2013 07:07 PM

Readers often come across products while reading stories about them, garnering interest and and intent to buy—eventually. But now Wired magazine has teamed up with MasterCard to make the page-to-purchase process and instant shopping satisfaction. 

Starting with the November tablet edition of Wired, which becomes available Oct. 15, readers will be able to simply click on products within the magazine’s content and dump it into a single shopping cart for purchasing, according to a press release. MasterCard’s technology for the effort is appropriately named ShopThis! and MasterPass.Continue reading...

brand evolution

MasterCard Moves to Engage with Socially-Tied, Content-Heavy Newsroom

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 20, 2013 07:03 PM

MasterCard is continuing its transformation from a B2B company to a digital firm as it focuses on social interactions to better understand customers and clients, moving from consumer-facing conversation to outright engagement. 

After the successful launch of their Conversation Suite in May, “a real-time focus group” that tracks all mentions of MasterCard and the competition with results displayed on a giant 40 ft. LED screen, the financial services brand is launching The Engagement Bureau, the next iteration of the brand’s news sharing platform.

Along with a redesigned Cashless Pioneers Blog, the revamped newsroom will focus on creating a conversation place and publishing hub for the brand. The newsroom now features real-time tweets that populate at the bottom of the page where all news released by the company will be housed.Continue reading...

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