Posted by Dale Buss on March 29, 2013 09:15 AM
Subway named top QSR brand in new study.
Google tests same-day delivery business.
Amazon plans to acquire Goodreads book site.
AOL teams up with coach Phil Jackson to punk Twitter.
Apple faces heightened oversight in China.
Audi aims at Mercedes-Benz CLA with new A3 sedan.
Deutsche Telekom runs into opposition over proposed merger of T-Mobile with MetroPCS.
eBay says it is "now playing offense."
FX pitches new FXX channel at Millennials.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 28, 2013 06:32 PM
Because the Tri-State market is so demographically broad, automakers load up their car haulers for the New York International Show and bring every conceivable type of new vehicle—from inexpensive fresh production models to concept cars that would demand seven-figure prices if they were available—in an effort to leave no segment of the local market unturned and to impress the hordes of journalists who've assembled in the world media capital.
Given that the U.S. auto-sales recovery continues to gain some steam, it's no surprise that this year's show at the Javits Center has attracted one of the most impressive hauls of automotive hardware to the New York show that's been seen in several years.
Here's a brand-by-brand account of some of what news media have been seeing as the show prepares to open to the public:
Honda got tongues wagging this week with, of all things, a vacuum cleaner. HondaVAC debutes in the Touring Elite version of the 2014 Honda Odyssey as the brand ups the ante in the rolling-living-room segment. The device was developed with Shop-Vac and is comprised of a powerful vacuum, replaceable filter and canister bag with nozzle accessories neatly integrated into a dedicated space on the driver's side bulkhead of the rear cargo area, Honda explained.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 21, 2013 10:16 AM
Luxury is back at the forefront of fashion and lifestyle despite the still shaky worldwide economy.
Findings from the 2013 Harris Poll EquiTrend, show gains in brand equity across 155 categories from auto makers to department stores across three key criteria: Familiarity, Quality and Purchase Consideration.
"This may show that after a number of years spent tightening their belts, consumers are looking to the quality and value they feel these brands provide,” said Aron Galonsky, SVP Brand and Communication Consulting at Harris Interactive.
Mercedes-Benz took top honors in the Luxury Automotive brand category for the third consecutive year, with Acura (which takes on uber-luxury in its latest US TV commercial, below), Audi, BMW, Infiniti and Land Rover receiving their highest scores ever. Harley-Davidson got its highest score in the study's 25-year history regaining top spot as Motorcycle Brand of the Year.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 18, 2013 12:17 PM
Dragged down by a still-worsening automotive recession in their home continent, European automakers are pulling out all the stops in efforts to retain and create sales momentum—with some new initiatives in Europe and many in the still-growing markets outside of it. Meanwhile, Lexus is planning a global brand campaign in May as it finally puts a disastrous 2010 and 2011 behind it.
German automakers Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW are jockeying not only to attempt to stay above the fray in a troubled European market but also to advance their individual designs on global supremacy. VW vows to become the world's top automaker in the next several years, while its Audi brand also is battling with BMW and Daimler's Mercedes-Benz brand for worldwide luxury-sales leadership.
One possibility for Volkswagen is to add still more automotive brands to its existing stable of 12, CEO Martin Winterkorn said. Last year, VW completed its purchase of Porsche and added Italian motorcycle maker Ducati.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 15, 2013 04:43 PM
General Motors brands and Lexus were the big winners when J.D. Power & Associates announced its highly regarded annual awards for dealership-customer satisfaction based on its survey of thousands of American automotive consumers.
Three GM brands—led by GMC, and also including No. 3 Buick and No. 4 Chevrolet—placed in the top five in Power's prestigious designation. No. 2 Mini and No. 5 Volkswagen rounded out the top five. Three Chrysler Group brands—Jeep, Ram and Dodge—finished at the bottom.
In the luxury arena, Lexus once again won the day—for the fifth straight year—followed by yet another GM brand, Cadillac; Jaguar; Acura; and Infiniti. BMW and Mercedes-Benz placed below average, while Land Rover gained the most of any luxury brand from last year.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on March 15, 2013 12:35 PM
Above, Guanxi.me, makers of a popular app widely used for hooking up, has generously released a "Don't Hook Up" PSA.
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: "Dr. Hangzhou"... avoiding hook-ups... recalls... vacuum cleaners... panda poop... Coca-Cola's illegal GPS... Uniqlo... selling air quality... Philip Morris... KFC... Guanxi.me... McDonald's gives away McMuffins... and moreContinue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 14, 2013 01:16 PM
While the white smoke billowed out into St. Peter's Square and Pope Francis was introduced to the world, the Catholic Church’s legal team was busy behind the scenes.
As it's widely understood, the Catholic Church is as much a business as it is a religious beacon, and like any smart business, the Church protects its property. Vatican City and the Holy See are already the owners of such trademarks as “Benedictvs XVI Pontifex Maximus,” “Ioannes Pavlvs Pontifex Maximus,” “Stato Della Citta Del Vaticano,” and “Segreteria Di Stato," according to Forbes. Now, with a new pontiff in place, Vatican lawyers will be hard at work securing trademarks for everything Pope Francis related.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 5, 2013 05:07 PM
At the end of Mercedes-Benz's Super Bowl commercial, the price of the new CLA sedan was revealed on a billboard as $29,900.
The moment was more than a punch line that allowed the hero of the ad to believe maybe he didn't need to sell his soul to the Devil to enjoy the high life. It also was the climax of a three-year effort by top executives of Mercedes-Benz USA to get parent Daimler AG to agree to field the new model at a price point below the $30,000 level that the Americans believed would be important to encourage interest among the 30- to 40-year-olds who would be the target for CLA.
Now that the car itself is being unveiled at the Geneva auto show this week before it goes on sale in the U.S. in September, Steve Cannon, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, is more than happy to relive what he believes will become a significant turn for the brand in the increasingly important American market.