brand challenges

Apple Battles iPhoney Imitators in Brazil and Mexico

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 20, 2012 01:20 PM

You think Apple was the first to think of the iPhone? Well, OK, maybe they thought up the iPhone, but there was somebody in front of them who cooked up the IPHONE. And now the smartphone-buying public of Brazil will get to be confused by them.

An earlier incarnation of IGB Eletronica SA, a Brazilian consumer electronics manufacturer, applied for exclusive rights in Brazil to register its products under the name IPHONE way back in 2000. Apple’s iPhone didn’t launch until seven years later. There was no confusion for more than a decade since IGB hasn’t released any products under that name. But that is all about to change.

IGB will start selling its $290 Android-based IPHONE in Brazil with the first model called Neo One, Reuters reports. This news comes only a week after Apple started selling its iPhone 5 in the country.

It doesn’t appear that Apple will take IGB to court, particularly after losing a battle last month with a Mexican telecommunications company that is selling the – wait for it — iFone. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reports that IGB may end up filing suit against Apple: "The two brands can't coexist in the market," said Eugenio Staub, president of IGB’s Gradiente. "It's up to Apple to make a move."Continue reading...

automotive

Mind Your Qs: Will Infiniti's New Naming Strategy Cause Initial Confusion?

Posted by Dale Buss on December 19, 2012 10:55 AM

If there's anything that Johan de Nysschen would like to do in his new post as global head of the Infiniti brand, it would be to emulate and then surpass Audi's success. The Volkswagen-owned luxury brand has achieved huge gains in sales, market share and brand equity worldwide over the last several years, and those things are exactly de Nysschen's goals at Infiniti.

Of course, he might know something about how to mimic Audi. De Nysschen led Audi of America's renaissance over the previous five years until Infiniti snatched him away early this year. One of his new ideas for Infiniti is to rename its product line, designating every sedan as a "Q"-something and every SUV as a "QX"-something. Infiniti — once a U.S.-only brand owned by Nissan — previously used "Q" and "QX" for vehicles, but now its model names comprise an alphabet soup of everything from G to M to JX.Continue reading...

automotive

Ford Introduces the "Lincoln Motor Company" in New Branding Campaign

Posted by Dale Buss on December 3, 2012 08:34 AM

Ford steps up its reinvention of the Lincoln brand today with the unveiling of a new advertising campaign that "introduces" a revived entity it's calling the Lincoln Motor Company. Ford CEO Alan Mulally and other top executives will announce the new campaign in (where else?) New York's Lincoln Center Plaza Monday, with supporting events on tap in Miami and Los Angeles as well.

"Today we are announcing a new beginning for a brand that has been part of our company and the American fabric for more than 90 years," stated Ford Motor Company CEO Alan Mulally. "The new Lincoln brand will be defined by great new luxury vehicles, such as the new MKZ, that feature quality, unique style with substance and innovative technology. These elements, coupled with a new level of warm, personal and surprising experiences, will enable Lincoln to appeal to today’s new luxury customer."

The first phase of Lincoln's brand relaunch was unveiled during Ford's appearance at the Los Angeles Auto Show, and will culminate in a Super Bowl TV ad on February 3. Interestingly, Ford has shunned advertising during the big game for the last few years.

Lincoln originally was called the Lincoln Motor Company in 1922 when Edsel Ford signed the agrreement purchasing the company from its founder, Henry Leland. By dusting off the old moniker, Ford hopes to begin to re-educate American luxury buyers about a brand in which it is only now investing significant resources gdain, after essentially neglecting it for the last few years.

"The campaign captures the founding principles of the [Lincoln Motor] company and brings them forward to a new generation of progressive luxury buyers," Ford said in its press release. It also noted that back in the day, Edsel Ford made Lincoln "one of the most distinctive luxury brands in the industry, with motorcars that were urbane, sleek and elegant — the epitome of understated luxury."Continue reading...

what's in a name

What's in a Name? For Gilda's Club at 17, Confusion and Uproar Over Branding [Updated]

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 28, 2012 06:55 PM

Gilda Radner's Saturday Night Live character, Roseanne Rosannadanna, was famous for saying, "Well, it just goes to show — it's always something." Today, that something was a misleading headline on gossip site Gawker.com, which picked up a slightly misleading story from the Madison State Journal.

That story recounts the rebranding of a Gilda's Club chapter in Madison, Wisconsin, dropping the name of the cancer support organization established by Radner's husband, Gene Wilder, following her death from ovarian cancer in 1989. That chapter will adopt the name of Cancer Support Community, an organization that was founded by the merger of Gilda's Club Worldwide with the Wellness Community in November 2009, which became official in June 2011. That part is accurate; what's inaccurate is that the original story states that all Gilda's Club chapters will be adopting the CSC moniker "and the Gilda name will slowly go away."

The pioneering actress and comic, whose five-year run on SNL from 1975 to 1980 made her the Tina Fey/Sarah Silverman of her time, is an enduring icon to comedy-lovers worldwide. But Radner is also beloved for having inspired Gilda's Club. The original Gilda's Club location, a cozy brownstone with a cheery red door on Houston Street West in New York's Greenwich Village, is still active, as is the organization's mandate to provide free support and services to cancer patients and their supporters.

The CEO of Gilda's Club NYC told us they just celebrated their 17th anniversary and "would never change" their name, while CSC's EVP of external affairs also addressed the confusion and (see our update below) shared the organization's official statement on the matter.Continue reading...

rebranding

ING Direct Rebrand to Capital One 360 Irks Orange Ball Loyalists

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 15, 2012 02:14 PM

In June 2011, the Dutch financial services giant ING Group agreed to sell ING DIRECT USA to Capital One as part of a restructuring agreement with the European Commission. As part of the deal, ING Group permitted the use of "ING DIRECT" only until February, 2013, so the companies adopted Capital One 360 as its new brand name.

As a result, the distinctive ING Direct orange ball is rolling into the archives, to be replaced by Capital One's red-and-blue logo with the addition of a red ball enclosing the number “360” with a sideways chevron. But not all current ING Direct US "Savers," as they like to call their Facebook followers, are convinced. Some fans just can't let go of the ball.

ING Direct customer David Mejias started a “save the orange ball” petition on Change.org, while another brand loyalist, Maria Elena Villegas, posted on Facebook: “So, Capital One bought the rights to the orange ball only to destroy any brand recognition and customer loyalty amongst ING customers? If anything, they should have rolled everything over to look and feel and work as ING Direct works. This is an absolute waste of branding, customer loyalty, and potential goodwill or at least neutrality from current ING customers by Capital One.”Continue reading...

brand and bottle

Stark Wine to Diageo's Stark Raving Wine: Get Off Our Lawn [UPDATE]

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

Remember when Orson Welles used to tell us how Paul Masson would “serve no wine before its time”? In those days, it seemed like wine was only consumed by old fuddy duddies who had plenty of time to burn. Things have changed dramatically since then, of course, with lots of younger folk gravitating to vino and plenty of winemakers happy to market to them. One of them, though, has enountered a little bump in the road on the legal front.

Diageo Chateau and Estates, a subsidiary of alcoholic-beverage powerhouse Diageo, recently began marketing a wine called Stark Raving, but now it must stop advertising, promoting, distributing, and selling the stuff thanks to legal action taken by Stark Wine LLC. “We don't want consumers to think that Stark Raving wine is made by Stark Wine as Diageo floods the market with its Stark Raving wine," according to Stark Wine's press release. The company is “pleased with this initial victory and is glad to have Diageo's Stark Raving wine out of its backyard."

Update: Diageo points out that received a limited preliminary injunction to stop the sale of Stark Raving wines only in Sonoma County, CA, so Stark Raving wine is not completely off the market. A company spokesperson commented:

While we would have preferred that the court not issue this limited preliminary injunction, we are pleased that our Stark Raving wines will continue to be sold nationally except in Sonoma County.  We will comply with the Court's order, and we are confident that we will prevail in the end.

In the meantime, Diageo will just have to settle for all the cash it makes from Guinness, Red Stripe, Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Popov, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Baileys, and the slew of other beer, wine, and liquor brands it owns.

name blame

Storm Brewing Over Naming Weather as Athena Bumps Sandy From Radar

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 7, 2012 03:50 PM

The Weather Channel has named the nor’easter winter storm that's now bringing snow to New York City and environs after the Greek goddess-inspired Athena. The all-weather, all the time brands admits it's a ploy to bring attention (and own the conversation) about the post-Hurricane Sandy ice storm that's threatening to blanket gloom on those relief efforts. 

“Without Sandy, we may not have named this storm," the Weather Channel admits. "However, one of our main reasons for naming events is societal impact. With so many people still under recovery efforts — even well inland — the combination of heavy, wet snow and wind prompted the decision to name this storm.”

The U.S. National Weather Service, however, isn't impressed. It's refusing to acknowledge or condone Athena — or any other storm names emanating from Weather Channel HQ in Atlanta.Continue reading...

name game

Subscribers Disconnect as Sprint Hangs Up on Nextel Brand Name

Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 7, 2012 01:08 PM

Japanese technology giant Softbank's $20 billion takeover of Sprint is already proving to be an uphill battle. Sprint reported that it lost 423,000 U.S. subscribers from July 1 to Sept. 30, while only gaining 19,000 non-contract subscribers, the smallest number in over three years. That churn contributed to Sprint losing $767 million in the quarter, compared to a $301 million loss for the same period a year ago.

The downward spiral for Sprint was even more obvious in comparison to its two main competitors, Verizon Wireless, which added 1.8 million subscribers, and AT&T, which added 228,000 subscribers. In addition, Verizon Wireless and AT&T saw a spike in iPhone 5 sales while Sprint's activation of iPhones in Q3 was flat. Ironically, the 2012 American Customer Satisfaction Index ranked Sprint first among all national carriers in customer satisfaction and most improved, across all 47 U.S. industries, during the last four years.

In an attempt to shore up its flagging business, Sprint is acquiring PCS broadband spectrum and customers in parts of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio from smaller wireless competitor U.S. Cellular for $480 million. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse stated that "Acquiring this spectrum will significantly increase Sprint's network capacity and improve the customer experience in several important Midwest markets including Chicago and St. Louis." Even though U.S. Cellular is exiting the Chicago market, its brand name will remain on the city's U.S. Cellular Field stadium and it will maintain its corporate headquarters in the market.

Being acquired by Softbank means Sprint, meanwhile, will officially shed the Nextel part of its corporate name.Continue reading...

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