brand strategy

To Stay Fit and Nimble in Slow Market, Nestle Plans to Shed Underperforming Brands

Posted by Dale Buss on October 4, 2013 10:43 AM

Once, PowerBar was a pioneer of the nutrition-bar segment, a unique product that joined Silk soy milk and a handful of other far-sighted innovations as the harbingers of a whole new American better-for-you-food trend.

But now the brand is merely one of hundreds, nay thousands, of energy bars and other bar formats that take an entire aisle at some US supermarkets, and so Nestle has decided PowerBar isn't pulling its weight. The Swiss food giant reportedly is looking to sell PowerBar and many other "underperforming" units in a brand house cleaning that long has been urged upon it by advisers.

In many ways Nestle is a model of modern multinational brand management, having built and expanded powerful franchises in segments ranging from chocolate to water to baby food to coffee. Other industry CEOs point to Nestle as the paragon, a company they're trying to fashion theirs after.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Aquafina, Amazon, Infiniti and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 1, 2013 09:21 AM

In the News

Aquafina introduce water line targeting teens.

Amazon plans to hire 40 percent more seasonal workers for this holiday.

Infiniti plans to cut inventories and raise standards for dealers.

AT&T plans ultrafast-internet system for Austin, Texas.

Adobe targets next generation of creatives.

Cardlytics debuts new visual identity and logo.

CNN and NBC scrap projects on Hillary Clinton.

Chrysler reports best September sales since 2007; all US automakers report today.

Dish Network and Walt Disney reach short-term deal to avoid blackout.

GM encounters softening sales in India.

Google closes in on deal to end European antitrust case over search.

Heineken hints at creating "high-end" home-beer machine.

JPMorgan settlement could falter over question of "wrongdoing."

Merck aims to save $2.5 billion by cutting additional 8,500 jobs, extending layoffs to 20% of workforce in shift to sales-driven R&D.

Microsoft and Nokia make inroads in Europe's lower-end smartphone market.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Best Global Brands, JetBlue, IKEA and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 30, 2013 09:22 AM

In the News

Apple named world's most valuable brand, passing Coca-Cola, on Interbrand's Best Global Brands 2013 report.

JetBlue launches premium brandMint

IKEA starts UK solar push.

AOL to start advertising on TV again. 

BlackBerry starts selling unlocked phones direct to US buyers. 

DirecTV plans to help finance indie films.

Ford sends the checks to soothe C-Max owners on fuel economy as company is said to retain CEO Alan Mulally's "absolute focus" despite reports about Microsoft job, while Ford prepares heir apparent.

GM can't keep up with demand for V-8 pickups.

Home Depot scales up Redbeacon service for small contracting jobs.

Intel invests in wearable device maker Recon. 

JCPenney remains on the brink.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Nestle, Unilever Improve Corporate Citizenship, but Food's 'Big 10' Rank Poorly Overall

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 18, 2013 04:57 PM

Thirty-one major investment funds, representing close to 1.5 trillion dollars, have called on food industry leaders to improve their supply chain policies and transparency.

Sponsored by Calvert Investments and signed by investors including F&C Asset Management, BNP Paribas Investment Partners and Aviva Investors, the funds commit to work with their companies to pursue changes and support Oxfam’s Behind the Brands initiative.

The push to improve such policies comes on the heels of an update to Oxfam's Behind the Brands scorecard, which, depsite several improvements by segment leaders Nestle and Unilever, still leaves much room for advancements in sustainability and corporate responsibility. “The data show there is a broad and urgent need for significant improvement across the sector," the organization said in a press release.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Starbucks, YouTube, Unilever and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 18, 2013 09:21 AM

In the News

Starbucks is making China its No. 2 market and declares guns as unwelcome but doesn’t ban them.

YouTube says you'll be able to watch videos offline soon. 

Unilever and Nestle rank as biggest improvers in Oxfam sustainability report.

AT&T and America Movil move to expand in Latin America together.

Adobe is boosted by cloud sales.

Apple sees brands bet big that it will be able to scale iTunes Radio rapidly as it releases iOS 7 today. 

Audi plans to revive auto production in Brazil.

BMW begins i3 production.

Cracker Barrel sees activist investor Biglari press for a special dividend.

Fiat presses forward with efforts to acquire Chrysler stake from UAW and plans to produce more Fiat-brand models.Continue reading...

brand partners

Google Forms Sweet Partnership with Nestle to Promote New OS: Android KitKat

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 4, 2013 10:43 AM

Google’s Android team apparently has a serious sweet tooth. Since 2009, each version of its operating system has been named after one sugary confection or another. Starting with cupcake and proceeding alphabetically through such treats as éclair, ice cream sandwich, and jelly bean, the system has announced its latest iteration—and the ultimate product placement: Android KitKat.

Google and Nestle have teamed up for a no-cash partnership that will include co-branding on KitKat candy packaging, as well as a branded sweepstakes. “We couldn’t imagine a better name for our Android K release than the tasty chocolate that’s been a favorite among the team since the early days of Android,” said Marc Vanlerberghe, Director of Android Marketing, according to a press release from Nestle.

Android chief Sundar Pichal revealed the new name, which was originally rumored to be Key Lime Pie, in a Google+ post and also announced that Android has passed one billion activations.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Kodak, Petco, Toyota and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 4, 2013 09:14 AM

In the News

Kodak officially ends bankruptcy.

Petco launches transformation effort.

Toyota announces hybrids recall.

Amazon unveils new Kindle, Matchbook service. 

Bank of America exits China bank stake.

Bison Council pushes acceptance of the meat.

Chick-fil-A offers free breakfast, with reservation.

Chrysler posts 12 percent sales gain in August as all brands ready for US sales reports today.

Google partners with Nestle to name new operating system.

Hershey boosts ad spending and sales have followed.

Johnson & Johnson adds red warning label on Tylenol over dosage concerns.

JCPenney finds love from other hedge funds.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Water Runs Free for Nestle Waters in British Columbia, But Opposition Grows

Posted by Dale Buss on August 23, 2013 05:12 PM

Nestle Waters Canada is being deluged with criticism by Canadian environmentalists and ordinary citizens over its free and nearly-free access to water for its bottling operations from British Columbia to Ontario. But the company says it's being picked on.

British Columbians now are on alert because Nestle Waters Canada, a unit of Switzerland-based Nestle Group, is taking 265 million liters of fresh water each year from a well in Fraser Valley—for no fee. Because of a lack of regulation of groundwater there, Nestle doesn't even have to report how much water it is drawing for its bottling operations in the area, which employ 75 people.

"We have water that's so clean and pure, it's amazing," Sharlene Harrison-Hinds, a local resident, told The Province newspaper. "And then they take it and sell it back to us in plastic bottles."Continue reading...

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