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brand strategy

Bayer to Buyers: Take Two Aspirin, We're Keeping Our Consumer Brands

Posted by Dale Buss on July 3, 2014 02:50 PM

Maybe it's the onset of summer, but Bayer has decided there’s still value in two tried-and-true consumer brands for Americans: Dr. Scholl's and Coppertone.

Lots of other companies were interested in bagging the summertime stalwarts, but the German drug and chemical giant has decided to keep the foot-care and sun-care icons, widening its own line to include consumer goods. Bayer acquired them as part of a $14.2 billion transaction with US pharmaceutical giant Merck.

When it clinched the deal several weeks ago, Bayer mainly targeted Merck’s non-prescription-drugs business, to which Dr. Scholl’s and Coppertone—known for its iconic Coppertone Girl— were attached. That set off speculation that Bayer—best known in the US for its aspirin and some chemicals—would sell off the two iconic consumer brands.

Each of the brands is worth more than $1 billion—the billion-dollar valuation being the benchmark that also convinced Nestle USA to hold onto Lean Cuisine while unloading Juicy Juice this week. Bayer secured the bundle of properties from Merck after a competitive bidding tussle with P&G, fellow European CPG giant Renckitt Benckiser and Swiss pharma titan Novartis.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Burger King's Pride Burger, Hobby Lobby, T-Mobile and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 2, 2014 09:14 AM

TOP STORIES

Amazon defends stance against publishers.

Burger King unveils Gay Pride-themed "Proud Whopper" in limited test.

Google buys online music service Songza for reported $39 million.

Hobby Lobby ruling sparks mixed reactions by US business-owners.

T-Mobile accused by FTC of adding bogus charges to bills.

MORE BRAND NEWS

American Apparel founder Dov Charney fights to regain control of brand.

BMW plans billion-dollar factory in Mexico.

Budweiser owner AB InBev strengthens trademark position by buying Czech Budweiser brewer.

Consumer Reports survey slams KFC, Taco Bell and McDonald's.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: GM, L'Oreal, Bayer and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 1, 2014 09:29 AM

TOP STORIES

GM hopes to turn the key as automaker recalls 8.4 million vehicles and announces victim compensation plan.

Jeep tops most patriotic brands list as brand boosts Chrysler’s June sales.    

L’Oreal settles with FTC over anti-aging ad claims.

Bayer broadens healthcare line by keeping Merck's Dr. Scholl's and Coppertone brands.

Wendy’s taps Boyz II Men for pretzel burger campaign kicking off on Facebook.  

MORE BRAND NEWS

Aereo rivals aim to take advantage of US Supreme Court setback for brand.  

AirAsia and Rakuten team up for budget Japanese airline.  

AT&T sells America Movil stake.Continue reading...

tech innovation

From Star Trek to Silicon Valley, Nestle Presses for Nutritional Edge

Posted by Dale Buss on June 27, 2014 03:15 PM

Nestle is pressing the envelope of nutrition and health with new research efforts on at least two continents that could transform the company from a provider of commoditized, mainstream CPG foods and beverages to a cutting-edge purveyor of medicalized nutrition delivered through entirely new forms of products and services.

Broadly, those are the aims both of new programs at Nestle’s Institute of Health Sciences in Switzerland that promise personalized nutrition with a Star Trek sheen as well as advances being sought by its Silicon Valley outpost, which has been open about a year now.

Nestle is one of the major CPG players that has established a presence in Silicon Valley and is skewing its efforts there toward better-for-you products and services. “It’s helping us chase the next big thing as it relates to solving specific pain points in our business and to get an edge in areas of strategic importance,” Mark Brodeur, global head of digital marketing innovation for Nestle, told brandchannel.Continue reading...

sip on this

Tesco May Bet Big on Beauty Drinks Though Running Skin Deep Is a Risk

Posted by Dale Buss on June 20, 2014 11:49 AM

With a remark by an executive at a contest for UK entrepreneurs last week, Tesco has indicated interest in entering the growing “beauty beverage" market in Europe.

But as a segment that long has seemed heavy on promise but sometimes disappointing in actual sales (and results), beauty drinks have ensnared other major brands including Nestle, Coca-Cola and Sanofi over the last several years—with evidently less-than-spectacular results.

The idea of this genre is to create formulas that actually improve skin, hair and other aspects of appearance in specific ways that go beyond the general health-inducing properties of the thousands of “functional” drinks that are on the market globally.Continue reading...

tech innovation

The Silicon Valley Gold Rush: Marketers Putting the R&D in Branding

Posted by Dale Buss on June 19, 2014 03:11 PM

Kraft is the latest non-tech brand to aspire to greater digital currency by tapping into Silicon Valley. The CPG marketer has been meeting with Twitter, Google, Facebook and other tech leaders in Silicon Valley to figure out how to inject a more digitally-savvy, tech startup vibe into Kraft’s own operations.

Rival CPG companies along with automotive, retail and fast-food restaurant brands are not only visiting, but moving into the neighborhood and establishing their own outposts in Silicon Valley. They include Nestle, McDonald’s , Target, Walmart (which this week made its 13th acquisition, the Stylr mobile app), Ford, Honda, and Nissan.

“We want a presence in the heart of the tech community enabling us to attract world-class talent,” a spokesperson for McDonald’s told TechCrunch. “Being in this epicenter will also help us establish key relationships in the digital space.”

It’s not that any of these CPG, QSR, retail or automotive brands are going to out-smartphone Apple or out-algorithm Google; they’re not setting up physically in Silicon Valley to do business at the cutting edge of high technology. But they do believe they can connect with smart startups, acquire the talent to help them with the digital demands and opportunities in their vertical, and in general benefit from the pace and expectations of innovation in that area.Continue reading...

sip on this

Nescafe Turns to Unified Front to Stave Off Competition from Fast-Growing Keurig

Posted by Dale Buss on June 16, 2014 05:23 PM

Keurig is aiming to compound its competitive edge in the single-cup home brewing market even as competitors such as Nespresso and generic imitators such as TreeHouse attempt to hold it back.

Meanwhile, Nestle is facing greater challenges in advancing its Nespresso single-cup brand while at the same time trying to revive the iconic Nescafe franchise that has flagged lately because single-serve home machines, and the likes of Starbucks cafes, have made instant coffees such as Nescafe outdated.

Maker of the market-creating K-Cup, Keurig Green Mountain will press its competitive edge in the years ahead using at least five distinctive advantages, CEO Brian Kelley told an industry conference last week, according to Food Business News.

They include Keurig’s business model, incorporating the expertise of a retail-beverage company with that of a high-tech appliance company, and its advantages in innovating the machines and the pods. The “smart” design of its machines is another, Kelley said. The fifth advantage is Keurig’s strong strategic partnerships, including with Coca-Cola, which recently took a minority stake in Keurig Green Mountain as the two companies perfect a cold beverage delivery system for the home.Continue reading...

sustainability

Microsoft, Honda Among Brands Winning Favor for Environmental Responsibility

Posted by Dale Buss on June 3, 2014 05:03 PM

Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Samsung, Tata, Unilever and Nestle top a new list of the world’s “most responsible” companies based on a survey by BBMG and GlobeScan that was released at the Sustainable Brands 2014 conference in San Diego this week, for which brandchannel is a media partner. The Union of Concerned Scientists also named Hyundai-Kia, Honda and Toyota the "most eco-friendly automakers" in the world, with Hyundai-Kia topping Honda for the first time. 

The new surveys and rankings speak to the booming appetite by consumers for information about brands’ sustainability efforts and by brands for feedback on how they’re perceived to be doing. These days, a credible, consistent and highly communicated sustainability strategy has become a sine qua non for global brands in nearly all consumer businesses.

The latest example: Liquor leader Bacardi Limited recently launched an initiative it calls Good Spirited, a global sustainability platform that includes sustainable sourcing of all cardboard cases for Bacardi rum in North America, building of a “green-certified” distillery for Bombay Sapphire in the UK, and responsibly sourcing more than 100 botanicals used in making Martini vermouth and other drinks.Continue reading...

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