brand news

In the News: Sony, Volkswagen, Adidas and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 15, 2013 07:58 AM

In the News

Sony puts US fans in a lather with PlayStation 4 launch at critical time for company.

Volkswagen recalls 2.6 million vehicles worldwide and says UAW vote at its plant wouldn't affect US expansion plans.

Adidas goes with NBA "BIG logo" and short-sleeved jerseys for Christmas Day promotion.

A.G. Lafley shuffles P&G executives as one moves to Google.

Alexander McQueen collaborates with Damien Hirst

Berkshire Hathaway takes big stake in ExxonMobil.

Cisco earnings miss portends broader changes in industry.

Compuware gets shareholder pressure to put itself up for sale.

Comcast plans to start selling films.

Dolce & Gabbana appeal tax evasian conviction. 

Eminem taps brand partners to promote new album.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Starbucks, Nokia, Cargill and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 6, 2013 09:22 AM

In the News

Starbucks commits to recruiting 10,000 veterans and Army spouses while Walgreen offers military-only discount on Veterans Day.

Nokia swipes at Samsung with lower-priced phablet. 

Cargill begins labeling its "finely textured" beef aka "pink slime."

Abercrombie & Fitch expects weak holiday sales.

Acer ousts CEO as another victim of iPad.

Apple adds suppliers to boost iPhone and iPad production as it claims fifth place in China mobile market. 

Boeing plans to build 777x jet in Washington State.

Brides Magazine wants its new app to take on dress counterfeiters.

Burger King plans to bring back Big Mac copycat. 

CNN turnaround runs into heavy viewer indifference. severs ties with Nikke Finke.

Goodyear glides with US ski association.Continue reading...

brand challenges

Investors Squirm as Apple Faces Today's Realities, Tomorrow's Questions

Posted by Dale Buss on October 29, 2013 11:07 AM

Even Apple is becoming vulnerable to the things that afflict most other companies. Its profits and margins slid despite selling 33.8 million iPhones in its September quarter, and the tech icon signaled a more challenging than usual holiday selling season ahead as well as slower going in China.

Apple stock slid after CEO Tim Cook on Monday outlined what Reuters called "unremarkable quarterly numbers" that prompted some disappointed investors to cash in on the stock. Apple has slid overall by more than 10 percent in the last year as concerns have grown about everything from its current slate of new products—such as the two new iPhones and iPads—to what it might or might not have up its sleeve for the future.

The company's main products, the iPhone and iPad, have been under increasing competitive pressure from rivals including Samsung and Amazon that sell cheaper devices that run on versions of Google's widespread Android operating system, USA Today noted. Even Nokia is reporting record Lumia sales, while BlackBerry this week saw a renewed sense of hope after its free BBM messaging app netted over 20 million downloads in its first week. All of that "has Wall Street scouring Apple's quarterly results for any sign the company is dropping prices at the expense of profit margins."Continue reading...

brand roadmaps

Microsoft Nets a Profit as Turnaround Takes Shape

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 25, 2013 01:45 PM

Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer may be heading out the door in the next year, but he certainly doesn't have a case of Senioritis. He's aiming to finish out strong as the company moves to refocus its efforts on devices and services—an increasingly crowded space where the company will face Apple, Samsung and others head-on.  

And it's been a rough road so far. The company has endured backlash over its new tile-like Windows design, and its Surface tablets have underperformed. With better hopes for its mobile business, the company acquired Nokia's devices division last month, but how the two companies will meld their operations and offerings is still unclear. In desperate need of a pick-me-up, the company posted a profitable first quarter.

The company reported revenues of $5.24 billion, up from the $4.47 billion it earned at the same point last year, as sales climbed 16 percent to $18.5 billion. The boost is mostly built on the demand for corporate software such as SQL database server, SharePoint, Exchange for e-mail, and Lync for corporate messaging and telephony. While not as 'sexy' as say, the iPad Air, they pay the bills.Continue reading...

tech wars

Apple Reignites Tablet Market with iPad Air as 'Confused' Competitors Fumble

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 22, 2013 04:11 PM

Confirming rumors, Apple today unveiled an updated line of iPad tablets and Mac computers and laptops, capitalizing on the market's renewed interest since its record-breaking iPhone launch last month.

But the tablet market is becoming nearly as saturated as the smartphone market, with new entries from Amazon's Kindle line, Nokia, Microsoft, Samsung and more, so Apple is hoping improved displays and more agile devices are enough to lock-in its market share.

Apple, which counts iPad sales as its second-greatest source of revenue behind its iPhone line, unveiled a slimmer, faster tablet, the iPad Air, which features the same 7.9-inch form as its predecessor but sports an improved processor, lighter (1lb!) design and Retina display. The $499 device, which is pricey compared to Amazon's line of Kindles, including its new HDX, will also come with Mac's operating and work software free of charge.

Apple also unveiled a faster, lighter MacBook Pro with new desktop operating system Mavericks (which upgrades Mac OS X), as well as as the new cylindrical Mac Pro, whose futuristic look promises "screaming speed" and functionality.

In a major shift in strategy, by giving away Mavericks for free, along with free downloads of iWork and iLife, it's a tacit acknowledgment by Apple that software is a means to sell hardware—and that it's now in the shareware business.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Nokia, Fisher-Price, SAB Miller and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 22, 2013 09:14 AM

In the News

Nokia unveils its first tablet.

Fisher-Price increases digital spending by half and targets Millennial moms.

SAB Miller targets mixed-gender drinking occasions.

Apple prepares 65-inch TV for release next year, analysts say.

Caesar's Entertainment faces money-laundering probe.

Dollar General pilots gas station.

eBay emerges as training ground for start-up CFOs.

Heineken promotes stylish home-draft system.

Hyundai recalls 27,500 Genesis sedans for brake issue.

Mercedes-Benz plans station-wagon version of CLA.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Netflix, Chipotle, Under Armour and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 21, 2013 09:27 AM

In the News

Netflix poised to pass HBO in paid US subscribers.

Chipotle raises menu prices for '14 due to higher costs, GMO shift as it moves East with tofu burrito.

Under Armour opens store in Shanghai and seeks the next big thing with inventor competition.

AT&T receives $4.9 billion in cell-tower deal.

Amazon bets on "betas" to turn web viewers into shoppers.

Apple adjusts tablet strategy to protect lead.

Art Van Furniture extends Michigan based into Chicago market.

Associated Press plans to enable sponsored content.

BlackBerry raises Canadian security concerns with potential deal abroad.

Bon Appetit is magazine of the year for Advertising Age.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Yum! Brands, Brooks Brothers, Samsung and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 9, 2013 08:47 AM

In the News

Yum! Brands profit drops a staggering 68 percent. 

Brooks Brothers plans to open restaurant.

Samsung unveils phone with curved screen but sees US back Apple instead in portion of IP dispute.

A123 Systems shifts to focus on supplying batteries for hybrids, not EVs.

Fazoli's debuts fast-casual concept.

Ford tests driverless-car parking. 

Fox News sees new primetime anchor Megyn Kelley draw large, older audience.

Jamba Juice downgrades outlook.

Jimmmy Choo co-founder ready to launch another blockbuster brand. 

Jos. A. Bank bids for Men's Wearhouse.Continue reading...

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