brand strategy

P&G Looks to Wring More Value Out of Tide Brand With Lower-Priced Detergent

Posted by Dale Buss on September 4, 2013 01:52 PM

New/old CEO A.G. Lafley is beginning to shake things up at Procter & Gamble, and one of his most interesting first moves reportedly is to explore potential further value in one of the company's most iconic and lucrative brands: Tide.

One of the things that his predecessor/follower as CEO, Bob McDonald, did well was exploit the promise of Tide Pods, which he launched in early 2012 and which already are on their way to becoming another $1 billion sub-brand for P&G. Despite growing concerns and one reported death of kids poisoning themselves by mistaking the colorful Pods for candy, Tide has managed to grow quickly—and dominate—a laundry-detergent segment that it essentially created.

But Tide Pods—which recently debuted in new, opaque packaging to curb temptation from kids—are priced above regular liquid Tide. American detergent buyers have steadily drifted to bargain-priced products to do their laundry over the last few years in adjusting to a stingier "new normal," but even regular Tide has retained a price premium.

Now Lafley is pulling the lever on a lower-price gambit for Tide that has always made the company hesitant. He announced today at the Barclays Back to School conference in Boston that P&G plans to release a lower-priced, mid-tier detergent, Tide Simply Clean & Fresh, in February, according to an AP report that noted other Tide products launching in the first quarter.Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: US Goes Small and Sweet, Booze-Ordering App and more

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on July 26, 2013 06:27 PM

Americans Like Small Batch, Sweet Liquors

2012 saw a rise in liquor sales that many felt was indicative of a stronger economy, as more and more people are setting aside some cash for indulging and imbibing. However, as Ad Age notes, the top two trending liquors are quite different, and provide a unique picture of today's culture. 

Small-batch browns, primarily Irish whiskey and single-malt scotch, and flavored vodka showed the most growth. Could the two liquors—and their fans—be any more different? Oddly enough, the boost in sales of both may be rooted in the same natural, health-conscious motivations.

Consumers are seeking out the basics, looking to "get in touch with what they believe to be a more real world," according to Melanie Howard of the Future Foundation. While there has been a surge in down-home, small batch distilleries cooking up great whiskey, flavored vodkas aren't exactly natural. But they are less caloric than all the sugary mixers one would use to mask the taste of straight, non-flavored vodka.Continue reading...

calling all moms

P&G Launches New Tide Pods Packaging to Cloak Colorful Orbs from Kids

Posted by Dale Buss on July 12, 2013 02:48 PM

Clearing a stubborm obstacle to the phenomenal growth of its new Tide Pods franchise—and presumably saving some curious children from severe sickness—Procter & Gamble has clothed the laundry-detergent pouches in new bulk packaging.

Tide Pods now come in a round plastic bin that features opaque orange where before there was a transparent surface through which consumers could see the individually packaged pods; they also come in newly opaque bags. Little kids could see the Tide Pods in the bowls, too, and to many of them the brightly colored, circular Pods looked like candy. Nearly 5,000 American little kids were exposed to single-load laundry-detergent packets like Tide Pods in the first half of this year, down from more than 6,200 last year, according to the Wall Street Journal.Continue reading...

sip on this

Coke Slims Down and Spotify's Up to Appeal to UK Youth

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 9, 2013 03:52 PM

Responding to increased awareness of health concerns and economic hardship, Coca-Cola is launching a slimline 250ml can in the UK and co-branding with Spotify, inviting consumers to engage with its Coke Placelists, which encourage consumers to tag where they are listening to music while imbibing on their Coke beverage.

The slimmer cans are rolling out across the company’s MyCoke portfolio which includes Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coke Zero, and are the latest in the soft-drink giant’s innovative marketing initiatives ranging from personalized bottles to twist-apart shareable cans.  

"Through the small can we are really trying hard to find the right connection," said Jon Woods, GM Coca-Cola for the UK and Ireland told The Telegraph, noting that with families' weekly disposable income down 5 percent in recent years, the new can is "our most affordable pack ever."Continue reading...

brands under fire

Greenpeace Goes After Coca-Cola in Ongoing Recycling Battle in Australia

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 10, 2013 03:47 PM

Greenpeace is targeting Coca-Cola in its latest campaign, a crowd-funded TV ad that is a call-to-action for Australia’s "Cash for Containers" recycling program, which they say the giant bottler has sabotaged. “Behind Coke’s slogans and sunshine, the beverage giant is trashing Australia,” said Reece Turner, senior campaigner at Greenpeace Australia Pacific. 

In March, Coca-Cola won its court case to stop a recycling refund scheme in the Northern Territory—a program that doubled recycling rates and has run successfully in South Australia for more than 30 years, according to Greenpeace. The program added 10 cents to retail prices for manufacturers like Coke, but consumers would get a refund for recycling the containers in appropriate bins. 

Clean Up Australia estimates that Australians use between 13 to 14 billion drinks containers a year and that 45 percent of the plastic waste that is collected on Clean Up Australia Day is beverage industry-related. “This loose rubbish is estimated to affect up to 65 percent of Australian seabirds. Some mistake the plastic for food. When they swallow too much, their tiny stomachs become so full they're unable to ingest any food—literally starving to death on a full stomach,” according to Greenpeace.Continue reading...

sip on this

Coca-Cola Pledges To Cut Ads to Kids, Display More Calorie Information

Posted by Dale Buss on May 9, 2013 09:47 AM

Coca-Cola broadened its pledges to provide more calorie information to consumers and to stop advertising to children around the world, but the media was quick to scour the fine print of the company's promises as the beverage leader tries to win over consumers. 

CEO Muhtar Kent announced on Wednesday, the brand's 127th anniversary, that the company was taking a four-pronged approach to battling obesity, an issue that it has acknowledged lately in many ways but at the same time has attempted to deflect blame from its iconic sugary sodas.

As part of an initiative it's calling Coming Together, Coca-Cola wants to communicate that it's part of the solution, not the problem. The beverage giant and its local partners will label all packages with calorie details on the front, expand the availability of low- and no-calorie beverages in every market, support more physical activity programs, and stop advertising to children under 12.Continue reading...

green shoots

Clorox's Green Works Finds New Voice and Attitude to Combat Greenwashing

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 2, 2013 03:36 PM

As Kermit the Frog taught an entire generation, “It's not easy being green.”

Clorox’s Green Works is a case study in the steep learning curve of green branding. The line of environmentally friendly housecleaning products launched in 2008 with an endorsement from the Sierra Club, which helped boost its market penetration and credibility. 

That $1.3 million contract ends in December and the brand chose Earth Day to announce a strategic marketing revamp, including a new tone of voice (embodied by its new manifesto, posted on Facebook and its website) and the removal of the Sierra Club logo from all Green Works packaging, a clear sign of the times as green cleaning products have been forced to reduce their premium prices and re-position the sell to deflect declining sales.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Big Tobacco's Label Appeal is Denied as NYC Tries to Change Legal Smoking Age

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 23, 2013 02:50 PM

Cigarette warning labels haven’t changed a bit in the last 30 years, despite lots of data being unearthed in that time on the dangers of smoking and plenty of efforts by the government and consumer groups to have those labels changed. The main reason no change has occurred is because of the undying efforts of Big Tobacco’s legal departments. 

Those departments took a hit Monday when the Supreme Court rejected Big Tobacco’s efforts to challenge a 2009 federal law “that requires graphic warning labels on cigarettes and expanded marketing restrictions on tobacco products,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

This doesn’t mean that smokers will soon be carrying around cigarette packs with gruesome images such as a sewn-up cadaver, a crying woman who apparently has lung cancer, smoke coming out of a man’s trachea, and other such unpleasant sights. It will take time to get new images approved and they will likely go through their own legal challenges along the way. Plus, last August, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit “ruled that the proposed labels violated the tobacco industry's free-speech rights under the First Amendment,” the Journal reminds. The Obama Administration later said “it wouldn't mount a further legal defense of the labels, leaving the agency to consider new proposals."Continue reading...

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