Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 28, 2012 04:36 PM
American civil rights tourism is starting to be big business. The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis is in the midst of a $27 million reno that’ll be finished in 2013 and the Smithsonian is opening a $500 million National Museum of African American History in D.C. in 2014, the same year that the $100 million National Center for Civil & Human Rights is set to open in Atlanta.
All that said, there are still some places that haven’t quite gotten to the museum-building part yet and are still just trying to just shake their own awful pasts. One Arkansas town that ran most of its black residents out of town back in 1905, burning down homes and shooting out windows, is hoping to let bygones be bygones and recast itself. The small town of Harrison, Arkansas, is now trying to rebrand itself now as a place that’s open to minorities of all stripes, the Associated Press reports.
In a town of 13,000, there are currently only 34 visible minorities that currently live in Harrison, but the town would like to draw more residents and businesses regardless of skin color, the AP adds. Town leaders have created a task force on race relations, invited a civil-rights speaker come in, and printed posters about the city’s past difficulties. But is it all whitewashing?Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 21, 2012 01:43 PM
What's in a name? Kraft Foods is about to find out, after announcing today that Mondelēz International is the moniker of the corporate global snack-foods unit that it will spin off by the end of this year, as announced last August.
"Mondelay," you say? Nay, nay! No need to dust off your high school French. The new name — pronounced "Mohn-dah-LEEZ" — is a Kraft-coined word that, the company explained in a press release, is intended to evoke the idea of "delicious world."
"Monde" derives from the Latin (and French) word for "world," the company explained, and "dēlez" is a "fanciful expression of 'delicious.'" And, of course, "International" captures "the global nature of the business."
Even though it won't be consumer-facing, pronunciation will be a challenge ("mon-de-lay," "mon-de-less," or "mon-de-leez"?) for the new name which was, as it turns out, employee-sourced.
Last fall, Kraft invited staffers around the world to suggest names and received suggestions from more than 1,000 employees. The winner was inspired by separate suggestions from two employees, one in North America and one in Europe.Continue reading...
Posted by Michael Waltzer on February 21, 2012 04:28 PM
Friendly technology. It may sound like an oxymoron to some, but through thoughtful branding and visual design, it can be portrayed as exactly that. Nitro, which offers a PDF conversion product, has just rebranded for that very reason.
The brand, which started in Australia in 2005 and is now headquartered in San Francisco, felt its visual identity did not reflect its culture, products, or approach. In short, they wanted a brand "we could be proud of." Below, find out how they rebranded and why.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 2, 2012 02:35 PM
The University of Tennessee-Knoxville is currently listed as the 46th best national public university on the highly influential U.S. News & World Report annual rankings, a listing that prospective students and their parents are constantly checking and rechecking while trying to figure out their futures.
For those of you keeping score at home, that puts the school that launched Peyton Manning's football career into a dead tie with the University of Oregon, University of Oklahoma, University of New Hampshire, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Kansas, Florida State, and, if that weren’t enough, North Carolina State-Raleigh.
But who wants to be 46th? Not the University of Tennessee, that’s for sure. Last year, when it was ranked 47th, the university set itself a goal to get into the top 25. Clemson, Rutgers, and the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities can do it so why can’t they? A major rebranding effort that launched this week should help get them there.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 26, 2012 03:35 PM
Trying to figure out what’s on sale when and then waiting for the next sale to buy particular items can be frustrating to consumers so J.C. Penney Co. — in its first major overhaul of its retail arm since former Apple exec Ron Johnson took over as CEO in November — is attempting to make things much easier.
The company this week announced that its stores are doing away with having seven kazillion different items on different sales simultaneously and just “marking down all of its merchandise by at least 40% so shoppers will no longer have to wait for a sale to get the lowest prices in its stores.”
The move, including the repositioning commercial above, comes as jcpenney, as the chain rebranded itself at the 2011 Oscars, is re-rebranding with a new logo — following the previous year's rebrand at the 2010 Oscars (check out the logo progression below). What was that about trying to avoid consumer confusion?Continue reading...
follow the money
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 11, 2012 05:07 PM
Sir Richard Branson is indeed taking over the world. And now he may be taking over your money.
The billionaire Brit and founder of all things Virgin on earth — including Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Records, Virgin Mobile — and beyond, with Virgin Galactic aiming to talk regular folks into space — is this week pushing Virgin Money, the Virgin-branded bank that's taking over Northern Rock's 75 branches in the U.K. and 21,000 staff members for £747million ($948.3 million), according to the Mirror.
After the Northern Rock acquisition was announced, Virgin moved to add an annual £60 ($78) fee on every account, but then changed course and decided to offer it as an option, the Mail reports. As a sweetener, the bank will likely “offer perks such as discounts on Virgin flights or gym memberships,” the paper notes.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 4, 2012 05:07 PM
The Liz Claiborne brand name was sold in November to J.C. Penney so it was inevitable that its parent company, Liz Claiborne Inc., would shed the brand from its name. The inevitable is now official. The 34-year-old fashion company is changing its name to Fifth & Pacific Companies, and will start trading under the ticker symbol FNP in mid-May, in addition to replacing its zippy liz.com corporate domain with fifthandpacific.com.
Claiborne unloaded its Mexx brand in September and then sold its namesake brand to J.C. Penney, along with its Monet brand, two months later for $267.5 million. It also got rid of its Kensie and Dana Buchman brands this fall as it attempted to right its own financial ship. Now FNP is left with three core brands in Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand, Kate Spade, and a sibling in the mens fashion/accessory brand of Jack Spade line, to focus on.
The new corporate identity may recall Gap's Forth & Towne, Gilt's Park & Bond, and Nordstrom's Treasure & Bond, but CEO William McComb argues that the name is a perfect synthesis of the east coast/west coast stable of brands, as it's "where California cool meets New York chic."Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on January 4, 2012 11:01 AM
In the branding world, Las Vegas stands out as a city so well known that it is in a class by itself. The hotel brands that occupy the Vegas strip are just as famously iconic, so it's a rare event when one of them changes its name.
But on Tuesday, some Sin City visitors may have thought an extended New Year's hangover had them seeing things. That's when the long-standing Hilton name was removed from the Las Vegas Hilton and a new marquee appeared: The Las Vegas Hotel & Casino.
Opened as the International Hotel in 1969, the property soon became the Las Vegas Hilton when the hotel chain bought it in 1971. But last year, financial troubles led to the hotel-casino seeking to end its agreement with Hilton, and new ownership took effect this year.
The new owners, an investor group that includes Colony Capital LLC, were determined the hotel will remain open for business without any big changes beyond a new name and website (indeed, Flavor Flav used the hotel to launch his vodka before the holiday, LeFlav Straight Up). However, guests staying at the hotel can no longer take advantage of Hilton's hotel loyalty program.Continue reading...