brand news

In the News: Taco Bell, JCPenney, Netflix and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 23, 2013 09:14 AM

In the News

Taco Bell eliminates kids' meals.

JCPenney names former Kraft marketing exec Debra Berman as VP brand strategy.

Netflix sees subscriber growth fall short of expectations.

Al-Jazeera taps ABC veteran to run editorial operations in US.

Bentley invests heavily to boost UK car industry.

Chevrolet aims new Silverado ad at women, who buy 15 percent of pickups.

Cisco to buy cybersecurity firm Sourcefire for $2.7 billion.

Dell founder presses shareholders on his proposed buyout.Continue reading...

retail watch

Sears Tries to Leapfrog Traditional Business Model with Online Luxury-Goods

Posted by Dale Buss on July 22, 2013 04:42 PM

Is it too early to conclude that Sears has jumped the shark as a conventional retailer and that it's all over but the shouting for the retailer as a brick-and-mortar brand? Two new indicators about the future of Sears leave that impression.

It seems that Sears is attempting to pivot from its increasingly woeful performance as a retailer in American shopping malls to an attempt to leapfrog its traditional business model, and the restraints of its own brand, in e-commerce. Sears CEO Edward Lampert has been pushing his beleaguered company to secure upscale offerings for the Marketplace section of Sears.com, which features goods sold by third-party vendors, according to the Wall Street Journal.

That means Lambert expects to persuade an upscale clientele that never shopped at Sears somehow to go to Sears online to purchase delicacies such as Balenciaga sunglasses, Pour La Victoire boots, Rolex watches and Chanel handbags. In so doing, the CEO—perhaps at his wit's end as to how to revive Sears—is hoping to outmaneuver Amazon, eBay and other e-commerce giants.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Sears, Apple, HSN and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 22, 2013 09:27 AM

In the News

Duchess of Cambridge goes into labor as People and US Weekly gird for extensive coverage of UK royal birth.

Sears tries to go upscale—way upscale.

Apple investigates security breach on its servers and tests larger screens for iPhones and iPads.

HSN rebrands to shake dowdy status.

Boston Market harnesses Big Data for promotions.

CarMax solidifies status as unrivaled used-car leader.

Carnival Cruise uses Instagram to redistribute existing 15-second ads.

Chipotle plies ingredient and menu diversity.

Coca-Cola and other major sponsors assess pre-World Cup marketing landscape in Brazil.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Hulu, Sears, Microsoft and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 15, 2013 09:12 AM

In the News

Hulu rejects all takeover bids as owners commit to bigger investment in service.

Sears focuses on "omnichannel" shopping in last-ditch bid.

Microsoft cuts price of Surface RT by up to 30 percent.

Apple vows to aid investigation into death of Chinese woman who may have been electrocuted by iPhone 5

Boeing sees lithium-ion battery systems escape blame in 787 fire at Heathrow.

Boost Mobile promotes "shrinking payment" feature.

Citigroup sees 41 percent increase in Q2 earnings. 

Four Loko owner doubles down on distributing new products.

GlaxoSmithKline bribery allegations are detailed by Chinese.

HP names former CEOs of McDonald's, Liberty Media to its board. 

IMAX expands in Asia.Continue reading...

US Suspends Trade Privileges with Bangladesh, Pressuring Factories, Brands to Comply with Safety Standards

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 27, 2013 05:38 PM

On Thursday, the Obama Administration announced that it would be suspending trade privileges extended to Bangladesh as a result of the country's neglect of worker's rights. 

"I have determined that it is appropriate to suspend Bangladesh's designation… because it is not taking steps to afford internationally recognized worker rights to workers in the country," President Obama wrote in a message to Congress. The decision, regarded widely as a stern warning to the nation, will effectively end special tax breaks on exports to the US that are meant to help developing economies. 

The decision was partially motivated by April's Rana Plaza building collapse, which killed over 1,100 garment factory workers as well as the Tazreen factory fire in late 2012 that killed over 100 workers.Continue reading...

brand trainwrecks

After TODAY Interview, Paula Deen Stands to Lose More Support UPDATED

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 26, 2013 04:12 PM

Paula Deen showed up for her rescheduled interview with Matt Lauer on the TODAY Show Wednesday, but her appearance did not help to staunch the hemorrhaging of her cooking empire over accusations that she used racial slurs in the past.  

Breaking down into tears, yet keeping to what seemed to be a well-scripted performance, Deen told Lauer "I would not have fired me," when he asked her if she thought her offense was a fireable one. Deen followed up by thanking the sponsors that have stood behind her through the ordeal, though those numbers continue to dwindle. As of now, the Food Network has terminated her contract, Smithfield Foods has dropped her as their spokeswoman and most recently, Caesars Entertainment, which operates four of Deen's restaurants in their casinos, said it will part ways with Deen and in turn rebrand the four restaurants and Walmart announced it would end its relationship, which supplied the retailer with everything from Deen-branded food to health and wellness items. 

Deen's deals with QVC, Sears and Target remain intact, although all have stated that they are evaluating the situation.(See Update after the jump)Continue reading...

brand trainwrecks

As Food Network, Smithfield Foods Cut Ties, Paula Deen Sees Fans Rally

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 24, 2013 04:48 PM

The Paula Deen scandal is the stuff media headlines are made of. After public court records revealed that the Food Network star admitted to using the "n-word" and tolerated racist jokes in her workplace, the network announced it will not renew her contract, ending a relationship that began in 1999 and culminated in her own show, Paula's Home Cooking, in 2002 and later Paula's Party and Paula's Best Dishes.

Deen was named in a suit filed by Lisa Jackson, a former employee who worked as a manager at a restaurant owned by Deen and her brother and business partner, Bubba Hiers. Jackson claimed she was sexually and racially harassed.

Late last week, Deen—whose reputation is still recovering from running afoul of anti-obesity campaigners—posted a video apology on YouTube, which now has over 3.4 million views, for using “inappropriate, hurtful language” and for failing to show up for a scheduled interview with NBC’s Today Show host Matt Lauer.

"I want people to understand that my family and I are not the kind of people that the press is wanting to say we are," she said. "Your color of your skin, your religion, your sexual preference does not matter to me. But it's what's in the heart, and my family and I try to live by that. I am here to say I am so sorry. I was wrong, yes.”Continue reading...

mobile commerce

Groupon Plays for Mobile E-Commerce but is Haunted by Past Underperformance

Posted by Dale Buss on June 10, 2013 12:56 PM

Groupon keeps pivoting to a new mobile-based e-commerce business model, but there are a lot of obstacles to morphing into a top competitor in a space that is attracting many other significant brands.

The Chicago-based company, of course, was the pioneer in the business of offering online deals at local merchants, and founder Andrew Mason built Groupon into the giant of that industry and a $20-a-share IPO nearly two years ago. Then Groupon got competition in that space and merchants began grousing that the architecture of the Groupon deals was far better for consumers than for them. Mason was sacked in February and now board members are looking for a permanent CEO.

In the meantime, investors and employees alike have been heartened that Groupon not only has shored up its local-deals business but also is in hard pursuit of a big chunk of the mobile-shopping business, hoping to become the first big e-commerce player to get the majority of its revenue from mobile.Continue reading...

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