brand news

In the News: Carnival, Barnes & Noble, Square and more

Posted by Dale Buss on June 26, 2013 09:17 AM

In the News

Carnival CEO to step down.

Barnes & Noble pulls back after losses in tablet wars.

Square takes on PayPal online.

Daimler outsources development of driver-assistance software.

Paula Deen's awkward TODAY interview furthers PR nightmare

Dow Jones plans to eliminate some newsroom staff as it unifies newswires and Wall Street Journal.

Fiat adds seven-seat minivan to 500 range in Europe.

Ford ushers great-great grandchildren of founder into management.

Google gets boost in EU privacy case.

Heineken says it is "absolutely on top" of issue of fake beer in emerging markets.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Facebook, Tesla, Dish Network and more

Posted by Dale Buss on June 19, 2013 09:24 AM

In the News

Facebook hits 1 million active advertisers and Zuckerberg talks partnerships with Samsung.

Tesla recalls some Model S cars for seat-mount defect. 

Dish Network drops pursuit of Sprint Nextel, clearing way for SoftBank.

Alcatel-Lucent plans to streamline.

Amazon rolls out Facebook social gift card

Chevrolet returns to Oscars with user-generated ad.

Dell sees Carl Icahn raise stake in company.

Johnny Rockets is acquired.

Lifestyle Lift changes national marketing practices after probe.Continue reading...

chew on this

McDonald's Tries 'Less Is More' with New Menu Reductions

Posted by Dale Buss on May 22, 2013 10:38 AM

When you're stuck in neutral as McDonald's has been lately, you begin to try a little bit of everything. Expanding the menu. Focusing on value options. Sacking your chief of US operations. And, now—reducing the menu.

On the heels of its elimination of the Angus Burger, Fruit & Walnut Salad and Chicken Selects, there are reports that other McDonald's U.S. menu items are on the chopping block too as the chain scrambles for ways to maximize traffic and revenues while minimizing costs to deal with stubbornly reluctant consumers. It's also part of how the chain hopes to woo back millennials, as CEO Don Thompson is expected to outline at the company's annual general meeting on Thursday.

Caesar Salad, McSkillet Burrito and the Southern Style biscuit may also disappear, according to a franchisee e-mail obtained by Bloomberg. These would be further cutbacks in McDonald's core menu at a time when the company increasingly has been emphasizing the traffic-building value instead of "limited-time" items such as popcorn chicken and McRib sandwiches.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: IBM, AB InBev, Dell and more

Posted by Dale Buss on April 19, 2013 09:19 AM

In the News

IBM may sell part of its server unit to Lenovomisses estimates for first time since 2005 and struggles to deal with mobile computing shift.

AB InBev reportedly strikes deal with US on Modelo acquisition, as Busch heir resigns from NRA in wake of gun control bill's defeat in US Senate.

Dell sees Blackstone end its pursuit.

Adidas brings out "Boston Stands As One" t-shirt as CVS Caremark pledges to raise money for bombing victims, along with JetBlue and other companies.

Al Jazeera pushes back U.S. launch date.

Amazon may be unveiling mobile payments solution according to patent filing. 

The Atlantic magazine plans to launch paid digital content.

Avis taps celebrities to target "professionals" in new ad campaign.

BBC America and Twitter announce content-sharing partnership.

Boeing may see FAA clearance for Dreamliner as early as today.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Subway, Google, Amazon and more

Posted by Dale Buss on March 29, 2013 09:15 AM

In the News

Subway named top QSR brand in new study. 

Google tests same-day delivery business.

Amazon plans to acquire Goodreads book site.

AOL teams up with coach Phil Jackson to punk Twitter.

Apple faces heightened oversight in China.

Audi aims at Mercedes-Benz CLA with new A3 sedan.

Deutsche Telekom runs into opposition over proposed merger of T-Mobile with MetroPCS.

eBay says it is "now playing offense."

FX pitches new FXX channel at Millennials.Continue reading...

branded entertainment

The Secret Behind Pepsi's Branded Content Success

Posted by Abe Sauer on March 26, 2013 11:24 AM

At 30 million views, does it matter if it's real? Pepsi MAX's branded viral hit "Test Drive" is set to pass the 30 million mark on YouTube and the brand is beginning to roll out edited versions of the video for TV that will drive back to the longer original online. But at 30 million views, how many who would want to see a disguised Jeff Gordon take a used car salesman for a spin haven't yet seen it?

"Test Drive"—created by the TBWA\Chiat\Day LA agency—is Pepsi MAX's second branded viral to surpass 20 million views on YouTube. Two of the brands other videos are well over 10 million combined—an astonishing record of branded content success. branchannel spoke with the brand and the creator behind Pepsi's other viral hit, Uncle Drew, about branded content and their (secret) next project.Continue reading...

chew on this

McDonald's Struggles to Woo Millennials

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 25, 2013 05:38 PM

McDonald's has a problem. While the fast-food brand remains No. 1, it doesn’t even rank in the top 10 for the increasingly sought-out cohort of the 59 to 80 million people ages 23 to 36 in the U.S., widely known as millennials. 

McDonald's is concerned enough to be specifically targeting this group, identified as highly valuing customization and choice with a major new product launch, McWrap. "They're 80 million [people] but they're influencing the next 80 million, both younger and older," said Gary Stibel, CEO at New England Consulting Group. 

The McWrap, a.k.a. "Subway buster," comes in three varieties: sweet chili chicken, chicken and bacon and chicken and ranch, grilled or crispy—and depending on the chicken parts, ranges from 360 to 600 calories. According to an internal McDonald’s memo, it "affords us the platform for customization and variety that our millennial customer is expecting of us. Our customers are consistently telling us, particularly millennials, they expect variety, more choices, customization and their ability to be able to personalize their food experience."Continue reading...

brand strategy

Why Starbucks' Customer Loyalty Is More Lucrative Than Any Ad Campaign

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 8, 2013 02:43 PM

Occasional coffee drinkers and Starbucks junkies alike all visit the Seattle-based brewer's shops for the same reason, and it's not a caffeine kick. The java giant is just as recognized for its lifestyle brand as it is its beverages, and that may be just the thing missing from competitors' offerings. 

Despite the fact that Starbucks recently took a second-place post against McDonald's in a social hospitality survey, the company continues to be the most relevant coffee shop brand around—and they don't even try that hard. Continue reading...

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