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McDonald's Is Running Out of Loyal Customers, Brand Mojo—And Excuses

Posted by Dale Buss on October 21, 2014 05:38 PM

In its earnings report on Tuesday, McDonald's turned in its biggest drop in quarterly profits in seven years, and CEO Don Thompson acknowledged the calamity and the dire need for change.  

Arguably, McDonald's faced some significant short-term and extraneous factors in posting a worse-than-expected 30 percent drop in quarterly profit and 5-percent decline in revenues. In China, a meat-supplier scandal still ripples; in Europe, the economy is tanking again, and Russian authorities meddled with McDonald's operations there in the last quarter.

But McDonald's biggest problem is that many American and global consumers no longer perceive clear reasons for favoring McDonald's over any other place to eat. They don't believe the food provides a satisfactory combination of good enough, fast enough, inexpensive enough and nutritious enough for them to go to McDonald's anymore. The golden arches may have reached a seminal negative moment in its history.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Alibaba, Apple, Electrolux and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 8, 2014 09:23 AM

TOP STORIES

Alibaba kicks off road show today for potential largest IPO.

Apple nears launch of new iPhone as lines form and carriers' strategy of scaling back subsidies poses risks, while company gears up to market larger screens.

Electrolux buys GE appliance business.

Nissan wins real-time marketing with 7-minute Twitter response to Royal Baby news.

GM plans to launch hands-free driving by 2016.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Activision launches huge promotion to make a megahit out of "Destiny" game.

Amazon is in talks to sell Fire phone exclusively through Telefonica's O2 in UK.

Annie's organic brand sells to General Mills.

Boeing and Ryanair plan major fleet announcement.

Bud Light faces gripes at end of "Whatever" event in Crested Butte, Colo.

Campbell Soup swings to profit on higher sales.

Chick-fil-A observes death of founder S. Truett Cathy.Continue reading...

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McDonald's Searches for a New Positive with More Menu Options

Posted by Dale Buss on August 20, 2014 04:41 PM

Everything seems to be sticking to McDonald's these days. There was the food-safety scandal in China last month, and now the chain's very ubiquity has hurt it as the local, franchisee-owned McDonald's at the epicenter of the racial strife in Ferguson, Mo., has become unwitting headquarters for much of the back-and-forth in the building drama there.

Maybe that particular problem for McDonald's will pass quickly, but the beleaguered chain is continuing to battle its long-term challenges, ranging from the junk-food image of its menus to flagging sales growth to still-growing competition.

At least McDonald's is trying some new tactics as CEO Don Thompson tries to pull the world's iconic fast-food chain out of its deepening slump, with moves involving digital leadership, new forms of influencing thought leaders, new menu items and new attempts to leverage the strengths that it does have.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Mercedes-Benz, FedEx, Taco Bell and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 18, 2014 09:41 AM

TOP STORIES

Mercedes-Benz is found guilty of fixing prices in China, report says.

Dollar General enters bidding for Family Dollar at $9 billion.

FedEx faces additional charges in prescription-drug delivery case.

Taco Bell launches dollar menu across the US. 

Cadillac mars rollout of important new Escalade.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Airbnb launches program to focus on hosts. 

Apple wins Emmy for best commercial, beating out Beats, Nike and GE. 

AT&T Stadium unveils state of the art technology as San Francisco 49ers gear up for first game in brand new Levi Stadium. 

Campbell Soup has NFL star Richard Sherman dangling from helicopter in new Chunky soup ad.

Cutrale and Safra prepare to make Chiquita bid hostile.Continue reading...

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With US Taco Co. Test, Taco Bell Takes a Swing at Fast-Casual

Posted by Dale Buss on August 6, 2014 06:42 PM

All the while, QSR analysts have been thinking that Taco Bell's Cantina menu was meant to be the brand's answer to Chipotle, but that may not be the case.  

On Monday, the Yum! Brands-owned chain is scheduled to open a concept store in Huntington Beach, Calif. called US Taco Co. after a half-million-dollar investment in the prototype over the last year. The idea is to appeal to educated foodies with disposable income who have been attracted to the unprocessed ingredients and authentic feel of Chipotle and many of whom would never frequent a Taco Bell.

"Taco Bell is Mexican-inspired; US Taco is American-inspired," Greg Creed, Taco Bell's CEO, told Nation's Restaurant News.Continue reading...

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With DLT Craze Waning, Taco Bell Turns to Breakfast and Protein to Goose Sales

Posted by Dale Buss on July 24, 2014 10:39 AM

Taco Bell is struggling with slow growth for the first time in a couple of years as the craze over its Doritos Locos Taco has petered out. Despite efforts to recharge the DLT brand with new iterations and even venturing into breakfast, Taco Bell has failed to keep sales on an upward trend. 

The start of 2014 was the first quarter since 2012 in which the Yum! Brands-owned chain saw negative same-store sales, putting Taco Bell back in the same boat with most other struggling fast-food operators like McDonald's. 

It seems like just yesterday that when Taco Bell launched a new flavor of DLT, the world—encouraged by the brand’s effective use of social media—seemed to go nuts, with DLTs, the chain's best selling product ever, seriously goosing sales.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Amazon, Coca-Cola, LVMH and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 18, 2014 09:06 AM

TOP STORIES

Amazon launches unlimited books for Kindle and first ad for the Amazon Phone with AT&T.

AbbVie to acquire Shire with $55 billion pharma deal.

Coca-Cola pours billions into Mexico and sees growth in Brazil.

LVMH moves Givenchy CEO to run Marc Jacobs.

Malaysia Airlines plane takedown over Ukraine shocks the world, the aviation industry and AIDS research community.

MORE BRAND NEWS

AB InBev shuffles exec ranks, affecting media and digital.

Adidas North America president remains optimistic.

Bitcoins can’t shake bubble image in poll after 45 percent drop in value.

BlackBerry CMO discusses challenges.

Calvin Klein taps Lara Stone for global #MyCalvins campaign.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Malaysia Airlines, Apple, FedEx and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 17, 2014 05:51 PM

TOP STORIES

Malaysia Airlines experiences another tragedy, with attack on flight MH-17 killing all onboard.

Apple beefs up female leadership by naming Blackrock cofounder to board.

FedEx indicted for role in distributing prescription drugs to web pharmacies.

Alibaba eyes September IPO.

Starbucks promotes Fizzio soda as Teavana iced tea gets a TV commercial.

MORE BRAND NEWS 

Allstate teams with Kristin Chenoweth.

Amazon, Carnival and YouTube among best-perceived brands (per YouGov).

eBay sales show impact of data breach as site settles with LVMH over Louis Vuitton fakes.

eHarmony teams up with Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst.

GM to use bankruptcy as a shield against recalled vehicle claims.Continue reading...

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