Posted by Dale Buss on July 4, 2013 01:28 PM
Volkswagen finished last of the global automakers that occupied five of the top seven spots in Interbrand's recently released Best Global Green Brands 2013 report. That was a pretty good showing, but the German giant seems determined to hoist itself even higher in terms of the effectiveness of its sustainability efforts—and regard for them—around the globe.
In fact, according to Automotive News, Volkswagen is determined to "become the world's greenest automaker" as well as, by 2018, its highest-selling. "VW has set ambitious targets for CO2 reduction and more efficient energy use."
The impetus for this strategic priority, of course, is coming from the top, from Germany, where sustainability initiatives have been grouped into a global initiative called "Think Blue." (The nod to VW's iconic "Think Small" ad tagline uses blue instead of the green typically associated with eco-efforts because, VW executives explain, mostly what you see of Earth from space is... blue.)
What's more, its corporate executives are committed to expanding the Think Blue campaign across all VW-owned brands, which is still making inroads in the US.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 2, 2013 02:53 PM
Now that RadioShack is presumably done with its executive shuffle, the electronics retailer's new CEO, CMO and VP of store concepts are wasting no time in trying to get the company back into the minds of younger, hipper consumers. This week, the chain debuted a new logo and opened its first concept store in New York (above), a first-of-its-kind customer experience for the brand that it's billing as an "interactive technology playground."
According to the Dallas Business Journal, the Fort Worth, Texas-based chain plans to open several other concept stores in New York, New Jersey and Texas in the coming weeks before deciding on a new design to roll out to its entire footprint of 4,300 stores. The move comes at a critical juncture, as The Shack is in need of a serious revamp. It lost $63 million in the fourth quarter last year and $43.3 million in the first quarter of this year.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 20, 2013 02:39 PM
Men's Wearhouse founder George Zimmer may have been able to guarantee the way you'd look in his suits, but that same comfort didn't extend to his own job. In fact, Men’s Wearhouse tossed the 64-year-old Zimmer out the door Wednesday after he spent 40 years building the brand, starting with the first location that he opened with his college roommates.
No reason was given for the ouster but analysts suggested to The New York Times “that the conflict might be over the company’s efforts to appeal to younger customers, who could have been hampered by Mr. Zimmer’s continued presence in ads.” A person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that Zimmer, who still owns about 3.5 percent of the company’s shares, and his handpicked CEO, Doug Ewert, have had “repeated clashes” about buying back shares and selling off apparel chain K&G.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on May 20, 2013 10:54 AM
The "Live Free" logo on the back of a jacket or the big, red "自由" ("Freedom") on the sleeve of Harley-Davidson riders in China may seem a wild bit of irony. To those who buy into China as the brutal 1984-like state dry of any freedom, it may seem like a bold, almost rebellious political statement but to the riders displaying them, it's neither.
The idea of freedom through consumption is exploding in China. More and more brands—both foreign and domestic—are using the message every day. While the concept of consumer choices and products offering "freedom" is global, the idea of "freedom" in China is very unique.
A recent Reuters photo essay showed the world what a China Harley-Davidson rally is like. There were more than a few cultural differences. While the Sturgis Rally is held in the dusty backwater of South Dakota, China's recent Harley rally was at a private lake resort just outside of Shanghai. China's Harley enthusiasts tend to be CEOs or the very wealthy, but Harley-Davidson ownership is booming in China for some of the same reasons as in the west. "For me [Harley] represents freedom, total freedom,” a rider named Phillip Chu told Reuters.Continue reading...
Posted by Alicia Ciccone on May 2, 2013 07:45 PM
While the computing world continues to shift around them, Intel has remained steady and true to form, remaing loyal to its infamous tagline: Intel Inside.
The company, which has staved off advances from competitors like Advanced Micro Devices and is posting $50 billion in annual sales has remained sure-footed even as it searched for a new CEO to take the helm after Paul Otellini retires in May. Despite rumors that the company was looking to an outsider to fill the role, its board selected current COO Brian Krzanich, an engineer who has been with the company since 1982. The company also elevated software honcho Renee James to President, Reuters reports.
While the duo will likely make a successful team, Intel hopes that the new appointments will aid in leading the company in a new, more mobile direction. While Intel's processing chips still sit inside many personal computers, the company is losing market share to companies like ARM, which makes rival chips for smartphones.Continue reading...
Posted by Alicia Ciccone on April 11, 2013 08:12 PM
Pepsi isn't the only cola brand that has a songstress on its payroll. Diet Coke has been busy collaborating with golden-girl Taylor Swift for the next installment of its "Stay Extraordinary" campaign.
Debuting during the American Idol broadcast on FOX Thursday night, Swift's new spot, "Music That Moves," highlight's the Grammy-winner's unique approach to song writing. Created by Droga5, the spot captures Swift in her natural element, penning lyrics whenever inspiration strikes—with a Diet Coke in hand, of course.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 8, 2013 01:53 PM
HTC One, a.k.a. the Facebook Home phone that's coming to AT&T and other carriers, is just one focus of the company’s impending brand refresh and aggressive marketing campaign to get better market placement against competitors like Samsung.
HTC has been known for good hardware and not-so-good promotion, but squaring off against marketing-savvy Samsung requires the former to up its game. "It's one thing to make a great device—HTC has done that before," Mike Woodward, president of HTC America told the LA Times. "What is a little different this time is the way that we're going to market. We want to really get that down to the streets and get that down to consumers."
HTC had been using “quietly brilliant” as its slogan, but the brand is looking to step out of its shell with a new marketing message that has “bold,” “authentic” and “playful” themes. The new tagline, "Everything Your Phone Isn't," is courting "Generation Feed" (what HTC calls tech-savvy, early-adopters). "Tech millennials are hard to connect with," Erin McGee, HTC North America VP Marketing told Ad Age. "We wanted to create a closer connection by targeting passion points."Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Shirley Brady on April 5, 2013 02:04 PM
KFC U.S. today announced its Original Recipe Boneless menu, which it's promoting with new spots, on Facebook and with the Twitter hashtag #TeamBoneless.
As USA Today noted, "In an astonishing brand reversal, KFC is about to stake its future on a red-hot concept that might have caused Colonel Sanders, himself, to see red: boneless chicken."
More details on the move, which was three years in the making and will see more than 90 percent of KFC's menu items to eventually go bone-free, in the press release below.Continue reading...