Posted by Dale Buss on May 1, 2013 10:34 AM
Three heavyweights of American industrialism were among those who spoke at a Fortune's Brainstorm Green conference, and they had a lot to say about what they're doing to make their companies more sustainable.
GM CEO Dan Akerson, Procter & Gamble CEO Bob McDonald, and General Mills CEO Kendall Powell each held forth at the sustainability-focused confab.
Akerson was the most newsworthy. He is genuinely fond of the Chevrolet Volt and will defend it against all comers, Akerson threw a potential trump card on the table against critics of GM's groundbreaking plug-in hybrid who believe it's way too expensive for whatever environmental benefits it yields, especially given all the federal-government subsidies it gets: The company plans a price cut of $7,000 to $10,000 on the "next generation" of the car and even plans for Volt "to be profitable," Akerson said.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 29, 2013 10:33 AM
Because it's such a huge part of the US and global economies, it's difficult for Procter & Gamble to untether itself from general trends even when that would be expedient. So when consumers worldwide are feeling up, down or iffy—with tentative growth in the US, slowing growth in China and negative "growth" in Europe—P&G executives are bound to feel the same way.
Thus P&G CEO Bob McDonald is having to explain the company's latest quarterly report as a glass half-full, with top-line growth a bit higher than expected, and bottom-line growth a bit lower. The company's huge brand stables in developed economies were mostly a drag, while developing markets give P&G some reasons for near-term optimism—such as Brazil, where it's about to begin shipping Ariel Pods in an effort to turn that country's laundry-detergent market upside down the way Tide Pods have in the United States.
"The market itself is rather choppy," McDonald told investors this week on a conference call. "We're in the midst of a recovery. The market's heading in one direction, but it's choppy."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 5, 2013 11:32 AM
Tide Pods seem to be very good for Procter & Gamble, but some observers believe they're killing the rest of the detergent industry.
Naturally, P&G seems quite happy with how the pre-measured Pods are gobbling up market share in the U.S. detergent business, with expected fiscal-year sales of $500 million this year meaning that Tide Pods are well on their way to becoming yet another of the dozens of $1-billion-plus brands in the CPG giant's portfolio.
Moreover, this is a segment that P&G invented, as AP has noted, taking "eight years, 450 product sketches, 6,000 consumer tests and hundreds of millions of dollars." Despite imitators, Tide essentially has the category all to itself so far, with a market share of about 75 percent of unit doses, drawing customers from rivals without the technology. No wonder P&G plans to take Pods to Europe in the coming months.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 4, 2013 09:37 AM
Arthur Frommer buys back travel book brand from Google, which acquired it with big plans last August.
Facebook readies for rumored phone event today.
Apple's futuristic campus project runs late and $2 billion overbudget.
BlackBerry turns mobile website into "test drive" of new Z10 phone, kills off BBM music service.
CVS and Rite-Aid target allergy season.
ConAgra boosts ad spending as commodity costs drop.
Detroit Electric launches Tesla rival.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 13, 2013 01:37 PM
Procter & Gamble is redoubling efforts to tap into the emotions of consumers and the inventiveness of entrepreneurs as CEO Bob McDonald declares that he has brought the company through a rough patch and sees a brighter future.
The company has just launched a new front door for its vaunted open-innovation program, Connect + Develop. The new website aims to speed up and simplify external connections by linking would be innovators directly to top company needs, and P&G business leaders directly to external innovation submissions.
Connect + Develop, which the company describes as, "at the heart of how P&G innovates," has been responsible for a wide variety of game-changing innovations introduced by P&G over the last decade, ranging from Swiffer Dusters to Crest Whitestrips. The aim of the new site is to make the sorts of connections that lead to such innovations "easier and more effective," Laura Becker, general manager of Connect + Develop and of global business development for P&G, said in a press release. Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 4, 2013 02:04 PM
"Brotherhood," Budweiser's 2013 Super Bowl ad, was among those which stood out among rather routine fare.
Super Bowl ads (the complete list) this year provided few gems, according to an emerging consensus of industry professionals.
Many were deemed lame or even confusing, and generally considered ineffective and off-brand. Several brands seemed to suffer rather than benefit from the frenzy of sneak peeks and full-commercial reveals in this year's rush for pre-Game exposure and social buzz.
Still, some brands were able to leverage social media presence and responsiveness into overall good showings up to and through the event, with campaigns that will move forward from here.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 25, 2013 06:10 PM
Above: Tracy Morgan in a teaser for Kraft's Super Bowl ad for its Mio water mix-ins.
There's no doubting the need or the stakes. That's why it isn't too surprising Research in Motion revealed on Friday that it will air a 30-second advertisement for its new BlackBerry 10 smartphone and operating system during the Super Bowl on Feb. 3.
BlackBerry's market share has dwindled, of course, in the wake of the onslaught by Apple, Google and Samsung on the smartphone market. Yet RIM executives have been maintaining that the 10 — with an all-new modus operandi and hardware — is not only the company's last chance, but also a game-changer. They're scheduled to reveal details on Wednesday.
"A Super Bowl commercial is a great opportunity to show the redesigned, re-engineered and reinvented BlackBerry to tens of millions of consumers on the largest advertising stage of the year," RIM CMO Frank Boulben said in a statement. The company already staged an ad takeover of the home page of the New York Times website in December.Continue reading...
in the spotlight
Posted by Dale Buss on January 25, 2013 10:59 AM
After spending the first couple years of his tenure falling short of expectations, Procter & Gamble CEO Bob McDonald now sees a big ray of sunshine — in the form of P&G's second fiscal quarter earnings report. Earnings and sales were well ahead of forecast thanks to the chief's recent aggressive actions to boost brand performance and cut costs.
Consumer and retailer response to new products such as Tide Pods and a high-price version of Pantene shampoo has been promising. P&G said it held or grew market share in businesses representing nearly 50 percent of sales in the October-December quarter. In the U.S. market, it met that pattern in businesses representing nearly 60 percent of sales.
The case of Tide Pods, an important new product, is an example of what P&G is aiming for. Marketing has been able to persuade some customers, even cost-conscious ones, that the premium-priced innovation, which is coming up on its first anniversary, is worth the higher outlay.Continue reading...