2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

brand challenges

Apple in Dire Need of Innovation as Tumbling Sales Put Reign in Question

Posted by Ben Berkon on July 24, 2013 12:43 PM

Apple’s comparatively diminutive third quarter earnings might have exceeded market expectations, but the announcement also solidified Samsung’s place as the worldwide smartphone king. Apple reported sales of $35.3 billion and a profit of $6.9 billion, down 35 percent and 46 percent, respectively, since the first quarter. In fact, Samsung earned $1.43 billion more in profit last quarter than Apple.

The mounting issue in Apple-land is that the company has failed to truly release a new, innovative product since the iPad. While iPhone sales jumped 20 percent to 31.2 million, the company's most popular product continues to be one of the most expensive smartphones on the market—posing a great opportunity for competitors like Samsung, BlackBerry and Nokia to tout their similar products and more cost-efficient models. 

To Apple’s credit, the company has attempted to expand its brand into new realms. The debut of iTunes Radio, for instance, could give cornerstones Spotify and Pandora a run for their money. But perhaps the most interesting addition was hiring fashion guru Paul Deneve as a chief-level “special projects” officer. The assumption is that Deneve will lead Apple’s charge into wearable technology, most notably with the rumored iWatch

But radio and a watch might not be enough to save the once indestructible brand.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Apple Fashions a New Position for CEO of Yves St Laurent as it Eyes Wearable Future

Posted by Barry Silverstein on July 3, 2013 12:56 PM

The next step in the remarkable evolution of the Apple brand may be just around the corner. In a move that "caught the fashion industry by surprise," Apple has announced it is adding Paul Deneve, CEO of fashion giant Yves St Laurent (YSL), as a vice president of "special projects," reporting to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

While heads are still spinning in the fashion sector, it isn't as strange as it sounds. Deneve, after all, was with Apple's European operation on the marketing side from 1990 to 1997, so he is hardly an unknown. Not to mention that YSL's revenues just about doubled under his leadership.

While some see this move as directly related to Apple's anticipated launch of an iWatch, others believe it has broader implications. "More likely it is to explore the extension of the Apple brand, or its platform technology into clothing and fashion," notes Forbes. "Digital technology is in fact extending its reach to every aspect of life, including clothing and other wearables like glasses." After all, the computer wearables market "is perfect for Apple to mainstream. It advances contextual computing. And it has the added virtue of being a bigger potential market than smartphones..."Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Nike, Netflix, Walmart and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 29, 2013 09:12 AM

In the News

Nike drops Livestrong lines after 2013 holidays.

Netflix sees stock tank as poor reviews of new Arrested Development come in.

Walmart pleads guilty to illegal dumping.

Airbus tackles flaws in superjumbo jet.

Amazon launches men's grooming platform.

Apple hints at producing wearable devices as CEO Tim Cook insists company's innovation streak hasn't run out.

Chevrolet unveils social media effort for L.A. Galaxy sponsorship and says its new Corvette is the most powerful ever.

Comedy Central gets temporary lifting of ban in India.

Coty files for IPO of up to $1 billion.

Dell approaches heated phase of buyout battle.

GoDaddy gets ready for new domains.Continue reading...


Greening Apple: Tim Cook Hires Ex-EPA Head Lisa Jackson

Posted by Abe Sauer on May 28, 2013 11:57 PM

Apple is the mine's canary. That's the takeaway from a recent press conference in China where the head of corporate sustainability for China tech giant Huawei told reporters that, unlike Apple, it will "learn from the issues that Apple has faced in China" and "never let supplier issues tarnish our brand.”

Whether Huawei means to "learn" from Apple or just copy it, the brand that has been singled out for a beating in the last few years over everything from China labor issues to tax avoidance has come under fire for a failure to innovate. But those critics all have tunnel-vision for Apple's electronics products.

What about innovating its "cultural product"? What if buying a iPhone 6 meant buying a better future? That just might be what Apple's aiming for with its latest high-profile hire. (Plus, the one better future we already have with Jackson's addition.) Continue reading...

brand challenges

Has Apple Lost Its Groove?

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 17, 2013 07:10 PM

While Apple has had some good news lately (it reached 50 billion downloads from its App Store, signed a deal with CW to have the network’s content appear on Apple TV, and its UK retail locations received the top customer-service rating in Britain), it also is going through some tough times as a brand.

A recent poll from Bloomberg notes that, “71 percent of poll respondents say the Cupertino, California, company has lost its cachet as an industry innovator, which includes 28 percent who say it is permanent and 43 percent who say it may be a temporary hiccup.” While some Apple loyalists remain dedicated to the company that has brought the world such innovations as the iPod, iPhone, and iTunes, plenty of folks in the general population aren’t as high on Apple as they used to be, with some turning to competitors like Google and Samsung. “Google plays offense while Apple has recently settled for playing defense,” Forbes reports. “Apple is struggling to maintain its position in the market, while Google is expanding its position.” 

Google’s shares have gone over a record $900 while Apple’s are now just above $400 after being over $705 in late September. While it can be difficult to keep up with its own track record of innovation, Apple apparently has got to keep pushing in order to keep the masses satisfied. “Where Apple went wrong is they began to confuse version releases and feature improvements with innovation,” Forbes reports. “What Apple is learning the hard way is even the most loyal base of consumers will jump ship when provided a valid reason to do so.”Continue reading...


Apple Apologizes to Chinese Officials for "Misunderstanding"

Posted by Abe Sauer on April 1, 2013 04:04 PM

China's state-run media including CCTV went into the weekend bashing Apple and came out the other side doing the same. Tech writers and journalists agree China's smear campaign against Apple has backfired because the effect China's smear campaign is having on Apple's brand is worse than you think in some quarters, and not such a big deal in others (depending who you read).

China's "attack" on Apple certainly doesn't have a simple black or white outcome. The impact will be seen after the dust settles, and it will (especially now that CEO Tim Cook has reportedly apologized), with one Citi analyst projecting that the showdown could cost the company up to $13 billion in sales in the market.Continue reading...

retail watch

Staples Remover? OfficeMax and Office Depot Prepare Merger

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 19, 2013 09:58 AM

Retailers OfficeMax and Office Depot are close to becoming one entity, a source tells Reuters, in order to pose a more serious threat to competitors like Staples and Amazon. It isn’t a done deal just yet but the expected stock-for-stock merging could happen—or fall apart—this week.

The rumored merger has already set both retailers' stocks aflame, with Office Depot jumping 28 percent to $5.89 per share and OfficeMax surging 19 percent to $12.77 per share.  According to Bloomberg, the companies have been discussing a possible stock swap that would "create a single office supply retailer to compete with Staples."

While the two companies wouldn’t comment, “one of OfficeMax's top shareholders, Neuberger Berman, said it would support a merger with Office Depot depending on terms of the deal,” the Chicago Tribune reports.Continue reading...

tech talk

Cook Says Innovation, Not Acquisition, Remains Central to Apple's Future

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 12, 2013 12:55 PM

If there is any specific forthcoming initiative tied to why Apple CEO Tim Cook's will sit with First Lady Michelle Obama at tonight's State of the Union Address, Cook's morning remarks at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference offered no clue.

But Cook — who also made no major product announcements or huge news in remarks made in conversation with analyst Bill Shope — nonetheless revealed that cash-rich, acquisition-shy Apple has evaluated far more companies than it has ultimately absorbed — and will likely continue to do so.

"We have looked at large companies," Cook said. "In each case that we've done that thus far, it didn't pass our tests."

He added: “Cash is not burning a hole in our pocket."Continue reading...

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