brand loyalty

Want a Space Trip? Choose Your Airline Wisely

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 12, 2012 04:57 PM

Loyalty programs are pretty much everywhere now: your wine shop, your shoe store, your gas station. With all that loyalty out there, airlines need to shake things up on the rewards front they pioneered, just to keep customers interested.

It isn’t enough just to use your air miles to build up to a future ticket on the same airline. A new study from IdeaWorks chronicles just how far airlines are going to keep passengers aboard, the Montreal Gazette reports. Want a wine-of-the-month club membership? Fly Qantas. Want a leather vest autographed by George Clooney? Fly Air Canada. Want a galactic sub-orbital space flight? Fly Virgin (and amass 25 million points).

The Gazette notes that Virgin even has a Flying Without Fear class as a possible reward for those who have fly a lot but have got some issues that they have to deal with every time they do. Continue reading...

personal brands

Amazon’s Bezos Adds His Name to Billionaire Explorers Club

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 3, 2012 04:01 PM

British billionaire Richard Branson has set all sorts of world records and is planning plenty more adventures, even if the center of the earth isn't one of them. Hollywood's resident daredevil, filmmaker James Cameron, who's also passionate about ocean and space exploration, recently plunged to the deepest known part of the ocean in a specially designed submarine.

But there is another wealthy adventurer vying for the record books: Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. But unlike his brand's grand name, the intrepid e-tailer isn't planning to explore the Amazon; instead, as Taiwan's NMA TV recounts in its animated version above, he recently discovered the rockets that pushed Neil Armstrong and pals upward into space at the bottom of the ocean and is planning to bring them back to dry land, according to reading...

kidding around

April Fool's Brand Pranks: Google, YouTube, Virgin, Honda, Sony, Toshiba & more [Updated]

Posted by Shirley Brady on April 1, 2012 12:01 PM

In a bid to outdo last year's April Fool's Day jokes, a few April Foolin' Around branded fake gags today include:

• Richard Branson's next adventure, Virgin Volcanic, will take the intrepid billionaire to the center of the earth with Tom Hanks;

• in addition to really advanced search and Google TV Click, perennial prankster Google brings its self-driving car to NASCAR racing (above) and, below, announces Morse Code-based Gmail Tap (double your typing speed!) with LL Cool J, plus 8-bit Google Maps for the neglected Nintendo Entertainment System, and more:Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: AB InBev, BlackBerry, Virgin Money

Posted by Dale Buss on March 29, 2012 09:01 AM

In the News

Anheuser-Busch InBev tries to get customers to return to its brands.

Annie's IPO surges.

BMW begins delivering fleet for use in London Summer Olympics.

Bertelsmann considers IPO.

BlackBerry-maker RIM plans to report turnaround progress today.

Bojangles unleashes "Chicken Cops" campaign.

Chevron and Merck disclose funding of attack-ad groups.

Depend campaign features non-incontinent celebrities.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Facebook IPO, News Corp. vs ESPN, Apple Takes America

Posted by Shirley Brady on March 28, 2012 06:01 PM

Adidas releases spot featuring David Beckham, Lionel Messi, Derrick Rose, and Katy Perry, whose single ("Part of Me") is the featured soundtrack.

Apple products can now be found in half of all U.S. households.

Charles Barkley cross-dresses in new Weight Watchers campaign.

Facebook stops secondary market trading ahead of May IPO.

Jeremy Lin meets with ESPN employee fired over racist headline.

JetBlue's unhinged pilot charged with a criminal complaint.

Netflix appears to follow through with Qwikster plan after all.

News Corp. said to plan sports network to rival ESPN.Continue reading...


As Mad Men Returns, Misty-Eyed Mad Ave is Eager to Reminisce

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 23, 2012 03:03 PM

It’s a good thing Mad Men’s Don Draper lived in the 1960’s, when Madison Avenue executives were thriving and “style, confidence, debauchery, lust and action” defined the job (as the Emmy Award-winning AMC series would have us believe).

Today, of course, it's not quite so swinging: "the job market is pretty rotten. Opportunities are limited. Agencies aren't doing the same kind of hiring they were five years ago, and there's no denying that those closer to 55 are going to have a harder time,” Nancee Martin, director-talent at Omnicom Group's TBWA Worldwide, commented to Ad Age. "In the past, advertising spoke to the audience, now it's more of a conversation. There are a lot of great Don Drapers out there today, and the really great ones are the ones who've learned to add to their game and keep their eye on the prize," observed Robert Manni, president of Agent16, to the Guardian.

Indeed, Ad Age estimates that agencies accounted for 189,700 jobs in pre-recession 2007, but by January 2010, that number was down by 30,000 jobs. As of November 2011, agencies had regained 17,000 jobs, but not the same jobs, and the majority were being filled by younger digital talent. As the fifth season of Mad Men kicks off with a two-hour special on AMC on Sunday night, what is thriving is the marketing of products related to the franchise and the concomitant glamorization of that era.Continue reading...

brand ambassadors

Are CEOs Effective Front Men (or Women)?

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 20, 2012 06:05 PM

Is the head of a company or brand the most effective spokesperson? Not every CEO, after all, can be Richard Branson or "Papa John" Schnatter.

Ace Metrix’s latest white paper, “CEOs in Advertisements: What Happens When the Boss Steps into the Spotlight?” reveals that the CEO doesn't need to have a cult of personality and be a household name to help put a positive face on the brand.Continue reading...

brand inspiration

Spanx Founder Sara Blakely: The Youngest Self-Made Rebel Billionaire

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 9, 2012 01:02 PM

You may remember Sara Blakely as a contestant on Rebel Billionaire, Richard Branson's 2005 reality competition series on Fox. Now she can claim the title as a rebel billionaire, and just like Branson, she's a self-made branding phenom with a flair for promotion — and she owes it all to Spanx.

Call it shapewear, support wear, body shapers, slimming intimates, "hosiery crack" — Spanx has conquered the worlds of retail, fashion and business school case studies, first by helping firm up women's wobbly bits and then, of course, men's. That's right: move over, mantyhose — Blakely got there first, one of many sparks of inspiration and innovation that have propelled her to become the first self-made female billionaire on Forbes' annual billionaire ranking.

“At 41 she’s the youngest woman to join this year’s World’s Billionaires list without help from a husband or an inheritance. She is part of a tiny, elite club of American women worth ten figures on their own, including Oprah Winfrey and Meg Whitman,” writes Forbes in a cover story on their March 26th billionaires ranking annual issue, which is now on newsstands. “Today Spanx is to slimming undergarments what Kleenex is to tissues: a brand that stands for the category.”Continue reading...

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