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brand news

In the News: Microsoft, Google, Apple and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 27, 2014 09:14 AM

In the News

Microsoft posts record sales as Ballmer prepares exit; competes with Amazon on cloud storage prices; admits to Syrian Electric Army email breach; and releases global study on power of technology.

Google pushes back against data localization, faces protest in San Francisco, buys artificial intelligence startup DeepMind and announces global patent agreement with Samsung.

Apple reportedly eyes mobile payments service, as hopes are high for Q1 earnings release on Monday.

AIG says it’s on offense as corp rep restored.

AT&T quashes rumors of Vodafone bid.

Accenture tries to grab STEM graduates early.

Ally Financial readies pre-IPO roadshow.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: A-B InBev, Volkswagen, General Mills and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 20, 2014 09:35 AM

In the News

A-B InBev pays $5.8 billion for Korea's largest brewer.

Volkswagen goes on offensive to bolster US product lineup.

General Mills files patent to cut salt and fat in dough.

Chevrolet endangers effectiveness of Manchester United deal by pulling back from Europe.

Dropbox value hits $10 billion.

EPrize rebrands itself as HelloWorld.

GM runs risks in how much new CEO Barra is symbolic.

GMC undergoes an overhaul.

Geely dismisses any concerns about Volvo management.

Hongqi's revival efforts are dashed by low sales in China. 

IBM revives efforts to sell low-end server unit, likely to Lenovo.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Google, Nike, Cadillac and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 14, 2014 09:19 AM

In the News

Google buys Nest Labs for $3.2 billion to enter smart-home derby.

Nike plans to open Jordan brand stores. 

Cadillac says new ATS Coupe will be first vehicle to wear updated crest.

AstraZeneca forecasts quicker return to growth.

Black & Decker refreshes its image. 

Michael Bloomberg returns to his company.

DirecTV attacks Weather Channel fees.

Facebook expands conversations group and acquires link-sharing service Branch. 

Fiat begins to rethink brand architecture.

Fox opts out of TV's traditional pilot season.

GE Capital gets into loyalty-program business.Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

Tech, Auto Brands Team Up to Transform Cars Into Rolling Internet Platforms at CES

Posted by Dale Buss on January 6, 2014 03:54 PM

Anyone concerned that automobiles soon will be reduced to self-driven, rolling video-game platforms should stay away from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. Tech companies from Nvidia to Google to Samsung, and auto brands from Audi to Hyundai to Chevrolet, are making it clear at CES that super-enhanced in-vehicle internet connectivity may be their most important technological priority these days.

Chevrolet announced that the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette, Impala, Malibu And Volt would be the first GM vehicles to come optionally equipped with OnStar 4G LTE, an industry first across multiple product lines, to be followed quickly by the majority of the 2015 Chevy lineup in the US and Canada. Among other things, the initiative will create a Wi-Fi hotspot in GM vehicles.

Busily, GM also was announcing its participation in the recently rumored huge new telematics initiative led by Google, called the Open Automotive Alliance, which also includes Audi, Honda, Hyundai and chip maker Nvidia in an effort to customize Google's Android platform for vehicles that will allow for things such as app access and remote vehicle diagnostics.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Target, Whole Foods, Chipotle and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 19, 2013 09:18 AM

In the News

Target hit by credit card breach of as many as 40 million customers that started on Black Friday.

Whole Foods stops selling Chobani in favor of non-GMO yogurts.

Chipotle joins fast-casual pizza race.

A&E suspends patriarch Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty over anti-gay remarks.

Allstate launches new online game to help avoid holiday mayhem.

AstraZeneca buys out Bristol-Myers Squibb in diabetes joint-venture.

Bayer buys cancer-drug partner Algeta for $2.9 billion.

Boeing loses out to Saab in providing fighter jets for Brazil and taps likely CEO successor.

Chevrolet sees a top US marketer leave.

Christie's finalizes appraisal of Detroit Institute of Arts collection.

Daimler gets stake in Aston Martin with engine supply deal.

Darden spins out Red Lobster amid shareholder pressure.Continue reading...

china

The Week in China: Year of the Horse Brand Blitz, Bitter Bitcoin and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on December 6, 2013 12:38 PM

China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.

This week: The Year of the Horse commemorative products... Bitcoin vs.  China... Ford brings Mustang to China... L'Oreal gets Fan Bingbing... Carrefour grows... Volvo up... Suzuki gets "Authentic"... Toyota signals an end of Japan automaker woes... Qoros sells "made in China"... Arnie sees the sights... and more.Continue reading...

auto motive

Saab Fires Up the Assembly Line Again, Now Under Chinese Ownership

Posted by Dale Buss on December 2, 2013 07:02 PM

The machinery may be creaky and the model basically a rehash, but two and a half years after Sweden produced what could have been its last Saab automobile, the brand rolled a new sedan off its assembly lines in Trollhattan, Sweden, today.

Newly owned by Chinese company National Electric Vehicle Sweden, which bought Saab out of bankruptcy last year, the venerable automotive brand presented its new Aero 9-3 sedan as the first in a series of new cars it will produce, according to the Associated Press.

"It's very similar" to the old 9-3 sedan that Saab stopped making in April 2011, Mikael Oestlund, a spokesman for the Hong Kong-based new owners, according to the BBC. "We acquired the assets in August last year. Our focus has been to get the co-operation up and running with 400 suppliers and ensure the facilities were working."Continue reading...

viral buzz

Van Damme Stands Tall—and Wide—In Slick Stunt on Viral Volvo Video

Posted by Dale Buss on November 18, 2013 06:49 PM

The Muscles from Brussels has gotten plenty a movie workout with his martial-arts legerdemain. But seldom has Jean-Claude Van Damme had so many people see one of his physical feats of flexibility and strength so quickly as in the new ad for Volvo Truck's steering technology. At least 27 million people and rising have seen Volvo's new online-only ad in less than a week.

In the spot, Van Damme straddles the space between two Volvo trucks moving side by side and backward only by resting his feet on a side mirror of each truck. The stunt is meant to demonstrate the equilibrium and precision and reliability of the brand's new dynamic-steering system, as Van Damme "stands," all spread out, for what seems like interminable seconds in the video.

Yes, Van Damme ultimately was secured from a grisly accident by thin safety wires that aren't visible in the video. Van Damme’s feet aren’t lashed to the mirrors, video director Andreas Nilsson told the Wall Street Journal, "but we had him rigged so that if he would fall off he wouldn’t die obviously. We didn’t want to be responsible for killing the Muscles from Brussels.”Continue reading...

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