brand news

In the News: CVS, AT&T, MINI and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 5, 2014 09:02 AM

In the News

CVS quits selling tobacco products, standing to lose $2 billion in sales, and draws plaudits from President Obama and the Twitterverse.

AT&T becomes first Olympics brand to condemn Russia anti-gay policy.

MINI rolls out biggest US campaign.

Google reaches antitrust deal with EU.

McDonald's shows how McNuggets are made.

RadioShack plans to close 500 stores under restructuring.

3M launches $12 billion stock buyback.

Adidas sues Under Armour over patents.

Chrysler says Ram diesel gets 28mpg rating.

Jaguar Land Rover pushes back China production to 2015.

Mazda targets record profits.

Mercedes-Benz global sales rise sharply.

Michael Kors expands in menswear.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Neiman Marcus, Apple Samsung and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 24, 2014 09:33 AM

In the News

Neiman Marcus reveals over 1.1 million credit cards exposed to data breach. 

Apple celebrates 30 years of the Mac computer and making PCs "cool."

Samsung's profit growth slows on success of new iPhone

Starbucks enthuses about sodas and mobile pre-ordering in wake of strong holiday sales.

Audi plans to narrow global sales gap with BMW in 2014.

CNN social media accounts hacked by SEA. 

Facebook pokes fun at Princeton following research report. 

GM looks to axe 1,100 South Korea jobs ahead of Chevy's pullout from Europe, report says.

Google reaches out to GOP.

JPMorgan gives CEO Dimon a big raise.

Lexus taps into Milan Design Week.

Lincoln sees customer-experience enhancements begin to pay off for dealers but product depth remains a problem.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...

chew on this

Burger Mania Pulls in Olive Garden, Boosts Wendy's; Is Pizza Next?

Posted by Dale Buss on December 4, 2013 11:07 AM

The gourmet burger is king in fast-casual restaurants these days, but gourmet pizza may be threatening the throne.

Olive Garden is the latest chain to bow to the rise of gourmet burgers. In a move that doesn't at first glance seem to fit with its Italian menu, the Darden-owned brand has introduced its Italiano Burger nationwide as part of a broader menu overhaul. The burger is topped with crisp prosciutto, mozzarella cheese, arugula, tomatoes marinated in fresh basil, and garlic and Italian spices, according to NRN.com. And it's served with a garlic aioli spread and comes with parmesan-garlic fries.

But it's still a burger. And that's the point: To combat slower sales, Olive Garden is trying lots of new stuff. "The objective is to regain same-restaurant traffic momentum," CEO Clarence Otis said in September when discussing earnings, according to NRN.com.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Amazon, Facebook, Chrysler and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 3, 2013 09:13 AM

In the News

Amazon finds sales-tax challenge rejected by US Supreme Court as it opens holiday pop-up shops in malls across America.

Facebook adds more "news" to news feed as site proves its worth to CPG marketers.

Chrysler posts 16 percent rise in November sales.

Apple buys Twitter-data tool.

Audi seeks edge over BMW in high-tech headlights.

BP could be spared hundreds of millions by court ruling.

Canon connects consumers with Santa.

Constellation Brands is alleged to mislead on US beer prices.

Cyber Monday blew past $2 billion in online sales.

Dow Chemical launches margin-boosting makeover and considers name change.

Enterprise launches loyalty points-doubling promotion.Continue reading...

brand battle

With Its New Big King, Brazen Burger King Mounts New Assault on McDonald's

Posted by Dale Buss on December 2, 2013 05:56 PM

Even with its recent travails, McDonald's could count on staying ahead of every conceivable fast-food rival. But is that still the case? Burger King seems to be nicking away at the idea.

Neither No. 2 Burger King nor No. 3 Wendy's can possibly at this point match McDonald's revenues or 69 million visitors a day. But in its own way, the traditional biggest challenger, Burger King, is taking it to the leader unlike ever before, in terms of products, innovations, marketing and branding.

Burger King has been the aggressor in the war for market share in a stagnant fast-food market in the US and across much of the rest of the world. For example, Burger King has just introduced a new Big King sandwich that—made of two beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions and served on a sesame-seed bun— sure seems like a knockoff of McDonald's reigning Big Mac. And that came just a few months after Burger King brazenly unveiled a limited-time summer menu that included a BBQ Rib sandwich, a boneless rib pattie just like McDonald's limited-time McRib sandwich.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: NHL, Boston Market, Burberry and more

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on November 27, 2013 09:23 AM

In the News

NHL makes NFL play with more unscripted programming, outdoor games—and concussion lawsuits.

Boston Market expects to see biggest Thanksgiving sales yet.

Burberry appeals China ban on trademark pattern.

Atlanta Braves see council approve $300 million, move to suburbs. 

BlackBerry rolls out BBM social network.

Burger King expands presence in France.

Facebook tries to find balance with onslaught of sponsored posts.

Instagram is now publishing a new ad almost every day.

L'Oreal names new global CMO.

Louis Vuitton stunt in Moscow's Red Square doesn't go over well.Continue reading...

chew on this

FDA Seeks to Vanquish Trans-Fats by Giving Them 'Non-GRAS' Status

Posted by Dale Buss on November 8, 2013 07:47 PM

Brands have been fleeing artery-clogging trans fats since a FDA labeling requirement for the stuff in 2006, but now the federal agency likely will finish off hold-out trans-fat products with a preliminary ruling this week that the primary source of the fats are no longer "GRAS."

GRAS means "generally recognized as safe," and it is the sine qua non for any ingredient that is going into a regulated food and beverage sold in the United States. The new FDA ruling made a preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils—the primary diet source of artificial trans fat in processed foods—no longer are GRAS for use in food. As Advertising Age noted, the next step is to find out from food makers how long it would take them to reformulate foods that contain extra trans fats if the ruling is finalized.

Trans fats have some inimitable qualities that help in food taste and texture, manufacturers say, including helping crisp french fries. Holdout brands have ranged from Pillsbury Grand! cinnamon rolls to Marie Callender pies from ConAgra to Diamond Foods' Pop Secret pocorn. So even though General Mills said that more than 90 percent of its US retail products already are retailed as zero grams trans fat, it called the ruling a "major development."Continue reading...

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