Posted by Shirley Brady on July 2, 2012 08:45 AM
Apple pays $60M to end iPad trademark dispute in China, looks to secure ipad3.com domain.
Barclays scandal forces out chairman, saying "the buck stops with me."
Bristol-Myers agrees to buy Amylin Pharmaceuticals for $5B in cash, expands diabetes alliance.
Rupert Murdoch will rebrand the Wall Street Journal as WSJ as part of News Corp. split.
AMC parent ends AT&T U-verse TV dispute with long-term agreement, as Dish feud continues.
Applebee's rolls out fresh menu, look and campaign.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Barry Silverstein on June 20, 2012 05:05 PM
The 2012 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) is out and it demonstrates the kind of consistency that a fast food behemoth like McDonald's can't be too happy about.
The ACSI's new ranking puts the burger-meister dead last in the "Limited-Service Restaurants" category, with a satisfaction rating of 73 percent. That puts McDonald's just below rival Burger King (75 percent), but considerably below Wendy's (78 percent). Pizza delivery company Papa John's was rated #1 in the limited service category with a satisfaction rating of 83 percent, an increase of 5.1 percent from the previous year. Interestingly, the company in this category with the largest drop in customer satisfaction from last year was Starbucks. Often touted for its customer service, the coffee house fell from 80 percent in 2011 to 76 percent in 2012.
Unfortunately, the lowly ranking should come as no big surprise for McDonald's management; the company has ranked last in the ACSI since 1995. In fact, its current rating of 73 percent is a percent higher than last year, and 73 percent is the highest rating ever achieved by McDonald's on the ACSI.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on June 15, 2012 03:59 PM
McDonald's is a bellwether of the global economy. It sells a value proposition to mainstream consumers worldwide, and it's a huge force in virtually every market.
Right now, that might not be such a great thing, for McDonald's — or the global economy. Analysts and investors have been turning sour on McDonald's stock because of factors such as the company's dependence on a slumping Europe for 35 to 40 percent of its earnings, a same-store sales decline for May in McDonald's Asia Pacific-Middle-East-Africa region including China and Japan, and of course indications of a faltering economic recovery in the United States.
There's also the matter of greater competition for McDonald's. After years of stumbling to mount much of a challenge to McDonald's, both Burger King and Wendy's have shown signs of renewed growth lately.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 14, 2012 02:02 PM
America is settling in for a long summer of campaigning between the Democratic candidate President Obama and the Grand Old Party’s Mitt Romney. News of minor flubs by candidates and those who work for them will come up at bars, barbecues, and ice-cream joints across the land (or be completely avoided, for everyone’s safety).
Americans will likely hear a constant media drumbeat about red states vs. blue states that will be so loud, it will seem that the country is about to burst into a Civil War.
Just in time for this comes a new study from Buyology that members of the two political parties don’t just disagree on their candidates. They also mostly disagree on the brands they love, though there are three that help bring them together. Next time a president wants to have a bipartisan summit of some sort, he or she might want to involve Coke, Apple, and Visa. Those three names were named by both parties as brands they love.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 1, 2012 01:02 PM
Animal-rights activists have been after chain restaurants for years to stop penning up their pigs and their work is finally paying off. Burger King in April made the promise to unpen the pigs in its supply chain and Wendy’s made a similar promise a month earlier. Now McDonald’s, oft-criticized by animal welfare groups as the world's largest user of beef, is following up on its ethical pledge for more humane treatment of the chicken and pigs of America.
While Burger King says it can do it by 2017, McDonald's (on the heels of its recent "back to the farm" campaign) says it will need at least until 2022 until it can be sure that all of its suppliers aren’t penning up the sows, according to the Chicago Tribune. “Sow confinement has been standard agricultural practice for decades, based on the reasoning that the pregnant animals become aggressive around food,” the newspaper notes. This, of course, has not won too much favor with animal-rights folks.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on May 30, 2012 11:32 AM
The King is dead. Scratch that: he's back. Long live the King! Regardless of whether Burger King re-gains a long-term lead over Wendy's as the No. 2 U.S. burger chain — both of them trail McDonald's by a mile — the short-term renaissance of the brand has made things interesting in a QSR business that has lacked excitement lately.
Burger King correctly called that involving celebrities in its marketing would create buzz, visibility and interest. So in new ads running over the last few weeks, BK fans and non-fans alike have been intrigued to see familiar faces including Mary J. Blige and David Beckham, Sofia Vergara and Salma Hayek, even Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, shilling for the King.
The fast food chain says it will discontinue the celebrity-studded campaign promoting its new menu this summer. But in the meantime, it has helped create enough interest that Burger King's same-store sales have posted solid gains, while Wendy's have dropped off again, on a relative basis. Burger King once again, at least for a while, has usurped the "Avis" position that it gave up to Wendy's last year.Continue reading...
brand vs. brand
Posted by Dale Buss on May 16, 2012 11:37 AM
Earlier this year, Wendy's dethroned Burger King to become America's second-largest burger chain, based on the chains' 2011 U.S. sales figures, for the first time. But the pinnacle (well, sub-pinnacle, as both are way beneath McDonald's) must be slippery, because Wendy's foothold at the top already appears to be weakening.
For Wendy's, the first quarter was a big disappointment and produced only a 2-percent revenue increase compared with a year ago, to $593 million, forcing the chain to lower its 2012 outlook. But for the ever-hungry Burger King, first-quarter sales rose by more than 3 percent, to $570 million.
Both burger icons tried some tweaks that were new and different during the period. Burger King's innovations seem to be working out better for now.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 9, 2012 08:59 AM
Apple wins legal round in U.S. over iPad trade name in China.
Birds Eye commits to "GenVeg" effort to get kids to eat vegetables.
Chase pitches pre-paid debit cards.
Coca-Cola and PepsiCo carry calorie fight into New York subways.
Delta pulls ads from Comedy Central's The Daily Show.
Disney gets earnings boost from cable.
Dole considers breakup.
Domino's gluten-free crust challenged.
Facebook IPO bandwagon moves to Boston, ditches video.
Ford struggles with Thai suppliers after last fall's floods.Continue reading...