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In the News: Martha Stewart, BMW, CES and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 4, 2013 09:02 AM

In the News

JCPenney and Macy's set for trial over Martha Stewart.

BMW blows away Mercedes-Benz with December sales to claim U.S. 2012 luxury-segment crown.

CES trend-watching and predicting begins.

Adweek invites votes on best and worst brand extensions of the year.

Al Jazeera deal for Current TV could change U.S. cable news.

American Airlines promises merger decision on US Airways within weeks.

Apple sees iPad lift from holiday sales and marketing.

Barnes & Noble sees Nook lose ground in tablet wars.Continue reading...

brand launch

In the News: Hostess, LinkedIn, Nissan and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 14, 2012 09:02 AM

In the News

Hostess brands reportedly attract bids from Walmart and Kroger.

LinkedIn gains job-recruiting edge over Monster, reveals most-liked brands of 2012.

Nissan begins turning out Leaf batteries at new U.S. plant.

Apple dominates tablet-purchase intent, survey says, but loses patent case to licensing firm.

Build-A-Bear considers change at top.

Fox News leads cable segment while CNN dips.

GM revamps MyLink system.

Jaguar drops plan to build supercar.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: 5-Hour Energy, BP, Best Buy and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 15, 2012 09:04 AM

In the News

5-Hour Energy consumption cited for possible involvement in deaths.

Abercrombie & Fitch credits faster reaction times for bump in results.

BBC scrutiny continues as broadcaster celebrates 90th.

BP nears settlement with federal government on Gulf spill.

Best Buy battles skeptics with turnaround plans.

Checkers opens restaurant in a Walmart.

Chick-fil-A ranked No. 1 chicken chain in new survey.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Priceline, Jeep, Walmart and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 9, 2012 09:06 AM

In the News

Priceline to buy Kayak.

Chrysler recalls Jeeps over faulty airbags.

Walmart faces probe in India.

Axe sponsors comedy tour.

Boeing is on track to outsell Airbus for first time in six years.

Diageo finally reaches deal for stake in United Spirits.

GM stake becomes a challenge for re-elected President Obama as Chevrolet finds a home in Russia.Continue reading...

chew on this

Fast Food Slows Down as McDonald's, Wendy's Take a Hit

Posted by Dale Buss on November 8, 2012 02:17 PM

Turns out that consumers around the world can't and don't just keep simply trading down in their eating habits as incomes and economies keep slowing or remain sluggish. Many just stop going out to eat altogether. Exhibit A: McDonald's just reported its first monthly decline in same-store sales from year-to-year, for October, since 2003, when the company in general was struggling.

This result — a 1.8-percent dip in global revenue at "same-store" restaurants open at least 13 months — reflects broadly on the state of the global economy, because if there's one thing that unites us as a species, it's eating cheap and fast food. Yet even though it's been promoting lower-priced menu items, McDonald's relevant revenues in October fell by 2.2 percent in both the United States and Europe, and by 2.4 percent in the region encompassing Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

It isn't clear how much of the bad number may reflect some kind of general slump in the fast-food proposition, in any market. But the European result isn't that surprising because the continent is sliding into recession again because of eurozone woes and consumers' loss of confidence that politicians and bankers can fix them. Cooling in China is one big reason for the drop in the Asian region.

So the U.S. results might raise the most eyebrows at McDonald's headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill. Three potential factors include McDonald's lack of recent "new product news" in the U.S., "an uptick in competition in the U.S.," and a drag from Hurricane Sandy, said Sterne Agee analyst Lynne Collier. Speaking of that competition, Wendy's reported higher revenues at "same" stores but lower profits mostly for accounting reasons. Its third-quarter increase of 2.7 percent in revenue at restaurants open at least 15 months — the sixth straight quarter of such growth — was welcome in view of the chain's concerted efforts to move a bit upscale with higher-quality ingredients and menu items.Continue reading...

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In the News: Dow, Zynga, BBC and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 24, 2012 09:00 AM

In the News

Dow Chemical to slash 2,400 jobs and close 20 plants.

Zynga cuts staff and kills some games.

BBC investigating staff members in Jimmy Savile sex scandal as New York Times public editor calls for scrutiny of incoming CEO, ex-BBC exec Mark Thompson.

AT&T reports slower growth in new customers.

American Airlines expands route network.

Apple finally unveils its new smaller iPad as advertisers and publishers contemplate utility of new model.

BAE faces pressure after collapse of EADS deal.Continue reading...

chew on this

McDonald's CEO Has High Hopes for McRib and Cheddar Bacon Onion Sandwiches

Posted by Dale Buss on October 22, 2012 02:23 PM

As global economic bellwethers go, McDonald's sales results probably rank right up there with oil prices and consumer-confidence measures. So its shareholders, analysts and executives aren't exactly lovin' it when the company reports lackluster results, as it did for the third quarter.

The fast-food leader reported weaker-than-expected earnings for the period as it battled a weak global economy and accommodated more budget-minded consumers from Europe to China. Both sales and profits fell during the quarter, a rarity for McDonald's.

Of course, McDonald's results aren't directly synonymous with the status of the world's appetite for quick fare. The stronger dollar hurt international sales too. Also, competitors in many markets have been upping their game lately, including both Burger King and Wendy's in the United States, and the new strains from rivals also are reflected in McDonald's results.Continue reading...

logo-a-gogo

Wendy's New Logo Leads Transformation for Brand

Posted by Dale Buss on October 11, 2012 02:06 PM

Customers will notice something different about Wendy's starting in March: A new logo that updates the pig-tailed, red-haired "Wendy" in the brand's first revamp of its iconic brand face in 29 years.

Yes, in the tradition of Betty Crocker and Aunt Jemima, Wendy — the name comes from the daughter of late founder Dave Thomas — gets a smoother new 'do and more stylish freckles. It's the first logo change for Wendy's since 1983 for the Dubin, Ohio-based fast food brand, and just the tip of the iceberg for changes coming to the burger chain, which last year dethroned Burger King for #2 spot in America.Continue reading...

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