chew on this

McDonald's Debuts Healthier Egg White McMuffin

Posted by Dale Buss on March 14, 2013 07:38 PM

McDonald's may have just tanked its apple walnut salad and Chicken Selects, but that doesn't mean the world's largest and most closely watched fast-food chain is giving up on better-for-you fare. Far from it.

The latest exhibit: McDonald's is launching a yolk-free-egg version of the classic Egg McMuffin breakfast sandwich. The "Egg White Delight" will be available nationally on April 22 and register at 250 calories compared with 300 calories for the regular sandwich.

The new item will be made with a whole-grain muffin, Canadian bacon and, apparently just to make sure there's no hint of yellow in the sandwich, white cheddar cheese. McDonald's said the egg whites will be cooked on the grill with a spatula, according to the Associated Press. Customers can request egg whites on other sandwiches, but it wasn't clear whether extra pricing would apply.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Why Starbucks' Customer Loyalty Is More Lucrative Than Any Ad Campaign

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 8, 2013 02:43 PM

Occasional coffee drinkers and Starbucks junkies alike all visit the Seattle-based brewer's shops for the same reason, and it's not a caffeine kick. The java giant is just as recognized for its lifestyle brand as it is its beverages, and that may be just the thing missing from competitors' offerings. 

Despite the fact that Starbucks recently took a second-place post against McDonald's in a social hospitality survey, the company continues to be the most relevant coffee shop brand around—and they don't even try that hard. Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, Facebook, HSBC and more

Posted by Dale Buss on March 5, 2013 09:01 AM

In the News

Apple value dips as Google soars.

Facebook sued over bungled IPO.

HSBC, now Europe's biggest bank, sheds personal loan assets.

Carmakers at Geneva Auto Show express fears on European recovery.

AARP ramps up YouTube marketing.

Ally Financial says U.S. is probing its retail-financing practices.

Amazon launches first TV effort, for fashion unit; leads mobile retail sales.

American Suzuki gets OK of bankruptcy plan by U.S. court.

Baileys slims down its bottle.

BBC Worldwide reportedly in talks to sell Lonely Planet stake.

Best Buy and Facebook focus on next-generation mobile marketing.

Boeing expects to move fast to get Dreamliner back into the air after FAA approval of fixes.Continue reading...

chew on this

McDonald’s Trims Menu Items as Sales Drop

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 1, 2013 01:13 PM

McDonald’s may have sold more than 247 billion hamburgers since eventual owner Ray Kroc opened his first franchise in 1955, but things have apparently slowed down a little bit for the fast-food powerhouse.

January marked the first time in nine years that Mickey D’s reported that its same-store sales in the U.S. went down, according to the Chicago Tribune. The word is that sales at franchise locations that have been open for more than a year went down 2.2 percent. In Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East, same-store sales also took a similar decline. The announcement, however, isn’t shocking since fast food has been taking a hit across the board due to consumers being more vigilant about where their dollars (and calories) are spent. Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Groupon, Gap, Barnes & Noble and more

Posted by Dale Buss on March 1, 2013 09:04 AM

In the News

Groupon sacks founder Andrew Mason as CEO.

Gap reports strong sales on increased marketing spending.

Barnes & Noble falls behind in tablet wars.

Ahold plans to roll out more pickup points for Peapod.

Annie's looks to "spread good."

Apple flip-flopped on rule about officers' stock holdings.

Best Buy and founder end talks on ownership deal.

Boeing pares workforce for grounded Dreamliner.

Diageo prepares to buy majority stake in United Spirits.

Disney finds CEO Robert Iger under fire over power and pay.

Domino's Pizza plans to increase national ad spending. Continue reading...

chew on this

Fast Food Chains Reboot Brands with New Images, Ads and Products

Posted by Dale Buss on February 21, 2013 02:02 PM

With American consumers still hesitant to spend on restaurant meals, the biggest QSR chains keep trying new tactics in what has become a bruising battle for shares of a stagnant U.S. market.

No. 3 Wendy's has just rolled out a new campaign that will spread its new logo and brand design to everything from product packaging to its stores to crew uniforms. No. 2 Burger King has switched ad agencies (after the plastic-faced King creeped everyone out) and is debuting a set of light-hearted new TV commercials that also emphasize new products. Last but not least, No. 1 McDonald's is attempting to reinvigorate a new-product pipeline that generated mostly disappointments last year.

Wendy's said its new logo will begin appearing on Monday in advertising, on product packaging and crew uniforms, in new restaurant signage and menu boards and in digital assets. "Wendy's brand transformation is re-energizing all of our touch points with consumers," said Emil Brolick, CEO, in a press release. "We're transforming our brand — from bold restaurant designs to innovative food that consumers want, to improved customer service."Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Yahoo!, GE, Boston Globe and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 21, 2013 09:04 AM

In the News

Yahoo! teams up with Facebook for social site revamp as Marissa Mayer puts her stamp on the homepage.

GE sues Whirlpool over alleged price fixing in Europe.

New York Times puts Boston Globe on the block.

AB InBev updates Modela discussions with DOJ.

Alamo targets broader audience.

Apple files patent for slap version of rumored iWatch.

AT&T expands partnership with BMW.

Boeing plans to propose package of fixes for Dreamliner.

Burger King unveils new ads with a human element.Continue reading...

chew on this

Food App, All-Day Breakfast: Flat Sales Prompt McDonald's to Experiment Abroad

Posted by Dale Buss on January 23, 2013 03:15 PM

McDonald's is sort of limping along in the U.S. on the strength of its value menu, and there do not seem to be prospects for a return to sizzling growth anytime soon. So the fast-food chain is relying on the historic strengths of its brand — including locations, familiarity and convenience — to carry it through what is expected to be a ho-hum near-term future.

On Wednesday, the world's biggest QSR reported a higher fourth-quarter profit, but same-store sales growth of just 0.1 percent worldwide. That measure grew slightly in the U.S. thanks to the Dollar Menu and from pushing franchisees to stay open on Christmas. But same-store sales fell by 0.6 percent in Europe —McDonald's biggest market — and fell by 1.7 percent in the region encompassing Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Japan's sales decline of more than 6 percent in the fourth quarter was especially severe.

The immediate problem for McDonald's, at least in the U.S., is that first-quarter comparisons are becoming difficult due to last year's mild winter, and the chain doesn't have much new up its sleeve right now.Continue reading...

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