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brand roadmaps

Apple’s Tablet Represents Change For Print Media Brands

Posted by Ben Berkon on January 26, 2010 03:14 PM

While many thrilled fanboys eagerly await the debut of Apple’s tablet tomorrow, professionals in the print media industry are bracing for the ballyhooed arrival of what many in the business equate with certain death.

However, print media brands -- The New York Times, Hearst, Condé Nast, and Time, for example, -- may want to relax, at least a little bit. A person acquainted with the Tablet and Apple’s marketing plan, said of CEO Steve Jobs, “He believes democracy is hinged on a free press and that depends on there being a professional press."Continue reading...

customer relationship management

Calling All Coupons: The Future Of Customer Loyalty Programs

Posted by Barry Silverstein on January 20, 2010 12:01 PM

The year 2010 holds great potential for mobile advertising, and retailers are poised to take full advantage of emerging trends.

A new "Mobile Loyalty Solution" introduced by Motorola offers retailers the ability to "digitize store-branded membership cards on customers' mobile phones." Once a customer opts in, stores can proactively send offers and incentives to the customer's mobile phone, eliminating the need for membership cards and paper coupons. The customer's phone carries a bar code that acts as a unique identifier and can be scanned at the point of sale.Continue reading...

brand roadmaps

Starbucks Raises Prices, Stakes In Coffee Wars

Posted by Abe Sauer on January 19, 2010 12:17 PM

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Starbucks is raising its prices. Again. The brand attributes the increase to its effort to continue providing value while also balancing the company's "business responsibilities."

In New York, for example, an extra espresso shot is up from 55 cents to 70 cents. Additional syrup is 40 cents, a more than 30% increase. A grande triple soy vanilla latte is now $6.25 instead of $5.55.

Actually, Starbucks is both raising prices on more complex beverages while slightly lowering prices on a few simpler drinks -- but all the headlines are about the price increase. This price hike might end up working on several levels.Continue reading...

customer relationship management

New AT&T Unlimited Plans Come With A Catch

Posted by Sara Zucker on January 18, 2010 02:55 PM

In an attempt to contend with an increasingly competitive category, AT&T will launch unlimited plans for all customers, including iPhone owners. The packages are available starting, today, January 18, and can be ordered via branded stores, kiosks, or online.

Customers with “feature phones” may purchase an unlimited plan for $69.99 and those with Family Talk, owning more than two lines, will be charged $119.99. Text messaging package prices remain the same. However, new and upgraded shoppers with individual Quick Messaging Device plans will notice a $20 per month unlimited texting cost tacked on to their $89.99 bill. All smartphone customers can expect a $99.99 plan that includes unlimited voice and data.Continue reading...

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brand news

Headline Roundup: Brand Obama?

Posted by Stephanie Startz on January 7, 2010 09:04 AM

Weatherproof debuts new Times Square billboard using President Obama's image. [NY Times]

Sam's Club to sell own brand of vodka. [ABC News]

3D will be a major trend in 2010 with Sony, ESPN, Discovery and Imax offering products. [USA Today]

Cadbury and Hershey in talks after Kraft's hostile takeover bid suffers setbacks. [Times of London]

Toyota and Ford top brand perception survey. [WSJ]

Dove's new men's line goes to the gridiron, will debut at the Super Bowl. [AdAge]Continue reading...

campaign tactics

Fewer Ad Dollars Lead To Negative Campaigns, Experimentation In 2010

Posted by Abe Sauer on January 5, 2010 12:15 PM

In advertising, where there is currently no money and none expected anytime soon, the great ad depression of 2009 is expected to last well into 2010. With limited ad dollars, expect more harsh marketing strategies designed to tear down competing brands instead of building up their own.

Verizon is the latest, and most prevalent, negative marketing campaign to dominate media. But other examples abound. Chrysler, for instance, has been rattling off the failings of its competitors, including Ford and Honda, in its recent commercials.Continue reading...

want fries with that?

McDonald's Free Wi-Fi Should Worry Starbucks

Posted by Stephanie Startz on December 16, 2009 05:26 PM

Want Wi-Fi with that?

McDonald’s plans to lift the $2.95 charge currently placed on two hours of wireless Internet as a part of the fast food chain's overall rebranding effort to become a “destination,” where customers hang out instead of dine and dash. McDonald’s will continue its partnership with AT&T.

McDonald’s evolution into becoming a destination began this year with the premier of the McCafe, McDonald’s premium coffee line, in direct competition with Starbucks. The chain plans to expand its drink offerings in mid-2010 to include frappes and smoothies, further enticing consumers into making McDonald’s, not Starbucks, the third place in their lives.Continue reading...

tech wars

Google's Nexus One Surfaces Amid Intense Speculation

Posted by Stephanie Startz on December 15, 2009 03:57 PM

I bring you good tidings of joy: The Google phone is near.  

The Internet whipped into a furry this weekend on news that the Google phone, dubbed the “Nexus One”, had been released into the wild. Twitter began to buzz Friday afternoon as various Googlers (employees of Google) tweeted about their gift of the unlocked smartphone.

Not yet available for sale to mere plebes, the HTC-manufactured smartphone is expected in stores in early 2010. The phone will be sold unlocked, meaning that the consumer can choose any GSM service provider. Translation: Verizon’s Droid can breathe easy, as GSM limits consumer choice to AT&T and T-Mobile.Continue reading...

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