Posted by Abe Sauer on December 13, 2013 02:43 PM
China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.
This week: Apple and China Mobile sitting in a tree… Xiaomi expands… Mustangs appear… retail boom… WeChat, WhatsApp and now Yixin… smog, smog and more smog makes for new business… Carlsberg buys breweries… Marie France leaves… Swiss watch woes… Taobao livestock… and more.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 13, 2013 01:51 PM
Ford is bursting at the seams. It plans to add 5,000 more US jobs next year and launch 23 vehicles globally. In the American market, the company just had its best November since 2004. And its dealers are jacked up about being able to sell the new Ford Mustang and a new version of America's most popular vehicle, the Ford F-150 pickup truck, next year.
With great industry fanfare this week, Ford announced that it will add 3,300 salaried positions, most in southeastern Michigan, among the 5,000 new US jobs next year and that more than 80 percent of the salaried jobs will be technical positions in product development, manufacturing, quality and IT. That bespeaks an optimism about and commitment to the company's long-term future, not just moves to attempt to keep up with the still-growing US market. In fact, Ford is trimming some production short-term to stay just in line with the US recovery.
"Next year, we are embarking on our most ambitious global product launch year ever to meet customer demand for our products around the world," Ran Jair, group vice president for global product development, said in a statement.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 13, 2013 12:48 PM
Back in October, McDonald's named Amazon's Atif Rafiq its first chief digital officer as the space has become critical to the struggling burger chain's success. And now the latest effort—a mobile app—is being tested at select locations across the US.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the simplistic app—which already has a live version in the UK—offers up coupons to consumers that specify what they want to eat. New deals pop up every six weeks, and it also includes a restaurant locator and menu listing.
McDonald's is playing catch-up with competitors like Five Guys and Chipotle, which already attract a younger crowd than McDonald's does and already have apps available that allow for mobile odering—something the McD app doesn't have. "It's premature to speculate on the future of the McD App," Lisa McComb, a company spokeswoman, said in an email to the Tribune.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 13, 2013 11:10 AM
Instagram has amassed 150 million active users worldwide since its launch in 2010, not wasting a moment in shifting from a photo-sharing app to videos, then ads, and now private messaging.
Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom took the stage in New York City yesterday to announce Instagram Direct, a new messaging feature that lets users send text, video, and photo messages to each other privately. "Sometimes you want to be able to share not with everyone, but just with a specific group," he said.
Users can share images and videos with 15 or fewer friends at one time who follow each other on the service, immediately making Instagram a more intimate service, a la upcoming rival Snapchat.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 13, 2013 09:19 AM
Boeing sees collapse of its renewed talks with machinists for 777X work.
Coca-Cola shakes up Americas management.
Ford plans to add 5,000 US jobs in 2014, hatches three new plants globally, and announces driverless-car initiative.
Bolthouse Farms leverages innovative Instagram tech.
DaVinci Wines debuts Facebook promo.
DirecTV explores online-video service and counts on addressable ads for future growth.
Google mulls designing its own server chips in threat to Intel.
Hilton explores creating new hotel brand aimed at affluent Millennials.
Hyundai plans to tout Genesis, Elantra in Super Bowl.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on December 12, 2013 06:16 PM
It may not be long before Buffalo Wild Wings introduces Cheetos-flavored chicken wings to rival Taco Bell's' Doritos Locos Tacos in harnessing flavors direct from a Frito-Lay bagged-chip brand. Because under the new deal struck by the popular restaurant chain and Frito-Lay parent PepsiCo, just about anything combining restaurant food and beverages and PepsiCo IP may be—and could appear—on the table.
The immediate impact of the deal is that PepsiCo beverages, including Pepsi and Mountain Dew, are to replace Coca-Cola as the beverage supplier to one of the nation's hottest restaurant chains.
But recognizing the continued decline in the relative value of soda sales compared with other faster-growing segments of its portfolio, PepsiCo made it clear that the company believes many other dimensions of its new deal with Buffalo Wild Wings could become valuable as well.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 12, 2013 05:21 PM
Crime doesn’t pay, apparently. A&E Networks is completely revamping its Bio channel, the home of such shows as Gangsters, Women Behind Bars, Mobsters: America’s Most Evil, and Look Whose Stalking. It will be replaced with FYI, a contemporary lifestyle network, sometime next summer, Advertising Age reports.
While Bio, a joint-venture between Disney/ABC Television and Hearst Corp., also aired such programming as Celebrity House Hunting and Haunted Encounters, its niche audience wasn't turning out in the numbers executives had hoped for. A&E hopes to instead inspire viewers with content on FYI that will cover food, travel and home design, with over 30 projects currently in development.
“The transition to FYI is the next phase in our strategy to bolster the A&E Networks portfolio by evolving and maturing our brands to allow for future growth in the rapidly changing media landscape,” A&E Networks President and CEO Nancy Dubuc said in a statement. “FYI will be an upscale network with a younger and more modern sensibility than what we’ve seen on traditional lifestyle networks, in an effort to appeal to an audience that has been underserved on linear but thrives online.”Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 12, 2013 04:29 PM
It's been just over a year and a half since Facebook's highly-anticipated IPO hit the trading floor, mainly with a loud thump. Coming out of the gate priced at $38 a share, the stock's value fell almost to half that in the months following the public debut, but the company has since recovered both its stock price and dignity.
As if to cement that, Facebook announced Wednesday that it will join the Standard & Poor's 500 index as well as the collection of top companies on S&P's 100 list after the market closes on Dec. 20. With Facebook's moving up, electronic company Teradyne and The Williams Cos. have been booted from their respective lists.
Facebook shares leaped four percent on the news in after-hours trading, USA Today reports. Shares were worth more than $50 on Thursday.Continue reading...