Posted by Abe Sauer on June 14, 2013 12:45 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: McDonald's owns the night... KFC woes... Middle-class spending... GM exports... Buick and Toyota recalls... Adidas fakes... GSK scandal... Volvo and Carrefour look West... Hollister brah... Givenchy... Dreamworks' Tibet Code... Durex gets spanked... and more.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on June 12, 2013 03:49 PM
3D printing technology is putting two competitors on the fast track to remarkably rapid production while upping the ante for sustainability. Adidas and Nike are both using 3D printing to create prototype versions of new footwear products. The technology makes it possible to "print and modify prototype plastic soles with studs, or cleats, for football and running shoes," reports the Financial Times.
Nike's Innovation Director Shane Kohatsu told FT, "Within six months we were able to go through twelve rounds of prototype iterations that we fully tested, and ultimately we were able to make super dramatic improvements to our products." There are no current plans to use the technology to mass produce shoes, but that could be down the road. "What's really intriguing for us is not the volumes that you can make," said Kohatsu. "It's really more how rapidly you can make changes."
Adidas has seen similar benefits, informing FT that 3D printers have cut the evaluation time for a new prototype to a few days from four to six weeks. While Adidas previously relied on prototypes handmade by twelve technicians, they can now produce prototypes with two people.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 12, 2013 12:47 PM
Goliath Adidas is starting to feel the little pings of David’s slingshot. The company is headed to court against an Illinois church, the Christian Faith Fellowship Church, over the trademark for its Adizero apparel and shoes.
The church trademarked “Add a Zero” back in November 2006, claiming on its website that it is “a Prophetic word spoken to our congregation in the early 2000s.” It was intended to help raise money for the church, its food pantry, and its childcare center, according to the Christian Post.
Adidas tried to trademark “AdiZero” in 2009, but was rejected due to the existence of the “Add a Zero” trademark. A lawyer for the church tells the Post that Adidas asked the US Patent and Trademark office to cancel the church’s trademark last year. The office finally said that it wouldn’t do that about two weeks ago. With that, Adidas offered the church 5,000 to buyout the trademark, which the church readily declined.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 11, 2013 03:38 PM
The Reebok brand got a black eye in India last year when an accounting scandal there resulted in parent company Adidas firing Reebok India managing director Subhinder Singh Prem and COO Vishun Bhagat as well as shutting down hundreds of its stores.
Now the brand is trying to make a comeback in the world’s second-most-populated country. Adidas is “repositioning Reebok as a premium fitness brand in India as part of a major revival drive," according to the Economic Times. The brand plans to open 100 "premium stores" called Reebok Fit Hubs by March 2014 that will feature high-end merchandise and offer fitness consultations by certified staff members. There are currently 50 Reebok Fit Hubs in different locations around the world.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 11, 2013 09:16 AM
Lululemon CEO steps down.
Mondelez to launch coffee pods for rival Nespresso machine.
Google cuts illegal drug site search ads and videos.
Adidas sued by church over Adizero trademark.
American Airlines unveils post-merger top management team.
Apple allows iTunes Radio users to pay to avoid ads.
Boeing sees no jet bubble.
CBC apologizes for botched national radio rebranding.
Citibank could face $7 billion loss on currency swings, analyst says.
Comcast beefs up in-home Wi-Fi.
Dole Food gets buyout offer from CEO.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 24, 2013 11:09 AM
Golfer Sergio Garcia has made more than $24 million since 1999 just with his golfing skills, so he doesn’t exactly need the extra money from endorsements, but it would be a very public slap in the face (and dent in his wallet) if his main sponsor, TaylorMade-Adidas, decided to dump him due to an insensitive remark he made earlier this week.
Garcia and Tiger Woods have been known to not enjoy each other’s company very much and have been engaged in a bit of a spat since the two had an encounter at the Players Championships. While playing on the same hole, Woods pulled a club from his bag just as Garcia was taking a swing. Tiger’s actions and the crowd’s response distracted Garcia and his shot went a bit off course, CNN reports. Verbal jabbing on the course followed, and Woods went on to win the tourney.
In the leadup to this weekend’s European Tour matchup, Garcia was asked at a press conference Tuesday if he would invite Woods over to his place. "We'll have him 'round every night,” he said, according to ESPN. “We will serve fried chicken." The comment earned him a load of recrimination, an outraged tweet from Woods, and the threat of his main sponsor pulling the plug: "Sergio Garcia's recent comment was offensive and in no way aligns with TaylorMade-Adidas Golf's values and corporate culture," said a statement released by the company. "We have spoken with Sergio directly and he clearly has regret for his statement and we believe he is sincere.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 23, 2013 09:15 AM
PepsiCo rethinks soda pricing strategy in the US.
Discovery plans to launch online video network.
Sergio Garcia catches serious heat from sponsors Adidas, TaylorMade after Woods "chicken" comment.
Borders customers are stuck with their gift cards, judge rules.
ESPN layoffs show network's vulnerability.
Equal sweetens its look.
Ford plans to exit manufacturing in Australia as it launches new marketing campaign for Europe.
GE weighs selling off large parts of financing arm.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on May 20, 2013 10:54 AM
The "Live Free" logo on the back of a jacket or the big, red "自由" ("Freedom") on the sleeve of Harley-Davidson riders in China may seem a wild bit of irony. To those who buy into China as the brutal 1984-like state dry of any freedom, it may seem like a bold, almost rebellious political statement but to the riders displaying them, it's neither.
The idea of freedom through consumption is exploding in China. More and more brands—both foreign and domestic—are using the message every day. While the concept of consumer choices and products offering "freedom" is global, the idea of "freedom" in China is very unique.
A recent Reuters photo essay showed the world what a China Harley-Davidson rally is like. There were more than a few cultural differences. While the Sturgis Rally is held in the dusty backwater of South Dakota, China's recent Harley rally was at a private lake resort just outside of Shanghai. China's Harley enthusiasts tend to be CEOs or the very wealthy, but Harley-Davidson ownership is booming in China for some of the same reasons as in the west. "For me [Harley] represents freedom, total freedom,” a rider named Phillip Chu told Reuters.Continue reading...