Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 28, 2013 01:20 PM
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (as the story goes) chose a company name starting with "A" so it appeared early in search results, and Amazon, as the world's largest river, fit his vision of creating the biggest store in the world.
Staying true to that founding DNA as it expands from the world’s first online bookseller to include everything from original programming to fashion, Bezos has tapped Clark Johnson (Homicide: Life on the Street, The Wire) to produce his next project, Alpha House, for the Amazon Studios unit. The GOP comedy, created by Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau and starring John Goodman, debuted its pilot episode on Amazon in April, using the preview as a focus group to tweak the show before its exclusive debut to Amazon Prime members next month.
The $79-a-year Prime subscription service is key in Amazon’s plan to snare viewers. “It’s about making delight for Prime members,” commented Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to the Seattle Times. “What can we do that would make somebody be a happy Prime member? If we can make great television for them, that’s going to be an element of that. And they pay us an annual fee for that.” Those members are Amazon's VIPs, big spenders who typically shell out three times more than non-Prime Amazon shoppers across Amazon's channels.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 9, 2013 01:49 PM
Change is afoot in the long-stuffy business of dressing men for success. And the players aren't pulling their new strategies off the rack.
Jos. A. Bank has just bid $2.3 billion for troubled rival Men's Wearhouse in an unsolicited offer that quickly was rejected by the latter, while retailer Brooks Brothers is looking to take on competition by expanding its high-end brand beyond store shelves.
Men's Wearhouse clearly has been weakened by sales and profit declines stemming from systemic problems as well as the recent ouster of the chain's founder and pitchman-in-chief, George Zimmer, who remains the company's largest shareholder.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 8, 2013 03:58 PM
It isn’t clear if Ludacris is lining up for a new 2015 Cadillac Escalade, but apparently Donald Trump is. And General Motors’ enthusiasm for the first major overhaul of its iconic chiseled and luxuriously appointed mammoth SUV in seven years even has executives considering ways to extend the Escalade franchise beyond a single vehicle, as good as it might be.
GM revealed the redesigned Escalade in New York at an appearance that included Trump’s endorsement as well as company marketers eager to highlight the sleeker exterior, interior wood trim, and quieter and larger inside of the new model.
Prices of the current Escalade start at $63,475, and GM is looking for a 10 percent boost in sales of the new version beginning next year after Escalade sales have gradually declined over the last several years.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 4, 2013 06:45 PM
Dogfish Head Gets Spaced Out
Delaware brewery Dogfish Head is always up for experiments. Its latest is a small-batch Oktoberfest ale, Celest-jewel-ale, that features an ingredient probably never used before in the brewing process: moon dust.
According to Fox News, Dogfish made a deal with ILC Dover, which produces spacesuits for NASA, in order to have access to “lunar meteorites” that it ground up and put into the brew like a big teabag.
Much more experimental than that, though, is the brewery’s plan to open a 16-room, beer-themed hotel. It’ll open next year about 11 miles from the brewery, Eater.com reports. Each room will have its own micro-fridges and beer glasses as well as a bottle opener on the wall.
In the spirit of inventiveness, Dogfish has also created a little gadget known as the Randall Jr. that allows consumers to infuse their own beers with interesting ingredients and flavorings. At Dogfish, the brewers want everyone to catch the creativity bug.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 4, 2013 01:52 PM
New/old CEO A.G. Lafley is beginning to shake things up at Procter & Gamble, and one of his most interesting first moves reportedly is to explore potential further value in one of the company's most iconic and lucrative brands: Tide.
One of the things that his predecessor/follower as CEO, Bob McDonald, did well was exploit the promise of Tide Pods, which he launched in early 2012 and which already are on their way to becoming another $1 billion sub-brand for P&G. Despite growing concerns and one reported death of kids poisoning themselves by mistaking the colorful Pods for candy, Tide has managed to grow quickly—and dominate—a laundry-detergent segment that it essentially created.
But Tide Pods—which recently debuted in new, opaque packaging to curb temptation from kids—are priced above regular liquid Tide. American detergent buyers have steadily drifted to bargain-priced products to do their laundry over the last few years in adjusting to a stingier "new normal," but even regular Tide has retained a price premium.
Now Lafley is pulling the lever on a lower-price gambit for Tide that has always made the company hesitant. He announced today at the Barclays Back to School conference in Boston that P&G plans to release a lower-priced, mid-tier detergent, Tide Simply Clean & Fresh, in February, according to an AP report that noted other Tide products launching in the first quarter.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on July 3, 2013 10:38 AM
It's not a collapsible bong coffee thermos, but for fans it may be the next best thing. Cult hit "horror" film The Cabin in the Woods is set to become a real-life experience, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
At Universal Orlando, a Cabin in the Woods haunted house was just announced for the 23rd annual Halloween Horror Nights lineup of haunted houses, which will be open to park visitors from Sept. 20 to Nov. 2nd.
The creepy attraction—based on the Lionsgate (not Universal) movie—joins a long line of branded entertainment popping up at theme parks. Along with the hugely successful Wizarding World of Harry Potter park, branded attractions include the Macy's Holiday Parade, Transformers: The Ride 3D, The Simpsons Ride, Shrek 4D, Men in Black Alien Attack, Terminator 2: 3D, ET Adventure, Curious George Goes to Town, and Twister… Ride It Out..Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 13, 2013 12:45 PM
When Gene Simmons and his cohorts took the stage at New York’s Popcorn Club back in 1973 with their makeup on and their new band name, KISS, and played for just three people, nobody was crowing about how Simmons, a former school teacher, was a marketing genius in the making.
Since then, of course, Simmons has made a ton of cash not just releasing such hits as “Rock and Roll All Nite” and “Detroit Rock City,” but licensing the KISS name and logo to countless products. So much so that CNN has called KISS “the world’s most recognizable band.” Indeed, the band has sold more than $500 million in merchandise in the last 15 years.
Kiss cofounders Simmons and Paul Stanley debuted their own restaurant in April 2012, Rock & Brews, in El Segundo, Calif. Things must be going well because Billboard reports that the duo plan to open 100 more locations in the next five years.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 12, 2013 11:53 AM
Condé Nast is used to long lead times and attention to detail with the publication of its high-end titles including Gentlemen's Quarterly, Glamour and Vogue. But in those regards, printing a magazine is nothing next to rolling out an entirely new strategy of brand extension and enhancement in businesses that have little to do with publishing.
Still, Condé Nast has been plowing ahead with its plans to add bars, clubs, restaurants and even a fashion school in various high-profile locations around the world in order to provide completely new sources of revenues, to exploit its magazine and corporate brands in profitable new ways and to produce an ever-more-valuable offset to a traditional magazine-publishing business that—while still comprising a majority of Conde Nast's revenues—isn't a growth industry anymore.
"Our business can no longer be defined strictly as publishing, but takes the form of brand management," Jonathan Newhouse, chairman and CEO of Condé Nast International, told Business of Fashion. "We want to bring the experience of the publishing brands to end users in new forms in order to strengthen the brands and their relevance. Of course, we aim to do so profitably."Continue reading...