Posted by Abe Sauer on April 19, 2013 12:53 PM
Above: The evil geniuses at Taiwan's NMA have produced an online Kim Jong-un-inspired game Best Korea Smackdown. The animation gang has also produced what is maybe its most subversive ever little video about American-Chinese relations with its "Iron Man 3" commentary.
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: BMW's China brand... Spotify's in Asia... Ginseng... Iron Man 3 "chinky eyes"... Online retail... HTC's branded disaster... Xiaomi denies Jobs copy... Hertz buys to rent... Alibaba phones... Apple porn... Burberry and YSL... WeChat... "cat models"... and more.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 4, 2013 04:49 PM
As America’s economy climbs back from some brutal years, plenty of folks are still looking for work. No matter how desperate they are, though, there are a few companies that they might want to avoid.
One of them is satellite TV provider Dish Network. It already has 26,000 employees, but the word is that not too many of them are happy. Last August, 24/7 Wall Street named it the Worst Company to Work for in America. Now that’s an accolade to put on your LinkedIn profile.
What makes it so bad? “Long hours, lack of paid holidays, and way too much mandatory overtime,” Bloomberg Businessweek reports. And it’s all because of one man: the 59-year-old legendary founder and chairman of Dish, Charlie Ergen, who maintains 53.2 percent of the company’s shares and 90.4 percent of the voting rights.
Ergen has never met a penny he didn't pinch. And while that sometimes means making shrewd business decisions, it also means making such choices as installing fingerprint scanners at the doors to company headquarters that are rigged to send emails directly to HR if an employee is late. The company only put in the scanners after Ergen noticed that the key/badge system was being circumvented by employees badging in for coworkers.
And the renowned cable-hater certainly has an eye for such detail.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 2, 2013 03:45 PM
For a long time, Avis played second fiddle to Hertz in the rental-car business and became known for its brand credo, "We try harder." Lately, Avis has been No. 3 in sales in the car-rental business to Enterprise and Hertz.
But now, Avis is leapfrogging the competition and is becoming No. 1 in the fastest-growing arena of the rental-transportation industry: fleet-sharing. Avis Budget Group announced on Monday that it is acquiring Zipcar, the leading brand in the fledgling segment, for $12.25 per share or about $500 million.
The deal allows Avis to participate robustly in the car-sharing phenom while boosting Zipcar with more resources and rides. Advancing its mission of "Wheels when you want them," Zipcar execs say they welcome the Avis fleet to help out with availability on weekends, when demand from Zipcar members is highest — and Avis isn't serving the strong business weekday demand.
Already, naysayers are predicting that Avis will "ruin" Zipcar. Not a chance, argues Avis.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 15, 2012 09:04 AM
5-Hour Energy consumption cited for possible involvement in deaths.
Abercrombie & Fitch credits faster reaction times for bump in results.
BBC scrutiny continues as broadcaster celebrates 90th.
BP nears settlement with federal government on Gulf spill.
Best Buy battles skeptics with turnaround plans.
Checkers opens restaurant in a Walmart.
Chick-fil-A ranked No. 1 chicken chain in new survey.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 12, 2012 09:01 AM
Apple and HTC settle patent dispute.
BBC needs radical overhaul, chairman says, as two more senior execs step down.
Hyundai and Kia cope with damage they've done to their main selling point: mileage.
AEG and StubHub align.
Alltel returns with holiday pitch to Santa.
Brinks says it isn't for sale right now.
Cisco rolls out aggressive new strategy for dealing with patent trolls.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 22, 2012 09:00 AM
Lance Armstrong is stripped of titles and banned from cycling for life by international body.
Nissan joins hybrid parade.
Virgin's four-star hotels are coming to NYC.
AIG CEO defends company's "free lunch" to New York mag.
American Idol sees ad rates fall.
Ancestry.com agrees to $1.6-billion takeover deal.
Apple creates buzz with plans for smaller iPad as school sales buoy its tablet lead.
BP sells entire Russian stake to Rosneft.
Banana Republic plans to bring back Mad Men collection.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 3, 2012 05:15 PM
Scrapping its iconic slogan of 50 years, "We Try Harder," Avis has announced that it's switching to a new tagline: "It's Your Space."
Why? Sometimes brands may need to leave well enough alone. And arguably, Avis has been as associated with this particular bit of corporate mission-speak as seamlessly as just about any other brand has managed to fuse its identify with its tagline, such as Nike with "Just Do It" or Walmart back in the day with "Everyday Low Prices."
But new CMO Jeannine Haas, after delving into research to see how the brand is perceived, has determined that Avis Budget Group needs to position its flagship brand in a more relevant way for a business clientele that continues to evolve.
"Brand marketing to drive profitable growth is one of our strategic growth initiatives," she stated in a press release. "This campaign is our latest effort in delivering against this key objective."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 27, 2012 09:00 AM
2016 stuns by tapping into anti-Obama sentiment at weekend box office.
ABC seems to be tanking Nightline to make room for Jimmy Kimmel's move.
Apple cements its industry dominance with court victory over Samsung as verdict affirms the value of product-design innovation and raises questions about future of smartphone market.
CNN looks for a boost from HBO shows.
Carrefour needs turnaround plan.
CarMax plans next-generation outlet and entry into smaller markets.
Crain overhauls Advertising Age for digital world.
Facebook wants to redefine how reach is measured.
Ford vows to fix problems with MyFord Touch. Continue reading...