Posted by Dale Buss on November 8, 2013 11:33 AM
Cadillac has "a relevance issue," its new CMO told brandchannel—and Uwe Ellinghaus means to fix it in a way that may surprise: Highlight the new Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid that isn't due out until next year.
The brand's CTS mid-size sedan was just named Motor Trend Car of the Year for 2013. Its ATS compact sedan is bringing younger luxury buyers into the fold who wouldn't have considered Cadillac before, and Caddy is due to introduce not only coupe and performance versions of the ATS next year but also a long-awaited new iteration of its flagship, the hulking Escalade SUV.
But Ellinghaus—who joins Cadillac following a 14-year stint at BMW that included serving as head of brand strategy from 2010 to 2012, followed by a non-automotive detour to luxury pen brand Montblanc—believes the key to elevating Cadillac in the accelerating premium-car wars in the US and worldwide is the Tesla-fighter known as ELR.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on October 18, 2013 02:58 PM
Maybe Steve Jobs was even more of a seer than people think. It was Jobs who had the vision to shape Apple into an upscale consumer brand that, in many ways, set the standard for both technology and design. In fact, Apple has become truly fashionable and a luxury/premium brand in its own right. Witness the apparent rejection of Apple's lower-end iPhone 5c by consumers.
The just-announced addition of Angela Ahrendts, the American CEO of British luxury brand Burberry, to Apple's senior management team in a move that will occur next year, may well be the exclamation point on Apple's evolution. Ahrendts will bring a deep understanding of the marriage between fashion and technology to her role. She also will bring the shine of a luxury brand that has been a fashion and digital innovator under her guidance, and another invaluable asset: her ability to turn around Burberry's business in Asia and particularly China, a market Apple craves.
For Ahrendts, who as the new SVP of retail and online stores becomes the first woman in Apple's upper echelon, it's an intriguing career move. Could it be that she stepped down to eventually step up? Business Insider speculates that "if Ahrendts fits into Apple's culture and does an excellent job running its retail business, she probably has a good chance to become the company's next CEO."
From Apple's perspective, says Gartner Research analyst Carolina Milanesi in a Computerworld interview, it's all about the brand: "I think Apple looked at Burberry and the challenges they had in the market, and saw her as the one that brought back that aspirational brand, and then grew it in places like China, Korea, and elsewhere. Those speak to the challenges Apple is having. Like Burberry, Apple has to deal with the fact that its brand is everywhere because of the iPhone, but they cannot run the risk that the brand is seen as cheap."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 10, 2013 11:36 AM
If Ron Johnson were dead, he'd be spinning in his grave. Instead, the ousted CEO of JCPenney can simply watch from afar as his predecessor-turned-successor Myron Ullman dismantles the former Apple retail head's failed ambitious plan to transform the venerable retailer, piece by piece.
The latest back-to-the-future moves by Ullman? Scrapping the simple new logo that Johnson instituted as well as some of the ad-agency help that he hired. Such gambits are part of Ullman's efforts to ensure that Penney has bottomed out as the crucial 2013 holiday shopping season gets underway.
Johnson introduced the red-framed logo last year to great fanfare, "updating" the marque to simply "jcp" in a blue box in the upper-left corner of a square that was intended to invoke an American flag with its patriotic colors.
Instead, it became just another reminder to JCPenney's traditional customers that Johnson didn't really care about their business. So the old "JCPenney" logo in a simple red font is back—albeit slightly updated—marking the fourth logo in as many years for the embattled department store brand.Continue reading...
wisdom of the crowd
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 24, 2013 04:41 PM
It's UN Week in New York City, as global leaders descend to discuss challenges facing the world population. But before the members of the United Nations sit, several other initiatives and events are poised to take advantage of the influx of global leadership.
Running through Thursday, Mashable's Social Good Summit brings together a broad group of societal and business leaders to tackle social problems with technology, including Richard Branson, co-founder of Warby Parker Neil Blumenthal, the CEO of Water For People, executives from Johnson & Johnson and dozens more.
Former Vice President Al Gore, a featured speaker at the event, announced the launch of his latest environmental initiative, "What I Love," at the event.
The experiential site asks visitors what they love to do, eat, wear and more, and then serves up a “personalized canvas of the immediate effect of carbon pollution on what they love, be it chocolate, beer, skiing, or shoes.” The site utilizes a partnership with the Climate Reality Project, an NGO that provides the scientific data behind the questionnaire results.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 5, 2013 06:06 PM
Jeff Bezos revolutionized the internet, e-commerce and bookselling (and then all retail) when he founded Amazon.com. Now he may want to do the same with newspapers, becoming the latest non-news-media figure to invest in a fading American print icon by buying The Washington Post.
It's difficult to believe that the e-tailing magnate will be able to do anything better with the Post than it already has in the traditional world of newsprint and ink, since that business model has become even more decrepit than the brick-and-mortar retail stores supplanted by Amazon's huge digital impact.
Another death knell for newspapers and their traditional ownership was sounded just a few days ago when Boston Red Sox owner and billionaire John Henry rescued the Boston Globe and other local print properties from the hands of the New York Times Co. by buying the once-proud publisher for a measly $70 million. There also remain rumors that the conservative industrialist Koch Brothers, along with several other non-media moguls, harbor a desire to buy Tribune Co., which owns the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 1, 2013 02:38 PM
The second A.G. Lafley era is under way at Procter & Gamble, and the first quarterly report card on his new tenure is—well, middling.
P&G today reported fiscal-2013 annual net sales that were up 1 percent, to $84 billion, and core earnings per share up by 5 percent. For the last quarter, which saw Lafley replace CEO Bob McDonald—whom Lafley had tapped to succeed him four years ago—revenues ticked up to $20.7 billion from $20.2 billion a year, slightly outpacing analyst expectations that previously had been downgraded.
"It feels good" to have Lafley back, P&G CFO Jon Moeller said on CNBC this morning. "I'm very optimistic about the future as we look forward."
To be sure, it's still (relatively) early days yet. But in the earnings conference call, Lafley said something which may have indicated that his task in restoring P&G to the greatness it enjoyed during his "first term" as CEO, from 2000 to 2009, might take a bit longer to achieve than when the company's board eased out McDonald in May and asked Lafley to return.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 31, 2013 01:54 PM
After fumbling with that glass ceiling all too long, women are starting to gain some serious support among business and tech companies.
Google, Politico and the Tory Burch Foundation have announced a partnership to create Women Rule, a programming and event series that highlights female leaders, their experiences and their advice to their female peers.
The initiative will produce a four-part series in Washington, D.C., to be streamed online via a Women Rule media hub that will also sell Women Rule apparel, with the proceeds going to charities, including the Tory Burch Foundation.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 2, 2013 02:53 PM
Now that RadioShack is presumably done with its executive shuffle, the electronics retailer's new CEO, CMO and VP of store concepts are wasting no time in trying to get the company back into the minds of younger, hipper consumers. This week, the chain debuted a new logo and opened its first concept store in New York (above), a first-of-its-kind customer experience for the brand that it's billing as an "interactive technology playground."
According to the Dallas Business Journal, the Fort Worth, Texas-based chain plans to open several other concept stores in New York, New Jersey and Texas in the coming weeks before deciding on a new design to roll out to its entire footprint of 4,300 stores. The move comes at a critical juncture, as The Shack is in need of a serious revamp. It lost $63 million in the fourth quarter last year and $43.3 million in the first quarter of this year.Continue reading...