chew on this

What McDonald's Could Learn from Popeye's—and Burger King

Posted by Dale Buss on November 7, 2014 05:04 PM

McDonald's might be able to take a lesson from another brand that seems to be turning things around: Burger King. Yes, Burger King—the fast-food industry's longtime No. 2 player now has McDonald's in its sights.

The North American quick-serve-restaurant category remains beleaguered by consumers' money woes and by competition from the likes of Chipotle and Panera.  

But it's McDonald's that's facing the greatest pressure right now, with sluggish sales, a fading brand reputation and struggles with everything from low-wage workers to speed of service. The chain continues to fight, though, recently launching a food transparency campaign and continuing to reshuffle top management, especially in its U.S. operations.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Alibaba, Apple, Electrolux and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 8, 2014 09:23 AM

TOP STORIES

Alibaba kicks off road show today for potential largest IPO.

Apple nears launch of new iPhone as lines form and carriers' strategy of scaling back subsidies poses risks, while company gears up to market larger screens.

Electrolux buys GE appliance business.

Nissan wins real-time marketing with 7-minute Twitter response to Royal Baby news.

GM plans to launch hands-free driving by 2016.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Activision launches huge promotion to make a megahit out of "Destiny" game.

Amazon is in talks to sell Fire phone exclusively through Telefonica's O2 in UK.

Annie's organic brand sells to General Mills.

Boeing and Ryanair plan major fleet announcement.

Bud Light faces gripes at end of "Whatever" event in Crested Butte, Colo.

Campbell Soup swings to profit on higher sales.

Chick-fil-A observes death of founder S. Truett Cathy.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Coca-Cola, Target, Whole Foods and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 31, 2014 09:43 AM

TOP STORIES

Bloomberg Businessweek's new cover story hits Coca-Cola in the stomach over obesity.

Target hires PepsiCo veteran Brian Cornell as new CEO.

Apple reportedly plans to cut 200 jobs at Beats as $3B acquisition gets EU approval.

Budweiser features Jay Z and Rihanna in new campaign as MTV lands Beyonce solo for VMAs.

Whole Foods Markets lowers sales forecast and plans major marketing push to reverse "negative narrative."

MORE BRAND NEWS

AMC, the Mad Men/Breaking Bad network, reportedly eyes stake in BBC America.

American Express pursues “first-ever” experiences for customers.

BlackBerry's new COO discusses his goals with WSJ.

BMW kicks the tires on Medium as its first advertiser.

Bud and Miller struggle to take on craft beer.

Chevrolet increases focus on China.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: McDonald's, Amazon, Apple and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 30, 2014 09:22 AM

TOP STORIES

McDonald's told that it must address workers' complaints regarding protest discipline in ruling considered major victory for fast food workers.

Amazon plans to invest $2 billion in India as it calls for Hachette to lower e-book prices in their dispute.

Burger King follows Yum! Brands in cutting ties with China meat supplier.

Johnson & Johnson turns to social media to lure Millennial moms to baby products after cutting out controversial ingredients. 

Apple's iWatch patent approved, but launch may be pushed back

MORE BRAND NEWS

Best Buy CEO sees tablet sales "crashing."

Boys & Girls Clubs turns to fear in new campaign.

C-SPAN is headed behind the cable TV paywall

Chrysler is sued over Jeep ignition-switch failures.

Dunkin' Donuts partners with Discovery for Shark Week promo.Continue reading...

brand challenges

Darden CEO Steps Down as New Red Lobster Owner Outlines Comeback

Posted by Dale Buss on July 29, 2014 03:50 PM

Darden Restaurants is waving a white flag in front of activist investors such as Starboard Value, but it doesn’t appear to be big enough. The investment groups that are down on Darden still want to dismember it.

Darden CEO Clarence Otis said yesterday that he will step down at the end of the year, and the company invited opposing investors to fill as many as three of the company’s 12 board seats by saying it will nominate only nine directors at the next annual meeting. Previously, Darden jettisoned its Red Lobster chain, a deal that was finalized earlier this week, and has accelerated its ongoing overhaul of Olive Garden restaurants.

Nope, still not enough. “Significant change is required in the Darden boardroom,” said James A. Mitarotonda, CEO of another activist group, Barington Capital. Starboard called Darden’s moves “a token change.”Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Apple, Crocs, Time Warner and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 22, 2014 09:07 AM

TOP STORIES

Apple is gearing up for bigger iPhones (and iPhone sales).

Crocs plans layoffs and store closures in major restructuring move.

Facebook introduces "Save" feature.

Herbalife faces Enron-like fraud claim.

Time Warner moves to thwart bid by Murdoch.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Aldi cofounder dies at 94.

AT&T commits to supporting STEM and chants up the New York Yankees.

Allergan cuts 13 percent of workforce and drug research. 

Campbell Soup Co. focuses on Millennial moms as it introduces organic items.

Chipotle keeps booming as it rides increased prices.

Dick's celebrates the everyday athlete in new emotional spot

Express CEO hands reins to company’s president.Continue reading...

brands we love

Costco's Equality Efforts Pay Off as LGBT Perceptions Rise

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 24, 2014 06:36 PM

In yet another example of how the LGBT community is becoming more integrated in the US, a new study from YouGov BrandIndex shows that there isn’t a big difference between the companies that LGBT consumers like compared with the general population. The list of best-perceived brands in the general population shares about half of the best-perceived names on the LGBT list.

“As consumers, you would expect them to have the same likes and dislikes,” YouGov President and CEO Ted Marzilli told Marketing Daily. “When you look at the numbers, American society is looking to go more and more in favor of gay rights. Brands are no longer looking at this as a judgment call, but as a civil rights issue.”

Costco jumped 13 spots to No. 1 this year thanks to the high score it earned for its LGBT workplace-policy tracker on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index. Panera also made a big jump, going from No. 19 to No. 3, likely due to it putting more energy behind socially-conscious initiatives. It also "may just be that Panera’s stores are located in environments that are more liberal or predisposed to LGBT issues,” Marzilli told Marketing Daily.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Cannes Day 3, Amazon Phone, GM Testifies and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 18, 2014 09:08 AM

TOP STORIES

Cannes Lions continues (above, Scott Ferris, Microsoft's GM of content advertising) with first round of Grand Prix winners announced.

Amazon phone reveal by "secretive" R&D lab today in Seattle sparks speculation, as BlackBerry joins Amazon's Appstore.

YouTube to launch paid music service.

GM's Barra is back on the hotseat today on Capitol Hill as automaker faces $10 billion recalls suit.

Beats headphones have been banned at the World Cup.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Activision expands Skylanders licensing.

Apple secures 31 new patents as stores get exclusive window on Beats products.

Dr. Oz grilled on weight loss claims.

eBay pulls Chinese "spyware phones."

Facebook's ephemeral Slingshot app annoys some users.Continue reading...

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