2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

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McDonald's Continues Global Decline as it Pins Hopes On New Menu Items

Posted by Dale Buss on March 11, 2014 12:58 PM

McDonald's just introduced a Bacon Clubhouse Sandwich and is testing new McCafe Petite Pastries for breakfast. But will either product save the chain's dough?

That's not likely after McDonald's posted the fourth consecutive month of declines in US same-store sales, a 1.4-percent drop in the market that the brand blamed on "challenging industry dynamics" as well as the severe winter weather that has slowed much of the American economy.

Neither is McDonald's offsetting its sluggish US performance with strong overseas sales as it once was capable of doing. Globally, sales declined 0.3 percent at locations open at least 13 months in February. In a region encompassing the Middle East, Africa and Asia, sales declined by 2.6 percent; there also was weakness in Japan and Australia. McDonald's said a change in the timing of the Chinese New Year also was a problem.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Chili's Heeds the Chipotle Effect As It Deploys Five Counter-Strategies

Posted by Dale Buss on March 10, 2014 02:16 PM

Chipotle has heavy footsteps. They've been haunting McDonald's and other fast-food outlets. Now it's Chili's that is heeding the effect of the fast-growing "other" Mexican-food brand.

Chili's now is trying to outflank competition from fast-casual chains such as Chipotle and Panera, Guy Constant, CFO of parent Brinker International, indicated to an industry conference this week—and it has been launching five major initiatives to do so.

First, the chain is refreshing its look with a system-wide rebranding of company-owned US locations, to be completed in fiscal 2015, according to Food Business News. Second, Chili's is increasing media spend where the brand had lost its share of voice, particularly national TV.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: General Mills, Walmart, BlackBerry and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 3, 2014 09:33 AM

In the News

General Mills removes GMOs from Original Cheerios.

Walmart recalls tainted donkey meat in China.

BlackBerry drops Alicia Keys as creative director.

5-Hour Energy charged to prove ad claims by Oregon AG.

American Airlines staff vote to keep new livery. 

Apple CEO Tim Cook takes pay cut for brand's performance.

AT&T goes after T-Mobile with up to $450 lure, and eyes mobile banking.

Ben & Jerry's appeals to Colorado potheads.

BMW builds bobsleds for US Olympic team.

Boeing faces key vote by machinists.

Burger King rebrands value menu.

Charlotte Hornets unveil new logo. 

Chrysler posts best annual sales in seven years as GMToyota US auto sales stall in December.Continue reading...

sip on this

Green Mountain Touts Keurig 2.0 System to Vanquish K-Cup Copycats

Posted by Dale Buss on November 21, 2013 03:55 PM

Green Mountain wants to reap the full benefits of the US single-cup coffee brewing phenomenon that it started. So the maker of Keurig brewing systems and K-Cup portion packs plans to leapfrog the increasingly problematic copycat crowd with a new "Keurig 2.0" system with "interactive readability" that won't work with copycat pods.

Competition in single-serve pods is getting fiercer, with new players such as Panera continuing to enter the hot marketplace. Yet Green Mountain has continued to dominate the industry. And at least Panera and other brands like Starbucks are coming into the segment under licensing arrangements with Green Mountain and makers of pod systems.

A far bigger problem for Green Mountain has been the fact that patents on its K-Cups ran out in 2012. Unlicensed copycats rushed in, and they've already grabbed 8 percent of the Keurig platform, CEO Brian Kelley told financial analysts this week, with a record penetration of 12 percent by end of Green Mountain's just-completed fiscal fourth quarter. Copycats' price points are as much as 25 percent lower than official K-Cups.Continue reading...

sip on this

In Need of Juicier Results, Jamba Fights Sluggishness with To-Go Growth Initiatives

Posted by Dale Buss on November 7, 2013 12:45 PM

Facing broadening competition from Starbucks, Panera, and even Dairy Queen and McDonald's, Jamba Juice needs to find a way to squeeze more sales out of its stores and initiatives such as self-serve smoothie kiosks

The company reported a 3 percent decline in same-store sales for the third quarter, ending a two-year string of better results. And CEO James White told analysts on a conference call this week to expect some more short-term struggles as Jamba continues to tweak its new fresh-juice platform and faces more attention by rivals to a smoothie segment that used to be much more exclusive to the better-for-you retailer.

"Sliding comps in this climate suggest that Jamba's losing some of its focus as it tries to keep up with Starbucks and McDonald's," Rick Munarriz at The Motley Fool wrote.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Mondelez, Facebook, Microsoft and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 23, 2013 09:17 AM

In the News

Mondelez invests $400 million in sustainability.

Facebook reverses stance on violent video. 

Microsoft tests eyewear similar to Glass.

Amazon and eBay shake up shipping strategies.

American Honda settles class-action suit over oil-burning defect.

Apple targets Microsoft Office with free apps.

Caterpillar cuts 2013 forecast as mining orders drop.

Cheetos promises to TP any location in the world for new Halloween campaign.

Coach loses ground to luxury rivals.

Ford trims production of C-Max and Focus.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Google, Facebook, PepsiCo and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 25, 2013 09:27 AM

In the News

Google makes another TV push with $35 Chromecast device, as it gifts free WiFi to 31 San Francisco parks. 

Facebook turns in big quarter as mobile ads drive growth.

PepsiCo squashes idea of acquiring Mondelez as "too risky" as profit pops on snack results.

Beats by Dre redesigns signature headphones, adds chargeable battery. 

BMW moves North America CMO to US regional post.

Boeing is tempered by concerns over defense-spending cuts.

CW leverages birth of royal baby George in marketing for Reign.

Campbell Soup eyes 200 new products.

Cargill becomes industry's first to deliver sustainable cocoa from Brazil.

Chrysler extends production lives of some key models.

Coach leans heavily on outlet stores.Continue reading...

chew on this

KFC's Test of Fast-Casual Concept Brings in Flatbreads and Boots Colonel

Posted by Dale Buss on July 18, 2013 02:39 PM

The original hallmarks of the Kentucky Fried Chicken brand—the smiling caricature of Col. Harland Sanders, and Original Recipe chicken on the bone—have disappeared in a test-location of a new concept KFC eatery called "KFC eleven" near the headquarters of the Yum! Brands-owned chain in Louisville, Ky.

The name of the outpost is homage to the "11 herbs and spices" in the Original Recipe, but little else about the test outpost is reminiscent of the original KFC. The menu is based on fresh salads, rice bowls, flatbread sandwiches, garlic mashed potatoes, waffle fries and other items not available or not highlighted at KFC's current locations.

Perhaps the biggest departure is that fact that the featured chicken will be KFC's recently launched boneless variety, an easier-to-eat alternative to its traditional on-the-bone breast, thigh and drumstick pieces—and the way that chicken mainly has been consumed by Millennials who grew up on chicken nuggets and tenders at fast-food places.Continue reading...

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