Posted by Dale Buss on November 6, 2013 09:22 AM
Starbucks commits to recruiting 10,000 veterans and Army spouses while Walgreen offers military-only discount on Veterans Day.
Nokia swipes at Samsung with lower-priced phablet.
Cargill begins labeling its "finely textured" beef aka "pink slime."
Abercrombie & Fitch expects weak holiday sales.
Acer ousts CEO as another victim of iPad.
Apple adds suppliers to boost iPhone and iPad production as it claims fifth place in China mobile market.
Boeing plans to build 777x jet in Washington State.
Brides Magazine wants its new app to take on dress counterfeiters.
Burger King plans to bring back Big Mac copycat.
CNN turnaround runs into heavy viewer indifference.
Deadline.com severs ties with Nikke Finke.
Goodyear glides with US ski association.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 16, 2013 11:48 AM
When Mini was the only adorable little car around, it was easier to stand out. But Fiat, Smart and even Chevrolet lately have been taking their own runs at getting Americans interested in squeezing themselves into tiny automotive contraptions, and so it's time for Mini to step up its game.
The BMW-owned brand has responded with new executions of its "Not normal" marketing campaign and by teasing its fans and automotive cognoscenti with hints about what may be in store when Mini unveils a new version of its original and most important model, the Mini Cooper, this fall for 2014.
Americans are still in love with Minis. Sales of Mini Cooper rose by 15 percent to a record 66,000 units last year, after a 26 percent jump in 2011, and Mini has been able to fill out its lineup with a handful of other models including the bigger 4-door Countryman with all-wheel drive. Mini typically scores high in third-party evaluations of quality and customer satisfaction such as those by J.D. Power & Associates.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 10, 2013 01:42 PM
"Urban mobility" is all the rage with auto makers these days, and none more so than Daimler. Combining this paradigm with the need to goose sales globally for its Smart minicar brand, the company has announced plans to introduce a Smart electric-powered scooter next year in Europe.
Daimler, also parent of Mercedes-Benz, has had trouble getting Smart onto a smooth plateau. The company killed a roadster in 2005 and a four-seater version of Smart in 2006 and has racked up 1.5 billion euros in losses since the brand's launch in 1998.
Even while other brands such as rival BMW, with Mini, and Fiat have figured out how to make and market tiny cars for global masses, Daimler just keeps misfiring with Smart. But the company says it plans to keep trying.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 8, 2013 09:31 AM
Samsung misses second quarter forecast as analysts fear smartphone brand has peaked (if not in Asia).
Asics tightens factory oversight in Cambodia after accident.
Roxy under fire for sexualizing female surfers in new campaign.
Alcoa faces hard decisions on aluminum capacity.
America Movil invests $40 million in Shazam music app.
Apple plans to stream Time Warner Cable channels on TV.
Asiana Airlines plane likely experienced pilot error as Boeing jet crash parsed.
BMW maintains US sales lead over rivals in June.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 25, 2013 03:52 PM
"Microcars" are increasingly popular in the US market as gasoline prices remain high and the number of entries in the segment proliferates. Now Smart wants to get its rightful share of an American market that it pioneered but never has mastered.
The Daimler-owned brand plans to straighten out its marketing under a new head of Smart USA, Mark Webster, before higher production volumes enable Smart to boost sales significantly by 2015, according to Automotive News. The brand's last major marketing effort, in a 2011 campaign with the tag line "Unbig. Uncar," helped boost sales of Smart's microcar by 92 percent in the US to more than 10,000 units last year.
Now, Webster said, Smart marketing is taking another turn—toward quirky. "It is different than Mercedes-Benz," he told the magazine. "Smart is a fun brand, and we treat it differently. There is a different customer, sometimes quirky and passionate. We're working on plans to bring that vision."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 19, 2013 03:14 PM
The influential J.D. Power & Associates ranking of Initial Quality of auto brands in the US is out today, and the big winners are General Motors and some of its brands, as well as Porsche, Audi, Hyundai, Kia, and Chrysler.
The main losers in status, defined by the exhaustive study of quality perceptions among American consumers, are BMW, Ram, Mazda and Nissan. Ford and Lincoln brands basically broke even on a combined basis compared with their reduced status from a year ago.
Porsche came out as the top-performing brand overall, rising from third place in 2012. But for the first time, GM could be considered the top-performing company overall in the closely watched study, placing two brands—GMC and Chevrolet—in the top five of the Initial Quality Study (IQS) released today. The annual survey measures the number of problems on 2013 cars and light trucks that buyers report after 90 days of ownership, and so it's a crucial look at very current consumer perceptions and marketplace realities.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 14, 2013 09:26 AM
BMW is investing 3 billion euros in EVs and marketing.
AP execs outraged over government probe of phone records.
Sony is targeted for breakup by American investor.
Airbus aims to steal limelight from Boeing at upcoming Paris Air Show.
Amazon workers go on strike in Germany.
BNP Paribas eyes mobile and online banking.
Citibank says "no fees" means "never."
Coach approached Tory Burch about a deal.
Coca-Cola faces claim that Coke top-secret recipe has been found.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 16, 2013 09:59 AM
Coca-Cola posts lower net and unveils U.S.-bottler deal.
JCPenney buys time with credit line.
Twitter seeks deals with NBC and Viacom for high-quality video content.
A&W plans to move upscale and test fast-casual concept.
Amazon targets older consumers with new store.
Apple dominates in best-paid executives as board retains Jobs deputies.
BMW will debut EV brand Zinoro in China in early 2014.Continue reading...