Posted by Dale Buss on June 14, 2013 09:18 AM
Microsoft and Best Buy plan mini "Windows Stores."
Amtrak hires esteemed chefs to ramp up its train food.
YouTube becomes overwhelming platform for fan-made branded content.
US Supreme Court strikes down gene patents.
Airbus lifts A350 to maiden flight ahead of schedule even as it copes with losses from aircraft's predecessor model.
Arby's franchisees helped get CMO ousted.
Audi is top choice of marriage cheaters in UK, survey says.
BMI sues Pandora over fees.
Bloomberg sees reporters' practices become critical issue for company.
Cadillac boosts sticker on new CTS by whopping $6,000.
Chevrolet believes racing on Sunday still sells on Monday.
Chrysler recalls sprinkling of trucks, Darts.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on January 11, 2013 10:44 AM
The brand that's arguably "the most important James Bond product placement of all time" has a new website. But more than that, iconic firearm maker Walther has a whole new brand challenge as it begins a marketing life free from its former import partner, Smith and Wesson, after the latter called Walther a "shrinking piece of business," with revenues dropping from $44 million in 2010 to $32 million two years later.
But the 130-year-old brand best known for arming James Bond will continue its manufacturing partnerships with S&W. It's a deal that may make brand differentiation a problem in a marketplace that, while booming, is full of extremely discerning, picky consumers.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 20, 2012 08:55 AM
NYSE Euronext is in merger talks with the IntercontinentalExchange. (Update: Sold!)
Foursquare starts using Facebook data for recommendations.
General Mills announces more than 100 new products for 2013.
Amazon's Jeff Bezos among retail leaders honored by NRF.
Apple feels heat in Brazil over iPhone brand and sees "pinch to zoom" patent rejected.
Barack Obama pledges to take action on gun control.
Best Buy digital chief resigns.
Darden takes new tack to spur U.S. restraurant brands.
Deutsche Bank image remake suffers.
Disney raises bar on customer experience with new Fantasy Land.
eBay stops advertising inside mobile apps.Continue reading...
in the spotlight
Posted by Abe Sauer on December 19, 2012 10:11 AM
"The Freedom Group came in and consolidated production and just alienated everybody because they bought up these great brands and then destroyed them... it is fu***ng up some of the best brands in the gun world."
Robert Farago, publisher of the popular gun blog The Truth About Guns, told me that about the Freedom Group a month before the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, involving its gun brand Bushmaster. It was a month and a few days before Cerberus Capital Management announced it would sell its 95 percent stake in Freedom Group, citing the school tragedy which had, in its words, "raised the national debate on gun control to an unprecedented level."
Investors saw Cerberus' move as a surprise (an added wrinkle: the father of the founder of Cerberus lives in Newtown) despite the raging gun debate. But many in the gun owning community saw it as a ray of hope. Finally, maybe, some classic gun brands would be free from an umbrella group that, in the opinion of many, was destroying untold brand value.Continue reading...
in the spotlight
Posted by Shirley Brady on December 18, 2012 06:17 PM
After clamming up in the wake of the Newton, Connecticut, school shooting massacre on Friday, the National Rifle Association finally broke its silence today to announce a press conference on Friday, and released a statement that read in part:
The National Rifle Association of America is made up of four million moms and dads, sons and daughters – and we were shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown. Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting. The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.
The debate on America's out of control spiral on gun vioence dominated the news cycle and social media today, as more young victims of the Sandy Hook shooting were buried. A few turns in the events as the debate played out on Twitter leading up to the NRA's statement:Continue reading...
in the spotlight
Posted by Dale Buss on December 17, 2012 07:14 PM
Newtown, Conn., and its survivors have only begun to cope with the aftermath of the rampage that ended in the deaths of 28 people, 20 of them first-graders, on Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary school.
But it didn't take long for gun-control advocates to urge President Obama and all politicians, not just Democrats, to take a stand and rev up action for tighter controls on the types of weapons used by the shooter, Adam Lanza, as polls show that the majority of Americans favor gun control laws.
Those measures are shining a spotlight on "Big Gun" brands such as Smith & Wesson and owners of gun makers such as Cerberus, whose privately held Freedom Group is a "firearms conglomerate" (as Fortune puts it) that produces the Bushmaster .223 assault weapon (and a "man card" campaign raising hackles across the web) used by Lanza, along with his mother's Glock and Sig Sauer handguns.
Cerberus is taken to task in Eliot Spitzer's Slate column today, because the private-equity firm has acquired the find-it-at-Walmart Bushmaster and other top gun brands over the past several years. Meanwhile, investors nervous about the prospects for gun freedoms have been sending down the stocks of Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger. Even a hunting-gear retailer, Cabela's, has been caught in an investment downdraft since the Newtown massacre, Investor's Business Daily reports.
Naturally coming under the spotlight once again is Sig Sauer and Glock, an Austria-based arms manufacturer with a U.S. office in Georgia. Its semiautomatic pistols have been used in some of the biggest recent mass murders including the shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., and killings at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on October 5, 2012 12:03 PM
"The Walther PPK. 7.65 millimeter. With a delivery like a brick through a plate glass window... The American CIA swear by them."
— Dr. No (1962)
It's no secret that the next James Bond film Skyfall will be a product placement bonanza, and musical — thanks to Adele's theme song, which was released at 00:07 a.m. for today's 50th Anniversary Global James Bond Day and briskly set a download record on iTunes.
Already, the new Bond film is weathering complaints about everything from Coke Zero to China. From the trailer, we already know Skyfall will feature Sony's Vaio, a product placement that filled 2006's Casino Royale and the whole film has become bogged down dealing with its new villain nemesis: Heineken product placement. But one brand has appeared in more James Bond films than any other, and stands to get an even bigger role this year in Skyfall. Yet, Bond after Bond, it passes practically without comment.
Starting 50 years ago today with 1962's Dr. No, every 007 agent on-screen has carried a Walther handgun. The cineman's suave series of Bonds have carried the Walther PPK (Polizei Pistole Kriminal) model before switching to the Walther P99 in Tomorrow Never Dies. But trailers from the upcoming Bond film Skyfall show that Daniel Craig's Bond is returning to the PPK, an event monumental enough to warrant its own scene.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on March 20, 2012 11:55 AM
The initial response to firearm maker Glock's "Glock Perform" apparel collection suggests the brand extension is lacking… performance.
Last year, we looked at how the once-exotic and prohibitively expensive Austrian handgun became a household name just months before the release of the book, Glock: The Rise of America's Gun.
Now, to celebrate its 25th anniversary, the firearm-maker is letting brand fans show their pride through a line of Glock-branded clothing. By its own definition Glock Perform "supports your lifestyle" and provides "Confidence in any situation." Continue reading...