Posted by Barry Silverstein on March 7, 2012 12:04 PM
If nothing else, it has to be a lot of fun being associated with businesses owned by Virgin. Behind them all, whether it's Virgin Bingo or Virgin Hotels or another of the myriad Virgin-branded businesses, you can always bank (literally) on the sometimes loony but always shrewd iconic entrepreneur, Richard Branson, Virgin's brander-in-chief. Don't think of them as brand extensions so much as Branson extensions — reflections of the Virgin founder's personality, passions and interests.
You can pretty much depend on Branson's trademark wit and showmanship in the promotion of a Virgin brand. The latest campaign from Virgin Mobile USA is testament to that, going so far as to depict what it must have been like "growing up Branson."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 2, 2012 03:04 PM
In a bid to pull ahead of Groupon and other daily deals sites, LivingSocial is expanding its brand.
According to a report by Reuters, LivingSocial will launch its first credit card in the next few months, with no annual fee, offered with Chase and Visa to all U.S. subscribers in an effort to draw repeat customers for its merchant partners.
"Small and medium-sized local businesses will never be able to have their own credit card or loyalty program. We will be able to bring them the benefits of that," the company's CFO, John Bax, told Reuters.
Merchants will be offered short-term funding similar to other co-branded credit card and loyalty programs including deferred interest payments and rewards for spending. With ten purchases monthly, cardholders earn ten ‘Deal Bucks’ credits extensible to all LivingSocial daily deals and special offers such as discounted travel packages.
The move is designed to increase its utility to its subscribers — and counter critics who accuse the daily deal industry of advertising big ticket discounts and not cultivating loyalty or enough repeat business.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 29, 2012 12:04 PM
While some hotels may be considered trendy, you wouldn't think a major global hotel chain would watch lifestyle trends so carefully that it would launch brands around them.
But InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) is different. Back in 2004, IHG introduced Hotel Indigo, widely regarded as the first of the boutique hotel brands that started a trend among large hoteliers. In 2007, IHG started refurbishing its somewhat dowdy Holiday Inn brand and gave franchisees until the end of 2010 to "contemporize" or risk losing rights to use the iconic name. Today, most Holiday Inns have been updated to reflect a whole new look. Holiday Inn Express, which pioneered the limited-service hotel segment in 1990, is one of the fastest growing hotel brands.
Now IHG is bringing a new hotel brand to the chain's biggest U.S. cities, bucking the trend of major chains making investments in Asia and Europe while avoiding a soft and saturated North American market. The just-announced brand, called EVEN Hotels, is all about lifestyle — a healthy one.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 13, 2012 11:08 AM
The Yankees have had some odd brand extensions before: How about some Yankees Sod and Grass Seed at Home Depot for your own Field of Dreams? Or a Yankees Halloween lawn ornament? Or maybe you need a few $545 New York Yankees stained-glass hanging billiards light?
For the fan that wants to actually smell like a Yankee, though, they are finally in luck. The team has approved an official fragrance, and plans to unveil two different perfumes later this month, very simply entitled “New York Yankees” (for him) and “New York Yankees For Her,” according to ESPN.
Fox Sports points out that the team may have been inspired by the success of shortstop Derek Jeter’s Driven from Avon, which went on sale in November 2006. It’s done so well that Avon introduced Driven Black, which is “a mysterious blend of exotic saffron, blood orange and precious woods.” Who could ask for anything more?Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 7, 2012 03:51 PM
Most retailers are trying to find a way to get more consumers to go online. The reasons are simple: less overhead, fewer employees with health insurance, and a much higher profit margin.
But Amazon isn’t like other retailers. The word on the street in its home base of Seattle is that Amazon is thinking about opening its first-ever brick-and-mortar location, according to the Good E-Reader blog. “Amazon sources close to the situation” tell the site that the company is aiming to open the store in the next few months.
“This project is a test to gauge the market and see if a chain of stores would be profitable,” Good E-Reader reports. “They intend on going with the small boutique route with the main emphasis on books from their growing line of Amazon Exclusives and selling their e-readers and tablets.” At least they'll have a well-honed delivery system.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 25, 2012 12:01 PM
You may not have heard of Astalift, but you will soon. The line of skin creams, which promises to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, is expanding from Asia to Europe. Its claims may not be unique, but the brand behind it is: Fujifilm.
Cosmetics, specifically anti-aging creams made from the same antioxidation technology used in preventing photos from fading, are the backbone of a brand extension which has kept Fujifilm alive in Asia, where Astalift has been available in Japan and China for the past couple of years, in a rapidly changing world where its core product, photography and film, shifted 180 degrees, leaving one major brand, the newly bankrupt Kodak, in its digital dust.
Applying its patented chemicals in new ways, with Astalift Fujifilm claims that Pico-Collagen penetrates the skin through cell gaps, working from the inside-out to restore suppleness and elasticity, and has built its Fujifilm Beauty brand around that claim, first in Asia and now coming to Europe. Using collagen in cosmetics is relatively new, but its use in preventing photographic images fading is tried and true.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on January 17, 2012 03:11 PM
Just in time to outfit your local militia for the coming Mayan end of the world in 2012 is the Wild Things Tactical Smith & Wesson Collection.
A new brand licensing deal, Wild Things Tactical aims to help the iconic gunmaker extend "its iconic status as a rugged truly original American brand to a line of apparel for both gun enthusiasts and a wide range of consumers." That's right: Smith & Wesson is now a lifestyle brand.
It's the latest brand extension from a firearm brand that's turned itself around in the last half decade.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 14, 2011 10:01 AM
When a game designed for mobile phones has gotten more than a half a billion downloads in less than two years of existence, it’s apparently time to bring it into reality.
That must be what the creators of the Angry Birds game are thinking, anyway. Rovio, which is planning to go public in the next few years, will debut two Angry Birds playgrounds in its homeland of Finland next year, according to Reuters, that will have “animal spring riders, swings, sandpits and a range of climbing towers with slides, and a unique Angry Birds arcade game.”
The company has signed a global deal with playground equipment manufacturer Lappset to create “equipment inspired by the game's characters" for playgrounds that will be called Angry Birds Magic Places. "The playgrounds fit perfectly into the Angry Birds world and our way of thinking," Rovio marketing chief Peter Vesterbacka said in a statement.Continue reading...