Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 25, 2013 04:28 PM
Twinkies may be back on store shelves by July, but it’ll be a whole new set of bakers that are pulling them out of the ovens. Their one uniting characteristic? They won’t be union members.
When Hostess Brands, the former owner of Twinkies, had to shut down because it couldn’t come to an agreement with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers & Grain Millers International Union, processed baked-good lovers became fearful that they’d never see their beloved cakes again and immediately went to their local grocery stores to clear out the shelves of any products that remained.
Since then, of course, Hostess has been sold for $410 million to investment bankers Apollo Global Management and Pabst owner Metropoulos & Co., who plan to put another $60 million in capital investments into fixing up and reopening four of the 11 plants Hostess used, according to the Wall Street Journal. It may open a fifth as well, but the bankers are aiming to make the whole shebang run a lot more efficiently. The reopened plants should run at 90 to 95 percent capacity while some of the ones that will remain closed ran at less than 50 percent capacity, the Journal notes.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 15, 2013 07:14 PM
Volvo owners always knew they were different from other consumers. Now, the brand is launching a new, integrated advertising campaign in the US that explicitly appeals to the non-materialistic, minimalist ethos which differentiates Volvo aficionados from buyers of other luxury and near-luxury brands.
In the process, Volvo brand stewards hope to finally begin turning around the sales of a franchise whose US results peaked a decade ago, when the company was owned by Ford, and have kept on sliding over the last few years as Ford lost interest and then, in 2010, sold Volvo to Geely, a large Chinese automaker, for $1.5 billion.
Volvo owners' "interpretation of luxury is different but very real," Tassos Panas, vice president of marketing and product planning for Volvo of North America, told brandchannel. "They're more into life's experiences, and more into a Scandinavian simple design [of vehicles] versus a lot of clutter. They are very much luxury customers and love luxury products, but they don't feel a need to impress others."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 25, 2013 12:41 PM
Blockbuster U.K. is rising from the ashes after plunging into administration—a form of bankruptcy in Britain—in January when accountancy firm Deloitte assumed day-to-day operations while looking for a buyer.
"We are working closely with suppliers and employees to ensure the business has the best possible platform to secure a sale, preserve jobs and generate as much value as possible for all creditors," said Lee Manning, joint administrator and partner in Deloitte’s restructuring services at the time.
The pioneering DVD and video rental company that entered the U.K. market in 1989 is struggling to survive in a burgeoning and highly competitive world where digital real estate trumps physical and streaming is de rigueur. Since January, a number of the brand's 528 stores have been bought up by Morrison's supermarket, and now, Gordon Brothers, a private equity group, has stepped in to buy 264 stores for an unspecified amount, subsequently saving nearly 2,000 jobs.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 13, 2013 03:07 PM
Reader’s Digest’s two trips to bankruptcy court in under four years seem to be paying off.
The magazine’s parent, RDA Holding, filed for Chapter 11 last month, (the first round was in 2009) hoping to convert nearly $465 million of debt into equity held by creditors as the 91-year-old publisher struggles to survive.
"After considering a wide range of alternatives, we believe this course of action will most effectively enable us to maintain our momentum in transforming the business and allow us to capitalize on the growing strength and presence of our outstanding brands and products," said CEO Robert E. Guth.Continue reading...
Posted by Alicia Ciccone on March 11, 2013 06:03 PM
Whether you like them soft and gooey fresh out of the box or chewy and a few days old, Peeps are an Easter-time essential. But what the 60-year-old brand discovered was that the sugary treat wasn't just being eaten, but was also a staple in holiday arts and crafts.
In fact, 30 percent of the marshmallow treats are bought solely for crafting, according to AdWeek. The brand, owned by Just Born Inc., who are also the makers of Mike and Ike's, Hot Tamales and Peanut Chews, decided to capitalize on their sales data and focus this Easter season's campaign on the many possibilities of Peeps.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 4, 2013 05:36 PM
The Polaroid brand name has long been married to a seemingly ancient past that had cameras that actually printed physical manifestations of each image soon after they were taken. These days, photographers of all stripes, whether casually clicking on their phones or pulling out their high-end single-lens reflexes, have gone all-digital.
Now Polaroid—which hasn’t produced its iconic cameras or film since 2008 after going bankrupt and being sold off in 2001—is rebranding itself for the digital age and opening up branded stores that aid consumers in printing out their favorite digital works. Its first branded store, Polaroid Fotobar, has now opened in Delray Beach, Fla., just north of Boca Raton. The stores, announced at CES in January, aim to help folks “liberate” images from the “confines of their digital devices.”
Photography as a hobby has gained a lot of interest now that it has gotten much easier for people to tote around cameras and capture images in all sorts of locations, however it remains unclear how many consumers want to print out those images rather than just keep them all in purely digitized forms.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 24, 2013 02:43 PM
Not long ago, Coach was the name to have on your handbag. Plenty of celebrities were walking around with them. Gwyneth Paltrow, Eva Longoria, and Jennifer Garner all had one, as did many other American women, whether the real thing or at least a knockoff.
Things changed fast. Now Coach is feeling pressure from competitors like Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, and Tory Burch. It announced that sales dropped in the 2012’s final quarter despite the busy holiday shopping season and an overall 10 percent growth in the handbag market, marking the first time since it went public in 2000 that “North American sales grew more slowly than the broader market for women's handbags and accessories,” according to The Wall Street Journal. And North America accounts for two-thirds of the company’s sales.
So Coach says it's branching out, attempting to turn itself into a lifestyle brand — and turn itself around in the process. It will grow its footwear line this year before focusing on women's apparel, jewelry and watches, British Vogue reports. And its stores will also get a new look, Women's Wear Daily reports.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 4, 2013 05:06 PM
You may have read (or red — see above) Ford's attempts so far to reposition Lincoln as a saddle without a horse. But at least one key indicator of brand equity shows that Lincoln already has been able to boost perceptions with a branding and advertising campaign even before much is available in the way of new vehicles that are planned under its revival.
Reintroducing the brand with its full-page "Hello Again" newspaper ads, a series of five TV spots, the renaming of the brand as "Lincoln Motor Company," and persuading talk show host Jimmy Fallon to rally his 7.3 million Twitter followers to crowdsource Super Bowl ad ideas has helped Lincoln quintuple its impression levels since early November, YouGov BrandIndex research indicates.Continue reading...