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local branding

Mattel Localizes Barbie for Education-Focused China Market

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 8, 2013 06:38 PM

Barbie apparently wasn't much of a success in China when the famous doll's focus was all manicures, makeup and party dresses. The company's six-story store in Shanghai closed its doors in 2011, and since, Mattel has been hard at work creating a Barbie more suitable for the Asian culture—one focused instead on education. 

"Joy and learning are like oil and water in China," said Peter Broegger, Mattel's Asia Pacific senior vice president, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. So Mattel is trying to emphasize the learning part of Barbie’s life, releasing such dolls as Violin Barbie, while simultaneously trying to get the government to encourage more play from the children of its nation. "If they allow for more play, half of our marketing is done," Broegger told the Journal. Violin Barbie may be completely disproportionate in her body but she apparently can play a mean Tchaikovsky.Continue reading...

local branding

North Dakotans Focus on Selling Bakken Brands to Demographic in Transition

Posted by Abe Sauer on September 16, 2013 11:31 AM

The "local" branding movement is taking off, from craft breweries to the White House. Global, corporate brands like Starbucks have adopted localization tactics to fit into this consumer niche while actual local brands—like Milwaukee's Collectivo Coffee—have struggled after breaking what consumers saw as a local commitment. But in North Dakota, a place that is booming economically, local brands are struggling to gain a foothold partly because so many consumers aren't local. But a few Bakken brands are seeing boom times too.

North Dakota was recently named fourth in the US for access to local food sources, and with the state's current boom, entrepreneurs are hoping to kickstart local product sales by capitalizing on the region's oil-rich roots, a place that has simply become known as "The Bakken."Continue reading...

local branding

Lost in Translation: McDonald's Hmong and Hindu Cultural Marketing Missteps

Posted by Dale Buss on September 5, 2012 06:06 PM

One way McDonald's plans to keep on growing around the globe is to open itself increasingly to local tastes rather than simply trying to impose the Big Mac on every national market, which is how the chain started out. Interestingly, however, just as McDonald's is making such a move in India with new vegetarian restaurants, it's being tripped up by a matter of cultural sensitivity just a few hundred miles from McDonald's Chicago headquarters in the good ol' U.S. of A.

It seems that billboards in St. Paul touted McDonald's breakfast offerings in Hmong, the indigenous language of Hmong-Americans who comprise a major enclave of 64,000 people in the Twin Cities. The billboards put up by local franchisees — the first time McDonald's has ever advertised to Asia's Hmong community in the U.S. — were supposed to say, "Coffee Gets You Up, Breakfast Gets You Going."

But thanks to a garbled translation from English to Hmong, the text reads as gobbledygook to the Hmong-American population. McDonald's apologized for the error and set about to correct it immediately. Overseas, meanwhile, McDonald's newest culturally relevant move outside the U.S. — bringing vegetarian-only fare to some restaurants in India next year — is one of the biggest efforts by McDonald's in accommodating its brand to consumers outside its home U.S. market, and also inadvertently stepping on some toes.Continue reading...

local branding

Renaissance Hotels Show Local Pride

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 23, 2012 02:55 PM

People generally get hotel rooms because they need a place to sleep. The location of the hotel is more often than not selected for convenience than for the hotel itself. So Renaissance hotels, which is owned by Marriott, is going to play up the surrounding areas of its hotels in its new ad campaign.

The hope, of course, is to attract a younger, hipper market that is mostly visiting due to business travel. To do this, Renaissance introduced a “Navigator” program back in 2010 “to provide tips about the hotels’ surroundings,” the New York Times reports. The hotels have attempted to host more musical events in the past two years of both local and national acts, such as Bruno Mars.Continue reading...

local branding

InterContinental's Hualuxe Hotel Brand Woos Chinese VIPs

Posted by Barry Silverstein on March 23, 2012 01:02 PM

It's nothing unusual for a hotel chain to concentrate on China as a growth market; InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) was the first international hotelier in the country and has operated there for thirty years. What is novel, however, is IHG's newest Chinese play: Hualuxe, which the company describes in a press release as "the first international brand designed specially for the Chinese traveller."

"Hua" translates into 'majestic China' and "Luxe," of course, stands for 'luxury.' IHG says it already tailors the hotels it operates in China to local tastes, but Hualuxe will take the concept one well-shod step further to attract the high-end traveler.Continue reading...

local branding

Sen. Schumer Likes His New York Brew – And Wants You To Do the Same

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 16, 2011 10:10 AM

Booze is recession-proof: people drink alcohol in good economic times and they drink alcohol in bad economic times, athough the price of what they imbibe may decrease in tough times.

According to Fox, “a recent Gallup poll shows alcohol consumption hit a 25-year high in 2010, with 67 percent of Americans reporting drinking alcoholic beverages.” That is pretty close to the all-time alcohol-consumption high of 71 percent set back in the ‘70s, the site notes.

New York Senator Charles Schumer, an outspoken Democrat, is trying to use this fact to help his state’s business grow. While New York state is the official body behind the famed "I Love NY" campaign (not New York City, as commonly believed), Schumer feels it isn't doing enough for local businesses. That's why he's encouraging restaurants, bars, and retailers to stock as much New York-brewed beer as possible, according to the Saratogian. Frank Sinatra and Liza Minnellli may love New York but Schumer loves New York brew.

As he kicks off his campaign this week, Schumer is hoping that New York brewers will sell more product and thus have to add to their employee rolls, the Saratogian reports.Continue reading...

local branding

Brands Strut Their Stuff in New York's Times Square

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 26, 2011 12:00 PM

What do fashion, a Chinese news agency and pizza have in common?

Times Square – hotter, and more popular than ever! And not just because it's summer.

This past Saturday, Express, the fashion retailer for style-conscious Millennials, set out to break the Guinness world record for the largest number of people modeling on a catwalk.  And despite temperatures hovering in the 100’s – they did, showing that wannabe models cannot resist a catwalk, no matter how crowded or sweaty.

A total of 1,243 people walked the Express runway, including the Naked Cowboy, police officers, tourists, and just regular locals, shattering the previous record of 521 set last year by Galeries Lafayette in Paris.Continue reading...

local branding

MasterCard Priceless Cities Woos Yankees Fans in New York

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 18, 2011 11:00 AM

As part of MasterCard Worldwide’s iconic "Priceless" campaign, the brand has created a New York-based promotional event for its Priceless Cities in-market branding campaign.

Given that it's summer in the Big Apple, Priceless New York centers around — what else? — the New York Yankees, creating a game for baseball fans to play by hiding Yankee’s seats throughout the city in partnership with Facebook Places.

Find the chairs and check-in via Facebook Places to be eligible to win special prizes, including meet-and-greets with Yankee greats, a “safari sleepover” at the Bronx Zoo, “V.I.P. treatment” at Marcus Samuelsson's red-hot Red Rooster restaurant in Harlem, and access to a new section of Yankee Stadium known as Batter’s Eye View – which includes a MasterCard Batter’s Eye Cafe.Continue reading...

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