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close of business

Around The Web: Get In Line

Posted by Sara Zucker on February 24, 2010 06:31 PM

Nintendo's new DSi XL game system will be revealed on March 28. [WSJ]

H&M gets eco-friendly and innovative with its first line of skincare. [Nitrolicious]

General Motors' will retire the Hummer brand after Chinese deal collapses. [CNN Money]

EPC Cigar Company uses social-networking as a main source of promotion. [NY Times]

brand news

Headline Roundup: Brand Assistance

Posted by Sara Zucker on February 17, 2010 09:44 AM

Google's 'enhanced listings' leave many wondering if sales will increase, too. [Econsultancy]

Opening Night of the Olympics brings a boost in sales for all brands involved. [Adweek]

In an attempt to mold with changing times, accessories brands are lowering prices. [WWD]

BMW's new ad campaigns will focus on safety and its customers' satisfaction. [WSJ]

Madonna and Macy's are discussing the creation of a clothing and lingerie line. [WWD]

Akamai Technologies wants its $217 million back from Deutsche Bank. [Boston Herald]Continue reading...

brand news

Headline Roundup: New Additions

Posted by Sara Zucker on February 15, 2010 07:09 AM

Verizon increases competition by adding Skype to its phones. [Businessweek]

Line Nation concert and event tickets will soon be available at Wal-Mart. [WSJ]

Privacy concerns and complaints cause Google to revamp Buzz. [Boston Herald]

General Motors turns to social media tools to reach consumers. [Brandweek]

New standards are implemented by the USDA for organic milk. [LA Times]

The designer of Chatroulette is a 17-year-old boy from Russia. [NY Times]Continue reading...

damage control

Will Honda Avoid Brand Damage From Safety Recall?

Posted by Dale Buss on February 3, 2010 03:35 PM

People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

Perhaps that’s why Honda has been so reserved recently as General Motors, Ford, and Hyundai all have tried to take advantage of Toyota’s safety-recall woes by offering rebates directly to Toyota’s customers in the United States.

Honda, it turns out, has a major recall problem of its own, and the question now is: How long will the brand be able to avoid major damage?

So far, so good – sort of. Honda said last Friday that it would recall a total of 646,000 units of its Fit, Jazz, and City models globally, including 140,000 in the United States, because of a defective window switch that could cause a fire. In fact, two fires have been reported by American owners.Continue reading...

damage control

Bad Signs For Toyota’s Attempts At Damage Control

Posted by Dale Buss on February 3, 2010 10:05 AM

Toyota executives are convinced that they’ve finally got the technical fixes figured out for the eight models they stopped selling in the wake of their accelerator-pedal recall debacle. But they can’t be nearly as sure whether they’re going to be able to fix their venerable brand.

The early signs aren’t encouraging. On Tuesday, auto makers reported their US sales for January, and Toyota-brand sales were down 12 percent for the month overall – even though Toyota didn’t suspend sales of Camry and the other models until the month was nearly over.

January sales "were 23 percent below our internal target," Bob Carter, general manager of the Toyota division, told automotive journalists in a conference call on Tuesday. This number insinuated that more than 20,000 lost sales were attributable to the recall and sales stoppage in just those few days alone. The company is “taking care of customers,” he said, “then we’ll get back in the sales business.”Continue reading...

brand trainwrecks

Toyota Undertakes Record Risk With Unprecedented Sales Halt

Posted by Dale Buss on January 28, 2010 09:51 AM

Call it the stop heard ‘round the world.

The Detroit News is reporting that federal regulators were pushing Toyota to take more decisive actions to deal with the affected vehicles.

The venerable brand's subsequent decision to suspend sales of several recalled models until it figures out its accelerator-pedal problem – including its best-selling Camry and Corolla sedans – sends a shocking signal about just how serious the situation is and how badly the company’s top management has bungled it.

But Toyota’s halt of sales and production of eight models also comprises perhaps the biggest brand risk ever undertaken by the world’s leading automaker. Ultimately, the company decided that this move comprised less risk than simply continuing its behind-the-scenes efforts to corral the problem.

Consider that no automotive brand in recent history has ever just stopped producing and selling its most popular models for an interim because it couldn’t figure out how to make them safe. Ford ordered dealers to stop selling a handful of Ford Ranger pickups in 2002 because of an axle problem, and Nissan told dealers to stop selling its 2006 Altima for a while because of excessive consumption of oil. But the stoppages – and the stakes – were puny in those moves compared with what Toyota has done.Continue reading...

brand news

Headline Roundup: Retail Issues

Posted by Sara Zucker on January 27, 2010 07:24 AM

EBay changes its listing fees to increase sales. [Reuters]

Starting February, Chanel will raise handbag prices by $100. [Madison Avenue Spy]

Prince Charles stars in a new campaign to help Britain's wool industry. [WWD]

Toyota temporarily stops sale and construction of 8 models post-recall. [NY Times]

Thanks to General Motors, Saab enters Spyker's hands. [NY Times]

Book publishers continue to talk with Apple over Tablet e-books. [WSJ]Continue reading...

brand news

Headline Roundup: Ring-A-Ling

Posted by Sara Zucker on January 15, 2010 08:37 AM

Text messages aid in Haitian philanthropy efforts. [WSJ]

Gotham hired to take over 1-800-OK-CABLE creative duties. [Brandweek]

FocusDriven created to prevent texting while driving. [Consumerist]

Japanese cosmetic brand Shiseido to buy Bare Escentuals. [NY Times]

New Oscar Mayer campaign isn't just about hot dogs. [NY Times]

Layoffs hit the music industry: 50 fired at Universal Music Group. [LA Times]Continue reading...

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