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Branding

When It Comes to Shopping at Aeropostale, Teens Would Rather Not

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Earlier this week, Aeropostale fired CEO Thomas Johnson and announced his replacement: former CEO Julian Geiger, who ran the chain from 1996 to 2010 before leaving to lead Crumbs Bake Shop from 2011 through 2013.

You might be scratching your head at this one: it was Geiger at the helm when the cupcake chain went bust this summer.

But perhaps that little SNAFU can be explained away by the Peter Principle. At least that’s what this PRNewser reads between the lines in Chairman Karin Hirtler-Garvey’s description of Geiger as “an ideal choice” and her reminder that “Julian was the leader of Aeropostale’s strategic direction during a period of significant growth.”

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Cinnabon Doesn’t Need Advertising; Good Marketing and Branding Are Enough

Cinnabon-Reaches-1000th-Bakery-Milestone

Today’s conventional wisdom would suggest that aggressively expanding a brand solely focused on a singular sugary baked good is folly. Cinnabon isn’t quite the ill-fated Crumbs, despite some similarities, and President Kat Cole has been aiming high:

  • “We’re building the world’s greatest brand,” she told Nation’s Restaurant News.
  • “Eventually it will end up in the bucket with brands like Oreo and Hershey,” she told Forbes.

Indeed 2013 was a busy (and profitable) year for Cinnabon; the chain added 110 new locations, bringing its total now up to nearly 1,200 and saw $1 billion in retail product sales from all divisions worldwide, including franchising, consumer package goods and food-service licensed products.

It also spent only $33,000 in advertising.

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Three Message Points That Whole Foods Should Use In Its New Marketing Campaign

whole foods signWhole Foods is tired of its “Whole Paycheck” moniker. Though I have no hard data, it seems as though the store has made some effort in recent months to offer products that are less expensive than the top-of-the-line organic/natural/free-range/chemical-free/etc. items that also line their shelves.

Still, the “Whole Paycheck” reputation persists.

With financial results coming up short — “Whole Foods’ stock was the second-worst performer in the S&P 500 after losing 30-some percent of its value since January,” according to Slate — the company has decided it’s now become a business imperative to shake this nickname. It’s launching its first-ever branding and marketing campaign this fall.

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Kellogg and Special K Hope to Gain Profits by Losing the Weight Loss Message

special-k-cerealsWe’re all accustomed to the Special K ads that traditionally hit the airwaves during the fall and winter, urging us to stave off seasonal weight gain by eating cereal instead of huge meals or sweets, with taglines like: “What will you gain when you lose?”

Well, it seems Kellogg is about to answer its own question, but from a marketing standpoint.

Kellogg Co. CEO John Bryant said during an earnings call last Thursday that reduced-calorie messaging no longer resonates with consumers, referencing weaknesses with other similar food categories like diet sodas and reduced-calorie frozen meals. “I think consumers are changing their views on weight management from ‘reduce calories’ to ‘nutritious foods’,” he said. Special K can “absolutely meet that criteria…It’s a very nutrient-dense food form. But we haven’t been communicating it that way. So we are increasing our communication more down that path as opposed to reduce calories.” Read more

Malaysia Airlines May Undergo a Name Change as Part of a Major Rebranding Effort

malaysia airAfter the disappearance of MH370 back in March and the attack on Flight 17 over the Ukraine 10 days ago that resulted in the deaths of 298 people, Malaysia Airlines is planning a rebrand that likely includes changing the company’s name.

The airline, which is majority-owned by the Malaysian government, is seeking outside investment, is rethinking its routes and is considering additional outsourcing options for both PR and financial reasons.

The airline is also pressing for an international body to monitor the skies.

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STUDY: How Many Brands Would You Call ‘Friends?’

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Is your favorite brand the kind that you might call…your best friend? How many brands would even qualify as casual acquaintances? And which ones do you come back to again and again like a well-worn pair of pants?

Yes, these are ridiculous questions–but they’re also very serious, because their answers go a long way toward determining where the average John or Jane spends his/her money. A new survey of more than 4,000 consumers worldwide by IBM-owned email marketing tech provider Silverpop addresses the very real idea that every business should personalize its service as much as possible.

As you probably know, a “best friend” brand is one that will regularly lead consumers to open and even actually read emails, therefore leading to more sales etc.

Some stats, then:

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To Turn Things Around, Maybe Crocs Should Just Admit Their Shoes Are Ugly

crocsAfter a boom in which it seemed everyone and their grandmother owned a pair of the wide, colorful Croslite Crocs, the company is in trouble. To turn things around, the company introduced different styles, including ballet flats and heels. Still, the company reports that net income fell 44 percent for the second quarter, it’s going to need to close as many as 100 of its 624 stores around the world and 183 people will have to be laid off.

“The company is now planning to cut back on its range of styles by 30% to 40%, as a result,” says Business Insider.

Now might be the time for Crocs to take a lesson from Birkenstocks: You can’t be successful if you can’t face the cold hard truth that the shoes you sell are ugly.

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Q&A: Which Brands Won (and Lost) the World Cup?

Big Ballz

It’s all over but for the shouting…and the crying.

Germany may have surprised nearly everyone–especially Brazil–in winning everything this year, but the question remains: which brands came out on top? Which corporations got their money’s worth on the world’s biggest sporting event?

According to Rick Miller, vice president of data and insights for Networked Insights, the three big winners were Budweiser, Hyundai and Castroland the losers were Sony, McDonald’s and Visa.

We spoke to Miller to get more on the why and the how; questions and answers after the jump.

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Airbnb Shows Its New Face to the World

You may have heard of Airbnb. The company (and other “sharing economy” businesses lumped together despite serving different constituencies in different industries) has struggled a bit to define itself to the public as its business is a patchwork “community” made up of people who want to share their homes and people looking for homes to be shared.

Today the company launched a new website, a new logo, and a slew of content designed to give us all a better idea of what it does–and to give the members of its community a clearer sense of identity.

First, the video explaining the logo and tying it into the brand proposition:

According to the release, the Bélo also stands for ”open windows, open doors, and shared values.”

Founder Brian Chesky explains things in a blog post after the jump.

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Nordstrom Ads Feature Models with Disabilities, Generate Goodwill

Image via press.nordstrom.com

Fact: At least one-third of Nordstrom’s advertisements feature models of color and/or models with disabilities.

For Nordstrom, this isn’t just a commitment to diversity—it’s a commitment to accurately reflecting its shoppers. It’s also a smart move.

According to Meg O’Connell, a partner at the consulting firm Global Disability Inclusion, people with disabilities represent a significant marketing opportunity, with $225 billion in discretionary spending.

“Companies that understand this will have an advantage,” she says. “[Nordstrom] is a leader in this space and has been a long-standing supporter of disability inclusion not only in their advertising but also in employment and accessibility in their stores.”

The company has been using models with disabilities since 1997 and regularly advertises in minority publications including Essence, Latina, and Ability magazines.

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