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Posts Tagged ‘Kmart’

2014′s 10 Least Engaging Brands

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Who’s having a great 2014 so far? Airbnb, Snapchat and even—dare we say it—Facebook are doing pretty well. But what about the other side of the brand equation?

Customer loyalty consultancy Brand Keys and reporter Truman Lewis of Consumer Affairs recently published a list of 2014′s least engaging brands, which we reviewed to try and figure out why these companies are having a bad year.

Brand Keys president Robert Passikoff says the market itself often provides the best evidence of consumers’ brand assessments, and these brands’ recent performances just don’t measure up.

The bottom ten, from worst to least bad, after the jump.

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This Is Why All The Backlash in the World Won’t Put a Stop To Thanksgiving Day Shopping

target black fridayMore and more around this pre-Thanksgiving time, the media is filled with stories about retailers opening their doors for Black Friday earlier than the year before. Then there are stories about the backlash — from the employees who say their Thanksgiving Day celebrations are hampered by the need to report to a job that isn’t paying early enough to justify the inconvenience, and supporters who think that it’s heartless for these retailers to commercialize the holiday.

Despite the coverage this issue has gotten, retailers keep opening earlier and earlier, to the point that Kmart will be open for 41 straight hours. Shortly after this marathon opening was announced, CNN had a story that read:

Hundreds of Kmart customers took to social media and threatened to boycott the store if it didn’t reverse its decision, so that its employees can spend Thanksgiving with their families. People called the decision “heartless,” “greedy,” “shameful” and “disgusting.”

There must be a reason that retailers would subject themselves to this type of negative publicity at a time of happiness and goodwill each year.

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Kmart’s ‘Ship My Pants’ Video Gets Viral Legs

If you like those T-shirts that proclaim “Life’s a Beach” or laugh whenever your uncle says “How the frack am I supposed to know?” then you’re going to love Kmart’s new “Ship my pants” video. In five days it’s gone more viral than a cold in a kindergarten class. The ad promotes Kmart’s new service that offers loyal customers the option of free shipping on items they couldn’t find in brick-and-mortar retails stores. Enjoy:

Kmart Tweet on Newtown Tragedy Includes Promo Tag

Like everyone else in the country, we’ve spent much of the day today distracted by the unspeakably awful events that occurred in Connecticut.

Unfortunately, Kmart became the first brand to release a completely inappropriate statement this afternoon. In the midst of a promo campaign called “Fab 15″ highlighting the “15 coolest toys of the season”, Kmart’s official Twitter feed released a message about the tragedy that still included the #Fab15 hashtag.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kmart deleted the offending tweet and quickly issued a follow-up statement officially ending the promotion and discouraging further use of the tag.

The company then released a second statement trying to explain what had happened:

“We wanted the participants in the Twitter party we had just halted to see our message of sympathy. The way you do that is by adding the hashtag for the Twitter party. It was absolutely not used for any promotional reasons, but simply to ensure the participants of the Twitter party were able to see our message of sympathy.”

Even if that’s the case, the fact that anyone could confuse the matter tells us that Kmart was wrong to release the tweet. Today nearly everyone has made statements expressing sadness and asking friends and followers to pray for all involved–but Kmart proved that sometimes it really is better to say nothing at all.

Backlash Builds Against Retailers Starting Black Friday on Thanksgiving

Over the years, retailers have begun opening earlier and earlier on Black Friday in order to make the most of the biggest shopping day of the year. This bottom line-driven phenomenon is not-so-lovingly known as “Black Friday creep,” conjuring images of something amorphous and sinister rolling slowly through the night to overtake Thanksgiving — and that’s not too far off, really.

Just ask Casey St. Clair, a Target employee whose recent petition to get the retail giant to stay closed on Thanksgiving night (rather than opening with Black Friday deals at 9:00 pm as scheduled) inspired a veritable revolt among retail employees and customers alike.

Her email via Change.org read, in part:

In the last week, over 230,000 people have signed my petition asking my employer, Target, to change its Black Friday shopping hours to let employees have Thanksgiving dinner with our families.

We have real momentum, and this Monday, I’ll be delivering my petition with over 230,000 signatures to Target Headquarters – click here to join us and add your name.

After I was on TV, my manager offered me Thanksgiving day off. But I declined. This isn’t about just me — it’s about respecting one of the few days retail workers have a year to spend time with loved ones.

While Target is certainly not alone in opening on Thanksgiving (Toys “R” Us, Walmart, Sears and KMart will be the first large retail chains to open with Black Friday sales at 8:00 pm), it has received the brunt of the public’s ire thanks to the petition.

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Spin the Agencies of Record

Samsung, currently focusing on its global b-to-b marketing strategy,  added two new shops to manage advertising responsibilities. Samsung chose WPP, which will create a team specifically to handle the account; the company also selected Publicis Groupe-owned Razorfish as its new digital agency of record in an unrelated deal.

Brian Wallace, Samsung’s VP of marketing, explains, “We picked Razorfish as our digital AOR because they demonstrate the innovative thinking that we value in our agencies. We know Razorfish understands how to translate complex issues into unique and engaging customer experiences.”

Rubenstein Public Relations also announced new client wins including World Business Lenders, FiREapps and Mr. Omer Ozden. CEO Richard Rubenstein said, “Representing these leaders in the finance and real estate markets underscores our continued expansion into the business, financial and real estate public relations sectors. We are increasingly assisting more clients in elevating their profiles and business strategies by securing strategic, brand-building media coverage.”

After a lengthy review, Sears Holdings decided to retain Havas’ MPG as its top media agency. The decision means that the national marketing juggernaut, which spends heavily on advertising, will continue its relationship with MPG, which began in 2007. It also means that MPG will retain one of its most important accounts, which includes the Kmart and Sears brands.

Spin the Agencies of Record

Active living brand prAna, known for its functional designs and progressive style, has selected Haberman of Minneapolis as its AOR in a competitive review. Haberman will handle public relations, social media and event management for the company as well as long-term marketing planning for prAna’s first Twin Cities location.

The new Minnesota store, slated to open in early November 2012 at 50th and France in Edina, joins five other retail prAna locations in Denver, Boulder, Santa Barbara, Portland and San Francisco.

Gap brand has eschewed established global agencies like stalwart Ogilvy for a host of agencies available on an as-needed basis. The shops including Peterson Milla Hooks and AKQA. PMH, a Minneapolis-based shop, has worked with Target, Kmart and JC Penney. Yet Gap and Ogilvy still maintain a relationship.

Gap spokeswoman Edie Kissko said,”Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide helped us tremendously over the last year in establishing the Gap brand ‘Be Bright’ platform, which we launched with our spring campaign… Ogilvy also created our fall ‘Icon Redefined’ campaign.”

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