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Posts Tagged ‘Sears’

UPDATE: Sears Apologizes for Third Party Connecting Them with Third Reich

Sears-SorryYesterday, we brought you the distressing story of Sears and Amazon trying to serve the niche (and morose) market of Goths and Emos.

Why? Who knows, but there it is — a business plan to reach the supercilious and splenetic kids down the hall…swallowing razor blades and considering hematolagnia.

In short, they were selling Swastika rings not because of the whole Nazi thing but because it’s trendy. In less than 12 hours, Sears proved that it is still a retailer for the common man while Amazon proves it is…not. One communicated directly with the media, while the other chose to ignore headlines (and customer complaints).

By understanding its own crisis communications plan, Sears proved that it really does have everything.

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Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on January 27 at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

Amazon, Sears Sell Swastika Rings as ‘Punk Rock Fashion’

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Sears has been knocked down many times and, as the retail world turns, the company has been searching for ways to get in front of its competitors again. In another effort to stand out, it recently decided to sell some “punk rock fashion” to the coveted Goth/Emo demographic because of “upward mobility.”

Sears doesn’t have an “all black” clothing section, so there had to be another way. Inspiration apparently hit the buyers in the room, who recognized that a certain fashion icon named Adolf Hitler wasn’t getting enough exposure.

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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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PR Fail: Sears Provides Loyal Customers With Useless Coupon

Sears couponEarlier this week The Consumerist blog highlighted a very poorly planned promotional effort from struggling retailer Sears. It’s fairly simple, really: Sears “thanked” customers for choosing to use its auto center with a coupon good for $5 off any purchase of $25 or more. Sounds good enough, right? But the whole thing gets problematic when the customer begins reading the fine print and comes across this list of products to which the discount does not apply:

  • Clearance and closeout items
  • Special purchases
  • Everyday great price items
  • Introductory offers
  • Land’s End merchandise
  • Levi’s
  • Items from Sears fan shop
  • EMC outerwear

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What Are America’s 10 ‘Most Hated’ Brands? And Why?

Lord VoldemortToday we came across a list of “America’s 10 Most Hated Companies” courtesy of Ragan’s PR Daily and 24/7 Wall Street, which compiled the worst of the worst based on “stock performance, employee and customer satisfaction, and management decisions.”

We were intrigued, so we figured we’d peruse the list and see what we could make of it. What are these brands, and what did they do to offend the American public (and their investors) so badly?

Here they are, along with our past and present theories on why they suck:

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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.

PRWeek Award Winners Announced

PRWeek held its annual awards gala in New York last night. Among the winners: Ketchum West and Mattel/Barbie for Campaign of the Year; Zeno Group for Agency of the Year; and Euro RSCG Worldwide PR‘s Marian Salzman for PR Professional of the Year.

In its Agency of the Year write-up, PRWeek says Zeno Group had 16 percent revenue growth for the year ending September 30, 2010, clients including Tropicana and Sears, programs to show appreciation for its staff, and a dozen new hires, including CEO Barby Siegel from Edelman.

There were 80 judges for this year’s awards. Cargill corporate VP of corporate affairs Mike Fernandez served as the chair. Congrats to all the winners! Complete list here.