Mattel (MAT) has released a Barbie doll with tattoos on her neck and shoulders, and wearing leopard print leggings, pink pleather mini skirt, sparkly silver shoes and a black top with heart and crossbones logo. Some parents have protested the doll could encourage children to disfigure themselves. Christian Science Monitor 10/20/11
McDonald’s Corp. (MCD) delivered appetizing third quarter overall sales growth of 5%, while spin off Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) served up a tasty third-quarter profit jump of 25% versus a year ago. MarketWatch 10/21/11
Brand name references to alcohol in rap, R&B and hip hop music may constitute a form of advertising, and could contribute to early use and substance abuse among adolescents, say University of Pittsburgh researchers. Addiction Journal 10/20/11 via Name Wire 10/21/11
Urban Outfitters (URBN) has removed the word "Navajo" from product names on its website in the wake of criticism from the Navajo Nation government, bloggers and others, who viewed the usage as disrespectful and a trademark violation. Critics found the use of the Navajo name on products including a flask and ‘hipster panty’ to be particularly offensive but the company initially defended the product names stating, in part, “…like many other fashion brands, we interpret trends and will continue to do so for years to come…” The Associated Press10/20/11
Shares of Crocs Inc.(CROX) lost almost 40% of their value after the shoe maker lowered its third-quarter profit and sales forecast – even though they still project a sales gain of 27%. MarketWatch 10/18/11
Coca-Cola (KO) is still the world’s most valuable brand, according to Interbrand. Download report here.
The Liz Claiborne brand has been sold to JCPenney (JCP).Liz Claiborne Inc. (LIZ), the owner of remaining brands Kate Spade, Lucky Brands, and Juicy Couture, has 12 months to find a new name. Name Wire 10/13/11
Chicago-based beer maker Pabst, plans to relocate its headquarters to Los Angeles this summer. The company has not commented on reasons for the move, but Eric Schmidt, an analyst with Beverage Information, says the Metroupolos family, which purchased the company last summer, will likely “move aggressively to rebuild Pabst brands.” Two family members live in LA. Latimes.com 5/14/11
Skechers Shape-ups, toning sneakers promoted to adults, are now being pitched to young girls. The Parents Television Council say’s Skechers advertising emphasizes popularity, thinness and attractiveness, and encourages young girls to look like older girls. Skechers says Shape-ups for Girls promote exercise and fitness. CBS News 5/13/11
Yum Brands, owners of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, wants to increase its 27.2% stake in “Little Sheep” a chain of hot pot restaurants in China. NYTimes.com 5/13/11.
Walmart (WMT) plans to acquire a minority stake in the holding company of Yihaodian, a fast-growing e-commerce company in China with significant sales of groceries, baby, consumer electronics and other items. Forbes 5/13/11
Burberry plans to boost sales in far eastern markets by using its “Britishness” to differentiate itself in a luxury market dominated by European brands such as Louis Vuitton and Gucci. Guardian.co.uk 5/13/11
Facebook is being accused of hypocrisy for promoting transparency while anonymously trying to persuade reporters to write stories critical of the privacy implications of Google’s search feature Social Circle. NYTimes 5/13/11
Procter & Gamble (PG) says consumers are increasingly choosing its brands over store brands, a sign of an improved economy. The company plans to raise prices on products including Pampers diapers, Iams pet food and Head & Shoulders shampoo but is keeping prices down on lower tier products such as Luvs diapers. Businessweek 5/12/11
Prestige Brands (PBH) nearly doubled its fourth-quarter profit on strong over-the-counter product sales, helped by acquisitions and growth of its five core brands. The company makes products including Clear Eyes, NightGuard, Dermoplast, Sleep-Eze, Comet and Spic and Span. Foxbusiness.com 5/12/11.
Maidenform is extending its brand with the launch of Maidenform Swimwear, in partnership with Malibu Dream Girl. PRNewswire 5/12/11
Apple is the world’s most valuable brand according to Brandz top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2011. Download report here.
Levi’s has launched a new lined called Levi's Curve ID that offers women jeans that complement their body type. Freep.com 8/14/2010
Kellogg Co.has debuted Pop-Tart World, a pop up store in Times Square, where customers can eat Pop-Tart “sushi,” order a customized pastry, create a custom box filled with a mix of their favorite flavors, suggest new types of Pop-Tarts, select a Pop-Tart T-shirt made by specialty artists or get “frosted” and “wrapped in foil” by a light show. The State.com 8/14/2010
Jaguar Cars has created the XJ75 Platinum Concept a demonstration of the design customization potential of the XJ luxury sedan, as part of their year long celebration of the Jaguar brand’s 75th anniversary. PRNewswire 8/14/2010
Kroger Co. has doubled its number of store-brand beauty products this summer and plans to continue to launch more products this fall and next year. Their Mirra brand beauty line contains natural ingredients and is priced below brands such as L’Oreal, Aveeno and Olay. Associated Press 8/13/10
Walgreens (WAG) is rolling out its DR Delish private brand line of snacks and beverages nationally; they acquired the line as part of their purchase of Duane Reade Drugstores. Marketwatch.com 8/13/10
The East India Company, world’s first multinational trading company, known for bringing exotic foods from the east to the west, beginning in 1600, has been relaunched as a luxury brand. The company ceased operating in 1874; intellectual property rights to the company were purchased by an Indian-born importer and entrepreneur in 2005. CNN.com 8/13/10
An advocacy group claims that Ben & Jerry's All Natural ice cream and frozen yogurt contains ingredients that either don’t exist in nature or have been chemically modified such as alkalized cocoa and corn syrup. The company says it abides by federal guidelines in using the term natural. Boston.com 8/13/10
Hyundai has replaced Nissan to become one of the top five most considered automotive brands among new-car shoppers, according to the Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence Brand Watch Study. NYTimes.com 8/12/10
David Lauren, son of fashion brand founder Ralph Lauren, tells Blogher conference attendees that his father was born in the Bronx as Ralph Lifshitz and was a salesman, not a trained fashion designer. But his idea was to dress for the life you wanted, and who you wanted to be: "It's not about fabric. It's about dreams." The Recessionista 8/12/10
In July sales versus a year ago GM's four core brands were up 25%, Ford (F) was up 3%, Toyota (TM) was down 3%. Washington Post 8/8/10
A former executive with the company that owns the Thomas' English Muffins brand has been barred from working for rival Hostess Brands. His former employer says the executive is one of seven people in the world who know the step-by-step process of putting the "nooks and crannies" or air pockets in Thomas' English muffins. UPI.com 8/7/10
Sambazon, a San Clemente, Calif., firm that makes products based on acai, has launched a brand positioning featuring “Sambazon Warriors,” “ ‘everyday warriors’ in which consumers can join and feel they are part of a movement. A Facebook app that lets consumers add a headdress to their photo is part of the campaign. Brandweek 8/6/10
Is an Apple (AAPL) iBike in the works? PatentlyApple.com says a patent application from Apple was published by the US Patent & Trademark Office on August 5, 2010 that reveals various concepts behind a newly advanced Smart Bicycle System for individuals as well as teams of cyclists. The Bicycle system monitors speed, distance, time, altitude, elevation, incline, decline, heart rate, power, derailleur setting, cadence, wind speed, path completed, expected future path, heart rate, power, and pace. The system could utilize various sensors built-into the iPhone in addition to working with sensors already built-into the bike itself.” PatentlyApple.com 8/5/2010.
Liz Claiborne Inc (LIZ.N) which has not seen a profit in about three years has posted a much smaller-than-expected loss and says it will turn profitable on an adjusted basis in the fourth quarter. It has closed underperforming stores, worked on underperforming brands and signed an exclusive deal with J.C. Penney Co Inc (JCP.N) to sell its namesake line. Reuters 8/5/10
GM will return to the Super Bowl in 2011; an ad campaign will break next month for the Chevy Camaro; and there's a new tagline coming for Cadillac, "The new standard for the world.” AdAge 8/5/2010
The Coca-Cola Company (KO) and the WNBA are partnering to promote Coca-Cola’s "Live Positively" initiative and WNBA Cares.
Clinics will teach fitness skills and nutrition to kids and holding camps in local parks will encourage people to visit neighborhood parks and be more active. BrandWeek 8/3/2010
Zappos eschews the industry approach of treating vendors as adversaries, and instead treats them as partners.The $1 billion company says their vendor relationships are “one of the most valuable parts of our business,” and “Without those friendships and their belief in us, there might not be a Zappos today.” HBR – The Conversation 6/4/10
Apple (AAPL) has sold more than two million iPad tablet computers since its launch on April 3rd. Techcrunch 5/31/10
Wal-Mart (WMT) is cutting prices an average of 30 percent on 22 foods and other essentials, restoring brands it previously dropped, and replacing trendy clothing with basic styles to reinforce their brand positioning and fight competition from dollar stores, local grocery chains and other big box retailers. Huffingtonpost.com 5/29/10
Ford Motor Company (F) says it’s reviewing its portfolio of brands and specific nameplates but won’t confirm it plans to kill the Mercury brand. LAtimes.com 5/29/10
A key attraction of Procter & Gamble’s (PG) purchase of Natura Pet Products is thought to be access to Natura’s distribution channel of independent pet stores. But pet supply retailers have taken to social media to protest that the buy will adversely affect them. Advertising Age 5/29/10
Heineken has launched "Your Heineken", enabling European consumers to personalize Heineken sleeves with provided photography/images, see 3D visualization of their creation and order the six-pack of Heineken. Mediabistro 5/28/10
When guests check in at Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) brands – Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Staybridge Suites or Candlewood Suites – on the Gowalla mobile social network via their mobile phone between now and Aug. 31, they receive “Hit it Big” rewards including loyalty points, double air miles, retail gift cards, etc., to promote IHG’s loyalty programs. Mobile Marketer 5/28/10
Time Warner and NBC Universal do not plan to convert their existing Flash-authored videos to HTML5 format so they can be viewed on Apple’s new iPad. PCMag.com 5/28/10
Ann Taylor (ANN) apologizes for altering images of models on their web site to make them appear perfectly shaped and unnaturally slender. Jezebel via BrandFreak 5/28/10
Kraft (KFT) is targeting women 35-54 with their recently launched Sandwich Shop brand of flavored, restaurant-inspired mayonnaises. Brandweek 5/27/10
Procter & Gamble (PG) has relaunched the Pantene brand with a new campaign and a contest that announced the “First Reality TV Hair Star,” during NBC's season finale of The Biggest Loser: Couples. Brandweek 5/27/10
Pabst Brewing Co., the maker of Pabst Blue Ribbon and Schlitz, will be sold to food investor C. Dean Metropoulos. Pabst Blue Ribbon is seeing a resurgence in popularity 20-somethings. HuffingtonPost.com 5/26/10
The Rockport Company, a division of Adidas, is launching a new campaign exhorting people to “Choose to walk.” The campaign “celebrates people who have chosen to live professional and personal lives that may step off the beaten path but are nonetheless fulfilling and rewarding.” New York Times 3/2/09
Fashionology is a retail concept that enables tween girls to decorate clothing. The Fashionology LA store was launched in June 2008 and is currently promoting the launch of their Fashionology website. MediaPost 3/2/09
Japanese cosmetics e-tailer, @Cosme, has been so successful with their Amazon-like ranking of Japanese products according to popularity and user stars, that they’ve just opened a bricks and mortar site. AdAge 3/2/09
Ted’s Montana Grill is rewarding anyone who proclaims their love for the chain’s burgers with a free burger. First place winner gets a Prius. Atlanta Business Chronicle 3/2/09
MARS Snackfood's new Web site for Skittles takes visitors to a Wikipedia entry for Skittles, a Skittles-related Twitter Feed, Facebook Page, YouTube channels, Flickr, etc, in an effort to let consumers tell the story, instead of sending visitors to a typical product web page. Clickz 3/2/09
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) has signed an “extensive partnership” with BET to weave their Listerine, Zyrtec and Ambi brands into the storylines of new reality show “Harlem Heights.” New York Times 3/01/09
Safeway (SWY) says they will promote its private-label brands harder if branded-food makers don't start lowering prices on their products. Chairman, president and CEO Steve Burd says some food makers have been “disingenuous” with consumers by not decreasing prices to reflect declining costs. Chain Store Age 2/27/09. The LA Times reports Grocers, name-brand food producers at odds over prices.
The NCAA denies some flavors of The Coca-Cola Co.’s(KO) VitaminWater could cause student athletes to test positive for impermissible or banned substances. They had previously listed six flavors as containing impermissible or banned substances including taurine, caffeine, guarana seed extract, L-theanine, green tea extract, ecgc, Rooibos tea extract or glucosamine. Atlanta Business Chronicle 2/11/09
Maybelline has launched “Lash Stiletto™ aka “The only mascara that does for lashes what stilettos do for legs.” Great name, great visual.
Lance Inc. (LNCE), owner of the Archway Cookies brand, has filed a lawsuit against Canadian company Voortman Cookies, alleging that their packaging adopts colors and other design elements closely simulate Archway’s and is calculated to take advantage of the Archway bankruptcy “to persuade consumers and retailers to accept the infringing Voortman package as the successor in the marketplace to the well-known and highly regarded Archway products.” Charlotte Business Journal 2/10/09
Look ma, no hyphen: Name Wire says Hilton has officially removed the hyphen from their Waldorf-Astoria brand. It’s now Waldorf Astoria. Hilton is also reportedly finalizing plans to introduce a new “lifestyle hotel brand to the world next month. Name Wire: The Product Naming Blog 2/10/09.
The 2009 holiday season was the worst in 40 years according to the December sales figures for many major chains. Abercrombie and Fitch saw a 24% year-over-year percentage change in December sales at stores open at least a year, Saks 19.8%, and American Eagle 17%. Target (TGT) same store sales were down 4.1%. Wal-Mart (WMT) U.S. store sales (excluding fuel sales) were up 1.7 but international sales were down 10.4 percent for the five weeks ended Jan. 2, and Sam’s Club sales were down 2.1 percent. On the bright side, December same store sales for Hot Topic were up 4.3% and American Apparel sales were up 3%. Atlanta Business Chronicle 1/8/09, LATimes, 1/9/09
Saying “the economy’s awful,” discount clothing retailer Goody's Family Clothing is liquidating its stores after filing chapter eleven bankruptcy in June 2008. Atlanta Business Chronicle 1/8/09
Meanwhile, Circuit City Stores, Inc. CCTYQ) filed a motion in bankruptcy court that seeks approval of procedures that would formally put the company up for sale, as a going concern, as separate business units or as individual assets. The company closed 155 domestic stores in 4Q08. Circuit City Stores, Inc. 1/9/09