US households are continuing to pay more for "green", environmentally friendly household products, defying a broad trend of shoppers "trading down" to lower priced goods and retailers' own-label brands
Audi has spent several years building brand awareness and consideration in the U.S. market. Now the company, which saw sales increase 28% in June, is hoping to join the ranks of bona fide luxury brands. The company has focused much of its marketing muscle on vehicles like the A4, but the next phase will be a raft of premium vehicles positioned against vehicles like Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7-Series, says Loren Angelo, Audi's U.S. brand marketing manager.
People who find the Web distasteful — ugly, uncivilized — have nonetheless been forced to live there: it’s the place to go for jobs, resources, services, social life, the future. But now, with the purchase of an iPhone or an iPad, there’s a way out, an orderly suburb that lets you sample the Web’s opportunities without having to mix with the riffraff. This suburb is defined by apps from the glittering App Store: neat, cute homes far from the Web city center, out in pristine Applecrest Estates. In the migration of dissenters from the “open” Web to pricey and secluded apps, we’re witnessing urban decentralization, suburbanization and the online equivalent of white flight.
Italian coffee maker IllyCaffè SpA has a stealth plan for moving in on Starbucks Corp.'s turf. By joining forces with independent coffee shops, Illy can get its name in front of more customers without having to buy or rent its own shops. For more than 20 years the closely held company, based in Trieste, Italy, has sold its coffee in high-end grocers such as Whole Foods and in coffee shops, hotels and restaurants in the U.S. Now it's expanding its reach by signing contracts with cafes in the U.S. that agree to serve Illy exclusively and allow Illy a hand in quality control. For the shops, aligning with a premium brand is a way to differentiate themselves from chains and other independent shops—and to charge higher prices.
Absolut vodka sales are way down in the U.S., and since we represent half of the vodka's market, this is an Absolut Catastrophe. The reign of Absolut as the coolest and one of the most pricey vodkas is one of the best tales of advertising lore: Absolut took a blah product and made it cool. Now, less expensive upstarts like Skyy and Svedka have been stealing their market share, essentially by using their own tactics against them.
After nearly 20 years with California Pizza Kitchen, CMO Sarah Grover knows exactly what the company's co-CEOs are looking for. Lawyers Rick Rosenfield and Larry Flax established California Pizza Kitchen in Beverly Hills in 1985, eyeing celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck's phenomenal success as he codified California cuisine. The pair developed a casual-dining version of Spago, creating gourmet pizzas with then-surprising toppings such as barbecue chicken. CPK has built a cult following through the years with powerful word-of-mouth marketing.
Starbucks Corp. is making changes to the way it grinds and brews coffee as it tries to win back customers amid economic weakness and increased competition. Instead of grinding coffee only in the morning, baristas will grind beans each time a new pot is brewed. Timers will buzz to signal when it's time to make a new batch, according to internal Starbucks documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The changes are part of the Seattle-based company's effort to reinvigorate the "Starbucks experience" in the face of competition from less-expensive rivals such as McDonald's Corp. and 7-Eleven Inc. With Starbucks' changes, customers will be able to hear the whir of grinders and smell the aroma of fresh coffee all day.