• Is Toyota Losing Luster--Or Have More Makes Added Polish?

    [Automotive] Says the president of Strategic Vision of its own index: "Statistically, the differences are negligible, so that actual leadership position in quality is not apparent anymore--the other brands catching up"--meaning, he adds, that keeping ahead of the field means focusing more and more on narrower and narrower leads. ...Read the whole story

  • Holiday Inn Staying Smart With A $61 Million Rebrand

    [Hospitality] "I don't think that Holiday Inn has much of a choice," says an industry consultant. "It's an icon in this industry, so it will always have a certain power in its brand. But in the last five years, so much in the industry has changed. Luxury is now mainstream. Everyone is putting marble in the bathrooms and upgrading the front desk." ...Read the whole story

  • Alli Can't Save Glaxo's 3Q Profit, Which Is Down 5.8%

    [Pharma] For the quarter, Glaxo's Consumer Healthcare division--which includes Alli, Breathe Rite and FiberChoice--registered a 16% increase in overall sales. Within the division, sales of OTC drugs like Alli rose 24%, to $853.6 million, with Alli contributing $69.6 million of that increase. But sales of Avandia nose-dived by 38%. ...Read the whole story

  • Dodge Taps Tuner Market To Promote Caliber SRT4

    [Automotive] Playing to this market segment can be risky--but, as one industry consultant says, such programs are critical for automakers, even though the sales are a fraction of the volume they garner from their more tame vehicles. "The very people they are hoping to attract are the most enthusiastic of car buyers who religiously keep up with things. And they are extremely influential." ...Read the whole story

  • Diageo, Rapper Combs Go Partners On Ciroc Brand Of Vodka

    [Spirits] Robert Passikoff, founder/president of Brand Keys, Inc., says that "to a certain degree it's the same old same old except for the financial deal. Although now, instead of just being an endorser, what [the celebrities] need to do is actually be an engager in terms of the brand itself." ...Read the whole story

  • Microsoft Deal Values Facebook At $15 Billion

    Microsoft on Wednesday said it is investing $240 million for a 1.6% stake in Facebook--a deal that values the hot social network at a staggering $15 billion. Beating out Google, Microsoft also won exclusive global rights to sell third-party banner ads on Facebook. ...Read the whole story

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