• Oh, Hell, It's Labor Day Weekend, So...
    For no good reason, here is a very funny compendium of very weird street signs. Hey, street signs are marketing, of a kind. Some of the best include a "No Hooking Anytime" sign with iconography that makes it exceedingly clear just what they mean by "hooking," and my favorite, a stop sign under which is a complete panoply of no-turn signs that hilariously make the point that no movement whatsoever is allowed. Finally, how about "Sherrill's Eat Here and Get Gas."
  • Costco Reports A Strong August
    Club retailer Costco Wholesale posted sales of $7.4 billion for the month of August, reporting an 8% sales increase over August 2011 and an increase in comps that beat analysts' expectations. Same-store sales for the chain during the four-week period that ended Sunday increased by 6% over the same period a year ago, reaching the high end of Citi's forecast of 4% to 6% and exceeding Guggenheim Partners' 4% forecast.
  • Carat Retains BMW India
    Carat Media has retained BMW India's media account following a multi-agency pitch. Said Christian Saffer, marketing director, BMW India, "India is a very important country in BMW's global portfolio and we needed to ensure that we were getting the best that the market could offer in terms of media planning and buying." He said Carat stayed in the game because it "came up with solutions focused on our business needs and went beyond traditional media planning. We have worked with Carat for a number of years now and are delighted with the way they came in with a re-energized perspective …
  • Burger King Continues Revamping Menu
    After launching its summer menu, introduced in June, with a focus on beef, pork and BBQ flavors, a post-Labor Day phase II will feature chicken and Italian flavors. The limited-time menu additions include sandwiches, wraps, new breakfast items and a new smoothie, but no new burgers this time. Chicken Parmesan and Italian Basil Chicken sandwiches, now being tested in Chicago, are the core offerings. Breakfast adds Black Forest ham to Ham, Egg & Cheese Biscuit and Ham, Egg & Cheese Croissan'wich.
  • Amazon Licenses Nokia Mapping For Next Kindle Fire
    Nokia wants to own location-based services, and it seems Amazon will use the company's mapping data for its upcoming tablet. Location-aware features will reportedly be core to Amazon's Kindle Fire successor, which is widely expected to debut on Sept. 6.
  • Hispanics Emerge As Core C-Store Consumer
    The core convenience store customer is male, between the ages of 18 and 34 and blue-collar. And Hispanic. According to Leyhla Ahuile, senior analyst of multicultural reports at Mintel International Group, he shops at a convenience store at least once week. Those who are Spanish-language dominant spend more on non-gas purchases, while those Hispanic consumers who prefer to speak English spend more on gasoline.
  • Buzz Builds Brands
    Word of mouth, not ads, made brands like Apple, Harley-Davidson, Starbucks and Krispy Kreme, says marketing coach Randy Martinsen. "Of course, these companies now spend millions on brand recognition, but they all started small," he says. How did these companies use word of mouth? "By having a brand that is rooted in the customers' wants and needs, and by offering something that is of value again and again. It is more than just the product; it is the product plus the experience. People will tout a product they like, but they will shout from the rooftops about a product that …
  • Unilever Planning To Launch Tea Cafes
    Unilever Is testing a chain of branded cafes serving tea, according to a job spec for a global manager to lead the operation. Unilever owns Lipton, PG Tips, Lan-Choo and Irish tea brand Lyons. The company has had Bru World Cafe coffee shops in India under its instant coffee brand Bru. Unilever declined to provide any further details about the concept but it is due to launch in selected countries this year ahead of a global roll out from 2013, with full roll out expected by 2017, according to the job spec.
  • New CMO For Chase
    JPMorgan Chase has hired Claire Huang, a former Bank of America marketer to the new position of CMO. Huang will handle brand marketing, and will oversee senior marketing execs who work on the JPMorgan and Chase businesses. At Bank of America she was head of international marketing, reporting to global strategy and marketing officer Anne Finucane. Word has it she will not be replaced at BofA, as other execs will handle her duties.
  • How Automakers Will Get To 54 MPG
    Ford's C-Max will be one of the market's most efficient vehicles at 47 mpg. But that's about 15% short of the 54 mpg the White House has set for the auto industry with the new mileage standards that will be phased in between now and 2025. John Krafcik, the CEO of Hyundai Motor America admits "We don't yet know how we'll get there." Weight and see, so to speak: Some experts believe the auto industry will be forced to abandon steel for lighter alternatives such as carbon fiber or aluminum. Aluminum has been a Jaguar substrate for several years now, …
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