Longtime State Farm CMO Rand Harbert is retiring and will be succeeded by one of his underlings. Kristyn Cook, currently senior vice president, agency and marketing, has been named the new chief agency, sales and marketing officer effective Jan. 1. "Harbert, who got his start as an agent in 1992, oversaw key initiatives as CMO, including an overhaul of the State Farm logo and brand positioning and bringing back Jake from State Farm, a popular spokes-character," per Marketing Dive.
Chain Store Age
Eddie Bauer has named Tim Bantle as CEO, succeeding Damien Huang, who left earlier this year after serving one year in the role. "Bantle joins Eddie Bauer from VF Corp., where he has served as general manager, Canada, since March 2020," per Chain Store Age. "Before that, he spent three years at The North Face, a division of VF, serving as global general manager, urban exploration and mountain lifestyle. Prior to VF, Bantle held leadership positions at Black Diamond Equipment, a manufacturer of equipment for climbing, skiing, and mountain sports, and Patagonia, where he spent seven years."
The New York Times
Dara Treseder, who has been Peloton’s chief marketing officer since 2020, is leaving to run marketing at Autodesk. The troubled exercise equipment company also lost its co-founder and former chief executive, John Foley, earlier this month. "The executive departures leave in question the future of the brand," per The New York Times. "Ms. Treseder, who will remain as Peloton’s head of global marketing and communications through Oct. 4, helped oversee the introduction of four new products, including its $3,195 rowing machine. Ms. Treseder, who had previously worked at Apple, Goldman Sachs and General Electric, also set up a content …
Private equity firms are investing in all aspect of health care, including the "death" industry. "The funeral home industry is in many ways a prime target for private equity, which looks for markets that are highly fragmented and could benefit from consolidation," per Fortune. "By cobbling together chains of funeral homes, these firms can leverage economies of scale in purchasing, improve marketing strategies, and share administrative functions."
Spotify appears to be setting its sights on Amazon in the audiobook department. The company says that U.S. subscribers will be able to purchase and listen to more than 300,000 audiobook titles. Audiobooks represent just 6% to 7% of the overall book market, says Spotify. However, the category is growing at a rate of 20% year over year. Nir Zicherman, Spotify’s vice president and global head of audiobooks and gated content, calls it “a substantial untapped market."
The Wall Street Journal
Supply-chain issues and chip shortages have made vehicle production especially tricky this year. Now Ford is experiencing a shortage of something critical to its brand image: the blue ovals that bear its name. The automaker held back shipments of some vehicles because of difficulties getting model nameplates and company logos. "Both parts are affixed to the vehicle’s exterior and are important identifiers for the auto maker’s products," per The Wall Street Journal. "A company spokesman confirmed it has held some vehicle shipments because of a lack of badges."
In a most unusual promotion, every passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight from Long Beach, California to Honolulu on Sept. 16 got a free ukulele and an inflight lesson. “They were also treated – or maybe subjected – to a short performance by Aryyzona, a Los Angeles-based musician and social media influencer,” per USA Today. “The airline posted about the flight on its social media platforms Tuesday, and the response was immediate and polarized.”
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says that McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski needs to “educate himself” before he speaks about the city's crime. "Lightfoot was asked about last week’s comments by Kempczinski to the Economic Club of Chicago where he referenced the recent departures of high-profile companies such as Caterpillar, Boeing and Citadel from the area and said the city needed to ‘face facts,’” per the Chicago Tribune.
In a quest to reach new customers, venerable retail brand LL Bean is hitting the road. "Launching in late September, the tour is in celebration of the company’s 110th anniversary, and it will begin and end in Maine, where L.L. Bean is headquartered," per Retail Leader. The four-month journey will stop in more than 35 communities and college campuses where the company does not currently have a physical retail presence.
The NFL is facing some wagging tongues on Twitter over a "Latin-flavored" version of the regular NFL logo which misuses one of the best-known symbols of the Spanish language. "Perhaps as bad as the logo itself is the NFL's overblown but patronizing tweet about its launch," per Creative Bloq. Several people on Twitter have speculated that nobody in the NFL marketing department speaks Spanish.