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December 07th, 2011
By Walker Smith
The paradox of the Occupy movement is that it is good news, not bad, for brands. Occupy was begun by Adbusters, an anti-consumerism organization and magazine founded in 1989 and headquartered in Vancouver. During the Arab Spring protests this year, Adbusters felt the time was ripe for some similar agitation in the U.S., tapping into the frustration and anger simmering here just as the Arab Spring tapped into the frustration and anger simmering there. Adbusters created the #occupywallstreet hash tag and suggested a peaceful occupation of Wall Street in a July 13 blog post. This suggestion caught fire with other activist groups, culminating in the September 17 occupation of Zucotti Park in New York as well as thousands of sympathetic occupations in cities around the world.
September 02nd, 2009
By Jack Trout
My ex-partner Al Ries and I rarely disagree, but we do part company on his Branding Strategy Insider blog post titled “GM Appointment Shows No Respect For Marketing“. In my estimation this move supports what Dave Packard of Hewlett-Packard once said: “Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing people.”
Eddie Bauer, the iconic outdoor-clothing chain that sold goose-down coats to Mount Everest mountaineers and modern outdoor clothing to ski-schussing college students, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Wednesday.
Eddie Bauer has been struggling to repay its debt. And the fact that consumers slowed down spending on anything but necessities can't have helped. In fact, the falloff came as Eddie Bauer was attempting to pull off what would have been a multi-year turnaround. "Eddie Bauer is a good company with a great brand and a bad balance sheet," said Neil Fiske, the company's CEO, though the retailer also said stores, catalog business and Web sites would continue operating, and that they will honor all customer gift cards, returns, and their points program.
According to our 2009 Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, Eddie Bauer was just edged out of 1st place by J. Crew, another iconic clothing brand, whose ascension was largely aided and abetted by the patronage of Michele Obama, with L.L. Bean a distant #3.
On the marketing side of things, Eddie Bauer recently celebrated a new line called "First Ascent," outfitting two mountaineers as they took on a climb of Mount Everest. On the financial side of things, there are plans in place to sell the company for $202 million to CCMP Capital Advisors.
Despite all the bling that has been spent on Bing, few people are giving Microsoft’s new search engine much chance of stealing away even a fraction of Google’s dominant market share.
The collapse of GM and the problems they face going into bankruptcy cannot be overstated. It is amazing how a company that was once the cornerstone of American industry could decline unimpeded over such a long time without any solution being adequate to the task of saving the company.