Brands: Google ousts Coke, BK serves Starbucks, Coronation Street extensions

Google Ousts Coke as World’s Second-Most Valuable Brand
Google has become the world’s second-most valuable brand, just behind Wal-Mart, having ousted Coca-Cola from the No. 2 spot, according to analysts Brand Finance. Google jumped from No. 5 last year to No. 2 in this year’s Brand Finance evaluation.
Coca-Cola lost to Google, falling to the No. 3 spot, in part because the soft drink is not as powerful in developing countries as it used to be, writes Metro. “Coke is on a long term decline unless it can reinvent itself,” David Haigh, chief executive of Brand Finance, says.Wal-Mart has a brand value of $41.4 billion, followed by Google with $36.2 billion and Coca-Cola with $34.8 billion, writes MediaBuyerPlanner.

By September, Seattle’s Best coffee (owned by Starbucks) will be served at 7,250 Burger King restaurants in the US. (OK so not actually Starbucks, but I had a headline to think about. Well done for makimg it this far down the page). The 100% Arabica bean coffee will replace the current BK Joe offerings, and will range in price from $1 to $2.79 with the option to add vanilla, mocha flavors or whipped toppings. BK’s move recognizes the importance of coffee to restaurant menus of every kind, including fast food’s, particularly in light of McDonald’s McCafe concept. It also signals expansion of the Seattle’s Best brand as one part of Starbucks’ future growth strategy – in light of its advantageous mass appeal. Seattle’s Best also inked a deal this past September with Subway, serving its coffee at 9,000 Subway restaurants in the US and Canada.

Burger King To Partner With Starbucks’ (BKC, SBUX, MCD) (benzinga.com)
Burger King Revamps Coffee, Eyes Menu Rehab (abcnews.go.com)
Seattle’s Best Coffee Coming to Burger King (friendseat.com)
Burger King to team up with Seattle’s Best (money.cnn.com)
Starbucks’ Seattle’s Best Coffee brand partners with Burger King (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
Burger King to start offering Seattle’s Best Coffee drinks (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
Burger King revamps coffee, eyes menu rehab (sfgate.com)
New Burger King Menu Features Starbucks Coffee, More Breakfast Options (huffingtonpost.com)

Retailers will be stocking Cor onation Street-branded products to mark the 50th anniversary of the ITV soap. From next month, fans will be able to play a Nintendo Wii game featuring their favourite characters. They will also be able to tuck in to Corrie-branded food. Holland’s Pies is launching Betty’s Hot Pots, named after veteran barmaid character Betty Turpin‘s pies, which will be sold in supermarkets.
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Brands Giving Back: Pepsi, McDonalds

Instead of spending millions on commercials for this year’s game, Pepsi is putting its cash in the Refresh Project, an online cause marketing campaign that asks readers how the company should give away its grant money.


McDonald’s: Monopoly Free Parking
To celebrate the return of Monopoly at McDonald’s, Cossette, Vancouver brought the game’s Free Parking to the real world, providing free spots for 1,500 cars daily in various lots throughout Western Canada.

Related:

Pepsi Decides to Use the NFL a Different Way (marketingpilgrim.com)
Social Marketing Gone Awry: Pepsi Refresh Needs To Refresh Its Security Settings (techcrunch.com)

Pepsi kicks Super Bowl and goes social (tomaltman.com)
Pepsi’s Social Marketing Campaign Stumbles Out of the Gate (seekingalpha.com)

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Local v Ubiquitous

Local First, a Grand Rapids. Michigan based organization that encourages sustainable, locally-based economies has made a simple but effective illustration of how money flows if it’s spent at a locally owned business versus a non-local business.
why-buy-local

No Escape From McDonalds
Attempting to escape chain restaurants and big box stores in the US can seem like an impossible task. On a recent road trip, artist Stephen Von Worley noticed that they were popping up everywhere, even in the middle of formerly barren landscapes. Curious to see just how rampant this problem had become, Von Worley gathered data showing the exact location of all 13,000 U.S. McDonalds. What resulted was a visualisation that draws a spot on map of the United States – and showed how pervasive the chain really is.

Escape-McDonalds

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Starbucks “Stealth” Stores, McCafe Halo…

Starbucks has ditched its branding on three trial stores and redesigned them to resemble independent local cafes. The trial, which is running in the coffee giant’s home city of Seattle, uses the address of the cafe in its branding. For example one is called 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea. In addition the products sold are also non-branded. Starbucks senior vice president Tim Pfeiffer said the new stores aimed to reflect the local community more than the chain’s regular stores currently did. One of the trial outlets will feature poetry readings and live music.
starbucks escher
Photo Credit: Bean Activist

Starbucks Credits McD’s, Cost Savings for Sales Improvement
Starbucks Coffee Co. appears to be coming out of freefall — thanks, in part, to marketing by McDonald’s. In a third-quarter-earnings call this afternoon, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz credited margin improvements, cost savings and attention brought to the category by its rival’s big-budget McCafe launch with helping to improve Starbucks’ same-store sales. The chain’s same-store sales fell 6% during its fiscal third quarter in the U.S., but that still bests the prior quarter, when same-store sales were down 8%.

mccafe

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Amazon v Zappos, Kindle v 1984, B&N v Kindle

Amazon.com today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Zappos.com. a leader in online apparel and footwear sales that strives to provide shoppers with the best possible service and selection. The acquisition brings together two companies who share a passion for serving customers and whose customers benefit from cultures of innovation and long term thinking.
Sneakers
This incident is indicative of what kinds of trouble can emerge when we reframe “content” as “service.” As numerous pundits have noted, the physical book analogy would be Amazon breaking into your home and taking away a book you’d purchased (leaving you a refund on your desk, of course). But a Kindle book isn’t a physical book–it’s a service, one that (as the Kindle license makes clear) you don’t really own.
Barnes and Noble just revealed that it’s upcoming e-reader is the one from Plastic Logic that we’ve long heard about. Which means the Kindle may have a decent competitor on the scene. After all, Plastic Logic’s e-reader is the most interesting-looking and sounding one yet–it’s design is super-minimalist thanks to its touchscreen, it’s supposedly a very slender device indeed, and it has a whopping 8.5 by 11-inch electronic ink display that rivals the Kindle DX’s. Its built to support the EPub format, also used by Sony, which is how B&N plans on releasing the texts from its e-bookstore.
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