Bebo Gets Bumped

Posted by Admin | April 6th, 2010

AOL has long been trying to re-invent itself. Once the titan of the Internet, it has been in a steady decline ever since it’s peak several years ago. In 2008 they purchased a popular social networking site called Bebo that has turned out to be a flop–with visits to the website decreasing by 12% last year alone. The deal reportedly cost $850 million, money which maybe have been wasted if this report is true.

AOL Inc. said Tuesday that it is evaluating whether to sell or shut down Bebo, the social-networking site it acquired for $850 million two years ago in a bid to reinvent itself by tapping into the social-networking craze.

“Bebo, unfortunately, is a business that has been declining and, as a result, would require significant investment in order to compete in the competitive social networking space,” Jon Brod, executive vice president of AOL Ventures, said in a message to employees.

My guess is that they’ll attempt to sell it, but it won’t fetch even a fourth of the price tag it had in 2008. The site simply never caught on in the United States–the country that drives social networking the most.

Hummer Goes Down the Whole

Posted by Admin | February 24th, 2010

Hummer is a brand of car that is known for being big, wasteful, and brash–in other words they have lost the “brand battle”. They unsuccessfully tried to brand themselves as the car for men, for hard workers, and for those who need to haul or move things. This bad branding has resulted in falling sales for the brand–and now GM has been trying to sell the brand to Chinese buyers.

General Motors Co.’s Hummer line of beefy SUVs is headed for extinction after a deal to sell the brand to a Chinese manufacturer fell apart.Would-be buyer Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co. said Wednesday it failed to win approval from Chinese regulators for its $150 million bid.

GM said it will begin winding down Hummer, a brand that until a couple of years ago was one the auto maker’s biggest money makers.

The fall of the Hummer speaks to the lasting effects of the recession. Instead of being the top-selling brand it once was, Hummer is now being discontinued.

Tarnished Toyota

Posted by Admin | February 6th, 2010

Toyota has madeĀ  a major blunder, but not in the way that most people seem to think. Yes, obviously making cars with “sticky accelerators” was a mistake–but it was obviously one which was not within their control. The big mistake I speak of is not admitting their mistake at an appropriate time and then not taking big enough steps to fix the problem.

Figuring out the technical problems that got them into such a mess is only the first step for Toyota as the Japanese carmaker renowned for its customer loyalty could face a long slog winning back the confidence of motorists and regulators alike.

Customer loyalty is something that is built up over years and years, and Toyota just blew it big time.

An analysis by research firm IHS Global Insight concluded that “Toyota vehicles have long been known for their rock-solid reliability and excellent resale values, but this episode will undoubtedly tarnish its reputation and is likely to affect the company’s sales, although for how long will depend on the region.”

Read the rest here.

Tiffany’s Makes Gains

Posted by Admin | November 26th, 2009

In every drama or romantic comedy film we are eventually going to see the groom go into a Tiffany’s store, hold a Tiffany’s bag, or open a Tiffany’s box. Tiffany’s, for those who have been hiding under rocks, is one of the most well-known sellers of diamond products in the world. They are the standard by which every other diamond product company is judged.

Apparently they have made some positive gains in the last quarter. While most Wall Street firms predicted meager gains for them, they surpassed their expectations, at least this quarter. Apparently the boost came not from domestic sales, but from overseas sales.

So what does this signal? While the luxury sales industry may not be quite to the point of rebounding, there is certainly room to say that the high-end of the industry might be rebounding. The rest of the industry is soon to follow, if that is true.