Ah, the holidays. 'Tis the season for back massagers, key locators—and less than stellar marketing from these two titans of the stocking stuffer.
The biggest rivalries are born of great passions: Red Sox versus Yankees, Coca-Cola versus Pepsi. This year the prevailing matchup is between Apple's iPhone 5 and Samsung's Galaxy S4.
In a battle of the taste buds, there's no clear winner between Hershey's-owned REESE'S and Mars-owned M&M's.
Despite their shared focus on the "cost-conscious mom" demographic, retailer giants JCPenney and Kohl's have very different marketing strategies.
Staying in a luxury hotel like the Ritz-Carlton or the Four Seasons is about one thing: the experience. The question is, who has the sleekest marketing?
We all scream for ice cream, but what two of the top ice cream chains are screaming for is a clue.
Superman may be faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but how does the last son of Krypton stand against the "cool exec with a heart of steel," Iron Man?
Tiffany & Co. and Harry Winston are both "a girl's best friend, but from a marketing standpoint, only one brand can wear the crown jewels.
In the luxury car market, Lincoln and Cadillac both have deeply rooted reputations—but which one has a more successful marketing strategy?
Game time: Who wins when it comes to marketing, Sony's PlayStation 3 or Microsoft's Xbox 360?
The stigma on relationships that originate online has vanished. Now it's just a matter of choosing the best site. But which site has the best marketing?
It's never a good sign if a potential customer can't even find a brand's website—or its social channels. Such is the case with Bosch Power Tools.
The brand reputations of oil giants BP and Shell are frequently haunted by past controversies—but which brand strikes oil with its marketing?
At first blush, The Body Shop and Bath & Body Works homepages have little to distinguish one from the other—but it's a similarity that's only skin deep.
When it comes to social media and online video, snooze professionals Serta and Sealy Corporation engage consumers with varying degrees of success.
Two of the largest U.S. retail banks, Chase and Citibank, have attempted to retain customers and acquire new ones by rebuilding trust and boosting brand loyalty through cohesive marketing across their respective websites, in-store creative, direct mail, email, loyalty marketing, and social media channels.
Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem, major players in the $60 billion weight loss market, have much in common when it comes to their direct marketing approach.
We rate Whole Foods vs. Trader Joe's: Which brand has its marketing shelves fully stocked?
As plans for summer weekend getaways are set in motion, people are gearing up for the great outdoors — and we're rating the retailers.
Americans love good coffee -- but who has the fresher marketing strategy, Peet's or The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf?
MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment on the Vegas strip are in the business of getting you to have fun, let loose and spend.
No matter how you slice it, the experience of ordering and consuming a pizza should be fun, fast, easy and, of course, tasty. How do Domino's Pizza and Pizza Hut rate?
Abercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle Outfitters use diverse direct marketing approaches to sell similarly priced apparel to teenagers and young adults.
In addition to long-standing tenure in the retail space, Wal-Mart Stores and Sears Holdings Corp. apply a similar approach to direct marketing, including direct mail, email, social media outreach, loyalty rewards and extensive e-commerce platforms.
Office supply chains Staples and Office Depot started the year in equally disappointing fashion.
As the holiday movie season gears up, so do the marketing programs of theater operators AMC Entertainment and Regal Entertainment Group — marketing strategies that have come to rely upon online sales of tickets and partnerships with online ticket vendors.
At first glance, the marketing strategies of Coke and Pepsi — the two ubiquitous, global players that have dominated the soft drink market for decades — might appear more similar than different.
A wholly integrated approach to direct marketing and e-commerce has elevated Sports Authority and Dick's Sporting Goods to the top of the athletic equipment leader board. Both brands offer similar multichannel approaches that include on- and offline circulars, email newsletters, social media and an e-commerce platform.
Because of the housing crisis, it's been a challenging couple of years for home-furnishings retailers such as Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel. However, business is looking up, particularly online.
With more and more consumers using digital technology throughout the purchase process, home specialty retailers such as The Home Depot and Lowe's are bridging their in-store offerings with a multichannel approach to keep up with the various consumer touchpoints. The two companies share a foundational strategy and execution, if little else.
With cost-conscious consumers looking for cheap, healthy lunch options, sandwich chains are focused on marketing that highlights value. Fast food purveyors Subway and Quiznos both promote sandwiches to consumers as a healthy alternative to burgers and fries at a competitive $5 price point.
Millions of American consumers obsess over their cars out whether for fun or out of necessity. Competing for the business of auto aficionados and do-it-yourselfers are many auto repair and maintenance chains, including AutoZone and Pep Boys.
There are more than 30,000 fitness centers in the US, double the number from just 10 years ago, according to a study by business research firm IBISWorld. Two fitness franchises, Town Sports and 24 Hour Fitness, are trying to maintain an edge in this growing sector, though they vary in size and approach.
Choosing to ignore the digital aspects of direct marketing will likely earn your brand the consumers' collective cold shoulder. Just ask The North Face and Patagonia — two outdoor apparel retailers with distinct customer approaches that effectively blend e-commerce efforts with catalog mailings.
As consumers are faced with rising healthcare costs, competition among the country's leading drugstore chains, CVS and Walgreens, has increased, fueling sector-wide acquisitions and dueling marketing campaigns.
Direct marketing plays a major role in the consumer outreach efforts of competitive brands Chili's and TGI Friday's.
Rising oil prices followed by a brutal recession that saw a plunge in both business and leisure travel threatened the airline industry as a whole over the last few years.
1-800-Flowers.com and ProFlowers.com may sell similar products, but use different approaches to compete for their shares of the market.
Travelers often believe that once you've seen one mid-priced room, you've pretty much seen them all. To unearth the subtle differences from one loyalty program to the next, you must dig deeper still.
Company of the week
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Retailers' Thanksgiving Day sales pitches came in heavy via email.
Key passages from the mailing industry's anti-exigency appeal to the Postal Regulatory Commission.
The fast casual restaurant chain relies on digital to drive in-store traffic and sales for its seasonal menu.