Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bell's Olives of California

We love Bell's Olives. The Original. The Bell brand dates from 1930, headquartered in Corning, California. But parent company Bell-Carter Foods Inc. dates from 1912, when Arthur and Henry Bell bought an olive grove in Reedly, California.

They later bought Maywood, Lindsay and Alberti olive companies, and are the nation's largest, and the second largest in the world.

Here's to California olives.

Visit our main site Questions? E-mail editor Garland Pollard

Posted by Picasa

Sedano's, a Great Cuban/Miami Grocery Brand

HIALEAH - When in Miami, no trip is complete without stopping in to the grocer Sedano's. With over a dozen locations, you can't miss it. It's a great window into Miami's Cuban culture, and best yet, it sells all the Americano stuff too.

Florida Trend online has a great article on Sedano's New Generation. The article, by Mike Vogel, shows how they are winning over a new generation of Cuban Americans to the nation's largest Hispanic retailer.

Go to our main site to read about other great regional grocery brand names, including Miami's Gilda Crackers, which are unparalleled.

Visit our main site Questions? E-mail the editor, Garland Pollard

Cool Kiddie Rides

Great nostalgic idea for a retailer or mall operator to build some identity and uniqueness during Christmas. How about giving away a ride to customers.

It's from the website Kiddie Ride USA.

Visit our main site Ideas? E-mail editor Garland Pollard

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Wachovia, A.G. Edwards and the New Butcher Singer Steakhouse

What happens when your brokerage brand is tarnished? Read our post on the future of Wachovia Securities, A.G. Edwards and Wheat First and Butcher & Singer.

Oddly, Butcher & Singer, the Main Line Philadelphia brokerage that merged with Wheat First, has resurfaced as a brand. It will now be a steak house in Philly.

Visit our main site Questions? E-mail the editor, Garland Pollard

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Hai Karate, Bring it Back

We are getting requests. Bring it back!
Read more at our post entitled:

Visit our main site Questions? Email editor Garland Pollard
Posted by Picasa

Where's Dorothy Gray, Maker of Satura?

One of the biggest search items for BrandlandUSA is the cold cream from Dorothy Gray called Satura. Dorothy Gray was one of the biggest cosmetic brands of the mid 20th century. Read our post on the history of Dorothy Gray in our post on Remembering Dorothy Gray. Sadly, since our story, the company has gone into receivership, and Walgreen's no longer lists the product as for sale.

We looked online at the Vermont Country Store and could not find it there either.

Read Remembering Dorothy Gray. Like Pacquin and Charles of the Ritz, it is one of the great old cosmetics brands.

Take a peek at this ad for their cold cream. Talk about edgy! It's radioactive.

Visit our main site Questions? E-mail the BrandlandUSA editor Garland Pollard

Saturday, October 25, 2008

GM, the Next British Leyland

Everyone in the whole entire world, except the pitiful board at General Motors, has been wondering for at least the last year or two how Rick Wagoner still has a job.

But we were completely stunned at another figure connected to the Wagoner tenure. The Wall Street Journal reported today that General Motors has lost $70 billion since 2005. We just hadn't seen the figure down on paper, and it shocked us. $70 billion!

We wonder if there has ever been a leader at a non-profit or for profit that has such a dismal record as Wagoner? And now, his screw ups could put General Motors in the hands of Robert Nardelli, who could not even figure out how to properly run a chain of stores that sold sinks, nails and paint?

Frankly, nationalization might be the best alternative. But wait, that's what they are asking for. Actually, nationalization would be alot more intellectually honest. At least if you are going to have to go to the government for a bailout, might as well have the government own it too.

General Motors. The next British Leyland!

At least there are some nicely restored Buick Skylarks riding around on Saturday afternoons that we can look at, and take photos of. Their mere existence will prove to future generations that Americans could actually build decent cars.

Read our other posts on General Motors.


Check out this graveyard of dead logos on the website They have an online Book of Condolences for things like:

  • NASA Worm
  • BP Sheild
  • United Artists "T"
  • British Telecom
  • BOAC Speedbird
  • Proctor & Gamble Moon and Stars
  • Enron tilted E
Visit our main website or read our story on the End of Corporate Design.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Brand Extensions We'd Like to See

We've got some wacky brand extensions on our main website.

You could:

  • Buy a General Motors licensed kit to turn a Saturn into an Oldsmobile
  • Hire a crew from Sears to do an not-so-extreme makeover of your house
  • Buy a Columbia MP3 Machine from Sony
  • Get news from the EIB News Service
  • Pick a Lymon off of a Sprite Tree.
If you are amused, or slightly annoyed, please read our post entitled Wacky Fun Brand Extensions We Would Like to See.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Original Snaps Licorice

Thank goodness there are some candies still made in the U.S.A. We love Original Snaps, the classic chewy candy. It's made by American Licorice Company of Union City, California. The company dates back to 1914.

American Licorice Company, P.O. Box 826, Union City, CA, 94587.

Visit our main website Questions? E-mail Garland Pollard

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Zima Was One Brand We Can't Stand

The esteemed food critic Pongo Twistleton, who wrote for the weekly newspaper The Richmond State, disagreed with the drink Zima and thought it was lame in so many ways.

Turns out that MillerCoors has eliminated the brand, which makes Pongo so very happy. The story from Brandweek is below.

But you can read about good old fashioned AMERICAN style lager beer at BrandlandUSA:

We promise, you won't read too much about Zima on A note. Pongo Twistleton is a pseudonym of a rather rocking stockbroker in Richmond, Virginia. Questions? E-mail Garland Pollard.

JetBlue Opens T5 at JFK, Today

NEW YORK - JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq:JBLU) today opened Terminal 5, the airline's home at John F. Kennedy International Airport. All JetBlue departures from JFK will operate from T5, as will all domestic arrivals and international arrivals that pre-clear U.S. customs prior to arriving in New York. The first flight scheduled to arrive at T5 was JetBlue Flight 358 from Burbank at 5:05 a.m. The first departure scheduled for T5 was JetBlue Flight 709 to San Juan, with a scheduled departure time of 6:00 a.m.

One of the first terminals in the U.S. to be completely designed and built post 9/11, T5 focuses on efficiency and customer comfort. The 635,000-square-foot terminal boasts 26 gates distributed throughout three concourses and includes a 55,000-square-foot central retail and concession Marketplace. T5 is designed to accommodate up to 20 million annual customers with up to 250 daily departures.

"From day one Terminal 5 will welcome more than 30 percent of JFK's annual customer traffic," said Dave Barger, CEO of JetBlue Airways, in a press release.

For history and information on T5, read BrandlandUSA's stories on the building, which is an addition to Eero Saarinen's historic TWA Flight Center. In addition, we have posted stories on the neighboring Delta Terminal 3, the former Pan Am Worldport.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

GE, Keep Lighting

Look for our story tomorrow at our main website BrandlandUSA on the company we call General Electric, with it's stock down in a stinky little area called BARELY $20!*

We will be taking the position that GE ought not sell off its appliance and light bulb businesses. At right, some product innovations from the 1970s. Gosh, how we can be so easily amused.

We were initally, but are now decidedly not amused by Ecomagination, which is obviously not working to help the stock price. We wish it were. But frankly, GE is about industry and science and the future, not 1970s notions of ecology. So it is a message counter to the message of GE.

Light up the world again! Build some friggin powerful but efficient railroad engines and jet turbines, please!

Visit our main website,

* We are a bit frustrated because we happen to own a minor amount of GE stock that is tanked, so we have the right to be a bit frustrated 'ole Mr. Immelt.

Posted by Picasa

We Like to Travel to See Brands. Live!

Why Universal is cooler in California

Brands are intimately connected with place. When you think of Camden, you think of Campbell's soup and RCA records. When you think of Hollywood, you think of Universal City. A Steinway or Swingline needs to be made in Queens. Marlboro needs to be made in Richmond. Saabs and Volvos need to be made in Scandinavia. Jaguars in England. Fords at Rouge. You get it.

That is why it is SO wrong that Sesame Street Place is located in suburban Philly. It should be located in New York City, where it is filmed and set. That is why it is wrong that IKEA now seems to be selling chicken fingers. While we love chicken fingers, they are not Scandinavian and are wrong at IKEA. Meatballs and salmon, please!

BrandlandUSA believes that brands need to stay connected to geography. What is exciting about a brand is if it stays in the present, but has a link to the past. If a brand becomes disconnected to its geography, it loses authenticity. That is why it is so sad that Life Savers are no longer made in the U.S. It's so wrong.

We have listed some brands that you can visit, and are connected to geography. Please go see.

Read Questions? E-mail Sarasota freelance writer Garland Pollard

Monday, October 20, 2008

Circuit City in the News

This morning, The Wall Street Journal reported that the company was considering liquidating inventory and was looking at debtor-in-possession financing. They have also hired FTI Consulting and Kmart's Chapter 11 firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

It now appears that dire things are on the table. But the news for Circuit City might be good. Because they have such good locations, and there are few retailers to actually take those leases, if it renegotiates leases and can survive this dire period, it could re-invent itself. That's a big if. But it would save 45,000 jobs.

Read our back stories on the electronics retail industry:

Visit our main website, Questions? E-mail Garland Pollard

Bloomingdales Made It

Here, Bloomingdale's at Orlando's Mall of Millenia.

Visit our main website, to find out about some of the department store brands that DIDN'T make it through the consolidations of the former Federated Department Stores.

Questions? E-mail the editor, Sarasota freelance writer Garland Pollard

Posted by Picasa

Cadillac Style in Celebration, Florida

We happened upon this Cadillac in Celebration Florida at the Celebration Hotel. The town is just over a decade old, but it already has the feeling of a real place.

On our main website, read some of the stories mentioning Cadillac:

Visit our main website for more branding ideas at Questions? Story ideas? Story assignments? E-mail Florida branding and business writer Garland Pollard

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Advice for Your Brand from BrandlandUSA

Solutions and links for struggling brands

We've got alot of advice at BrandlandUSA. And we love to share it. We collected a group of our "Advice" postings over the last year, in the hopes that someone that needed some inspiration and advice over a struggling brand name might find some ideas here.

Remember. We don't have all the questions here at BrandlandUSA. But we are a starting point. We believe that if you start with the right ideas and questions, the solutions that are appropriate for YOU are somewhere hidden in a conversation with one of your employees, customers, or retirees.

So go save your brand.

Read our posts including:

Visit our main website, Questions? E-mail Garland Pollard

Friday, October 17, 2008

20 Ways to Save The Daily Newspaper

Look to for ideas on how to save your daily newspaper. Frankly, what is happening to the industry can stop, and we have solutions.

Read our story on the main website. It is called 20 Ways to Save Your Newspaper.

It's about dailies, but weekly publishers can learn too. If you are a struggling publisher, you need to read the post, download the PDF, think about it, and e-mail Garland Pollard.

Or at least leave some comments at the end of the story.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Save Britain's Churches

We found there is another "brand" that is becoming extinct. It's the English village church.

We read that some in larger cities, Anglican churches have become mosques, and that is sad. Mostly, these churches just get abandoned, and sold off and deconsecrated. For instance, St. Mark's in Mayfair might be turned into a spa and yoga center. This is despite the fact that an evangelical congregation is using the church, and it has the support of an influential group of actors in London.

This year, London's Daily Telegraph set up a Save our Churches campaign. Over 7,000 have signed the petition.

Visit our main website at

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

We Orbit Richmond's Satellite

We wish we were here, RIGHT NOW, having a Big Boy Breakfast or some sort of lunch special at this Richmond, Virginia restaurant. It is on Jefferson Davis Highway south of downtown.

This photograph was taken in 1987 or so. Thus it might be logical that there is a Plymouth Reliant K car parked by the sign.

Visit our main website at for lots more stuff like this. Questions? E-mail Garland Pollard

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Radio Shack Roundup of BrandlandUSA Stories

We still are thinking about Radio Shack. We went there over the weekend and bought a science kit toy for a boy's birthday party.

Of course, it wasn't as extravagant as the Science Fair 150-in-1 kits that were sold in the 1970s, but it was pretty good.

At right, a photo of Radio Shack's line of Flavoradios. We've written a bit about Radio Shack lately, and we thought readers would like to read the posts.

Read our other posts on Radio Shack:

Read our post on how to fix Circuit City
Visit our main website Questions? E-mail Garland Pollard

BrandlandUSA Believes in Regional Dairies

We love regional dairy brands, including the Sunny Florida Dairy of Tampa. We think regional dairies could be the next microbrews.

Sunny Florida is a great regional milk brand, and the largest independent dairy in Florida, founded by the Guagliardo family in 1911. It has a long relationship with the legendary Columbia restaurant of Tampa.

We are sad when we lose regional dairies. And we miss lots of dairies, here and in Canada. But we are glad to have Sunny Florida around. Here are some BrandlandUSA posts on dairies around the country.

Visit our main website Questions? E-mail Garland Pollard
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Thinking Libby The Kid

These were the best, with their Peter Max commercial style.

And they came with a chocolate mix. There was something very TRUE about Mean Gene. If he didn't have it, he didn't want anyone else to have it. Plus, they really made Libby's vegetables and fruit salad much more enticing to kids, as they were associated with Libby The Kid.

Visit our main website,

Friday, October 10, 2008

Thinking Engelhard Gold

In this time when the market is down, we wonder what the late Charles Engelhard would have thought?

Gold, gold, gold. Oh, and platinum, platinum, platinum.

Can't be sure about that, because he's gone. But we guess Goldfinger would be sitting happily.

Read our posts on why BASF should not have eliminated the Engelhard brand name at the following posts on our main website.

If that doesn't interest, go out and rent the James Bond film, or better yet, visit our main website, Got an idea or a gripe? Email the BrandlandUSA editor, Garland Pollard

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Modern Day Tang

Here, a Coca-Cola soda fountain at the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in Titusville. It is a copy of the one that went on the Space Shuttle, in the Hall of Fame's Space Shuttle Gallery.

Visit our main website, Questions? E-mail Garland Pollard

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Rochas Returns, plus where to find Coty, Guerlain

The Marcel Rochas fashion brand will return as ready to wear, and not just as a perfume.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Christmas Comes with FAO Catalog

The new edition of the FAO Schwarz catalog is out. Read our analysis of the revived FAO brand at the post on our new website.

It's called Muppetational FAO Schwarz Catalog.

Visit our main site for all the posts at Questions? E-mail Garland Pollard

Monday, October 06, 2008

Old School Kool-Aid

Who nailed the right market? We have to give the "predicted it" prize to Kool-Aid. We noticed this Parade Magazine ad last April, and hadn't realized how on target the marketing is.

Today, the drink, and its namesake Spokespitcher, are about as well known as any national brand. But with the turn in the economy, brands that consumers associate with happy home life are doing well. Read our August post on BrandlandUSA on Top 10 Recession Grocery Brands. The tag is "Old School Flavor."

Interested in the history of General Foods? We looked at the history of the brand, and all the products made by the company, which is now Kraft.

Read Where is General Foods?

Toni Twins, Levittown and the Cub Cadet

At BrandlandUSA, we love to look at great American brands. Some of our most popular stories on old American brand names, including Toni, Hydrox, Cub Cadet, Royster Fertilizer, Carroll Reed and H.J. Stotter.

Questions? E-mail Garland Pollard

Play-Doh at Disney

We just thought this was fun. It's at Disney's Pop Century Resort. A brilliant opportunity for brand promotion.

Play-Doh began in 1956, developed by Rainbow Crafts in Cincinnati and is first sold in the toy department of Woodward & Lothrop Department Store in Washington, D.C. It later became part of Kenner, and is now a product of Hasbro.

Visit our main website,

Posted by Picasa

Dunkin Donuts Fun Napkin

We are liking what Dunkin Donuts is doing with their napkins. Funny graphics, that are at once current and at another time classic.
For more fun old brands, visit our main website Questions? E-mail Garland Pollard

Posted by Picasa

Top Old Brand Stories from

Looking back, a few top stories of the last year, in case you missed them.

They are in no particular order:

Visit our main website Questions and story ideas? E-mail Garland Pollard

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Lytton Financial of the 1960s

We think of all the crashed empires of today. Each generation leaves its famed bankers. We wondered what happened to Lytton Financial, which was a high flying savings and loan company, and its founder, Bart Lytton. He looks right out of the "Mr. Drysdale" California of the 1960s, doesn't he?

Visit our main website, for more info. Questions? E-mail editor Garland Pollard.

Posted by Picasa

Repackage the old stuff, like Disney

Have an old product and need to make it fresh again? Look at the Disneyland 1955 Experience, where the theme park has repackaged the original elements in the park in order to come up with a new product. Of course any theme park can do it, but other consumer products can take the approach.

Our post on the issue is here explaing how the process works at Disneyland 1955 Experience.
For more posts, visit our main website Questions? E-mail editor Garland Pollard.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Ranch Trac by AMF

At the Heartstrings kids' clothing store in Ellenton, Florida, we found an old Ranch Trac kids' tractor. It was the AMF Ranch Trac brand. Even had a safety "chain drive" that was enclosed.

For more fun old brands, main website

Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 03, 2008

Citgo Goes Retro

Citgo is one of the great American gasoline brands. We get a hefty bit of nostalgia everytime we see these any of the old brands, even if they are owned by a certain not-so-friendly country in South America called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Here, a Citgo ad that ran in a recent national magazine here in Florida. A full story on this CITGO marketing is on our main site, Questions? E-mail Garland Pollard

Posted by Picasa

Helmsley Stay the Helmsley

Read our recent post on the Helmsley hotel brand. The home of Trouble ought to keep the master's name.

Visit us at our main website

Posted by Picasa