Friday, January 12, 2024

Marketing News of the Week: Danish Queen Margrethe, Pandas, and Starbucks

This past week, there were news stories that reflected personal branding, brand ambassadors, brand positioning, and brand storytelling.

After nearly 52 years on the throne, Queen Margrethe of Denmark made a surprising announcement in her traditional New Year's Eve speech broadcast on Danish television on December 31, 2023. While there has not been an abdication in Denmark in nearly 900 years, she said that she would abdicate her role on January 14, 2024, after a reign lasting exactly 52 years. At age 83, she will hand over the throne to her son, Crown Prince Frederik, and she will continue to be titled as "Her Majesty." After the death of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II last year, Margrethe became the longest-serving monarch in Europe.

Denmark's royals have a limited role under the country's constitution, with power resting with parliament. However, monarchs serve as important ambassadors for the country of Denmark throughout the world and also sign off on new legislation.

According to NPR, "Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that the U.S. and China must insist on peaceful coexistence and transcend their differences like both countries did when they established diplomatic relations 45 years ago this week. He also promised that giant pandas would return to the U.S., and specifically California, by the end of the year."

Giant pandas that had resided in Memphis and Washington, D.C., returned to China last year, and many feared that China would stop lending pandas to American zoos due to tensions between the two countries, so this news is exactly what American zoos, and especially California zoos wanted to hear.

Pandas are excellent ambassadors for China, pandas, and wildlife conservation.

According to USA Today, "You might want to get your hands on the winter pink "Starbucks x Stanley cup" sooner rather than later. The limited edition 40-ounce quencher released nationwide on January 4 in Starbucks stores at Target locations have already sold out...People have flocked to Target since the cup's release, arguing with one another, waiting in long lines, camping out overnight to get a chance to purchase the cup as soon as the store opened." While the cup sold exclusively in Target for $49.95, there are some on eBay starting at $200.

This type of news is not good for Starbucks. Why would a brand want to release a product that sells out immediately and causes chaos at stores?

In other marketing news, Carrefour, one of France's biggest supermarket chains, will stop selling PepsiCo products because they are too expensive. According to CNN affiliate BFM-TV, stores are displaying a sign alongside Pepsi, Lay's chips, Quaker cereals, Lipton teas, and more products that reads: "We are no longer selling this brand due to unacceptable price increases. We apologize for the inconvenience." Carrefour will also pull products from its stores in Italy, Spain, and Belgium.

What other marketing news stood out to you this past week?

What will be the marketing buzz next week? Tune in to read all about it.

Image Credits: Keld Navntoft via Getty Images (of Queen Margrethe), Katherine Feng (of the pandas), and Starbucks.

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