Lincoln Merrihew

CheapOair Creates Turbulence In Travel Industry

Many companies have entered the online travel space; only a minority have truly succeeded.  CheapOair is one of the newer players in the online travel space, founded in 2005.  Nonetheless it’s working hard to create turbulence in the space with a vision of “shaking up the travel industry,” being a “one-stop solution for affordable flights, hotels, cars and vacation packages,” and “dedicated to providing live support 24/7.”1 To assess progress

Chrysler Group Grand Van Plan

Image from: Grand Caravan Dash / www.Dodge.com Chrysler Group recently announced that within a few years it will cull its current two-minivan-lineup to one model.  The Dodge Grand Caravan survives; the Chrysler Town & Country departs to be replaced by a new cross-over.  Ideally Grand Caravan will then capture all potential Grand Caravan buyers as well as would-be Town & Country buyers (and the new Chrysler brand crossover will capture

Google’s Growing Travel Arsenal

Image from: Frommer’s Books / Phandroid Google recently announced it will acquire all the assets of Frommer’s for $23 million from John Wiley & Sons, which acquired it in 2001.  Frommer’s bills itself as “the most trusted name in travel today” and notes that its website, Frommers.com, is “an essential online destination for those planning the perfect travel excursion” (Frommers.com).  The Frommer’s buy comes after a failed attempt to buy

Touchdown for Super Bowl Automotive Ads? [2012 Edition]

Image from: ABC News The 2012 Super Bowl has come and gone and as typical the game’s ads seemed to get as much attention as the game itself, fueled by executives touting their companies’ presence and ad snippets “leaked” in advance.  Again in 2012, many advertisers were automakers.  Compete compared un-aided ad recollection with changes in in-market automotive shopper volume to inform whether these ads were productive in driving near-term

Infiniti JX to Chart New Territory

Acura has sold an average of 45,000 MDX’s per year over the past 5 years and Infiniti has some MDX envy. A keyselling point of the MDX, Infiniti believes, is its packaging including a third row seat—something all Infiniti’s except the industrial-sized Infiniti QX lack. To address that, Infiniti is launching its new Infiniti JX featuring a third row seat. The JX will slot between the QX and smaller FX in

Mixed Results for Facebook Among OTAs

Image from: Travelocity / Facebook With Facebook’s looming IPO, the world will know definitively what the market thinks the site is worth.  Facebook today is much like the internet itself was 10 or 15 years go: businesses felt they had to be out there, but often built first and asked questions later. Many Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) have Facebook pages.  To compare their relative successes, Compete first assessed how many

What’s the Deal with Travel Promotions?

Image from: graph / Shutterstock Deals and discounts have been part of companies’ efforts to drive business since business has existed.  Travel is no exception.  With the recession came the advent of more frugal consumers and, in response, more aggressive use of deals.  The increasing use of digital technologies by travel-researching consumers creates a unique opportunity to gauge the impact and effectiveness of promotions. Compete evaluated several airline promotional efforts

NBA Test of Fans’ Patience

Image from: Christopher Penler / Shutterstock Strikes, labor disputes, and lock-outs are rarely good for a sport in the short-term. The most recent was between the NBA players and the NBA owners, resulting in a lock-out starting July 1st. By the time it ended the NBA season by truncated by two months and 20% of the normal 82 games. The lockout meant an estimated $1 billion in lost television ad revenue,

Cruze to Market

Many call the Chevrolet Cruze the brand’s best small car ever.  Cruze sales in CY 2011 have averaged over 20,000 units each month—that’s about 13% of all Chevrolet sales—and Advertising Age just reported “Cruze” is one of the hottest automotive brands.  Launching a new model is hard enough; sustaining interest is just as hard and in November GM announced it was slowing Cruze production as sales cooled. To assess the

Scion Music Measures

Scion has always been somewhat of an experimental brand, from marketing tactics to product design.  Music continues to play a lead role in Scion’s strategy: In July, Pandora and Scion announced that Pandora’s service would be offered in the Scion xB and tC.   And Scion recently announced it was going to effectively become an indie music label, with the Scion AV project (see scionav.com). However, Jack Hollis, Scion senior vice

Big 3 Reverse Cross-Shop: Headway!

Image from: ArchMan/Shutterstock For years, the so-called import nameplates gained market share by attracting domestic brand shoppers.  Many in the industry feel that with stable Big 3 finances and better products the reverse is now happening: import shoppers are increasing the extent to which they cross-shop Big 3 products.  To investigate, Compete analyzed reverse cross-shop rank for Ford, Chevrolet, and Dodge over time.  Reverse cross-shop measures the prominence of a