Archive for August, 2011

The rivalry between Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. has a new face: privacy.Facebook has finally introduced privacy changes to its user functionality. From now on, users can manage who can see information about them by viewing content on their profile page, and approving any images they are tagged in before it is visible to their friends. So users can avoid being tagged in undesirable photos. With this step, Facebook is one step closer to Google+’s.

With the new privacy changes, the company plans to move a number of privacy controls—which previously required navigating to a separate settings page—to users’ homes pages and profile pages, next to where they view and post content.

Since many users have hundreds or thousands of friends, Facebook and other social networks have at times been criticized for designs that lead users to inadvertently share information with a wider audience than they intended. However, this new step seems to solve the main problems that get a lot of stick.

Facebook’s vice president for product, Chris Cox said that making privacy controls easier is “absolutely critical” to Facebook’s future success. In his post on Facebook, he claimed that users will now be able to command who among their friends list can see their postings. So users will be able to create smaller groups of people from their main friends list.

The function is similar to Google+’s Circles feature, which allows users to manage their contacts adding them to various lists, or build so-called “circles” of audiences for their content. This feature promises to let users “share just the right things with just the right people.”

However, Mr. Cox said the changes weren’t made in response to Google since his company had been working on the changes for the last six months based on longstanding user requests. “We are launching this now because it is ready,” he said.

According to the WSJ, A Google spokeswoman said in a statement: “We welcome Facebook’s efforts to give users more control over their privacy because it helps to improve the overall web experience. With Google+ we’re creating a new and different approach to make sharing on the Web more like sharing in the real world.”

Facebook’s privacy changes include adding icons to individual posts so that users can quickly understand and control who gets to see each post. Users can change their minds about who has permission to see a post after it has gone out. Facebook is also renaming the sharing option it formerly called “everyone” to “public.”

And, addressing a longstanding gripe by some privacy advocates, Facebook users will now be able to decide whether their names can be attached as a so-called tag to a photo before it is circulated. Although users won’t have the power to delete the photos posted by another user they don’t like, they will be able to suggest other user that it should be removed in a quick and appropriate way.

The moves are somewhat of a turnabout for Facebook, which in past years appeared to encourage its users to share information with as many of their friends as possible.

“This is Facebook competing on privacy,” said Justin Brookman, the director of the consumer privacy project at the Center for Democracy and Technology, who was consulted by Facebook on the newest changes. “People responded well to Google’s very controlled, granular settings,” he said.



Starbucks, which provides its millions of consumers with a large product range from various types of coffee to delicious cookies, has launched an updated and redesigned version of www.StarbucksStore.com online destination.

Thanks to this improvement, Starbucks’ consumers enjoy from the enhanced shopping experience. In addition to this, they can easily and quickly find the best coffee, teas and merchandise offerings. Unlike traditional coffee&tea range, the digital platform, which was developed with by a global e-commerce solution provider “PFSweb”, consumers benefit from a great deal of extra services like subscription, tasting tours and prepaid gift cards across the U.S. territories.

Shopping at the new StarbucksStore.com site reflects the unique, rich experience customers enjoy in our stores while offering an expanded collection of coffees, teas and merchandise,” commented Stephen Gillett, chief information officer, executive vice president of Digital Ventures at Starbucks Coffee Company. “The redesign of Starbucks Store was driven by customer feedback and we’re excited to share some of the best products from across the company with customers and give them the opportunity to shop online when it’s most convenient for them.”

By visiting the re-launched online store, consumers can reach Starbucks’ wide product range including coffee (as well as exotic and rare Starbucks Reserve blends) and tea, which can be also ordered as tasting tours, equipment (including coffee presses, grinders and tea pots), drinkware (mugs and tumblers), subscriptions for coffee and tea offerings (it is possible to pre-order special products and schedule and manage the schedule of the items delivery), gifts, Starbucks Cards and office coffee. Buying goods on http://www.StarbucksStore.com, consumers will also get an access to exclusive promotions and will be able to purchase goods that are not sold in offline Starbucks venues.

Also, a mini summer-themed campaign has been launched by the coffeee brand recently. With this campaign, the brand aims to encourage its fans to tell what they would like to do with extra five minutes. Consumers are invited to “share and discover epic moments as they happen all summer long,” post their inspiring, beautiful summer stills to Instagram and tell the whole world what they would like to do with 5 more minutes on Twitter.

A few years ago I looked askance at a very famous football player with his family in a market when I saw him buying some “private label” products such as flour, sugar. Since they were all cheaper than the other well-known brands, I had a misperception that private label products colloquially known as “market brand” were second-class, did not have quality due to their low prices. However, the football player should have noticed the fact that private label products are qualified as much as major brands, earlier than me.

Recently, this misperception has been changing substantially in that the private label trade has a global volume of € 300 billion. Obviously, the most important feature that makes private label products attractive for consumers is their prices. Although they are sold at cheaper prices compared to major brands, private label products are qualified to compete with a lot of branded products in terms of quality.

But what is “Private Label” exactly? Let’s answer this question first. “Private Label” signifies a method of production where a specific retailer has a manufacturer make goods exclusively with pre-designated characteristics to carry the label of that retailer. It is an emerging sector in the world. It can be regarded as a very good preliminary of presence in foreign market for many firms if high cost of branding is considered.

Although development of market branded products started in 1980s, these products were used firstly in the USA 100 years ago by chain grocers called A&P. By the 1980s, private label products were used widely and expanded. The reason of this speedy development is the offer of chain supermarkets that sell their products equivalent or nearly equivalent to those made by national manufacturers to consumers at quite competitive prices.

On the other hand, private label emerged in Europe in 1970s as a result of the attempt made by French retailer Carrefour. Following this development, Continent company added a diverse array of private label products to its product range. Then, market brands were launched in Belgium, the Netherlands, West Germany, Sweden, Ireland and the UK.

A Wide Range Of Product

After consumers’ perception that market brands have poor quality has been eliminated, the sector is growing gradually year by year. Today, the sector has a volume of 300 billion dollar and it is expected that market share of market branded products will increase due to their price. Consumers are now more consciously making a comparison of price and quality. Therefore, market brand products are more advantageous.

Another factor that has an impact on prices of these products is the fact that they don’t have marketing costs such as advertising. As a result, they can keep their profit margins lower.

It is possible to find a full range of private label products although most of the production is made in the field of cleaning products and food industry. Because consumers generally prefer the products in this segment. Every year consumers spend more on private label product. However, it won’t be truism to regard private label produts as products which is sold only because of their lower prices. Around the world, there are many private label products which are of high quality, more attractive than market leaders and have a respectable prestige as well as consumer loyalty.

Consumer Loyalty Provided

Certainly, ever-increasing consumers’ demands have developed the sector. Especially in the recent period, a $ 22 of $ 100expenditure on fast-moving consumer products goes to private label products. Even in last 10 years the number of product category for private label products has increased from 1100 to 2600 products.

Especially in European countries, the usage rate of private label products is very high. In 2010, the sector grew by 53 % in Switzerland, 38 % in Belgium, 41 % in Germany, 42 % in Spain and in the UK. Market brands have become more popular among European shoppers. Market-branded products make up at least 40 % of all products sold across 5 countries. Although the major development has taken place in West European countries like France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium, some developing countries like Turkey, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia have gained strength substantially.

It Appeals To Consumers Of All Ages

As in the case of famous football player above, these products have been preferred consciously even by high-income consumers due to production quality and increasing product range although only middle and low-income consumers preferred them in the beginning of 2000s.

According to Ipsos MORI Research, among young consumers there is a powerful support towards market brands. These consumers are in the age range of 16-34 years. They often purchase market branded products and are more conscious compared to consumers of middle and top age group.

Meanwhile, it should be emphasized that it is not easy process to produce special branded products as it looks. So almost all of the global companies act carefully and rigorously while choosing the product on which they will put their brand and the manufacturer with whom they will work together. They want to make themselves a company with established standards, quality control in each stage of production in addition to a company managed contemporarily. Shortly, they want to have 100 % reliability and sustainability.