Best Global Green Brands 2014

week in review

Top 10 Stories of the Week: Unilever, Burger King, Nestlé and more

Posted by brandchannel staff on August 29, 2014 08:42 PM

Our most-read blog posts of the week:

#1 On Comeback Trail, What Can JCPenney, Best Buy Teach Other Retailers?

#2 Unilever, Kimberly-Clark Test Environment-Saving Innovations

#3 Burger King, Tim Hortons Deal Has Big Brand Implications Beyond Taxes

#4 Brands Put Wearable Tech On Display at the US Open

#5 Coca-Cola Life Tiptoes Into UK, US, Amid Hopes for Mid-Calorie Sodas

#6 It's All in the Numbers: Instagram, Tumblr Step Up Metrics for Brands

#7 Nestlé Adopts Industry-Altering Commitment to Animal Welfare

#8 Branding Stays On the Shelf in Dollar-Store Jockeying, But Will Walmart?

#9 Emmys are a Golden Opportunity for Brands to Test New Social Strategies

#10 International Health Organizations at Odds Over E-Cigarette Risks

trademark wars

Trademark Watch: Ice Bucket Challenge, Hershey, High Times and more

Posted by Courtney Cantor on August 29, 2014 08:04 PM

Since the end of July, the ALS Association, which fights Lou Gehrig’s disease through research, care and education, has raised over $100 million thanks to the viral Ice Bucket Challenge. Now it seeks to use that money, in part, to trademark the phrase “Ice Bucket Challenge” in connection with charitable fundraising.

In deciding whether ALS’s application for trademark registration will be successful, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will take into consideration the Ice Bucket Challenge in light of how consumers view it. Although the association between ALS and the Ice Bucket Challenge is as clear as the water in the bucket, others have also begun to use the phrase to create awareness for different causes. For example, Matt Damon used the Ice Bucket Challenge to promote his clean water organization,, and several other "challenges" for charitable causes have popped up over the last month. 

Some argue that the USPTO should not allow the ALS Association to register the mark because it will prevent other charities from raising money by using the Ice Bucket Challenge. However, even if the association is granted trademark rights, charities should not get cold feet. After all, there are plenty of creative ways to get around this by still taking inspiration from the success of the Ice Bucket Challenge. Warm Water Challenge, anyone?Continue reading...

branded content

Branded Content Watch: Malaysia Airlines, Electrolux, GE and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on August 29, 2014 06:58 PM

This week in branded content, Malaysia Airlines makes an appeal, Heineken tries to quiet the crowd, GE makes some music and more. Check out the latest branded videos from Electrolux and Perrier after the jump.Continue reading...

bc q&a

A Twist On Growth: 5 Questions with Sergio Fuster, CMO of Dannon USA

Posted by Dale Buss on August 29, 2014 06:01 PM

Dannon USA, the American arm of global Paris-based yogurt giant Danone, has emerged successfully—and from behind—in two main challenges in the US market over the last 20 years.

Now the company is trying to gain the initial advantage in a new area known as "indulgent" yogurt, much as it did with probiotic yogurts when it launched Activia several years ago. Before that move, Dannon battled the incumbent American brand, General Mills' Yoplait, to gain the No. 1 spot in the conventional yogurt market in the US. Then, after Chobani launched mainstream Greek-style yogurt a few years ago and began accounting for all the growth in the entire yogurt market, Dannon responded with its own Oikos brand of Greek-style yogurt, recovering the ground it lost.

With a new TV ad campaign breaking this weekend, Dannon is wheeling toward yet another way to broaden yogurt consumption with the national rollout of its Creamery product line. It consists of five cheesecake-inspired offerings made with Greek yogurt and topped with fruit sauces, and three puddings—the first new brand for the company since Oikos and its first in the dessert market.

As much as Activia commanded attention when it shook up the yogurt market several years ago with Dannon's open appeal to digestive benefits, Dannon USA is bringing out Creamery with a "twist" as well: it's only 200 calories per serviing.

Sergio Fuster, CMO of Dannon USA, talked with brandchannel about Creamery and Dannon USA's broader strategy.Continue reading...

tech innovation

Game of Drones: Google Tests Drones in Australia as Amazon Heads to India

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 29, 2014 05:28 PM

Amazon made a big stir last year when it released a video of a drone delivering a package, detailing its reported PrimeAir delivery system. While some called for drone delivery to be rushed along, plenty, including the Federal Aviation Administration, had their concerns.

Of course those concerns haven't stopped drone development. Domino’s Pizza even tried pizza delivery-by-drone, and now a major competitor has entered the space. Google announced Project Wing, the latest moonshot from its GoogleX labs that is responsible for Google Glass as well as Google's self-driving car. 

“Self-flying vehicles could open up entirely new approaches to moving things around—including options that are faster, cheaper, less wasteful, and more environmentally sensitive than the way we do things today,” a Google spokesperson said in an email to Wired.Continue reading...

bc q&a

Long Live The King: 5 Questions with the Gatekeepers of the Elvis Brand

Posted by Paula Pou on August 29, 2014 03:58 PM

Every August, thousands of Elvis Presley fans descend upon Graceland to pay their respects to the King. Elvis Week, as the annual event has become known, is a celebration of the rock and roll icon’s life, and consists of concerts, movie screenings and candle vigils. This year’s event marked the 38th anniversary of Presley’s death, and while it wasn’t a landmark anniversary, change was in the air. 

And there’s good reason: Graceland is under new management. It’s not news that the Presley family no longer has majority control over Elvis’s intellectual property or management of Graceland itself—Lisa Marie sold that in 2005. But, in late 2013, National Entertainment Collectibles Association founder Joel Weinshanker acquired the rights to operate Graceland and its related properties in partnership with the Presley family and Authentic Brands Group (ABG). As part of that same transaction, ABG bought the Elvis intellectual property and oversees licensing and merchandising for the brand.   

The duo of brand managers have helped revive the King's brand for a new generation of fans, including the introduction of an iPad tour narrated by John Stamos, a 450-room hotel that will open next fall, and a deal with Pulse Evolution to bring The King back to life with holographic performances for live shows, films and ads.  

On the heels of this year’s Elvis Week, brandchannel chatted with Weinshanker, managing partner of Graceland, and ABG’s President and CMO Nick Woodhouse to find out what else the future holds for Elvis.Continue reading...

chew on this

Sip on a Bottle of Dom Perignon at Denny's Newest Location

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 29, 2014 03:08 PM

Denny’s, the restaurant chain not exactly known for its glitz and glamour, has been undergoing a bit of a brand overhaul lately as "America's Diner" gives itself a much-needed update, including redesigning its current outposts and opening new ones.

Today, the first-ever Denny's in Manhattan opened in the financial district across from City Hall, but that's just the start of it. The Wall Street outpost isn't your typical Denny's. In fact, the fancy restaurant features a craft cocktail menu and a $300 Grand Slam brunch for two that comes with a bottle of Dom Perignon.

The restaurant, which is located on the ground floor of an upscale apartment building, has Prosecco on tap and features copper-stamped ceilings and leather couches—but for the most part, still features affordable, Denny's prices.Continue reading...


China’s Great Wall of e-Commerce Just Got a Whole Lot Bigger with Wanda Deal

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 29, 2014 01:06 PM

Three Chinese billionaires are partnering to take on Alibaba as it prepares for what may be the largest IPO ever. 

Wanda Group, China’s largest commercial land developer, Tencent Holdings and Baidu, will create a 5 billion yuan ($813 million) joint venture e-commerce company, "Wanda E-Commerce Company" that Wanda will control 70 percent of. The venture marries Tencent’s WeChat social messaging network, Baidu’s search engine prowess and Wanda’s 40 hotels, 49 commercial holdings and 40 department stores in a Chinese market that is already home to the world's biggest e-commerce operations, which are projected to hit $395 billion by 2015

“It’s a very interesting battle to watch—three top rich people join hands to challenge another bigger billionaire,” Cao Lei, director of the China E-Commerce Research Center, told Bloomberg. “The new venture will not be an immediate challenge to Alibaba. Rome can’t be built in a day.”

Indeed, Alibaba is a lot to reckon with. In the last quarter, the company's income rose to $1.1 billion, 42 percent higher than Amazon and eBay combined for the same period. Jack Ma, Alibaba’s founder, is China’s richest person with $21.8 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.Continue reading...

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