week in review

Top 10 Stories of the Week: Sony Hack, Bitcoin and more

Posted by brandchannel on December 19, 2014 05:02 PM

Our most-read blog posts of the week:

Sony Can't Exit "The Interview" Woes as Movie Release Cancelled [Update]

Bitcoin Gets More Respect From Major Brands

Ralph Lauren Ready to Open First Restaurant in New York City

Superstar Vlogger Zoe Sugg Beats the Odds—and Naysayers

Restoration Hardware Sees Focus on Elevating Brand Experience Pay Off

BlackBerry Teases Classic Reboot; Touchscreen Brick Breaker, Anyone?

Samsung Expands Wearable Tech Line with Gear Circle

Sharing the Love: 5 Questions with Subaru America President Tom Doll

PUMA Signs Rihanna as Creative Director to 'Empower Women'

At P&G, Sustainability Has Come of Age

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bc q&a

To Your (Digital) Health: 5 Questions with Walgreens VP Adam Pellegrini

Posted by Dale Buss on December 19, 2014 04:22 PM

Walgreens, Rite Aid and CVS are all headed in the same direction, as the American drugstore chain business is being redefined not only by vast changes in retailing but also by vast changes in healthcare. Their goal: Becoming the brand that consumers turn to as an overall healthcare partner, rather than just a place they stop on their way home to pick up a prescription or a toothbrush.

That's why all three pharmacy retailers have turned their stores into service clinics as well as retail outlets. It's why CVS took a chance this year with a decision to disassociate itself from cigarettes. It's why Rite Aid's RediClinic division is expanding health care delivery in Baltimore, Philadelphia and Seattle, among other places.

And it's why Walgreens has been innovating and investing heavily in a digital health platform that already has advanced the brand a long way toward this objective, including wearable tech and mobile apps.

As Walgreens readies for the retirement of CEO Greg Wasson and for a new global structure under its merger with Europe's Alliance Boots, brandchannel talked with Adam Pellegrini, vice president of digital health, about how its vision for the future of healthcare is well underway.Continue reading...


Nike's 2015 Priorities: Digital, Women and China

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 19, 2014 03:07 PM

Nike has spent a lot of time over the years telling consumers to "Just Do It." Now investors are wondering why the athletic company can’t seem to follow its own advice.

Despite Nike’s efforts, it can’t seem to get consumers to order enough new gear and soft goods to keep pace with analysts’ expectations. That, of course, didn’t do wonders for the company’s stock: It dropped 2.9 percent to $94.25 after its latest quarterly earnings report, the Associated Press reports.

Nike Inc. had plenty of good news, however: It earned $655 million in the quarter, up 23 percent from the same period last year. Company-wide revenue across its brands rose 15 percent, from $6.43 billion to $7.38 billion. But investors are leery of the fall of future orders, and particularly wary of those in Japan and emerging markets. And according to Bloomberg, Nike's emerging market orders were expected to rise 7 percent, but missed the mark, only increasing one ercent.

Three areas that Nike identified that it's focusing on to help boost sales: women, digital and China. It opened two women’s-only stores in the second quarter, one in Newport Beach, CA and the other in Shanghai. Both received a strong consumer response according to Matt Parker, CEO.Continue reading...

brand challenges

Apple and Human Rights Back in Spotlight with BBC Exposé

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 19, 2014 02:36 PM

BBC Panorama Apple's Broken Promises

The world's most valuable brand and the BBC are at odds over a documentary that aired this week on the broadcaster's flagship Panorama news program.

The subject: allegations of continuing worker abuse at Apple's Chinese factories and raw materials suppliers in Indonesia.

Three teams of BBC News undercover producers filmed damning footage at its factories, showing exhausted workers falling asleep during 16-hour shifts, some working 18 days in a row. Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Panera Bread Moves Animal Welfare to the Top of Its Sustainability List

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 19, 2014 01:21 PM

Panera Bread

Panera Bread wants the world to know that it is serious about sustainability. Six months ago the eatery announced that it would get rid of any artificial additives in its food by the end of 2016.

Now, the fast-casual chain is working on its animal welfare program, an issue that research shows is top of mind for today’s most-desired demographic: millennials.

"Cage-free" and "grass-fed" are terms that about two in three consumers see as meaning that the food is healthier, a recent survey from Technomic found, according to USA Today.

In addition, millennials are drawn to businesses that align their brands around animal welfare, local sourcing and natural preparation, QSR Magazine reports. Continue reading...

branded entertainment

Branded Entertainment Watch: Play-Doh, Pepsi, Downy and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on December 19, 2014 12:36 PM

The Project: "A Year in Play-Doh Moments” for Hasbro

The Plot: Everyone's favorite play clay celebrates the major milestones and moments of 2014 with 8 stills featuring sculptures of the year's biggest trends. See the whole set here.

The Verdict: Wacky good fun.Continue reading...

tech style

Norton, Samsung Predict Smart Garments Will Clothe Quantified Self Movement

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 19, 2014 11:45 AM

Wearable tech is reframing the conversation about individuals’ control over their privacy and their health as the quantified self movement takes hold.

Security software company Norton, is betting on smart garments to stop identity theft. Partnering with San Francisco-based crowdfunding clothing design company Betabrand, they’re making jeans and a blazer with radio frequency identification (RFID)-blocking fabrics in the pockets. 

"Both articles of clothing promise to keep identify thieves from swiping identifying information from things like passports and contactless credit cards," The Verge reports. "The pants include two such protected pockets, one in front and one in the back where your wallet typically goes, while the blazer includes just one."

The items are set to go on sale in February as other RFID-blocked products like wallets, cell phone cases and pouches hit the emergent market.Continue reading...


IKEA Hires First Children's Illustrator in Residence to Engage Kids

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 19, 2014 10:34 AM

IKEA has a charming idea to enchant kids with the idea of the family meal—hire a kids' book illustrator to spark their imaginations.

The Swedish furniture retailer's UK team tapped artist Sarah Horne as "illustrator-in-residence" in a first for the brand.

Its Wembley store in London invited her in to collaborate with kids on ways to bring fun back to the dinner table—part of the brand's commitment to make every meal a special occasion and enhance the quality of life at home. 

See what happened below.Continue reading...

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