Best Global Green Brands 2014

penny-wise, brand foolish

With No Trademark Protection, Ice Bucket Challenge is Open to All

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 2, 2014 05:12 PM

Bill Gates and Jennifer Lopez have done it. Martha Stewart and Donald Trump have, too. Your friends and neighbors have probably shown off their efforts on social media. Perhaps even you have done it.

“It,” of course, is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the viral awareness campaign that has raised over $100 million towards research for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The Challenge, which was briefly the focus of a US Patent and Trademark Office application that has since been pulled, is still going strong across social media channels around the globe, and in turn is inspiring other causes to attempt to adopt viral, "Challenge"-inspired campaigns.Continue reading...

auto motive

As Alfa Romeo Comes Ashore, Fiat Chrysler Success May Be Just Beginning

Posted by Dale Buss on September 2, 2014 03:49 PM

Chrysler keeps outselling expectations in the US market, is preparing to bring luxury marque Alfa Romeo back to America, and is getting its financial house in order. It's a good time to be globetrotting Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.

He'll have to keep globetrotting too. Next month the new company is planning to officially launch by incorporating in the Netherlands, being headquartered in London and having its main stock listing in New York.

Meanwhile, Fiat Chrysler's cash cow will be headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich.—Chrysler. Just five years after Fiat took the carcass of Chrysler from the US government and revived it, Marchionne and his lieutenants, their employees and dealers continue to enjoy a winning streak represented by 52 straight months of rising sales. Chrysler and other automakers report their August sales tomorrow.Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Skittles Masters Beast Mode Branding with Marshawn Lynch

Posted by Rami Levi on September 2, 2014 03:03 PM

Call it a modern day miracle, but a candy brand has firmly associated itself with athleticism. The beautiful branded partnership between Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch and the Mars-owned Skittles continued today with the release of a hilariously branded “training video.” 

The video features the Seahawks star pushing through a rigorous training session with the help of his sugary friends. In light of the astronomical bidding war between Nike and Under Armour over the coveted feet of Kevin Durant, the video demonstrates the power a partnership born organically from genuine mutual interest between endorser and brand.

The love affair between Skittles and Lynch, aka Beast Mode, has been well-documented. After a few seasons of free publicity—TV broadcasts often catch Lynch snacking on Skittles during games—Skittles signed Lynch to a deal just before Super Bowl 48. Immediately following the signing, Skittles implemented a fairly standard sponsorship strategy with the launch of a limited edition Seattle Mix and donating to Lynch’s foundation during the Super Bowl.

But Skittles, known for its eccentric mastery of social media content, is just beginning to explore the creative possibilities of a “beast mode brand.”Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

Days Before Big Event, Apple Dispels Doubts Cast by iCloud Hack Allegation

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 2, 2014 02:24 PM

Ahead of what will be a crucial week for the brand, Apple is under scrutiny after its iCloud reportedly played a big part in the massive leak of scandalous celebrity photos by hackers who gained access to personal iCloud accounts.

Originally suspected to have enabled the hack via a bug in its “Find My iPhone” app, Apple has denied it's at fault following an internal investigation. Earlier, a company spokesperson responded to the allegation by stating, “We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report,” while the FBI has also launched its own probe into the leak. 

The #iCloudHack doubts cast on its ability to protect user data and privacy are poor timing, as Apple is preparing for its Sept. 9 iPhone event, where the brand is also expected to reveal its much anticipated "iWatch" (or iTime?) wearable.

But the iCloud leak also spells trouble for the brand's just-announced partnership with Visa, MasterCard and American Express on a mobile wallet, reportedly a cornerstone of its upcoming iPhone 6. If photos can be hacked from iCloud, what does that say for personal information and banking data?Continue reading...

bc q&a

Brand Renewal: 5 Questions with Tony DiSalle, VP of Marketing for Buick, GMC

Posted by Dale Buss on September 2, 2014 12:13 PM

The growing success of the Buick and GMC brands has been under-appreciated amid the overriding attention paid to General Motors' season of recalls. Buick sales increased by 12 percent for the year to date through July, leading GM brands' performance, while GMC sales surged by 8 percent.

Buick and GMC, which are managed and retailed together, also keep leading not only GM but all other domestic brands in earning quality awards from third-party evaluators such as the American Customer Satisfaction Index (with Buick helping GM rank ahead of Ford in the latest ACSI survey) and J.D. Power & Associates.

Now, with an expanded "Experience the New Buick" TV ad campaign that builds on the remarkable success of the first ad, "Hmmm," and of the new Buick product line, brand executives are determined to add to their recent sales gains, gain more attention for an advertising theme that has drawn rave reviews this year, and focus specifically on the members of the strongest vehicle lineup Buick has ever enjoyed.

Toni DiSalle, US Vice President of marketing for Buick and GMC, talked with brandchannel on the eve of the campaign that extends the clever notion that Buick's "expectation-shattering" vehicles are so much better than before that consumers don't even recognize them as Buicks.Continue reading...

brand revival

Arthur Andersen Brand is Reborn Over a Decade After Enron Scandal

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 2, 2014 11:04 AM

In 2002, tax auditing firm Arthur Andersen was found guilty of obstructing justice after it was discovered that it had shredded thousands of Enron-related documents. Despite the charges, the since-defunct brand has retained its reputation through the years—a surprising conclusion of a financial industry poll conducted by Prime Group for WTAS LLC, a San Francisco-based firm that is reviving the brand, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

Time may heal all wounds, but it doesn’t restock the billions of dollars in bank accounts that shareholders lost in the wake of Enron’s shutdown and certainly doesn’t make life easier for the 85,000 employees of the company that lost their jobs. But WTAS, which bought the rights to the name so it could rebrand to Andersen Tax, looks to change that.

“Our issues with Enron were the mistake of a few,” WTAS CEO Mark Vorsatz told Businessweek. “Irrespective of Enron, we thought we were the benchmark in the industry.”Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Uber, Aston Martin, McDonald's and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 2, 2014 09:34 AM


Uber is banned across Germany by Frankfurt court.

Aston Martin gets new CEO from Nissan.

McDonald's boosts food-safety efforts in China.

RadioShack and shareholder talk about saving company from bankruptcy.

Apple fixes bug but denies iCloud link to celebrity nude photos leak following internal investigatiion.


1-800-FLOWERS acquires Harry & David.

Aflac ties effort to college football.

Alfa Romeo sets return to US after 20 years.

Arthur Andersen name returns to tax consulting.

Buick launches ad campaign to build on success of "Hmmm" spot. (More in our Q&A)

Burger King sees tax history come under scrutiny.Continue reading...

traveling brands

Staying Small: Boutique Hotel Brands Risk Losing Culture in Expansion

Posted by Corey Lewis on September 1, 2014 12:43 PM

Last week, Las Vegas saw its first major resort project open since The Cosmopolitan in 2010. Caught in the lights of flashbulbs and fireworks, the new SLS Las Vegas joins sister properties in Beverly Hills and South Beach as the third location of the Los Angles-based SBE’s SLS brand. 

“I think locals will really get what we’re about… we are in Las Vegas to move the meter in Las Vegas,” CEO Sam Nazarian told Las Vegas Weekly, emphasizing that part of the SLS brand's DNA is its neighborhood feel, where tourists and locals mingle.  

Even so, at 1,620 rooms, the SLS Las Vegas is a “neighborhood building” with a pretty big bankroll—$415 million to be exact. For comparison’s sake, the SLS South Beach, opened in 2012, has 140 rooms, the SLS Beverly Hills has 297. Yes, everything in Las Vegas is bigger (except maybe the Eiffel Tower), but as brands like SLS scale—in size and footprint—can they remain authentically local and boutique?Continue reading...

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