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bc q&a

Wear Your Impact: 5 Questions with The Base Project's Chris Akin

Posted by Corey Lewis on March 5, 2015 06:02 PM

As the story goes, The Base Project started one night over dinner in New York. Brothers Doug and Chris Akin were griping about their day jobs, and wishing they could use their skills and connections to help others.

Now they're living their dream as partners with local artisans in Namibia and Ghana to make fair trade bracelets and travel bags. The socio-entrepreneurs have built more than a socially-conscious fashion brand—they're created a bridge for others without their opportunities to live their dreams. 

Not only are the artisans' sustainable goods exported to global markets, they're developing business skills, building their communities and futures, and gaining access to global markets, with the goods now available at Nordstrom, Holt Renfrew, Urban Outfitters, TOMS and other retailers.Continue reading...

media brands

Apple TV Slims Down for HBO Now (and Game of Thrones Then)

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 5, 2015 05:37 PM

It's been a long time since HBO's iconic tagline—"It's Not TV. It's HBO"—applied, given the availability of the premium network on the web, smartphones and tables via the HBO Go service.

The only catch is that HBO Go is (ahem, technically) exclusive to cable, satellite and telco TV subscribers with HBO in their pay TV packages. It's also on Xbox, Amazon Prime and available to Comcast customers with Roku devices.

HBO Go also launches today on PlayStation 4—but Comcast is none too pleased and reportedly (reportedly) blocking access to it, just as it did with HBO Go on PS3.

And next month, Comcast and its competitors will have even more to worry about. Continue reading...


McDonald's New CEO Vows to Not Chicken Out on Healthier Food

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 5, 2015 03:07 PM

McDonald’s has suffered the biggest sales decline in its 75-year history, as consumers choose healthier rival chains like Chipotle, Shake Shack and Panera Bread, which only sell antibiotic-free products.

So the world’s largest fast-food restaurant chain has announced it will stop serving chickens fed and injected with antibiotics at its 14,000 US restaurants.

In addition, McDonald’s US restaurants will soon offer customers milk jugs of low-fat white milk and fat-free chocolate milk from cows that are not treated with rbST, an artificial growth hormone.Continue reading...

cola wars

Coca-Cola Adopts One-Brand Strategy in Europe and the US to Clear Up Confusion

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 5, 2015 01:15 PM

The Coca-Cola Company spends a lot of time, energy and money marketing its many different brands.

The company, however, is taking a different tack in the UK and put all of its Coca-Cola products—Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero and Coke Life—into a unified brand architecture to clean up any confusion in the marketplace—especially around its beverage brands with reduced sugar and calories. (Update: And in Spain and 11 other countries including the US, as noted below.)

The rationale: Commissioned research showed that UK consumers do not fully understand the difference between the four brands, with five percent having no idea that Coca-Cola has no sugar or calories, for example.

Now, by putting them all under the Coca-Cola name, the global beverage giant hopes to differentiate them on the actual packaging.Continue reading...


Keurig Pressured on Sustainability as Coca-Cola, Dr Pepper Adopt Pods

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 5, 2015 11:55 AM

Almost one in three American homes has a pod-based coffee machine. Last year alone, K-Cups, king of the single-serve, brought in $4.7 billion for its maker, Keurig Green Mountain.

Another eye-popping stat: John Sylvan, father of the K-Cup, estimates that Keurig single-cup brewing machines produce 10 times more solid waste than a single-cup serving made in a drip machine.

That dilemma—consumers love them, explosive growth and the cost to the environment—is putting massive pressure on Keurig, especially as it's opening its doors to other brands including Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper Snapple brands, and making a move in the coming year into the at-home pod system market. Continue reading...


Auto Brands to Apple and Google: We'll Win the Self-Driving Future

Posted by Dale Buss on March 5, 2015 11:01 AM

One hundred and seventy-eight billion dollars. As the size of Apple's pile of cash, it's enough to send fear into the hearts of any potential target. That includes the auto industry, which is trying to process the recent news that Apple has at least 200 people working on the possibility of applying a big hunk of that cash to making an iCar of sorts.

But at the Geneva Auto Show this week and other industry get-togethers, car titans are going out of their way to reassure their shareholders, employees—and themselves—that they can rise to the challenge of meeting Apple and Google and other tech giants on the playing field that the auto industry knows best: making cars. That includes cars that are self-driven, network-connected or race cars.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: McDonald's, AbbVie, Etsy and More

Posted by Dale Buss on March 5, 2015 09:29 AM


Apple delays delays bigger iPad for enterprise clients ahead of next week's Apple Watch launch, reportedly clinches deal with HBO for streaming via Apple TV.

AbbVie swoops in and buys Pharmacyclis for $21 billion, outmaneuvering J&J.

Etsy files for IPO with desired stock ticker of $ETSY.

McDonald's US revamps food-sourcing to limit hormones and antibiotics in chicken.

Peeps flavored milk has arrived while the brand brings back Easter diorama contests to drive creativity. Continue reading...

tech innovation

How Moonshot Thinking Informs Everything Google Does

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 4, 2015 08:02 PM

While Google has a part of our daily lives, it never stops dreaming big.

From its futuristic new headquarters concept (all curved glass) to its Google X lab "moonshot" R&D projects including contact lenses that monitor glucose levels, Google Glass wearable tech, balloon-based Wi-Fi (Project Loon), drone delivery (Project Wing) and self-driving cars, there are few areas its engineers, developers and dreamers won't explore.

Some of those transformative innovations are becoming reality. As revealed at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, its Project Loon Wi-Fi is getting close to launching (and could make billions), while it could launch driverless cars this year. Continue reading...

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