Best Global Green Brands 2014

sporting brands

Nike Says Goodbye to ManU, Hello to Moscow with New Kits

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 30, 2014 03:14 PM

Nike has one last go-around with the soccer world’s best-known brand, Manchester United, before it exits the stadium to make room for adidas after the sporting brand failed to renew its contract with the team after negotiations reached over $100 million per year. 

For the price of about $40 million annually, Nike has been outfitting ManU in Nike-branded uniforms for the last 12 seasons and has just unveiled its final kit which will be worn this coming season. The kit, which is the club's third uniform for the season, was unveiled during a preseason match as part of the club's US tour.Continue reading...

brand challenges

NLRB Decision Boosts QSR Workers, but Could Tear Down US Franchising System

Posted by Dale Buss on July 30, 2014 02:02 PM

McDonald’s was the immediate target of the stunning pro-labor ruling by a federal agency on Tuesday. But in allowing McDonald’s to be treated as a joint employer with its franchisees for liability purposes, the National Labor Relations Board may be overturning one of the pillars of the powerful and lucrative American franchise model.

The decision allows McDonald’s central, corporate operations and brand to be lumped in with its thousands of independently owned franchisees when it comes to dealing with disputes that have arisen over franchisees’ treatment of workers for participating in protests calling for higher wages. It’s a major victory for a union movement that has been battered lately but which has found a stalwart ally in the Obama administration.

The implications could be profound not only for McDonald’s but also for the thousands of other brands that operate under the franchisee model, including competing fast-food restaurants, as well as retailers in dozens of verticals, ranging from kiosk operators at the local mall to car dealerships.Continue reading...

retail watch

It Gets Better: Zappos Tops Itself with #AskZappos Personal Shopping Assistant

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 30, 2014 11:33 AM

Zappos is once again testing the outer limits of customer service by introducing AskZappos, a digital assistant that will locate any item—even if the company doesn’t sell it. 

In beta since June, the service is now being promoted on the brand's mobile homepage. It's the latest from Zappos Labs, so much a part of the company’s ethos that every employee trains for one month at the Las Vegas call center to ensure they understand the entire e-commerce process. To use AskZappos, consumers can text, email or tag a photo with #AskZappos on Instagram to activate the personal shopping assistant. 

"It's really easy to create those amazing experiences on the phone, but that's really hard to do online," said Zappos Labs Director Will Young, referring to the brand's all-star customer service reputation for its website. But with hopes of engaging customers in new ways, Zappos is looking to capture increasing desktop e-commerce traffic so consumers can shop and have questions answered without ever picking up the phone.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: McDonald's, Amazon, Apple and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 30, 2014 09:22 AM

TOP STORIES

McDonald's told that it must address workers' complaints regarding protest discipline in ruling considered major victory for fast food workers.

Amazon plans to invest $2 billion in India as it calls for Hachette to lower e-book prices in their dispute.

Burger King follows Yum! Brands in cutting ties with China meat supplier.

Johnson & Johnson turns to social media to lure Millennial moms to baby products after cutting out controversial ingredients. 

Apple's iWatch patent approved, but launch may be pushed back

MORE BRAND NEWS

Boys & Girls Clubs turns to fear in new campaign.

C-SPAN is headed behind the cable TV paywall

Chrysler is sued over Jeep ignition-switch failures.

Dunkin' Donuts partners with Discovery for Shark Week promo.Continue reading...

game change

Tim Hortons at 50: Celebrating Its Canadian Roots, and its Future

Posted by Amanda Caswell on July 29, 2014 08:01 PM

The days of the "double double" are numbered. Well, not quite. But Tim Hortons can see a future where their brand experience pushes far beyond that iconic order.

At the company's recent franchise owners conference, an innovative invite-only concept store highlighted the evolving landscape of Canadian tastes and explored what might be new in store. As "Tims" gets ready to turn its first store into a celebration of its 50 years in business, it's also brewing up a fresh pot of brand experience, and envisioning how future stores can transform.

Cue its "Restaurant of the Future" concept store, which goes beyond brewing just java—this location also served coffee beers inspired by the famed Tim’s flavor, and an expanded menu that included omelets and crepes.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

TD Bank Turns ATMs Into Automated Thanking Machines

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 29, 2014 06:44 PM

TD Bank showed its gratitude to its LGBT customers and employees by sponsoring WorldPride 2014. Now it's showing its gratitude to all its Canadian customers with its #TDThanksYou (or #TDVousDitMerci in French) campaign, in which ATM machines and the bank's employees thank customers for choosing TD. Watch what happens below, in a video that has almost 1.4 million views on YouTube.Continue reading...

traveling brands

With Business Travel Booming, Brands Bring Sharing Economy to the C-Suite

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 29, 2014 05:22 PM

Business travel accounts for hundreds of billions of dollars each year, and it's only growing. Despite the recent string of airline disasters, the Global Business Travel Association expects spending on business travel to go up around 7 percent this year, to about $1.18 trillion—$292.3 billion of that in the US, according to the New York Times. China, with a sustained 16 percent yearly growth rate, is expected to pass the US in travel spending by 2016. 

With plenty of money to be made, brands are tweaking their business models to accomodate the industry's influx.   

Airbnb, which is in the midst of a rebrand, is devoting an entire section of its new website to business travelers. "It's about making it easier to find accommodations that are appropriate for work trips," says Lex Bayer, head of business development and global payments at Airbnb, according to USA Today. The offering will cater to travelers that are looking to combine business with pleasure.Continue reading...

brand challenges

Darden CEO Steps Down as New Red Lobster Owner Outlines Comeback

Posted by Dale Buss on July 29, 2014 03:50 PM

Darden Restaurants is waving a white flag in front of activist investors such as Starboard Value, but it doesn’t appear to be big enough. The investment groups that are down on Darden still want to dismember it.

Darden CEO Clarence Otis said yesterday that he will step down at the end of the year, and the company invited opposing investors to fill as many as three of the company’s 12 board seats by saying it will nominate only nine directors at the next annual meeting. Previously, Darden jettisoned its Red Lobster chain, a deal that was finalized earlier this week, and has accelerated its ongoing overhaul of Olive Garden restaurants.

Nope, still not enough. “Significant change is required in the Darden boardroom,” said James A. Mitarotonda, CEO of another activist group, Barington Capital. Starboard called Darden’s moves “a token change.”Continue reading...

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