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mobile brands

BMW Leads Auto Brands on the Edge of Their Car Seats for Apple Watch Debut

Posted by Dale Buss on March 6, 2015 04:40 PM

Anxiously awaiting Monday's Apple Watch reveal, automotive brands are seeking partnership deals with the tech giant to enable car owners to share mobility back and forth between watches and car consoles.

BMW has an early inside track. The automaker’s execs have spent weeks at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California—part of an elite cadre of brands getting behind the velvet rope early to kick the tires (so to speak) on Apple Watch's features, according to Bloomberg.

The automaker has been taking its Apple Watch app for a spin, which lets users track their electric cars' battery-charging status via the Apple Watch.Continue reading...


At 2015 Geneva Motor Show, Auto Brands Return to Old-Fashioned Power

Posted by Dale Buss on March 6, 2015 03:16 PM

Based on the buzz at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show this week, vehicles will become more dependent on technology than ever, especially digital technology.

But even while parts of what was being promoted could have taken place at the 2015 Mobile World Congress going on in Barcelona, carmakers are sticking to what they're best at.

After all the buzz about electric vehicles in recent years, they've also re-embraced the internal-combustion engine and are happy to let EV advancements idle for a bit—at least until higher oil prices and consumer demand make them more of a customer priority.Continue reading...

celebrity brandcasting

will.i.am Calling: Star Plugs Puls at Mobile World Congress, Ekocycle in London

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 6, 2015 02:03 PM

will.i.am Puls smartwatch wearable tech

will.i.am's business card runneth over: musician, entrepreneur, actor, DJ, producer, creative director, car designer (for Lexus and himself), eco-collaborator (with Coca-Cola), investor (with Beats) philanthropist—and on, and on, and on and on.

Clearly he (a) doesn't need much sleep; (b) keeps finding new ways to leverage his personal brand; and (c) loves technology, as demonstrated this week.

First stop: Barcelona, for the 2015 Mobile World Congress. He was there to talk up his Puls wearable tech platform while spinning not music but future-forward jargon, such as “thumbing through life,” “screenagers,” “i-data-ty”—and calling for an ethical stance in 3D printing of human body parts.Continue reading...

place branding

Greater Danes: Denmark Expands Presence in Copenhagen and America

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 6, 2015 11:55 AM

Denmark's capital city of Copenhagen would like to get a bit bigger to help it draw a few more tourism dollars, but there’s no real way to grow it geographically.

So the city is attempting to get a bit clever and include a neighbor in its tourism marketing efforts as well—Sweden, which is no slouch when it comes to place branding.

The leaders of Copenhagen are hoping that the good folks of the southernmost province of Sweden, Skåne, that borders the city will be up for identifying themselves as Greater Copenhagen.

The region is already known as Øresund, but that name doesn’t exactly ring a bell for anybody who lives outside of the region.Continue reading...

bc q&a

The Pop-Up Queen: 5 Questions with Melissa Gonzalez on Making Retail Pop

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 6, 2015 11:34 AM

The concept of brick-and-mortar stores continues to evolve, and immersive pop-up stores are one avenue for brands to develop deeper connections with customers.

Even Apple, the epitome of a brand with strong real-world presence, is building pop-up boutiques in luxury stores in Paris and London in anticipation of Monday's Apple Watch reveal.

The trick is how brands can make pop-ups, which are temporary by nature, work. So we asked Melissa Gonzalez, who left a career on Wall Street to follow her passion and become a brand activation and pop-up architect, to share her insights.

The author of The Pop-Up Paradigm and founder of The Lion'esque Group in New York has produced more than 80 pop-up retail experiences in New York City and the Hamptons, and further afield in Los Angeles and at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, since 2009.

“The key to having customers really connect and the way to build relationships for customer loyalty is authenticity, then curation—like having a BFF who does both. Now that’s value-add,” she explains.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: PeTA vs. Ringling Bros.—Round 2—and More

Posted by Dale Buss on March 6, 2015 09:20 AM


Apple nears music subscription service powered by Beats as Apple Watch frenzy builds ahead of Monday's debut with elite brand partners getting VIP access.

CNN tests ways to mix ads with news as The New York Times invites aspiring filmmakers to produce native ads.

Amazon joins Alibaba’s Tmall as e-tailer lobbied to rename "Amazon Mom" program.

McDonald's plans to launch smartphone app as anti-antiobiotic chicken move shakes up restaurant industry.

PeTA responds to Ringling Bros. decision to retire elephants by 2018 with counter-video demanding immediate retirement.Continue reading...

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...

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