Posted by Ilan Beesen on July 21, 2014 05:39 PM
It’s been 45 years since our species, or any other for that matter, first stood on the moon. Still, there are few things that can capture the imagination quite like the thought of people walking on that distant rock that shines down on us in the night sky.
There was the heroism of Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, the ingenuity of the NASA scientists, and technological prowess of the engineers at Grumman who built the Apollo Lunar Module. There was the grainy footage and the raspy audio that produced the resounding “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” which is as poetic a phrase today as it was in 1969. And there was also a footprint.
Significant technology went into that footprint, but it wasn’t all NASA. Yesterday, an announcement from GE reminded us that others were also involved in making that iconic moonwalk possible. It was the silicon rubber developed by GE that gave the moonboot the strength to withstand the most hostile environment a human boot has ever endured.
Now, GE is revisiting that magical moment with a poetic gesture of its own. And this time, 100 earthbound sneaker lovers will be invited along for the ride, or at least have the opportunity to leave some footprints of their own—only not on the moon.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 21, 2014 03:30 PM
Amazon may be in a PR standoff with the publishing industry that is leaving both sides licking their wounds, but the situation doesn’t appear to be hurting Amazon’s bottom line. The company’s second-quarter revenue will be announced Thursday and the expectation is that it will continue “to gain share from brick-and-mortar retailers,” according to at least one observer.
Amazon Prime is one of the main ways Amazon continues to grow since its more than 25 million members on average purchase four times more than non-members. Also helping is its Sunday delivery service, which has recently been expanded to serve 15 cities including New Orleans. When the service kicked off last November, only New York and Los Angeles residents could take part. “Sunday delivery is clearly crossing errands off the weekend to-do list,” commented Mike Roth, Amazon’s vice president of North America operations, to New Orleans magazine.
As the Seattle Times also notes, anywhere Amazon has two-day delivery, it also has constructed a sorting center that allows the company to get products into the mailstream quickly and as close to the destination as possible. Sunday delivery is expected to see marked expansion in the coming months.
Sunday delivery may prove a big boon for another embattled industry.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 21, 2014 01:47 PM
Sustainability has a new battlefront, and the abrupt departure today of the head of the UK's largest supermarket demonstrates just how important and influential the topic has become to major grocers.
Struggling to compete against German discount rivals Aldi and Lidl, Tesco is replacing CEO Philip Clarke as it continues to see sales fall and customer visits drop. Despite a push to turn its stores into retail destinations, the grocer has struggled to respond to the surge in online shopping and turn data into smarter marketing to help revive the brand.
But besides price points and Clubcards, Tesco, along with grocers around the world, is facing increasing pressure to deliver on sustainable promises including the need to curb food waste. While the retailer was one of the first major chains to disclose figures associated with its stores' food waste, other chains like Sainsbury's have not only been transparent, but have implemented unique tools that help both workers and consumers make a change for the better.
But just because Clarke is leaving doesn't mean that Tesco is giving up on its sustainability initiatives.Continue reading...
Posted by Claire Falloon on July 21, 2014 01:03 PM
As concert and festival-goers don their denim cut-offs and band t-shirts this summer, they should also get ready for the usual barrage from brands clamoring for their money and attention.
This year fans will encounter everything from advertising and promotions to carefully integrated digital and live experiences from brands including Jim Beam, Honda, Budweiser, Vans and even Staples, which is sponsoring Katy Perry’s Prismatic World Tour (seriously, office supplies? What happened to sex, drugs and rock & roll?)
Old school purists may not like it, but concert sponsorship is nothing new and the presence of big corporate brands in music is a reality we may all have to get used to.
As Lady Gaga noted at SXSW back in March, “without sponsorships we won’t have any more artists in Austin, because record companies don’t have any f*cking money.” And as music labels recede, the big brands are marching in.Continue reading...
Posted by Michael Waltzer on July 21, 2014 12:14 PM
Who wouldn't love to become part of the world of Star Wars? Fans of the hit movie franchise directed by George Lucas now have the chance to be cast in the next J.J. Abrams-helmed installment, while at the same time supporting a pro-social partnership that will help thousands of underprivileged children around the world.
The initiative is called Star Wars: Force for Change, which Lucasfilm owner Disney has already committed $1 million to, and fans can contribute directly through the Omaze platform.
These contributions will support UNICEF's Innovation Labs and other projects, such as portable, solar powered learning kits that will provide underprivileged children access to educational materials, mobile phone application development to help children reunite with their families during emergencies, and a text messaging solution that will provide infant medical test results from clinics in half the time.
With free entry or a donation (strongly encouraged), the chance to be a part of the Star Wars universe becomes real.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 21, 2014 11:21 AM
Talking Rain built its business steadily over several years and then seemed to explode on the world in 2012 with news that its pioneering sparkling water brand, Sparkling Ice, already was a nine-figure company that had stolen a march on big-beverage giants and created a vibrant new better-for-you beverage category all by itself.
Attracting soft-drink weary American consumers with zero calories and an array of appealing flavors such as coconut pineapple, strawberry lemonade and peach nectarine—with all the carbonation that drinkers enjoy in sodas—Sparkling Ice has commandeered lots of shelf space in the highly competitive US beverage market on the way to about $500 million in annual sales these days.
Coca-Cola since has countered with Glaceau Fruitwater in bottles and Dasani Sparkling Water in cans, and Nestle Pure Life has just introduced Exotics Sparkling Waters in cans, providing the first big counter to Sparkling Ice from a giant of the bottled-water world.
But Sparkling Ice has such a lead in a category that it essentially created that Talking Rain CEO Kevin Klock justifiably is focusing not on the competition but on how to make Sparkling Ice a long-term powerhouse brand. Klock told brandchannel how he plans to get there.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 21, 2014 10:28 AM
C3PO will soon have some buddies. C3PO, the human-figured robot from Star Wars, was a vision of a seemingly faraway future when Episode IV was released in 1977. But now, less than 40 years later, a rush of robotic friends are hitting the market.
Honda has Asimo, while Softbank just debuted Pepper, calling it the first robot that could respond to emotions. Now Intel and Trossen Robotics have partnered to create Jimmy, a 3D-printed, open-sourced robot that Andrew Alter, chief engineer for Trossen, says “can walk, he can talk, he can tweet, he can take pictures.”
The hope is that other developers and engineers will use the framework of Jimmy to create their own robots. Consumers can simply download apps for what they would like their Jimmy to do. Intel will release a second version of Jimmy later this year for around $1,600 and launch an app store as well, according to Bloomberg.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 21, 2014 09:08 AM
Sky News apologizes for reporter pawing through passenger belongings from flight Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, while Singapore Airlines also apologizes for tweet about not flying in Ukraine air space and Finnair retracts statement about its use of air space there.
Yum! Brands and McDonald’s find themselves in another food-safety scandal in China.
Tesco replaces CEO as UK grocer struggles to compete with low-cost competitors.
Amazon offers unlimited reading and audiobook service.
Dell welcomes bitcoin payments.
MORE BRAND NEWS
Alabama adopts “Sweet Home Alabama” as new slogan.
Alibaba IPO could be bonanza for scions of Chinese leaders.
Boston Celtics debut alternate retro logo for this season.
DeVry Education sees New York State investigate its marketing practices.
Electrolux brand is hit by restructuring.Continue reading...