Best Global Green Brands 2014

brand extensions

Happy Birthday, Potter: 17 Years Later, Harry Potter is Bigger than Ever Before

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 31, 2014 05:43 PM

Born July 31, 1980 (and brought to life in 1997 when "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" was published), no one likely could have predicted the mind-boggling success that would become Harry Potter. 

And while the character in the books spent his childhood birthdays with the abhorrent Dursleys, here in the Muggle world, the date (which also happens to be author J.K. Rowling's birthday) symbolizes a celebration for the millions of Potterheads and numerous marketers that have helped fuel the Potter machine with fanatical loyalty. That loyalty to the books, films and countless other branded products have helped make Harry Potter one of the top 10 best-selling products in the world. 

While the series has seemingly wrapped up, there is no end in sight for Harry Potter, the brand.Continue reading...

sip on this

Critics Make a Dent in Coke's Can as Brand Steps Up Health Marketing

Posted by Dale Buss on July 31, 2014 04:04 PM

Things aren't going well for Coca-Cola these days. While the company still returned $47 billion in profits last year, that amount was down by more than $1 billion from 2012.

That may not seem like much of a problem, but as newly chronicled in places ranging from the cover of the new issue of Bloomberg Businessweek to a prominent story in this morning’s Wall Street Journal, minting profits—and sales—for Coca-Cola no longer is as simple as filling another bottle or can. The company and, especially, the brand are being hit with unprecedented resistance these days that is so stiff, some worry it ultimately could be existential for Coca-Cola.

Consumption of soda globally fell in the first quarter for the first time since 1999, though they rebounded in the second quarter; and the consumption slide continues in the US as the brand remains under assault from anti-obesity activists and politicians for its sugar and calorie content, while Diet Coke increasingly is suffering attrition as well because of concerns about aspartame. Meanwhile, new beverage startups in the flavored water and tea categories in which Coke has invested aren’t growing quickly enough to offset the continued losses in soda consumption.Continue reading...

brand ambassadors

Campaign Watch: Toyota Releases Hugh Jackman Ads in China and Japan

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 31, 2014 02:16 PM

David Duchovny isn't the Hollywood star who's moonlighting as a pitchman overseas—though Hugh Jackman's foreign-language star turn is likely to be less controversial.

Between stints as Wolverine, Jackman has become the new face of Toyota in Japan and China. In a new spot, below, Jackman stars as "Levin" in a short film that also stars Taiwanese actress Shu Qi as "Cynthia" and just debuted at a special event in China.

The Aussie actor joins other Hollywood leading men taking a spin in China for auto brands including Nicolas Cage in the Senova brand "Town of Car Legends" for BAIC (Beijing Auto) and George Clooney, who whisked away Bonnie Chen for Mercedes-Benz.

Watch Jackman's new Toyota China spot along with another spot in which he (literally) sings the praises of Toyota in Japan:Continue reading...

games people play

Nintendo Outlook Worsens as it Falls Behind in Evolving Gaming Market

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 31, 2014 01:37 PM

Nintendo could use a video-game superhero to come to life and help save its fortunes. The company is still struggling despite Wii U sales tripling in the last quarter.  

510,000 Wii U consoles were sold in the quarter while Nintendo’s 3DS sales fell 41 percent over the previous year, dropping to below a million, according to TechCrunch.

Part of the issue is that Nintendo won’t allow its games to be played on mobile devices, holding on tight to its 3DS handheld gaming platform. "The handheld device market is pretty much shrinking because smartphones have the same screen size and you cannot use the device for anything else other than gaming," Eva Hunyadi, research analyst at Juniper Research, told CNBC. "Handheld games are shrinking and probably going to get close to exiting the market by 2019."Continue reading...

e-commerce

PayPal Wants to Take Your Money—and Lend It to You, Too

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 31, 2014 11:18 AM

eBay, the parent company of PayPal, is rebranding the online transaction service's Bill Me Later function to PayPal Credit, bringing consumer lending to the central part of the brand as it blows out the service globally. 

It’s part of the company’s evolution to become a more integral part of commerce. The changes signal a strategic shift to “bring credit more to the center of PayPal,” said PayPal’s VP of Credit, Steve Allocca, according to TechCrunch. “[Credit is] especially important to us as we look to expand into the offline world and omni-channel. It’s going to be all the more important for us to have more levers to proactively manage and control our transaction expense.” 

Allocca said customer spend rises by 30 percent after adoption of a PayPal credit vehicle and the recent changes support future goals of the brand to compete in retail POS as well as on mobile. Bill Me Later will cycle payments monthly through PayPal Wallet instead of the current website, minimizing steps between PayPal and Bill Me Later.

Meanwhile, PayPal is also expanding its small business lending program, PayPal Working Capital, which is still in invite-only beta. Since September of last year, the program has loaned more than 20,000 businesses upwards of $150 million from PayPal and lending partner, WebBank.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Coca-Cola, Target, Whole Foods and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 31, 2014 09:43 AM

TOP STORIES

Bloomberg Businessweek's new cover story hits Coca-Cola in the stomach over obesity.

Target hires PepsiCo veteran Brian Cornell as new CEO.

Apple reportedly plans to cut 200 jobs at Beats as $3B acquisition gets EU approval.

Budweiser features Jay Z and Rihanna in new campaign as MTV lands Beyonce solo for VMAs.

Whole Foods Markets lowers sales forecast and plans major marketing push to reverse "negative narrative."

MORE BRAND NEWS

AMC, the Mad Men/Breaking Bad network, reportedly eyes stake in BBC America.

American Express pursues “first-ever” experiences for customers.

BlackBerry's new COO discusses his goals with WSJ.

BMW kicks the tires on Medium as its first advertiser.

Bud and Miller struggle to take on craft beer.

Chevrolet increases focus on China.Continue reading...

retail watch

RadioShack Hopes Silicon Valley Can Help Boost Its Brand

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 30, 2014 05:37 PM

RadioShack, still hemorrhaging cash and in danger of running out altogether before a turn-around, is rolling out 21 remodeled stores in the San Francisco Bay area in a eleventh hour attempt to counteract its steep stock decline.

"As a technology mecca, San Francisco has long been an important market for the RadioShack brand, so it makes sense to open a significant number of our interactive remodeled stores for customers in the Bay Area," said Mike DeFazio, RadioShack SVP store operations, according to the Dallas Business Journal. "These stores are built on customer feedback from more than 40 concept stores we have opened in the past year.”

The remodeled stores showcase the brand’s new Fix It Here! service for repairing mobile devices as well as products from startups and inventors like mobile-controlled robot ball Sphero. An interactive speaker wall lets customers compare and purchase speakers from in-store tablets while a headphone demo station offers up brands like Beats By Dre, Skullcandy and more.Continue reading...

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...

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