Best Global Green Brands 2014

chew on this

With DLT Craze Waning, Taco Bell Turns to Breakfast and Protein to Goose Sales

Posted by Dale Buss on July 24, 2014 10:39 AM

Taco Bell is struggling with slow growth for the first time in a couple of years as the craze over its Doritos Locos Taco has petered out. Despite efforts to recharge the DLT brand with new iterations and even venturing into breakfast, Taco Bell has failed to keep sales on an upward trend. 

The start of 2014 was the first quarter since 2012 in which the Yum! Brands-owned chain saw negative same-store sales, putting Taco Bell back in the same boat with most other struggling fast-food operators like McDonald's. 

It seems like just yesterday that when Taco Bell launched a new flavor of DLT, the world—encouraged by the brand’s effective use of social media—seemed to go nuts, with DLTs, the chain's best selling product ever, seriously goosing sales.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: GM, Foursquare, Target and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 24, 2014 09:15 AM

TOP STORIES

GM quarterly profit plunges on recall costs as company sets aside $400 million for victims and recalls 718,000 more vehicles.

American Apparel names a new board, minus CEO Dov Charney.

Foursquare debuts new visual identity, redesigned app. 

Target aims at GenY with its test of smaller TargetExpress stores.

Facebook revenue soars on mobile ads. 

MORE BRAND NEWS

Air Algerie flight missing with 116 on board reportedly crashes.

Amazon debuts self-serve ad tool. 

American and United Airlines post stronger profits.

Boeing agrees to sell plane parts to Iran.

Domino’s credits digital strategy for sales growth.

Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne quashes talk of tie-up with Volkswagen.

Fifty Shades of Grey trailer arrives online.Continue reading...

auto motive

With Product Guy at the Helm, Lincoln's Luxury Lineup Could See Boost

Posted by Dale Buss on July 23, 2014 05:38 PM

Ford has been making noise about reviving the Lincoln brand for a few years now, but it took a change at the top, from Alan Mulally to new CEO Mark Fields, for the company to get really serious about it.

Fields, who took the helm on July 1, just named a new executive to oversee Lincoln and has been touting his plans for the underutilized luxury brand as he took over for the retired Mulally earlier this month. Reports have come out suggesting that Mulally never warmed up to the Lincoln brand even late in his tenure and was willing to let it die as so many other venerable auto brands have done in the last several years, including Pontiac, Plymouth and Ford's own Mercury.

Fields' appointment of Kumar Galhotra, who formerly headed up engineering for Ford, as the new president of Lincoln signifies a promising change in the thinking around the luxury brand, which was previously led by Jim Farley, who was and will remain Ford's CMO.Continue reading...

social media

LinkedIn Gives Brands a Publishing and Customer Service Platform Like No Other

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 23, 2014 03:28 PM

LinkedIn is steadily becoming a major focus for brand marketing thanks to its commitment to value-added B2B services like self-publishing that allow brands to build themselves up online.

With an in-house ad business through its "Sponsored Updates" feature and its recent acquisition of Bizo and Newsle, LinkedIn is increasingly giving brands a platform to promote their content and services to other brands and potential employees.  

“Publishing solid, optimized content on LinkedIn allows you the opportunity to showcase your brand, and reach a significant amount of qualified potential customers, not only through LinkedIn’s own site search, but also via the search engines themselves," Business2Community notes. 

But beyond publishing, several brands are using LinkedIn's platform to generate some interesting conversations. A major innovator in the social travel space, KLM, has launched a service on LinkedIn that allows followers to ask travel-related questions. Alternately, Mercedes-Benz is using the site to promote its 2015 C-Class line with a “Driven to Perform” contest that will award a LinkedIn user with a two-year lease of a Mercedes C300.Continue reading...

mobile commerce

Target Snaps Up Mobile Shopping Innovation with Image Recognition App

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 23, 2014 01:49 PM

Whoever tries to hack into Target’s data next is going to have a lot more to dig through. The retailer's new app, In a Snap, aims at improving its foothold in the mobile shopping space by allowing users to take pictures of Target products in print (magazines, catalogs and newspapers) and then simply click to buy.

The free app, which uses advanced image recognition technology, allows consumers to have their product shipped or held for them at a local store—all part of Target's big push to ramp up e-commerce and click-and-collect efforts as it continues to feel the pressure from Amazon, Walmart, and fast-fashion retailers. In a Snap joins Target's other app, Cartwheel, which serves as a coupon-serving shopping companion. 

“It’s a single-purpose app that will appeal to Millennials and college students or anyone not averse to downloading an app,” Target spokesman Eddie Baeb told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The app's launch is timed to Target advertising running in Real Simple and Domino magazines, part of the brand's back to school campaign for college-aged consumers with a new registry and web video series, Best Year Ever, that features YouTube stars helping students with dorm room makeovers.Continue reading...

china

China's Latest Meat Scandal Could Deal a Death Blow to Brands Like KFC

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 23, 2014 11:52 AM

Restaurants in China can take heart in the fact that their newly found brand nadirs are not unilateral. A new tainted chicken supply scandal has seen Burger King, Starbuck's, McDonald's, Papa John's, Subway, TGI Friday's and Pizza Hut caught in a PR disaster with Japan's Yoshinoya, 7-Eleven and even a local sacrificial lamb, China's Dico's chain.

As Apple (and McDonald's and other foreign brands) know, China's state media loves nothing more than picking national brands up by knocking foreign brands down. Indeed, there is already a whole microsite dedicated to bashing the foreign brands (and even Dico's) that have been linked to supplier Shanghai Husi Food Co. Ltd. Taking a note from America's Watergate-based nomenclature, the scandal is being called "Foul Meat-gate" ("臭肉门").

Even as Chinese food scandals go—and there are a lot to choose from—the latest one is pretty ugly. But in a situation where everyone is a loser, there is one brand that's losing worse than others.Continue reading...

doing good

Reinventing the Toilet, and Feeling Flush with Pride

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 23, 2014 10:28 AM

The forerunner to the modern flush system was patented in 1775 by London watchmaker Alexander Cummings, and ever since, designers and inventors have tried to create a better mousetrap for a basic human activity. But access to a flush toilet divides the globe. According to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, an estimated 2.5 billion people worldwide, or two out of every five, don’t have such access.

The need is great (nearly 1.5 million children die each year from food and water tainted with fecal matter) and the category is ripe for innovation, which spurred the Gates Foundation to launch the Reinvent the Toilet challenge in 2011 as part of its commitment to water, sanitation and hygiene.

We recently profiled American Standard CEO Jay Gould, whose company has partnered with the Gates Foundation on Flush for Good, an initiative to improve sanitation and community health in emerging markets.

The Gates fund has helped other such innovations as the Loowatt waterless toilet invented by Virginia Gardiner has raised nearly £2m in funding in total. A biodegradable lining runs around the bowl that pushes waste into a cartridge that gets broken down by microorganisms into biogas and fertilizer. The technology this week had a successful debut at the Latitude Festival in the UK.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Chrysler, Coca-Cola, Apple and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 23, 2014 09:02 AM

TOP STORIES

Apple sees iPhone sales roar while iPad whimpers, as company gets patent for “iTime” watch.

Chrysler recalls 792,000 older Jeep Commander and Grand Cherokee models for ignition-switch problem.

Ford CEO Mark Fields, in one of first major moves, taps top engineer to lead Lincoln and product revival.

McDonald’s expects further challenges in business fundamentals this year.

Coca-Cola is relying on mini-cans to restore brand romance as earnings and revenue slide

MORE BRAND NEWS

American Apparel hopes to decide fate of CEO Dov Charney next month, report says.

Applebee's will turn its Instagram over to foodies for the next year. 

Cheerio's scores a win with new #HowToDad campaign.

Danone weighs expansion opportunities.

Deutsche Bank is blasted by US regulators for reporting problems.

Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off more than 400 PGA golf instructors on weak golf sales.Continue reading...

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