retail

Whole Foods to Wall Street: We're Back—And Feeling Our Oats

Posted by Dale Buss on March 3, 2015 11:01 AM

Whole Foods Market has come a long way since its humble beginnings in Austin, Texas, in 1980, to more than 400 stores in the US, UK and Canada today.

In the wake of positive response to its first ad campaign, "Values Matter," which debuted in the fall with the goal of highlighting its purpose, values and mission, Whole Foods is touting its renewed momentum—and explaining how it aims to make sure that 2014's letdown never happens again while tripling its store footprint to 1,200 locations.

With that in mind, Co-CEOs John Mackey and Walter Robb, joined by new CMO Jeannine D'Addario, welcomed investors and analysts to the 2015 investors' day at company HQ in Austin on Friday to explain how Whole Foods is on the rebound, and how it plans to continue the momentum going foward. Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Pizza Hut In-Car Ordering With Visa and More

Posted by Shirley Brady on March 3, 2015 07:54 AM

TOP STORIES

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Pizza Hut responds to Domino's wearable move with beyond-the-waves in-car ordering with Visa Checkout ... Pebble reveals Steel smartwatch ... new phone reveals include BlackBerry's $275 Leap touchscreen phone ... Huawei plans big US push for wearable and mobile devices ... Facebook's Zuckerberg downplays Google's wireless plans and promotes Internet.org with partners ... AT&T connects car and home while partnering with Microsoft for small business ... Sony touts Xperia aqua for underwater shots ... Under Armour invests in health monitoring apps ... Telefonica details brand engagement-for-data pilot ... and Apple Watch spurs upgrade frenzy for Android devices.

At Geneva Motor Show, new car reveals include Lexus  SF-SA concept ... Nissan unveils Sway concept ... Ford unveils new Focus ... Infiniti embraces bold design with QX30 concept ...  Porsche unveils new 911 ... as Apple Car hangs over show—and Mobile World Congress, where Nissan-Renault CEO Ghosn welcomes Apple to the fray.  Continue reading...

automotive

Mobile World Congress: Volvo Brings Driver Safety to the Cloud

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 2, 2015 05:24 PM

As connected cars gain acceptance and popularity, Volvo is taking it one step further. It has deployed 1,000 cars in Sweden and Norway that use “road status” technology to anonymously share road condition data to the Volvo Cloud. The project speaks to its corporate citizenship mandate and the brand's core promise of safety: Sharing car data will save lives, time and taxpayers money.

"Imagine a world where road status data collected by cars is shared with other road users and with local authorities through a connected car cloud such as the Volvo Cloud," stated Volvo Group CIO Klas Bendrik at the 2015 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday. "Volvo Cars is working on realising such a future scenario." Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

Mobile World Congress: Oral-B Smart Toothbrush Lets You Brush Up on News

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 2, 2015 04:23 PM

When someone mentions mobile devices, what usually comes to mind are phones and tablets. In this Internet of Things, however, everything from vacuum cleaners to 300-pound refrigerators have been added to the mobile, connected experience.

Even the humble toothbrush is connected. Procter & Gamble’s Oral-B brand, which unveiled its first Bluetooth-enabled smart toothbrush at last year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, is back at MWC to show off its new and improved version that's launching this summer, adding more features in response to user feedback. 

In addition to dental hygiene, Oral-B's next high-tech device will bring multitasking toothbrushers the latest news, photos and weather reports. P&G is even opening its API to expand the electric device's content and functionality, inviting mobile developers to participate in advancing the world's first Bluetoothbrush.Continue reading...

that's entertainment

All Hail the King: Elvis Returns, in Style, to Las Vegas

Posted by Paula Pou on March 2, 2015 03:17 PM

Elvis is back in the building!

For the first time in 40 years, the King of Rock & Roll will return to Las Vegas with “Graceland Presents ELVIS: The Exhibition—The Show—The Experience.”

Slated to open on April 23 at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, the first-ever permanent Graceland exhibition outside of Memphis will feature hundreds of artifacts as well as live entertainment that celebrates Elvis Presley’s life and legacy.Continue reading...

going mobile

Domino's Brings Pizza Orders to the Smartwatch

Posted by Shirley Brady on March 2, 2015 02:22 PM

Domino's pizza smartwatch

Pizza-lovers can already order Domino's on iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 8 and Kindle Fire mobile devices—even via in-car tech powered by Ford, not to mention at dominos.com.

Add smartwatches to its list of digital ordering innovations, as Domino's customers can now place and track their order by downloading an an app for Pebble and Android Wear smartwatches. 

In an announcement timed to Mobile World Congress, the move marks the first time that Domino's ordering is available on smartwatch technology.Continue reading...

mobile brands

Mobile World Congress: Google Confirms US Mobile Network Plan

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 2, 2015 01:28 PM

Following weeks of rumors, Google confirmed at the 2015 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday that it plans to offer talk and data plans in a US wireless service that's now in development, using Google Fiber and Wi-Fi technologies.

When it comes to Google, of course, small doesn’t usually stay small for long. The brand plans to become a wireless carrier by launching a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), meaning it could buy access from “Sprint and T-Mobile networks and then sell cellular plans to its own customers,” Sundar Pichai, Google’s SVP of Android, Chrome and Apps, told MWC attendees.

The goal, he added, isn't to compete against telecom incumbents such as AT&T or Verizon. Continue reading...

bc q&a

5 Questions: smart USA on Making Customer Education Fun

Posted by Dale Buss on March 2, 2015 12:29 PM

While smart’s two-seater cars certainly stand out in the market, the Mercedes-Benz-owned brand is facing tough challenges in the US. Lower gasoline prices, which curb demand for its gasoline-powered models, and lackluster enthusiasm for mainstream electric cars, its other offering, means the automaker has its work cut out for it.

But its sales and marketing executives see big things ahead for the tiny gas and electric smart cars. In one promising sign, US sales rose last year by nearly 13 percent over 2013, to more than 10,400 units, even while smart has been phasing out the current version of its ForTwo model (the four-seater ForFour isn't available in the US).

While most consumers and dealers simply refer to the model as "the smart" and the brand doesn't bother much with the ForTwo moniker, smart is priming interest in the launch of its improved models this year with a little branded humor.Continue reading...

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