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mobile commerce

Mobile Payment Brands Go On Offensive in Fear of Apple Pay Domination

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 17, 2014 04:12 PM

With the first reviews of Apple's new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus making their rounds, the discussions around what many have deemed the most lack-luster announcement—Apple Pay—are only getting louder.

While PayPal, Amazon and Google are all making hay of Apple's payment platform, other mobile wallet brands aren't sitting on their hands. Softcard, formerly known as Isis and backed by Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T in the US, just struck a major deal with Subway restaurants to launch NFC payments across the US. Consumers at any of Subway's 26,000 US locations can now tap their phone to pay for their order. 

That won't be the case for consumers using Apple Pay, though, as Apple is restricting its NFC-enabled chip to only be compatible with the iPhone 6 iterations and Apple Watch. The company has also closed off access to its NFC technology to app developers, unlike Samsung's range of NFC-enabled devices that can make use of several NFC apps. 

But while Apple Pay may be a bit restrictive, the upcoming platform is making competitors nervous about a potential Apple domination of the mobile wallet space.Continue reading...

in the spotlight

+Pool Makes a Splash with Branding-First Concept

Posted by Katie Conneally on September 17, 2014 02:59 PM

It seems like everyday there’s a new tech startup in the news, a new cool project to back on Kickstarter or a new worthy cause to donate to. But with this abundance of new ideas, it’s easy for the average consumer, investor or donor to become overwhelmed. To combat this new idea fatigue, some startups and projects are getting smart about branding their ideas to stand out—sometimes even before they have a physical product or prototype to tout.

+Pool, a concept for a swimming pool that floats in New York’s East River, is an example of how early branding can play a role in future success. From its debut on Kickstarter in 2011, the +Pool idea ("the world's first water-filtering, floating pool") quickly gained traction and supporting, raising $41,000 to explore filtration materials. Another Kickstarter campaign in 2013 netted over $250,000 to build a test pool to bring the concept, called Float Lab, to life.Continue reading...

retail watch

Macy's Dials Up Omnichannel Strategy Ahead of Holiday Shopping Blitz

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 17, 2014 01:29 PM

Macy’s is making a bigger investment in omnichannel retail technology ahead of the major holiday shopping season by creating a more personalized and interactive shopping experience for consumers in-store, online and on mobile devices. 

A pioneer in the implementation of RFID technology, Macy's will be rolling out shopBeacons to all of its locations across the US and will be expanding its partnership with Shopkick to drive consumer engagement in-store. 

“Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s remain committed to operating at the forefront of innovation, as well as fostering a locally relevant shopping experience in every store,” said Terry J. Lundgren, Chairman and CEO of Macy's, in a press release. “We are a multi-faceted retailer with stores, technology, Internet capability and mobile access that come together for our customers. They are at the center of all our decisions, and our ongoing research and development will continue to help us understand how to personally engage with them.”Continue reading...

brands under fire

Nestle Scorched for Tapping California Water, but It Won't Be the Last Brand

Posted by Dale Buss on September 17, 2014 11:47 AM

Nestle Waters is involved in one of the first major brand disputes relating to the devastating drought in California. But it's likely not to be the last tangle over how brands and products use water in the parched Golden State as California increasingly goes drip-dry and state residents have been urged to cut their water usage by 20 percent.

In the case of Nestle's bottled-water brand, a conservation group is petitioning to stop Nestle from tapping its site in Cabazon, which bottles water from a nearby spring in Millard Canyon under the Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water brand. The League of Conservation Voters wants Nestle CEO Paul Bulcke to stop "taking water from the state, bottling it, exporting it out of the state and profiting." Another group, Global Call for Climate Action, has criticized Nestle Water because its plant sits on a Native American reservation where it's immune from state regulation.

To this, Nestle Waters has replied basically: We're one of the most responsible industrial users of water in the state. Go pick on other businesses, ranging from soft-drink plants to agricultural growers, that are much more intensive users. Nestle Waters previously came under fire in Canada for its water collection practices. Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: General Mills, Subway, Clear Channel and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 17, 2014 09:35 AM

TOP STORIES

General Mills sees profits drop 25 percent on decline in US sales.

Subway deploys mobile payments to all 26,000 US locations in partnership with Softcard, the mobile wallet formerly known as Isis.

Sony warns of $2 billion loss and trims mobile unit.

NFL lobbied to meet with women's activists as sponsors face protests and weigh pulling out, and the Minnesota Vikings switch course and bar Adrian Peterson. (Update: Nike has dropped its sponsorship of Peterson.)

Scotland's looming independence vote prompts Richard Branson and other business leaders to make contingency plans. 

MORE BRAND NEWS

Absolut licenses Andy Warhol images for holiday campaign.

Adobe helps bring 3D-printed shoe to life.

Airbus sells some defense businesses.

Allstate hosts college-football Twitter challenge.

ALS Association tries to avoid pitfalls after monetary success of Ice Bucket Challenge.Continue reading...

trademark wars

Trademark Watch: Honey Badger Don't Care, Fish Sauce Wars and more

Posted by brandchannel staff on September 16, 2014 06:02 PM

Creator of "Honey Badger Don't Care" Brand Sues for Trademark Infringement (UPI)

"Defendants not only sold infringing merchandise, but strategically chose to advertise their infringing merchandise by using plaintiff's video, which was generating millions of views. Defendants even provided a website link to plaintiff's video, right alongside their advertisements of infringing merchandise, causing customer confusion and ramping up unlawful sales in the process."  

In Court, a Trademark Battle Turns Personal for Two Fish Sauce Makers (Los Angeles Times)

"Last week's federal trademark trial between the two fish sauce companies pitted a family-owned, three-decade behemoth in the Asian food industry that sells five lines of fish sauce against a newcomer that prides itself on making a premium, artisan version that has become the darling of celebrity chefs. The testimony ventured beyond the legal technicalities of trademark law into the personal stories behind the making of the odoriferous sauce."Continue reading...

auto motive

Cadillac's de Nysschen Takes Calm Approach Despite Sales, Brand Erosion

Posted by Dale Buss on September 16, 2014 05:13 PM

Cadillac's new boss is making no bones about his plans for elevating the General Motors luxury brand in its competition with BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz: Don't cheapen the brand by discounting prices in the face of weaker sales, and make the right changes on a steady basis so that Cadillac eventually can attract the higher-end clientele it is still seeking.

That's the basic strategy Johan de Nysschen has been laying out since he left the worldwide helm of Infiniti to take the worldwide helm of Cadillac last month, promising the most power over the brand and its products that's ever been held by a Cadillac chief.

"We cannot deny the fact that we are leaving behind our traditional customer base" with such a strategy, de Nysschen vowed to Automotive News. "It will take several years before a sufficiently large part of the audience who until now have been concentrating on the German brands will find us in their consideration set."Continue reading...

sporting brands

NFL Backpedals as More Brands Get Dragged In to Domestic Violence Fray

Posted by Dale Buss on September 16, 2014 03:40 PM

The National Football League continues to try to power through its season of peril like a running back knocking down linebackers. But sponsors, social critics and pro football players themselves continue to make the brand's problems hard to forget. 

The latest developments following the Ray Rice scandal include a move by Radisson Hotels to suspend its sponsorship deal with the Minnesota Vikings over its decision to reinstate star running back Adrian Peterson after the team's own investigation of his indictment on child-abuse charges. A Houston TV station reported that Peterson was accused in 2013 of hitting another son, Bloomberg reported.

Other endorsement partners for the time being were standing by Peterson, who was a league MVP and had high marketability scores, according to the St. Paul Business Journal. Nike, Castrol and Wheaties were among the brands still monitoring the situation.Continue reading...

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