Best Global Green Brands 2014

social commerce

Nordstrom, Target Turn Instagram Followers Into Sales with Like2Buy Sites

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 27, 2014 05:19 PM

Leveraging Instagram "likes" for dollars, upscale department store Nordstrom and Target have launched Like2Buy platforms that look like Instagram and act like Instagram, but link photos directly to product pages on the retailer's site to initiate a purchase. 

“This is the first experience of its kind,” Bryan Galipeau, Nordstrom’s director of social media, told Bloomberg Businessweek. “And it’s the closest thing out there—that I’m aware of—in terms of delivering a seamless shopping experience.” Nordstrom will keep its original Instagram feed, which has nearly 530,000 followers, but link to the new shadow site. 

Instagram has 200 million engaged users who share roughly 60 million photos daily. “Everybody is trying to hack Instagram,” said Apu Gupta, cofounder of Curalate, the company that built Like2Buy, adding that so many of Instagram’s retail feeds feel like “walking into a flea market.” 

Social platforms and firms like Curalate are trying to comb through the data to present brands with social engagement metrics that can be interpreted into real-life sales leads. Just last week, Instagram and Tumblr announced new dashboards and metrics that would be available directly to brands.Continue reading...

brand commentary | retail watch

Branding Stays On the Shelf in Dollar-Store Jockeying, But Will Walmart?

Posted by Dale Buss on August 27, 2014 03:39 PM

It's clear that the proposed combination of Family Dollar and Dollar Tree is all about financial considerations, mainly the cost streamlining the merged company could enjoy after the proposed $8.5 billion deal is completed, through closing up to 500 stores and blending back-office operations.

But what about the two retailers' brands? And what about brand considerations if a third player, Dollar General, which also would like to buy Family Dollar, is part of the chase as well? How would any of the possible business combinations here affect the stores' brands afterward?

There seems to be not as much concern about brands in this situation as there is in other consolidations of other consumer-facing companies, such as Burger King and Tim Hortons.Continue reading...

campaigns

Coke Zero's New Campaign Helps Kick Off College Football Season

Posted by Dale Buss on August 27, 2014 01:07 PM

Coca-Cola does seasonal marketing better than just about any brand, so it's no surprise the company is gearing up in a number of ways for the start of football season. A new campaign for Coke Zero is one of the most ambitious.

Coke Zero will attempt to tap into what it calls the "countdown culture" of college football fans as they approach the games on Saturdays with a new campaign, "Zero Means It's Game Day." Five new 15-second TV spots, each focusing on a specific day of the week, will illustrate how fan intensity builds as kickoff nears. A 30-second ad will debut during the first week of the season.

"While there's no question game day is the mountaintop, this campaign is really intended to celebrate the journey," said Andrew MicMillin, vice president of Coca-Cola Brands for North America, in a press release.Continue reading...

health matters

International Health Organizations at Odds Over E-Cigarette Risks

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 27, 2014 11:32 AM

Just as Big Tobacco has rolled out new e-cigarette products across the US, the World Health Organization has expressed “grave concern” over the industry's escalating involvement in the e-cigarette market in a recent report, “warning that the financially powerful companies could...use the current tolerance of the new products as a gateway to ensnaring a new generation of smokers at a time when the public health authorities seem to be winning the battle against tobacco.” 

A slew of major tobacco companies have been launching e-cig brands including Imperial Tobacco, Altria Group, British American Tobacco, China Tobacco, Indian Tobacco Company and Phillip Morris International, which recently acquired one of Britain’s biggest e-cigarette makers, Nicocigs. Altria and Reynolds have made much headway, dominating about 25 percent of e-cig sales in the US market with their MarkTen and Vuse products. However, Lorillard still dominates with its Blu brand.

While the jury is largely still out on whether e-cigarettes pose a health risk like traditional cigarettes, the WHO claims that the new nicotine-laced devices do indeed pose a health risk to the public.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Apple, GM, McDonald's and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 27, 2014 09:37 AM

TOP STORIES

Apple prepares to make largest iPad to date, report says.

GM ignition-switch fund receives claims for more than 100 deaths.

World Health Organization goes after e-cigarettes with stronger regulations.

McDonald's reviews relationship with troubled China meat supplier OSI.

Burger King encounters blowback to Tim Hortons acquisition over tax-inversion issue despite details of combination that will make it substantially a Canadian company and other attractions of the deal.

MORE BRAND NEWS

AT&T names new CEO of AT&T Mobility.

Adidas Poland launches Instragam game to promote new soccer cleats.

Airbnb announces new e-mail protections for users.

Ashley Madison comes under fire for profile-deletion fees.

Asus teases design for upcoming smartwatch.

Benefit Cosmetics taps 90s nostalgia for latest ad.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Nestlé Adopts Industry-Altering Commitment to Animal Welfare

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 26, 2014 06:45 PM

Nestlé will adopt animal welfare standards affecting 7,300 of its global suppliers, millions of grateful animals and an equal number of conscience consumers.

As one of the world’s largest food companies, Nestlé’s commitment is sending ripples throughout the food eco-system. “In the digital world, everyone has a smartphone and they want to know where things come from and share that information," Kevin Petrie, chief procurement officer for Nestlé in North America, told the New York Times. “Is it good for me? Is the quality good? Has it been responsibly sourced?” 

The new standards will exclude product purchases from suppliers who raise pigs in gestation stalls, chickens in barren battery cages, cattle that are dehorned or tail-docked without anesthesia and animals force-fed drugs to promote growth. 

“We know that our consumers care about the welfare of farm animals and we, as a company, are committed to ensuring the highest possible levels of farm animal welfare across our global supply chain,” said Benjamin Ware, Nestlé’s Manager of Responsible Sourcing in a press release.Continue reading...

retail watch

On Comeback Trail, What Can JCPenney, Best Buy Teach Other Retailers?

Posted by Dale Buss on August 26, 2014 06:04 PM

JCPenney and Best Buy have shown signs of life in their earnings reports in recent days, providing some hope to brand leaders, other employees, investors and communities associated with the companies. Do their unlikely, though still very tentative, comebacks provide some lessons for other retailers that now are afflicted with big leaks in their own boats, such as Walmart, Target and Sears?

One of the main lessons of the improved recent performances by Minneapolis-based Best Buy and Dallas-based JCPenney is that major shifts in strategy may be required to survive today's extremely challenging retail scene—and that some determination in following them can pay off relatively quickly.

Best Buy has shown some progress under new CEO Hubert Joly in implementing its "Renew Blue" plan, which focuses on boosting online sales, enhancing the in-store experience and leveraging the retailer's multichannel presence.Continue reading...

branding together

Burger King Puts Canadians at Ease While Buffett Helps Buy Tim Hortons

Posted by Dale Buss on August 26, 2014 04:36 PM

The $11.4 billion acquisition of Tim Hortons by Burger King has added twists and turns as its shape has become more apparent over the last day or so.

Among the most interesting: Burger King has promised not to mess with Tim Hortons' beloved place as a national treasure in Canada; it really wants to press the potential advantages of a multi-brand fast-food holding company a la Yum! Brands; and Mr. Everywhere, Warren Buffett, directly injected himself and his money into Burger King's purchase of Tim Hortons. There's also the live wire of the tax-inversion issue in the US.

It's interesting that billionaire extraordinaire Buffett kicked in $3 billion through his company, Berkshire Hathaway, to help finance the deal, amounting to about 25 percent of the required funds. Shareholders of both companies have welcomed that news because of Buffett's renowned Midas touch.

That certainly could be helpful as the combined company faces headwinds including a sluggish global fast-food environment, Burger King's struggles in making significant headway against McDonald's, and Tim Hortons' own challenges in establishing a significant presence in thde US market and abroad—even though it makes more money than Burger King and Dunkin' Donuts combined.Continue reading...

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