Best Global Green Brands 2014

brand news

Brand News: adidas Steps Up for World Cup, Tyson Wins Hillshire and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 9, 2014 08:57 AM

TOP 5 STORIES

adidas partners with YouTube for The Dugout World Cup streaming channel, and leads FIFA sponsors calling for an inquiry into Qatar's bid. Above, its latest World Cup spot (with David Beckham, Lucas Moura, Zinedine Zidane and Gareth Bale), which has passed 9 million views since Friday.

Tyson Foods wins bidding for Hillshire Brands.

Amazon starts managing payments for third parties.

Barclays joins wearable tech revolution with contactless payment wristbands.

Gap Inc. becomes first US retailer in Myanmar with Old Navy and Banana Republic manufacturing.Continue reading...

retail watch

American Eagle Deploys iBeacon Technology in Expanded Shopkick Partnership

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 27, 2014 12:57 PM

American Eagle Outfitters has teamed up with Shopkick to deploy iBeacon technology in 100 AE and Aerie locations in what will be the largest rollout of the still-controversial tech across the apparel industry. 

Apple’s iBeacon technology uses Bluetooth LE to ping shoppers in-store and offer location-based deals, display location-specific rewards, discounts and product recommendations all without the customer even opening the ShopBeacon app.

"American Eagle Outfitters' shoppers are tech-savvy, social, and love their smartphones," said Shopkick CEO Cyriac Roeding, according to ClickZ. "ShopBeacon is able to connect to this new generation of shoppers as a trusted companion, by reminding opted-in users to open the Shopkick app at the entrance of the store, and further personalize their shopping experience with alerts and high-value rewards.”  

Additional Shopkick partners include Best Buy, Crate & Barrel, JCPenney, MasterCard, Old Navy, Simon Property Group, Sony, The Sports Authority, Target, Visa, Procter & Gamble, Kraft Foods, Revlon, Unilever, Pepsi, Levi's and HP.Continue reading...

brand trainwrecks

Abercrombie Tries to Right Itself While Lululemon Keeps Running Into Walls

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 7, 2013 02:57 PM

And so the saga of out-of-touch retailers continues.

After a rousing few months of PR lows, teen outfitter Abercrombie & Fitch and yogi cult clothier Lululemon still have some gas in their engines. The purveyor of $90 stretch pants has largely recovered from its March "sheer pants" issue, with sales—and poor judgment—back at normal levels. A&F, however, has had a rougher go at it since the brand was thrust into the spotlight in May over some ill-advised comments from CEO Mike Jeffries that brought to light the brand's 'cool kids only' culture.

The consumer outcry over Jeffries' old comments—"A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely."—only added wood to the fire that was A&F's falling sales. The company netted its seventh quarterly consecutive loss in same-store sales this week, resulting in an overall 30 percent devaluation in 2013. And after months of trying to put a band-aid on the brand damage, A&F announced that it will begin stocking more styles and larger sizes of its women's tops by spring and even start selling shoes and accessories in a bid to woo back teens that have defected to trendier retailers like H&M and Forever 21. 

In an age where inclusiveness is the key, A&F's preference for the “all-American kid(s) with a great attitude and a lot of friends," could be called downright archaic. Outright ignoring the flourishing plus-size industry, the retailer previously only carried up to a size large for its women's clothing, while rival American Eagle, as well as H&M and Forever 21 produce XL and plus-size lines.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Another Failed Mea Culpa from A&F After Activists Show Up at HQ

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 23, 2013 03:04 PM

It’s been seven years since Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries told Salon.com that his company is only interested in outfitting the cool, hip, skinny, “all-American kid(s) with a great attitude and a lot of friends.” He’s been paying the price for his exclusionary comments, though, for the past few weeks since Business Insider republished the quotes in a story about how A&F didn’t carry any women’s XL or XXL sizes.

The A&F brand has been taking a beating since. YouGov’s BrandIndex charted 18- to 34-year-old’s thoughts on the brand versus fellow retailers H&M and American Eagle. The latter two went up slightly while A&F’s numbers plummeted. Jeffries, no doubt, is regretting his comments from way back when (or at least is annoyed that BI brought them to the world’s attention again). On May 15, Jeffries posted a note to the company’s Facebook page that went for the old “quote has been taken out of context” argument and claims that the company is “strongly committed to diversity and inclusion.”

That may be so, but Jeffries may have misstepped again Wednesday when a group of teen activists showed up at the doorstep of the Columbus, Ohio, headquarters of his company. They were taken in, People magazine reports, and had a meeting with company execs but Jeffries didn’t bother to stick his head into the proceedings even though this has been a PR disaster for his company.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Lingerie Riots in Russia Fuel Controversial Advertising Trend

Posted by Abe Sauer on March 26, 2013 12:19 PM

One year after the Moscow show that landed Russian punk band Pussy Riot prison time (and global fame), a German lingerie brand is using the anniversary to sell racy undergarments.

Crass commercialism? Of course. But that's not the problem. The problem is backfire. Backfire is what another lingerie brand, Victoria's Secret, also faces with its latest marketing push.

The brand, Blush, debuted a not-so-safe for work video on YouTube, saying, "On the first anniversary of the Pussy Riot concert in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the Berlin based Lingerie label blush supports the free pussy riot movement with a sexy protest march through icy Moscow (-15° C). Support Freepussyriot.org!"Continue reading...

tech style

Aeropostale Banking on Tech to Reel In Millennials

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 21, 2013 06:13 PM

Aeropostale is going hard after the Millennial market by using digital technology to attract young consumers.

After redesigning its stores last fall, Aeropostale is now adding in-store iPad kiosks as well as a new mobile app in the hopes that the Touchscreen Generation will fill up both their online carts and in-store baskets with their goods. "This is the future," said Jacob Hawkins, Aeropostale's vice president of e-commerce, according to Business Insider. "This is the way [teens are] going to interact with our brand."Continue reading...

digital moves

Aeropostale Banking on Tech to Reel In Millennials

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 21, 2013 06:11 PM

Aeropostale is going hard after the Millennial market by using digital technology to attract young consumers.

After redesigning its stores last fall, Aeropostale is now adding in-store iPad kiosks as well as a new mobile app in the hopes that the Touchscreen Generation will fill up both their online carts and in-store baskets with their goods.

"This is the future," said Jacob Hawkins, Aeropostale's vice president of e-commerce, according to Business Insider. "This is the way [teens are] going to interact with our brand."

While the three leaders of the teen retail market—Aeropostale, American Eagle, and Abercrombie & Fitch—along with quickly rising Forever 21 all have apps already, Aeropostale is the first to put iPads into its stores, Business Insider reports.

The company’s urge to find new ways to reach consumers was likely elevated after its sales went down 6 percent during the holiday shopping season while competitor American Eagle had a strong back-to-school effort last summer. Plus, mobile retail is growing rapidly. In-store mobile payments almost quadrupled last year.

Don’t think that Aeropostale doesn’t want to see its customers, though. That’s why it put the iPod kiosks in the actual stores and the app is more about providing a store locator and coupons to help draw teens into the actual brick-and-mortar locations. "If you create an experience that streamlines some of the things that people want to do, you'll increase the amount of time that they spend engaging (with) the brand," said Carin van Vuuren, CMO of Usablenet, the company responsible for Aeropostal’s new tech outreach, Business Insider reports. "For millennial customers, this is the only way."

Aeropostale, of course, isn’t the only company trying to reach those fickle Millennials that control about $65 billion in spending each year. (Ad Age predicts that number will go up to $200 billion starting in 2017.) Macy’s is going after them both online and in stores as well with 13 new brands, including one featuring Marilyn Monroe, a star who was long dead before the first Millennial was close to being a sparkle in a parent’s eye.

As Ad Age points out, however, it's worth doing the work to reach Millennials on whatever devices they are currently getting information from because 70% of them report that they return to brands they love. So dig deep, marketers, and keep finding new ways to engage.

black friday

Walmart's Biggest Black Friday Marred by Labor Dispute

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 23, 2012 07:58 AM

Black Friday shoppers in the US (and Canada) could set a record today, as the post-Thanksgiving annual retail rush is on.

Here in New York, just before midnight on Thanksgiving evening, I observed massive line-ups at the corner of Broadway and Lafayette for Adidas and Best Buy on the northeast corner of that intersection, and smaller queues starting at the southeast corner for Hollister, H&M, Uniqlo and, across the street, American Eagle and Victoria's Secret. Police, using bullhorns, tried to get the crowds to disperse by announcing, "Stores don't open until 8 A.M." — but the shoppers, mostly in their late teens and 20's it appeared, were undeterred.

All eyes, in particular, are on Walmart today, which has been downplaying the threat of OUR Walmart-organized employee strike action at its stores across the US, which are being organized online and shared on Twitter via the #walmartstrikers#changewalmart and #makingchange hashtags, and on Tumblr.Continue reading...

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