Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 13, 2013 02:23 PM
Plenty of businesses were unhappy when President Obama suggested raising the minimum wage, but Costco CEO Craig Jelinek recently let the world know that he’s all for raising it to $10.10 an hour—and the news isn’t hurting business, either.
Last quarter, Costco's revenue ballooned to $537 million, which is up from $394 million in the same period one year ago, The Huffington Post reports.
“At Costco, we know that paying employees good wages makes good sense for business,” Jelinik said last week. “Instead of minimizing wages, we know it's a lot more profitable in the long term to minimize employee turnover and maximize employee productivity, commitment and loyalty. We support efforts to increase the federal minimum wage.”Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on March 11, 2013 11:44 AM
Mention espionage and product placement and one name comes to mind: Zero Dark Thirty. Sure, Skyfall's James Bond used a Sony Experia and, in the other 2012 CIA thriller to feature waterboarding, Safe House, the agency man used an iPhone. Yet, in last year's true life tale spygame, the heroes killed Osama Bin Laden with the help of BlackBerry.
It's a placement the brand was involved with. But unlike other product placements—even some inside Zero Dark Thirty—BlackBerry faces a paradox when it comes to capitalizing on its role in Hollywood's definitive account of killing America's most hated enemy.
While there are many obvious details that Zero Dark Thirty suspiciously avoided, such as substituting the fictional Pakistan station chief "Joseph Bradley" for the real life Jonathan Banks, the production is also credited with paying obsessive attention to the smaller details. A precise replica of the bin Laden compound was built for Zero Dark's SEALs to storm. The film's SEALs wore four-prong GPNVG-18s, cutting-edge night-vision goggles favored by current "operators." And then there were the BlackBerry phones.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on March 8, 2013 12:38 PM
China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's 10 reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.
This week: Baby Formula is the new smuggled white powder... Nike... Luxury Cars... Yale... Japanese Putters... Ghost Malls... McDonald's goes to the mountaintop, and more.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 27, 2013 04:26 PM
The U.S. federal government still defines the act of marriage as one taking place between a man and a woman even though a number of states have made gay marriage legal and President Obama made it clear in his Inauguration speech (and other speeches since) that gay marriage is something he firmly believes in. “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law—for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well,” Obama said after being sworn in on Jan. 21 by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.
Roberts will have a lot to do with possibly making a change to the way the federal government defines marriage when his Court hears two gay-marriage-related cases on March 26 and 27. Nearly 300 companies came out Wednesday to “urge the U.S. Supreme Court … to strike down a federal law that restricts the definition of marriage to heterosexual unions,” Reuters reports.
Considering the size and number of brands taking part, it will be hard for conservatives who have long opposed gay marriage to try and boycott everyone involved.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on February 18, 2013 05:31 PM
Nike and Oakley drop paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorious following steroid allegations during girlfriend's murder investigation.
Costco CEO addresses Tiffany suit for alleged trademark infringement in all-company email (exclusive).
Starbucks expands India footprint to seven stores as company tests video chat drive-through ordering and expands Starbucks Evenings concept to Washington's Dulles airport.
Carnival cruiseship fire blamed on fuel line leak.
China vows to crack down on "malicious" trademark registrations.
Disney's Hong Kong Disneyland theme park finally turns a profit thanks to Toy Story attraction.
Amway quietly builds brands and racks up sales.
BP prepares to go to court over Gulf spill.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 13, 2013 11:38 AM
Tens of millions of Americans tuned in to President Obama’s State of the Union speech Tuesday night and a few brands benefited from getting a mention. Caterpillar, Ford and Apple were all named for bringing jobs back to America. Apple CEO Tim Cook even got a few seconds of airtime since he was sitting with First Lady Michelle Obama. Siemens America got a few sentences dedicated to its CEO saying that, “if we upgrade our infrastructure, they'll bring even more jobs.”
IBM snuck in there, too, as it has partnered with the City University of New York to create P-Tech, the Pathways in Technology early college high school in Brooklyn that serves grades 9-14 with a focus on technology and innovation. As Bloomberg Businessweek reports, "The 18-month-old experiment has caught not only the president’s eye but the attention of companies, politicians, and educators across the nation."
Students graduate with both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree in engineering or computers. The school, which opened in September 2011, has already inspired five more similar programs to start up in Chicago, Obama’s adopted hometown. Idaho has announced plans to open a similar school as well.Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Abe Sauer on February 12, 2013 11:39 PM
It is now an expectation of any live event that some unforeseen detailed quirk will become the hot meme of the night's social media. Think Oreo during the Super Bowl blackout or "binders full of women."
On Tuesday, during the "opposition response" to President Obama's State of the Union address, one beverage brand got its opportunity when Republican golden boy senator Marco Rubio awkwardly reached for, and drank from, a small Poland Spring bottle.
But neither of the brand's two Twitter accounts had a reply. In fact, both accounts have had dry mouth for years.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 20, 2012 08:55 AM
NYSE Euronext is in merger talks with the IntercontinentalExchange. (Update: Sold!)
Foursquare starts using Facebook data for recommendations.
General Mills announces more than 100 new products for 2013.
Amazon's Jeff Bezos among retail leaders honored by NRF.
Apple feels heat in Brazil over iPhone brand and sees "pinch to zoom" patent rejected.
Barack Obama pledges to take action on gun control.
Best Buy digital chief resigns.
Darden takes new tack to spur U.S. restraurant brands.
Deutsche Bank image remake suffers.
Disney raises bar on customer experience with new Fantasy Land.
eBay stops advertising inside mobile apps.Continue reading...