Best Global Green Brands 2014

corporate citizenship

Forever Proud: TD Bank Walks Its Talk With WorldPride 2014 Sponsorship

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 7, 2014 06:05 PM

The recent WorldPride event in Toronto marked the first time the event had been held in North America—and served as a testament to platinum sponsor TD Bank Group's acceptance of diversity.

The most valuable brand on Interbrand's Best Canadian Brands report, TD Bank not only sponsored WorldPride 2014, which ran from June 20 to 29 and attracted an estimated two million people across the Greater Toronto Area, but helped the host committee land the event by sponsoring their bid and accompanying them to make their case to InterPride, the event's organizer, in a first for a corporate sponsor.

It also wasn't a one-off commitment. TD is supporting 42 Pride events across North America this year, including signing a multi-year partnership with Boston Pride, all part of its bigger committment to equality and creating an inclusive workplace. "This is our tenth year of supporting Pride events," notes Scott Mullin, the bank's Vice President of Community Relations. "Ten years ago it was seen as pretty edgy for a financial institution."Continue reading...

tech innovation

Lowe’s Helps Customers Envision Their Home’s Future with Holoroom AR

Posted by Dale Buss on June 12, 2014 03:01 PM

It's always interesting to see a non-tech brand stretch itself to adapt and explore the latest technology, especially when such explorations directly attribute to growth ambitions and a positive brand culture. 

That’s what Lowe’s is attempting with its new “Holoroom” augmented reality project and related efforts that stem from the home improvement chain’s earnest ambition to envision the future of its industry and to help consumers access the possibilities. The new Lowe’s Innovation Labs will focus on “uncommon partnerships” with tech consultants Singularity University and SciFutures.

Holoroom is the first fruits of their cooperation, a 20-by-20-foot room that allows customers to simulate renovation projects. They can create realistic spaces on an iPad stocked with Lowe’s goodies and then “enter” the Holoroom to experience a 3D version of their creation, Ad Age reported. An app allows them to work on their 3D creation at home.Continue reading...

retail watch

Dollarama, Tim Horton's Sit at Opposite Ends of Canadian Retail Spectrum

Posted by Dale Buss on May 30, 2014 02:39 PM

Retailing in Canada is embroiled in difficulty, between the travails of homegrown retailers like bookseller Indigo to US-based brands like Target, Sears and Walmart that are attempting industry conquest. 

In that context, it’s encouraging to see the fast success of one domestic Canadian retail brand, Dollarama. The dollar-store retailer appeared for the first time on the Interbrand list of Best Canadian Brands this year, ranked at No. 15 with C$1.273 billion in annual brand value.

“It’s a very simple model,” Carolyn Ray, managing director of Interbrand Canada, told brandchannel about Dollarama. “They do no advertising whatsoever. The price point, of course, is low. The stores are clean and well-organized.”

Dollarama has about 800 stores in Canada now with an expansion to 2,500 stores planned within a couple of years, Ray said. “It’s great to go into that store and get what you were promised,” she said.Continue reading...

brand accolades

Financial Services Brands Come Into Their Own in Changing Canadian Market

Posted by Dale Buss on May 27, 2014 05:12 PM

Canada has been in the news a lot lately, mostly for being a hard nut to crack when it comes to retail. But according to Interbrand's just-released Best Canadian Brands report, other sectors such as financial services have come into their own in the northern marketplace. 

Among the top five brands, three are banks, with TD retaining its No. 1 positioning and the Royal Bank of Canada coming in at No. 2. Still, other list-makers among the top 25 brands, including lululemon and WestJet, have become increasingly savvy about finding ways to extend their value both in Canada and abroad. 

“We’re trying to create a bit of a call to action for brands in Canada,” Carolyn Ray, managing director of Interbrand Canada, told brandchannel. “We want brands to ‘step out of line’ and do things differently, take the opportunity to reassess whether they’re getting the most they can out of what they’re doing, and their investments in their brands.”

Scotiabank is one most-valuable brand that has needed no such prompting, Ray added. The financial-services giant grew its brand value by 94 percent since 2012, to C$7.7 billion in the latest Interbrand ranking, in part by “becoming increasingly customer-centric,” she said. “It’s become almost like an obsession” with the brand as Scotiabank “uses that lens to filter all their marketing decisions.”Continue reading...

retail watch

It May Take Divine Intervention to Save Sears From Itself

Posted by Dale Buss on May 22, 2014 12:16 PM

JCPenney and maybe even Target may be pulling out of their sales swoons, but Sears just keeps on crumbling—maybe to a point of no return. 

The thoroughly troubled chain reported a broader net loss, a 7 percent drop in revenue and flat same-store Sears sales for the most recent quarter as it continues to consolidate and pull back, closing stores and spinning off assets in the hopes that it will eventually find a bottom. 

Curiously, owner and CEO Edward Lampert still struck an upbeat note in a letter to shareholders, proclaiming that Sears this year will demonstrate its efforts to evolve beyond a brick-and-mortar retailer to an integrated model that puts it at the forefront of e-tailing.

“That may sound odd given our financial results,” he wrote. “But not only do I believe that we are headed in the right direction in important ways, I believe the entire retail industry is headed to where we already are.”Continue reading...

retail watch

Target Makes Aggressive Changes Ahead of Quarterly Earnings Report

Posted by Dale Buss on May 20, 2014 04:42 PM

If things always look darkest before the dawn, Target employees must hope it’s about 5 a.m. The troubled retailer announces tomorrow its first-quarter financial results, and things just keep getting worse in advance of whatever Target Interim CEO John Mulligan will say on Wednesday.

Target announced today that it has replaced its Canadian head of operations after the retailer's first major international expansion went completely awry over the last year. Its woes in Canada—Target reported nearly a $1 billion loss for its first year there—combined with the fallout from the company’s massive data breach in the fourth quarter prompted its board to sack CEO Gregg Steinhafel earlier this month.

“Target is committed to making more rapid progress in Canada,” said Mulligan after ushering out Tony Fisher and installing 15-year Target veteran Mark Schindele as the new president of Target Canada.Continue reading...

executive decision

Target Brand Hangs In Balance As Board Ousts CEO

Posted by Dale Buss on May 5, 2014 12:39 PM

Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel fell—or was pushed onto—his sword today with a statement by the company's board of directors that he is leaving his post as president and CEO. But the recent diminution of the Target brand won't be as easily fixed as just showing the door to the 35-year veteran of the retailer.

Not long ago the brand carried a strongly innovative vibe that differentiated the discounter from Walmart and other dowdier retail marques, relying on a strong stable of private-label designers, clean store layouts and clever marketing to achieve the cut above its rivals. And results showed this success. Steinhafel, CEO of Target since 2008, presided over much of it.

But the massive data breach during the Christmas holidays last year rocked the company, badly denting its sales at the time, taking a bite out of its reputation, adding to shoppers' insecurity with the brand, and still plaguing Target as it faces a cost of $100 million for overhauling payment security.

The Target board, which stepped up its quarterly meetings to monthly in the wake of the data breach, felt that Steinhafel hadn't done enough to prevent such a debacle and hadn't done enough since it occurred to rectify things.Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: Frank Comes Back for Jack, Coors Gets Digital and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 28, 2014 06:43 PM

Let's Get Digital: Molson Coors Deploys LCD Beer Cases

In a partnership with Groupe Viva, a digital retail innovation firm, Molson Coors has unveiled new beer refrigerators that have a transparent LCD display that serves up digital advertising based on what consumers are seeking. 

"As specialists in digital innovations, our objective is to combine the latest advances in technology and digital content and make them accessible to retail chains and major brands,” said Pierre Gendron, CEO of Groupe Viva, in a press release.

Looking for a way to differentiate its products, the interactive fridges will be trialed in 40 stores and 10 bars and nightclubs in the Montreal area. The partnership follows another digital stunt by the company, which deployed Molson Canadian-branded refrigerators around the world (and at the Sochi Olympics) that only opened after scanning a Canadian passport.Continue reading...

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