tech in the spotlight

3D Print the Holidays: MakerBot Launches in Staples, Amazon and Home Depot

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 25, 2014 11:05 AM

Stratasys is rushing its red-hot MakerBot 3D printing brand into major U.S. retailers just in time for the holidays.

As of today, MakerBot has fresh distribution deals with Staples, Home Depot, Amazon.com and Fry's Electronics.

At Staples, for example, its printers range from $1490 to $2,800. Holiday shoppers and early adopters can check out MakerBot Replicator 3D Printers, MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanners and MakerBot Filaments in 50 select Staples brick-and-mortar stores across the U.S., as well on Staples.com.

It's a game-changing retail push for MakerBot, the five-year-old startup that now boasts the largest installed base of desktop 3D printers worldwide.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Apple and (RED) Refresh Partnership in Fight Against AIDS

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 24, 2014 12:15 PM

Apple and (RED) are refreshing their campaign for AIDS awareness in time for the holidays, starting with a new app-based sales initiative.

From now until December 7th, many fan-favorite apps in the Apple Store will offer fresh content and upgrades, with all proceeds going directly to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa. Called "Apps for (RED)," the campaign's participating roster includes Garageband, Clear, Monument Valley, FarmVille 2, Angry Birds, Threes, Paper, Cut the Rope, FIFA 15, Rayman Fiesta Run and The Sims, among others. Neither the app developers nor Apple will take a cut.

As part of the commitment, Apple is donating a portion of the sales revenue from its retail and online stores on two of the biggest shopping days of the year—Black Friday (Nov. 28) and Cyber Monday, Dec. 1—which also happens to be World AIDS Day. Continue reading...

tech innovation

Banding With Pebble, Domino's Wants a Slice of Wearable Tech Action

Posted by Catherine Straut on November 13, 2014 06:43 PM

Domino’s is extending its popular Pizza Tracker technology into a smartwatch-friendly platform, enabling customers to keep tabs on their order from the time it's placed to delivery without lifting a finger, but with a glance at the wrist. 

The smartwatch app has been made exclusively for devices from Kickstarter-darling Pebble. Thanks to the new partnership, Pebble wearers (also known as “Pebblers”) can load the free app on their watch, sync it with the Domino's mobile app on their phone, and get Tracker updates and notifications in real time right on their wrists.

"We're thrilled to be the first smartwatch to partner with Domino's and help bring their beloved tracker experience to the wrist," stated Shobeir Shobeiri of Pebble's business development team, in a press release. "We designed Pebble to mesh seamlessly into your life, and the Domino's Tracker app is a natural addition to our growing appstore."Continue reading...

tech innovation

GE and Quirky's Sly Wink: 1 Robot Butler, 7 Smart Home Products

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 13, 2014 04:04 PM

This year, Quirky—a NYC-based startup that develops crowdsourced inventions—partnered with GE, and then spun out a whole new company called Wink as an umbrella for smart home apps, hubs, and control panels. Now, Wink has debuted seven flagship products that will define the brand, and launched a clever ad campaign (and faux campaign) to boot.

Founded in 2009, Quirky has joined major players including Google's Nest in jockeying for space in the connected home market. When the Quirky and GE partnership launched, the company was even better able to broadcast its central question to consumers: “What products would you make smarter?”

Now, as its anthem video puts it, "The smart home comes home." Continue reading...

chew on this

Pizza Hut, Oreo and Mountain Dew Aim to Surprise with Bold Flavors

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 10, 2014 01:43 PM

Flavorologists are in hot demand at brands these days. Take Pizza Hut. The chain is unleashing a tidal wave of new crust and drizzle flavors. in fact, flavor is so important to the brand that its new menu—set to be rolled out in restaurants on Nov. 19—is entitled “Flavor of Now.”

Get Curried Away, Honey Sriracha, Salted Pretzel and Ginger Boom Boom are four of the 10 new crust flavorings, while some of the new ingredients being introduced are salami, fresh spinach, and Peruvian cherry peppers.

"Pizza Hut has been defining what's possible with pizza since 1958 and our newest changes are the most significant we've made in our history as we once again look to take the entire category to another level," said David Gibbs, the company CEO, in a press release.

"We are radically reinventing the pizza category with a menu transformation that more than doubles our amount of ingredients and flavors, a world-class digital ordering experience and an entirely new look and feel to our brand, all the way down to our uniforms.”Continue reading...

retail

Frenzy for Alexander Wang Proves H&M's Mastery of Co-Branding

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 6, 2014 06:02 PM

The day has finally arrived: Alexander Wang's collection for H&M is now in stores. Wang, creative director of Kering SA’s Balenciaga brand, is the first American to design a guest collection for H&M, and today's debut marks 10 years of designer collaborations for the world's second-biggest apparel retailer after Zara owner Inditex.

After an orchestrated series of sneak peeks—first on Instagram, followed by Rihanna at New York Fashion Week, and then a mention in Vogue Netherlands—as well as a striking video teaser (below) and a New York runway show—the collection has now hit 240 H&M stores worldwide and its network of websites, with select pieces also for sale on the official Alexander Wang website.

As we noted earlier, the collaboration not only crashed H&M's local websites worldwide, but instantly hit eBay, with items priced up to $2,000.Continue reading...

brand collaborators

H&M x Alexander Wang is Now on eBay; $2,000 Backpack, Anyone?

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 6, 2014 11:54 AM

The Alexander Wang collection launch at H&M today saw fans line up around the block around the world, sparking crowd control issues as its local websites crashed, although they're starting to come back online.

Some fans were snapping up $5,000 worth of the New York-based designer's apparel at a time, with the menswear reportedly selling out quicker than the women's collection. No surprise, items are already popping up on eBay for up to $2,000 by one seller. Continue reading...

mobile marketing

GE Goes Loco for Yo App

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 29, 2014 11:42 AM

GE is promoting predictive maintenance and optimization services for more than $1 trillion worth of connected industrial equipment, including locomotives, medical equipment and jet engines. Impressive figure but not a very sexy subject, you might think, to generate buzz and conversation about the Internet of things.

That's why GE CMO Beth Comstock has been praised for her ability to use human connections to power B2B corporate storytelling (credit all those hours in-flight for having time to spark her imagination) and willingness to test leading-edge social and tech channels.

Case in point: GE's new tie-in with Yo, the head-scratching app that features a single word that marketers have been trying to figure out.Continue reading...

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