Best Global Green Brands 2014

retail watch

Target, Finally Getting Canada, is Really Sorry

Posted by Dale Buss on August 15, 2014 10:01 AM

Target says it's got some of its biggest problems in Canada figured out and has begun to reverse them with a three-pronged turnaround plan that will focus on the chain's supply chain, pricing and merchandise selection in an attempt to turn around an important geographic expansion that has gone badly awry.

The chain has been facing a number of problems lately, including the monumental data breach last December and a loss of much of its overall brand mojo in the US, and those problems helped lead to the departure of CEO Gregg Steinhafel earlier this year.

But the problems in Canada—where Target massively launched last year by opening 124 stores and three distribution centers—led to a loss of nearly $1 billion as sales fell short of expectations and rivals pummeled the retailer.

Now, new Target Canada boss Mark Schindele is insisting that the new initiatives will improve its business performance, pricing and inventory issues and deliver the Target brand experience to Canadian customers.Continue reading...

auto motive

Jaguar Dusts Off Iconic Lightweight E-Type for Historic Concours Event

Posted by Dale Buss on August 12, 2014 03:29 PM

The more Jaguar recovers from its near-death experience a few years ago, the more the brand can afford to look back at its original glory days. That seems to be behind Jaguar's move to revive an old racing vehicle known as the Lightweight E-type and display it at the Pebble Beach Concours in California this weekend.

Jaguar then plans to sell the new E-types, which Top Gear calls a "beauty of a time traveller," as "period competition" vehicles to some very demanding hobbyists who want to race them in classic car rallies, which is why they'll be offered first to existing Jaguar collectors.

The roots of the project date back a half century—to 1963, to be precise. That's when Jaguar—owned for the last few years, along with Land Rover, by India's Tata Group—built 12 of 18 planned "Special GT E-type" project cars for the race course. The remaining six were never built until now.Continue reading...

tech style

At Wearable Tech Expo, Brands Acknowledge Hurdles to Adoption

Posted by Brittany Messenger on July 25, 2014 05:05 PM

As if there were any doubt, the Wearable Tech Expo this week in New York made one thing is certain: the branded wearable space is ready for take-off—but not before sorting out a few potential hurdles.  

In her keynote address at the conference, Myriam Joire, Pebble’s Chief Evangelist, identified battery life technology and usability challenges as two key issues the industry needs to solve.

"If you want to go beyond us, the early adopters, the tech savvy users, you have to solve usability challenges," Joire commented. "The people who buy a smartwatch at Target don't want to do anything complicated. They want it to add value to their lives. Notifications alone have value right now. A busy mom carrying groceries who gets a notification that she has a text message and doesn't have to pull her phone out—that's gold."

But is product innovation enough to grow the industry? While improvements to battery life and usability will allow wearables to serve their users better and longer, how will they get consumers to even give them a shot?Continue reading...

branding together

Apple and IBM Partner to Transform How Companies Work

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 15, 2014 09:09 PM

Apple and IBM have struck a global partnership to work together to create business-software applications for iPhone and iPad users.

Highlights from the press release about the co-branded enterprise mobility deal:

The new IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions will be built in an exclusive collaboration that draws on the distinct strengths of each company: IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities, with the power of more than 100,000 IBM industry and domain consultants and software developers behind it, fused with Apple’s legendary consumer experience, hardware and software integration and developer platform.Continue reading...

brand collaborators

The Polished Home: OPI, Ace Hardware Bring the Nail Salon to the Living Room

Posted by Katie Conneally on July 10, 2014 06:17 PM

It used to be that you could spot bold nail polish colors, elaborate nail art and sparkling gel manicures on hands left and right. But after several years of unparalleled growth, the nail polish market has slowed down, with retailers like Coty (which owns OPI) noting a four percent drop in sales at the end of 2013. 

So this year, it’s no surprise that nail polish brands are turning to new, innovative partnerships to reposition nail polish as not just a beauty product, but a key part of consumers' aesthetic lifestyle, in an attempt to drive sales and attract new customers. 

OPI is leading the way through a collaboration with Clark+Kensington, a line of house paints from Ace Hardware. Together, they’ve developed three new color palettes of house paint that match some of OPI’s most illustrious colors. Each palette contains 6 shades and is designed to reflect consumers’ personalities with names like "The Artist," "The Wild Heart" and "The Romantic."Continue reading...

tech style

Google Taps Its Favorite Fashionista for New Glass Styles

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 4, 2014 10:42 AM

Google is betting that fashion doyenne Diane von Furstenberg can do for the now-glanceable Google Glass what she did for her iconic wrap dress

This week at her New York City headquarters, DVF revealed her latest fashion collaboration alongside her 2015 Resort Collection: "DVF | Made for Glass," a collection of DVF-branded sunglasses and prescription frames made specifically for Google Glass, which marks the tech company's first fashion partnership.

The collection, which will go on sale on June 23 with prices starting at $1, 620, "attempts to diminish the visual impact of the lipstick-sized bar that sits on top of the wearer's right eyebrow, either coloring it in the same shades as the frames themselves, or giving it a complementary hue," The Verge reports. The DVF collection follows Google's own Titanium collection launched in January. 

After Glass was initially received as “nerdy at best," von Furstenberg, a longtime partner of Google, was given the creative keys to design the first Glass accessories not made by Google. von Furstenberg has championed the technology since 2012 when she outfitted her runway models with Glass, calling it a "historic creation."Continue reading...

branding together

Hello Kitty x Playboy Partners on Not-for-Kids Collection for Colette

Posted by Abe Sauer on March 12, 2014 02:33 PM

Hello, Kitty! Beloved Japanese children's icon Hello Kitty had officially teamed up with Playboy. Yes, you read that correctly. Not the most obvious brand collaboration, the two entertainment brands are being brought together by cutting-edge French fashion retailer Colette. The co-branded collection consists of everything from socks to lighters to cameras to sucettes (lollipops). Obviously not geared for kids—and you will never look at Kitty the same way again...

campaigns

Spray it Forward: Kenneth Cole Taps Google Glass for Good Deeds Campaign

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 5, 2014 03:55 PM

Combining wearable tech, a modern "stand-up" guy and a pay-it-forward ethos, Kenneth Cole's "Man Up for Mankind Challenge" asks men to perform a "gentlemanly deed" every day for the next three weeks—21 Days, 21 Deeds—in return for eligibility to win a Mankind toolkit valued at $1,000.

While Diane Von Furstenberg was the first fashion designer to put Google Glass on the runway, as she did during her New York Fashion Week show in 2012, Kenneth Cole is aiming to be Google Glass fashion pioneer of another sort, but featuring the app in a campaign for its new Mankind fragrance. (L'Oreal, meanwhile, is using the device internally, as a teaching tool for its network of stylists.)

Once Kenneth Cole's augmented reality app is downloaded, users of the geek chic wearable computer will receive an alert in their viewfinder with a reminder of that day's deed, such as the gentlemanly “offer to carry a lady’s bag,” “buy a stranger a coffee,” or “donate old clothes to a local shelter.”

They're being encouraged to snap and share photos of themselves in action on a dedicated site and to tweet their deeds during the three-week challenge with the hashtag #manupformankind. Non-Glass wearers can participate using a smartphone or digital camera, too.Continue reading...

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