Best Global Green Brands 2014

brand strategy

#Hercules Bowls Over Northeast, Nabbing Another Social Win for Weather Channel

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 3, 2014 04:07 PM

What’s in a name? Everything if you’re in storm branding—the latest battleground for weather services eager to claim mindshare in an increasingly crowded media space.

This week's Nor'easter was called the "East Coast Blizzard" by AccuWeather, "Major Winter Storm" by the National Weather Service, "Bethany" in Connecticut, and "Hercules" by The Weather Channel and most everyone else, including Governors Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo, who both tweeted messages about the storm using the TV/web/mobile network's #Hercules hashtag. 

In addition to annoying horror writer Stephen King (who dubbed the practice "dorky" to his Twitter followers) and other weather-watching brands by pushing Athena, Sandy and Nemo, The Weather Channel's practice of branding storms (this Western winter season, with the help of a high school Latin class in Bozeman, Montana) has irked the World Meteorological Organization, a 191-member organization based in Geneva.Continue reading...

place branding

Sandy Recovery: A 'Come Back!' Campaign, and a Special Beer Pitches In

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 18, 2013 06:10 PM

Superstorm Sandy devastated much of the New Jersey shoreline and crippled parts of New York City. Many are still recovering, and will be for some time. On Staten Island, many storm victims remain living in a shelter.

Part of the region's recovery will inevitably depend on branding efforts that must override images of utter destruction from the public's mind, just as the need for donations remains as the rebuilding continues.

On the larger scale, New Jersey is deploying its first post-Sandy branding effort to woo tourists back in summer.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Uniqlo Turns Earthquake-Honed Relief Platform to Sandy Survivors

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 10, 2012 12:57 PM

When UNIQLO CEO Tadashi Yanai set his sights on the US in 2007, the fast-fashion retailer that combined the back-to-basics approach of American Apparel, the competitive pricing of Old Navy, and the foreign edge of a Zara or H&M, was already "a retail juggernaut in Japan, with 760 stores in six countries, 20,000 employees, and earnings of US$ 3.5 billion in 2004," as we noted.

The Fast Retailing Co.-owned brand, whose name is derived from "unique clothes," is now the leading global Japanese retail holding company (and Yanai its richest citizen), posting global sales of 820 billion yen for its 2011 fiscal year, making it the world’s fourth largest apparel retail company and a true innovator thanks to its Heattech heat-generating fabric.

That innovation is now being turned to help individuals affected by Super Storm Sandy as the northeastern US braces for winter cold. The brand announced today that it has just kicked off United in Warmth to bring about just that. The 10-week program will donate and distribute 100,000 Heattech items to men, women and children and 10,000 Ultra Light Down jackets to adults affected by Sandy through a 10-week volunteer program on Saturdays, holding true to its brand commitment of “changing clothes, changing conventional wisdom and change the world.”Continue reading...

auto motive

Ferrari's Ultra-Fast F12 Berlinetta Prances Into the Spotlight

Posted by Dale Buss on November 26, 2012 11:47 AM

An estimated quarter of a million Chinese spectators lined the streets of Guangzhou to catch a glimpse of it over the weekend, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry went all the way to Italy to drive one, so the new Ferrari F12 Berlinetta must be quite the car. Indeed, the F12 provides a whopping 730 horsepower and 509 lb.-ft. of torque, has a 211-mph maximum speed, a zero-to-62 mph speed of just 3.1 seconds, and a V12 engine. But with asking prices starting at about $316,000, it's possible that even the Republican governor of one of America's biggest states couldn't afford it.

And that's exactly why the car makes such an effective subject for a major charitable act by Ferrari. The U.S. headquarters of the Italian automaker is located in Englewood Cliffs in New Jersey, an area that was devastated by Hurricane Sandy. So Ferrari auctioned off the first U.S.-market F 12 Berlinetta and donated the proceeds to relief efforts, raising $1.5 million for the American Red Cross.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Why Corporate Citizenship is No Longer an Option for Brands

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 12, 2012 01:02 PM

After Sandy, even Apple is giving to the Big Apple. The Cupertino, CA-based tech giant is giving generously to New York City and Northeast residents who were hard hit by Hurricane Sandy, as reported by 9to5Mac: “We just got the above email via an Apple employee from CEO Tim Cook showing the Cupertino company is looking after those on the other coast of the U.S. Apple will donate $2.5 million to the Red Cross to benefit Hurricane Sandy victims.”

The donation comes on top of an iTunes page for the Red Cross, where 100% of value is passed on to relief efforts. Apple’s recent link on their homepage that directs traffic to the Red Cross iTunes page is a major move as their site garners close to 35 million unique visitors monthly, placing it #23 in Compete’s popularity rank of websites. “It’s a prime bit of real-estate and it’s nice to see one of the five major links on the page go to relief in the wake of Sandy’s devastation of the eastern seaboard,” notes TheNextWeb.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is being praised for boosting Apple’s charitable giving, ad being seen as “determined to change the company’s stingy reputation — as one of the few major American corporations that before had barely donated to charity,” reports the New York Post. “Tech titan Apple at last donated something to charity worth talking about: $100 million… [which] still leaves Apple in an unusual spot — far behind its peers.”Continue reading...

name blame

Storm Brewing Over Naming Weather as Athena Bumps Sandy From Radar

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 7, 2012 03:50 PM

The Weather Channel has named the nor’easter winter storm that's now bringing snow to New York City and environs after the Greek goddess-inspired Athena. The all-weather, all the time brands admits it's a ploy to bring attention (and own the conversation) about the post-Hurricane Sandy ice storm that's threatening to blanket gloom on those relief efforts. 

“Without Sandy, we may not have named this storm," the Weather Channel admits. "However, one of our main reasons for naming events is societal impact. With so many people still under recovery efforts — even well inland — the combination of heavy, wet snow and wind prompted the decision to name this storm.”

The U.S. National Weather Service, however, isn't impressed. It's refusing to acknowledge or condone Athena — or any other storm names emanating from Weather Channel HQ in Atlanta.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Budweiser, Weather Channel, Hyundai and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 5, 2012 09:01 AM

AB InBev sees continuing market-share losses by Budweiser in U.S.

Weather Channel hopes to maintain Sandy ad dollars.

Hyundai and Kia take hits on EPA mileage claims.

Amazon gets major push-back from traditional booksellers.

Best Buy may be facing existential questions soon.

Boeing to get big helicopter order from India.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Bloomberg Says ING New York City Marathon Will Go On [Update: It Won't]

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 2, 2012 04:01 PM

To run or not to run — that has been the burning question in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy in New York this week.

As New York continues the massive clean-up and restoration of a wounded, limping city, with millions still without power, food, water and transport, Mayor Michael Bloomberg was adamant the ING New York City marathon (rededicated as a "Race to Recover" with proceeds to relief efforts) would go on, even though the starting line is in hard-hit Staten Island. The refusal to reschedule the race has been widely protested, while observers are questioning the impact on title sponsor ING, and fellow sponsors including Timex and Asics.

“The city is a city where we have to go on,” stated Bloomberg in a press conference on Thursday, arguing that the race must go on for the cash and morale infusion. "There's an awful lot of small businesses that depend on these people. We have to have an economy,” Bloomberg said in a news conference Thursday. "It's a great event for New York, and I think for those who were lost, you know, you've got to believe they would want us to have an economy and have a city go on for those that they left behind."

Update: At 5:21 pm Friday, the mayor's office confirmed media rumors that the race will not go ahead on Sunday. Bloomberg told the press, "We would not want a cloud to hang over the race or its participants, and so we have decided to cancel it." And while this means there will be no 2012 NYC marathon, New York Road Runners president Mary Wittenberg said canceling was the right move, telling AP, "This is what we need to do and the right thing at this time." ING also supported the cancellation, commenting, "ING U.S. understands that many people, businesses, as well as its own New York-based employees have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy this week. The company encourages everyone to consider making a donation or to volunteer with a nonprofit that is helping with disaster-relief effort if they are able to do so."Continue reading...

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