Best Global Green Brands 2014

tech in the spotlight

London Tackles Its Tech Exploit Problem with New Unilever-Backed Launchpad

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 23, 2014 05:01 PM

Not wanting to be left behind, London hosted its first Technology Week event last week, showcasing some of the most promising startups and technology products from across the pond. 

But many of the products and concepts seen and heard at the event won't make it out of the city's limits thanks to a clogged pipeline of business development. 

"The old adage is that it gets invented in the U.K. and exploited in the US," serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist Hermann Hauser said, according to Bloomberg. "We are getting better but a lot more needs to be done."

To help combat that problem, some of the UK and Europe's biggest brands, including Unilever, John Lewis and EE are collaborating with Tech City UK to give life to The Internet of Things Launchpad Competition, which will award a total of £1 million ($1.7 million) in grants to winners who are aiming to take on projects that are “too risky for companies to take forward without support” and hope to “take companies into new innovative areas,” PopsOp reports.Continue reading...

retail watch

Proximity Marketing Spreads as Safeway, Duane Reade Test iBeacon Tech

Posted by Dale Buss on May 30, 2014 11:02 AM

Long past are the days when privacy advocates merely worried that GM’s pioneering OnStar service could track your car wherever you traveled using GPS technology. Now, an increasing number of retailers and other brands are using new “beacon” technology to track consumers to within several inches of their locations in stores in order to push promotions and encourage spending. 

There are lots of other potentially disruptive uses to come from Apple’s iBeacon and similar technologies though as brand transparency and consumer privacy become top of mind.

Already, for instance, Safeway has been testing an iBeacon installation that automatically offers discounts to shoppers who have downloaded the supermarket chain’s “just for U” loyalty app and walk into the store—at the exact moment when consumers are ready to shop.

Similarly, Duane Reade, the Walgreen-owned East Coast US pharmacy chain, has launched a program to fit its New York stores with iBeacons that delivery weekly ads and coupons to opted-in smartphones. “iBeacons help remove some of the obstacles of engagement and facilitate customer interaction,” Tim MacCauley, mobile commerce director for Walgreen, told Adweek.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Merck, Fiat Chrysler, GE and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 6, 2014 09:06 AM

TOP 5 STORIES

Brands to Watch

Bayer buys Claritin and other consumer brands from Merck for $14 billion.

Fiat Chrysler bets on Jeep, Alfa Romeo in global vision under new five-year plan.

GE bid of $17 billion for Alstom power unit falls short, French president says.

Office Depot plans to close 400 stores.

Walmart finally grows online sales faster than Amazon.

MORE BRAND NEWS:

adidas looks to sell Rockport brand as company misses on profit.

Apple reveals $60 million compensation package for new retail chief Angela Ahrendts.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News You Can Use: AstraZeneca, Coca-Cola, News Corp. and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 2, 2014 09:14 AM

TOP STORIES

Brands to Watch

Apple, Facebook lead Big Tech brands fighting data requests as White House panel calls for big data reforms to protect privacy.

AstraZeneca rejects raised bid by Pfizer as "inadequate."

Avon reaches settlement of bribery probe.

Bayer eyes Merck’s OTC consumer business.

Burberry officially has a new CEO in Christopher Bailey as Angela Ahrendts takes retail reins at Apple.

Coca-Cola pressured by Warren Buffett on executive pay.

Exxon sticks with Russia drilling despite geopolitical tensions.

Fiat faces tough turnaround in Europe.

GM recalls 50,000 Cadillac SUVs, returns to bankruptcy court to fend off suits.

News Corp. acquires Harlequin Books for HarperCollins.

Below, news on brand innovation, culture, and more:Continue reading...

holidaze

Holiday Windows 2013: Brands Go Bright for Global Sidewalk Displays

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 23, 2013 05:45 PM

In the twinkling of an eye, retailers transform their windows for the holiday season into stylish and distinct winter wonderlands. From the nostalgic to futuristic, high-tech to old-fashioned, brands around the world invest countless hours and funds into creating a special, visual experience for guests of all ages. 

With Christmas and the New Year quickly approaching, here are a few that have got us in the holiday spirit:Continue reading...

social media

Amazon, Asos Lead the Pursuit for Retail Pin-Wins this Holiday Season

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 17, 2013 11:13 AM

Amazon.com is the most popular retail website for sharing content on Pinterest, according to a recent study from Searchmetrics on the top 10 retail sites in the US.  Since Thanksgiving, the e-tailer has generated an average number of 16,360 pins per week, trailed by Walmart, which has 5,778 pins, and Apple, which has 3,871. QVC, meanwhile, has the highest number of followers at 42,683, compared to Walmart's 33,337.

“Amazon’s content gets pinned a lot because users are inevitably browsing its site for things that they want and things make great pins,” Mark Pinsent, social content lead at Metia, told Mobile Commerce Daily. “In many ways, people are using their Pinterest boards as their public wish lists, and obviously the idea of a wishlist is central to Amazon… Every online retailer should learn from Amazon. Have a ‘pin this’ button on every item on your site.”

Walmart has set up 10 separate holiday boards focused on entertaining, baking, gifts, decorating the tree and holiday decorating, including pins of content from other sites, while Office Depot has a board for sharing pins based on the band One Direction, and is partnering on an anti-bullying campaign.

“Group products into lifestyle buckets, which can be played out through Pinterest boards,” advises Pinsent. “I see retailers’ Pinterest boards being akin to their real-world windows displays.”Continue reading...

retail watch

Much Like US, Canadian, UK Retailers Don't Need Thanksgiving to Push Black Friday Deals

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 27, 2013 03:52 PM

America has successfully exported its Black Friday retail frenzy the UK and Canada, despite the fact that neither celebrates Thanksgiving. Apple, Amazon, and Asda (owned by Walmart) are offering their US Black Friday deals to UK consumers at 20 percent off this weekend, while native retailers like Debenhams, John Lewis and Selfridges are getting in on the Black Friday action with what they call "Christmas comes early" sales.

"This shows how online is driving the retail agenda. Apple and Amazon offer deals in the US and they don't want their UK customers to feel cheated," Donald Shields, multichannel strategy director at SapientNitro, explained to Ad Age. "This has obviously come from online—there's no Thanksgiving and no Friday off to go out shopping—but it's picking up momentum in stores as well, and translating into a physical retail event."

With online spending in the UK expected to jump 20 percent to $8 billion between now and Christmas, according to Deloitte, retailers are happy to adopt another US concept: Cyber Monday. 

But Kevin Gill, managing creative director of Start JG, thinks the shopping events lose a little luster outside the US, where they just seem like another sale. "It seems a little bit cynical to plug into a US event when we don't have the event that precedes it—are they going to import Thanksgiving next?" he told Ad Age. "It's a more natural extension for U.S. retailers like Amazon and Apple, but Debenhams feels a bit of a stretch. If retailers embraced it and did something special it might work, but just offering 20 percent off is a bit shallow."Continue reading...

holidaze

Holiday Ads 2013: Brands Tap Celebrities, Award-Winning Animators for Over the Top Ads

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 20, 2013 07:12 PM

John Lewis’ 2013 Christmas campaign in the UK, a seasonal rite of passage, is “a £7m multi-media festive extravaganza,” animated by Disney's Lion King artists and costing £1m alone.

It’s just one example of how high (and early) the bar is being set for branded holiday ads this year as shoppers around the world, weary from escalating costs-of-living and economic challenges, plan to spend only $800 this holiday season on gifts, down from $854 last year

And so retailers are pulling out all the stops to get attention from consumers, hoping to draw them in with witty and charming ads and deep promotional discounts. UK advertisers alone are set to spend nearly $630 million on ads in the last three months of the year, while American brands got a head start, with Kmart airing its first holiday-related ad one-hundred days before Christmas. Indeed, advertisers seem to be heading back to the small-screen while maintaining a solid presence on social media to get the most out of holiday promotional efforts. 

And that has led some brands to go above and beyond. From Kmart's controversial "Show Your Joe" ad to Best Buy and Marks & Spencer's celebrity-heavy campaigns, brands are working hard to get the attention of shoppers. 

Here's some of the most extravagant holiday ads we've seen so far:Continue reading...

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