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tech in the spotlight

Can Apple Watch Aid Transition to Luxury Brand With $17,000 Wearable?

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 9, 2015 06:25 PM

So the wait is over. And now we know that Apple Watch costs almost as much as Burberry's priciest timepiece at its top end. But this is no ordinary timepiece, of course.

The highly-anticipated Apple Watch reveal today was underwhelming to those who were paying attention when most of the features were revealed in September—with the notable exception of ResearchKit to aid medical research, and the pricing for the luxury top tier Edition Apple Watch.

The Edition duo above? Each one costs a cool $17,000, depending whether you want the 18-Karat yellow gold watch with the red strap or the 18-Karat rose gold with rose gray strap.Continue reading...


Auto Rankings: Buick Rises in Consumer Reports, J.D. Power Annual Surveys

Posted by Dale Buss on February 25, 2015 05:15 PM

Buick Regal

It’s a very good day for Buick. Two of America's most-respected arbiters of automotive quality and reliability—Consumer Reports and J.D. Power—both agreed that the GM-owned near-luxury brand continues to gain significant ground in the US market.

Other brands and companies that scored particularly well across the two reports that were released this week were Lexus, Toyota, Tesla, Subaru and Chevrolet.

Most Chrysler brands, however, were notably positioned on the below-average end of the 2015 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability study. Continue reading...


What the Best Global Brands are Doing Right on Twitter—And Why Content is Key

Posted by brandchannel on February 24, 2015 05:02 PM

The following guest post is by brandchannel reader Louise Marsland:

We know from a personal perspective that to get more followers on social media, we have to be active daily, post cool stuff, be authentic and be engaged. Is it the same for brands?

The world's top 100 brands on Twitter are more active, too, and the key in 2015 is creating effective content. Brands' engagement with their customers on Twitter outpaced activity and follower growth, according to the recent quarterly Twitter benchmark report from Simply Measured.

Its 4th quarter 2014 report, available for as a free download, analyzes the tactics of the top brands on Twitter and provides benchmarks to compare your own brand's performance.

Let's start with the impressive stats: at the end of the third quarter, Twitter had 284 million active users (now more than 288 million) who sent 500 million tweets per day. The keyword here is "active."Continue reading...


Product Placement Survey Finds Audience Acceptance—With Caveats

Posted by Abe Sauer on February 22, 2015 02:01 PM

Just as we release the 2015 Brandcameo Movie Product Placement Awards comes a new survey that finds the practice is both here to stay and is becoming both more acceptable and more effective.

The survey of over 1,300 consumers, brands and agencies was conducted by Hollywood Branded, an entertainment marketing consultancy responsible for, among other things, putting bottles of Canadian Club on Don Draper's desk in Mad Men.

The study found that audiences are, with a number of caveats, largely accepting of product placement in their entertainment. Plus, a majority report they made a purchasing decision that was, in part, directly influenced by product placement.

Below, a few takeaways from our exclusive look inside the 2015 Entertainment Marketing Survey as well a short discussion with Hollywood Branded's CEO about what the report doesn't say. Continue reading...

tech innovation

Accenture Tech Vision 2015 Finds Brands Embracing the 'We Economy'

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 10, 2015 05:11 PM

We are all in this together—and the seismic change from “me” to “we” has dawned. That's why Accenture sees the “We Economy” already reshaping markets and changing the way business is done, as outlined in its Technology Vision 2015 report.

Already, brands such as Home Depot, Samsung, Whirlpool, GE, Kenmore, LG and Maytag are all exploring the “We Economy,” spurred by the Internet of Things and possibilities of partnerships and collaboration to personalize the customer experience.Continue reading...

place branding

Toronto's Brand Rises with The Economist's Safe Cities Index Nod

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 3, 2015 03:26 PM

Toronto has just found itself at the TOp of an impressive list: The Best Place to Live.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)'s 2015 Safe Cities Index anointed the Canadian city perched on Lake Ontario after weighing a variety of factors including safety, democracy, cost of living, business environment and global food security.

Toronto scored in the top 10 of all of them except for cost of living, where it ranked 70th. But it did well enough on all the rest to place first. Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Global Brands Urged to Invest CSR Budgets in Education

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 16, 2015 04:22 PM

Business Backs Education 2015 Top 10 Global 500 CSR Education

According to a new study (the world’s first) on global corporate education CSR spending, Fortune 500 companies only spent $2.6bn (13%) of their total $19.9 billion corporate social responsibility budgets on education-related activities.

What's more, the report also revealed that that less than half (218 companies) of the Fortune 500 allocate any of their CSR budgets towards education in the community, including emerging markets—where the need is greatest.  

So hats off to Banco Santander for topping the list as the Global Fortune 500's highest education CSR spender at $197m per year.Continue reading...

detroit auto show

NAIAS 2015: Ford Futurist Sheryl Connelly on Why Generation Z Matters

Posted by Dale Buss on January 13, 2015 05:07 PM

Ford 2015 trends report NAIAS Sheryl Connelly

Ford is the only auto company with a resident futurist on staff, and Sheryl Connelly's crystal ball certainly gets a fierce workout as her company tries to figure out how to invest billions of dollars a year in big bets on technology, features and services to better connect with consumers—and stand out in an industry that arguably has more moving pieces, and is more affected by trends, than any other.

And as she continues to advise colleagues and annually publish a trends-to-watch outlook of her considered prognostications for the year ahead, Connelly's renown outside the industry is growing. She recently brainstormed with the World Economic Forum for topics and themes for the agenda at WEF's upcoming annual meeting in Davos.

Ford looks to Connelly not only to help shape its own priorities and investments, such as the mobility vision outlined last week at CES 2015, but to share insights into trends with the industry at large.Continue reading...

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Apple loses its crown to a new #1
Coca-ColaIt's the Journey That Matters:
Coca-Cola Opens Up With Story-Based Web Refresh
debateJoin the Debate
Is product placement a waste of money?
Arthur Chinski and Joshua Mizrahi
Model Behavior? Brands Beware
U.S. Legal Changes Impact Use of Brand Ambassadors
paperCorporate Citizenship in Canada
Fresh thinking from Interbrand
Sheryl Connelly
Sheryl Connelly

Meet Ford's Resident Futurist
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