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tech in the spotlight

Apple's Cook Defines Core Objectives

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 16, 2015 08:28 AM

It’s a very good time to be Apple CEO Tim Cook.

The brand just became the first US company to close at more than $700 billion in market value. Fittingly, the milestone came as Cook attended the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco to discuss, among other things, the Apple Watch, growth in China and solar power.

“Given Apple’s powerful iPhone cycle, a big 4G ramp in China and the upcoming launch of Apple Watch in April, we believe there is still plenty to look forward to at Apple during this transformational cycle,” said Brian White, analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald.

Cook was bullish on Apple’s sales in China, in which revenue increased by 70 percent to reach $38 billion in 2014.Continue reading...

brandspeak

Why Apple Won (Greater China)

Posted by Forest Young on February 4, 2015 04:16 PM

As we collectively marvel over Apple’s Q1 earnings — a record profit for a publicly traded company—we should reframe our focus.

The significance of the iPhone’s performance in Greater China , which includes mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, cannot be overlooked; it underlies both the flagship product responsible for nearly 70% of last quarter’s revenue, and the key growth market responsible for an estimated 36% of global iPhone shipments.

Several key learnings emerge:Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Old Navy, Sony, Target and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 3, 2014 08:30 AM

TOP STORIES

Old Navy debuts Julia Louis Dreyfus as Amy Poehler's replacement in new holiday campaign.

Sony hack investigation points fingers at North Korea as company struggles to recover from attack.

Tiger Woods talks up comeback and signs deal with India's Hero MotoCorp as global brand partner.

Duracell taps Nick Jonas for holiday campaign as P&G prepares its move to Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and reportedly shops Wella hair care brand.

Target releases Bullseye's Playground holiday app (featuring games to entertain kids in-store) in partnership with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital: Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: American Beagle, Red Lobster, Warner Bros. and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 5, 2014 10:14 AM

TOP STORIES

Republicans take US Senate and some key blue-state governorships in elections that even Democrats interpret as repudiation of President Obama, while higher minimum wage passes in four states and pot is legalized in three.

Coca-Cola has hit on its hands with Coke Life, researcher says.

Red Lobster reverts to lobster roots in highly-watched rebrand.

Warner Bros. lays off about 1,000 of its 8,000-member workforce.

American Eagle brings April Fool's prank to life (for a cause) with American Beagle collection. Continue reading...

branding together

Apple Squashes Rumor Mill Over Beats Music Plans

Posted by Abe Sauer on September 23, 2014 11:08 AM

"Apple Plans To Shut Down Beats Music." "Apple denies it is shutting down Beats Music."

Those headlines, from TechCrunch and USA Today respectively, came with hours of one another, proving that even if Apple is not "shutting down" Beats Music, it's sensitive about its role as proud new papa.

It also signals that Apple watchers and Beats fans alike are jumpy, maybe even distrustful, about what the big Apple might have in store for the popular music brand started by Pepsi-endorsed game-changer Dr Dre, whose headphones to streaming music brand arguably has more street cred and cool than Apple's white earbuds and iTunes combined.

Oddly, Dre (the richest hip-hop artist ever thanks to the Apple deal, Forbes announced today) and the Beats brand were mostly MIA during Apple's big iPhone/Apple Watch product reveal earlier this month. And given the subsequent news that Apple is developing a new music format with U2 (linked to Apple by Beats' Jimmy Iovine and a long relationship with Steve Jobs), it could appear that the honeymoon following the $3.2 billion Apple-Beats marriage is over.Continue reading...

branding together

U2unes Download: Apple and U2 Announce Next Big Gift to Music

Posted by Shirley Brady on September 18, 2014 03:24 PM

After exclusively launching U2’s new Songs of Innocence album to 500 million iTunes accounts this past week, Apple is delivering something else in response to customer demand. And true to Apple form, it’s an intuitive, easy-to-use and simple piece of technology—a delete button

A case study in how not to show customer appreciation, the unwanted gift of U2 music to all iTunes customers, whether they were fans of the Irish rockers or not, was hyped as the largest album release ever, and a "shrewd" marketing partnership (to the reported tune of $100 million) to celebrate the roots of the brand's longstanding tie-in with the band.

It turns out that the U2 album giveaway was a teaser for a bigger gift to come—and not only to music lovers but to musicians and the music industry as a whole. As TIME reveals in an exclusive cover story today, Apple is working with U2 on a bigger "secret project": a new digital music format designed to delight and excite customers to buy not only individual tracks but whole albums-as-experiences, and in so doing, "save the music industry."Continue reading...

brand faces

Staying Truett: Chick-fil-A’s Path Forward in the Wake of its Legendary Founder

Posted by Darcy Newell on September 10, 2014 06:34 PM

Monday was a sad day for fans of chicken sandwiches and the Chick-fil-A brand—the company’s founder and chairman emeritus, S. Truett Cathy, died at age 93 in his home. 

For many, Cathy was the embodiment of the Chick-Fil-A brand. Having grown the company from a small Atlanta diner in 1964 to one of the largest (1,800 locations in 40 states) and most beloved chicken restaurants in the United States, Cathy exemplified the American Dream. And despite strong business acuity, he was known for not choosing profitability over piety. From the company’s founding, restaurants have always closed on Sundays for a day of rest—missing out on opportunities for substantial revenue gains.

Of course, this religious focus has not always bided well for the man or the brand. Recent lawsuits claim the company’ discriminated against non-Christians, the LGBT community and others, and sparked debate on the role of religion—and religious commentary—in business today. Despite this, Cathy remained revered by the brand's intensely loyal fans for the experiences (and delightfully simple sandwiches) he created.Continue reading...

branding together

Apple, IBM Give Each Other a Hand in Meeting of the Enterprise Minds

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 16, 2014 02:07 PM

Apple and IBM's landmark partnership that's set to "redefine the way work will get done" is sending ripples through the industry, as the product/services duo are bound to disrupt the business plans of competitors like Microsoft and BlackBerry. 

Combining IBM’s big data and analytics expertise with Apple's user experience “could transform Apple, which ordinarily focuses squarely on consumers, into a true business powerhouse," The Verge notes. “It could also touch off a new battle with Microsoft, which now more than ever is focused on the enterprise and cloud services.”

Burying the hatchet of a longtime rivalry, the new partnership will “create simple-to-use business apps and sell iPhones and iPads to Big Blue’s corporate customers.” 

Aside from the projected product output, which includes 100 iPhone and iPad apps and on-site support to IBM’s business customers using Apple products, the deal signals “that under Tim Cook, Apple is trying to squeeze as much profit as it can out of the products that Apple created under Steve Jobs.," Forbes notes. "The question for investors is whether the deal with IBM is a signal that Tim Cook has no Jobs-like product innovation up Apple’s sleeve.”Continue reading...

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