brand strategy

Target Diversifies its Brand with Innovations in Tech, Healthcare

Posted by Dale Buss on September 11, 2013 12:27 PM

Target keeps stretching the footprint of its brand, which now includes efforts to fuel innovation in health care—and a new digital-movie and -TV service.

Joining the growing ranks of big companies that are attempting to spark new enterprises—and re-stock the corporate cupboard of new ideas—by incentivizing and nurturing startups, Target launched the Target Simplicity Challenge to foster ideas for helping Americans make helpful lifestyle choices and to assist in living with chronic conditions. In 2012, Walmart launched a similar effort with its "Get On The Shelf" competition, and has continued to invest in startups for its @WalmartLabs project. Nike has an accelerator to develop mobile and green technologies, and Target already has a retail accelerator

The healthcare initiative will help further the already existing retail medical clinics, pharmacies and optical departments in many Target stores. "The growing dialogue about the need to transform health care is near and dear to our hearts," Jose Barra, Target's senior vice president for health and beauty, said in a press release. "We believe there is value in surfacing simple, intuitive ideas to drive a lot of impact.Continue reading...

brand innovation

Walmart Acquires Big Data Startup in Latest Bid to Build E-Commerce

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 11, 2013 11:36 AM

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, is acquiring Inkiru, a small startup focused on real-time predictive analysis in its latest effort to spur e-commerce.

"The similarities between Inkiru and @WalmartLabs are uncanny, with both having an innovative spirit and the ability to leverage big data to improve the customer experience," the company wrote in a blog post

Inkiru is joining @WalmartLabs in what Venture Beat describes as a "fairly straightforward 'manquisition,'" the latest move in a series of tech-centric acquisitions as the company looks to build upon its online sales prowess, which has already seen over a 30 percent increase in e-commerce in the first quarter. Determined to take competitors like Amazon head-on, Walmart CEO Mike Duke said the company expects online sales to hit $10 billion this year—an estimate that takes into account the recent purchase of Chinese online retailer Yihaodian.Continue reading...

crowdsourcing

GE Teams Up with Quirky for Patent Development

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 11, 2013 12:37 PM

What products would you make smarter? That's the question General Electric is asking in its bid to create consumer-facing products with GE patents. 

No stranger to the Internet of Things, GE has once again partnered with Quirky, a type of social network for inventors to license thousands of its patents to Quirky community members for development.

“There are a host of consumer applications that we haven’t had the ability to focus on,” Beth Comstock, CMO GE told the The New York Times. “That just isn’t our core business.”Continue reading...

mobile commerce

The Future of Retail: How Mobile Payments Are Changing the Retail Experience

Posted by Barry Silverstein on March 20, 2013 05:33 PM

Retailers are trying to cope with the challenge of an increasingly mobile consumer who conducts life digitally. This means meeting consumers' expectations on a whole new playing field: the mobile device.

According to Interbrand's just-released Best Retail Brands 2013 report, "retailers are mobilizing to address the larger issues around digital: Where and how does it fit into the organization? How can development teams be reorganized and silos lowered to accommodate a multichannel approach? How will the brand's culture change in response?"

While mobile sales are insignificant now, they are growing rapidly. In-store mobile payments almost quadrupled last year, and PayPal alone processed around $14 billion in mobile payments in 2012, according to Business Insider. That means mobile payments need to be a key part of future retail strategy. Just last week, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a report, "Paper, Plastic... or Mobile?" The FTC cites a KPMG survey that found that 83 percent of executives in retail, financial services, technology and telecommunications believe mobile payments will see widespread consumer adoption by 2015.

Another recent study, by JPMorgan, divides the current state of the mobile commerce market: mobile acceptance (any mobile-based payment solution), mobile wallets (applications that enable consumers to use mobile devices for payment instead of credit or debit cards) and mobile commerce (e-commerce via any mobile device).Continue reading...

crowdsourcing

Walmart Crowdsources New Product Ideas

Posted by Dale Buss on January 23, 2012 12:25 PM

For a small manufacturer, a spot on the shelves of Walmart or a pixel packet on Walmart.com can be transformational. That's why there is practically a cottage industry around Bentonville, Ark., just serving the needs of the thousands of would-be vendors who trek to Wal-Mart headquarters there every year in an attempt to lure or cajole one of the company's buyers into taking a flyer on the "next great product."

Now, Walmart wants to make it easier for some of these innovations to make their way onto its product list as well as, perhaps, land some hit merchandise that might never have made it through all the hoops before. So the company's @WalmartLabs R&D unit is launching an initiative to open its doors to great product ideas: Get on the Shelf, a program inviting would-be suppliers small and large to submit product ideas along with supporting videos in a campaign that unfolds in phases through April.

Consumers are invited to vote online on which products they'd like to see Walmart pick up, and the company will end up selling three of them online plus feature a grand prize winner on its home page and in some stores. Entrants will be free to get votes however they want — and, in the process, will demonstrate their marketing savvy to Walmart.Continue reading...

brand news

Brands to Watch: BofA, Broadcom, McGraw-Hill & more

Posted by Shirley Brady on September 12, 2011 06:35 PM

Brands to Watch

Al Gore prepares 24-hour global warming Climate Reality live-stream event.

Angry Birds spurs 1M t-shirts and 1M plush toy sales per month for Rovio.

AT&T will use plant-based packaging for accessories as Coca-Cola's PlantBottle arrives on UK shelves.

Bank of America announces 30,000 job cuts.

Boston Globe newspaper puts up online paywall.

British American Tobacco gears up for legal battle vs. the Australian government.

Broadcom bets on web traffic for mobile with $3.7 billion NetLogic deal.

Glenn Beck says his new TV network is "not for slugs."

Google - just another ad company?

Groupon sued by its own employees.Continue reading...

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