Best Global Green Brands 2014

brandcameo

Branded Entertainment Watch: Budweiser, Old Navy, Lexus and More

Posted by Abe Sauer on August 1, 2014 07:17 PM

It's been a busy week for branded entertainment, from Hugh Jackman's star turn for Toyota in Asia to will.i.am's new creative collaboration with Lexus. Below, check out more branded entertainment projects, including short films from Old Navy (channeling High School Musical), Bud's latest VICE fix and Jude Law's Johnnie Walker dance-off.Continue reading...

week in review

Top 10 Stories of the Week: Blackberry's Assistant, LEGO, Zappos and more

Posted by brandchannel staff on August 1, 2014 07:04 PM

Our most-read blog posts of the week:

#1 BlackBerry Assistant Takes ‘Natural Language’ to the Next Level

#2 Sustainability is Becoming a Key Part of Decision Making for Brands, Consumers

#3 LEGO Protests Go Global as Greenpeace Targets Shell Partnership

#4 Critics Make a Dent in Coke's Can as Brand Steps Up Health Marketing

#5 At Wearable Tech Expo, Brands Acknowledge Hurdles to Adoption

#6 Bose Tries to Tune Out Beats with Patent Infringement Lawsuit

#7 Amazon Goes Custom with 3D Printing Shop

#8 It Gets Better: Zappos Tops Itself with #AskZappos Personal Shopping Assistant

#9 Corporate Citizenship Lessons: 5 Questions with Interbrand's Carolyn Ray

#10 Facing Challenges in China and at Home, McDonald’s Tackles Brand Crisis

celebrity brandcasting

will.i.am Designs for Lexus as Celebrity Creative Director Trend Rolls On

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 1, 2014 06:20 PM

will.i.am is not afraid to share his creative vision with any brand willing to pay to hear his thoughts. The artist formerly known as Michael Adams has previously helped Intel and Coca-Cola shape their creative vision and new products and is now lending himself to Lexus Europe.

Lexus Europe is launching a new Lexus NX model and will.i.am will design his own limited-edition “sharply styled, premium, mid-size SUV” as part of it, according to Marketing Magazine. He’ll also star in the brand's Striking Angles campaign. 

"We’re really excited to be working with will.i.am,” said Alain Uyttenhoven, head of Lexus Europe, Marketing Magazine reports. “His unrivalled passion for design and innovation, coupled with his incredible creativity, makes him the perfect partner for our Lexus NX 'Striking Angles' campaign."

But this isn't the artist's first rodeo with Lexus. Only a month ago, Lexus sponsored Pyramidi, “the debut gallery artwork by will.i.am,” according to The Auto Channel. The artwork was displayed at a gallery in London and “explores the interface between analogue and digital music in a live gallery experience featuring project-mapped visuals accompanied by a new song composed by will.i.am.”Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

NFL Sensors Will Track Player Stats for Fans, but What About Safety?

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 1, 2014 04:42 PM

The NFL is preparing to track every move that its athletes make on the field this upcoming season. No, it's not for health and safety reasons (though it could be), but it will instead satisfy the data-hungry fans that tune in every week. 

With sensors implanted into players' shoulder pads, the NFL will be able to broadcast real-time statistics to networks and fans about how far and fast each player is traveling, ESPN reports—a fantasy football dream come true. Fifteen of the teams that are receiving the system will host Thursday night football games this year. 

In addition to creating new stats that fans and commentators can throw around, the league said the new data will help teams "evolve training, scouting and evaluation through increased knowledge of player performance," Sports Illustrated reports. That means there is a whole new group of numbers for agents and team execs to battle over when contract-negotiation time comes.

"What you're going to see is touchpoints that happen throughout the league," Vishal Shah, the NFL's vice president of domestic media and business development, told USA Today. "Certainly, the most comprehensive and impactful might be to the fans themselves. But it's going to touch areas of our league and give us a deeper understanding of our game."Continue reading...

brand strategy

P&G Plans to Shed More Than Half Its Brands to Focus on Billion-Dollar Keepers

Posted by Dale Buss on August 1, 2014 01:07 PM

Procter & Gamble CEO A.G. Lafley finally took the biggest step of his second tenure in reshaping the company for the future, announcing that P&G plans to cut more than half of its brands globally as it restructures to focus on its top 70 to 80 brands.

That means the company will be divesting, discontinuing or merging about 100 of its existing brands over the next year or two. While they account for more than $8 billion in sales annually, these sleepy brands have seen sales declining by 3 percent and profits declining by 16 percent on average, Lafley told investors, and have margins less than half the company average.

Meanwhile, P&G’s “keepers” include iconic brands such as Tide and Pampers that have accounted for 90 percent of company sales and 95 percent of profits over the past three years. Most of these brands are leaders in their industries or categories; 23 have sales of $1 billion to $10 billion a year, and most of the remainder have sales of $100 million to $500 million.Continue reading...

retail watch

Luxury Retailers are Slow to Invest in Omnichannel Evolution

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 1, 2014 11:41 AM

Showrooming, the scourge of retailers, has been replaced by webrooming—a welcome trend. But many retailers are not taking full advantage of the shift in consumer behavior and are losing sales by not providing adequate inventory resources online.

“Most luxury brands are at least several years out from putting in place the back-end investments that enable inventory visibility across channels,” said Claude de Jocas, lead researcher of a new report from L2. “As a result, brands have ignored omnichannel for the time being, relying entirely on the efforts of their distribution partners."

Surveying the initiatives of 100 retailers across apparel and accessories, beauty, big box, department stores, home, sportswear and watches and jewelry to drive customers “from clicks to bricks and back again,” L2 found that “some of the strongest plays in luxury have been from vertically integrated retailers that are incentivized to drive consumers into their own boutiques, such as Tiffany & Co., which offers robust online appointment booking to view engagement rings in-store."

Luxury Daily seconded, noting that "in-store sales guided by digital will likely surpass the 50 percent mark this year, and mobile will be a major engine of that growth."Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Southwest, Kellogg's, NFL and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 1, 2014 09:37 AM

TOP STORIES

Kellogg's plans to revive soggy cereal sales after accelerating slide, as judge orders it to open locked-out factory in Memphis.

Southwest Air and SeaWorld end partnership in response to ongoing animal rights protests.

Yum! Brands says sales effects of China supplier scandal could deepen.

Tesla breaks ground on a contingent basis in Nevada as its loss widens.

NFL will install sensors in players' shoulder pads to track on-field data. 

MORE BRAND NEWS

Alibaba invests huge sums in array of US tech companies.

American Heart Association rebrands. 

Apple confirms it will lay off 200 Beats employees. 

Chrysler says US sales rose 20 percent in July on strength of Jeep.

Dannon becomes official yogurt sponsor of NFL.

DirecTV revenues were boosted by World Cup, and AB InBev scored as well.

LinkedIn sees ad business rise as company reports robust growth.Continue reading...

brand extensions

Happy Birthday, Potter: 17 Years Later, Harry Potter is Bigger than Ever Before

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 31, 2014 05:43 PM

Born July 31, 1980 (and brought to life in 1997 when "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" was published), no one likely could have predicted the mind-boggling success that would become Harry Potter. 

And while the character in the books spent his childhood birthdays with the abhorrent Dursleys, here in the Muggle world, the date (which also happens to be author J.K. Rowling's birthday) symbolizes a celebration for the millions of Potterheads and numerous marketers that have helped fuel the Potter machine with fanatical loyalty. That loyalty to the books, films and countless other branded products have helped make Harry Potter one of the top 10 best-selling products in the world. 

While the series has seemingly wrapped up, there is no end in sight for Harry Potter, the brand.Continue reading...

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