Best Global Green Brands 2014

bc q&a

Toilet Talk: 5 Questions with Jay Gould, CEO of American Standard

Posted by Dale Buss on July 16, 2014 12:13 PM

Jay Gould has helped transform many brands, but his overhaul of American Standard bathroom fixtures may be his most interesting. The No. 2 US brand of toilets and related equipment is flush with success these days, a $1 billion-plus brand that has gone from the precipice of extinction to a new position of market strength in less than three years of his leadership.

Gould had headed branding for Wheaties, Colombo frozen yogurt, Minute Maid and Pepperidge Farm cookies at various times in his 30-year career as a marketing and innovation executive and even started some of his own companies. One of his mentors was the legendary Sergio Zyman at Coca-Cola.

But when Sun Capital, the new owner of the US arm of American Standard, needed a CEO who could pull the company back from the brink of extinction after the Great Recession had obliterated housing starts, Gould saw the kind of challenge he hadn’t faced before: essentially, creating a brand where there was none. American Standard had allowed its products and brand to become commoditized in a business that was dominated by Kohler.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Time Warner, Comcast, Samsung and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 16, 2014 08:53 AM

TOP STORIES

Airbnb prepares brand refresh and woos New York.

Samsung concludes 10-month World Cup soccer campaign with finale to "The Match" (above).

Tech "odd couple" Apple and IBM team up for enterprise mobility.

Time Warner shares soar after reportedly rejecting $80 billion Murdoch bid.

Comcast apologizes for customer service call embarrassment.

MORE BRAND NEWS:

AOL patents web-like response ads for TV.

Archie comics kills off namesake character as Marvel makes Thor a her.

Facebook brand stories perform better than traditional ads.

GE tests Snapchat marketing.Continue reading...

branding together

Apple and IBM Partner to Transform How Companies Work

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 15, 2014 09:09 PM

Apple and IBM have struck a global partnership to work together to create business-software applications for iPhone and iPad users.

Highlights from the press release about the co-branded enterprise mobility deal:

The new IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions will be built in an exclusive collaboration that draws on the distinct strengths of each company: IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities, with the power of more than 100,000 IBM industry and domain consultants and software developers behind it, fused with Apple’s legendary consumer experience, hardware and software integration and developer platform.Continue reading...

retail watch

Earth to Ralph Lauren: American Indian Iconography is a Hotbed for Scandal

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 15, 2014 06:33 PM

The Redskins are of course the most prominent offenders in the ongoing PC battle over American Indian slang, as recent months have seen the NFL team under increasing pressure to drop its name and logo. It's a debate that culminated with the US Patent and Trademark Office's recent decision to cancel the team's trademark.

But tailing the football team is a wagon train of scandals involving celebrities and brands criticized for recently using Native American headdresses as fashion accessories. These cases make Ralph Lauren's ongoing obsession with using Native American headdress iconography all the more confusing. Is the brand just begging to be added to the criticism?

Those who have found themselves apologizing for the misuse of Native headdresses include music icons Pharrel and Gwen Stefani. Chanel "deeply apologized" after its headdress scandal and Victoria's Secret "sincerely apologized" after a similar event. Even lesser-knowns have come under fire, such as the daughter of Oklahoma's governor.Continue reading...

branding together

Big Tobacco Grows as Reynolds, Lorillard Merger Seeks New Industry Opportunities

Posted by Dale Buss on July 15, 2014 04:46 PM

Reynolds American and Lorillard are combining to make for a tougher competitior in a declining industry. But will the combination of the two tobacco giants be able to do more than that?

After a year of talks, Reynolds agreed to buy its smaller rival, Lorillard, for $27.4 billion, creating a company whose tobacco brands include classics such as Camel and Pall Mall as well as Natural American Spirit and Grizzly smokeless tobacco. Reynolds also has launched the Vuse e-cigarette.

But even in a business as crippled as selling cigarettes, the combining parties had to make some antitrust concessions. They sold a group of brands—including Cool, Salem and Winston cigarettes and Blu e-cigarettes—to another player, Imperial Tobacco, for $7 billion.Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

MLB, Fox Hope Boozed Up Jeter Fans Boost All-Star Game Stats

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 15, 2014 04:00 PM

Major League Baseball and Fox are doing all they can to boost viewership of tonight's All-Star Game in Minneapolis.

The number of fans tuning in has dropped 25 percent in the last five years, with the number hitting only 8 million last year, according to the Motley Fool. Couple that with low ratings in recent years for the World Series and analysts are starting to wonder if consumers still care about baseball like they used to. 

"This question gets asked every year," Fox Sports President Eric Shanks said in a conference call, according to the Chicago Tribune. "It's nothing new." 

But what is new is the event's format for the Home Run Derby, which this year was extended to two nights. The Derby traditionally garners impressive viewership, with more fans tuning in last year than any NBA playoff game on ESPN.Continue reading...

personal brands

Reclaiming Brand Authenticity, LeBron James is Coming Home

Posted by brandchannel on July 15, 2014 01:03 PM

LeBron James has always been more than an athlete—he’s a brand. The overwhelmingly positive sentiment surrounding the NBA star's decision to return to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers underscores an important truth: a brand's ability to attract customer loyalty, and in turn, maximize earning potential, is not solely the result of a high-quality product, but its ability to communicate authenticity and purpose.

Indeed, while LeBron has spent much of his career as one of the greatest basketball players on Earth, his stature amongst fans has always been intimately tied to his authenticity and purpose. The strength of LeBron’s personal brand at the start of his career was largely due to the authenticity of his narrative. LeBron overcame poverty and an absent father to become the future of his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. He embodied the struggle of the city and the resolve needed to rise above adversity.

In 2008, James released a documentary about his high school basketball team, More than a Game. The documentary depicted how the evolution of his game stems from the evolution of his relationships. It’s his brand positioning: "This is why I care." It was a gripping narrative that fans could feel through every spectacular dunk, emphatic block and signature powder toss. As the title of his documentary suggests, LeBron’s story has always been “More than a Game.”Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

Samsung Takes CenterStage in Bid for Smart Home Market

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 15, 2014 12:13 PM

Samsung took a giant leap forward in interactive retail with CenterStage, a digital installation showcasing its home appliance line that furthers the brand's advanced placement in the smart home market. 

Inside two Best Buy stores in the Chicago area, its intent is to catapult Samsung’s presence in the category, building on its brand strength in mobile phones and TVs.

"There are loads and loads of conversations about transferring brand experience to mobile, web, tablet," said Sophie Kelly, CEO of the Barbarian Group, who built the showroom. "But there's very little discussion about retail interactive experiences."Continue reading...

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