Best Global Green Brands 2014

brand news

Brand News: Monster, Samsung, Apple and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 15, 2014 09:34 AM

TOP STORIES

Coca-Cola buys 17 percent of Monster Beverage for $2.2 billion.

Samsung buys Internet of Things startup SmartThings.

SeaWorld bows to pressure, agrees to upgrade killer-whale habitats.

Walmart sales and traffic woes continue as CEO vows to fix problems.

Apple places pricey bet on sapphire screens and stores user data in China while CEO Tim Cook participates in ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.Continue reading...

brand strategy

In Smart Home Battle, Quirky, Electrolux Vie for GE's Appliance Business

Posted by Dale Buss on August 14, 2014 06:03 PM

General Electric continues to show it's serious about recasting its business around reliable B2B products like jet engines and wind turbines with news that it's talking with Swedish giant Electrolux about selling its home-appliance business. Another potential bidder, Bloomberg reports, could be a group including the Blackstone Group and Quirky, a five-year-old startup that has an ongoing product partnership with GE.

The 122-year-old GE appliance division is on the block for a second time as CEO Jeffrey Immelt focuses on industrial operations, and the division could net $2 billion in a sale. "GE is evaluating a wide range of strategic operations for our appliance business including discussions with Electrolux and other interested parties," a GE spokesman told Bloomberg. 

But while the interest of Electrolux, No. 2 in US sales of appliances and maker of brands like Frigidaire and AEG, could mean a boost in business for the brand, which has had stagnant sales in the US and Europe, the potential bid by Quirky with private-equity firms including Blackstone is much more interesting in terms of the future of the smart home.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Sea of Hurt: SeaWorld Stock Plunges as Blackfish, Activism Takes Its Toll UPDATE

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 14, 2014 04:27 PM

It's been a rough year for SeaWorld, the ocean-themed amusement park/zoo known for its sea animal performaces, especially its orcas.

But the very star of the park's programming is also responsible for its decline, as activists and consumers become increasingly outspoken about animal rights following the release of the documentary "Blackfish," which told the story of Tilikum, a giant SeaWorld orca that killed a trainer in 2010, the most recent of 3 deadly incidents with the same whale. 

Now, a year after the film aired on CNN to 21 million viewers, the effect is impossible to deny: SeaWorld's second-quarter revenue came in a $405 million, far below the expected $445 million, causing the brand's stock to plunge 33 percent and S&P to cut the company's credit rating

“Until today’s report we were willing to . . . take SeaWorld’s word that there was no discernible impact,” Tim Nollen, of investment firm Macquarie, told The Guardian. “This report was notably worse than previous reports.”

Company executives acknowledged that the decline was in part because of negative media attention and proposed legislation in California that calls for a federal study on the impact of captivity on large marine animals.Continue reading...

campaigns

Goodbye, Kitty: Japan Sends Hello Kitty into Orbit to Boost Space Program

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 14, 2014 01:42 PM

NASA isn't the only space program in jeopardy. Japan, for one, is also trying to re-engage young minds with the fascinations of space using a tried and true method: Hello Kitty.

The iconic figure, which is celebrating its 40th birthday, has created billions of dollars in revenue for its owner, Sanrio, and Japan hopes that its internationally-recognized animated toy will drive the same kind of cultural interest for its space program. 

To get more private companies interested in using satellites, the government has invested $40 million toward the project, Reuters reports. The satellite carrying the 1.6-inch Hello Kitty figurine was fine-tuned over a couple of months of experimentation and is about the size of a garbage can.Continue reading...

trademark wars

Clif Bar vs. KIND: A Clear Case of Trademark Infringement?

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 14, 2014 11:41 AM

Health bars claim to be good for everyone, but that's not the case when it comes to trademark claims. 

KIND has taken Clif Bar to court, claiming that the latter’s new Mojo bars bear a little too much resemblance to their own packaging, Lexology reports. Clif, of course, “disputes that the packaging of KIND bars is distinctive,” the site notes. KIND asked the court to temporarily stop Clif from selling the Mojo bars, which are packaged in a clear wrapper, like KIND bars, while the suit is underway, but the court has declined. KIND has appealed that decision.

While the court discovered that Clif marketers thought the KIND packaging was “best in class” when the Mojo design was created, it also found that a few other health bars had similar designs and that consumers weren’t confused about whether they were buying a KIND bar or not when they purchased a Mojo bar.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: AT&T, GE, Colgate and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 14, 2014 09:32 AM

TOP STORIES

AT&T slashes prices on iPads, expands ultrafast GigaPower broadband to Dallas.

Cisco plans to cut 6,000 jobs.

GE talks with Electrolux and Quirky about selling home-appliance unit.

Colgate's use of triclosan in Total sparks debate.

T-Mobile CFO calls Iliad offer "inadequate."

MORE BRAND NEWS

Applebee's teases new burgers with digital campaign.

Burger King drops "Satisfries."

Buzzfeed explains new business model.

Comcast experiments with marathoning TV shows.

Discovery sees debunking Shark Week become a cottage industry.Continue reading...

bc q&a

Storyteller-in-Chief: A Conversation With Levi's Global CMO Jennifer Sey

Posted by Shirley Brady on August 13, 2014 07:26 PM

On the Fourth of July in 2009, Levi's launched "Go Forth," a new voice and campaign for the Levi’s brand and Levi’s 501 jeans. The "striking" call to arms featured the words of Walt Whitman and summoned America's pioneering zeal. After taking the "Go Forth" platform global two years later, Levi's quietly phased out the tagline in 2012, and it has been without a global brand campaign—until now.

Levi's is in the midst of rolling out the "Live in Levi's Project," a multifaceted global campaign and digital platform (in partnership with AKQA) that features dynamic content to engage fans worldwide in the Levi's brand experience. Blending storytelling with social media, targeted content and e-commerce worldwide is no mean feat, which is why Levi's global chief marketing officer Jennifer Sey conducted extensive research before venturing into the world of shoppable videos, Weibo and WeChat, iBeacon and user-generated content and curation.

Sey, a 15-year veteran with Levi's who was promoted to global CMO a year ago, spoke with brandchannel Editor-in-Chief Shirley Brady about the vision and tactics informing the Live in Levi's platform and the challenge of channeling and elevating passion in such an iconic brand. As Sey commented, "If Levi’s isn’t an icon, I’m not sure what is!"Continue reading...

retail watch

New Balance Tests Real-Time Commerce for 880v4 Launch

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 13, 2014 06:26 PM

New Balance, the proud made-in-America shoe maker, is deploying digital in an all new way for the release of its latest sneaker. Instead of pushing more online deals, New Balance will use video to encourage consumers to show up in actual stores across the country.

According to Adweek, the company will be hosting “mini red carpet events” in 50 running stores across the US on Thursday that will feature “a video experience that helps launch the new 880v4 athletic running shoe.”

The shoes will be unveiled with the help of a live video feed from BrandLive, a real-time video and commerce platform that has been previously used by the PGA and other major brands to host events. The video, broadcast live from New Balance headquarters in Boston, will feature a live Q&A with brand executives who will answer questions about the new running shoe series.Continue reading...

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