Best Global Green Brands 2014


Gap Goes Cute and Dell Goes Cool for Back to School Season Campaigns

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 13, 2014 11:12 AM

With kids across the US trickling back to school over the next few weeks ahead of Labor Day, Gap is kicking its back-to-school campaign into high gear coming off a 2 percent sales boost in July. This year, the company is pulling out a major social effort tied to the brand's newest social presence, @GapKids

The launch of @GapKids includes a new contest, GapKids Class of 2014, that invites “parents to submit photos of their kids for the chance to be featured in a 2015 GapKids marketing campaign,” according to a company press release. All that enter will receive “a socially sharable moving image video of their child that encapsulates the GapKids aesthetic.” Gap has had a similar program, Casting Call, for the last six years, but this year's marks a much bigger investment in social media marketing.

The hope is that parents, who the National Retail Federation says will spend nearly $75 billion on back-to-school spending, will head to the @GapKids Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest channels to share and comment on parenting-related stories.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Amazon, Target, Redskins and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 13, 2014 09:05 AM


Amazon takes on Square with launch of Local Register, a mobile credit-card reader and mobile app.

Hyundai offers settlement in Korea of SUV-mileage suit.

Target plans supply-chain reset to help fix Canada woes.

Tata Motors unveils first new model in home market of India in four years after Nano falls flat.

Washington Redskins launch campaign to defend name.Continue reading...

tech innovation

Starwood Deploys Smart Butler in Silicon Valley as Robots Become Mainstream

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 12, 2014 07:25 PM

The robot invasion is upon us—if you want to call a toiletry-toting gadget on wheels an "invasion." 

Beginning next week, the Aloft hotel in Cupertino, Calif., across from Apple’s corporate campus, will introduce a three-foot-high robotic bellhop, Botlr, that will dispense items to guests in their rooms. The robot, made by start-up Savioke, is part of the growing next generation of smart machines including an electric golf caddy from Caddytrek, Google’s self-driving car and Aetheon’s Tug hospital supply robot.

“I see this as an enhancement to our customer service,” said Brian McGuinness, Starwood Hotels SVP for Specialty Select brands, that includes 100 Aloft hotels in 14 countries opening in 2015, according to the New York Times. “It’s not going to be a replacement for our human talent.”Continue reading...

bc q&a

Dishing Up Success: 5 Questions with Rachel Phillips-Luther of Zoës Kitchen

Posted by Taylor Goddu on August 12, 2014 04:54 PM

Rooted in Mediterranean tradition and southern hospitality, Zoës Kitchen, a fast-casual chain founded in Texas in 1995, has a four-year plan to double the brand's footprint, which currently encompasses 124 restaurants across 15 states. 

Haven't heard of them? Well you may soon. With a market value of $525 million, impressive unit volumes tracking close to Panera and Chipotle and a 2013 average customer spend of $9.57, Zoës is hard to ignore—even if “y’all” isn’t part of your vocabulary. 

Beyond their commitment to family-inspired Greek eats (Zoë being the founder’s grandmother), Zoës storefronts are purposefully infused with trends from the fashion arena and other high-energy spaces to create a positive and fun brand experience for its diners, 70 percent of which are women and their families. The brand also actively taps social media for its ongoing #ShareGoodness campaign, which encourages patrons to share inspirational messages (and delicious recipes). 

branchannel chatted with Rachel Phillips-Luther, VP of Marketing for Zoës, who told us more about the brand's voice, persona and how it creates an emotional connection with consumers.Continue reading...

auto motive

Jaguar Dusts Off Iconic Lightweight E-Type for Historic Concours Event

Posted by Dale Buss on August 12, 2014 03:29 PM

The more Jaguar recovers from its near-death experience a few years ago, the more the brand can afford to look back at its original glory days. That seems to be behind Jaguar's move to revive an old racing vehicle known as the Lightweight E-type and display it at the Pebble Beach Concours in California this weekend.

Jaguar then plans to sell the new E-types, which Top Gear calls a "beauty of a time traveller," as "period competition" vehicles to some very demanding hobbyists who want to race them in classic car rallies, which is why they'll be offered first to existing Jaguar collectors.

The roots of the project date back a half century—to 1963, to be precise. That's when Jaguar—owned for the last few years, along with Land Rover, by India's Tata Group—built 12 of 18 planned "Special GT E-type" project cars for the race course. The remaining six were never built until now.Continue reading...

brand essence

Vans Goes Underground in London for Latest Brand Experience

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 12, 2014 01:14 PM

Skateboarding culture is sometimes characterized as being underground, but Vans is taking the word a bit literally. The brand has just opened a skatepark beneath London's Waterloo Station in a spot known locally as the Old Vic Tunnels. The space, called House of Vans London, will also host house parties with a schedule of music performances, art and film screenings—and it’s all free of charge. What slacker isn’t going to love that?

“The House of Vans London is the physical manifestation of the cultures and creativity at the heart of the Vans brand. London is the perfect city to expand this original concept first established in Brooklyn and it’s an honor to take over this iconic venue from the Old Vic,” said Vans VP of marketing Jeremy de Maillard. “We’re looking forward to building on this legacy, working closely with the local communities and key stakeholders involved in the project.”

According to The Guardian, Vans beat out Apple and Nike for rights to the space and create a brand experience that's designed to "engage and inspire youth culture," one that's fortuitously close to London's infamous legal graffiti wall and the South Bank skatepark on the Thames.Continue reading...

games people play

Hasbro Innovates with 3D Printed Ponies, Social Media Monopoly

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 12, 2014 11:19 AM

Hasbro is stepping out with new digital initiatives to position the gaming brand at the forefront of personlized play.  

One of the most exciting franchise updates has come to Monopoly. The latest iteration of the classic boardgame is My Monopoly, which lets players customize graphics and property names, Chance Cards, Community Chest Cards and tokens using photos from Facebook, Instagram, Flickr and Shutterfly.

In the UK, fans of Monopoly were invited to play an experiential version of the game at London's Westfield Stratford shopping center. Shoppers used their smartphones to select a "mover" and upload a photo, followed by a chance to see their personalized player take a turn after they shook their phone like it were dice.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Tata, Axe, Uber and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 12, 2014 09:41 AM


Tata launches new airline Vistara on social media as Jaguar, Land Rover sales boost business

Chiquita bananas brand sparks bidding war.

Axe goes celibate in ad for new scent.

Uber goes after Lyft and vice versa as they seek to supplant taxi industry.

Robin Williams dies of suspected suicide at age 63 as brands and fans pay tribute and ABC News apologizes.


Aereo could survive on new Senate proposal. 

Alibaba poses problems for bankers with IPO.

Alitalia and Etihad Airways finalize investment deal for reinvigorated Alitalia. 

Amazon and Disney dispute more than pricing as new Fire Phone ads tout Firefly technology.Continue reading...

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