social media

Myspace Doubles Down on Music and Video

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 9, 2014 05:02 PM

Less than a decade ago, Myspace (then MySpace) ruled the Internet as a social hub for music and selfie-loving kids, but the mighty has fallen a long way down.

The company bought by Justin Timberlake and Specific Media LLC back in 2011 for $35 million and then relaunched a year later has just announced both platform enhancements as well as new partnerships to help engage and grow its one million users.Continue reading...

retail watch

Amazon is Opening a Brick-and-Mortar Store in New York City

Posted by Shirley Brady on October 9, 2014 03:37 PM

AmazonFresh grocery delivery trucks have been spotted around Manhattan, even though the service is officially only available in Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco areas. Now Amazon is preparing to open its first brick-and-mortar store in the Big Apple, and just in time for the holidays.

According to the Wall Street Journal, its New York store—which may serve as part showroom for Amazon's family of digital devices, from Kindle e-readers and Fire smartphone to the Fire TV set-top box—will open at 7 West 34th Street.

A top-riser on Interbrand's just-released 2014 Best Global Brands report at #15, the move would mark a landmark foray into physical retailing for the global e-commerce giant, which is often cited for encouraging "showrooming" that takes business away from brick-and-mortar retailers.

It's opening its own showroom and storefront in a retail site (take a peek below) that's located across the street from the Empire State Building, a tourist-filled area, while the building's loading docks will enable easy access for delivery trucks.Continue reading...

auto motive

GM CEO Barra Wears Mantle of Leadership In More Places, More Ways

Posted by Dale Buss on October 9, 2014 03:01 PM

The world—business people, consumers, other important constituencies, even many of her own employees—finally is getting to know Mary Barra. Having gotten over the hump of the safety recall disaster, the CEO of General Motors is revealing more about her strategy, her expectations, her style and her passions.

In one interview and appearance after another, a Barra is emerging who seems decisive, visionary, and confident in her company and the GM brand, yet also human and not afraid to acknowledge her gender now and then. Such as being a star attraction at the Fortune magazine Most Powerful Women Summit this week.

At that function, her message emphasized the role of CEO in changing a company, a role in which she's gained immediate experience because of how she's had to take apart much of GM in the wake of the safety fiasco, both to vet the extent of the problem and to make sure it can never happen again.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Lego Breaks Shell Partnership, Pushed by Greenpeace Video Campaign

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 9, 2014 02:11 PM

Greenpeace has scored another major victory in its savvy social- and content-driven lobbying of brands.

Lego announced today it will not renew its marketing contract with Shell, ending a partnership that dates back to the 1960s.

The environmental activist group targeted the world’s largest toymaker with a petition and a brilliantly-executed campaign: a YouTube video of a pristine Arctic environment, constructed from 265 pounds of Lego bricks and characters, becoming slowly submerged in oil.

Titled "Everything is NOT Awesome" in reference to The Lego Movie's "Everything is Awesome" anthem, the video (which linked to a petition) has garnered nearly 6 million views to date.Continue reading...

logo-a-gogo

K-Swiss Takes Its Change of Direction Literally

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 9, 2014 01:02 PM

Tennis shoe manufacturer K-Swiss has been hitting America’s courts since 1966, and the execs behind the brand are apparently feeling like it needed a bit of a fresh look because K-Swiss suddenly has a new logo that marks a shift for the company.

In its previous logo, a red, white, and blue shield with the word K-Swiss at the top had five diagonal stripes running down from the left to the right. Now the name of the company has been moved out of the shelf altogether and the stripes are running more optimistically up from left to right. According to Business Insider, K-Swiss says the move shows “the brand’s momentum towards the future.”

If that weren’t enough, the brand also now its own blue, Brunner Blue, named for co-founders Art and Ernie Brunner. The word is that the blue matches “the shade of blue found on America’s most famous tennis courts,” Business Insider notes.Continue reading...

best global brands

The Age of You: How the Best Global Brands Are Creating Mecosystems

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 9, 2014 12:51 PM

The 2014 edition of the Interbrand Best Global Brands report is out and confirms the dominance of tech brands as Apple remains No. 1 and the world’s most valuable brand for a second straight year, followed by Google, with Coca-Cola at No. 3. 

It’s the first year that two brands are valued at more than $100 billion: Apple at $118.9 billion, up 21 percent from last year, and Google, at $107.4 billion, up 15 percent from last year.

“Apple and Google’s meteoric rise to more than USD $100 billion is truly a testament to the power of brand building,” stated Jez Frampton, Global CEO of Interbrand (brandchannel's parent company).

“These leading brands have reached new pinnacles—in terms of both their growth and in the history of Best Global Brands—by creating experiences that are seamless, contextually relevant, and increasingly based around an overarching ecosystem of integrated products and services, both physical and digital.”

It's a theme that Interbrand calls "The Age of You."Continue reading...

brand q&a

Activia's New Challenge: 5 Questions with US Brand Chief Jeffrey Rothman

Posted by Dale Buss on October 9, 2014 11:35 AM

Activia introduced the term "probiotics"—referring to the beneficial bacteria in the human gut—to mainstream America when Dannon brought the concept from Europe nearly a decade ago, and the brand quickly succeeded in capturing a big share of the US yogurt market as well as the imagination of popular culture with spoofs of its Jamie Lee Curtis ads on Saturday Night Live.

The boom in Greek yogurt sales slowed the momentum of Activia and every other variety of yogurt over the last few years. Dannon responded with measures such as introducing Greek varieties of Activia as well as replacing Curtis with new spokespeople such as Shakira and Laila Ali.

Now Dannon is trying to re-focus attention on the brand with a revival of the Activia Challenge, in which consumers are promised that Activia will help their minor digestive issues with in two weeks of regular consumption, or they get a refund.

Activia last tried the Activia Challenge in 2010, the year that the brand settled with the US Federal Trade Commission over charges that it didn't have sufficient medical evidence to claim Activia had long-lasting effects.

brandchannel spoke with Jeffrey Rothman, VP of US marketing for Activia, for details.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Apple Tops Interbrand's Best Global Brands and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 9, 2014 07:58 AM

TOP STORIES

Apple CEO receives open letter from Carl Icahn as brand remains #1 on Interbrand's Best Global Brands report as Huawei debuts on ranking (more from CEO Jez Frampton, above).

Audi slips behind Mercedes-Benz in global sales battle as it seeks $2.5 billion in annual cost cuts. 

iHeartRadio makes first foray into smartwatches.

IKEA enters insurance business.

HTC expands into personal cameras with quirky RE "selfie smartphone."Continue reading...

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