automotive

Ford Gets in Sync, Dropping MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch

Posted by Dale Buss on December 11, 2014 01:19 PM

Ford Sync 3

When it came time to improve on its Sync infotainment system and brand a few years ago, Ford got a little too clever, some felt, undermining the seameless technology experience for owners and tarnishing its sterling brand.

Now, with the launch of the third-generation Sync 3, Ford is finally on the road to correcting mistakes which have cost the brand a great deal of comfort and credibility with Ford buyers and came up with a new system that a company researcher told brandchannel is "simpler overall."Continue reading...

social marketing

J.Crew Goes Back to Instagram for Design Inspiration—Meet Mayhem, Age 4

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 11, 2014 01:01 PM

J.Crew Instagram Mayhem designer

J.Crew is collaborating on a girls' clothing collection for Spring 2015 with a 4-year-old Instagram star.

"Mayem," as her mom calls her on social media, caught the eye of brand president and creative guru Jenna Lyons with her lookalike Oscar-inspired paper dresses, and had no qualms about taking one of her designs for a twirl in front of the fashion icon, above.

The child, whose real name is being kept private, became a star on her mom Angie's Instagram feed, and admittedly had help from her parents in designing her haute papier fashion creations. But J.Crew's head children's wear designer says Mayhem's upcoming capsule collection is all hers.Continue reading...

retail

IKEA Offers Russians a Night at the Movies—in Bed

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 11, 2014 12:02 PM

Russia may be suffering through an economic downturn, but IKEA announced in September that it plans to invest 2 billion euros ($2.5 billion) to expand and upgrade its stores in the country.

To extend that goodwill, the world's biggest furniture retailer is bringing its brand to the public in unexpected places. Its latest foray into веселье (you know—"fun") is to take over a Russian movie house in a Moscow suburb and offer up a night at the movies with a twist.

Instead of watching the film the regular boring way, IKEA replaced cinema seats with beds so that moviegoers could curl up together, and snack on some choklad and popcorn.Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Watch: Kevin Bacon Will Pitch Your Brand Thanks to Shop for Good

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 11, 2014 11:25 AM

If you haven't yet designed your own commercial with Kevin Bacon, give it a whirl—it's brought to you (and small business owners) by Shop for Good, in the spirit of supporting independent retailers this holiday season.

As FastCo Create notes, "Shop for Good facilitates stores sending a portion of customer purchases to a charity of their choosing, and in order to convince businesses to sign up" partnered with the actor (who's also pitching NYC's Food Bank) in a fun holiday campaign—because who doesn't love Bacon?

More details (and outtakes) below.Continue reading...

traveling brands

KLM Puts the 'Air' in Airbnb With Airplane Apartment and Local Listings

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 11, 2014 10:47 AM

Hoteliers across the globe now have another reason to up the ante in their competition with the ever-growing Airbnb. The brand has taken another big step toward cultural legitimacy with a new partnership with KLM.

The Dutch airline and the San Francisco-based short-term rental website have teamed up to offer each other’s services to their consumers.

The partnership kicked off with a KLM plane at its homebase at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport being completely turned into a full-on apartment that three different sets of contest winners got to stay in.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Burger Wars, SodaStream, Lululemon and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 11, 2014 09:38 AM

TOP STORIES

McDonald's plans to trim menu items and value meals while rolling out DIY platform as Carl's Jr. announces all-natural burger to woo millennials.

Nationwide Insurance returns to Super Bowl after eight-year hiatus.

Lululemon sees net revenue rise 10% in third quarter.

SodaStream reports positive results from home-soda maker with Pepsi but beverage giant isn't convinced.

Walmart copes with crumbling business in China as company illegally punished workers in California and CEO chats with Charlie Rose.Continue reading...

retail

eBay's Holiday Gift: A New iPad App and Festive Good Deeds

Posted by Catherine Straut on December 10, 2014 05:39 PM

eBay iPad app holiday 2014

As announced today, eBay has launched its first iPad app in a bid (if you will) to “enhance the shopping in time for the holidays,” according to a press release. The e-commerce platform is intent on reinvigorating growth and sales by catering to the more than half of its users (59%) who are multi-screen shoppers.

The immersive platform—available in 8 languages to buyers and sellers around the globe—enhances the brand's content marketing efforts and features an elevated design aesthetic.

The app features a simplified navigation and checkout, gesture-based exploration, a refined photography gallery, a more user-friendly "My eBay" experience (Buying, Selling, Watching, Following), new item detail (View Item) and seller profile pages and fresh collections across popular categories (Motors, Fashion, Electronics, and Collectibles).Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Knit Together: How Brands Build Charitable Campaigns That Connect

Posted by Amanda Caswell on December 10, 2014 04:55 PM

Target TOMS

“One for you, one for me,” has long been a motto for holiday shoppers, but more and more, brands are making it easier for consumers to give gifts that are “one for you, and one for you too.” There’s been a telling trend shift from the traditional model of “a portion of your sale will support Charity X” towards more tangible expressions of charity. Brands are responding to consumers’ preference to start doing more for the world through the brands they choose by offering products that donate physical items that make a difference.

This year, retail giant Target partnered with TOMS to give back for the holiday season. With the co-branded “One for One, For All” campaign, every purchase made from their limited-edition Target + TOMS collection donates a blanket, meal or pair of shoes to someone in need.

The collection, which includes apparel for women, men and kids, plus home accessories, is tagged with the specific items associated with your purchase. For example, buying a women’s poncho “gives one blanket to those in need.”Continue reading...

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