brand news

Brand News: Lowe's Robot, Alibaba-Apple, Twitter and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 28, 2014 09:10 AM

TOP STORIES

Alibaba eyes payments tie-up with Apple (and rebrands travel unit) as Apple sees 1 million+ Apple Pay accounts activated in first 72 hours, and sees Mac sales gains.

Lowe's tests retail-ready, $50K multilingual robot at Orchard Supply Hardware store.

Tesla unveils lease discount amid softness.

Twitter sees user engagement slow down.

YouTube considers paid subscription, ad-free business model as music service looms.Continue reading...

e-commerce

Japan's Rakuten E-Commerce Giant Launches in America With Fashion Site

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 22, 2014 11:29 AM

Amazon, Google, and American consumers, take note: If you haven’t yet heard of Rakuten, you will soon.

The Japanese electronic commerce and Internet company is the world’s third-largest online marketplace behind Amazon and eBay. In its homeland, Rakuten Ichiba is the largest e-commerce site in the country, earning $4.9 billion in revenue last year to make it the Amazon and Alibaba of Japan.

Founded in 1997 by CEO Hiroshi Mikitani, the Tokyo-based Rakuten now has more than 10,000 employees worldwide and is ready to take on the big dog of e-commerce—Amazon—with the launch of its first website in the U.S. this week: Rakuten Fashion, which delivers the same level of tech savvy and device acumen that has helped the company grow exponentially over the years. Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Beckham's Whisky Ad, Jimmy Choo's Flat Debut and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 17, 2014 09:12 AM

TOP STORIES

Diageo's Haig Club single-grain whisky debuts Guy Ritchie-directed spot starring brand co-owner David Beckham.

Apple iPad reveal fails to wow as 3D-like logo rumored.

Google sees ad prices continue decline.

Jimmy Choo makes lackluster debut in first day of public trading.

Twitter lets users stream music and audio via SoundCloud integration.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Burberry, Google Express, Heineken and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 14, 2014 08:35 AM

TOP STORIES

Mulberry issues profit warning as Burberry sees markets getting tougher as first-half revenues increase, breaking one billion pounds in sales.

Google expands same-day delivery service to Boston, Chicago and Washington, D.C., intensifying battle with Amazon.

Heineken scores four-year, $40 million US soccer deal.

Jimmy Choo is valued at up to $1 billion ahead of IPO.

Fidelity names Abby Johnson CEO, succeeding her father.Continue reading...

e-commerce

PayPal Checks Out of eBay for Future Growth

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 30, 2014 11:01 AM

Call it a "Conscious Uncoupling." Or more accurately, an "Icahn-scious Uncoupling." After months of lobbying by activist investor Carl Icahn, PayPal is splitting from parent eBay and will become a separate, publicly traded company next year. 

In its announcement today, eBay said the board made the decision as the best path for growth and shareholder value creation for each business going forward—and already, eBay shares jumped more than 11 percent in pre-market trading.

In tandem with the news, Dan Schulman was named the new president of PayPal, joining the company from president of the enterprise growth group at American Express and previous roles at AT&T, Priceline and Virgin Mobile. eBay veteran Devin Wenig becomes CEO of the new eBay, replacing current president and CEO John Donahoe.

While the companies already operate fairly independently, the move will free each entity to grow and thrive—assuming all goes to plan—even though eBay stands to lose half its revenue as a result of the separation.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Starbucks, DreamWorks, Yahoo and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 29, 2014 09:03 AM

TOP STORIES

Starbucks launches first global brand campaign with “Meet Me at Starbucks” interactive YouTube short film.

Japan’s SoftBank reportedly in talks (since cooled?) to buy the DreamWorks animation studio.

Facebook bid for WhatsApp clears EU hurdle

Yahoo, AOL pressured to cut a deal and join forces.

Instagram reportedly blocked as China/Hong Kong protests impact businesses and cancel holiday fireworks.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Advertising Week kicks off in New York.

Air France ends strike, vows to speed up Transvania low-cost airline. 

Alibaba pays $459M for stake in Chinese hotel tech firm.

Amazon seeks to avert holiday snafus and faces opposition by literary lions over e-book prices.

American Apparel names temporary CEO.

Apple sees smuggled iPhone 6 phones go begging in China as EU presses company on ill-gotten tax benefits in Ireland, Apple Watch goes on display (for one day only) at Colette during Paris Fashion Week, and Apple and Pearson lose $1B common core schools contract in Los Angeles.Continue reading...

tech innovation

Amazon's Not-So-Secret R&D Lab Gets a Boost from Bezos

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 25, 2014 12:02 PM

Amazon's Silicon Valley research and development arm has been called "secretive" by Reuters and Bloomberg Businessweek. Others have called it "hush-hush" and "mysterious."

While it may keep its projects close to the vest, as any corporate R&D unit worth its salt is entitled to, Lab126 is by no means secret. After all, it's on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and has its own website.

In addition to developing the Amazon Fire phone and a host of other products, from the Kindle family of products to Amazon Fire TV to the Dash at-home ordering scanner, it's reportedly eyeing wearable devices and products for the connected home.

It's also, as Reuters reports, on a hiring spree to staff up its high-tech skunkworks by at least 27 percent over the next five years, in a drive by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to create Internet-of-things inspired home gadgets with a one-button device to order supplies.Continue reading...

response mechanism

After Alibaba, Chinese Brands Remain Unknown, Untrusted, Chinese

Posted by Abe Sauer on September 23, 2014 12:36 PM

Is "Made in China" really more desirable than "Made in France"?

That, at least for many younger Americans, is the suggestion of a new study of US Millennials from the Monogram Group, a Chicago branding agency. "The major takeaway from this report is that the popularity of Chinese products (among US consumers) exceeds those from other major markets, and the willingness to buy is even stronger if the brand is recognized," said the agency's president in a press release.

That takeaway may sound fishy to you—and it should. But the study does say something about the complex way American consumers think about "Chinese brands."Continue reading...

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