2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

corporate responsibility

Unilever, Ferrero Seek Sustainable Palm Oil Sources

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 15, 2013 10:54 AM

As palm oil production continues and demand grows, the most vulnerable tropical habitats worldwide are systemically being destroyed. But after an outcry from consumers and activists, some of the biggest consumers of palm oil are making it their business to implement more sustainable production. 

The 2013 edition of WWF’s Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard ranks Ecover, Ferrero, IKEA, REWE, United Biscuits and Unilever as the leaders in the uptake of sustainable efforts.

Earlier this week, Unilever made a transformative move by announcing that all of the palm oil it buys—about 1.3 million tons a year for use in Dove soap, TRESemmé and Flora margarine, among others—will come from traceable sources by the end of 2014, allowing the world’s biggest user of palm oil to guarantee that the oil is coming from environmentally safe and legal suppliers.

The Anglo-Dutch CPG giant has crossed swords with environmental activists for sourcing the oil from plantations involved in mass deforestation in Malaysia and Indonesia, but the brand has vowed to consciously source its product in the future. "The first step in this whole journey is to know where the stuff is coming from," Marc Engel, Unilever's chief procurement officer, told the Wall Street Journal.Continue reading...

luxury watch

Will India's 'Closet Consumer' Come Out and Save the Slowing Luxury Market?

Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 13, 2013 04:54 PM

The global luxury market is set to see its slowest growth this year since 2009, with the Asian market in particular contributing to the slump. French luxury brands Gucci and Louis Vuitton, for example, recently reported drops in Chinese sales as consumers showed a preference for "logo-free" clothing and accessories.

In a turn of events, it's the US that is expected to be a strong luxury market over the next five years, according to a new study by Departures magazine in association with Ledbury Research. Top luxury CEOs ranked North America as the most important growth market, followed by East Asia, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and Central/South America. Despite China's blistering economic growth in recent years, it is actually the US that created 94 percent of the world's new millionaires over the past year, according to Credit Suisse.

But some of the more intriguing recent data regarding the global luxury market may be coming out of India. A new report published by the Confederation of Indian Industry and IMRB International, a market research firm found that over the past three years, the Indian luxury market has grown around 15 percent, with the highest interest in luxury products as opposed to luxury services. Driving that growth is India's "Closet Consumer."Continue reading...

sip on this

India, China Beckon PepsiCo and Coca-Cola For Major New Investments

Posted by Dale Buss on November 11, 2013 03:23 PM

PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have been doubling down on emerging markets, despite feeling tremendous pressure to grow their business in developed regions such as the United States and Europe. And PepsiCo just made a massive US$5.5-billion commitment to expand its operations and sales in Mexico over the next seven years.

CEO Indra Nooyi announced that PepsiCo and its partners plan to double their current production capacity in India, to ramp up distribution infrastructure especially in rural markets, to boost its collaborative program with Indian farmers, and to continue to expand the range of foods and beverages in its current India portfolio of eight brands.

"India is a country with huge potential and it remains an attractive, high-priority market for PepsiCo," Nooyi said in a statement. "We believe we've only scratched the surface of the long-term growth opportunities." In a press conference in New Delhi on Monday, Nooyi also couldn't resist a playful dig at her biggest competitor, telling reporters that the Pepsi brand is "more youthful" than rival Coca-Cola.Continue reading...

luxury watch

Kering's Gucci Brand Takes a Hit in Asian Luxury Slump

Posted by Barry Silverstein on October 30, 2013 02:47 PM

Gobal luxury brand conglomerates such as Kering, previously known as PPR, the parent company to brands such as Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and a slew of other high profile brands, are a double edged sword: They can gain profits from a diverse brand portfolio, yet they can see sales sink when the luxury market is sluggish in a particular region of the world.

At the moment, the region in question is Asia, and more specifically China. While China is still consuming luxury goods, it seems that "Chinese shoppers are cutting back on designer duds, leather handbags, and pricey watches" according to the Associated Press. In fact, sales of luxury goods in China are expected to limp along and grow just 2.5 percent this year—a far cry from the double digit growth of a few years ago.

Chinese publication Jing Daily confirms that, "Chinese consumer tastes continue to quickly shift toward logo-free products and niche brands. ...The rise of popularity of niche designer labels in contrast to major logo-focused brands was exhibited this fall in the openings of three major department stores in mainland China..." Also a likely contributor is China's national austerity drive, which has put a negative connotation on luxury goods and experiences of all kinds.Continue reading...

sporting brands

In China, Under Armour Looks to Brand the Workout Experience

Posted by Kristen Van Nest on October 29, 2013 07:07 PM

Earlier this month, Under Armour introduced a completely different retail concept to the Chinese sporting apparel market—a market that has proven hard to crack even for the most seasoned retail veterans, including Nike and Adidas. But Under Armour's new Shanghai retail theater experience aims to do much more than just sell clothes and sneakers. 

Located in the Jing An Kerry Centre, the store features a 270-degree screen that covers 90 percent of the relatively small boutique, encapsulating store-goes in the sights, sounds and experiences of athletic training—a truly foreign concept in China and greater Asia. 

In China, especially, working out is not a common activity. Seeing joggers is a rarity and oftentimes in the gym, Chinese are seen wearing jeans or leather shoes as opposed to sporting apparel. Sports participation is also low due to lack of time, the single child policy, and limited governmental support to popularize sports. But, there is still huge market potential; after the Beijing Olympic Games, there has been dramatic growth in sporting brands. 

Still, the market has proven difficult, with Nike, Adidas, and others struggling to localize their retail approach to fit the unique needs of Chinese consumers, both young and old. In fact, Nike and Adidas have spent much of their time in the country with a hard focus on building a lifestyle brand around young consumers, capitalizing on consumer trends towards creativity and self-expression. Still, Nike recently saw a three percent decline in its China sales while it experienced an increase in all other geographic locations.Continue reading...

luxury watch

Apple's Gain, Burberry's Loss? Parsing the Future of a Luxury Icon

Posted by Barry Silverstein on October 18, 2013 02:58 PM

Maybe Steve Jobs was even more of a seer than people think. It was Jobs who had the vision to shape Apple into an upscale consumer brand that, in many ways, set the standard for both technology and design. In fact, Apple has become truly fashionable and a luxury/premium brand in its own right. Witness the apparent rejection of Apple's lower-end iPhone 5c by consumers.

The just-announced addition of Angela Ahrendts, the American CEO of British luxury brand Burberry, to Apple's senior management team in a move that will occur next year, may well be the exclamation point on Apple's evolution. Ahrendts will bring a deep understanding of the marriage between fashion and technology to her role. She also will bring the shine of a luxury brand that has been a fashion and digital innovator under her guidance, and another invaluable asset: her ability to turn around Burberry's business in Asia and particularly China, a market Apple craves.

For Ahrendts, who as the new SVP of retail and online stores becomes the first woman in Apple's upper echelon, it's an intriguing career move. Could it be that she stepped down to eventually step up? Business Insider speculates that "if Ahrendts fits into Apple's culture and does an excellent job running its retail business, she probably has a good chance to become the company's next CEO."

From Apple's perspective, says Gartner Research analyst Carolina Milanesi in a Computerworld interview, it's all about the brand: "I think Apple looked at Burberry and the challenges they had in the market, and saw her as the one that brought back that aspirational brand, and then grew it in places like China, Korea, and elsewhere. Those speak to the challenges Apple is having. Like Burberry, Apple has to deal with the fact that its brand is everywhere because of the iPhone, but they cannot run the risk that the brand is seen as cheap."Continue reading...

sip on this

Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent Steers Ship Through Positive Third Quarter

Posted by Dale Buss on October 16, 2013 10:53 AM

Buffeted by what CEO Muhtar Kent called "headwinds" and aided by "tailwinds" around the world, Coca-Cola reported a good but not great third quarter and vowed once again to meet its target of doubling 2010 revenues by 2020.

Meanwhile, PepsiCo today reported a 1.5 percent revenue increase for the period while US beverage sales slid by 2 percent.

While much of the attention to the Coke brand these days is how marketers wrangle with the obesity issue, sales of the globe's leading soft-drink brand still grew 2 percent by volume during the period. About 70 percent of the company's sales are soft drinks.

Overall sales volumes including non-soda drinks such as teas and bottled waters grew by 2 percent in the United States. But it was emerging economies that gave Coca-Cola enough momentum to post a 4 percent rise in earnings per share for the period, in line with analysts' expectations.Continue reading...

executive decision

Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts Goes to Apple as Brand Looks to Keep Forward Momentum

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 15, 2013 03:42 PM

In a move preempted by high-profile collaborations, Apple has successfully poached Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts to be its senior vice president of retail and online stores. 

Over her eight-year tenure at Burberry, Ahrendts guided the global fashion brand through a period of great growth alongside creative director and newly appointed CEO Christopher Bailey, and her move to Apple represents just how well she utilized digital innovations and technology in her strategy that transformed Burberry's brand and overall customer experience. 

Apple, which essentially set a new standard in retail with its streamlined brick-and-mortar stores, 'Genius Bar' customer service and in-store training is looking to keep its momentum as its recent succesful launch of its two new iPhones has set the stage for the brand to further infiltrate the Asian market—a key to future growth and success especially in mobile. Ahrendts will no doubt bring her knack for truly unique retail experiences to the personal tech giant—and her fashion prowess won't hurt either.Continue reading...

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