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corporate citizenship

Coke Combats Sustainability and Nutrition Critics with Rural Ekocenters

Posted by Adeline Chong on October 8, 2013 06:36 PM

Imagine a shipping container painted bright red, with a solar panel on its roof, in the middle of a rural road. The red is a familiar one. It is the famed Pantone hue that accompanies Coca-Cola cans around the world. And suddenly, that bright red block on the side of the road doesn't look so out of place.

Coca-Cola has just opened its first Ekocenter kiosk in Heidelberg, South Africa. The makeshift refreshment centers are in fact revolutionary water distillery systems designed by Segway inventor Dean Kamen, and are capable of providing up to 850 liters of clean drinking water per day. In communities which lack access to drinking water, the Ekocenter will appear on the horizon like a mirage in a desert, except that it is very real. Coca-Cola said that one more Ekocenter will open in another location this year. 

The plan is to have 150 Ekocenters in remote areas in 20 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and North America by the end of 2015, with a pledge to give back the amount of water used in its products by 2020, which is a lot, since the company used 156 billion liters of water in its finished products in 2012 alone.Continue reading...

digital moves

Apparently, Apple's iPad is the Preferred Tablet of Airline Pilots

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 1, 2013 06:41 PM

The digital age is saving airline pilots from lugging around the pile of manuals and maps they used to, with American and United Airlines investing in iPads as the pilots' digital flight bag. But not everyone is privvy to the leading brand's tablets. 

Delta pilots, too, are converting flight bags to digital, but the pilots aren't very happy with the airline's choice of provider. Delta struck a deal with Microsoft for 11,000 Surface 2 tablets rather than distributing iPads, the tablet of the world’s new # Best Global Brand, Apple.

But Delta's decisions don't take into account its pilot's favorite tech brands, and instead are focused on the $13 million in fuel and other costs that the airline will save annually now that the crew doesn't have to lug the heavy manuals on board.Continue reading...

Toyota Rebrands Its US Service Centers with Humorous New Ad Campaign

Posted by Dale Buss on October 1, 2013 05:39 PM

US new car sales were bound to cool a bit at some point, and they appeared to do so in September, for Toyota and most other brands. But as far as Toyota's service brand is concerned, things are only starting to heat up.

Toyota Service Centers are rebranding the old Toyota Parts and Service Department with a new online-only advertising campaign and a fresh determination to augment the already-strong Toyota brand—which finished No. 1 again among all auto marques in Interbrand's just-released Best Global Brands 2013 report—with an aftermarket presence that keeps even more Toyota owners loyal.

The campaign harnesses humor in the Toyota service brand's first major break out of its traditional radio-advertising channel, which had grown stale in promoting awareness and loyalty among Toyota owners, Brian Sciumbato, national parts and service and accessories marketing manager for Toyota, told brandchannel.Continue reading...

automotive

Pickup Demand Powers On as Brands Battle Shortages

Posted by Dale Buss on September 30, 2013 07:25 PM

When the US auto industry reports September sales on Tuesday, the overall numbers aren't likely to look that great because of a glitch in the industry calendar compared with a year ago. But pickup truck sales are likely to continue to post strong gains over 2012.

In fact, the scenario unfolding now for the Detroit Three and, to a lesser extent, Toyota and Nissan is one that brand executives could only imagine coming out of the Great Recession: a very solid American auto-market recovery led by spectacular and presumably long-term gains in sales of their highest-profit vehicles. But that's exactly what is happening.Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

Apple May Be the World's Most Valuable Brand, but It's No Time to Rest on its Laurels

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on September 30, 2013 11:12 AM

Coming off a record launch of its new iPhones, the 5s and the more affordable, plastic 5c, Apple has managed a triumphant return to the top of personal tech. And now the brand has been named the world's most valuable according to Interbrand's annual Best Global Brands report—passing brand behemoths Coca-Cola and Google.

Inspiring trends in mobile and influencing the lifestyles of millions, Apple, which saw its popularity dip amid the loss of brand visionary Steve Jobs, has managed to innovate among an increasingly competitive field, with Samsung, Google and Microsoft biting at its heels. But the brand that sold over nine million new iPhone models in its opening weekend has managed to maintain the cool, confident demeanor that defines its brand—an aura that has legions of fans scrambling for its latest products and services. 

"The critics have told you Apple lost its magic,” said analyst Daniel Ernst of Hudson Square Research, according to Forbes. “Customers are telling you something very different. Clearly, people like the product. That sentiment is almost more important than the number.”Continue reading...

social media watch

The Revolution (and the U.S. Election) Will Be Instagrammed

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 6, 2012 04:26 PM

Facebook is encouraging its U.S. users to share that they've voted for an interactive map, while Twitter has set up its election page to track the #Election2012 winds of change. But it's Facebook's more visual sub-brand, theonce niche mobile photo-sharing app Instagram, that's the darling of the digital world for the 2012 U.S. presidential election cycle.

Since being snapped up by Facebook for $1 billion in April, and following its launch of an Android version of its app, the brand has grown its user base from 15 million to 80 million since January 1st, with an astonishing 4 billion photos posted this year to date. Further proof, if any is needed, that photo-sharing is hot: Coca-Cola is getting in on the game with its Happy Places app, while Twitter and Facebook are racing to improve their photo filters.

The 2012 U.S. presidential election day represents Instagram’s coming out party. Its usual feed today is replaced by a stream of voter’s ballots and related political imagery, which could exceed half a million uploads by election day's end. While encouraging its users to share their election day photos with the tag #ivoted, they are being reminded to not snap a pic of their election ballot, which could render it void in certain states. In another first, the New York Times is also featuring voters' Instagram photos on their homepage election coverage.Continue reading...

automotive

As the Leaf Falls: Nissan Dropping Price, Localizing Production to Reverse EV Fears

Posted by Dale Buss on October 8, 2012 03:08 PM

Nissan is doubling down on its investment in the Leaf electric vehicle in a big way, by opening a $1.6-billion factory in Smyrna, Tenn., to bring to the U.S. production of a car that has been built in Japan until now. Although Nissan is selling fewer Leafs than a year ago, the Japanese automaker — which just moved up 30 percent to #73, with a brand valuation just shy of $5 billion, on Interbrand's new Best Global Brands report — is determined to turn around Leaf's fortunes.

In addition to localizing Leaf production, Nissan underscored the EV's woes late last week as word got out that it plans to introduce a budget version of the nameplate next year in a bid to make the sticker price more plausible to more Americans, according to Automotive News. The low-cost trim level would be positioned below the two higher-spec Leaf versions currently on the market, apparently, and will debut as part of a 2013-model facelift of the entire Leaf line. Continue reading...

social marketing

Mercedes-Benz Drives Social TV Innovation With Twitter #YOUDRIVE Campaign

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 2, 2012 02:02 PM

Social innovation is at an all time high and campaigns integrated with social media are the latest incarnation exemplified by the new Mercedes-Benz #YOUDRIVE Twitter campaign, which will let fans help shape the ending. Ever the innovator on digital, Mercedes-Benz is up 10 percent in Interbrand's just-announced 2012 Best Global Brands report.

TV viewers in the UK will ‘drive the action’ of a three-part story about the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class to be shown this weekend during commercial breaks in "The X Factor." A cat and mouse caper features a young music star (played by Top Boy actor Kane Robinson) aided by a female accomplice attempting to secure a secret gig that authorities are keen to close down.Continue reading...

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