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Amazon Kindles Holiday Sales for Prime Time

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 14, 2011 06:06 PM

Amazon is ready to lose a whole lot of dough — potentially, millions of dollars — on its Prime loyalty service in order to beat the likes of Apple and Walmart in the same marketplace, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The short-term loss for long-gain strategy appears to be the plan, as the Journal reports Amazon will be adding more titles and features to the service that costs $79 annually to the consumer.

As it battles Apples iTunes and app stores, Prime now offers on-demand movies and a lending library for Kindle owners in addition to the shipping discounts it started with, the Journal notes.Continue reading...

going mobile

Best Global Brands Using Apps to Market

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 9, 2011 10:02 AM

The use of mobile apps has grown significantly in the last year as a new study shows that more than 90% of the world’s biggest brands are using them as marketing tools, according to Warc.com. 

Research group Distimo looked into whether the top 100 members of Interbrand’s 2011 Best Global Brands list are selling apps in such app stores as those run by Apple, Microsoft, Google and Amazon, Warc reports. (For those of you keeping score at home, brandchannel is owned by Interbrand.)

"Global brands have realized over the past 18 months that app stores offer a viable channel to promote their brand, reach consumers, and for a subset of brands, sell content," the study said.Continue reading...

tech innovation

HP's Project Moonshot: A Low-Energy B2B Play to Boost IT Innovation

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 3, 2011 05:02 PM

The seven billion screens that make up our lives today — flat-screen TVs, mobile phones, e-readers, and whatever other surfaces your eyes scan in a day — and the massive amounts of data that flow through them constantly are sucking up a whole fleetload of power. So Hewlett-Packard decided to do something about it.

HP's new Project Moonshot aims to find an alternative to the massive computering infrastructure needed to support the Web and billions of mobile devices. As the company just announced, it "plans to develop extremely low-energy servers, partnering with companies such as chip designers ARM Holdings and Advanced Micro Devices Inc in a move that could threaten the dominance of Intel,” as the Chicago Tribune notes.

In seeking to boost IT innovation, Moonshot is dedicated to finding sustainable alternatives that reduce both the power and space needed to store the loads of info that is being created daily.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Starbucks Makes Good on "Create Jobs for USA" Promise

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 3, 2011 12:07 PM

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz isn’t running for public office but he still keeps a close eye on nationwide employment numbers and wants to help boost them. The Seattle Times reports that Starbucks, which laid off 39,000 employees over the two years ending last fall, is about to start hiring again.

By year’s end, Starbucks will have a new barista battalion, some 3,500 strong, pulling on their aprons and dealing with steam burns, the Times notes. Next year will see 200 new Starbucks added to the nearly 11,000 existing ones. Those will need to be staffed up while 1,700 other Starbucks go through job-creation remodeling.

And if that weren’t enough, Starbucks will add a fifth roasting plant, which will create more jobs. The current ones exist in Sandy Run, S.C.; Carson Valley, Nev.; York, Pa.; and Amsterdam. And the neighbors probably wake up with vim and vigor just from the smell coming out of the doors of those places. Employees surely don’t suffer from mid-afternoon drowsiness there.

It all comes as Starbucks launches its "Create Jobs for USA" campaign this week.Continue reading...

auto motive

Ford Focus Electric Begins Taking Orders, Needs to Electrify Buyers

Posted by Dale Buss on November 2, 2011 06:31 PM

All-electric vehicles in U.S. auto showrooms are becoming the equivalent of prune juice in the supermarket aisle: You've got to make it available for certain individuals and apparently for the overall health of the planet, but don't expect a lot of genuine excitement about its purchase. And don't expect it to pay the bills.

Ford is about to find out just what a yawn EVs are to most American consumers, now that it has priced its new Focus Electric and has begun taking orders for the car. The sticker is $39,995, identical to the once-reduced price of the Chevrolet Volt extended-range hybrid, and $3,900 more than the all-electric Nissan Leaf. The purchaser of each vehicle is welcome to capitalize on the generosity of the American taxpayer to the tune of federal incentives up to $7,500.Continue reading...


Microsoft Touts the Kinect Effect as Part of Global Holiday Ad Campaign

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 2, 2011 05:28 PM

On Nov. 4, 2010, Microsoft launched Kinect worldwide. A year later, a new Microsoft commercial, above, showcases the 'Kinect Effect,' showing how its motion-controlled gaming device has evolved into a product with much broader potential social impact.  

“We started with a sensor that turned voice and movement into magic. We thought: "This will be fun to play with" and it was. Something amazing was happening, the world was starting to imagine things we hadn't even thought of,” says the V/O from Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker.Continue reading...

doing good

Goal-Oriented: Pepsi Refresh Helps the Blind Find the Sound of Football

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 2, 2011 03:02 PM

If you can’t see, is it possible to join the billions of people worldwide who play soccer out on the field of play? Well, the Pepsi Refresh Project just made it possible for a group of young men in Sweden.

Launched in 2010 as a public affairs platform, and a social media alternative to Super Bowl advertising, the Pepsi Refresh platform's mission is to donate $20 milion in grants to people and organizations that are making the world a better place. It's certainly making good on its promise to be a world-changing brand. Witness The Sound of Football, a Pepsi Refresh-funded project to help visually impaired athletes get out on the field and play.

The first test of the technology showed the huge potential for the technology. As the partners involved in the research project note, "As a first test, we arranged a football (aka soccer) match between a team of visually impaired players and a team of former professional footballers. We wanted to see how they would perform under equal conditions — in a match where no one can see."Continue reading...

web watch

Google Tries to Do It All for You

Posted by Matthew Moore on October 31, 2011 01:01 PM

Ten years ago, brandchannel quoted a Google spokesperson as saying “It seems counterintuitive to the concept of stickiness, but the point of Google is to allow people to find information as soon as possible and get on their way.” Ten years later, it appears Google would prefer its users to stay in its realm for as long as possible.

Google has come a long way since Sergey Brin and Larry Page started a research project at Stanford in 1996 that would eventually grow into a company employing 30,000 and producing nearly $30 billion in revenue each year. In doing so, Google has expanded its offering from a search engine to a full-fledged suite of services including email, social networking, cloud storage for files and music, and daily deals. Google even recently opened its own branded products store in London.

Google has always been an innovative company, but it has seen some of its innovative thunder stolen by others such as Facebook and Groupon. In order to remain the first-in-mind internet destination for its users, Google has decided to take to some of its web competitors on their own turf. Google+ takes aim at Facebook, and Google Offers is targeted at daily deals sites Groupon and Living Social. As it keeps rolling out new products, Google seems content to throw its brand's name in front of just about any serve it's offering: Google Voice, Google Docs, Google Maps, etc.Continue reading...

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