brand extensions

Richard Branson Teases Delayed Virgin Hotels Launch

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 14, 2014 02:02 PM

Virgin is taking its disruptive strategy and classic branding from the skies to the lobby, with its first hotel (finally) set to open by year-end. 

A 2 minute animated teaser (produced by Not to Scale with One Trick Pony) has its own language for hotel fails, with hotel shortcomings called, "Unbrilliant."

Virgin's “Brilliant” features, meanwhile, include guest controls the temperature of the room via app, free Wi-Fi and a way to cordon off sleeping and dressing areas.Continue reading...

brand extensions

What's Up, Doc? Google Tests Virtual Medical Consultations

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 13, 2014 03:03 PM

Google has found a way into nearly every part of consumers' lives. Now another can be added which gives a whole new meaning to Google Docs: medical advice.

The world's second most valuable brand is testing a feature on a limited basis that would allow US consumers to talk to a doctor in a real-time online video chat about a medical issue.

The service was discovered by Massachusetts-based web developer Jason Houle, who was offered the option to “talk with a doctor now” in a video chat after he Googled “knee pain” on his Android device.

Houle posted his exchange on Reddit on Friday, which immediately inspired others to search for “knee pain” on their mobile devices to see if they were offered similar help.

Part of Google's general advice service, Helpouts, it appears to be free to those who are offered it, but it may carry a fee down the road, as other Helpouts affiliates currently charge for their services.

According to The Guardian's report on Houle's experience, residents of Massachusetts and California currently have access to the virtual healthcare consulations, while a Google Helpouts search shows free medical advice also currently available to to clients of One Medical Group in Illinois.Continue reading...

brand extensions

Warren Buffett Pushes Berkshire Hathaway's Humble Brand

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 13, 2014 02:02 PM

Warren Buffett has come a long way from his childhood days of selling gum, Coke, and magazines door to door.

The 84-year-old is known for living frugally—and for being one of the richest people in the world. The Oracle of Omaha is so well-known that he launched a cartoon with Jay Z in a bid to boost financial literacy among kids.

Less well-known, however, is Berkshire Hathaway, his investment firm (that's the homepage, above)—but Buffett aims to change that.Continue reading...

sip on this

Soup's On: Plum Organics Developing Soup Line with Campbell's Help

Posted by Dale Buss on October 10, 2014 03:48 PM

Plum Organics had been developing a line of fruit and vegetable pouches for adults long before the startup was acquired by Campbell Soup a year ago. Now Emeryville, Calif.-based Plum has introduced Plum Vida, which is being exclusively sold as part of the Made to Matter collection at Target stores.

Co-founder Neil Grimmer has something else in the new product pipeline, slated for next year, that will be a direct result of the relationship between Plum and its parent company, Campbell Soup. Yes, a Plum soup line is in the works.

"It will bring what Plum does best to the soup aisle," Grimmer exclusively told brandchannel. "And it will be clearly leveraging some of [Campbell Soup's] capabilities to do that as well."Continue reading...

retail

Walmart Pitches Healthcare to Customers While Trimming Benefits for Employees

Posted by Dale Buss on October 7, 2014 05:27 PM

When it comes to healthcare, Walmart giveth to its customers—and taketh away from its employees.

The retailing giant announced Tuesday that it plans to eliminate health insurance coverage for its part-time US employees who work less than 30 hours a week, while raising insurance premiums across the board for all employees.

At the same time, Walmart said that it plans to offer consumers one-stop shopping, in-store and online, for healthcare insurance.

Neither move is particularly surprising for America's largest private employer.Continue reading...

that's entertainment

Gabba Gabba Trademark: CBGB Takes Its Brand Global

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 29, 2014 01:39 PM

CBGB, the legendary graffiti-covered New York punk rock club that was so influential that its awning is in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, may have closed its doors in 2006 (to become a John Varvatos store with hints of its notorious past intact) but its brand lives on.  

Originally created to feature "Country, Bluegrass and Blues (and Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers)", CBGB's (as it was better known) was a home of sorts for New York’s best punk rock and new wave acts, such as the Ramones, Talking Heads and Blondie—before a rent dispute caused the place to shut down in 2006 with a final concert by Patti Smith.

But it took only a few years for the CBGB channel to launch on iHeartRadio, an annual music festival to debut, and for merchandise featuring its iconic logo to evolve from t-shirts and sweatshirts to baby bibs and onesies.

Now it's poised to go worldwide, thanks to a new licensing deal with Epic street cred.Continue reading...

brand extensions

Mazda Extends 'Spirit and Soul' of Brand's Design Language

Posted by Dale Buss on September 25, 2014 05:09 PM

Mazda is working on its brand cachet both on the road and off the road—in fact, about as far off-road as you can get, considering that the Mazda brain trust is considering designing its own chairs and apparel.

Aspirationally borrowing a page from Porsche, which has its own non-automotive Design Group, Mazda global design boss Ikuo Maeda would like to launch a Mazda Design line, starting with an artsy new metal and leather chair, Automotive News report3e. Styling and hawking clothes, furniture, household goods and other gadgets could help elevate this very mainstream car brand into something more value-added, Maeda figures.

Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai supports his notion, Maeda told the publication. For now, the only public evidence of Maeda's dream is a single chair designed by his studio, called the Kodo Chair, which Mazda exhibited at last year's Salone Internazionale del Mobile, Milan's global furniture fair. The sleek and slinky chair (above) was based on the cars' curvy design language and evoked a form-fitting cockpit.Continue reading...

bc q&a

History in the Making: 5 Questions with A+E's Dan Suratt on HISTORY's Planet H

Posted by Shirley Brady on August 19, 2014 01:33 PM

A+E Networks' HISTORY channel has launched a unique brand extension that taps today's technology to engage kids with the past. Planet H launched  earlier this month with two mobile games that will encourage learning through play.

The games, priced at $2.99 each and available on iOS, Android and Amazon's Kindle Fire platform, are the cable brand's first major attempt to fill a gaping hole in kid-sized historical content. Developed in partnership with RED Games, which has developed apps for other A+E Networks brands, the games allow young users to explore past empires and the American frontier on their mobile device of choice. 

"The idea to bring a younger audience to the HISTORY brand has been kicking around for years, but up until recently there's been nowhere for it to live," Dan Suratt, A+E’s EVP of digital media and brand and content licensing, told Ad Age. "Now we have all of these other platforms and devices that appeal to younger demos like tablets and smartphones that make it easy to reach these demos without making huge financial commitment."

brandchannel Editor-in-Chief Shirley Brady chatted with Suratt to talk Planet H, mobile-first branding and future brand extensions and experiences.Continue reading...

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