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brand strategy

Levi-Strauss to Phase Out Global Denizen Brand

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 24, 2012 02:41 PM

Two years after launching an exclusive denim brand in Asia, dENiZEN, Levi-Stauss has taken the low-cost denim line to China, India, Mexico, Pakistan, Singapore and last year to the United States (via an exclusive deal with Target) — but now it's phasing out the brand beyond North America in order to promote its core brands.

According to a statement provided by the company,

"Across our company, we are focused on driving profitable growth. We made the strategic decision to phase out the Denizen® brand from Asia and focus our resources behind growing the Levi’s® brand in this market. We’re working with our franchisee partners for a smooth transition and we’ll phase it out over the next twelve months. We are committed to Asia and will continue to serve consumers in Asia through our Levi’s® and Dockers® brands. We’re continuing Denizen in the North America in Target, where we’re currently in more than 1,700 US stores and expanding to Canada."

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Green Mountain Scaled by Starbucks in Single-Serve Coffee Battle

Posted by Dale Buss on September 20, 2012 10:01 AM

Green Mountain Coffee is in a pot of trouble. And that's even before Starbucks introduces Verismo, its own single-serve brewing system for consumers that's rolling out in October (and already available on Verismo.com), to challenge the iconic K-Cup system by Green Mountain that features its Keurig pods. 

The brand has been a darling of consumers for several years, on a continued growth tear as K-Cups led a revolution in how Americans consume much of their coffee by making the single-serve system de rigeur in homes and offices. The company fed strong double-digit sales growth by continuing to proliferate the types of pods, to include "iced" drinks and juices as well as coffees and teas.

Green Mountain also had been a darling of investors seeking to cash in on a boom that, for the six years after the Vermont-based company acquired Keurig, managed to thrive without attracting the competitive interest of Starbucks.Continue reading...

brand extensions

Brandchannel's Mark J. Miller On CNBC: Ikea's Hotel And Other Brand Extensions (VIDEO)

Posted by Peter Feld on August 17, 2012 05:17 PM

Mark J. Miller, who wrote about Ikea's new European foray into the hotel business yesterday, discussed this and other best and worst brand extensions on CNBC's Street Signs yesterday.

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brand extensions

Ikea Entering the Hotel Business

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 16, 2012 10:03 AM

Europe’s financial difficulties continue and consumers are counting their Euros. Such a situation doesn’t bode well for the travel industry, which is why budget hotels have started popping up all over the continent and consumers that are actually traveling are using them more than they used to.

Budget hotel sales figures in 2011 were up 10 percent, Reuters notes, which means it was eating up 41 percent of the $162.5 billion European hotel market.

That kind of cash has enticed some folks to get into the budget-hotel biz or spread their brand. Germany’s Motel One is moving into the UK, Belgium, and Austria. Travelodge, which already has more than 500 hotels in Europe, opened four in London in July and is planning to open nine more in Europe before year’s end. Continue reading...

celebrity brandcasting

Marilyn Monroe Estate at 50: Cafes, Cosmetics and Social Moxie

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 13, 2012 11:03 AM

We've just passed the 50th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s death from an overdose of barbiturates, but the world still can’t keep its collective eyes off of her visage — or brand. She may not have an annual week dedicated to her as Elvis does, but her doe-eyed, beauty-marked visage is stronger than ever.

Forbes, which has made something of a cottage industry out of tracking dead celebrities' brands, estimates that Monroe pulled in $27 million in 2011, third behind Michael Jackson and Presley in the dead-celeb sweepstakes.

Her image and likeness are controlled by Authentic Brands Group and partner NECA, which purchased the Monroe brand in 2010. The plan in process now, according to the Associated Press, is to upgrade “Monroe offerings from trinkets to cosmetic lines, spas, salons and apparel.”Continue reading...

brand extensions

Lululemon's Little Sister Tests the Waters in America

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 13, 2012 10:05 AM

Canada's upscale yogathletic brand lululemon has a younger sibling: ivivva athletica, a dance-inspired activewear label for girls and teens that has been dipping a pointed toe in the tween/teen market with a modest debut in Canada and a co-branded line with Disney.

The younger brand has been available in lululemon’s hometown of Vancouver and in Calgary, and this summer has been quietly slipping south of the border to the US via showrooms (not full-blown stores) to test the waters in Bellevue and Seattle, WA, plus Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.

“A note to all of our amazing + loyal ivivva girls: an ivivva SHOWROOM is a little different from an ivivva STORE," a blog post explains. "A showroom is a small space that we open in new cities to show a few pieces of our product line. It is the perfect place to go to get decked out in all of your core essentials and try on all of our sizes so you know what size to order in all of the crazy colours online! And, if you want more, you can always purchase online using the iPads in our showrooms.”

Parent company lululemon athletica, of course, is the yoga-inspired athletic apparel lifestyle brand that, while a little overreaching to some observers, has certainly raised the barre in technical fabrics and functional designs, not to mention in convincing women to pay a premium for yoga pants. But will lululemon moms stretch their wallets as wide for their dance-, track- and gymnastics-obsessed daughters?Continue reading...

games people play

Amazon Brings Classic Kids Books to Life in First Social Game

Posted by Shirley Brady on August 6, 2012 05:49 PM

Amazon has launched its games studio and its first major release: Living Classics, a "moving object game" for Facebook that gets back to the brand's roots as an online bookseller:

In the game, a family of foxes have wandered into vibrant, animated illustrations from their favorite books including Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, and King Arthur. Players help to reunite the foxes by exploring beautifully illustrated scenes and spotting moving objects. You can visit friends, share rewards you’ve earned, rediscover famous stories, and reunite fox families.

Its blog post continues: "Why is Amazon making social games, you ask? Good question! We know that many Amazon customers enjoy playing games – including free-to-play social games – and thanks to Amazon's know-how, we believe we can deliver a great, accessible gaming experience that gamers and our customers can play any time." Get the Facebook app here and watch the trailer below.Continue reading...

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Starbucks Introduces Low-Cal, "Real Fruit" Refreshers Drinks With Friday Freebie

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 9, 2012 11:31 PM

Will Starbucks customers give a cold shoulder to the company's new iline of green coffee Refreshers drinks? Hopefully they'll get a better reception than the VIA instant beverage mix that was panned when it launched in 2010, and which resurfaces with a new twist here.

The fruit-flavored iced coffee beverages, produced with unroasted green arabica beans, are rolling out in the U.S. and Canada on July 10th, with a global rollout to follow.

According to the Huffington Post, "The drink line will be offered in three formats: handcrafted (made by baristas), ready to drink and VIA. VIA is Starbucks' newest drink format, brought to market three years ago, and is best described as a microground product that dissolves when emptied into water."

The Refreshers sub-brand page states that all three are made with green coffee extract as their base for a "boost of natural energy" and are made with either "real fruit" or "real fruit juice":Continue reading...

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