brands with a cause
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 25, 2013 06:31 PM
In recognition of World Malaria Day and the more than 660,000 people that still die from the deadly but preventable disease, Novartis and Malaria No More have partnered for a unique campaign that will provide malaria treatments to those infected in Africa.
Over the next three years, Novartis, joined by diagnostic testing company Alere Inc., will donate up to three million courses of pediatric antimalarial drug, matching the number of treatments donated by the public through the Power of One campaign.
“We believe that this innovative campaign will help speed malaria elimination,” said Joseph Jimenez, Novartis CEO in a press release. “Novartis has been striving towards this goal for more than a decade, and we just reached the milestone of providing 600 million treatments without profit to patients in malaria-endemic countries. No one should die from malaria today.”Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on April 24, 2013 05:38 PM
Havaianas, best known to the world's consumers as the brand that represents the ubiquitous flip-flop, turned 50 in 2012. It was a year in which the Brazilian company made enough flip-flops to circle the world 50 times.
Carla Schmitzberger, who oversees the brand in her role as head of the sandals business unit at Havaianas' parent company, Alpargatas, said that until the 1990s, "mostly poor people wore" Havaianas. "However, there was a small group of wealthier people that were wearing the product, but they were wearing them at home, and they were embarrassed to be seen with them because they were considered a poor person's footwear," she shared in an interview in the latest edition of Interbrand IQ.
Indeed, the brand was launched in 1962 with the goal of outfitting Brazil's peasants — not by a Brazilian but by a Scotsman, Robert Fraser, who was inspired by traditional Japanese shoe design.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on April 24, 2013 01:41 PM
Sometimes a brand blazes a trail, only to find itself outrun by the competition.
Back in 2006, entrepreneur Blake Mycoskie, who made his name and a small fortune as a contestant on reality TV show, The Amazing Race, came up with a unique proposition for a new brand, TOMS Shoes. The business model: TOMS would donate a pair of shoes to a child who lived in poverty for every pair of shoes sold. The philanthropic concept quickly became a sensation that catapulted the company's brand awareness to superstar status.
Not surprisingly, other companies started to knock off the idea. The most egregious copycat has been a line of shoes called "BOBS" that Skechers introduced in 2010. BOBS not only look exactly like TOMS signature shoe, right down to the logo stitched on a visible exterior label, but Skechers also shamelessly followed TOMS' "one-for-one" model of giving away a pair of shoes for every pair sold.Continue reading...
Posted by Kristen Van Nest on April 17, 2013 12:20 PM
Last year, Starbucks declared its support of same-sex marriage, which resulted in a boycott by the National Organization for Marriage. The coffee chain hasn't backed down one bit, however, as CEO Howard Schultz continues to blur the line between business and the personal lives of his millions of customers.
At a recent annual shareholders meeting, Tom Strobhar, a shareholder and founder of the Corporate Morality Action Center, an anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage organization, suggested the boycott had a negative impact on first quarter sales and earnings. The ever-outspoken CEO swiftly responded, “Not every decision is an economic decision... The lens in which we are making that decision is through the lens of our people. We employ over 200,000 people in this company, and we want to embrace diversity."
Schultz then told Strobhar he was more than welcome to sell his shares and take his money elsewhere. While the remarks seem brazen, Starbuck’s stance on hot-button political issues and support of equal rights for its employees have been a part of the brand’s long-term strategy to increase internal brand engagement and decrease turnover. What's more, taking a position on causes that affect its workforce has had a positive impact on its bottom line.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 12, 2013 04:34 PM
AT&T has landed at top spot on CR Magazine's 14th annual 100 Best Corporate Citizens List, beating out other top Russell 1000 large-capitalization companies on merits including human rights and corporate governance.
Rounding out the top 10 on the new list: Mattel, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eaton Corp, Intel, Gap, Hasbro, Merck & Co., Campbell Soup Co. and Coca-Cola.
The ranking crunches 298 data points of disclosure and performance measures across seven categories: environment, climate change, employee relations, human rights, governance, finance and philanthropy.
Notably, 26 companies on the 2013 list were not on the 2012 list, while 11 companies have appeared on the list every year since 2007. For those that were bestowed the honor, many were quick to highlight the significance of employee participation to the success of the company's initiatives.Continue reading...
brands with a cause
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 9, 2013 04:11 PM
Starbucks got itself into a heap of PR trouble last year in the UK when it came to be known publicly that the company had found a way to not pay taxes in the UK over the last three years despite bringing in $2 billion in revenue there during the same time period.
Since then, the coffee giant has offered to pay more than $16 million in taxes in the UK this year, more than it is legally required to. That hasn’t necessarily meant that coffee lovers there have returned in droves, though. Now Starbucks is taking another step forward in its charm offensive, leading the way on a popular project called Suspended Coffee.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 8, 2013 11:41 AM
What North Americans know as moose and Europeans call elk apparently make a tasty meal. Since January, consumers in Europe and Asia could find the animal’s meat in lasagna sold at the Swedish furniture giant's stores. But recently there has apparently been a little something else in IKEA’s Elk Lasagna that consumers weren’t aware of: pork.
This isn't the first meat mix-up that IKEA has dealt with, as the company was one of several retailers implicated in the horse meat scandal that has swept across Europe. IKEA has been forced to remove its famed Swedish meatballs from its restaurants and frozen food aisles, and adding to its meat woes, the brand has just pulled nearly 18,000 units of its elk lasagne from its stores and websites after authorities in Belgium discovered the product contained a percentage of pork meat.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 1, 2013 12:28 PM
Condoms already come in plenty of forms. You’ve got your ribbed, you glow-in-the-dark, your cola-flavored, your French ticklers and your textured and studded ones. But Bill and Melinda Gates would like to see one that hasn’t been invented yet—and they are willing to fork over more than $1 million for it.
That's why the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is offering up the cash to anyone who can design such a thing in the hopes of stopping the spread of HIV and AIDS, CNN reports.
The contraceptive they’d like to see is a "next generation condom that significantly preserves or enhances pleasure" and promotes "regular use" as part of the foundation's commitment to addressing the global HIV and AIDS crisis.
"Male condoms are cheap, easy to manufacture, easy to distribute, and available globally, including in resource-poor settings, through numerous well-developed distribution channels," the Foundation says, according to CNN. So what’s the problem? Well, people complain that condoms get in the way of intimacy and pleasure, which are generally the goal of most people having intercourse.Continue reading...