Best Global Green Brands 2014


A Very Branded Halloween: From Ghoulish Oreos to Domino's Box-O'-Lantern

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 31, 2013 06:21 PM

The average American household will spend $44 on candy for Halloween this year, a total aggregated spend of more than $2 billion. And the top chocolate brands—Snickers, M&M's, and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups—won't be the only brands to benefit.

This year brings the usual bonanza of contests and antics from a broad swath of brands eager to show their playful—and spooky—sides.

From Google's witchy animation to FedEx's Zombie Survival Kit, here are a few that caught our eye:Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, Red Bull, Sears and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 29, 2013 09:23 AM

In the News

Apple sees profits fall despite higher sales of iPhones and offers disappointing holiday forecast.

Red Bull is subject to big wrongful-death suit.

Sears considers spinning off Lands End unit.

Air Serbia launches in Europe.

Boeing considers non-union plant for 777x.

Burger King may rescue corporate cousin Heinz after McDonalds ketchup snub.

Consumer Reports drops Toyota Camry from its recommended list over crash test.

GM lifts Opel marketing in Russia.

Google amends EU antitrust proposals as it looks to triple number of Glass testers and prepares to launch smartwatch. 

Guess signs first Indian model, Priyanka Chopra, as new brand ambassador.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Twitter, Microsoft, Instagram and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 25, 2013 09:33 AM

In the News

Twitter seeks $1.4 billion in biggest web IPO since Facebook and hires NBC vet as news chief. 

Microsoft shares jump 5 percent on positive earnings. 

Instagram rolls out in-stream ads as Facebook seeks boost in mobile revenues.

AT&T leans on less-lucrative tablets.

Apple sees Carl Icahn raise his stake in company and demand $150-billion buyback, while its VP of product design goes to Tesla

BMW unveils 2 series coupes. 

Boeing gets $21 billion in plane orders from China, report says. 

BP ramps up drilling again.

Chipotle backs "Food for Thought" content area on Huffington Post.

Chobani touts quality in new campaign after recall.

Coca-Cola Femsa says new tax in Mexico would hurt jobs.

Dunkin' Donuts rolls out enhanced loyalty program.Continue reading...

brand challenges

Panera's Squeeze: Menu May Be Too Big, But Not for Starbucks

Posted by Dale Buss on October 23, 2013 08:04 PM

Panera may be getting caught in a strange sort of pincers: It now offers too many menu items for its staff to serve efficiently. But its biggest new competition may be coming from Starbucks that wants to emulate Panera by greatly expanding its own menu.

For now, the bigger problem for the St. Louis-based chain is what to do about comparable-store sales that rose by only 1.7 percent during the third quarter, short of the company's expectations. Overall revenues grew by 8 percent, but CEO Ron Shaich predicted flattened sales in the fourth quarter.

Shaich identified the comp-sales problem in part as stemming from "operational friction, including capacity and throughput constraints." Translation: Panera outlets tend to have either too many menu items, or they're too complex, or there aren't enough staffers to handle the demands of preparing the food as well as the customer flow. Or all of the above.Continue reading...

chew on this

Chipotle Bolsters Brand Ethos—But at a Cost

Posted by Dale Buss on October 21, 2013 01:36 PM

Changes are coming to Chipotle, but management assures that it will all be worth it

The bottom line is that Chipotle CEO Steve Ells believes that the restaurant's formula of serving high-quality food at a quick pace, with natural ingredients and an overall better-for-you persona, will continue to be enough to help Chipotle out-pace growth by fast-casual rivals—and any other factor that comes its way.

But there will be adjustments for Chipotle along the way, Ells made clear in the company's latest conference call. And they will include a price increase of 3 to 5 percent next year for the first time in about four years. General food-ingredients inflation will play a role, Ells said, but so will completing Chipotle's efforts to weed out all GMO ingredients from its food-supply chain. (It doesn't choose to tackle GMO content in high-fructose corn syrup in popular soft drinks at this point.)

"What it will depend on is what happens with general ingredient inflation between now and then and what it costs us to remove GMOs from the rest of our igredients," Ells told analysts, adding: "We already have—and had for a long time—spent more money on our ingredients as a percentage of sales than our competitors or [any company] for which we have the records. And so we have high food costs, and that's not something that troubles us too much as long as we are able to [have] really high sales volumes in our restaurants."Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Netflix, Chipotle, Under Armour and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 21, 2013 09:27 AM

In the News

Netflix poised to pass HBO in paid US subscribers.

Chipotle raises menu prices for '14 due to higher costs, GMO shift as it moves East with tofu burrito.

Under Armour opens store in Shanghai and seeks the next big thing with inventor competition.

AT&T receives $4.9 billion in cell-tower deal.

Amazon bets on "betas" to turn web viewers into shoppers.

Apple adjusts tablet strategy to protect lead.

Art Van Furniture extends Michigan based into Chicago market.

Associated Press plans to enable sponsored content.

BlackBerry raises Canadian security concerns with potential deal abroad.

Bon Appetit is magazine of the year for Advertising Age.Continue reading...


Starbucks Jumps on the Sustainably-Sourced Wagon with New Origins Campaign

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 20, 2013 12:42 PM

Continuing a positive trend of transparency in the food industry, Starbucks' latest campaign will focus on the quality and sourcing of its coffee beans, as sustainability and health concerns continue to motivate consumers to ask, "Where does this come from?"

Launching Sunday during the Emmys, the new documentary-inspired TV ad shows the heritage of the cafe chain's Arabica coffee beans. "The bean matters, because you cannot roast in quality, you cannot roast in complexity," the voiceover says as black-and-white footage of coffee plantations and the roasting process runs. 

Longer-form videos, dubbed “origin stories,” will run on the Starbucks website in October for four of its 20-plus coffee brands, including Veranda Blend, Pike Place Roast, French Roast and Ethiopia. The campaign will also include print ads that will run in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and the New Yorker, among others, while the TV spot will also be show in a handful of "higher-end" movie theaters.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, BlackBerry, Facebook and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 19, 2013 09:17 AM

In the News

Apple garners upbeat reviews for new iPhone and iOS 7.

BlackBerry slashes workforce by up to 40 percent.

Facebook gets First Amendment protection for “likes.”

Checkers prepares for IPO, report says.

Chili’s sees boost in checks from new table-top ordering system.

Chipotle gets more than 5 million views of Scarecrow documentary.

Dish Network wins legal victory over ABC in DVR fight.

Fisker Automotive sees its green loan from US headed for auction.Continue reading...

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