Best Global Green Brands 2014

bc q&a

Of Mazda, Music and Miata: 5 Questions with Russell Wager

Posted by Dale Buss on July 18, 2014 03:03 PM

Music has long been a great currency of marketing. But automotive brands are taking their involvement with music to new levels these days as they seek ways to make connections digitally and with their toughest demographic, Millennials.

Honda, for example, just launched an ambitious effort called Honda Stage that involves concert sponsorships and other music touch points. Nissan this week announced a two-year partnership with the Americana Music Association, give the brand closer ties to country music and Nashville.

And Mazda, though a small brand by automotive standards, now also is trying to mount an outsized presence in the music arena. The automaker just announced an expanded partnership with the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series, making Mazda the official automotive partner and doubling the brand’s participation this year to eight or nine events.

The series involves combining entertainment and running, featuring live bands performing at every mile along the course and a post-event headliner concert. Mazda will also have lots of on-site activations such as the Mazda Fueling Station with free food and beverages. It kicked off in Chicago this week and continues through December.

Mazda’s North American vice president of marketing, Russell Wager, talked to brandchannel about the new partnership and the brand's bigger strategy and goals:Continue reading...

branding together

With Swash, P&G and Whirlpool Help You (and Your Clothes) Get Wrinkle-Free

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 17, 2014 12:12 PM

High-tech de-wrinkling has found favor with a certain royal couple in the UK. A German manufacturer has created a machine that irons clothes for the likes of Prince William and his lovely bride. According to the Daily Mail, a Tubie costs £850 ($1,400) and consists of a bag that consumers place their clothes on before inflating it with hot air that forces (tsk, tsk) “crumples and creases out of shirts and trousers.” (Its puffed-up system recalls one of those inflatable creature signs you see at car dealerships.)

Now P&G, maker of Tide and other fine laundry products, has found a way to freshen up clothes that aren’t quite making it to the washer right away or have to go to the dry cleaner. The consumer packaged goods giant has teamed up with Whirlpool on Swash, a subtly stylish (that's it standing at attention on the left, above) $499 plug-in machine that uses special Swash pods to “refresh clothes” in 10 minutes, Ad Age reports.

While Swash won't be available for at-home use until later this year, the companies have started building buzz on Instagram (hashtag: #theswasheffect) during a NYC fashion show that was held last night at the Standard Hotel with stylist Kate Young and attracted VIPs such as Randi Zuckerberg.Continue reading...

branding together

Apple and IBM Partner to Transform How Companies Work

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 15, 2014 09:09 PM

Apple and IBM have struck a global partnership to work together to create business-software applications for iPhone and iPad users.

Highlights from the press release about the co-branded enterprise mobility deal:

The new IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions will be built in an exclusive collaboration that draws on the distinct strengths of each company: IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities, with the power of more than 100,000 IBM industry and domain consultants and software developers behind it, fused with Apple’s legendary consumer experience, hardware and software integration and developer platform.Continue reading...

brand collaborators

The Polished Home: OPI, Ace Hardware Bring the Nail Salon to the Living Room

Posted by Katie Conneally on July 10, 2014 06:17 PM

It used to be that you could spot bold nail polish colors, elaborate nail art and sparkling gel manicures on hands left and right. But after several years of unparalleled growth, the nail polish market has slowed down, with retailers like Coty (which owns OPI) noting a four percent drop in sales at the end of 2013. 

So this year, it’s no surprise that nail polish brands are turning to new, innovative partnerships to reposition nail polish as not just a beauty product, but a key part of consumers' aesthetic lifestyle, in an attempt to drive sales and attract new customers. 

OPI is leading the way through a collaboration with Clark+Kensington, a line of house paints from Ace Hardware. Together, they’ve developed three new color palettes of house paint that match some of OPI’s most illustrious colors. Each palette contains 6 shades and is designed to reflect consumers’ personalities with names like "The Artist," "The Wild Heart" and "The Romantic."Continue reading...

brand commentary

But Wait, There's More: 5 Questions with AJ Khubani, CEO of TeleBrands

Posted by Dale Buss on July 9, 2014 03:06 PM

The claim “As Seen On TV!” continues to reverberate with consumers as they clamor for new products advertised on TV infomercials such as the popular Pocket Hose and now, books. That’s why direct-response TV leader TeleBrands has grown to a $1 billion-a-year company.

TeleBrands, which is celebrating 30 years of business, has had to evolve quickly, pivoting toward much greater dependence on sales in special “As Seen On TV!” sections of brick-and-mortar retailers and essentially relying on TV as more of an advertising than sales vehicle. Surprisingly, digital sales aren’t that big a factor yet.

brandchannel chatted with "Infomercial King" AJ Khubani, founder and CEO of New Jersey-based TeleBrands, the industry’s leading pioneer, about how the industry has changed:Continue reading...

sporting brands

New Kit on the Block: Nike Cuts Manchester United Ties [Updated]

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 8, 2014 02:08 PM

Soccer is the one category where Adidas has a significant market-share lead over archrival Nike and the latter would love to change that. For evidence, take a gander at how much Nike has invested in World Cup-related marketing.

As much as Nike would like to conquer the one last silo Adidas has, it apparently isn’t ready to open its wallets completely in order to continue being associated with the biggest-name football club in the world: Manchester United.

Nike’s 13-year deal to supply uniforms for the team ends next year and the pair have been in talks about an extension. Nike currently pays out around $40 million annually along with a percentage of merchandise sales to ManU, Bloomberg reports. Now the team is said to want $102.8 million each year—an amount that Adidas may be willing to pay—as Nike confirmed today that it will no longer sponsor the storied team.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Walmart Boosts Women-Owned Brands With Major Retail Push

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 3, 2014 05:36 PM

The world's biggest retailer is betting on women entrepreneurs in a big way. Starting in September, Walmart will carry a range of items by women, but not just for women, in its stores.

From lingerie to bathroom cleansers, Walmart shoppers will soon be able to spot and buy products made by female entrepreneurs thanks to a “women-owned” logo that resembles a ring of women with their arms around each other.

“Women perceive there’s a higher quality to a woman–owned product, that there's a real value in it,” commented Pamela Prince-Eason, President and CEO of Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), which certifies women-owned businesses seeking US federal contracts.

As part of its bigger Empowering Women Together commitment, Walmart's goal by 2016 is to source 20 billion dollars worth of products from women-owned businesses. Already promoting women-owned brands on its website, the women-owned logo will now accompany these products into its stores.Continue reading...

branding together

Manchester United and Chevrolet Tease New Uniforms

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 2, 2014 04:03 PM

While the World Cup continues on through its dramatic knockout stages in Brazil, the rest of the football world goes about its offseason business, such as deciding what players to sign and trade.

For Manchester United, the third most valuable soccer team worldwide according to Forbes, it also includes the introduction of a new Chevrolet-sponsored uniform.

While team and its GM-owned sponsor aren't ready quite yet to show off what the new jerseys will look like beyond a peek at the Nike logo and club crest, they're building up expectations with a teaser video to remind fans that no matter what brand name is on the front of the shirt.

As star striker Wayne Rooney tells the camera, "This shirt belongs to you. Always has. Always will."Continue reading...

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