Best Global Green Brands 2014

retail watch

Martha Stewart Dishes From Lofty Perch of Witness Stand in Macy's-JCP Trial

Posted by Dale Buss on March 5, 2013 06:36 PM

One more day of Martha Stewart on the stand in the Macy's-JCPenney trial over her brand and wares, and neither retailer may not want her anymore.

Testimony by the 71-year-old Diva of Domesticity on Tuesday at times sounded like something from Les Miserables or A Tale of Two Cities, leaving her views of the differences between Penney's and Macy's customers abundantly clear.

Penney customers "have 30 percent less income than Macy's shoppers," she said near the end of her testimony, according to the Twitter coverage from the courtroom by Ashley Lutz, who covers retail for Business Insider. "They're going to buy different things."

Not long after, a Macy's attorney in the landmark court case called her out for saying that JCP has different customers than Macy's, the lawyer noting that the Macy's contract prohibited her brand from collaborating with "downscale" partners, presumably because it would tarnish the value of the Stewart marque for Macy's.Continue reading...

sip on this

Not So Innocent: Coke Gets Complaints in Europe as it Bolsters Middle East Presence

Posted by Dale Buss on February 27, 2013 02:18 PM

Coca-Cola keeps moving forward with global consolidation as it swallows up the remaining stake of a juice brand in Europe and launches two new brand platforms in the Middle East.

In Europe, Coca-Cola is moving to acquire almost all of the 40 percent of Innocent Drinks that it didn't already own after raising its stake in stages beginning in 2009. Innocent makes smoothies, juices and other healthy foods and has been a rising better-for-you brand in Europe, building its brand equity on corporate "innocence."

Will Innocent and Coke face a European-consumer backlash over the brand's now-complete dependence on a well-known multinational company that some say isn't quite so innocent? After all, it's recently come under new criticism by Oxfam over allegely unethical practices.Continue reading...

retail watch

JCPenney Hopes to Breathe Life into Retail Sales with Pop-Up Shops

Posted by Brittany Waterson on February 27, 2013 12:37 PM

JCPenney, seemingly a permanent fixture in the news these days, seeks to push past the negative financial and branding headlines and tap into customer experience with their new pop-up shops, which will hopefully garner appeal from designer collaborations. 

The store, which is currently embroiled in a high-stakes trial with Macy's and Martha Stewart over product licenses, has had a rough time since CEO Ron Johnson took over a year ago. The brand's "no markdown" strategy backfired, and word on the street is that employee morale has hit an all-time low at the company's Plano, Texas headquarters. 

However, the company had a moment during the Oscars broadcast. The new campaign, a series of commercials introducing JCP’s latest brand partnerships expanded on last year's rebranding campaign with Ellen DeGeneres. It also boosted activity on Facebook and Twitter, rewarding some followers with gift certificates.

Now, with the success of shop-in-shop brands like Sephora, MNG by Mango, Levi's Denim Bar and Liz Claiborne, the retailer is adding more designers to its in-store boutique lineup and plans to expand to home goods later this spring. Each brand will have their own design aesthetic within their individual shop.

With its in-store designer additions, J.C. Penney joins Target, Macy's (now battling JCP in court over Martha Stewart) and Bloomingdale's as the latest department store to experiment with boutique-style shops. In fact, JCP is stealing from Target's playbook with a new exclusive home goods collection by American architect Michael Graves—Target's first designer partnership, which launched in 1999 and produced a whopping 2,000 items—and Justin Timberlake's William Rast collection, which launched as a Target exclusive in 2010.

Other upcoming JCPenney designer collaborations include in-store boutiques for Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler, Designs by Conran, Watchgear by Tourneau, Carters and Giggles. Here's a look at the in-store boutiques now hitting its stores:Continue reading...

creative snack

Oreo Goes Mobile as Mondelez Looks to Goose Growth

Posted by Dale Buss on February 22, 2013 09:56 AM

Oreo did a pretty good job of owning the second half of the blackout-interrupted Super Bowl—at least on social media. Now the world's leading cookie brand is making a grab for the galaxy in a playful new app exclusive to Nokia Lumia phones.

Meanwhile, continued innovation from Oreo will be crucial for its parent company Mondelez International as it attempts to reignite sales growth this year after a slightly disappointing 2012. CEO Irene Rosenfeld told analysts this week that she's "bullish about our future. Although our top-line growth was disappointing in the back half of last year," she said in a press release, "the quality of underlying revenue and earnings growth provides strong momentum as we enter 2013."

Using what it calls "augmented-reality" technology, the new Oreo Skies mobile app on Lumia allows users to write messages and "attach" them to actual constellations revealed in the app. Stars then "twist open" (like an Oreo) to reveal the message to the intended recipients. Other features include "shooting stars" that dash across the screen which carry special offers, recipes or incentives.Continue reading...

chew on this

Hipster Branding: Taco Bell Woos Cool Kids to Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos

Posted by Dale Buss on February 13, 2013 05:02 PM

Murmurs were afoot early on the street and on the tweet, thanks to Taco Bell's Facebook hint that fans should head to a pop-up store at New York City's Ariston Flowers in the Chelsea neighborhood, setting the Twitterverse aflutter.

The product: new Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos. The password: ask for the blue bouquet.

But just when things began to heat up at the flower shop, Taco Bell also was letting the whole country know about what likely will be its biggest new-product announcement of 2013. The Yum! Brands chain is hoping to tap into the same fervor for Cool Ranch as it did a year ago for the original Nacho Cheese flavored Doritos Locos Tacos, which kicked off a frenzy new Doritos-based-shell franchise.

And if the blue nail polish on today's Facebook announcement wasn't hint enough, Taco Bell is wooing the cool kids to Cool Ranch by appealing to hipsters — judging by its Super Bowl commercial, as a mindset and not necessarily just millennials.Continue reading...

going mobile

MTV Woos Indian Teens With Co-Branded 'Fablet' Smartphone

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 13, 2013 04:01 PM

Since MTV aired “Video Killed the Radio Star” back in August of 1981, the company has gotten into plenty of things that haven’t involved music at all, from asking its viewers to “Rock the Vote” to exposing the world to the somehow fascinating mundane dramas of young adults on the Jersey shore

Now, Viacom’s MTV Networks International is getting into another business: selling branded tablets in India. Or, as the Telecom Tiger puts it, fablets (presumably, a more fab version of phablets). MTV has announced a partnership with Swipe Telecom to produce a co-branded fablet, MTV Volt.

The 6-inch smartphone features a television screen so people can get their MTV wherever they are. The youth-centric device will also serve as, “a fully functional high-definition Android tablet with Wi-Fi, dual cameras, FM player and GPS functionality,” that weighs half a pound and retails for around 12,999 Rupees or $240, Telecom Tiger reports. And, of course, built-in apps allow users to get right onto Facebook and LinkedIn.Continue reading...

fashion therapy

Volkswagen, Aquafina Woo Fashionistas This Awards Season

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 11, 2013 11:12 AM

It’s getting harder and harder to get television viewers to actually sit and watch commercials, which means product placement continues to rise as a means to show consumers just how great a product is.

TV will be filled with awards shows for the next few months, live events often attract high tune-in, sprinkled with tune-out during commercial breaks. 

PepsiCo's Aquafina brand is partnering with fashion TV powerhouse Project Runway (which jumped from Bravo to Lifetime TV in 2009) with a contest inviting aspiring designers to submit their designs for a chance to attend the season 11 finale at the Fall 2013 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York next month.

According to the press release, "Narrowed down from the pool of design submissions gathered over the past month, the four designers who receive the most votes will compete in a one-hour, live design competition in New York City on February 6, 2013. The grand prize winner will receive $5,000, Aquafina for a year and recognition among the esteemed Project Runway and fashion communities."Continue reading...

super bowl

Super Bowl 2013: Pepsi and Bud Join Forces for Co-Branded Retail Push

Posted by Dale Buss on January 10, 2013 03:48 PM

Purchasing for Super Bowl parties just got easier. Two CPG behemoths are boosting their brands' cooperation in the retail store using the upcoming Super Bowl as a way to generate unprecedented synergies from in-store marketing.

PepsiCo and Anheuser-Busch InBev will put Bud Light and Pepsi together for the first time under the new effort, which AB InBev internally called a "National Big Bet," according to Ad Age. The companies previously had paired AB InBev drinks with PepsiCo-owned snack brands such as Doritos and Lay's, but not beverages.

As official Super Bowl sponsors — and Budweiser's Bud Light the official beer of the NFL — the respective beverage giants are hoping the co-branded in-store signage will woo shoppers in the days leading up to America's Biggest Snacking Occasion.

The co-branded marketing materials reportedly include display signs showing two bags of Doritos, two bottles of Pepsi and two bottles of Bud Light along with the Super Bowl logo and the slogan, "Super Bowl. Super Team. Super Party."Continue reading...

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