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wisdom of the crowd

Crowdfunding, the New VC Funding

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 29, 2012 01:01 PM

The notion of crowdfunding has actually existed for centuries as crowds gathered to hear and support pitches, but digital technology and social media have catapulted that notion to new heights and expanded the playing field and the playbook.

When President Obama signed the April 5th legislation, "Capital Raising Online While Deterring Fraud and Unethical Non-Disclosure Act" a.k.a. the Crowdfund Act, as part of his JOBS (Jumpstart Our Businesses and Startups) Act, the general public became empowered to fund startups and small businesses and receive stock (equity) in exchange, as well as legalized 'general solicitation,' which means that startups and companies can leverage social media like FaceBook and LinkedIn to raise funds.

Kickstarter’s modus operandi of crowdfunding individual projects has iterated to the next level of VC-like funding, which prior to the President’s action, could only be donation-based — making it illegal in the U.S. for a company to raise money from a crowd that would then grow the business.Continue reading...


Walmart Announces Crowdsourced New Product Winners

Posted by Dale Buss on May 7, 2012 03:37 PM

As Walmart battles the damage to its reputation in the wake of the Mexico bribery scandal, in the United States there's still nothing as golden for small vendors as getting a go on the shelves of Walmart stores across the country. With one deal, personal fortunes are made and entrepreneurial success stories are written.

That's why the sky is now the limit for a trio of startup brands that won valuable shelf-space via Walmart's first "Get on the Shelf" crowdsourcing contest: HumanKind Water, Plate Topper and SnapIt Eyeglass Repair Kit.

More than 4,000 inventors, entrepreneurs, and small businesses entered the contest with video submissions for products ranging from household wares and children's toys to organic food and green items, Walmart said in a press release. The winners' products will be carried on Walmart.com and at Walmart stores in the United States.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Wharton Brand Refresh Isn't Just Academic

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 24, 2012 05:06 PM

Joseph Wharton founded the world’s first business school more than 130 years ago, building on University of Pennsylvania founder Benjamin Franklin’s belief that the desire and ability to serve mankind should be "the great aim and end of all learning."

Now Penn's famed Wharton School has turned its management focus onto intself to come up with a new brand platform, "Knowledge for... ", proffering its resources and assets around themes including "Knowledge for Life," "Knowledge for Global Impact" and "Knowledge for Action."Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Amazon, Google, Virgin and more

Posted by Dale Buss on April 16, 2012 09:01 AM

Amazon looms as nemesis of book publishers, as children's book publisher pulls its titles.

Apple denies designer Philippe Starck's claim of 'revolutionary' device.

Arby's makes social media blunder over Rush Limbaugh advertising.

Archie comics legal battle heats up.

Audi may select its North American plant site this week, with Mexico the favoriteAutomotive News says.

CBS emphasizes hard news to regain an edge.

Citigroup reports better-than-expected revenue growth.Continue reading...

media brands

Al-Jazeera Ready to Play Ball?

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 5, 2012 12:02 PM

To many, soccer makes the world go round and, if this is true, the country of Qatar is poised to take advantage of the situation. In 2022, Qatar will be the first Arab country to host the World Cup, the world’s most-watched sporting event, and it is building innovative, air-conditioned stadia that will be partially disassembled after the event and sent to less wealthy countries.

Meanwhile, the television-news network owned by Qatar, Al-Jazeera, is using soccer in a different way.

Reuters reports that Al-Jazeera, the most-watched channel in the Arab world, is “racing to launch a new French channel in early June in time for the European Football championships, offering a service for about 11 euros per month.” To get ready, the network has trademarked the channel’s name, beIN Sport, across the globe.Continue reading...

wisdom of the crowd

GutCheck Launches Instant Research Communities

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 30, 2012 11:04 AM

GutCheck is now out of beta with its latest product, Instant Research Communities, which offers brands and marketers quick access to consumer communities on their websites, Facebook fan pages, Twitter, and Google+.

GutCheck’s automated recruitment engine instantly qualifies respondents from these pools for private platform discussion and review of proposed business decisions.

We first covered GutCheck last year and spoke with Matt Warta, GutCheck CEO when the Denver start-up had just won the People’s Choice award (and $1 million in free advertising) at the DEMO Spring 2011 conference. “We’ve lowered the economic barrier to this kind of research,” Warta told us then.

Now it’s even lower, and the research is more refined. We caught up with Warta, in New York for the launch of GutCheck Instant Research Communities at The Advertising Research Foundation 2012 Re:think conference, and asked about reaction to their disintermediation of traditional Market Research Online Communities (MROCs).Continue reading...

name game

Mondelēz, Mondelēz: Kraft Employees Name Soon to Be Spun Off Snacks Unit

Posted by Dale Buss on March 21, 2012 01:43 PM

What's in a name? Kraft Foods is about to find out, after announcing today that Mondelēz International is the moniker of the corporate global snack-foods unit that it will spin off by the end of this year, as announced last August.

"Mondelay," you say? Nay, nay! No need to dust off your high school French. The new name — pronounced "Mohn-dah-LEEZ" — is a Kraft-coined word that, the company explained in a press release, is intended to evoke the idea of "delicious world."

"Monde" derives from the Latin (and French) word for "world," the company explained, and "dēlez" is a "fanciful expression of 'delicious.'" And, of course, "International" captures "the global nature of the business."

Even though it won't be consumer-facing, pronunciation will be a challenge ("mon-de-lay," "mon-de-less," or "mon-de-leez"?) for the new name which was, as it turns out, employee-sourced.

Last fall, Kraft invited staffers around the world to suggest names and received suggestions from more than 1,000 employees. The winner was inspired by separate suggestions from two employees, one in North America and one in Europe.Continue reading...

web watch

IPO Looming, "All Grown Up" Yelp Looks to Boost Ad Revenues

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 20, 2012 11:01 AM

Yelp, the user-generated review website, quietly launched seven years ago with a cartoon-like logo designed by YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley.

Now known for its distinctive 'burst' logo and spanning the globe, it plans to raise as much as $100 million in an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange on March 2nd.Continue reading...

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