brand news

In the News: IKEA, Walgreens, Microsoft and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 22, 2013 09:14 AM

In the News

IKEA under investigation in France for snooping on workers.

Walgreens opens nation's first energy-net-zero retail store.

Microsoft heats up gaming-console wars with debut of Xbox One.

Air New Zealand launches "Middle Earth" campaign tied to release of The Hobbit movie.

Acer brings back founder without pay to help struggling PC maker.

Amazon amps up for winning holiday as executive predicts quantum leap in online alcohol sales.

Apple wins a patent retrial against Samsung.

Bauer Media launches digital brand aimed at wealthy young women. 

Beam and Cinnabon to introduce co-branded vodka.

Caterpillar is probed for possibly dumping parts in the ocean.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Starbucks, Johnson & Johnson, Unilever and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 13, 2013 09:06 AM

In the News

Starbucks ordered to pay Kraft $2.7 billion in losing coffee-package dispute.

Johnson & Johnson said to agree to $4 billion settlement over hip implants.

Unilever opts for sustainable palm oil.

Bloomberg says news service didn't kill articles on China.

Boeing vote tests union strength.

Chrysler brand chief leaves to head Maserati marketing. 

Fantex delays "IPO" of injured NFL star.

Foxconn sees profit growth slow sharply.

Girls Gone Wild is up for sale

GM shifts international headquarters to Singapore from Shanghai.

Hulu wants to be offered with pay-TV bundles.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Apple Furthers Made-in-USA Bid With Plans for Arizona Component Plant

Posted by Dale Buss on November 5, 2013 08:02 PM

Apple has become the American success story of the digital age. But it never was the "all-American" success story because essentially all of the manufacturing of its iconic, intuitive, lovely and life-changing devices took place outside the United States, mainly in China and other Asian locales.

Now "essentially all" is becoming "most" since Apple took another step to fulfill CEO Tim Cook's recent vow to make adding US jobs a priority. The company plans to open a new plant in Mesa, Ariz., that will create 2,000 jobs to make components for its products. GT Advanced Technologies will make materials there out of sapphire, which is increasingly used to cover camera lenses and home buttons.

"We are proud to expand our domestic-manufacturing initiative with a new facility in Arizona," an Apple spokeswoman said. The company already planned next month a release of a new Mac Pro computer that is being assembled in the US.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Chrysler, Disney World, Arby's and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 24, 2013 09:36 AM

In the News

Chrysler files for IPO in valuation feud with UAW as company chokes on launch of new Jeep Cherokee

Disney World and Disneyland cut line-cutting privileges for disabled after abuse. 

Arby's names new CMO.

ADM plans to move top execs from Illinois plains to larger city.  

Bugatti plans to sell handbags to broaden appeal of luxury car brand. 

China will unblock Facebook, Twitter and the New York Times inside Shanghai Free Trade Zone. 

Citigroup cuts mortgage jobs as refinancing boom wanes.

Domino's upgrades online ordering.

Foxconn deals with large-scale worker fight on China campus.

Kraft Foods leverages Corn Nuts content in display ads.

Macy's campaign explains localization strategy.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Labor Watchdog Cites Apple Supplier Pegatron for Laundry List of Violations

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 30, 2013 12:26 PM

Apple may have begun to sever its relationship with Foxconn in China after multiple reports of labor abuses and worker suicides, but similar problems appear to have followed the brand to its newest supplier, Pegatron. 

New reports from China Labor Watch, a US-based worker welfare monitor, allege that the Chinese factories run by the emerging Taiwan-based manufacturer are "even worse" than Foxconn's. The report cites filthy work and living conditions, as well as practices such as withholding ID cards and pay—abuses that violate Chinese law as well as Apple's supplier standards, according to Engadget. 

CLW conducted undercover investigations in three Pegatron factories which supply iPhones, iPads and Mac computers, employing upwards of 70,000 people. Apple has since responded, noting that it has audited Pegatron facilities 15 times over the last six years for violations such as withholding employee IDs, however the company admitted that the report shed light on "claims that are new to us" and vowed that they would be investigated "thoroughly."Continue reading...


The Week in China: Songs About Fried Chicken, GSK's Midnight Express, Messi WeChats and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 19, 2013 12:17 PM

China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.

This week: KFC, KFC and more KFC… Big pharma in big trouble for bribery… Goldman Sachs IPOs China… Lionel Messi for WeChat… Beyond existing auto sales... Beyonce... Luxury franchise buybacks… Union Pay app… Coca-Cola goes green… Kvass!… and more.Continue reading...


The Week in China: Chatting with the CEO of 'China's Foursquare,' China's Insatiable Auto Market and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 12, 2013 01:47 PM

At top: Ok, it's not China but it is great. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's political party woos support by launching "a smartphone app called Abe Pyon, which roughly translates as Jumping Abe."

China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.

This week: An interview with "China's Foursquare" Jiepang about "Jiepang 5.0"… Lacing auto sales add-ons… banned lingerie ads… Bruce Lee for scotch… Foxconn for "iPhone 6"… McDonald's gives away Kleenex… Asiana post-crash PR… Australia's "Chinese theme park"… Xiaomi leaks… China spoofs Jay-Z again... and more.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Apple Fashions a New Position for CEO of Yves St Laurent as it Eyes Wearable Future

Posted by Barry Silverstein on July 3, 2013 12:56 PM

The next step in the remarkable evolution of the Apple brand may be just around the corner. In a move that "caught the fashion industry by surprise," Apple has announced it is adding Paul Deneve, CEO of fashion giant Yves St Laurent (YSL), as a vice president of "special projects," reporting to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

While heads are still spinning in the fashion sector, it isn't as strange as it sounds. Deneve, after all, was with Apple's European operation on the marketing side from 1990 to 1997, so he is hardly an unknown. Not to mention that YSL's revenues just about doubled under his leadership.

While some see this move as directly related to Apple's anticipated launch of an iWatch, others believe it has broader implications. "More likely it is to explore the extension of the Apple brand, or its platform technology into clothing and fashion," notes Forbes. "Digital technology is in fact extending its reach to every aspect of life, including clothing and other wearables like glasses." After all, the computer wearables market "is perfect for Apple to mainstream. It advances contextual computing. And it has the added virtue of being a bigger potential market than smartphones..."Continue reading...

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