brand news

In the News: Men's Wearhouse, Toyota, Marlboro and more

Posted by Dale Buss on March 12, 2014 09:27 AM

In the News

Men's Wearhouse turns tables and buys Jos. A. Bank.

Toyota increases wages in Japan.

Marlboro is slammed for marketing to teens globally.

Allstate celebrates life journeys of Latinos.

Amazon works on music-streaming service.

Armalite outrages Italians over use of Michaelangelo's David in gun ad.

BMW cites strong initial demand for i8 plug-in hybrid.

Bon-Ton stores says CEO will leave next year.

Chobani still aims to raise capital despite denial of IPO pursuit.

GM reportedly faces criminal investigation in ignition-switch recall and stock tumbles.

Gatorade brings Propel back into brand family for a relaunch.Continue reading...

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SXSW '14 Preview: Snowden, Gaga and Nye, Oh My!

Posted by Barry Silverstein on March 6, 2014 06:20 PM

Each year, it seems SXSW (South By South West) gets more and more curious—and this year is no exception. Once dedicated to music, the 2014 SXSW festival, running from March 7 through 16 in Austin, Texas, now defines itself as "Music, Film, Interactive." Indeed, the festival has served as the launch pad for some of the market's most high-profile startups, including Foursquare. 

Beyond that, SXSW is a potpourri of personalities, popular trends and brands vying for attention. Indeed, last year's extravaganza was a "feeding ground for viral campaigns and unique marketing stunts." This year? Well, you can expect more of the same—just amped up a few notches.

In fact, SXSW 2014 may end up being known for notoriety. None other than the world's most infamous whistleblower, Edward Snowden, will speak on March 10 via teleconference. He'll be conversing with Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) "on the impact of the NSA's spying efforts on the technology community, and the ways in which technology can help to protect us from mass surveillance," according to the festival's site.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Facebook, Taco Bell, Target and more

Posted by Dale Buss on March 6, 2014 09:25 AM

In the News

Facebook cracks down on illegal-gun posts.

Taco Bell and Kraft expand grocery deal with new items.

Target CIO and VP of technology services resigns in wake of data breach debacle. 

Walmart plans to unveil "tethering" strategy soon as pressure mounts to reject genetically-modified salmon. 

Apple sees judge deny request to ban Samsung products as it plans to bring full-screen video iAds to mobile. 

BP finds way to bypass US oil-export ban.

Bitcoin may require human oversight, as chief of an exchange for the digital currency is found dead in Singapore.

Bob Evans Farms looks to bounce back from tough winter as its "barbell" strategy lifts sales.

Business Insider sees further investment from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.Continue reading...

app watch

Could IBM's Watson Be the Next Big App Platform?

Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 27, 2014 04:19 PM

Amid the flurry of product announcements (even by left-for-dead BlackBerry) and buzz over wearables at this week's Mobile World Congress, there was a keynote speech by IBM CEO Ginni Rometty that may have long-term implications for the mobile application world.

During her presentation, Rometty announced the "IBM Watson Mobile Developer Challenge," a first of its kind global competition to encourage mobile developers to create mobile consumer and business apps powered by Watson, the company's super-computer of Jeopardy! fame. The competition comes on the heels of IBM's launching of the IBM Watson Group, which it unveiled at CES 2014 in January.

While Watson made news by beating human contestants on the popular Jeopardy! television show more than two years ago, the commercial viability of the super-computer, named after IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, has only recently gained traction. In November 2013, for example, Fluid, a digital shopping company, introduced its "Expert Personal Shopper" application, which incorporates consumer information to become smarter with each interaction and operates as a knowledgeable sales associate in the palm of a shopper's hand.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Boeing, Volkswagen, Adidas and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 27, 2014 09:28 AM

In the News

Boeing designs self-destructing "Mission Impossible" smartphone.

Volkswagen cuts European worker bonuses on slump in demand and recalls almost 600,000 vans. 

Adidas to stop selling sexually-suggestive World Cup T-shirts after outcry. 

Barnes & Noble swings to profit on cost-cutting. 

Best Buy posts sales decline but returns to profit with cost cuts. 

Bitcoin falls in crosshairs of nations' regulators. 

eBay leads $133.7 million investment in Indian shopping site Snapdeal. 

European Union bans e-cigarette ads. 

Ford gets Mustang tie-up to Need for Speed and improves convertible top to take on German rivals. 

GM now faces federal investigation of its handling of recall.Continue reading...

mobile brands

Mobile World Congress '14: What to Expect from the World's Biggest Mobile Stage

Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 20, 2014 06:44 PM

Mobile World Congress, the largest annual event of its kind showcasing mobile innovations, will once again take place in Barcelona from Feb. 24-27. While Samsung was arguably the dominant player at last year's event and will surely be prominent again, old names like LG and Nokia, and newer ones like Huawei and Lenovo, are likely to steal some of the spotlight at this year's MWC. Wearables are also expected to play a leading role.

Samsung's big splash, via a promotion it has named "Unpacked 5," is expected to be the announcement of the Galaxy S5, which may well include the unveiling of the next iteration of Galaxy Gear, the wearable smartwatch that competitors are now trying to match. In fact, according to Bloomberg, HTC, the Taiwanese smartphone maker that has been battered by declining sales, is rumored to be demonstrating a smartwatch, "the first of three wearable devices," at MWC.

Not to be outdone, the Chinese company Huawei released a teaser video that offers glimpses of a few spiffy tablets and a smartphone with Siri-like intelligence. Rumored but unconfirmed is Huawei's introduction of a smartwatch as well. Smartphone manufacturer ZTE said last November it would launch a smartwatch in 2014 but was not expected to have one available at MWC.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: AOL, IBM, McDonald's and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 7, 2014 09:28 AM

In the News

AOL chief faces internal criticism after citing costs for staffers' "distressed babies."

IBM mulls selling chip-manufacturing operations.

McDonald's responds to gay-advocate criticism of Sochi sponsorship and opens first restaurant in Vietnam.

Aetna expects to lose money on Obamacare marketplaces.

Apple repurchases $14 billion in stock in two weeks.

Bank of America addresses credit offer to "Lisa Is A Slut McIntire."

Discovery Channel to debut late-night talk show. 

Dunkin' Donuts outlines four-prong growth plan.

Esurance gives away its $1.5 million Super Bowl savings to couple in California. 

Ferrari plans to stay in Italy.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Lenovo Aims to Build Global Tech Brand to Rival Samsung, Apple

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 30, 2014 02:28 PM

Google’s mobile phone experiment has ended after just 22 months with the announcement that it sold Motorola's handset business to China's Lenovo Group for $2.91 billion. 

Following its $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility in 2012 to "supercharge Android," Google has uncharacteristically struggled to boost its market share in the mobile hardware business, with Motorola's global share of the smartphone market falling to about 1 percent in 2013. 

So while Google will retain Motorola's bank of 20,000 patents to be used to build up its successful Android brand, the aging brand's fate in hardware now lies in the hands of Lenovo—a little-known Chinese company that has been making some big moves in the tech world lately. In a blog post on the news, Motorola hailed Lenovo as its new brand steward.

“Lenovo has the expertise and track record to scale Motorola into a major player within the Android ecosystem,” Google CEO Larry Page wrote in a blog post about the sale. His sentiments are echoed by IDC analyst Ramon Llamas, who told the Wall Street Journal, "This gives Lenovo the all important foothold to get into North America.”Continue reading...

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