Best Global Green Brands 2014

corporate citizenship

IKEA Joins Costco, Gap in Voluntary US Wage Hike

Posted by Dale Buss on June 27, 2014 09:54 AM

IKEA joined a still-limited list of US retailers that is raising minimum wages voluntarily even as the issue of boosting the legally required minimum pay for low-wage workers continues to roil American business and politics.

The maker of inexpensive Scandinavian furniture said that it will raise the average hourly minimum at its 38 US stores to $10.76 an hour, a 17 percent increase, with actual new pay rates varying locally depending on the cost of living in a particular area. The new average would be $3.51 above the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The new policy will raise the pay of about half of IKEA’s 13,120 US employees.

“This stems back to Ikea’s decision to create a better everyday life for our people,” Rob Olson, IKEA’s acting president for the US and its CFO, told the New York Times. “We of course are investing in our co-workers. We believe they will invest in our customers, and they will invest in IKEA’s stores.”

Plus, he told USA Today, the company can absorb the pay increase partly because it has cut costs in recent years. The wage hike will narrow profit margins but ultimately should benefit the bottom line, he said. IKEA has no plans to raise prices, cut staff or reduce hiring. The move also is a “shrewd business tactic that helps retailers attract top talent,” an economic analyst told The Huffington Post.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Kellogg's, Aereo, GM and more

Posted by Dale Buss on June 26, 2014 09:41 AM

TOP STORIES

Kellogg's opens Recharge Bar with special branded concert from The Roots. 

Aereo sees US Supreme Court knock out its props, raising questions about future of broadcast industry innovation.

GM stops selling certain Chevrolet Cruze models for possible Takata air-inflator problem as CEO says recalls will continue. The company plans to close an Opel plant in Germany, as well. 

IKEA raises minimum wage at US stores.

P&G aims to change what it means to be “like a girl” with Always campaign.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Carnival foresees end to cheap Caribbean cruises.

Chipotle angers Texas agricultural industry over Australian beef imports. 

Darden shifts focus to Olive Garden update.

Del Taco parent is exploring sale of chain.

El Pollo Loco files for $100 million IPO.Continue reading...

tech innovation

Lowe’s Helps Customers Envision Their Home’s Future with Holoroom AR

Posted by Dale Buss on June 12, 2014 03:01 PM

It's always interesting to see a non-tech brand stretch itself to adapt and explore the latest technology, especially when such explorations directly attribute to growth ambitions and a positive brand culture. 

That’s what Lowe’s is attempting with its new “Holoroom” augmented reality project and related efforts that stem from the home improvement chain’s earnest ambition to envision the future of its industry and to help consumers access the possibilities. The new Lowe’s Innovation Labs will focus on “uncommon partnerships” with tech consultants Singularity University and SciFutures.

Holoroom is the first fruits of their cooperation, a 20-by-20-foot room that allows customers to simulate renovation projects. They can create realistic spaces on an iPad stocked with Lowe’s goodies and then “enter” the Holoroom to experience a 3D version of their creation, Ad Age reported. An app allows them to work on their 3D creation at home.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Coca-Cola Life, Abercrombie & Fitch, Lululemon and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 11, 2014 08:30 AM

TOP 5 STORIES

Coca-Cola Life, in green can, marks first new Coca-Cola in UK since Coke Zero launched in 2006. 

Abercrombie & Fitch revises mission to be more inclusive.

Amazon reportedly plans local services marketplace as eBay local deliveries may be in trouble.

Uber faces protest by London's black cab drivers. 

Lululemon founder calls for shake-up of board.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Apple, Starbucks and Fiat face EU tax inquiry, putting Irish government on defensive.

Audi tests real-time Snapchat content with ABC Family.

Beckham launches soccer channel for Sky Sports.

Bic crowdsources handwriting styles to create a universal typeface.

BP will fly first commercial drone in the US.Continue reading...

branded entertainment

Branded Content Watch: Oakley, Samsung, Nike and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on May 23, 2014 02:10 PM

Someday, everything will be narrated by Kevin Spacey: The Oscar winner's voiceover can be heard on Oakley's "A Story of Disruption" short documentary exploring the brand's philosophy and 40 years of product design. "Disruption" comes complete with a fancy-pants microsite, too.

Ford's Lincoln Theatrical Aspirations: Not only is it the signature sponsor of the Tribeca Film Festival, Lincoln Motors is producing its own film. The noir short Alethea follows actress Elsa Carette as she is transported through New York City in a Lincoln MKZ:Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Red Lobster, Comcast, Pinterest and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on May 16, 2014 09:13 AM

TOP 5 STORIES

Brands to Watch

As contentious net neutrality proposal gets FCC greenlightComcast tightens data limits and firms up new "SpinCo" unit.

Red Lobster is sold by Darden for $2.1 billion.

Pinterest funding round brings valuation to $5 billion.

GM agrees to pay "substantial fine" over switch recall.

Microsoft celebrates Nokia acquisition with stylish brand book, and gets ready to reveal new Surface tablet.

ALSO IN THE NEWS:

Abbot Labs to buy CFR Pharmaceuticals for $2.9 billion.

Barclays stars in London Pride event's first ad campaign.

Cadbury's Dairy Milk touts ice cream in the UK with #freezethejoy push.

CBS unveils plans for 24-hour digital news channel.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: NYT, Dixons Carphone, McDonald's and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on May 15, 2014 08:28 AM

TOP 5 STORIES

Brands to Watch

The New York Times ousts its first female executive editor as Le Monde's female top editor resigns.

Dixons and Carphone Warehouse to merge in the UK as Dixons Carphone.

McDonald's, Burger King and other fast food brands brace for walkouts across U.S. and globally.

Univision and T-Mobile partner on co-branded Hispanic wireless service.

Walmart profit hit by severe winter weather as Asda unit restructures and warehouse workers win back pay.

ALSO IN THE NEWS:

Amazon wants to charge more for "access to its pipes."

Apple and Samsung compete for "atom-thick patents" as Apple's Beats deal may be announced next week.

Beefeater celebrates modern London with limited-edition packaging.

BMW and Toyota's Lexus reportedly partner on "supercar."Continue reading...

sustainability

IKEA Future-Proofs its Brand, From Meatless Meatballs to Wind Turbines

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 1, 2014 02:27 PM

Swedish retailer IKEA sold 97.4 million meatballs last year, a mash-up of beef and pork which accounted for a hefty portion of 600,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. While amounting to only about 2% of the company’s overall carbon footprint, it’s still too much for the global brand that’s made a name for itself as delivering good design and function at affordable prices.

“We didn’t want to have 5% of our range 'green' and ignore the rest,” commented Steve Howard, IKEA’s chief sustainability officer, to Fast Company. “If we think of the challenge—society is using 1 ½ planets’ worth of resources every year, and on track for more—business as usual isn’t an option. Sustainability has to be in every product in every customer’s home. It shouldn’t be a luxury for the few.”

So IKEA is putting its money and corporate citizenship on the line, from reconstituted chicken and vegetarian meatballs to solar panels, assembling a bold and proactive sustainability program to ‘future-proof’ its brand.Continue reading...

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