Best Global Green Brands 2014

viral buzz

April Fools' Day 2013: Google Leads Brand Pranks Sweeping the Web

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 1, 2013 05:54 PM

Every April 1st, Google tries to outdo itself with a new array of April Fools' Day pranks, and this year was no different.

Users of Google quickly spotted a “Google Nose” link that appeared on April 1st that invited consumers to smell what they are seeing on the site, whether it is a campfire or a flower. Or, at least, it would let them “leverage new and existing technologies to offer the sharpest olfactory experience available.”Continue reading...

checking in

Amidst an Industry Boom, Hotel Brands Cash In on New Markets

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 21, 2013 07:27 PM

The world’s financial situation isn’t exactly peachy keen just yet, but the global population appears to be up for traveling. Both luxury and budget brand hotels are popping up across the world.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts, which came in at the top of its category in the recent 2013 Harris Poll EquiTrend, “expects to have enough cash in the next three years to add another global luxury brand bringing their total to ten.” 

Mitzi Gaskins, VP/global brand manager for JW Marriott, noted that the “luxury space is growing a lot” and is “anticipating 50 percent growth over the next four to five years with 79 JW hotels up and running by 2015.” Less than half of the 30 or more hotels that the brand has in the pipeline are in the United States. Gaskins told Fortune that the luxury markets that are growing fastest are “top tier destinations and gateway cities,” noting that the JW brand was opening soon in Cabo, Turks & Caicos, Macao and Hanoi, and had “just launched” in Venice.Continue reading...

checking in

IKEA and Marriott Team Up to Launch Millennial-Friendly Budget Hotel Chain

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 5, 2013 03:12 PM

Inter IKEA, the parent of IKEA, announced last summer that it was partnering with a hotelier to create a new hotel brand that oddly wouldn’t feature any of the Swedish furniture maker’s products. It’s now been confirmed at the Berlin International Hotel Investment Forum that Marriott is the partner and Moxy will be the name of the new affordable hotel chain, which plans to open 150 locations across Europe in the next decade.

“Moxy Hotels is the essence of the next generation traveler, not only Gen X and Y but people with a younger sensibility, for whom contemporary style is paramount,” said Arne Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott International in a press release. “Every aspect of the hotel was thoughtfully researched and crafted to reflect and deliver on the changing lifestyles and expectations of this fast-growing customer segment.” 

According to TravelBite, this will be Marriott’s first budget brand in Europe. Fifty of those locations should be up and running in the next five years and Inter IKEA will be ponying up $500 million to help out, the Wall Street Journal reports. While the hotels won’t use IKEA furniture, the company has found a way to keep construction costs down in a different way: “Many of the hotels will use rooms prefabricated offsite and then assembled like IKEA furniture, a modular type of construction that is new for Marriott.”Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, Facebook, HSBC and more

Posted by Dale Buss on March 5, 2013 09:01 AM

In the News

Apple value dips as Google soars.

Facebook sued over bungled IPO.

HSBC, now Europe's biggest bank, sheds personal loan assets.

Carmakers at Geneva Auto Show express fears on European recovery.

AARP ramps up YouTube marketing.

Ally Financial says U.S. is probing its retail-financing practices.

Amazon launches first TV effort, for fashion unit; leads mobile retail sales.

American Suzuki gets OK of bankruptcy plan by U.S. court.

Baileys slims down its bottle.

BBC Worldwide reportedly in talks to sell Lonely Planet stake.

Best Buy and Facebook focus on next-generation mobile marketing.

Boeing expects to move fast to get Dreamliner back into the air after FAA approval of fixes.Continue reading...

chew on this

Food Companies Put the Squeeze On Adults

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 1, 2013 03:37 PM

Toddlers and kids love their squeezable food and marketers have taken note. What better way to serve up products to America’s on-the-go adults? Mr. Whipple may have wanted to keep you from squeezing the Charmin but that’s all these companies want you to do with their products. Welcome to Squeezable Nation.

You’ve got your squeezable hummus, your squeezable sour cream, your squeezable condensed milk, salsa, cheese, pizza sauce and squeezable Dr. Pepper Cherry Dessert Topper. In other words, you’ve got pretty much whatever you want in squeezable form and you shouldn’t be surprised when all-squeezable restaurants start popping up.

OK, maybe not a full-on squeezable restaurant, but at least—as Saveur points out—a much more exciting condiment tray in your fridge: squeezable sun-dried tomato pesto and garlicky tzatziki from Canada’s Maison Le Grand get a shout-out from the publication.

Continue reading...

china

The Week in China: WeChat vs. Weibo, Ikea, Marvel and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on March 1, 2013 12:01 PM

At top, Brad Pitt phones in his new role as Cadillac China spokesman.

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 10 reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.

This week, the cat cafe... bodyguards... WeChat... Ikea's horse meatballs... Victoria's Secret... HTC... best selling sedans... Hollywood... Yum!... Bradillac and more. Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Yahoo!, Barnes & Noble, Weight Watchers and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 26, 2013 09:08 AM

In the News

Yahoo! work-from-home edict by CEO Marissa Mayer sparks debate.

Barnes & Noble breakup possibility highlights leadership differences.

Weight Watchers sees workers push back over low pay.

Airbus considers adding assembly line for A350.

Alcatel bets on AT&T and Verizon to keep U.S.-market growth.

Amazon losing its edge in e-commerce satisfaction.

BP begins its trial in 2010 Gulf oil spill.

Diageo hopes to create frozen-cocktail frenzy in U.K.

Google is the most trusted online brand in India, followed by Facebook.

HP board signals more oversight of CEO.

Hooters launches new brand campaign.

IKEA pulls more meatballs over horse meat.Continue reading...

brand strategy

KFC Tries to Rebuild Brand in China

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 25, 2013 03:17 PM

KFC has more than 4,000 outlets in China and it counts on them to come up with more than 40 percent of its overall revenue. That overreliance on cash-flow from the world’s most populated nation took a massive hit back in December when Chinese state television let the world know that “some suppliers violated rules on the use of drugs to fatten chickens,” which led to January sales dropping a customer-estimated 37 percent, according to the Associated Press.

The word from the Shanghai Times was that Chinese authorities were investigating the business practices of “Doyoo Group, a poultry company that reportedly bought sick and dead chicken from farms, then resold the sick ones to fast food restaurants such as KFC and McDonald's and processed the dead ones into animal feed."

Though the company was never fined by China food safety authorities for the incident, it caused KFC owner Yum! Brands to reconsider its overall 2013 profit outlook and now has it attempting to show the people of China that nothing quite like what happened last year will ever happen again. It t is promising “to test meat for banned drugs, strengthen oversight of farmers and encourage them to improve their technology,” the AP notes. Plus, KFC is saying that more than 1,000 small producers that its 25 poultry suppliers use have been axed. It is still planning to add 700 new locations in China this year. Continue reading...

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