The Week in China: Cherry Fire Sale, Xiaomi's Blood Rice Phones, Metallica Comes to Town and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on August 16, 2013 12:34 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: Audi romances Qixi… Xiaomi's "Blood Rice"… "The Meat Shop"… Cleavage Creek… Disneyland Shanghai… Novartis… Ikea in trouble... blue jean pollution... "The Pickle Index"... 500,000 shoppers… and more.Continue reading...

app watch

IKEA Enhances Retail Experience with App-Based Furniture Demo

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 7, 2013 03:57 PM

Never have sofa shock again. IKEA'a 2014 Catalog offers an augmented-reality function that allows consumers to check the size and fit of intended purchases in their own homes—virtually. 

Using an app, consumers can scan a specific product marked with a plus symbol in the print catalog, which then appears through the camera of a smartphone or tablet, allowing consumers to visualize what the piece of furniture will look like in a room.Continue reading...


IKEA Curbs Global Resource Consumption with Sustainable Goals

Posted by Barry Silverstein on July 15, 2013 12:13 PM

All of that put-it-together-yourself furniture that IKEA sells around the world has to come from somewhere... and most of it is made of wood. That's why IKEA may very well be the largest global user of wood, consuming an estimated one percent of the world's supply annually to stock its 300-plus stores around the planet with cost-effective, wood-based products, according to the Daily Mail

The Swedish retailer is not only conscious of its massive wood usage, but it's also doing something about it. In January 2012, for example, IKEA started using corrugated cardboard pallets instead of wooden ones. In its 2012 annual Sustainability Report, Chief Sustainability Officer Steve Howard says the company has "a long-term sustainable supply of wood" and uses Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood that supports the improvement of forest management.

"All our wood," writes Howard, "is sourced from suppliers that meet our forestry standards and in FY12, 22.6 percent of our wood was from forests certified by the FSC."Continue reading...


Brands Pursue Sustainability through Circular Economy Initiative

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 2, 2013 12:51 PM

Business leaders, academics and innovators came together at the first annual Circular Economy 100 Summit in London recently to create a "global wrap-up" of the most current thinking on circular economics and accelerate the transition to that model over a three year period.

An initiative of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the goal is to “inspire a generation to rethink, redesign and build a positive future through the vision of a circular economy” as an alternative to our current traditional linear economy—make, use, dispose.

Dame Ellen MacArthur said about the launch of her Foundation in 2010, “if we don't have an entire generation of young people leaving education realizing what's possible, seeing what's possible, and then seizing what's possible, this cannot happen at the scale that's needed.”Continue reading...


'Pandamonium' as Western China Prepares for Boom Decade

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 2, 2013 11:46 AM

It may be best known as the home of China's Pandas, but Chengdu may soon be more appropriately known for one of its other contributions to the world: money. Depending on who you ask, it was the late Tang or early Song dynasty when Chengdu, located in China's western Sichuan Province, became the global birthplace of paper currency. As hundreds of executives from Fortune 500 companies gathered at this month's Chengdu Fortune Global Forum, the city looked primed to forget the panda and return to its financial pedigree.

Unilever is opening its first west China manufacturing plant in Sichuan, and VW's Chengdu plant is already months into its goal of 450,000 cars a year (and maybe even, someday, a VW China "hover car"). And where better to drive to than Chengdu's shiny new Apple Store? Chengdu is fattening with global corporations ready to gorge on the simmering consumer growth promise of underdeveloped western China. The numbers are staggering.Continue reading...


In Continued Quest for Millennials, Marriott Debuts Streamlined Look

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 18, 2013 12:46 PM

Marriott is going all-in on Millennials. The Bethesda, M.D.-based company is launching a new logo and tagline, "Travel Brilliantly" in its latest attempt to attract the growing market of young travellers looking for luxury at a value.  

The international hotel chain recently announced it will bring its European hotel brand, AC Hotels by Marriott, to the States to attract younger business travelers, while it is also planning to introduce a Millennial-friendly hotel brand, Moxy, across Europe in a partnerhsip with IKEA

What's in it for Marriott? According to the Washington Business Journal, “younger business travelers who make three or more business trips per year are a $35 billion market.” The chain hopes to attract the sought-after demo with a new, simplified "M" logo, a mobile app, offering different dining options, and allotting more open spaces in its hotels that can be used as public workspaces as well as streamlined rooms.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, Toyota, Allegiant Air and more

Posted by Dale Buss on June 5, 2013 09:03 AM

In the News

Apple faces a limited ban on product sales in wake of court victory by Samsung.

Toyota recalls nearly a quarter-million Prius and Lexus hybrids.

Allegiant Air emerges as most profitable airline in America.

Amazon plans major expansion of grocery delivery, report says, while it is attacked by French culture minister as "destroyer of bookshops" and reaches deal with Viacom to stream kids' shows.

Bloomberg begins fund to invest in startups.

Carl's Jr and Hardee's go after McDonald's disaffected Angus customers.

Chrysler challenge of federal recall effort on Jeeps is unusual.

Delta plans to reduce operations at Memphis hub.Continue reading...


The Week in China: Baijiu Looks West, Starbucks' Bathroom Brew, China's Voice Win and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on May 31, 2013 12:28 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: Pepsi taps into The Voice of China... why Baijiu is not like tequila... Samsung outsells Apple... Boss fashion shows... MBA kindergartens... Chengdu does Fortune 500s... Internet Explorer and China's banks... 3D printing boom... new Ikeas... the Backstreet Boys and pandas... Lenovo... and more.Continue reading...

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