tech in the spotlight

Samsung Gears Up for Holidays with VR, Pop-Up Stores and Kristen and Dax

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 26, 2014 04:38 PM

Samsung is anticipating a successful holiday season, thanks to buzzed-about new virtual reality products, a pop-up store push, a humorous new campaign starring Kristen Bell and husband Dax Shepard—and a critical show of confidence from management.

The consumer electronics giant started the week off strong by announcing that it's focusing its portfolio, Bloomberg reports, as excitement continues to grow amongst U.S. (and other) consumers who eagerly await the release of Samsung's Gear VR Innovator.

According to CNET, the Innovator brings together Oculus Rift virtual reality technology with the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 4 to create "a fully immersive virtual reality experience."

Set to hit stores in December, the gadget will run $199, or be bundled with a Bluetooth controller for $249. CNET notes that this won’t be quite the same experience as the Oculus Rift or Sony’s Project Morpheus—because those have their own screens—but is definitely a step forward for mobile VR.Continue reading...

in the spotlight

Lanmarq Highlights Present—and Future—of Branding in Latin America and Iberia

Posted by brandchannel on November 19, 2014 11:58 AM

Today, brandchannel parent company Interbrand announced the release of Lanmarq, a book focusing on the most influential brands in Latin America & Iberia. Written by Gonzalo Brujó, Chairman of Interbrand Latin America and Iberia, it includes a prologue from John Wren, President and CEO of Omnicom Group, as well as a closing chapter by Jez Frampton, Global CEO of Interbrand. 

“Never before has a book captured the brand dynamism of both the Latin American & Iberian markets,” said Frampton. “It presents a fascinating overview of Latin American and Iberian brands, while also forecasting the brands that are poised to lead well into the future.”

The book’s title is a combination of “Latin American Networks” and “marq”—an adaptation of "marca," the Spanish word for brand. It also evoques the English word “landmark” in a nod to those Latin American and Iberian brands that are constantly innovating and reshaping the brand landscape in their respective regions for the better.Continue reading...

bc q&a

Flowing Innovation: 5 Questions with Diageo's Helen Michels

Posted by Dale Buss on November 18, 2014 01:01 PM

Diageo, like most other global companies wooing consumers in local markets these days, is in constant need of new products to engage the increasingly adventurous—and fickle—tastes, preferences and predilections of local markets.

As the company's global innovation director and head of the Diageo Futures group, Helen Michels is responsible for broadening the pipeline of new ideas for the UK-based holding company and its many alcohol brands, which include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, Bailey's and Guinness.

She brings more than 20 years’ experience in brand marketing and product innovation to Diageo, having also worked in businesses such as GSK and Nestle. Michels has worked on a variety of launches across most spirit categories. Her charge at Diageo is much broader than marketing and consumer engagement or new drinks and packaging ideas, however, as innovation spans the company and its portfolio.Continue reading...

tech innovation

Banding With Pebble, Domino's Wants a Slice of Wearable Tech Action

Posted by Catherine Straut on November 13, 2014 06:43 PM

Domino’s is extending its popular Pizza Tracker technology into a smartwatch-friendly platform, enabling customers to keep tabs on their order from the time it's placed to delivery without lifting a finger, but with a glance at the wrist. 

The smartwatch app has been made exclusively for devices from Kickstarter-darling Pebble. Thanks to the new partnership, Pebble wearers (also known as “Pebblers”) can load the free app on their watch, sync it with the Domino's mobile app on their phone, and get Tracker updates and notifications in real time right on their wrists.

"We're thrilled to be the first smartwatch to partner with Domino's and help bring their beloved tracker experience to the wrist," stated Shobeir Shobeiri of Pebble's business development team, in a press release. "We designed Pebble to mesh seamlessly into your life, and the Domino's Tracker app is a natural addition to our growing appstore."Continue reading...

sip on this

That Sinking Feeling: Coca-Cola Aims to Get More Entrepreneurial to Spark Sales

Posted by Dale Buss on October 21, 2014 04:59 PM

If only Coca-Cola could find a way to extend its "Share a Coke" program for a long time to come. Besides that short-term spark to soda sales, the company didn't have much good news to share—or optimism for the future—along with its quarterly earnings report today.

The beverage giant's revenue actually declined during the third quarter, to less than $12 billion. Its profit fell 14 percent as global soda volume remained flat, reflecting the long-term struggle faced by Coca-Cola and its soft-drink rivals in a pronounced lack of interest in their primary products by more and more health-conscious consumers.

CEO Muhtar Kent also noted that the company is struggling, along with other beverage and consumer packaged goods companies, with currency headwinds and deterioriating economic conditions not only in emerging markets but also in Europe. "This is placing strong pressure on the short-term performance of our business," he said on the company's earnings conference call. He also lowered short- and long-term financial expectations.

But Coca-Cola must keep paddling, so Kent announced a series of initiatives both of the belt-tightening and innovation variety designed to spur growth—somehow. Continue reading...

tech innovation

Samsung Breaks Speed Barrier in 5G Wi-Fi Breakthrough

Posted by brandchannel staff on October 13, 2014 06:02 PM

Samsung this week claimed two industry-first milestones.

First, the development of 5G telecommunications networking technology with the fastest-ever 5G data transmission rate of 7.5Gbps, or 940MB per second in a stationary environment. As TechWeek Europe noted, "You could soon be able to download an HD movie in a matter of seconds following a major breakthrough in W-Fi download speeds by Samsung."

The South Korean technology giant has “removed the gap between theoretical and actual” with the development of 60GHz Wi-Fi technology which provides faster data transfer rates than ever before. The new technology allows download speeds of up to 4.6Gbps, or 575MB per second, a five-fold increase from 866Mbps, or 108MB per second, the maximum speed possible with existing consumer electronics devices.

The company was also the industry’s first to achieve uninterrupted and stable connection at 1.2Gbps, or 150MB per second, in a mobile environment from a vehicle travelling at over 100km/h.Continue reading...

brand innovation

Marriott Opens Innovation with Content Studio, Co-Creation and MIT Partnership

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 10, 2014 11:32 AM

Marriott's testing of Oculus Rift for virtual reality-enabled brand experiences is one part of a bigger move to make its brand a platform for customer experience and innovation.

The world's biggest hotel operator, with more than 4,087 properties in 80+ countries, is exploring new avenues, socially and digitally. It's using smart tech, customer co-creation and original content to engage next-generation travelers and drive new business in a great demonstration of what Interbrand calls "The Age of You." And it's getting a helping hand from MIT's Mobile Experience lab and a critical new hire from Disney.

Under the banner of "Travel Brilliantly," the hotelier is reinventing travel (and its brand) including opening a global content studio focused on publishing, distributing and sharing digital and filmed content. 

"The purpose is to create and establish original content as a key component of the company’s global marketing strategy," stated Karin Timpone, Marriott’s global marketing officer, in a press release. “The studio will consist of three groups: a Creative agency, Entertainment and Live – all focused on developing multi-platform content to engage consumers across all screens and formats worldwide.”Continue reading...

tech innovation

IBM's Iwata: "Watson is an IBMer"

Posted by Shirley Brady on October 10, 2014 10:21 AM

IBM moved Watson into swanky new digs in Manhattan this week, just as IBM was named the world's fourth most valuable brand on Interbrand's new Best Global Brands report. Don't miss the Q&A with Jon Iwata, SVP of Marketing and Communications, explaining what the world's first cognitive computing system means to the IBM brand—and much more.

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Highlighting the Present—and Future—of Branding in Latin America and Iberia

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