sip on this
Posted by Dale Buss on October 8, 2012 02:17 PM
Now that PepsiCo has begun marketing in its flagship Pepsi brand in a much more significant way this year, investors, analysts and other pundits are giving PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi the benefit of the doubt as she continues to unfold her strategy for making the company a major player in better-for-you markets rather than just a traditional purveyor of snack foods and soda beverages. From Australia to India, from vending machines to sweeteners to ad agencies, PepsiCo is pushing to innovate.
Case in point: PepsiCo just announced a pilot rollout of its Pepsi Interactive Vending machine pilot program, allowing consumers in a handful of U.S. locations to not only buy a beverage, but also send virtual gifts, play games and even charge their mobile devices. In addition to buying a Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist Natural, Aquafina or Lipton Green Tea, users can also gift a 20-ounce bottled beverage to a friend by entering the recipient's name and email along with a personalized message. That person, in turn, can send a gift back to the gift-giver — or pay it forward by sending their own gift to another friend.
The next-generation social vending machine is "part of a broader global platform of equipment innovation we're developing to engage consumers," stated Mikel Durham, PepsiCo's Global Growth officer. "The pilot launch of our Interactive Vending equipment is an exciting step in transforming the point-of-purchase experience," added Margery Schelling, the company's Global Innovation officer.Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 5, 2012 10:31 AM
Starbucks is facing increasing competition from all quarters, including Dunkin' Donuts and McDonald's, so the giant of the coffee biz is hoping to increase its market share with innovative new products and brand extensions, with a major focus on mobile going forward.
On the brand extension front, the java giant just started selling its single-serve coffee and espresso maker Verismo online. The caffeinated masses are apparently into it. Cliff Burrows, president of the Americas for Starbucks, says that sales of the machine have “exceeded expectations.” Starbucks is now rolling the product out to 4,300 stores and should finish having them in place in the next few weeks.
“Innovation is so important to us,” Burrows told the Houston Chronicle. “In 2009 we introduced ready-brew instant coffee. This summer we introduced Refreshers, energy drinks made from green coffee extract. We make them hand-crafted, sell them in cans and as instant beverages. Our innovation is ongoing.”Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on October 3, 2012 06:53 PM
Collaborating with startups is becoming popular these days. GE funds a startup incubator program; PepsiCo is expanding its PepsiCo10 initiative, which pairs startups with brands such as Quaker; BMW's iVentures arm is a $100 million venture capital fund that's investing in mobile innovation; and Lexus is getting into the startup funding business. Now you can add Mondelēz International to that list.
With a tagline of "The Future in 90 Days," the two-day old company's new Mobile Futures program was announced at the Mobile Marketing Association's Advertising Week conference in New York. The program is structured in two phases: scaling startup innovation, and creating entirely new mobile ventures by partnering entrepreneurs in the mobile space with "up to 10" Mondelez brands, as Mondelēz VP of Global Media and Consumer Engagement Bonin Bough told Ad Age.
Bough is bringing a solid track record to the task. He oversaw digital and consumer engagement at PepsiCo, including the now wrapped Pepsi Refresh Project crowdsourced community project-funding platform, before joining Kraft Foods in February. He's tapping that experience to spur mobile innovation at Mondelēz, the just-launched global corporate identity for Kraft Foods following Monday's spin-off of Kraft's North American consumer packaged brands.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on October 3, 2012 05:17 PM
Google isn't the only brand developing driverless cars. Nissan, which rose 30 percent on Interbrand's new Best Global Brands report, has unveiled NSC-2015, a prototype version of its Leaf electric vehicle "that can park itself, come when you call it and warn you about burglars," as Forbes notes. "The car can’t drive itself down the street," or and wouldn't even be legal in Japan (yet). Still, it's an intriguing move for the Japanese automaker as it works out the kinks on the cloud-based technology.
"When a smartphone sends an instruction to park, the instruction enters the cloud to the Nissan Global Data Center," explained Tooru Futami, engineering director at Nissan's Electronics Engineering Development Division. "There, a car health check is performed. The system decides if the car is OK to enter automatic driving mode. If everything with the car is OK, the automatic driving mode is enabled."
See more of the test car, cruising driverless at around 5 kmh at CEATEC in Japan, billed as Asia's biggest tech show, below.Continue reading...
start your engines
Posted by Dale Buss on October 3, 2012 04:53 PM
Despite a difficult economy for small business, savvy brands recognize the unflagging appeal of the startup. And so more of them are supporting entrepreneurs or associating themselves with the entrepreneurial spirit, ranging from PepsiCo to General Electric.
Lexus wants a piece of that action, too. The Toyota-owned luxury brand has established a contest called Lexus Ignition in which a Facebook app is soliciting votes on eight technology startups, whose four winners will split up to $100,000 in funding from Lexus US. The startups range from a maker of audio speakers out of "eco wood" to the designer of "the world's first pocket-sized video-stabilization case for a smartphone that eliminates shaky video," according to a Lexus press release. Each innovation could have some relevance to automotive technology.
Timing the social campaign, which is now in week two, to the debut of the all-new flagship sedan, the 2013 Lexus ES, the brand wants to "support other creative projects that exemplify this philosophy," Lexus CMO Brian Smith told brandchannel. The digital campaign reflects "our greater focus on multimedia and connectedness in the car," he said, echoing a key theme for automakers these days.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 5, 2012 11:58 AM
Smartphones can do plenty of things. Now retailers are going to put them to work for them. Don’t feel like waiting in line at Walmart? Get yourself an iPhone.
The retail and technology giants have partnered up to create an app that is now being tested, one that will allow consumers to scan goods onto their iPhones and pay for them in a self checkout line, Reuters reports.
Walmart already offers a mobile app (at right) that can scan barcodes and check prices, along with a shopping list and basket, so self-checkouts are a natural extension as the mobile wallet business takes off, along with its @WalmartLabs R&D team exploring social and mobile commerce products and digital innovations such as semantic search.
The retailer promised earlier this year that it would put in more self checkout lanes into its stores as well as Sam’s Clubs, the wire service notes. If the test works out, the test will likely expand beyond Apple devices to Android and other mobile platforms. Apple's former retail chief is also bringing mobile self-checkouts to his new employer, JCPenney.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on August 14, 2012 04:02 PM
Spanx founder Sara Blakely is now a household name, appearing in People magazine and on the cover of Forbes as the youngest self-made female billionaire in its history of ranking billionaires — all thanks to the stunning success of her cheeky brand of body-contouring shapewear.
Currently sold online and "within bigger department stores and boutiques" in 40 countries, the Atlanta-based Spanx brand that she founded with $5,000 of her life savings is gearing up to expand into standalone branded stores, starting with the U.S., in the fourth quarter.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 14, 2012 12:03 PM
Some people use their 3D printers to create thousands of faces. Some just want to create 3D versions of the 2D video-game characters they’ve grown to love. Others use the technology to create wearable bikinis or replicas of the human jaw or a whole building.
Then there are the folks at Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. The innovative researchers there are using the trendy technology to change lives. 3D printer manufacturer Stratasys is taking the month of August to showcase how the technology is doing just that via its Facebook page, YouTube channel and blog, and we dare you not to feel a little choked up as you read on.
First up is 4-year old Emma Lavelle, a preschooler with a congenital disorder that hasn’t allowed her to use her arms. Thanks to the wonders of 3D printing, docs and researchers in Philly can print out a custom-designed durable robotic exoskeleton that allows her to lift her own arms. Suddenly she can feed herself and simply play like other kids with her “magic arms.” It’s a transformative moment, as you can see in the video below.Continue reading...