mobile brands

Mobile World Congress: Google Confirms US Mobile Network Plan

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 2, 2015 01:28 PM

Following weeks of rumors, Google confirmed at the 2015 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday that it plans to offer talk and data plans in a US wireless service that's now in development, using Google Fiber and Wi-Fi technologies.

When it comes to Google, of course, small doesn’t usually stay small for long. The brand plans to become a wireless carrier by launching a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), meaning it could buy access from “Sprint and T-Mobile networks and then sell cellular plans to its own customers,” Sundar Pichai, Google’s SVP of Android, Chrome and Apps, told MWC attendees.

The goal, he added, isn't to compete against telecom incumbents such as AT&T or Verizon. Continue reading...

mobile brands

IKEA Turns IQIA With Mobile-Charging HomeSmart Furniture Collection

Posted by Shirley Brady on March 1, 2015 01:15 PM

Global home furnishings retailer IKEA announced its first home collection of wireless charging furniture at Mobile World Congress on Sunday.

A partnership with Samsung, the Qi-powered bedside tables, lamps and desks aim to eliminate cable mess and make it easier to stay connected with always-charged mobile devices.Continue reading...

brand accolades

KFC Turns 50 in the UK with Edible Cup and Some Sweet, Sweet Treats

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 26, 2015 02:42 PM

In February 1965, American planes were dropping bombs on North Vietnam, Malcolm X was murdered, Queen Elizabeth II visited Africa and the Beatles recorded “Ticket to Ride.”

Colonel Harlan Sanders was still sporting a goatee, while the execs at what was then called Kentucky Fried Chicken set their sights on conquering a whole new market: the UK.

Now, 50 years after its first UK restaurant opened, KFC is celebrating with a product many hope will come to the US: an edible coffee cup made of a biscuit wrapped in white chocolate.Continue reading...

style watch

Selfridges Challenges Norms With Gender-Free Shopping Experiment

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 25, 2015 11:04 AM

Selfridges—the iconic British retailer with its own TV series—is mastering the art of disrupting retail norms.

From de-branding (and going "silent") in 2013 to celebrating elder beauty with its "Bright Old Things" in-store experience and designer collaboration as a counterpoint to its annual "Bright Young Things" emerging talent showcase, it wants shoppers to think about how they consume and why, and to upend preconceptions of what the retail experience can and should be.

Such moves have won the "world's best department store" (a title it's held for the past three years) wide acclaim as an iconoclast—an honor it will no doubt maintain with its next experiment in reinventing the shopping experience.Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

Apple Watch is in Vogue (Literally)

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 25, 2015 10:31 AM

The first advertising campaign for Apple Watch is now in Vogue, with a a 12-page spread in the magazine's March issue and a video ad in its iPad app (watch below):Continue reading...

retail

Minding the Store: Apple Watch is Upgrading the Brand's Retail Experience

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 24, 2015 07:07 PM

Fans of Apple have been anxiously awaiting the debut of Apple Watch since the wearable device was announced in September and quickly became one of TIME's best inventions of the year before it even launched.

Their dreams are finally about to become a reality in April, and the world's most valuable brand is getting ready for the expected onslaught of consumers—and the fulfillment of Steve Jobs's love affair with watches, dating back to Breitling's brushed steel influence on the brand's early design.

And if you thought Apple's retail locations already embody the ne plus ultra in cool minimalist design, just wait to see what's in store to showcase the more premium, luxury offering that Apple Watch will bring to its product lineup.Continue reading...

bc q&a

The Care Giver: 5 Questions with Whirlpool Senior Brand Manager Jon Hall

Posted by Dale Buss on February 11, 2015 01:15 PM

As home sales continue to build momentum, appliance manufacturers are seeing the best market opportunity they’ve had in a very long time.

But even these days, America's biggest appliance-maker, Whirlpool, is focusing on the top of the appliance purchase funnel—brand awareness and equity—rather than the bottom, where washers, dryers and dishwashers are sold.

Last fall, Whirlpool launched the "Every day, care" campaign as a platform to tie the emotion invested in mundane household chores—performed with its appliances, of course—to the broader emotional connections between family members and loved ones.Continue reading...

brand innovation

Breakthrough Branding: Theranos, with Walgreens, Revolutionizes Healthcare

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 3, 2015 12:08 PM

Elizabeth Holmes dropped out of Stanford University at 19 with a big, disruptive idea.

She founded Theranos in 2003 with the goal of streamlining and standardizing blood tests via a handheld device. At the time, she was a sophomore majoring in chemical engineering at Stanford University, but she left academia to start her company with a bridge loan from a venture capitalist.

Now 30 and America’s youngest female billionaire, Holmes is the CEO of Theranos, and her company is disrupting the very profitable business of blood testing and analysis.

Its simple value proposition hinges around blood tests and early detection that can help detect dozens of medical conditions based on one or two drops of blood drawn with a finger pinprick. From that nanotainer of blood, Theranos can run more than 70 tests for anything from blood sugar abnormalities to sexually transmitted infections—and at a cost of 50 to 90 percent less than Medicare reimbursement rates.

Walgreens is a believer, both as an investor and retail partner.Continue reading...

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