Posted by Dale Buss on May 7, 2012 03:37 PM
As Walmart battles the damage to its reputation in the wake of the Mexico bribery scandal, in the United States there's still nothing as golden for small vendors as getting a go on the shelves of Walmart stores across the country. With one deal, personal fortunes are made and entrepreneurial success stories are written.
That's why the sky is now the limit for a trio of startup brands that won valuable shelf-space via Walmart's first "Get on the Shelf" crowdsourcing contest: HumanKind Water, Plate Topper and SnapIt Eyeglass Repair Kit.
More than 4,000 inventors, entrepreneurs, and small businesses entered the contest with video submissions for products ranging from household wares and children's toys to organic food and green items, Walmart said in a press release. The winners' products will be carried on Walmart.com and at Walmart stores in the United States.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 7, 2012 02:02 PM
Disney's R&D unit, the Pittsburgh-based Disney Research, is described by Extreme Tech as “the bleeding edge guerilla technology arm of The Walt Disney Company.”
Disney Research describes itself thusly: "a network of research labs that collaborate closely with academic institutions We're able to combine the best of academia and industry: we work on a broad range of commercially important challenges, we view publication as a principal mechanism for quality control, we encourage engagement with the global research community, and our research has applications that are experienced by millions of people. We're honoring Walt Disney's legacy of innovation by researching novel technologies and deploying them on a global scale." Or as its logo states, it's "The science behind the magic."
One of its latest innovative novel technologies has the potential to make all button interfaces obsolete: Touché, which senses hand gestures and turns the human body and everyday objects into virtual touchscreens. The possibilities are huge, as the presentation below at the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Austin, Texas, has demonstrated.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 3, 2012 06:15 PM
Ford isn't obscuring its brand identity in its new "Go Further" campaign because executives are afraid of American consumers' preconceived notions about Ford. They're pretty happy with Ford's brand equity in its home country right now, thank you, after Ford relied on its own resources to lead the Detroit Three back to financial soundness and market-share gains over the last few years.
But Ford does want to tease viewers into taking a close look at the Ford products and features highlighted in the ad, unaffected by overall brand impressions. So Ford isn't named in the ad, and its iconic blue oval logo isn't shown either.
"The idea was to start out to get peple talking and then introduce slightly different versions of the ads later on, with Ford front and center," Mark Schirmer, a Ford marketing spokesman, told brandchannel. "It allows the product to shine without any feeling left, right up or down. There is no branding involved."Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on May 1, 2012 12:25 PM
Ford's new "Go Further" tagline was introduced in January, and it's now being promoted with a new 60-second commercial (above), a pop-up gallery in San Francisco (more on that below), and on social media, including via the Twitter hashtag #gofurther.
No puppets, no testimonials, no Ford name or even a blue oval logo to identify itself, just a simple pitch: "What does it mean to Go Further? For a car company it means offering vehicles with innovative technologies, plug-in hybrids and EcoBoost® engines that combine power and efficiency. If you were offering a new car in today's crowded market, you'd do all this to go further. Learn more at http://www.gofurther.com"
Ford's social hub elaborates on why it's pushing out "Go Further":Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 27, 2012 02:12 PM
Google executive Anthony Levandowski went into the belly of the beast this week and stood tall, talking about his pet project.
No, he didn't visit his neighbors at Facebook headquarters and hold forth about some new algorithm. Levandowski, product manager for Google's "self-driving car," instead appeared before the biggest annual convention in Detroit each year, the Society of Automotive Engineers, and told them about how his company wants to turn the attendees' business upside down as Google has so many other industries.
"I think it's time for us to break that cycle and actually bring them to market sooner," he stated, referring to one significant obstacle to the autonomous auto: insurance coverage and costs. "I don't think we need to wait 10 years for the next model or body styles to come out and build this technology."Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on April 25, 2012 05:15 PM
PepsiCo executives Ian Noble, Senior Director for Breakthrough Foods, and Nick Aiello, Innovation Chef, PepsiCo Europe, discuss the company's innovative approach to R&D and how the partnership with the "world's greatest chef" — El Bulli founder Ferran Adrià — is helping the company develop new methods and concepts for creative food innovation. PepsiCo announced a formal partnership last year with the Spanish gastronomic genius, who is helping PepsiCo not only develop flavors and techniques but healthier options in its snacks portfolio of brands.
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 24, 2012 06:33 PM
Nike is setting a goal to have consumers be able to get their shoes individually made to perfectly fit them. The shoe giant takes another step toward reaching its vision with this week's release of the second round of its HTM Flyknit collection, which features the brand's innovative new technology for customizing shoes that debuted in February.
The Oregonian reports that the company sees Flyknit as “game-changing technology” (Bloomberg Businessweek calls it "the swoosh of the future") because of two different things. One is that it streamlines production (read: lessens the need for humans). When the day comes that robots can do the whole thing, you can expect Nike CEO Matt Parker (and all of the company’s shareholders) to be doing a jig of joy.
The second reason Flyknit is so radical is that it creates less waste. The uppers of Flyknit shoes are constructed as they are needed (on the fly, if you will) rather than with excess material that ends up being scrapped, thereby living up to the Nike Better World eco-platform.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on April 23, 2012 01:44 PM
Some consumers will go to great lengths to find natural foods and ingredients that may unlock some long-lost secrets of nutrition and health. That's why you can find quinoa in every Whole Foods Market and loaves of bread based on biblical recipes.
Now, Unilever wants to put a corporate spin on that kind of a pursuit. The Dutch CPG giant has launched a scientific consortium that aims to identify nutritionally valuable varieties of fruits and vegetables from the past in order to produce natural health ingredients today. They're going to look at everyday foods such as apples, mangos, bananas, onions and tea for some of these hidden treasures.
"We have been studying what the paleolithic diet was like for a few years now in the Unilever labs, and just recently we realized that in ancient times not only did man eat a lot of plants, but additionally the plants themselves would have been very different in both appearance and nutritional value," Mark Berry of Unilever UK's R&D unit told Foodnavigator.com.Continue reading...