automotive

Lincoln Launches in China With Moody, Artistic Advertising Campaign

Posted by Dale Buss on October 28, 2014 03:31 PM

When Ford committed to revive its flagging Lincoln luxury franchise a couple of years ago, it wasn't publicly understood that then-CEO Alan Mulally actually wasn't wild about the idea. That partially explains why Ford has been so slow to actually reinvent Lincoln—as contrasted with just talking about it—and why current CEO Mark Fields still seems to have so far to go to make Lincoln a truly relevant and strong player in the luxury market again.

But that's not stopping Ford from moving ahead in its key market of China, where Lincoln this week officially launched a new line of vehicles specifically tailored for mainland tastes. Lincoln is promoting its mid-sized sedan, MKZ, in China, along with a smaller MKC utility vehicle, another new version of which is going on sale in the United States.

"We believe Lincoln's highly competitive products, coupled with its innovative and personalized ownership experience, will provide our customers with a totally differentiated offering on today's competitive luxury auto market in China," stated John Lawler, chairman and CEO of Ford China, in a press release.

Well aware that the Lincoln brand is virtually unknown in the market, a quartet of ads featuring Chinese artists is now rolling out to highlight the artistry and luxury of the marque.Continue reading...

e-commerce

Japan's Rakuten E-Commerce Giant Launches in America With Fashion Site

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 22, 2014 11:29 AM

Amazon, Google, and American consumers, take note: If you haven’t yet heard of Rakuten, you will soon.

The Japanese electronic commerce and Internet company is the world’s third-largest online marketplace behind Amazon and eBay. In its homeland, Rakuten Ichiba is the largest e-commerce site in the country, earning $4.9 billion in revenue last year to make it the Amazon and Alibaba of Japan.

Founded in 1997 by CEO Hiroshi Mikitani, the Tokyo-based Rakuten now has more than 10,000 employees worldwide and is ready to take on the big dog of e-commerce—Amazon—with the launch of its first website in the U.S. this week: Rakuten Fashion, which delivers the same level of tech savvy and device acumen that has helped the company grow exponentially over the years. Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

Microsoft Reveals Windows 10

Posted by Shirley Brady on September 30, 2014 05:07 PM

Microsoft announced the new Windows operating system today: Windows 10. Billed as "The Future of Windows," it boasts a new Start menu, multiple desktops, and improved multi-tasking, in addition to:

Windows 10 represents the first step of a whole new generation of Windows. Windows 10 unlocks new experiences for customers to work, play and connect. Windows 10 embodies what our customers (both consumers and enterprises) demand and what we will deliver.

Windows 10 will run across an incredibly broad set of devices – from the Internet of Things, to servers in enterprise datacenters worldwide. Some of these devices have 4 inch screens – some have 80 inch screens – and some don’t have screens at all. Some of these devices you hold in your hand, others are ten feet away. Some of these devices you primarily use touch/pen, others mouse/keyboard, others controller/gesture – and some devices can switch between input types.

We’re not talking about one UI to rule them all – we’re talking about one product family, with a tailored experience for each device.

For some Windows 8 users eagerly anticipating the new release, there was just one question: What happened to Windows 9?

See Windows VP Joe Belfiores's twitty response to the naming speculation, along with his video explaining more about the new Windows. Continue reading...

bc q&a

Omnichannel Glam: Q&A with Rent the Runway Co-Founder Jenny Fleiss

Posted by Brittany Waterson on September 12, 2014 12:14 PM

A week after opening its first permanent brick-and-mortar store in its hometown of New York, Rent the Runway’s newest venture is already a huge success and it's clear that the start-up, which allows customers to “rent” designer dresses and accessories online, is at the height of its fashion game. 

Incorporating lessons learned from its previous pop-up boutiques at Henri Bendel New York and the Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas, foot traffic at its new flagship has been steady since the day it opened (20 minutes ahead of schedule to accommodate fans waiting at the door).

Located just off Fifth Avenue in Manhattan's Flatiron District, the store is the first physical embodiment of its recently refreshed logo and new navy and blush color palette. There are now plans in the works to follow up with a store near Washington, D.C., with more locations under consideration.

brandchannel chatted with Jenny Fleiss, co-founder of Rent the Runway, at RTR's Fashion Week celebration at its new Flatiron District store to discuss bringing a digital brand to life, what customers really want in an omnichannel retail experience and what's next.Continue reading...

retail

Rent the Runway Sets Up (Permanent) Shop in New York's Flatiron

Posted by Brittany Waterson on August 18, 2014 11:26 AM

Rent the Runway, the unique startup turned major e-commerce success that "rents" designer dresses and accessories for a fraction of the retail price, is opening its first permanent brick and mortar location in New York's Flatiron district. Opening September 3, the store will host over 200 designers and an ever-changing selection of hundreds of dresses and accessories. 

Founded in 2009 by Harvard Business School alum Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss, the site offers up designs from Diane von Furstenberg, Moschino, Kate Spade and more on its online platform. But as omnichannel retail becomes increasingly important to sustained success, Rent the Runway is joining brands like Birchbox, Warby Parker and Kate Spade Saturday in opening physical retail stops to capture consumer attention.Continue reading...

retail

Birchbox Scores with First Brick and Mortar Store

Posted by Brittany Waterson on July 17, 2014 01:52 PM

Color this beauty blogger impressed. I finally got a chance to visit Birchbox, the beauty subscription service and e-commerce site, at the brand's first brick-and-mortar retail store, which opened in New York last week. Located in Soho, the store includes a curated product assortment from 250 brands. Birchbox joins brands like Warby Parker and Bonobos in making the leap from exclusively online ventures to physical stores.

Birchbox launched in 2010 and has grown rapidly with a goal of redefining the retail process by offering customers a way to try and experience the best beauty products on the market. Birchbox offers monthly subscriptions, in which customers are sent boxes containing sample-sized beauty products, in addition to an e-commerce site where all the products are available for purchase. The brand tested pop-up locations in New York and the Hamptons before making the leap to a permanent residency.Continue reading...

branding together

With Swash, P&G and Whirlpool Help You (and Your Clothes) Get Wrinkle-Free

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 17, 2014 12:12 PM

High-tech de-wrinkling has found favor with a certain royal couple in the UK. A German manufacturer has created a machine that irons clothes for the likes of Prince William and his lovely bride. According to the Daily Mail, a Tubie costs £850 ($1,400) and consists of a bag that consumers place their clothes on before inflating it with hot air that forces (tsk, tsk) “crumples and creases out of shirts and trousers.” (Its puffed-up system recalls one of those inflatable creature signs you see at car dealerships.)

Now P&G, maker of Tide and other fine laundry products, has found a way to freshen up clothes that aren’t quite making it to the washer right away or have to go to the dry cleaner. The consumer packaged goods giant has teamed up with Whirlpool on Swash, a subtly stylish (that's it standing at attention on the left, above) $499 plug-in machine that uses special Swash pods to “refresh clothes” in 10 minutes, Ad Age reports.

While Swash won't be available for at-home use until later this year, the companies have started building buzz on Instagram (hashtag: #theswasheffect) during a NYC fashion show that was held last night at the Standard Hotel with stylist Kate Young and attracted VIPs such as Randi Zuckerberg.Continue reading...

game change

Crest Adds Chocolate to Toothpaste as Cocoa Products, Prices Soar

Posted by Dale Buss on January 28, 2014 11:57 AM

Now that chocolate ranks as a health food (some dark varieties, at least) and not just a marker of a junky snack, brands from Crest to Cadbury are looking for ways to extend its reach in unusual new ways.

P&G, for instance, just announced a new line of Crest toothpaste with new flavors including Mint Chocolate Trek that is meant to shake up the moribund dental-care market and appeal to what CFO Jon Moeller called "experiential" users who always want something new.

The new flavors—part of a new "Be" line that also includes Lime Spearmint Zest and Vanilla Mint Spark—are a departure from the mint and cinnamon that are prominently featured among the 51 (yes, 51) variations of Crest already on shelves.

"It's a whole new world of deliciousness for toothbrushes everywhere," Crest said. But are consumers ready to "Be" "Anything But Boring" as the new tagline promises?Continue reading...

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