Best Global Green Brands 2014

diversity watch

Brand Pride: Apple's Tim Cook Stands Side by Side With LGBT Employees

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 8, 2014 04:43 PM

As noted here, TD Bank was a proud sponsor of the first WorldPride event held in North America. Also showing its colors in Toronto late last month: the smart auto brand, which sponsored the event's opening ceremonies in Toronto. And south of the border, on June 29, thousands of Apple employees and their families marched in the San Francisco Pride Parade, where employees were welcome by Apple CEO Tim Cook, who was lauded in today's Wall Street Journal as a "more collaborative" and compassionate leader than Steve Jobs. Check out both brands' 2014 Pride videos below.Continue reading...

brand roadmaps

Looking Ahead, Google, Facebook See Power in Connected Relationships

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 8, 2014 04:00 PM

The founders of two of the world’s most influential digital brands, Google and Facebook, have different views as to what the world will look like in the future—that's if their brands have anything to say about it.

Yet despite their different tracks, both Google's Larry Page and Sergey Brin and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg agree that the future is more about connections, whether it's reviving existing ones or creating new ones. In a chat with fellow billionaire Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures, Page emphasized the importance of reserving more time to spend with family and friends, and that work doesn't need to dominate our lives. 

"If you really think about the things that you need to make yourself happy—housing, security, opportunities for your kids—anthropologists have been identifying these things," he said. "It's not that hard for us to provide those things. The amount of resources we need to do that, the amount of work that actually needs to go into that is pretty small. I'm guessing less than one percent at the moment.”Continue reading...

chew on this

According to Domino's, There Is More Than One Way to Become a Pizza Mogul

Posted by Dale Buss on July 7, 2014 05:42 PM

The modern pizza industry was invented by two Michigan entrepreneurs who founded Domino’s and Little Caesar’s. The pair became the world’s biggest pizza moguls and now are reaching the end of their business legacies in two widely disparate ways, as Bloomberg Businessweek points out in its "Twilight of the Pizza Barons" cover story.

Tom Monaghan famously founded Domino’s a half-century ago in Ann Arbor, Mich., with a borrowed $500 to execute the chain’s now-iconic home deliveries. Around the same time, Mike Ilich opened a corner store selling pizzas in Detroit and called it Little Caesar’s.

The rest is fast-food history, as Domino’s has become a huge international presence through its franchised stores as well as No. 2 in US pizza-restaurant sales, with an 11.1 percent share compared with leader Pizza Hut’s 16.7 percent. Little Caesar’s still outranks rising Papa John’s for the No. 3 spot, with 8.8 percent of sales to 7.3 percent. Regional chains and independents sell the remaining 56 percent of American pizza pies.Continue reading...

brand strategy

P&G Puts Emphasis on Brand as Former CEO Heads to Washington

Posted by Dale Buss on July 3, 2014 11:51 AM

One of the most influential marketers in the world, Procter & Gamble, executed a big shift in its organization this week. On July 1st, its entire marketing function relaunched as “Brand Management” in a sweeping reorganization that gives a broader purview for brand-centric marketing and thinking.

The move comes as P&G's former CEO, Bob McDonald, is in the news after President Obama nominated to him to take over and make over the troubled Veterans Administration.

With P&G now led (again) by A.G. Lafley, the company's brand-led restructuring, announced by the company in February, is aimed at creating “single-point responsibility for the strategies, plans and results for (each) brand,” a spokesperson told Ad Age.

The shift away from "marketing" towards "brand" changes titles and locks down broader responsibilities for hundreds of marketing directors and associate marketing directors at the world’s biggest advertising spender, now officially brand directors and associate brand directors. Eliminating "marketing" from titles doesn't mean marketing is a thing of the past, however.Continue reading...

conversation starter

PepsiCo CEO: Don't Cry Over Milk (or Work-Life Balance)

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 2, 2014 05:20 PM

As women finally move up the corporate ladder in significant numbers, their personal philosophy and style are a study in contrast. Take it from one of the few female CEOs on the Fortune 500. “I don't think women can have it all. I just don't think so. We pretend we have it all. We pretend we can have it all,” stated Indra K. Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo, in an interview at the Aspen Ideas Festival this week.

It's a different message from the Lean In female empowerment movement founded by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, whose go-for-it challenge to young women is, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

Another female CEO, General Motors head Mary Barra, was asked in a recent (and controversial) interview with Matt Lauer if she can be a good mother and run GM. "I think I can. I have a great team," Barra responded, "and I have a wonderful family and a supportive husband, and I'm pretty proud of my kids the way they're supporting me in this." The social tide quickly turned to question whether Lauer would ask the same of a male CEO, but to wonder why Barra didn't refute the blatantly gender-biased question.

As for the CEO of Yahoo, “The press may be in a world of its own making when it comes to reports on Marissa Mayer,” notes Forbes. “Instead of appearing like a leader who’s reviving what was a failing digital media company at a time when it’s on the cusp of monetizing billions of dollars to improve the company further, she’s a lady who falls asleep before a meeting.”Continue reading...

brand challenges

GM Hopes to Turn the Key on Recall Crisis with Limitless Victim Fund

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on July 1, 2014 04:14 PM

The GM safety recalls have officially reached nauseating levels. On Monday, soon after Kenneth Feinberg, the GM-appointed attorney who will run the brand's compensation fund, announced details of the filing and payment process, GM announced that an additional 8.4 million vehicles would be recalled, most for the same ignition switch issue at the center of the brand's ongoing crisis

Globally, GM has now recalled over 29 million vehicles in the first six months of this year, and while CEO Mary Barra's newfound diligence may help curb further accidents and injuries, the ever-expanding roll call of recalled vehicles, now dating back to 1997, is painting a much more grim picture of GM's future as a trustworthy automotive brand. 

Even still, GM has recorded its best June since the recession. But how long will consumers continue to be enamored with a brand that can't keep its vehicles on the road?Continue reading...

what girls want

Barbie Settles Into the Corner Office (and LinkedIn) with Help from Female Entrepreneurs

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 1, 2014 02:22 PM

With already more than 150 careers under her tiny belt, Barbie, the iconic—and sometimes controversial—doll from Mattel, has officially become an entrepreneur as the doll's 2014 career of the year. The launch puts her in the company of a growing tide of female leaders, including the one-in-five that are leading startups. 

Like any smart entrepreneur, Barbie is already hard at work building her network on LinkedIn, where she's pitching her new business, "Dream Incubator," in which she acts "as a consultant, helping girls around the world play out their imagination, try on different careers, and explore the world around them."  

Her page features a lengthy resume, because after all, "when anything is possible, a girl is tempted to try everything she can," and includes insights from a group of female entrepreneurs, inlcuding the founders of One Kings Lane, Plum Alley, Girls Who Code and more, “who all have inspiring stories for girls today and are truly #unapologetic about living their dream.”Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

IKEA Joins Costco, Gap in Voluntary US Wage Hike

Posted by Dale Buss on June 27, 2014 09:54 AM

IKEA joined a still-limited list of US retailers that is raising minimum wages voluntarily even as the issue of boosting the legally required minimum pay for low-wage workers continues to roil American business and politics.

The maker of inexpensive Scandinavian furniture said that it will raise the average hourly minimum at its 38 US stores to $10.76 an hour, a 17 percent increase, with actual new pay rates varying locally depending on the cost of living in a particular area. The new average would be $3.51 above the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The new policy will raise the pay of about half of IKEA’s 13,120 US employees.

“This stems back to Ikea’s decision to create a better everyday life for our people,” Rob Olson, IKEA’s acting president for the US and its CFO, told the New York Times. “We of course are investing in our co-workers. We believe they will invest in our customers, and they will invest in IKEA’s stores.”

Plus, he told USA Today, the company can absorb the pay increase partly because it has cut costs in recent years. The wage hike will narrow profit margins but ultimately should benefit the bottom line, he said. IKEA has no plans to raise prices, cut staff or reduce hiring. The move also is a “shrewd business tactic that helps retailers attract top talent,” an economic analyst told The Huffington Post.Continue reading...

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