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brand news

In the News: Apple, Coach, Google and more

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on July 30, 2013 09:42 AM

In the News

Apple investigating claims after worker group alleges abuses at Pegatron supplier. 

Coach selling Reed Krackoff brand back to founder. 

Google relaunches Zagat website and mobile apps, dropping paywall. 

Aeroflot to launch Ryanair-esque budget airline.

Chobani kicks off PR agency review.

Fab lays off over 100 employees in Europe as it moves away from flash sales. 

Hess to sell Energy Marketing unit to UK's Centrica for $1.03 billion.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Retailers Reject $7 Billion Swipe Fee Settlement and File Suit Against Visa, MasterCard

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 24, 2013 02:42 PM

Millions of credit cards are swiped each day in America, meaning Visa and MasterCard are raking in big bucks from retailers daily under the current fee structure. Following a dispute over the swipe fees, Visa and MasterCard were prepping to pay out a $7.2 billion settlement to retailers, but now, the brands and the National Retail Federation have denied the settlement and instead have decided to sue the credit companies. 

Macy's, Target, Office Max, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Saks, and about a dozen other big retailers have banded together and sued Visa and MasterCard, Reuters reports. Walmart and 18 other retailers didn’t get in on the suit, but will “consider pursuing separate legal actions over damages.”Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: P&G, Google, AT&T and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 24, 2013 09:25 AM

In the News

P&G CEO Bob McDonald retires from troubled tenure as predecessor A.G. Lafley comes back to the company to take the CEO post.

Google faces antitrust probe over dominance in online display ads.

AT&T imposes new wireless fee and adds iPhone to pre-paid GoPhone program.

Apple faces potential setback in e-books case.

Boy Scouts of America vote to allow gay scouts into its ranks. 

Campbell Soup's parent acquires Plum Organics.

Daimler and Ford strengthen technology ties.

Dodge banks on Fast & Furious 6 tie-in to rev flagging Dart sales.Continue reading...

brand innovation

MasterCard Harnesses the Power of Social with Innovative Conversation Suite

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 7, 2013 10:38 AM

MasterCard is transforming its corporate culture from B2B to a technology firm as it puts its finger on the pulse of social interactions to better understand consumers and clients.

A year ago, Master Card contracted NY media agency Prime Research to develop the Conversation Suite, a real-time, global insight, web analytics tool and engagement engine that shifted the company from merely monitoring media to purposeful listening. "Over the past six months, 125,000 people created unique content or commentary about MasterCard, stimulating 520,000 social media conversations, with a potential reach of 1.3 billion people. We're doing this everyday across 43 markets and 26 languages in real time,” said Marcy Cohen, VP and Senior Business Leader at MasterCard.

brandchannel spoke with Cohen, who played a large role in the implementation of the conversation suite. “In the early days of social media, listening was the practice but now, there are so many opportunities to engage, to track trends and offer insights and deliver them back with analytics to customers," she said. “It’s a real-time focus group. We track all mentions of MasterCard and any of our products, plus the competition, which really means the entire payments industry. The Suites have a dedicated worldwide communications staff of 60 people, all with password protected access, in a comfortable setting with a giant 40 ft. LED screen that updates every four minutes.”Continue reading...

road warriors

Citi Bike Makes its Debut in New York City to Cheers and Jeers

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 3, 2013 03:37 PM

New York City’s Citi Bike bike share program is finally ready to launch, with 6,000 bikes and 330 docking stations spreading in Brooklyn and Manhattan, but plenty of New Yorkers have already found something to complain about. 

The just-placed docking stations are causing parking and delivery problems for residents and business owners. According to CBS Local, drivers are being forced to stall their vehicles in no standing zones while others have noted that the docking stations block loading docks and drop-off points. “I don’t know how we’re going to be able to operate really now effectively. It’s sad, dramatic negative impact,” Carlo Giurdanella, owner of Bella Tile told CBS. 

'Installation frustration' is just the beginning of the gripes that city-dwellers have with the bike share program. It's been noted that the Citi Bike rules include a statement about overweight riders, effectively banning persons over 260 pounds from using the bicycles. Appalled by the statement, many are calling the program discriminatory and the rules unfounded.Continue reading...

mobile commerce

Square Serves Up New Mobile Features in Bid to Attract More QSR Clients

Posted by Barry Silverstein on May 1, 2013 05:39 PM

As the mobile payments market heats up with entries like MasterPass from MasterCard, mobile payment player Square continues to forge new ground.

Last November, Square, the brainchild of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, scored a coup by getting Starbucks to accept mobile payments in some 7,000 locations. Users of Square Wallet could also browse menu information and store hours, gain access to their transaction history and even explore nearby businesses. Now Square is adding new features to Square Register so it is all the more attractive to quick-service restaurants.

The move by Square is significant. For the most part, the brand's customer base is comprised of individual merchants, including taxi drivers, food truck owners and people who provide personal services. By adding features such as the ability to modify orders and customize kitchen tickets, Square is hoping to further penetrate the food business.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: JCPenney, Facebook, Tesla and more

Posted by Dale Buss on April 3, 2013 09:01 AM

In the News

JCPenney slashes CEO Ron Johnson's pay, woos fashionistas with store-in-store bijoux bars.

Facebook dispute over Timeline trademark will go to jury trial; faces questions about new smartphone.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk will personally guarantee car buyback values as company introduces leasing.

A&W introduces Mini Polar Swirls via Vine.

Angelina Jolie opens school in Afghanistan funded by her jewelry collection.

Apple begins production of refreshed iPhone this quarter.Continue reading...

mobile commerce

The Future of Retail: How Mobile Payments Are Changing the Retail Experience

Posted by Barry Silverstein on March 20, 2013 05:33 PM

Retailers are trying to cope with the challenge of an increasingly mobile consumer who conducts life digitally. This means meeting consumers' expectations on a whole new playing field: the mobile device.

According to Interbrand's just-released Best Retail Brands 2013 report, "retailers are mobilizing to address the larger issues around digital: Where and how does it fit into the organization? How can development teams be reorganized and silos lowered to accommodate a multichannel approach? How will the brand's culture change in response?"

While mobile sales are insignificant now, they are growing rapidly. In-store mobile payments almost quadrupled last year, and PayPal alone processed around $14 billion in mobile payments in 2012, according to Business Insider. That means mobile payments need to be a key part of future retail strategy. Just last week, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a report, "Paper, Plastic... or Mobile?" The FTC cites a KPMG survey that found that 83 percent of executives in retail, financial services, technology and telecommunications believe mobile payments will see widespread consumer adoption by 2015.

Another recent study, by JPMorgan, divides the current state of the mobile commerce market: mobile acceptance (any mobile-based payment solution), mobile wallets (applications that enable consumers to use mobile devices for payment instead of credit or debit cards) and mobile commerce (e-commerce via any mobile device).Continue reading...

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