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brand news

In the News: Amazon, Facebook, Chrysler and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 3, 2013 09:13 AM

In the News

Amazon finds sales-tax challenge rejected by US Supreme Court as it opens holiday pop-up shops in malls across America.

Facebook adds more "news" to news feed as site proves its worth to CPG marketers.

Chrysler posts 16 percent rise in November sales.

Apple buys Twitter-data tool.

Audi seeks edge over BMW in high-tech headlights.

BP could be spared hundreds of millions by court ruling.

Canon connects consumers with Santa.

Constellation Brands is alleged to mislead on US beer prices.

Cyber Monday blew past $2 billion in online sales.

Dow Chemical launches margin-boosting makeover and considers name change.

Enterprise launches loyalty points-doubling promotion.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: NHL, Boston Market, Burberry and more

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on November 27, 2013 09:23 AM

In the News

NHL makes NFL play with more unscripted programming, outdoor games—and concussion lawsuits.

Boston Market expects to see biggest Thanksgiving sales yet.

Burberry appeals China ban on trademark pattern.

Atlanta Braves see council approve $300 million, move to suburbs. 

BlackBerry rolls out BBM social network.

Burger King expands presence in France.

Facebook tries to find balance with onslaught of sponsored posts.

Instagram is now publishing a new ad almost every day.

L'Oreal names new global CMO.

Louis Vuitton stunt in Moscow's Red Square doesn't go over well.Continue reading...

mobile brands

With 3D Printing, Motorola's Project Ara Puts the Power to Build a Smartphone in Your Hand

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 25, 2013 05:58 PM

Americans replace 130 million mobile phones annually, and not even 10 percent of those get recycled. Even those consumers that try to hold out from snapping up new technology immediately find themselves practically begging their phones to fall apart so they can make the upgrade in good conscience.

Google-owned Motorola is aiming to help the problem with its modular smartphone project, Project Ara. The company has just signed a deal with a South Carolina 3D printing company to create a modular phone production platform that can be scaled for mass distribution. The pieces only need to be snapped into a a frame if and when an upgrade is needed. 

The modular smartphones will allow consumers to decide what elements are most important to them. If it is the camera, for example, a higher-quality camera module can be bought and snapped into place. If it is a different kind of display, the consumer will have access to that as well. Information Week calls it “Lego-style customization.” Such a phone, of course, would mean that smartphone sales in general could go down and less phones would be wasted.Continue reading...

retail watch

Tech Giants Get Into the Holiday Game with Unique Take on Retail Experience

Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 20, 2013 12:41 PM

Holiday hysteria is officially upon us, and with it brings new attempts by brand marketers to break through the clutter, pitch new products, and attract the gift-buying public. And something intriguing is happening this year: Even online tech brands are reaching out to consumers via more traditional retail channels so they can serve up better customer experiences.

While most consumers may think of Google as the de facto standard search engine, the company is in fact as much into hardware as software; it owns smartphone-maker Motorola and also manufactures its own smartphones, tablets and laptops. These are products people need to see, feel, and play with_and that means the physical items need to be accessible.

Rather than enter the crowded retail store environment and compete for attention, Google's answer is to create its own environment in the form of Winter Wonderlab, not only a play on "Winter Wonderland" but also a unique pop-up store open for the holiday season in six locations: New York City, Paramus, NJ, Washington, DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Sacramento. Interestingly, except for the downtown New York location, the others are all located at malls run by Westfield. And no barges are involved in this seasonal experiential branding effort.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Samsung, MillerCoors, Motorola and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 12, 2013 09:24 AM

In the News

Samsung launches major soccer-based campaign for Galaxy 11 as new phase of its trial against Apple begins.

MillerCoors cans lime-flavored Miller Chill after poor sales.

Motorola plans lower-cost phone.

Anheuser-Busch endorses consumer reach of Facebook.

Coca-Cola vows to engage suppliers on "land grabbing."

Google relents on YouTube ad measurement and expands Glass features into music.

Kellogg runs into trouble with "distasteful tweet" in UK.

McDonald's plans broad attack on CPG coffee aisle.

Merck launches pet-diabetes campaign.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Apple Furthers Made-in-USA Bid With Plans for Arizona Component Plant

Posted by Dale Buss on November 5, 2013 08:02 PM

Apple has become the American success story of the digital age. But it never was the "all-American" success story because essentially all of the manufacturing of its iconic, intuitive, lovely and life-changing devices took place outside the United States, mainly in China and other Asian locales.

Now "essentially all" is becoming "most" since Apple took another step to fulfill CEO Tim Cook's recent vow to make adding US jobs a priority. The company plans to open a new plant in Mesa, Ariz., that will create 2,000 jobs to make components for its products. GT Advanced Technologies will make materials there out of sapphire, which is increasingly used to cover camera lenses and home buttons.

"We are proud to expand our domestic-manufacturing initiative with a new facility in Arizona," an Apple spokeswoman said. The company already planned next month a release of a new Mac Pro computer that is being assembled in the US.Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

At 15, Google is Just Getting Started

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 27, 2013 11:56 AM

Happy birthday, Google!

The fabled internet company got its start 15 years ago when then Stanford students Larry Page and Sergey Brin conceived what is now arguably the world's most relevant tech company, moving beyond the web into mobile, automotive, and even health care. 

Topping $50 billion in sales last year, Google lays claim to a host of revolutionary projects and services that have changed the world and the way we live our lives. YouTube is the largest video site on the planet; Android is the dominant mobile phone operating system with 80 percent market share; Google X is crafting ‘moonshot’ projects like Google Glass and Project Loon; and just-announced startup Calico is set to address the biggest health concerns that challenge mortality.

How does one celebrate such remarkable achievements? With a homepage animation, of course.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Microsoft Stumbles Again, Apologizing for Aimless Apple Parody Videos

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 17, 2013 07:07 PM

It’s pretty clear that Microsoft has more problems than just selling the products and software it makes. After posting—and pulling—seven amateur ads knocking Apple's design process, the company has drawn more negative attention to itself than its intended target. 

Following the debut of Apple's latest iPhones last week, the company posted a series of short videos dubbed, "A fly on the wall in Cupertino," which featured several bumbling actors posing as Apple designers pitching the gold iPhone 5S and the plastic 5C to two people, arguably Tim Cook and Apple design chief Jony Ive. "You asked us to create the gold standard in iPhones," one actor says, "And it turns out... that is super hard."

The videos were quickly criticized for bad acting, low-budget production values, and worst of all, not being funny. Following the backlash, Microsoft pulled the videos, and a spokesperson told CNET that they were "intended to be a lighthearted poke at our friends from Cupertino," but "it was off the mark, and we've decided to pull it down."Continue reading...

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