start your engines
Posted by Dale Buss on October 3, 2012 04:53 PM
Despite a difficult economy for small business, savvy brands recognize the unflagging appeal of the startup. And so more of them are supporting entrepreneurs or associating themselves with the entrepreneurial spirit, ranging from PepsiCo to General Electric.
Lexus wants a piece of that action, too. The Toyota-owned luxury brand has established a contest called Lexus Ignition in which a Facebook app is soliciting votes on eight technology startups, whose four winners will split up to $100,000 in funding from Lexus US. The startups range from a maker of audio speakers out of "eco wood" to the designer of "the world's first pocket-sized video-stabilization case for a smartphone that eliminates shaky video," according to a Lexus press release. Each innovation could have some relevance to automotive technology.
Timing the social campaign, which is now in week two, to the debut of the all-new flagship sedan, the 2013 Lexus ES, the brand wants to "support other creative projects that exemplify this philosophy," Lexus CMO Brian Smith told brandchannel. The digital campaign reflects "our greater focus on multimedia and connectedness in the car," he said, echoing a key theme for automakers these days.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 3, 2012 11:00 AM
The world talks a good game when it comes to reusing and recycling, but when it comes down to reality, even when companies are making it easy or offering up incentives, the average consumer isn’t always thinking globally and acting locally – especially before they’ve had their first cup of joe in the morning.
Starbucks (up 11 percent in Interbrand's new Best Global Brands report) has been trying to get its customers to bring in their own drinking receptacles or at least buy one at the coffee retailer that they can bring back, but so far, the Seattle-based company’s efforts haven’t had a huge effect.
According to its own critique in its latest Global Responsibility Report, the percent of customers that use a reusable cup has been less than two percent for the last three years.
And it’s not because Starbucks isn’t trying to push eco-awareness, even as it has downsized its reusable cup goals. The company offers free coffee to those who bring in their own cups on Earth Day and this past January found some customers getting their coffee for free all month if they bought a particular Starbucks tumbler. And folks who show up on any other day of the year with their mug, cup, boot, or whatever other beverage container get a 10-cent discount on their coffee.
Now Starbucks is taking another angle toward trying to get its customers to bring in their own receptacles by selling a $1 Grande cup that should last consumers for 30 trips to the coffee machine.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on October 2, 2012 04:14 PM
One year post-introduction, Coca-Cola Enterprises — one of the world’s largest Coca-Cola bottlers, operating locally in eight territories in Western Europe — highlights its progress on its sustainability plan.
CCE’s sustainability plan commits it to setting the standard for sustainable packaging, achieving zero waste in its own operations and recycling more packaging than it uses.
truth in advertising
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 1, 2012 06:48 PM
The Federal Trade Commission’s Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims, commonly referred to as the “green” guides, were first published in 1992 to help marketers and advertisers avoid deceptive and far-reaching eco claims without proof or qualification. The final revisions were released Monday with a press conference outlining the changes.
“The introduction of environmentally friendly products into the marketplace is a win for consumers who want to purchase greener products and for producers who want to sell them,” stated FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. “But this win-win can only occur if marketers’ claims are truthful and substantiated. The FTC’s changes to the Green Guides will level the playing field for honest business people and it is one reason why we had such broad support.”Continue reading...
brands with a cause
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 1, 2012 01:27 PM
Ben Cohen may be a member of the elite 1% in America, but he’s a hippie at heart and always has been up for helping out the other 99%. Although the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream brand he co-founded with buddy Jerry Greenfield is now owned by Unilever, the brand still reflects their left-leaning vision by maintaining a commitment to activism, funded by a foundation to support “social justice, environmental protection, (and) sustainable food systems.” Plus, what makes the world happier than free ice cream? Ben & Jerry’s has been hosting a free cone day every year since it started in 1979.
Well, there’s one group of folks who aren’t too happy with Cohen today: Occupy Wall Street.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 28, 2012 10:01 AM
America's National Coffee Day is this Saturday, September 29, and Caribou Coffee is joining the march of philanthropic campaigns using Facebook to launch initiatives and gather momentum in a new partnership with CancerCare, a national nonprofit that provides free support services for anyone affected by cancer diagnosis. Customers can stop in for a free small cup of Amy's Blend coffee on Saturday, and learn about the woman who inspired this annual philanthropic campaign.
The brand was inspired by Amy Erickson, the company’s original roastmaster, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 1995 and inspired the Amy’s Blend program, which originally partnered with Susan G. Komen for the Cure and is now sharing the love with CancerCare. But as you can see from the packaging, it's not just about Amy's story — it's Gretchen's, Caryn's, Gigi's, Cindy's, Lisa's and so on.
So for the 17th consecutive year, Caribou (tagline: "Life is short. Stay awake for it.") will donate 10% percent of all proceeds from Amy’s Blend collection sales between Sept. 29th and Nov. 7th to CancerCare and for every new “Like” the brand will give an additional $1 to the organization.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 27, 2012 01:34 PM
There was an interesting reaction to the recent report that organic food holds nary a nutritional edge over regular fare: It did little to dent the enthusiasm of organic mavens because most of them don't buy the stuff for that reason but, rather, because it carries fewer pesticides and because organic farmers raise their crops sustainably.
In a similar way, the subtext of a new report on "green" spending by U.S. consumers may be more interesting than its headline's conclusion: "Organic Buying, Other Behaviors Have Gone Mainstream – But Green Purchasing Still Faces Price Barriers."
The consumers surveyed said they're less willing to pay more for the most environmentally benign products in their categories, according to new findings by GfK Roper in its latest Green Gauge report. Just 42 percent say they are willing to pay more for a "green" car, for instance, down from 62 percent in 2008. And only 60 percent say they'd be willing to pay more for energy-efficient light bulbs, down from 70 percent.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 25, 2012 06:03 PM
The revolution in discovery and exploitation of shale oil and gas in the American heartland, starting with North Dakota, is turning global energy economics and, potentially, politics upside-down. It's also prompting major shifts in strategy for the big brands on the energy map in the United States and the world.
ExxonMobil became the latest iconic energy brand to boost its stake in the Bakken Shale formation when last week it agreed to buy assets of Denbury Resources there for $1.6 billion in cash and interests in two oil fields. The move increased Exxon's acreage in the formation, centered under North Dakota, which has helped make the state the second-largest oil-producing state in America, after Texas.
Royal Dutch Shell also has invested more in such "unconventional" oil assets lately, recently buying $2 billion worth of such properties from Chesapeake Energy. And in efforts to exploit the growing potential of shale reserves worldwide, Chevron is helping the Chinese company Sinopec.Continue reading...