Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 24, 2012 06:33 PM
Nike is setting a goal to have consumers be able to get their shoes individually made to perfectly fit them. The shoe giant takes another step toward reaching its vision with this week's release of the second round of its HTM Flyknit collection, which features the brand's innovative new technology for customizing shoes that debuted in February.
The Oregonian reports that the company sees Flyknit as “game-changing technology” (Bloomberg Businessweek calls it "the swoosh of the future") because of two different things. One is that it streamlines production (read: lessens the need for humans). When the day comes that robots can do the whole thing, you can expect Nike CEO Matt Parker (and all of the company’s shareholders) to be doing a jig of joy.
The second reason Flyknit is so radical is that it creates less waste. The uppers of Flyknit shoes are constructed as they are needed (on the fly, if you will) rather than with excess material that ends up being scrapped, thereby living up to the Nike Better World eco-platform.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 24, 2012 12:43 PM
Proving that not all eco-efforts have to happen on Earth Day, Honest Tea's new eco-centric campaign, The Great Recycle, launches on Monday April 30th with the goal of boosting recycling awareness and activity across America in general, and consumer recycling of all of Honest Tea bottles by 2020.
It took 10 people to inflate the 30-foot-tall 100% recyclable recycling bin (at right) that will be placed in New York's Times Square on Monday in a bid to collect at least 45,000 beverage containers in a single day, approximately the same number of Honest beverage bottles typically sold daily in New York in April.
The company generates about 20 million glass bottles and 60 million plastic bottles each year, just a sliver of the total Americans used in 2010: 38.6 billion glass and 71.9 billion plastic, according to the Container Recycling Institute.
Hard statistics on U.S. recycling activity are hard to come by, although the Environmental Protection Agency estimates about 33% of glass bottles and 27% of plastic bottles are currently recycled.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on April 24, 2012 10:33 AM
What does a brand do when most of its competitors are recasting or overhauling themselves in a highly competitive industry? If you're McDonald's, well, you keep doing what you've been doing. Because everyone else is — still — trying to catch you.
And as he takes over from Jim Skinner as skipper of a smooth-sailing ship in a high-profile year with the London 2012 Olympics looming, new CEO Don Thompson has pledged to do exactly that: double down on the fundamentals that have enabled McDonald's basically to skate above the Great Recession and global economic stagnation even since then, and keep finding ways to improve its brand, menu and customer experience.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 23, 2012 11:53 AM
Walmart, the world’s largest private employer, with 2011 sales of $421.85 billion, is dealing with a major blow to its reputation after being accused over the weekend of a far-reaching bribery campaign carried out by executives in Mexico eager to boost the company's growth in that market.
The New York Times described the Mexican scandal as “a prolonged struggle within the company that pitted its much publicized commitment to the highest moral and ethical standards against its relentless pursuit of growth.”Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 20, 2012 02:55 PM
Traditional retail brands are increasingly looking to e-commerce start-ups for innovation, wedding their physical distribution and resource abundance with nimble, digital sales. Walgreen’s acquisition of Drugstore.com and Walmart's purchase of Kosmix are two high-profile examples. “These guys are usually slow and lumbering giants,” said Forrester analyst Sucharita Mulpuru to the New York Times. “But they need to make proactive investments. Because, left to their own devices, they could never emulate these businesses.”
Add Nordstrom to the list of startup-hungry retailers. The Seattle-based upmarket store brand made few acquisitions in its 111-year-old history before last year, when it acquired ‘flash sales’ site HauteLook and became a lead investor in shoe subscription service Sole Society, a spin-off of HauteLook. This month Nordstrom acquired a stake in socially savvy e-tailer Bonobos in a deal that gives the latter $16.4 million in cash and access to more than 100 Nordstrom stores, while the latter can tap into the Bonobos team's expertise on branding and digital marketing with humor and savvy.
Just how deft is the Bonobos brand when it comes to tapping the zeitgeist? For Earth Day, the menswear e-tailer has created a line of denim made from beer bottles. That's right. Recycled. Beer. Bottles.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 19, 2012 11:31 AM
The Millennial generation, 16-34, is in the driver’s seat, 79 million strong compared with waning Boomer’s 76 million. They wield hundreds of billions of dollars annually as influencers of commerce, culture, business and brands – and their clout will only increase as they move into their peak spending years.
In order to better understand the Gen Y (or as some call them, "Generation Lost") cohort born in the 1980s and '90s, The Boston Consulting Group, along with Barkley, and Service Management Group, have collaborated on a new study, "The Millennial Consumer: Debunking Stereotypes."
The just-released research (download it here) surveys 4,000 Millennials and 1,000 non-Millennials (ages 35 to 74) in the U.S. to better define the differences between the two groups, and identify qualities inherent to the Millennials demographic and not just attributable to youthful age.
“Don't believe the hype that Millennials consume less than previous generations,” said Christine Barton, a partner at BCG. “Those companies that truly ‘get’ this generation will have an opportunity to differentiate themselves and forge profitable long-term relationships with Millennial consumers.”Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 18, 2012 05:42 PM
Starbucks likes to present itself as a company that’s a leader in making decisions that take environmental concerns into consideration. So it must have been a bummer in the boardroom when they figured out that they couldn’t meet one eco-goal that it was aiming for.
The plan had been to have 25 percent of all of its drinks served in reusable cups such as mugs and tumblers by 2015, offering customers a 10-cent discount for bringing their own coffee cup or tumbler. The Seattle Times hears that number has been downsized that goal to just five percent.
It's dismaying news for eco-conscious consumers and sustainability watchdogs, especially coming from a a company that holds an annual "Cup Summit" that invites "industry leaders (to) discuss innovative ways to make cups and food packaging more recyclable."Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on April 18, 2012 12:03 PM
Above, watch how eco-minded Pearl Jam crafted a sustainable tour with a helping hand from UPS. The partnership, as described the words of the brand:Continue reading...