Posted by Dale Buss on April 3, 2013 02:53 PM
Elon Musk is trying to pull off a neat bit of complicated brand re-architecture these days: further elevating his Tesla line of electric vehicles above the general U.S. auto industry while at the same time essentially attempting to mainstream his pricey battery-powered machines with other luxury cars.
It appears that Tesla is shaking off both the deep skepticism of general-market American consumers about EVs and the brand's own recent brawl with the New York Times over the paper's review of Tesla's staple Model S. This week, Musk—the billionaire who got rich from founding PayPal and who also owns SpaceX—made a few moves that seem to bring Tesla closer to achieving both aims.
First, the company announced that it expects to turn its first profit during the first quarter on higher-than-expected sales of Model S. It's a milestone for the company, given the general backdrop for EV sales. Tesla was able to sell at laeset 250 more of the Tesla S (whose most popular version starts at a sticker price of $69,900) than the 4,500 sales it had forecast in February.Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 2, 2013 05:02 PM
Nescafé is turning 75 and promising even more gusto going forward. The grandfather of instant coffee, made by Nestlé, (the name is a portmanteau of the words Nestlé and café) it was introduced in Switzerland, April 1, 1938.
Now (as you can find out in Nestle's anniversary slideshow and Facebook celebration, among other festive touchpoints) more than 5,500 cups of Nescafé are consumed every second in variations catering to taste preferences around the world.
The brand is getting a big boost from the Chinese and Japanese markets and the imminent market availability of new Dolce Gusto systems for coffee pods and premium Nespresso machines. "Nescafe is a big brand with different faces," said CEO Paul Bulcke to Reuters. "Nescafe is growing very well in China, but also in Japan, which is an important market. For example in Asia, Nescafe 3-in-1 sticks with milk and sugar that are ready to be used, are very strong."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 29, 2013 10:33 AM
Plenty of people in developing nations can get their hands on Coca-Colas, but they can’t seem to always get themselves the right medicine to keep one in nine children from dying before the age of five. Something wasn’t quite right with that equation and nonprofit ColaLife found a way to right the imbalance: ship the medical products with the Coke. The first test of this will take place in Zambia, Africa.
“Utilizing a new packaging technique, ColaLife aims to distribute ‘social products,’ such as oral rehydration salts and zinc supplements, to help sick children in need of medication,” Fox News reports. “The medication will be packaged in newly developed AidPods, which are wedge-shaped to fit in-between the necks of the Coke bottles in a crate of Coca-Cola.” Not only do the AidPods carry micronutrients and supplies to fight dehydration, but they also become water-sterilization containers when emptied out.
Certainly it behooves Coke to get involved in such a project since cola companies in general take a beating about marketing their sugary products to children. Coke has been immersed in an anti-obesity campaign that promotes exercise and healthy eating and, of course, drinking Coke.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 24, 2013 09:03 PM
Pepsi is redesigning its 16 and 20-ounce bottles for the first time since 1977 — one in a series of recent moves (see: the recent Super Bowl halftime show sponsorship and related landmark partnership with superstar Beyonce) as PepsiCo attempts to revitalize its flagship brand after a few mis-steps that led to the brand losing market share to rival Coca-Cola's Diet Coke brand in 2011.
The new design features a swirled grip on the bottom portion of the bottle, a shorter label edged in a "cola-colored" border and an enlarged version of its current globe logo and applies to Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Max and Pepsi Next.
"This new bottle is the next milestone in Pepsi's Live For Now marketing campaign," stated Angelique Krembs, VP of marketing for the Pepsi trademark. "Our single serve bottle is the most visible and tangible connection point we have with our consumers, and we love how the new bottle expresses our brand DNA."
"We started with single serve, because it is the package you're seen drinking and holding," Krembs told Ad Age. "The longer-term view is this new design system would eventually hit all touch points beyond packaging, to be honest, but certainly all other package types, as it applies."
According to PepsiCo's press release, "The new bottle's bold swirl and elevated profile reflect the brand's attributes and youthful spirit, capturing the excitement of now for Pepsi consumers. The etched, grip-able bottom allows consumers to have a more stimulating, tactile interaction with the bottle itself."Continue reading...
brands with a cause
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 22, 2013 12:26 PM
Somewhere, a world exists where more people have access to smartphones than toilets. Oh, wait. That's us.
Today marks the 20th annual World Water Day, observed on March 22 since 1993 when the United Nations General Assembly declared a global effort to improve access to clean water. Today, hundreds of multinational brands, political figures, celebrities and NGO's are offering up innovative ways to participate.
While Americans are drinking more water than ever before, the rest of the world's water crisis is becoming increasingly pressing, making it to the agenda of the 2012 World Economic Forum in Davos. That's when a report ranked water among the top five global factors equal in impact to systemic financial failure and fiscal imbalance, with 2.7 billion people affected by water shortages, compounded by climate change and a global population nearing 8 billion.
Two official meetings—in The Hague, The Netherlands and at the U.N. Headquarters in New York City—are taking place today to facilitate a global conversation on water cooperation, this year's theme, but hundreds of initiatives have launched across the globe in support of the effort.
In keeping with the theme of 2013 being the year of water cooperations, we've found some inspiring examples of the type of public-private partnerships spurring sustainable innovation to address the world's water crisis.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 21, 2013 03:18 PM
Lululemon Athletica revealed Monday that it expects earnings to drop this quarter due to a dud batch of its popular yoga pants made with its proprietary luon fabric, which its store managers indicated were being returned by customers who found them too sheer for wearing. “Some of our bottoms were made with a batch of black luon that doesn’t meet our standards so we’ve pulled them from our floors and our website.”
After being downgraded by Credit Suisse and others after the news, an earnings call today meant to detail the company's fourth quarter and full year 2012 results along with 2013 developments such as a move into golf and tennis apparel was instead taken up with answering analysts' questions about how it was handling the crisis—and offering more (ahem) transparency about the situation than has been offered to customers.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 20, 2013 06:16 PM
Nike introduced the FuelBand wristband in January 2012, and it has apparently sold well enough for the company to further invest in its growth as the device at the center of the connected universe it envisions. News on how Nike plans to boost its mobile/digital offering sets the stage for the company's quarterly earnings call on Thursday.
The athletic-wear giant's inaugural Nike Accelerator mobile development incubator, announced late last year, this week awarded $20,000 to 10 different startups that are building apps for its Nike+ products. The hope, CNET reports, is “to create a platform in much the same way that Apple has created a platform with iTunes and Microsoft with Windows.”
Hundreds of app ideas were proposed to Nike and its partner, TechStars, and the 10 that will receive funding as well as mentoring from Nike include “games that encourage users to exercise and a corporate wellness app that espouses healthy living habits,” CNET notes. The companies will work on their apps in Portland, Oregon, near Nike’s campus, and then pitch them to Nike bigwigs, venture capitalists and angel investors in June.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 20, 2013 12:47 PM
Emblematic of the slow but steady rise in health and wellness awareness, the gold-standard of ‘conscious capitalism,’ natural grocer Whole Foods is taking its brand and business acumen into the health resort sector.
"We have the perfect vehicle for this," Whole Foods Market co-CEO John Mackey told USA Today. "Think of it as a center where people would go for a day, a weekend or a week for healthy lifestyle education."
Call it a spa, resort or "healthy lifestyle education center," it's planned to open in the brand's Austin, Texas, hometown within three years—a pilot project that could catapult the company into the lucrative market pioneered by Canyon Ranch or Pritikin, or it could be another failure along the lines of the five education-focused Wellness Clubs that Whole Foods tested in 2006, including a location in Dallas.Continue reading...