traveling brands

United Reverts to Old Slogan as It Looks to Elevate Customer Experience

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 20, 2013 02:49 PM

It’s been 17 years since United Airlines urged prospective passengers to “Fly the Friendly Skies.” But the airliner is bringing back the tagline in a new campaign that is also one of its largest. 

It isn’t just the skies that are friendly in the new United ads, either. The airline touts itself as “legroom friendly,” “online friendly,” “shut-eye friendly,” and even “EWR friendly,” in reference to the call letters for Newark Liberty International Airport, the hub of Continental Airlines, which United merged with back in 2010.

The new campaign will kick off this wekeend during NFL games, the PGA Tour championship, Sunday's Emmy Awards telecast and the season premiere of 60 Minutes on CBS, according to the New York Times. The ads also feature the iconic George Gershwin tune, “Rhapsody in Blue,” part of the brand’s campaigns since 1987.Continue reading...

brand challenges

P&G Relies on 'Everyday Effect' to Boost Brands, Products as Earnings Wheeze

Posted by Dale Buss on July 11, 2013 06:33 PM

Procter & Gamble's financial realities aren't very encouraging these days, so the Cincinnati-based CPG giant is doing what it can in another important arena: branding and marketing.

The company is expanding its new corporate campaign called "The Everyday Effect" that highlights the practical yet spirit-lifting values of its products and brands. It launched in January and has been taking in every exercise and outlet from online video ads to TV spots; a big sampling day in New York City last month; and even an online, three-minute documentary called "Swiffer Effect" (watch below) about how the brand's products make life easier for the elderly.

"We're featuring how each of our individual brands has a positive effect on people every day, whether that be a great night of overnight sleep for Pampers or helping their kids brush their teeth so they have a great day at school," Marc Pritchard, global brand building officer, told Ad Age. One major goal of the effort is to promote cross-brand trial.Continue reading...


Making Good: Nike Looks to Make a Better World with New Sustainability App

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 9, 2013 11:39 AM

With a commitment to making a "Better World," Nike is determined to produce more environmentally conscious, and sustainably innovative, products. And it's not just looking at its own branded products, either. The sports apparel giant has released a new mobile app (now available for Apple's iOS devices) called Making with the lofty goal of helping designers and the fashion industry (as well as consumers) decide what source materials are the most environmentally responsible.

Using information from the students at London College of Fashion’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion as well as the Nike Materials Sustainability Index, the app “ranks materials used in apparel manufacturing in terms of the use of water, types of chemistry, amount of energy and the levels of waste required during production,” Sustainable Business Oregon reports.

"Innovation is in Nike's DNA, and sustainability is an integral part of Nike's design process," said Lee Holman, Nike apparel design VP, in a press release. "We've created the Making app to empower any designer around the world to make better materials choices in the initial stages of the innovation process to ultimately create products that are better for consumers and better for the planet."Continue reading...

green shoots

Volkswagen Wants Brands, Plants to 'Think Blue' for Sustainability Leadership

Posted by Dale Buss on July 4, 2013 01:28 PM

Volkswagen finished last of the global automakers that occupied five of the top seven spots in Interbrand's recently released Best Global Green Brands 2013 report. That was a pretty good showing, but the German giant seems determined to hoist itself even higher in terms of the effectiveness of its sustainability efforts—and regard for them—around the globe.

In fact, according to Automotive News, Volkswagen is determined to "become the world's greenest automaker" as well as, by 2018, its highest-selling. "VW has set ambitious targets for CO2 reduction and more efficient energy use."

The impetus for this strategic priority, of course, is coming from the top, from Germany, where sustainability initiatives have been grouped into a global initiative called "Think Blue." (The nod to VW's iconic "Think Small" ad tagline uses blue instead of the green typically associated with eco-efforts because, VW executives explain, mostly what you see of Earth from space is... blue.)

What's more, its corporate executives are committed to expanding the Think Blue campaign across all VW-owned brands, which is still making inroads in the US.Continue reading...

brand revival

RadioShack Debuts Youthful New Store Concept, Logo

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 2, 2013 02:53 PM

Now that RadioShack is presumably done with its executive shuffle, the electronics retailer's new CEO, CMO and VP of store concepts are wasting no time in trying to get the company back into the minds of younger, hipper consumers. This week, the chain debuted a new logo and opened its first concept store in New York (above), a first-of-its-kind customer experience for the brand that it's billing as an "interactive technology playground."

According to the Dallas Business Journal, the Fort Worth, Texas-based chain plans to open several other concept stores in New York, New Jersey and Texas in the coming weeks before deciding on a new design to roll out to its entire footprint of 4,300 stores. The move comes at a critical juncture, as The Shack is in need of a serious revamp. It lost $63 million in the fourth quarter last year and $43.3 million in the first quarter of this year.Continue reading...

executive decision

Men’s Wearhouse Drops Founder and Pitchman George Zimmer in Questionable Move

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 20, 2013 02:39 PM

Men's Wearhouse founder George Zimmer may have been able to guarantee the way you'd look in his suits, but that same comfort didn't extend to his own job. In fact, Men’s Wearhouse tossed the 64-year-old Zimmer out the door Wednesday after he spent 40 years building the brand, starting with the first location that he opened with his college roommates.

No reason was given for the ouster but analysts suggested to The New York Times “that the conflict might be over the company’s efforts to appeal to younger customers, who could have been hampered by Mr. Zimmer’s continued presence in ads.” A person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that Zimmer, who still owns about 3.5 percent of the company’s shares, and his handpicked CEO, Doug Ewert, have had “repeated clashes” about buying back shares and selling off apparel chain K&G.Continue reading...


China Looks for Freedom in Consumer Products

Posted by Abe Sauer on May 20, 2013 10:54 AM

The "Live Free" logo on the back of a jacket or the big, red "自由" ("Freedom") on the sleeve of Harley-Davidson riders in China may seem a wild bit of irony. To those who buy into China as the brutal 1984-like state dry of any freedom, it may seem like a bold, almost rebellious political statement but to the riders displaying them, it's neither.

The idea of freedom through consumption is exploding in China. More and more brands—both foreign and domestic—are using the message every day. While the concept of consumer choices and products offering "freedom" is global, the idea of "freedom" in China is very unique.

A recent Reuters photo essay showed the world what a China Harley-Davidson rally is like. There were more than a few cultural differences. While the Sturgis Rally is held in the dusty backwater of South Dakota, China's recent Harley rally was at a private lake resort just outside of Shanghai. China's Harley enthusiasts tend to be CEOs or the very wealthy, but Harley-Davidson ownership is booming in China for some of the same reasons as in the west. "For me [Harley] represents freedom, total freedom,” a rider named Phillip Chu told Reuters.Continue reading...

brand roadmaps

Intel Looks Inside for New CEO, While Brand Plans for Service Expansion

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on May 2, 2013 07:45 PM

While the computing world continues to shift around them, Intel has remained steady and true to form, remaing loyal to its infamous tagline: Intel Inside.

The company, which has staved off advances from competitors like Advanced Micro Devices and is posting $50 billion in annual sales has remained sure-footed even as it searched for a new CEO to take the helm after Paul Otellini retires in May. Despite rumors that the company was looking to an outsider to fill the role, its board selected current COO Brian Krzanich, an engineer who has been with the company since 1982. The company also elevated software honcho Renee James to President, Reuters reports.

While the duo will likely make a successful team, Intel hopes that the new appointments will aid in leading the company in a new, more mobile direction. While Intel's processing chips still sit inside many personal computers, the company is losing market share to companies like ARM, which makes rival chips for smartphones.Continue reading...

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