Best Global Green Brands 2014

brands under fire

Uber Is In a Heap of Trouble as Car Services Get Competitive

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 28, 2014 04:47 PM

Private transportation service Uber is happy to self promote, but there is likely a whole side of its business that it wishes no one knew about: its legal problems.

The international app-driven car and delivery service has attracted a lot of attention for its one-off marketing stunts that have so far included kitten, Christmas tree and ice cream truck deliveries. But lately, the brand has been in headlines for less admirable practices.

Across the US, from New York and Boston to Chicago, Uber is facing claims (and some actual lawsuits) for "illegal practices including misleading marketing and unfair competition," according to the Reuters. Most recently the company apologized to rival car company Gett after some of Uber's New York employees ordered, and then cancelled, more than 100 cars in a scam that debilitated the service. Uber turned the PR disaster into a recruitment fair, trying to convince some of the Gett drivers to swap companies.Continue reading...


The Week in China: Apple's 'Muted' iPhone Sales, Spending Cuts Hit Travel, Booze Brands and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on January 24, 2014 02:47 PM

China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.

This week: Luxury hotels shed stars to avoid spending crackdown… are Apple China Mobile sales "weak" or good… the move away from flashy logos… Tesla's China price tag… Nu Skin… Caterpillar's fraud revisited... Lady Gaga ban lifted... top 2013 search topics… retail sales increase… Boeing's record sales… Mercedes "panda bonds"… Carrefour food safety… Air China to Hawaii… a baijiu aircraft carrier... and more.Continue reading...

traveling brands

JetBlue Navigates Rough Winter by Keeping Up Communication with Customers

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 24, 2014 11:04 AM

JetBlue may have had to cancel nearly 475 flights due to the snow and ice conditions in the Northeast earlier this week, but at least it wasn't pummeled by PR gaffes like after last year's Valentine's day tarmac incident.

Thankfully, JetBlue and a lot of other airlines have learned to communicate better with their guests, especially on social media—an improvement that can be seen on the bottom line, too. “Shares have tripled since March 2009, loving life alone in an airline sector that has recaptured the ardor of investors,” Bloomberg Businessweek notes

“JetBlue has actually profited from the fact that fares are up and restructuring got majors out of markets like San Juan—or US Airways (essentially the rebranded America West) retrenching from Boston—where JetBlue can then swoop in and grab slots,” said Roger King, an industry analyst with CreditSights, according to Businessweek. “They still offer a better leisure experience than the others: TV, leather, more legroom.” 

Indeed, JetBlue is ranked among the best low-cost airlines, but that doesn't mean it's immune to major problems like those caused by extreme winter weather this year.Continue reading...


The Week in China: Apple and China Mobile Make Friends, Walking Wallets and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on January 17, 2014 06:23 PM

China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.

This week: Chinese "walking wallets" park Europe's "handbag wars"… the future of Apple and China Mobile… Coca-Cola goes mobile for Spring Festival… box office booming… Tetra Pak in trouble… diaper makers… Chinese tycoons at rest… Goubuli "lis" a US coffee chain… Quaker milk… car sales explode and Tesla aims to get some… My Little Pony copyright violations... and more.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Southwest Caught in Tainted Water with SeaWorld Over Longtime Partnership

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 15, 2014 07:27 PM

Blackfish, shortlisted for an Academy Award Best Documentary nomination, chronicles the life of SeaWorld's largest killer whale, Tilikum, who killed his trainer, Dawn Brancheau, in February 2010, as well as two others in previous incidents. 

The controversial film includes behind the scenes footage of SeaWorld's orca shows, including shocking footage of the species' cruel treatment in captivity and the pressures of the multi-billion dollar sea-park industry to exploit the animals. 

SeaWorld called the film by Gabriela Cowperthwaite "shamefully dishonest, deliberately misleading, and scientifically inaccurate," as a surge of petitions and protests surfaced on social media.

But there's an unlikely brand caught in the crosshairs: Southwest Airlines.Continue reading...

place branding

Omaha Piggybacks on Broncos Play Call for Real-Time Tourism Boost

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 14, 2014 08:12 PM

Omaha, Nebraska, isn’t necessarily top of mind for globe-trotting tourists, but the utterances of one NFL quarterback may help the longtime home of the College World Series and the birthplace of TV dinners earn more consideration.

Before 44 plays in Sunday’s NFL playoff game between the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning yelled out, “Omaha! Omaha!” A play signal of some sort, ESPN notes that only Manning and the Broncos know the reason for the word choice. 

Nebraska’s largest city isn’t concerned with the meaning. After all, Peyton's shouts heard by millions of viewers turned "Omaha" into a trending topic on Twitter during the game—likely the most airtime the local brand has ever seen. It didn't hurt that the Broncos won, either. Capitalizing on Omaha's moment in the spotlight, the Omaha tourism board tweeted its thanks to the legendary quarterback Sunday night.Continue reading...

traveling brands

Marriott Wants to be Top of Mind in New York and to Travelers Everywhere

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 8, 2014 04:42 PM

A record 54.3 million people visited New York City last year, and Marriott International has implemented a plan to capitalize on the renewed tourism by opening the city's tallest stand-alone hotel. Marriott must have a thing for heights since it also owns the world's tallest hotel, the 1,164-foot JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai.

The new 68-floor hotel in NYC, which cost $320 million to construct, is actually a combination of two Marriott brands with a 378-room Courtyard Marriott and a 261-room Residence Inn sharing the space on Columbus Circle at the southwest corner of Central Park.

“I’m certain either one of them would have done fine on their own,” Marriott Chief Executive Officer Arne Sorenson told Bloomberg Businessweek. “But here you’ve got a great location, an A-plus location, with two distinct products that will appeal to two distinct kinds of stays.”Continue reading...

traveling brands

Korean Air Hopes to Break Travelers Out of Daze with Interactive Display

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 2, 2014 06:39 PM

Folks walking on Madison Avenue near Grand Central Station in New York City have plenty to gape at, but Korean Air has provided one more spectacle to grab their attention.

The company has invested in placing an interactive video wall on Madison Avenue for a month that draws in passersby through gesture-based technology. The onlookers are “invited to choose from a list of cities, including Dubai, Bali, Seoul and Prague,” according to MediaBistro. Once selected, the viewer can step “through a doorway and enter a scene in their selected city,” according to Digital Signage Today. The wall then allows them to take a photo of themselves in the scene and share the image via email or social media. Those who take part are entered into a sweepstakes that will give nine individuals a $500 Korean Air voucher.Continue reading...

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