Best Global Green Brands 2014

traveling brands

In Prep for IPO, Virgin America Innovates with In-Flight Social Network

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 12, 2014 01:47 PM

Virgin’s tech team and customer-relations crew must be working overtime this week. Over in the UK, Virgin Atlantic announced it is testing a wearable tech program with its airline concierge staff to better serve upper-class customers, and now the airline's US arm has partnered with Here On Biz on an in-flight social network based off of LinkedIn.

The venture, which focuses on business travelers, allows passengers on Virgin America flights to connect with other passengers on the plane and on the ground. 

"This partnership allows flyers to take advantage of those serendipitous travel moments where people with complementary business interests are in the same place at the same time—even if that place is on a plane somewhere 35,000 feet above the US," said Here On Biz CEO Nick Smoot, according to The Verge. "With our iOS app and this partnership with Virgin America, you can find your next big connection in seat 4C—or even just a row away from you."

The service, which passengers need to opt into, will launch next week on one plane based in San Francisco and expand to all Virgin America flights by month’s end, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.Continue reading...

traveling brands

Virgin Outfits Airline Concierges with Wearable Tech for Personalized Service

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 11, 2014 01:53 PM

As the cost of airline travel continues to go up, airline service often leaves much to be desired. But Virgin Atlantic is hoping to restore a bit of the glory days of travel for its upper-class passengers thanks to wearable tech. 

Virgin Atlantic employees at London’s Heathrow airport are now wearing tech devices including Google Glass and Sony's Smartwatch that feed the concierges helpful information about approaching passengers, including first names, so that staff can offer up a more personal level of service.

“At the same time, staff will be able to update passengers on their latest flight information, weather and local events at their destination and translate any foreign language information,” Virgin said in press release about the six-week pilot program. “In future, the technology could also tell Virgin Atlantic staff their passengers’ dietary and refreshment preferences – anything that provides a better and more personalized service.”

Gigaom notes that Virgin is “also testing Apple’s iBeacon technology at Heathrow,” which would allow the airline to “automatically push updates to the phones of nearby passengers with information such as nearby services, discounts, and updated flight boarding schedules.”Continue reading...

china

The Week in China: Happy Chinese New Year!

Posted by Abe Sauer on January 31, 2014 05:42 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: Transformers 4's new China car... the rise of Chinese smartphone brands... how Bailey's explains the rise of women's purchasing power... breast milk soap... Walmart can't catch a break... Weibo losses... Diageo losses... KFC faces bird flu again... JD.com wants you to shake it... Jissbon condoms just being Jissbon... Virgin's space ban... Toyota... Hyundai... more Year of the Horse marketing... and more.Continue reading...

traveling brands

Delta's New Safety Video is Totally Tubular

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 30, 2014 11:41 AM

The latest airline industry trend isn't fees, fees, fees (well, maybe). Instead, airliners are letting their creative juices flow in what has become a stream of high-energy, entertaining in-flight safety videos.

Following a Glee-inspired dance number from Virgin and appearance by Richard Simmons on Air New Zealand, Delta has released a time traveling follow-up to its holiday-themed jaunt. 

Alf and Teddy Ruxpin make appearances along with a number of other ‘80s references. When electronic items are required to be turned off, a man puts his Atari console under his seat. Rubik’s cube, a Devo hat, lots of big hair, cassette tapes, and a worm-dancing passenger get screen time in this ode to a lost era. The kicker, of course, comes at the end when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is seen in the cockpit, a reference to his stellar acting work in the 1980 comedy Airplane!Continue reading...

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...

china

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...

china

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...

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