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health matters

A League of Your Own: Kobo Founder's Health App Syncs Wearable Tech Data

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 13, 2014 11:23 AM

When U.S.-based Borders Books introduced the Kobo e-reader back in 2010, it was seen as a potential “Kindle Killer.” Borders, alas, folded the following year, but Kobo kept quietly rolling along.

Now the man who created Kobo, Michael Serbinis, is introducing a new product that he hopes will excite consumers and the medical community alike: A healthcare app and personal wellness portal called League. Having raised $4 million Canadian in seed money, League is preparing to launch early next year, according to a press release.

League can be accessed via a website and iOS and Android mobile apps, which will monitor information provided by wearable technology devices, such as FitBit's tracking of steps taken, all controlled by the user and open, if desired, to healthcare providers too. Continue reading...

automotive

Mercedes-Benz Adopts New Naming System as Ultra-Luxury Maybach Returns

Posted by Dale Buss on November 11, 2014 03:01 PM

What's in a name? Quite a lot, actually, when it comes to premium-luxury car brands. Mercedes-Benz is extending a new trend in the industry by overhauling the names used to identify its vehicles as it prepares for the launch of 30 models, including 11 all-new vehicles, by 2020.

As part of its re-badging, the automaker announced the resurrecting of the Maybach name on a model that will be introduced next week at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The Maybach brand, which starred in a Jay Z and Kanye West video, represented its ultra-high-end models before being retired in 2012. Now, as rumored earlier this year, Maybach is making a comeback, this time as the Mercedes-Maybach sub-brand, which will serve as a home for Mercedes-Benz ultra-luxury-high-end automobiles. Confused?Continue reading...

brand evolution

"We are Not Robots": TNT Repositions as The People Network

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 30, 2014 10:14 AM

European logistics company TNT just launched a new brand identity highlighting their dedicated employees and unique European road network. The brand promise: “We transfer your goods and documents around the world tailored to your requirements with a focus on time-definite and day-definite pick up and delivery.”

The brand's new tagline, The People Network, pays tribute to the company's worldwide network of people who "go the extra mile to help customers grow their businesses."

"Customers are not barcodes and we are not robots,” stated Tex Gunning, CEO of TNT (front and center, below). “We all relate to what drives our customers: business growth with a personal touch. Taking time to understand what customers really need distinguishes us from others. We are The People Network."Continue reading...

rebranding

Clear Channel Tunes Out Radio, Pumps Up the Volume With iHeartMedia Rebrand

Posted by Penelope Davis on September 17, 2014 05:04 PM

Of the many ways a brand can signal change, changing its name is one of the most significant—particularly for a company as large as Clear Channel Communications, which has just rebranded to iHeartMedia.

The move is intended to align with a sharper focus on digital channels and growth opportunities, and firmly position the San Antonio, Texas-based radio operator as a multiplatform, mass media company. The new name clearly borrows awareness from its six-year-old iHeartRadio brand, now associated with not only an app and digital offerings, but also a high-profile annual music festival and awards show.

As its corporate rebranding press release points out, Clear Channel is not "just" an operator of 859 US radio stations, but an integrated and evolving ecosystem of media platforms, spanning broadcast radio, digital radio, mobile, social, TV, outdoor advertising and live events. So why leverage a sub-brand's equity to change the parent company's corporate identity?Continue reading...

in the spotlight

+Pool Makes a Splash with Branding-First Concept

Posted by Katie Conneally on September 17, 2014 02:59 PM

It seems like everyday there’s a new tech startup in the news, a new cool project to back on Kickstarter or a new worthy cause to donate to. But with this abundance of new ideas, it’s easy for the average consumer, investor or donor to become overwhelmed. To combat this new idea fatigue, some startups and projects are getting smart about branding their ideas to stand out—sometimes even before they have a physical product or prototype to tout.

+Pool, a concept for a swimming pool that floats in New York’s East River, is an example of how early branding can play a role in future success. From its debut on Kickstarter in 2011, the +Pool idea ("the world's first water-filtering, floating pool") quickly gained traction and supporting, raising $41,000 to explore filtration materials. Another Kickstarter campaign in 2013 netted over $250,000 to build a test pool to bring the concept, called Float Lab, to life.Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

Apple Naming Evolves With Move From iThings to Things

Posted by Claire Falloon on September 9, 2014 07:08 PM

Forget the iWatch. In the much-anticipated unveiling of Apple’s latest and greatest products and offerings, another more subtle but no less significant game-changer was revealed: the brand's new—or at least evolving—naming convention.

Previously the owner of all things “i,” Apple today moved the needle towards its masterbrand by announcing the new Pay mobile payments platform and Watch smartwatch. While still keeping "i" as part of its iPhone line, with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus revealed today, Apple's naming evolution is interesting on a number of levels.Continue reading...

brand revival

Arthur Andersen Brand is Reborn Over a Decade After Enron Scandal

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 2, 2014 11:04 AM

In 2002, tax auditing firm Arthur Andersen was found guilty of obstructing justice after it was discovered that it had shredded thousands of Enron-related documents. Despite the charges, the since-defunct brand has retained its reputation through the years—a surprising conclusion of a financial industry poll conducted by Prime Group for WTAS LLC, a San Francisco-based firm that is reviving the brand, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

Time may heal all wounds, but it doesn’t restock the billions of dollars in bank accounts that shareholders lost in the wake of Enron’s shutdown and certainly doesn’t make life easier for the 85,000 employees of the company that lost their jobs. But WTAS, which bought the rights to the name so it could rebrand to Andersen Tax, looks to change that.

“Our issues with Enron were the mistake of a few,” WTAS CEO Mark Vorsatz told Businessweek. “Irrespective of Enron, we thought we were the benchmark in the industry.”Continue reading...

trademark wars

Trademark Watch: Redskins Appeal, Tesco Dashed, Don't Cross Warner Bros.

Posted by Jerome McDonnell on August 15, 2014 04:04 PM

It's a busy time for trademark watchers, as brands including the Quaker Oats-owned Aunt Jemima and the Clif and Kind health bars have found themselves tussling over trademarks. Some other trademark news of note:

As expected... The Washington Redskins are appealing a federal decision to cancel the team's trademarks. “We believe that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ignored both federal case law and the weight of the evidence, and we look forward to having a federal court review this obviously flawed decision,” Bob Raskopf, trademark attorney for the Washington Redskins, stated. Fierce lobbying on both sides includes a new video supporting the team's controversial name, counteracting a video during the Super Bowl protesting the name.

Tesco hopes dashed: European supermarket giant Tesco was rebuffed in its attempt to trademark the blue dashes underlining its iconic wordmark, as the UK's Intellectual Property Office ruled that the logo's Tevrons (as Tesco insiders call them) were too simple and not distinctive enough to merit trademark protection. While simplicity may be the ultimate sophistication, for trademarks, it's better to be complicated.

Who wants to live forever? In the midst of the mourning over the passing of Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall this week, Mondaq.com took at look at the actors' respective personal trademark registrations and praises both for savvy personal brand management. After all, patents expire and copyright runs its course—but (only) trademarks can last forever...Continue reading...

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