brand extensions

Pure Genius: What Won't Richard Branson Slap the Virgin Brand On?

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 30, 2012 11:01 AM

From his humble roots as a seller of vinyl LPs to the spotty youths of Great Britain, Sir Richard Branson has extended the Virgin brand name from record shops to an array of businesses including airlines, mobile phones, space and deep sea travel, hotels, bridal boutiques, cheeky health clubs, beverages (including vodka, cola and wine), gaming, banking and beyond. Now Brits will soon be finding the Virgin brand on another product: water.

The home of the elastic brand today announced a partnership with Israel-based Strauss Water to rebrand its Strauss Water UK business as Virgin Pure, a system that filters water straight from the plumbing system to provide consumers with chilled or boiling water “at the touch of a button.”

"I love businesses that help to improve our way of life,” Branson stated. "Pure, chilled and boiling drinking water at the touch of a button means no more lugging bottles home, waiting for filter jugs to trickle through or kettles to boil for that great cup of tea."Continue reading...

mobile commerce

Retailers Sign Up for NFC Mobile Payments Tests

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 16, 2012 02:12 PM

The race for NFC-based mobile payments is heating up with projections for 2013 exceeding $13 billion globally, up from just over $7 billion in 2011, according to Gartner research.

Isis, the mobile-payments joint venture backed by AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, has signed up Coca-Cola, Macy’s, Aéropostale, Dillard’s, Foot Locker (and its subsidiary Champs Sports) and Jamba Juice, as well as hundreds of local retailers in Texas and Utah who will start accepting Isis payments by this summer.

Both Isis and competitor Google Wallet use NFC chips that store user’s credit card data or pre-loaded digital cash. Both companies are also working with check-out scanners and retailers including Gap, Office Max, Toys ‘R’ Us and Walgreens. 

Google Wallet is currently available on four Sprint handsets and none from the mobile operators backing Isis. Sprint is the only U.S. carrier backing Google Wallet and to that end just released the LG Optimus Elite for Virgin Mobile.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: JPMorgan, P&G, Virgin & more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 11, 2012 09:01 AM

In the News

Amazon plans to lend Harry Potter e-books.

Apple will help upgrade Foxconn factories in China.

AT&T sees regulatory logjam delay deals in wireless.

Betsey Johnson confirms plans to liquidate.

CBS sues ABC alleging new reality series rips off Big Brother.

Chuck E. Cheese plans to test gluten-free products.

Coca-Cola finds its Hellenic unit hit by perfect political and economic storm.Continue reading...

brand ambassadors

Mother Virgin: How Richard Branson's Mom Made Him Find His Way

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 9, 2012 04:29 PM

If you’ve ever seen Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group and the fourth wealthiest citizen of the United Kingdom, in action, "shy" is not the first word you’d use to describe him.

"Cocky," "confident," "swaggering," "bold," "cheeky," "brash," "daredevil," "nuts" — these are words more often than not associated with Branson’s name and house of Virgin brands. But it hasn’t always been that way for the face (and head) of Virgin.

In fact, Branson and Virgin wouldn't be household names today if it wasn't for his tenacious mother, Eve, who took drastic measures during his childhood to push him out of his shell and into the world — literally.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Amazon, Google, Virgin and more

Posted by Dale Buss on April 16, 2012 09:01 AM

Amazon looms as nemesis of book publishers, as children's book publisher pulls its titles.

Apple denies designer Philippe Starck's claim of 'revolutionary' device.

Arby's makes social media blunder over Rush Limbaugh advertising.

Archie comics legal battle heats up.

Audi may select its North American plant site this week, with Mexico the favoriteAutomotive News says.

CBS emphasizes hard news to regain an edge.

Citigroup reports better-than-expected revenue growth.Continue reading...

brand loyalty

Want a Space Trip? Choose Your Airline Wisely

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 12, 2012 04:57 PM

Loyalty programs are pretty much everywhere now: your wine shop, your shoe store, your gas station. With all that loyalty out there, airlines need to shake things up on the rewards front they pioneered, just to keep customers interested.

It isn’t enough just to use your air miles to build up to a future ticket on the same airline. A new study from IdeaWorks chronicles just how far airlines are going to keep passengers aboard, the Montreal Gazette reports. Want a wine-of-the-month club membership? Fly Qantas. Want a leather vest autographed by George Clooney? Fly Air Canada. Want a galactic sub-orbital space flight? Fly Virgin (and amass 25 million points).

The Gazette notes that Virgin even has a Flying Without Fear class as a possible reward for those who have fly a lot but have got some issues that they have to deal with every time they do. Continue reading...

personal brands

Amazon’s Bezos Adds His Name to Billionaire Explorers Club

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 3, 2012 04:01 PM

British billionaire Richard Branson has set all sorts of world records and is planning plenty more adventures, even if the center of the earth isn't one of them. Hollywood's resident daredevil, filmmaker James Cameron, who's also passionate about ocean and space exploration, recently plunged to the deepest known part of the ocean in a specially designed submarine.

But there is another wealthy adventurer vying for the record books: Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. But unlike his brand's grand name, the intrepid e-tailer isn't planning to explore the Amazon; instead, as Taiwan's NMA TV recounts in its animated version above, he recently discovered the rockets that pushed Neil Armstrong and pals upward into space at the bottom of the ocean and is planning to bring them back to dry land, according to reading...

kidding around

April Fool's Brand Pranks: Google, YouTube, Virgin, Honda, Sony, Toshiba & more [Updated]

Posted by Shirley Brady on April 1, 2012 12:01 PM

In a bid to outdo last year's April Fool's Day jokes, a few April Foolin' Around branded fake gags today include:

• Richard Branson's next adventure, Virgin Volcanic, will take the intrepid billionaire to the center of the earth with Tom Hanks;

• in addition to really advanced search and Google TV Click, perennial prankster Google brings its self-driving car to NASCAR racing (above) and, below, announces Morse Code-based Gmail Tap (double your typing speed!) with LL Cool J, plus 8-bit Google Maps for the neglected Nintendo Entertainment System, and more:Continue reading...

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