brand news

Brand News: Google, Sprint, Ugg Australia and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 19, 2014 09:32 AM

TOP STORIES

Google moves to target kids under 13 and builds its own content and services.

Saab owner seeks partner to secure brand's future.

Samsung buys US air-conditioner company Quietside in smart-home push.

Sprint dives into wireless-industry price war, as it promised, and rolls out new B2B brand, as owner SoftBank girds for US cellphone market.

Ugg launches first global brand campaign.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Aereo faces broadcaster opposition to a cable license.

Aeropostale names new CEO and promises narrower loss.

American Apparel narrows losses but troubles remain.

AstraZeneca says US clears it in heart-drug probe.

BlackBerry prepares for device-less future with formation of new business unit. 

Burger King gets pecked by tweets for Chicken Fries.

CBS goes big in promos for Thursday Night Football.Continue reading...

cause marketing

Bees, Please: Cascadian Farms, Burt's Bees Make Saving the Bees Buzz-Worthy

Posted by Dale Buss on June 24, 2014 04:26 PM

General Mills’ Cascadian Farm Organic brand is the latest to make pleas for bees. Joining other brands with their ears to the earth, Cascadian Farms has been donating $1 to the cause for each box of its Buzz Crunch Honey Almond Cereal that's sold. 

The plight of bees is only worsening; populations of pollinating honey bees have been rapidly declining across the country over the last several years in a problem known as colony or hive collapse.

Conservationists and farmers have variously blamed the problem on a virus and on environmental causes, but no one has been able to nail down exactly what the problem is—nor a solution. It’s important because honeybees, some bumblebees and Monarch butterflies are “pollinators” that make possible the seasonal proliferation of about 90 commercially grown crops in North America and many flowers, adding about $24 billion to the US economy.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Amid Marketing Pushback, Chobani Learns that #WordsMatter

Posted by Nate Bartell on June 6, 2014 06:33 PM

What seemed like smart marketing turned into a headache for Chobani as their #HowMatters campaign has transformed from a seemingly good-hearted platform to a legal and ethical mess.

The campaign, which debuted during this year's Super Bowl and ran througout the Winter Olympics and The Oscars, has met criticism from Dov Seidman, the CEO of business consultancy LRN, who claims that the catchphrase was stolen from the founding principle featured on his company’s website. Seidman has also written a book entitled “How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything,” from which he believes Chobani extrapolated their controversial marketing campaign title.

Suing for damages based on trademark infringement, Seidman's argument hinges on a small, social detail: a tweet that Chobani sent Seidman back in January, thanking him for inspiring the "how" movement, and asking for his help in supporting their cause.Continue reading...

sustainability

Kroger Gets Hooked for Seafood Sustainability Efforts in Greenpeace Report

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 16, 2014 05:54 PM

Let’s face it—we are now destroying our oceans in the same way we have desecrated our soil and air.

Greenpeace's eighth-annual seafood sustainability report, Carting Away the Oceans, exposes the sourcing and sustainability efforts of 26 major retailers—not all of which scored well. 

Roundy's, Bi-Lo, Save Mart and Publix failed on their seafood sourcing and sustainability efforts completely, and Kroger, the fifth-largest food retailer in the world, is cited as selling the most Red List species of any U.S. grocery chain for the third consecutive year.

Whole Foods and Safeway, however, topped the ranking guide. 

“When Greenpeace started ranking America’s retailers on seafood sustainability in 2008, every company failed,” said James Mitchell, Greenpeace Senior Oceans Campaigner. “We’ve seen huge improvements since then, yet grocery giants like Kroger are still stocking too many threatened Red List species, which are often caught using highly destructive fishing methods.” 

Greenpeace credits Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s for not stocking Bumblebee, Chicken of the Sea or StarKist’s tuna, all caught through destructive fishing methods such as the use of artificial floating objects that attract young tuna to the sea's surface.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Alibaba, Airbnb, HP and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 7, 2014 09:12 AM

TOP 5 STORIES

Brands to Watch

Alibaba files for U.S. IPO that is expected to be record-breaking.

Airbnb hires Coca-Cola's Jonathan Mildenhall as CMO.

Fiat Chrysler five-year plan elevates Chrysler brand, downplays Dodge.

HP invests $1 billion in cloud computing.

Twitter stockholders sold massively as lockup expired; stock price plunges.

MORE BRAND NEWS:

AOL acquires consumer-tracking platform.

Coca-Cola lifts lid on agency bonuses for cutting-edge work and drops "You're On..." tagline for Diet Coke.Continue reading...

retail watch

Safeway, Albertson's Combine to Take On Fast-Changing Grocery Industry

Posted by Dale Buss on March 7, 2014 03:20 PM

Cerberus is buying Safeway and blending it in with the Albertson's supermarket chain it already owns. But the transaction seems more like the end of an era rather than the beginning.

That's because the intended $9 billion merger of Albertson's and Safeway will be a play meant largely to shore up the combined operations defensively against sea changes that have been sweeping the food-retailing business that simply don't favor traditional chains such as the two that Cerberus will own.

The rise of grocery availability at Walmart, Target and other discounters; the spread of dry goods through drug stores and dollar stores and other new formats; the rising popularity of Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and their organic, natural, locally-produced and private-label ethos; the fact that online CPG sales finally seem to be gaining traction; and the strength of club stores in the grocery trade—all are conspiring against the merger of two of the long-time giants of the business.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: P&G, BP, Uber and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 14, 2014 09:12 AM

In the News

P&G begins considering candidates to succeed CEO Lafley (again) as it holds early lead in Sochi social media derby.

BP must face shareholder suit over 2006 Alaska spill.

Uber officially launches in China, but under new, localized brand name.

Apple continues hiring spree to devleop iWatch.

BMW plans to bring back BMW Films as it unveils first front-wheel-drive model.

Burger King global sales rise while North America drops, but company reaps benefits of refranchising.

CVS Caremark tests telehealth sites.

Carnival Cruise Lines sees image back on upswing.

Charter turns from Time Warner Cable to pursue other acquisitions.

Cheesecake Factory holds off on tablets.

Danone struggles to claw back market share in China.

“Dumb Ways to Die” returns with Valentine’s Day tribute.Continue reading...

mobile commerce

Square One Step Closer to Making Mobile Payments Mainstream with Whole Foods Deal

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 12, 2014 02:49 PM

American Express ran its “Don’t leave home without it” campaign for years, but it appears that consumers will soon be able to leave their homes without their AMEX or any other credit card, as mobile payments are on the rise.

Whole Foods Markets has made a deal with San Francisco-based mobile payments company Square to allow consumers to pay for goods with their smartphones using Square Wallet, and will implement Sqaure Register and Square Stand technology at checkout points within a select group of stores, The Street reports. That's not a bad deal for Square, which is rumored to be considering an initial public offering this year.

According to a press release, there will be a few “lab stores” that will test out the concept. "Together with Square, we'll deliver options to expedite checkouts, and we look forward to developing new concepts to further simplify and improve grocery shopping," said Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods. "Square's forward-thinking vision and technology makes them an ideal partner to create a convenient, responsive experience for our customers."Continue reading...

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