Best Global Green Brands 2014

traveling brands

Staying Small: Boutique Hotel Brands Risk Losing Culture in Expansion

Posted by Corey Lewis on September 1, 2014 12:43 PM

Last week, Las Vegas saw its first major resort project open since The Cosmopolitan in 2010. Caught in the lights of flashbulbs and fireworks, the new SLS Las Vegas joins sister properties in Beverly Hills and South Beach as the third location of the Los Angles-based SBE’s SLS brand. 

“I think locals will really get what we’re about… we are in Las Vegas to move the meter in Las Vegas,” CEO Sam Nazarian told Las Vegas Weekly, emphasizing that part of the SLS brand's DNA is its neighborhood feel, where tourists and locals mingle.  

Even so, at 1,620 rooms, the SLS Las Vegas is a “neighborhood building” with a pretty big bankroll—$415 million to be exact. For comparison’s sake, the SLS South Beach, opened in 2012, has 140 rooms, the SLS Beverly Hills has 297. Yes, everything in Las Vegas is bigger (except maybe the Eiffel Tower), but as brands like SLS scale—in size and footprint—can they remain authentically local and boutique?Continue reading...


Rebranding Labor Day: Because Who Wants to Work on Your Day Off?

Posted by Claire Falloon on September 1, 2014 10:36 AM

Everyone loves a holiday but does anyone really love Labor Day? Does anyone even know what it’s about? Does Labor Day even know what it’s about? If I met a client with this many unanswered questions, the conversation might go something like this: “Hello Labor Day? I think we need to have a serious talk."

First, let’s be real here. Labor Day does know what it’s about. Created in 1882, Labor Day was a union-proposed holiday “dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers." But maybe the way Labor Day named itself didn’t make other people want to know what it was about. 

Yes, “labor” definitely suggests the work this day was designed to celebrate. But, if you worked just about every day of the year and then were given one day off, wouldn’t you want that day to sound a little less like work and a little more like fun? “No-Labor Day" for example, might be more correct, if not particularly catchy. “Do Whatever You Want Day” has a certain wanton charm, although might suggest we encourage lawlessness (which we don’t). Or maybe “The Big Day Off” might work—a nationwide holiday simply dedicated to not working.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: A&E/Vice, Nike, Apple and more

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on September 1, 2014 09:53 AM


A&E buys 10 percent of Vice for $250 million. 

Apple blocks developers from selling users' health data to marketers; bans hazardous chemicals following China investigation; reportedly strikes payments deal to make next iPhone a mobile wallet with American Express, Visa and MasterCard; sees iBeacon struggle with retailers; and grapples with possible iCloud (via “Find my iPhone”) hack that led to massive nude photo leak affecting Jennifer Lawrence and other actresses.

Nike re-signs (Under Armour-wooed) NBA star Kevin Durant to sneaker deal rumored to be worth $350 million.

Disney files patents for drone-controlled puppets as Google drones find better reception than Amazon tests.

P&G's Tide brand honors uniformed workers on Labor Day (above).


Alibaba faces stiffer homegrown competition ahead of upcoming IPO.

Art Everywhere partnership brings culture to outdoor advertising.

Bayer brings “world’s hangover cureBerocca to US.

BMW sees bomb-proof fleet get big buy-in from Australian government for G20 Summit. 

Comcast acquisition of Time Warner Cable protested by entertainment giants.Continue reading...

week in review

Top 10 Stories of the Week: Unilever, Burger King, Nestlé and more

Posted by brandchannel staff on August 29, 2014 08:42 PM

Our most-read blog posts of the week:

#1 On Comeback Trail, What Can JCPenney, Best Buy Teach Other Retailers?

#2 Unilever, Kimberly-Clark Test Environment-Saving Innovations

#3 Burger King, Tim Hortons Deal Has Big Brand Implications Beyond Taxes

#4 Brands Put Wearable Tech On Display at the US Open

#5 Coca-Cola Life Tiptoes Into UK, US, Amid Hopes for Mid-Calorie Sodas

#6 It's All in the Numbers: Instagram, Tumblr Step Up Metrics for Brands

#7 Nestlé Adopts Industry-Altering Commitment to Animal Welfare

#8 Branding Stays On the Shelf in Dollar-Store Jockeying, But Will Walmart?

#9 Emmys are a Golden Opportunity for Brands to Test New Social Strategies

#10 International Health Organizations at Odds Over E-Cigarette Risks

trademark wars

Trademark Watch: Ice Bucket Challenge, Hershey, High Times and more

Posted by Courtney Cantor on August 29, 2014 08:04 PM

Since the end of July, the ALS Association, which fights Lou Gehrig’s disease through research, care and education, has raised over $100 million thanks to the viral Ice Bucket Challenge. Now it seeks to use that money, in part, to trademark the phrase “Ice Bucket Challenge” in connection with charitable fundraising.

In deciding whether ALS’s application for trademark registration will be successful, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will take into consideration the Ice Bucket Challenge in light of how consumers view it. Although the association between ALS and the Ice Bucket Challenge is as clear as the water in the bucket, others have also begun to use the phrase to create awareness for different causes. For example, Matt Damon used the Ice Bucket Challenge to promote his clean water organization,, and several other "challenges" for charitable causes have popped up over the last month. 

Some argue that the USPTO should not allow the ALS Association to register the mark because it will prevent other charities from raising money by using the Ice Bucket Challenge. However, even if the association is granted trademark rights, charities should not get cold feet. After all, there are plenty of creative ways to get around this by still taking inspiration from the success of the Ice Bucket Challenge. Warm Water Challenge, anyone?Continue reading...

branded content

Branded Content Watch: Malaysia Airlines, Electrolux, GE and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on August 29, 2014 06:58 PM

This week in branded content, Malaysia Airlines makes an appeal, Heineken tries to quiet the crowd, GE makes some music and more. Check out the latest branded videos from Electrolux and Perrier after the jump.Continue reading...

bc q&a

A Twist On Growth: 5 Questions with Sergio Fuster, CMO of Dannon USA

Posted by Dale Buss on August 29, 2014 06:01 PM

Dannon USA, the American arm of global Paris-based yogurt giant Danone, has emerged successfully—and from behind—in two main challenges in the US market over the last 20 years.

Now the company is trying to gain the initial advantage in a new area known as "indulgent" yogurt, much as it did with probiotic yogurts when it launched Activia several years ago. Before that move, Dannon battled the incumbent American brand, General Mills' Yoplait, to gain the No. 1 spot in the conventional yogurt market in the US. Then, after Chobani launched mainstream Greek-style yogurt a few years ago and began accounting for all the growth in the entire yogurt market, Dannon responded with its own Oikos brand of Greek-style yogurt, recovering the ground it lost.

With a new TV ad campaign breaking this weekend, Dannon is wheeling toward yet another way to broaden yogurt consumption with the national rollout of its Creamery product line. It consists of five cheesecake-inspired offerings made with Greek yogurt and topped with fruit sauces, and three puddings—the first new brand for the company since Oikos and its first in the dessert market.

As much as Activia commanded attention when it shook up the yogurt market several years ago with Dannon's open appeal to digestive benefits, Dannon USA is bringing out Creamery with a "twist" as well: it's only 200 calories per serviing.

Sergio Fuster, CMO of Dannon USA, talked with brandchannel about Creamery and Dannon USA's broader strategy.Continue reading...

tech innovation

Game of Drones: Google Tests Drones in Australia as Amazon Heads to India

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 29, 2014 05:28 PM

Amazon made a big stir last year when it released a video of a drone delivering a package, detailing its reported PrimeAir delivery system. While some called for drone delivery to be rushed along, plenty, including the Federal Aviation Administration, had their concerns.

Of course those concerns haven't stopped drone development. Domino’s Pizza even tried pizza delivery-by-drone, and now a major competitor has entered the space. Google announced Project Wing, the latest moonshot from its GoogleX labs that is responsible for Google Glass as well as Google's self-driving car. 

“Self-flying vehicles could open up entirely new approaches to moving things around—including options that are faster, cheaper, less wasteful, and more environmentally sensitive than the way we do things today,” a Google spokesperson said in an email to Wired.Continue reading...

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