Best Global Green Brands 2014

brand partners

After a Two-Year Courtship, Facebook Buys WhatsApp to Connect the World

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 20, 2014 10:57 AM

In its largest acquisition to date, Facebook announced Wednesday that it will buy mobile messaging juggernaut WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stock, a massive landgrab that will cement Facebook's international growth plans. 

Widely used in Europe, India and elsewhere for sending text, images, audio and video messages over the internet for free, WhatsApp has 450 million active users, and adds nearly 1 million new users everyday that send over 50 billion messages daily. And while Facebook may rule the messaging roost in the US and Canada, WhatsApp was too far ahead of the international game for Facebook to even consider trying to play catch-up. 

With a youthful user-base that is snapping up mobile technology across emerging markets in Asia, South America and Africa, it's a safe bet to say that most of them will be using a Facebook-owned app in the future despite their growing habits to eschew mainstream social networks like Facebook itself. 

The huge move is indicative of Facebook's coming of age, the New York Times notes: "The company intends to acquire or build a family of applications instead of simply buttressing its core social network."Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Intel Aims to Spread Digital Literacy to African Women

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on October 2, 2013 07:27 PM

Intel is turning research into action with its "She Will Connect" initiative—a program born out of the company's "Women and the Web" report that showed the gender gap between men and women in developing countries concerning digital literacy. 

The program aims to reach five million women in Africa beginning this year, with the help of local and global governments and NGOs, according to MarketingDaily's MediaPost. 

The task will be tackled two ways: with a mobile gaming app that will teach digital literacy skills, and with a partnership with World Pulse, which will help create a peer network for the platform's digital training software.Continue reading...

sustainability

Nespresso, Combating Increased Coffee Competition, Boosts Green Credibility

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 16, 2013 10:45 AM

Nespresso is pledging to buy more coffee from sustainable plantations in Africa as it seeks greater green credibility in a more discerning and competitive coffee pod market.

The Nestle brand, the leader in the single-serve coffee market, is bringing its sustainability program to Ethiopia and Kenya, forming an advisory board comprised of Fairtrade International and Rainforest Alliance members—and George Clooney.

Nespresso has surpassed its goal of sourcing 80 percent of its coffee through the company’s 10 year-old AAA sustainability program, buying coffee from 56,000 farmers and paying them a 30 percent to 40 percent premium to New York market prices. Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, India and Mexico are participants.Continue reading...

retail watch

Global Consumers Vary on the Importance of Brand-Focused Shopping

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 15, 2013 11:24 AM

The whole branding industry may be for naught in North America. According to the new Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Shopping Behavior, those residing in North America and Europe are much more concerned about the pricing of a product than its brand. Meanwhile, consumers in the Asia and Asia Pacific regions are impulsive, brand-centric shoppers, while those in the Middle East and Africa tend to consult industry experts for advice on the most famous brands.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Nestle Makes Good in Kenya with Growing Youth Sports Sponsorship

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 25, 2013 02:47 PM

Nestle hasn’t always had positive feelings associated with its work in Africa. Back in the 1970s, the company enraged millions by aggressively encouraging women there and in other poor areas to use formula for their children instead of breast milk even though the latter had been proven to be cheaper and healthier. That led to testifying before Congress and the World Health Organization as well as a worldwide boycott of the company’s products.

These days, though, Nestle is bolstering its name in Kenya by sponsoring the country’s primary-school soccer leagues with its Milo brand chocolate drink, AllAfrica.com reports, which will benefit 1,400 boys and girls. "Kenya is endowed with talent judging from the standards of this year's games,” said the company's country manager, Svetlana Obruchkova, according to the site. “This is the reason why we want to introduce football leagues at primary level.”Continue reading...

checking in

Amidst an Industry Boom, Hotel Brands Cash In on New Markets

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 21, 2013 07:27 PM

The world’s financial situation isn’t exactly peachy keen just yet, but the global population appears to be up for traveling. Both luxury and budget brand hotels are popping up across the world.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts, which came in at the top of its category in the recent 2013 Harris Poll EquiTrend, “expects to have enough cash in the next three years to add another global luxury brand bringing their total to ten.” 

Mitzi Gaskins, VP/global brand manager for JW Marriott, noted that the “luxury space is growing a lot” and is “anticipating 50 percent growth over the next four to five years with 79 JW hotels up and running by 2015.” Less than half of the 30 or more hotels that the brand has in the pipeline are in the United States. Gaskins told Fortune that the luxury markets that are growing fastest are “top tier destinations and gateway cities,” noting that the JW brand was opening soon in Cabo, Turks & Caicos, Macao and Hanoi, and had “just launched” in Venice.Continue reading...

brand ambassadors

'Blade Runner' Sponsors Nike, BT Shocked, but Sticking with Oscar Pistorius, For Now

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 15, 2013 01:53 PM

Oscar Pistorius was a man once known for being the fastest double-leg amputee on the planet. Now that the so-called Blade Runner has been charged with murder for the shooting death of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp early Valentine’s Day morning, his sponsors, who pay out about $2 million to Pistorius annually, are moving just as quickly as Pistorius to figure out how to deal with the sudden PR nightmare.

Nike’s attachment to Pistorius was compounded by the fact that an ad featuring the Olympian used the tagline, “I’m the bullet in the chamber.” It was pulled from Pistorius’s website on Thursday, Ad Age reports. The victim's tweets before her murder also created a social media nightmare for anyone or any company attached to the paralympic athlete.

"Nike extends its deepest sympathy and condolences to all families concerned following this tragic incident," his sponsor said in a statement. "As it is a police matter, Nike will not comment further at this time." Two other sponsors, Oakley and BP Global, both used the word “shocked” in their statements on the issue. Thierry Mugler fragrances had nothing to say other than it was waiting to see what happens with the investigation.

British Telecom, better known as BT, also went the “appalled” route with its statement: "Our thoughts are with all those affected by this tragedy. Given the ongoing legal proceedings, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further."Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

P&G Opens Singapore Water-Purification Plant to "Save One Life Every Hour"

Posted by Dale Buss on November 30, 2012 12:25 PM

Earlier this year, Procter & Gamble moved the global headquarters of its beauty and baby-care business and the Pampers brand to Singapore from corporate headquarters in Cincinnati. Now, the CPG giant wants to make Singapore its worldwide capital for manufacturing of water-purification products.

In fact, P&G has just announced a lofty goal for the Purifier of Water plant that it is scaling up in Singapore: to cleanse enough drinking water to "save one life every hour by 2020" somewhere on the planet. The powder is a mini water purification plant in a packet. The small packets, when stirred into water, causes heavy metals, dirt and parasites to bind together then fall to the bottom of the container. Strained through a filter cloth and after 20 minutes, the water is drinkable.

P&G has been distributing these packets in more than 65 countries since 2004, attacking the global scarcity of potable water and raising awareness about the problem. Now it's increasing its investment in this commitment with its Singapore plant opening. "We've taken [P&G] innovation power and focused on one of our world's biggest challenges, clean drinking water, a lack of which takes the lives of thousands of children every day," stated P&G CEO Bob McDonald.Continue reading...

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