retail

Gap Plans Tumblr Takeover as Part of Greater Omnichannel Retail Strategy

Posted by Barry Silverstein on August 14, 2013 02:22 PM

Gap is launching the biggest marketing campaign in its history—dubbed "Back to Blue"—this fall with a global media push that includes the brand's return to TV after a hiatus since 2009, as well as print and outdoor advertising, social media, in-store promotions and digital marketing. In fact, Gap will be the first brand to take over all mobile ads on Tumblr for one day, August 29.

"Pop culture doesn't really start on TV anymore," Rachel Tipograph, Gap's global director of digital and social media, told Mashable. "Pop culture starts on the Internet. When you think about what community is creating pop culture on the Internet, it's Tumblr."

The Tumblr campaign includes a content creation contest, where the winning work will earn a spot on Gap's Tumblr and be turned into Tumblr mobile ads. There are also nearly 10 "Back to Blue Moments" videos on its YouTube page. 

The impetus for "Back to Blue" is two-fold, according to Seth Farbman, Global Chief Marketing Officer for Gap.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: JCPenney, Dole Foods, Lincoln and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 13, 2013 09:34 AM

In the News

JCPenney sees divisive director and largest shareholder Bill Ackman resign from board as George Soros backs CEO.

Dole Food agrees to $1.2-billion buyout.

Lincoln tutors car dealers on how to sell luxury to younger generation.

AOL firing of Patch executive gets messy.

BlackBerry ponders sale to Canadian institutions.

Chipotle and Jack in the Box settle trademark lawsuit.

Corona sponsors Marc Anthony tour.

eBay trials personalized fashion recommendations. 

Facebook adds tie-in with OpenTable restaurant bookings. 

Gap woos Gen Y with denim campaign.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Lululemon Has No Interest in Plus-Size Consumers, Insiders Say

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 1, 2013 03:47 PM

Lululemon Athletica is becoming quite the newsmaker. Since the yoga apparel brand made headlines back in March after pulling its proprietary 'luon' yoga pants off shelves due to "sheerness," the company can't seem to stay out of the limelight.

After ousting its chief product officer, losing its CEO and being berated by disappointed customers, the brand is now under fire again for an offense that has become a common topic among today's clothing giants. In an article by The Huffington Post, former Lululemon employees accused the brand of purposely shunning plus-size customers, relegating larger-sized apparel to a "heap" in the backs of stores.

While most of the merchandise was displayed "out on the floor, hung on the walls, or folded neatly in cabinets," larger sizes, such as 10s and 12s, were not stocked on those same shelves, and were rarely offered in the latest styles and prints. "All the other merchandise in the store was kind of sacred, but these were thrown in a heap," former employee Elizabeth Licorish told HuffPost. "It was definitely discriminatory to those who wear larger sizes."Continue reading...

china

The Week in China: Chatting with the CEO of 'China's Foursquare,' China's Insatiable Auto Market and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 12, 2013 01:47 PM

At top: Ok, it's not China but it is great. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's political party woos support by launching "a smartphone app called Abe Pyon, which roughly translates as Jumping Abe."

China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.

This week: An interview with "China's Foursquare" Jiepang about "Jiepang 5.0"… Lacing auto sales add-ons… banned lingerie ads… Bruce Lee for scotch… Foxconn for "iPhone 6"… McDonald's gives away Kleenex… Asiana post-crash PR… Australia's "Chinese theme park"… Xiaomi leaks… China spoofs Jay-Z again... and more.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Walmart-Backed Alliance Vows to Fix Bangladesh, but Critics Fear Lack of Liability

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 10, 2013 04:12 PM

An alliance of 17 North American brands led by Walmart, Gap and Target has unveiled the details of its independent Bangladesh Worker Safety Initiative—a five-year pact that aims to improve conditions at Bangladesh garment factories and establish more viable worker communications. 

The plan is the counter to the ILO-supported Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, which is supported by over 70 brands, the majority of which are European. Led by two of the world's largest retailers, Inditex, owner of Zara, and H&M, the Accord includes plans for coordinated building inspections, and a broad network of support and accountability including factory owners, trade unions, government officials and brand leaders.

The apparent divide has been debated since the Rana Plaza factory building collapsed in April, killing 1,129 people. Now, with both documents in hand, it seems the only major difference is accountability—the same factor that drove Walmart, Gap and others to walk away from the legally-binding Accord.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Retail and Apparel Brands Move Forward With Separate Bangladesh Safety Pacts

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 8, 2013 06:38 PM

A mostly European coalition of 70 leading clothing brands, retailers and trade unions backed by the International Labor Organization and the IndustriALL and UNI global trade unions has announced the next steps for their precendent-setting, five-year Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.

In a joint statement, EU Commissioner Karel de Gucht, ILO Director General Guy Ryder, and Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Dupi Moni "welcome(d) the fact that over 70 major fashion and retail brands sourcing RMG from Bangladesh have signed an Accord on Fire and Building Safety to coordinate their efforts to help improve safety in Bangladesh’s factories which supply them. In this context, they encourage other companies, including SMEs, to join the Accord expeditiously within their respective capacities.”

Their remarks were targeted at the brands that are holdouts from the European-dominated IndustriALL coalition. Indeed, only a handful of North American brands have signed the global accord, including PVH (owner of Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and other apparel brands), Abercrombie & Fitch, Zac Posen and Sean John, as well as Canada's Loblaw, which owns the Joe Fresh fashion label now sold in JCPenney stores across America.

By signing the finalized plan, which was released on Monday, the signatories vow to submit a list of names and addresses of all Bangladeshi factories used by July 15. The list, which is expected to total near 1,000 factories, will be made public along with inspection reports.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Are Retailers Really Willing to Invest in Reform of Bangladesh Garment Industry?

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 3, 2013 07:12 PM

Last week, the Obama administration revoked special trade status for Bangladesh in what is a growing tidal wave of international pressure for quicker and better implementation of garment factory safety standards following the Rana Plaza disaster that claimed more than 1,100 lives.

The turmoil over who is responsible for safety and inspection continues unabated, with countries, brands and governments often at odds over the best way forward.

“Inspecting Bangladesh’s garment factories is an acutely complicated task," notes The New York Times. “No government agency is certain of precisely how many such factories operate in Bangladesh, or where they are. Some inspectors are discovering that building plans filed with government agencies do not always match the actual buildings. Many factories built during the 1980s and 1990s have no architectural drawings at all.”Continue reading...

US Suspends Trade Privileges with Bangladesh, Pressuring Factories, Brands to Comply with Safety Standards

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 27, 2013 05:38 PM

On Thursday, the Obama Administration announced that it would be suspending trade privileges extended to Bangladesh as a result of the country's neglect of worker's rights. 

"I have determined that it is appropriate to suspend Bangladesh's designation… because it is not taking steps to afford internationally recognized worker rights to workers in the country," President Obama wrote in a message to Congress. The decision, regarded widely as a stern warning to the nation, will effectively end special tax breaks on exports to the US that are meant to help developing economies. 

The decision was partially motivated by April's Rana Plaza building collapse, which killed over 1,100 garment factory workers as well as the Tazreen factory fire in late 2012 that killed over 100 workers.Continue reading...

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