retail

Aeropostale Crops Its Brand to Reveal Younger, Fresher AERO

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 4, 2014 01:46 PM

Aeropostale is just the latest former cool kids brand to give itself a facelift in light of increasing competition from fast fashion brands including Forever 21, H&M and Uniqlo. 

The clothing retailer has launched Aero Now with a campaign that shows off the brand's new visual and verbal identity in stores, with AERO now its name on its stores, on its website (even if the URL aero.com is already claimed) and across mobile and social media (as Mobile Commerce Daily noted) that's timed to this week's back-to-school push across North American retail.

Its new positioning is summarized in the tagline, "You've changed, so we've changed" — which hints at the major restructuring underway at the brand.Continue reading...

sporting brands

New Kit on the Block: Nike Cuts Manchester United Ties [Updated]

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 8, 2014 02:08 PM

Soccer is the one category where Adidas has a significant market-share lead over archrival Nike and the latter would love to change that. For evidence, take a gander at how much Nike has invested in World Cup-related marketing.

As much as Nike would like to conquer the one last silo Adidas has, it apparently isn’t ready to open its wallets completely in order to continue being associated with the biggest-name football club in the world: Manchester United.

Nike’s 13-year deal to supply uniforms for the team ends next year and the pair have been in talks about an extension. Nike currently pays out around $40 million annually along with a percentage of merchandise sales to ManU, Bloomberg reports. Now the team is said to want $102.8 million each year—an amount that Adidas may be willing to pay—as Nike confirmed today that it will no longer sponsor the storied team.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Walmart Boosts Women-Owned Brands With Major Retail Push

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 3, 2014 05:36 PM

The world's biggest retailer is betting on women entrepreneurs in a big way. Starting in September, Walmart will carry a range of items by women, but not just for women, in its stores.

From lingerie to bathroom cleansers, Walmart shoppers will soon be able to spot and buy products made by female entrepreneurs thanks to a “women-owned” logo that resembles a ring of women with their arms around each other.

“Women perceive there’s a higher quality to a woman–owned product, that there's a real value in it,” commented Pamela Prince-Eason, President and CEO of Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), which certifies women-owned businesses seeking US federal contracts.

As part of its bigger Empowering Women Together commitment, Walmart's goal by 2016 is to source 20 billion dollars worth of products from women-owned businesses. Already promoting women-owned brands on its website, the women-owned logo will now accompany these products into its stores.Continue reading...

trademark wars

BP Hopes to Prevail in Green Trademark Claim in Australia

Posted by Jerome McDonnell on July 3, 2014 12:56 PM

After more than 20 years of trying, BP has failed to convince the Australian government that its signature shade of green should be granted a trademark registration.

IP Australia, which administers that country’s intellectual property rights system, ruled on June 17 that it found no convincing evidence to support the petroleum giant’s efforts to protect the color shade Pantone 348C—despite the fact that the color has been central to the BP brand since the 1930s. While the company has the right (until July 17) to appeal, this decision is yet another setback for BP, which has successfully secured trademark registrations for the single color in markets including the UK, France, Iran and nearby New Zealand.

Australian retailer Woolworths, whose apple logo also utilizes the color green, had previously opposed BP’s attempts to register the color, and while some media reports have positioned this development as a huge victory for Woolworths, this latest update focuses on less the a war between two corporations but on whether the color, as BP seeks to protect it, actually functions as a trademark and warrants protection.Continue reading...

diversity watch

Burger King Courts LGBT Community and Millennials With Proud Whopper

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 2, 2014 12:21 PM

Pride Month may have just come to a close, but Burger King is looking to make it last a bit longer with the showcasing of its Proud Whopper, a burger sold in a San Francisco location during last week’s Gay Pride festivities that is no different from other Whoppers but came encased in brightly-colored paper.

When the burger was unwrapped, the text inside read, “We are all the same inside.” The brand unveiled a video today about the burger (watch below) as the chain is working “to connect with customers, particularly with the younger individuals fast-food chains are known for courting,” the Associated Press reports.

"A burger has never made me cry before," a young woman says in BK's pride burger spot. Reaching consumers on a personal level was also the rationale behind the brand’s recent replacement of its longtime “Have It Your Way” slogan with “Be Your Way.”Continue reading...

sporting brands

Change the Mascot Hails Cancellation of Washington Redskins Trademarks

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 18, 2014 11:56 AM

The fight against the Washington Redskins mascot just got a whole lot more interesting.

Today, the US Patent and Trademark Office cancelled the organization's trademarks related to its team mascot after the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) ruled that the marks were "disparaging" to Native Americans. 

While the trademarks are no longer viable, the team can continue to use them—though with no protection from unauthorized merchants that sell Redskins gear, a stipulation that could drive the team's valuation down over time.

The action was the result of a lawsuit against the team filed by “five Native Americans” eight years ago, the USPTO said. “This victory was a long time coming and reflects the hard work of many attorneys at our firm,” lead attorney Jesse Witten, of Drinker Biddle & Reath, told the Washington Post.Continue reading...

design watch

Logo Watch: Random Thoughts on Building a House For a Penguin

Posted by Matt van Leeuwen on June 14, 2014 01:42 PM

Finally, Penguin and Random House have a new corporate identity. For months there was speculation over what the merger would bring. 

Logo mashups inevitably emerged, ranging from a penguin in the shape of a house (above, by Marco Leone) to a house filled with penguins (by Nickie Huang, below), while an interm logo was adopted in July of last year.

But for those hoping for a serious mashup, or a radical departure, stop the presses: The Penguin logo remains untouched, a missed opportunity to refresh a classic mark, the Coca-Cola of book logos.Continue reading...

end of an era

#DearMassimo: A Tribute to Timeless Elegance

Posted by Forest Young on May 29, 2014 10:41 AM

Flying over Omaha at 37,000 feet en route to a conference in Denver, I'm reflecting on the passing of the great Massimo Vignelli this week, and my favorite piece of Vignelli design. Coincidentally, it is a poster about Denver. Designed to promote Denver as a candidate city for the 1976 Winter Olympics, this artifact for me is a telling signature of the man that we are still mourning.

The poster expresses a simple and telegraphic logic, it is coldly precise, yet uplifting. Five rings, three rows, two columns, two colors, two rules, and Helvetica—in two sizes. Designed for a city that ultimately rejected the winter games awarded to it in 1972 amidst contested debates over infrastructure, funding and environmental impact, Vignelli's poster, in contrast, implies a cool order and uniformity that was his best intention for Denver. It is absent of indecision, friction or noise. The man and his design are inseparable.Continue reading...

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