Archive for April, 2011

Nowadays, the word “social” is everywhere in our lives from social shopping to social media. It should be taken granted that many brands are implementing different strategies to get a share of this ever-improving trend.

Within this line, PepsiCo has just announced the launch of its Social Vending System, in other words, a state-of-art networked unit. It features full touch screen interactive vending technology which allows consumers to better connect with PepsiCo brands right at the point of purchase. A prototype of the Social Vending System is coming on the scene at  the National Automatic Merchandising Association’s One Show held in Chicago, April 27-29.

Since PepsiCo’s Social Vending System uses digital technology, any user can easily gift a friend by selecting a beverage and entering the recipient’s name, mobile number and a personalized text message. Moreover, it is also possible to personalize the gift thanks to a short video recorded right at the machine. In order to redeem the gift at any PepsiCo Social Vending system, the gift is delivered with a system code and instructions. When the recipient redeems their gift, they’re given the option of either thanking the original sender with a gift of their own or paying it forward and gifting a beverage to another friend.

Thanks to PepsiCo’s innovative use of telemetry with the Social Vending System, operators can closely manage inventory levels and delivery scheduling remotely. There is another operational benefit in that operators can easily update digital content online by changing messaging and media content as needed.

Furthermore, Social Vending allows ‘Random Acts of Refreshment’—the ability to buy a drink for a complete stranger through any other Social Vending system. For example, a consumer can send a symbol of encouragement to a city that’s experienced some challenging weather, or a congratulatory beverage to a university that just won a championship.  The platform holds potential to extend all PepsiCo’s digital and social programs, including Doritos ‘Crash the Super Bowl’ Takeover, Pepsi Refresh Project and DEWmocracy, beyond consumers’ own devices all the way to the point of purchase.

Our approach to technology innovation is driven by what we know consumers want. We’re working with some of the best minds in the business to develop equipment that provides customization, personalization and choice,” said Christine Sisler, VP, Equipment Innovation, PepsiCo. “Our Social Vending System delivers on those insights and more—it’s also visually engaging, fast, intuitive and satisfying to use. Further development of the Social Vending System platform is underway, and PepsiCo anticipates testing the concept with key strategic partners later this year.”

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I am sure that most of us are using Google map to find a location not only in a different country but also in the same city. Although Google map seems doing jolly well, we need more and more as the day goes on. However, this is not a big problem for Google hitching its wagon to a star to respond our never-ending needs.

Google has just launched Map Maker function in U.S. and the feature is available in 183 countries so far. Thanks to this feature, users can edit easily Google Maps by providing more information on their local area. The underlying aim of this function is very obvious: to facilitate the orientation, finding routes, specific business enterprises and just places of interest which are generally included in traditional maps.   A user must be signed in his/her Google account during the editing process in which he/she can mark a place or a route and then submit the edits for further review and approval. Other local Google Maps users or those authorized evaluate the edit. Since the innovation is created for the good of the community, providing your personal data to Google Maps (for instance, specifying ‘your girlfriend or boyfriend’s house) is not allowed.

What is more, Street View and advanced search features has been integrated to Google Maps. So it is possible to search for any places you want to visit for shopping, entertainment, education in the area you choose.

Since the launch of this function overseas, it has proved a great success. Users took over the initiative and created very detailed maps of their local areas.

“When we launched in Romania, it was blank. Every road, every building was created by users.” said Map Maker tech lead Lalitesh Katragadda in an interview to washingtonpost.com.

To learn more about the feature, please visit mapmaker.google.com.

Have you ever heard the voice of the baby inside? Have you ever thumped out while the baby inside is dancing? Or you haven’t discovered the baby inside? From now on, it’s not a big deal because Evian, a well-known pure water brand, makes you give an ear to the baby inside.

Evian and BETC Euro RSCG are going forward with their popular campaign, namely,  Live Young by launching a new interactive promotion today, April 19. The campaign includes the hilarious Evian Roller Baby video, which has become the most popular clip online. What is more, the brand is spurring its consumers from all around the world on taking part in its longest music video ever.

The brand also released a new film produced by Legs from the famous MILK Studios in New York in order to promote the activity. In the stop-motion clip, a lot of ordinary people of all ages, selected through a street casting, come on the scene by embodying the young spirit and energy. They appear one by one in T-shirts featuring babies in different poses— since models change one another fast to the version of ‘Wordy Rappinghood’ by Tom Tom Club remixed by DJ Mehdi with Uffie featured, it seems that the babies are dancing to the music.

People who didn’t have an opportunity to get into the promotional clip stil have a chance to take part in “the longest music video ever”. To become a part of the project, users all around the world can visit the dedicated website on their computer of iPhone, turn on a web camera, choose one of the three baby bodies to be featured under their head and show some simple moves. So far, the user-generated footage is 6 minutes and 35 seconds long and counting.

Nowadays we see that many global brands resort to the use of repositioning as a way of marketing strategy to increase their sales that do not measure up to brand recognition. Although brand recognition seems to facilitate the amount of sales due to high exposure to brand, familiarity created and general acceptance of this brand, most of the time its sales simply fall short of the mark and do not measure up to its recognition. At this point, re-positioning brand comes on the scene to raise awareness that has faded away.

After all,  let’s come to the main topic about brand repositioning of Carlsberg, a world-renowned beer manufacturer. Carlsberg announced in April 5 that it was ready to start brand re-positioning in pursuit of its aim to double its profits by 2015. Since it also aims to become the fastest growing global beer producer, the company apparently is not content with its current global expansion. Carlsberg’s green logo is recognized worldwide, but its sales do not match its brand presence, the company’s CEO, Joergen Buhl Rasmussen, said in a press statement on Tuesday.

In addition to enhancing the recognition, Carlsberg tries to boost sales and increase market share on the beer market overcrowded with brands by polishing, re-working and renewing every single element of its brand identity. First of all, it repositions itself by targeting young adults—a bold and energetic audience who are not afraid of taking risks and feel courageous in the face of future. However, the brand still conserves its rich history and pays tribute to its heritage.

The company invests heavily in a new visual identity with a new range of packaging for Carlsberg beer in over 140 markets, and slogan as well as widening distribution channels. Given the success of Carlsberg ‘Profile’ bottle, the brand offers an embossed bottle as a key packaging for the drink.

The latest campaign features a new tagline, which says “That calls for a Carlsberg”. With this phrase, the brand’s redefined proposition encourages consumers to step up and do the right thing and afterwards reward themselves with a bottle of Carlsberg for their efforts.

Carlsberg has focused on innovation for the new campaign and beer experts behind Carlsberg have introduced new strain of barley, Null-LOX. As a result of this innovation, the beer can stay fresh for a longer time as well as better foaming characteristics.

With this fresh touch to its visual identity, the new identity is based on four design principles: it is bold, authentic, modern and approachable. As far as the core element of the logo is concerned, the Danish royal crown has remained but become more simple and distinctive. The dominant green which has been used since 1904,  has become brighter, while gold has been replaced by a more sophisticated blend of gold and silver. Furthermore, three new elements— the Brewer’s Star, the Hop Leaf and the inclusion of ‘Copenhagen 1847’— have been added to Carlsberg’s logo to commemorate where and when Carlsberg was first brewed.

Carlsberg believes that these changes to both the brand proposition and the visual identity will help to make the brand more consistent, appealing and distinctive to its consumers in both its established and newer markets.

“Few beer brands have a logo that’s strong and distinctive enough to live independently. Most beer brands have to rely on embellishment and decoration, but the Carlsberg logo can boldly stand on its own and it still looks as fresh and modern as if it were designed yesterday. The Art Nouveau-style Carlsberg logo was designed by top Danish designer Thorvald Bindesbøll in 1904 and has lasted more than 100 years and will likely last the next 100 years.” said Khalil Younes, Senior Vice President of Global, Sales, Marketing and Innovation

Rasmussen also said this global launch is the company’s way of getting its story out there to both its mature markets and its newer markets.“Although international recognition is good, it is not enough. We are investing significantly in the Carlsberg brand, widening our distribution channels and making every effort to get closer to our customers and consumers, “ he added.

The brand will not only sell the product through an enhanced network of distribution channels but also roll out this new positioning across a wide variety of multimedia and marketing channels including printed, online ads, TV spots and point-of-sale advertising materials. In addition to a new television advertising campaign, Carlsberg plans to introduce a new musical score in order to raise brand recognition and reinforce repositioning.

Surely, Interbrand is one of the leading brand consultancy with its authors of the annual Best Global Brands ranking of the top 100 world’s most valuable brands. Interbrand seems to focus on the global retail sector with its latest category rankings with Wal-Mart leading the way.

2011 Best Retail Brands ranks the top 50 U.S. retail brands by brand value, as well as the top retail brands from Asia Pacific, Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, and Spain. In collaboration with Interbrand Design Forum, the retail experience group within Interbrand, the U.S. brands are valued for the third time.

It should be taken granted that Walmart is the most valuable retail brand for the third consecutive year in the U.S, not least as it attracts 180m American customers, from 80% of residences, each year. “Some of the pricing and merchandising issues in Wal-Mart US ran deeper than we initially expected, and they require response that will take time to see results,” Mike Duke, Wal-Mart’s ceo, said recently. He added “Price leadership is critical to our success … This is what Wal-Mart was built on.” Similarly, retailers like Woolworths, Shoppers Drug Mart, Tesco, Carrefour, ALDI and Zara are ranked as the number one in their respective markets.

According to the findings, U.S.  retailers are making great strides in recovery as the U.S. was first suffered from the economic downturn in 2008. It is truism to say that retailers across Europe are in straits since it is difficult for them to generate value from cash-strapped consumers. On the other hand, Asian retailers seem to have both opportunities and challenges due to expanding of consumers’ preferences.

“Consumer confidence has been returning, yet people have been fundamentally changed by the recession, with markets opening up and rapid advances in technology that influence how and where people shop. For retailers, this means having to create new, exciting opportunities to truly connect with more skeptical and esavvier customers,” said Jez Frampton, Global Chief Executive of Interbrand.

Apparently, the most prominent global retail trends such as digital growth, human presence and global expansion gain acceptance across the sector. With digital growth, consumers have a chance of more seamless retail experience. Brands are increasingly aligning R&D with innovation in line with customer’s feedback and thus extending their brand to sleek iPad apps as well as interactive micro-sites.

If we consider another trend, namely, human presence, it is possible to see tha fact that brands with genuine character, definite core values, and a concern for community seems to profit the most. Corporate citizenship practices not only are becoming more common but also hold the promise of becoming differentiating factors in the decision-making process.

Moreover, global expansion is becoming a rule since retail brands regard their competition as both local and global. While many retailers are establishing an international presence, multichannel initiatives come into prominence as a way of developing segmented markets.

In its report, Interbrand shares its global insights into the trends set by the retailers in a number of countries. For instance, according to the report, brand-led companies in the United States prove resilient, responding rapidly to the downturn while taking advantage of its opportunities. Experts predict that Canadian brands will soon have to leverage their national heritage in order to compete with US entrants into the Canadian market.

In France, the trend of smaller multichannel shops is gaining power as these shops use the multichannel experience to foster long-term customer engagement. Interbrand expert advises German retailers to adandon their ‘Cheap is cool’ strategy and switch to “sound corporate citizenship and smaller shop concepts”. Speaking of Spain, Interbrand speaks favorably of such fashion brands as Mango and Zara that combine excellent local adaptation with global expansion, which might be used as a recipe for the brand success in the modern-day world. Furthermore, Interbrand adds that the brands in Asia Pacific are still going through the stage of the new value perception in after-crisis Asia as consumers are becoming “smarter, savvier, and more demanding”.

The Top 10 Most Valuable U.S. Retail Brands 2011 include:

1. Walmart (142,030 $m)

2. Target (3,301 $m)

3. The Home Depot (20,315 $m)

4. Best Buy (18,823 $m)

5. CVS (16, 561 $m)

6. Walgreens (14,443 $m)

7. Sam’s Club (12,400 $m)

8. Coach (11,588 $m)

9. Amazon.com (9,665 $m)

10.   Dell (8,880 $m)

To view top 50, please follow this link.

For the full version of the report, please visit Interbrand’s website