SOTB: Heroes and villains edition? ~ Brand Mix

Saturday, July 18, 2009

SOTB: Heroes and villains edition?

Who are the heroes, who are the villains in this topsy turvy world?

1) Wal-Mart’s Eco-Labels: the New Face of Capitalism, or Just Lipstick on a Pig? Big Think
One of the big stories of the week and a significant moment in the history of the sustainability movement came with Wal-Mart's announcement of its latest eco-initiative. It's launching a new program to determine the social and environmental impact of every item it puts on its shelves and let consumers know via a new labeling system. As this post from Andrew Seidler quotes it's: “one small move for Wal-Mart and one giant leap for Planet Earth” (and one almighty pain in the neck for its suppliers). Anyone who has been following Wal-Mart's green initiatives over the last few years will know that this is far from "lipstick on a pig." It's the real thing but it's still leaving some activists with a queezy feeling. Wasn't Wal-Mart supposed to the bad guy? Many other posts on this subject: (1, 2, 3, 4)

2) Robert Lutz and marketing malpractice: Grant McCracken
Grant launches an attack on Bob Lutz, newly unretired marketing head for newly non-bankrupt GM, for saying, among other things, that: "It's uncool to drive an import." As Grant points out what the consumer thinks is what matters and rather than call them "lemmings," Mr Lutz might be better served to figure out how to use good marketing, manufacture and design to start changing perceptions.

3) Once-Trendy Crocs Could Be on Their Last Legs: Washington Post
I wrote about fast-fading Crocs a few months ago but now it seems that the end may be in sight. Quoted in this Post article, investment fund manager, Damon Vickers says: "The company's toast. They're zombie-ish. They're dead and they don't know it." More specifically the company has until September to pay off a mountain of debt. Some people will be sad, perhaps more will be delighted.

4) China bans electric shock therapy for internet addicts: Daily Telegraph
In perhaps another eco-initiative, China has decided to outlaw electric shock therapy for internet addicted kids. No parents had actually complained even though some kids had suffered "painful burns."

5) We choose to go to the moon: JFK (via TED)

It's the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon "one small step for man..." This is President John F. Kennedy’s speech about the necessity of space exploration, given at Rice University in 1962 that set the vision and ambition that allowed that mission to take place seven years later. This week also saw the death of Walter Cronkite who led the CBS coverage of the mission and the lunar landing.

6) Chipotle's Hot Spot: The Vulnerability of Authenticity: Andrea Learned
In what must win the title of unexpected distribution deal of the week, the Chipotle restaurant chain just announced that it will sponsor free screenings of the newly released documentary film, Food Inc. For those who don't know, Food Inc. has a big beef with the food industry but Chipotle founder Steve Ellis believes that the more his consumers know about the facts, the more they will appreciate his company's efforts. Brave but maybe a little bit crazy too.

That's it! See you here on the blog or on Twitter (@martinjbishop) for more stories from the world of brand strategy.

1 comment:

Brand Strategy said...

I think Wal-Mart’s Eco-Labels

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