MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Walgreens named Best Integrated Mobile Experience in Webby Awards

BY Dan Berthiaume

Deerfield, Ill. — Walgreens has been named the Best Integrated Mobile Experience for its Paperless Coupons program in the 18th Annual Webby Awards, which are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS).

“Our customers live in a digital world and providing them with relevant rewards and savings such as Paperless Coupons is an example of how we make the shopping experience even more convenient,” said Rich Lesperance, Walgreens senior director of Personalization and CRM. “We are always looking for ways to provide a top-notch customer experience, whether that’s through a mobile device, online or in-store.”

Walgreens Paperless Coupons allow consumers to easily clip digital coupons to the drugstore chain’s Balance Rewards card.

"Walgreens Paperless Coupons offering has set the standard for innovation and creativity on the Internet," said David-Michel Davies, executive director of The Webby Awards. "This award is a testament to the skill, ingenuity, and vision of its creators."

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

PayPal launches global branding campaign, new logo

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Jose – PayPal is rebranding itself in an effort designed to create a cohesive look and feel across the brand. The program includes a new logo and an omni-channel campaign called “powering the people economy.”

“Our new brand identity goes far beyond an updated logo,” said David Marcus Marcus, PayPal’s president. “We have aligned this with our first global brand campaign. We’re setting a new expectation with our global consumers, developers and merchants: PayPal is redefining the future of money by putting people first. After all, money doesn’t make the world go round, people do.”
PayPay’s new logo is simple but vibrant, designed to suit mobile phones and wearable devices.

“PayPal is an iconic brand with equity well beyond its logo treatment,” said Yves Behar, founder and CEO, fuseproject, which developed the logo. “PayPal is innovative and dynamic, and people interact with it as they do with a consumer-focused brand. The new logo reflects the notion of a pioneer, and will prepare PayPal to lead the industry as the intuitive way to transact on all devices in a non-techy fashion.”

The new identity will be applied globally, online and to all of PayPal’s core applications, including checkout buttons, apps, PayPal Here devices, marketing materials and sales collateral. It also will appear in PayPal’s new global branding campaign, which includes the company’s first-ever television ads in the United States, along with spots in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Australia. The campaign will last throughout the summer and into fall 2014.

“Rather than describe simple benefits, we focused on the perspective of what does PayPal do for people as a whole – how the brand is challenging and changing the status quo. Powering The People Economy came as a natural extension of that thought,” said Matt Weiss, global chief marketing officer for Havas Worldwide.

The campaign will be arranged in chapters, with each chapter concluding with a prompt to either download the PayPal app or sign up for free.

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FINANCE

Restaurant sales, traffic and capital spending on the rise

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. — Driven by stronger same-store sales and customer traffic and a more optimistic outlook among restaurant operators, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index ‘s rose to a 10-month high in March. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 101.4 in March, up 0.9 percent from February’s level of 100.5.

In addition, the RPI remained above 100 for the 13th consecutive month, which signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators.

"The solid March increase in the RPI was fueled by stronger sales and traffic levels, which bounced back from the weather-challenged results in recent months," said Hudson Riehle, senior VP of the research and knowledge group for the Association. "Looking forward, restaurant operators are increasingly optimistic about sales gains, and a majority plan to make capital expenditure in the next six months."

For the first time in four months, a majority of restaurant operators reported higher same-store sales. Fifty-five percent of restaurant operators reported a same-store sales gain between March 2013 and March 2014, up from 44% who reported higher sales in February.

Restaurant operators also reported stronger customer traffic levels in March. Forty-six percent of restaurant operators reported higher customer traffic levels between March 2013 and March 2014, up from 35% who reported a traffic gain in February. Meanwhile, 33% of operators reported a decline in customer traffic in March, down from 43% in February.

Along with stronger sales and customer traffic results, restaurant operators reported an uptick in capital spending activity. Forty-nine percent of operators said they made a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling during the last three months, up from 44% who reported similarly last month.

For the seventh consecutive month, a majority of restaurant operators are planning for capital expenditures in the near future. Fifty-eight percent of restaurant operators plan to make a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling in the next six months, matching the proportion who reported similarly last month.

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