From the editor

Not what's next, but what's important (this week)

November 12, 2010
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A look at the brand marketing and design stores that caught our attention this week, with an eye on what's important, not just what's next:

FDA unveils graphic cigarette warning labels. The FDA unveiled 36 proposed designs to appear on cigarette packaging, following a new law that gives the agency the power to regulate cigarettes for the first time. Nine of the 36 designs will begin appearing on cigarette packaging next October. View all 36 designs.

Canada retains 'noisy' SunChips bag. Though the U.S. division of SunChips caved to consumer complaints about its noisy compostable packaging (pulling it from all but one flavor), SunChips Canada announced it will keep the packaging, offering free ear plugs to anyone who thinks the eco benefits don't outweigh the noise.

Store-within-a-store trend gains ground. We'll see FAO Schwarz boutiques within Toys 'R Us stores during the holidays, and JC Penney recently announced a store renovation plan to increase the number of Sephora outlets inside its walls. Up next: experiential locations like restaurants or event venues located within stores.

Brands must transform as "service" providers.
 From pill bottles that send SMS reminders to running shoes with technology to help you become a better runner, this Fast Company article asks, "How can brands known for physical products, not services, engage their customers like the service industry does?"

Amex's Project Re:Brand. AmEx helps small businesses rebrand by pairing them with small branding agencies, and showcases the results in a mini series format.

PepsiCo tests new business model in emerging markets. PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi is downplaying fun-for-you products (e.g., Pepsi drinks and Frito Lay chips) and focusing on good-for-you products (sold under Tropicana and Quaker) and piloting the new vision in emerging markets, where packaged food consumption is still low. Details here.

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