Household brands best trendsetting tech brands in new study

Clean, comfortable and low-tech brands beat out trendsetting technology brands in Landor’s 2013 Breakaway Brands study. The study uses data from Young & Rubicam Group’s proprietary BrandAsset Valuator (BAV) to rank which brands grew in strength over a three-year period.

“Venerable household brands topped this year’s list through excellence in classic marketing strategies that have powered winning brands for decades,” said Mich Bergesen, global director of financial services at global strategic brand consulting and design firm Landor, who led the research study. “They certainly included twenty-first–century tactics like digital and social in the execution, but it was smart, fundamental market strategy built on these brands’ core strengths that made the difference.”

Key elements that were responsible for helping brands sustain long-term growth include:

  • Insightful market research: At the top of Landor’s Breakaway Brands list, Quilted Northern began its road to success in 2008 when the brand launched its 3-ply Ultra Plush toilet paper in response to market research that showed that affluent women over 45 years of age were willing to pay more for cleanliness.  Its scores jumped more than 1000 percent between 2009 and 2012.
  • Smart innovation and product extensions. Breakaway Brands #2 ranked Jockey introduced its Staycool technology and the antimicrobial Jockey Sport line. Dixie (#7) expanded beyond paper cups to a super strong line of disposable products called Dixie Ultra. Febreze (#6) launched Febreze Sport and Febreze Sleep Serenity. While it was once just a burritos and taquitos line, Jose Ole (#8) now offers almost everything you’d find in a Mexican restaurant. The oldest brand on the list, Thomas’ (#9), known for its English muffin, now makes bagel thins and pitas. Lego (#10) targeted girls with its Lego Friends line. 
  • Demonstrating social responsibility. In the aftermath of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, Dawn (#3) used its soap to clean affected animals. This year, it used TV advertising and launched a series of YouTube videos about how Dawn is used in oil cleanup efforts that featured Rob Lowe’s narration and compelling footage of animals—winning over the hearts of more consumers.
  • Targeted engagement. Amazon’s (#4) Amazon Prime program delivers highly relevant and valuable perks to repeat customers. Jockey’s Twitter campaign encourages users to hashtag their workout updates with #everydayathlete.

Two of 2012’s top Breakaway Brands Apple and Keurig demoted to 2013’s “Watch List”

In addition to the 10 breakaway brands, Landor chose five brands for its 2013 “Watch List.”  Included are last year’s ranked Breakaway Brands Apple and Keurig, in addition to Reynolds Wrap, Microsoft Windows, and Ford Sync. The “Watch List” brands have shown exceptional brand strength in the past years, but now face uncertainty in the long-term.

The Apple iPhone remains the most desired smartphone in the market.  However, as new Android handsets continue to hit the market, it is unclear whether or not Apple’s consumers will remain loyal.  With the announcement of iOS 7 and the new iPhones, there is a chance Apple can correct its slowing iPhone ownership and global market share slide. 

With the expiration of K-Cup patents, Keurig’s leadership in the market is uncertain despite its strong partnerships with Green Mountain, Starbucks, and Dunkin’ Donuts. Its ability to survive amid a sea of me-too competitors will dictate the brand’s long-term potential.

About Landor’s Breakaway Brands study

First published in 2004, Landor’s annual Breakaway Brands® study provides a unique look at brands that have exhibited a sustained, quantifiable increase in brand strength over a three-year period.

Brand strength is determined using three years of consumer survey data from the BAV U.S. database. Landor analyzed data for approximately 2,500 brands across industries, based on interviews with more than 15,000 consumers annually, evaluating against 48 different measures of brand health. By comparing brand performance on key measures that drive consumer preference and choice—specifically, the brand’s differentiation (including its distinctiveness, innovation, and dynamism)—and the brand’s relevance (how appropriate it is to a consumer’s life), Landor identifies those brands that increased their scores most dramatically. When a brand grew significantly on both measures (an indication of true brand strength) and these numbers were sustained over the three-year period, they became candidates for the Breakaway Brands list.

Later, Landor partnered with students from Wake Forest University’s School of Business to conduct secondary research on key actions undertaken by brand owners to enhance performance and identify the strategies and initiatives employed to sustain brand growth over three years. The selected finalists are therefore not necessarily the biggest brands, but brands that proactively built brand strength most consistently over time.

Polling consumers in the United States on a quarterly basis for their perceptions of brands, BAV identifies and analyzes brand strength and trends based on four pillars of brand building: differentiation, relevance, esteem, and knowledge.

To date, BAV tracks brands in more than 51 countries, covers some 50,000 brands, has conducted interviews with more than 750,000 consumers, and includes dozens of brand metrics and attitudinal questions. BAV is part of Young & Rubicam Group, a partnership of companies that includes Landor.

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Plastics makers respond to potential restrictions to EPS products in NYC





Posted by Rick Lingle, Technical Editor — Packaging Digest, 2/18/2013 5:02:57 PM



ACC Logo 322News reports indicate that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg may propose restrictions on the use of polystyrene foam foodservice products in New York City, ostensibly as a way to increase recycling rates. American Chemistry Council (ACC) vice president of plastics Steve Russell issued the following statement:


“We would welcome the opportunity to explore polystyrene foam foodservice recycling with the City.
The technology exists to recycle polystyrene foam foodservice right now. California is making this work-22 percent of households there can recycle polystyrene foam foodservice cups, plates, bowls, clamshells and other containers at curbside (that’s more than eight million people). Similar programs don’t exist for other takeout foodservice.


“Many people mistakenly believe that paper cups and plates are being recycled-however, there is no significant commercial recycling of these products.


“Many people also mistakenly believe that paper cups and plates rapidly degrade in landfills. But modern landfills actually are designed to minimize the breakdown of waste, so contrary to popular public belief, most garbage does not readily biodegrade in them. Garbage essentially is entombed without the air, water and sunlight necessary to support the biological processes that help break down materials. Scientists have uncovered copies of National Geographic, legible newspapers and even whole carrots that have been buried in landfills for decades. Landfills are not compost piles.


“Polystyrene foam foodservice products make up less than one percent of our nation’s solid waste, according to EPA. They use significantly less energy and water to manufacture than paper alternatives and create significantly less waste by weight and comparable waste by volume.


“Polystyrene foam foodservice products are two to five times less expensive than alternatives, which saves the City’s agencies a significant amount of tax dollars.


“Polystyrene foam and other plastic foodservice products are affordable, convenient, sanitary and sturdy-they stand up to greasy chili, keep our hot drinks hot without scalding our hands and keep our food fresher and ready to eat. As more of us are eating and drinking far from home-at a daughter’s ball game, while driving to work, at church picnics, on the street corner-they help make possible the way we eat and live today.”


For more information on polystyrene foam foodservice products and recycling, visit:


Source: ACC








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Plastic versus Paper

Plastic versus Paper

In modern environmental thinking, plastic is often touted as greater evil than paper. Their deterioration periods are always mentioned to emphasize the destructive effects they have on nature and its inhabitants, mainly on us humans:


Comparison of deterioration periods:

orange peels – 6 mos

paper – 2 to 5 mos

plastic-coated milk carton – 5 yrs

plastic bag – 20 yrs

aluminum tin cans – 50  to 100 yrs

batteries – 100 yrs

glass bottles – 1,000,000 yrs

plastic soda bottles –   forever



Attention is also brought to the obvious shortcomings of plastic, of which 40% of all that are manufactured is used for packaging:

produces chlorofluorocarbon (CFC = ozone destroyer)

produces chemical waste

takes landfill space

is non-biodegradable

kills marine life

clogs sewer pipes, leading to stagnant, standing water and associated health hazards.


It is estimated that somewhere between 500 billion and one trillion plastic bags are consumed throughout the world each year.



On the other hand, paper manufacture is not without its disadvantages.


Compared to plastic bag production, paper bag production creates

2 times more sulfur dioxide

3 times more carbon monoxide

6 times more dust

50 times more waste


To cite a specific example, production of plastic cups is more efficient and cleaner than the production of paper cups.

On per ton basis:     650,000   pcs  plastic cups

uses   5,000   kgs.  steam

uses   1,800   kwh  electricity

On the other hand:  100,000   pcs. paper cups

uses 10,000   kgs.  steam

uses   6,400   kwh  electricity


Comparison of the energy needed to produce an original bag

plastic bag: 594 BTUs   vs.   paper bag: 2511 BTU’s


Comparison of the energy needed to recycle a bag once

plastic bag: 17 BTUs     vs.   paper bag  1444 BTU’s


Likewise, it would take approximately seven trucks to transport the same number of paper bags as can be transported by a single truck full of plastic bags, because these are so thin and lightweight.


As a final argument, when disposed off after use, plastics generate 14 to 28 percent of the volume of trash in general, but because much of it can be compressed, only 9 to 12 percent of the volume of waste in landfills, or around 5 percent by weight.  Paper comprises 12 percent by weight of garbage dumps, and also decomposes very little in airless landfills, just the way plastics are non-biodegradable. Modern landfills are designed in such a way that nothing biodegrades, because the waste is isolated from air and water in order to prevent groundwater contamination and air pollution.


Some countries have already resorted to extreme measures in efforts to contravene the plastics onslaught. Bangladesh banned plastic bags after drains blocked by bags contributed to widespread monsoon flooding. Ireland decreased plastic bag consumption by placing a consumer tax on plastic bags. Perhaps the most strict plastic bag regulation was implemented in the Indian province of Himachal Pradesh, where people caught with plastic bags are fined 00.


In the end, most everyone can help reduce the amount of both materials, plastic and paper, by:

investing in high-quality reusable bags to eliminate the equivalent average of 1,000 bags

reusing bags that are in the house for a myriad of other purposes or intention

keeping them always ready for use in the car, office, home, or person

not asking for them when it is really not so necessary



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Plastic lasts foerver. It never biodegrades. Yet we use it to make disposable objects that we discard after a short period of time, sometimes just minutes, or a few hours. Take action. Bring your own bags and cups. Avoid plastic bottles. Demand laws banning or taxing plastic bags and other disposables. Time to act is now!
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Green From the Inside Out

Green From the Inside Out

No matter the product or industry, everyone can benefit from a green office.  Operating a green business is not only good for the environment but good for a business’s bottom line.  Big and small, there are simple things you can do to run an environmentally friendly business.

It is important to be committed to incorporating eco-friendly best practices wherever possible to prevent waste, reduce overhead costs and increase awareness of living an eco-friendly lifestyle.   Here are a few easy-to-implement ideas that can help you be a little “greener”:

– Paper and plastics are recycled on a weekly basis.  Products do not need to be separated (except for food waste) since the recycling teams sort and separate by plastic, glass, etc.
– Paper products such as un-needed fax cover sheets should be recycled to provide memo pads and scratch sheets for staff.
– All computers have been upgraded in the last two years to energy efficient models.
– Where possible, buy office products that are eco-friendly [i.e. cleaning products, paper, etc.].
– Only eco-friendly cleaning products are used in the office by staff and cleaning crews.
– Before new furniture is purchased, company-wide audit is done to see if pieces from other offices can be used instead.
– Office lights are on dimmers to reduce electrical costs and sustain bulb life.
– When possible, offices will rely on the cool breeze of spring and fall [all year-round in LA!] instead of running the air conditioner. 
– Employees will use a personal water bottle and coffee cup in order to save on the number of wasted paper cups. 
– When possible and with the approval of the Client, leftover merchandise, packaged foods and unopened beverages should be donated to local charities and/or or a charity of the Client’s choice.
– All paper used in Xerox and fax machine are the maximum available recycled content.
– Project materials and décor are made from sustainable components, when appropriate and with the Client’s consent.
– Encourages Clients to make carbon offset contributions based on final project execution plan; calculation based on event freight, air/automotive travel and trucking needs.

A Squared Group ( is a leading green marketing agency known for producing innovative, consumer marketing experiences. A2G’s award-winning work includes the development and execution of prestigious campaigns for clients such as Gap, Motorola, Nintendo, method and The ONE Campaign. In addition to receiving numerous industry accolades, A2G was awarded the 2007 Pro Awards Campaign of the Year for the Gap Product RED launch.

A Squared Group is headquartered in West Hollywood, California with satellite offices in New York and Chicago.

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