Tag Archives: sustainability

10 Healthiest Brands in the U.S.

What makes a healthy brand? According to YouGov Brand Index, overall brand health takes into account “consumers’ perceptions of a brand’s quality, value, impression, satisfaction, reputation, and willingness to recommend the brand to others.”

Which brands are ranked the healthiest? There are few surprises in this year’s list. Here are the top brands across all categories:

      1. Band-Aid
      2. Amazon
      3. Google
      4. Craftsman
      5. Dawn
      6. YouTube
      7. Clorox
      8. M&M’s
      9. Lowe’s
      10. Quaker

The index also included ranks for various industries. For example, in airlines, Southwest ranked number one. Toyota topped the car category, and Dove topped the hair and skin care category.

Top brands with the best advertising awareness were also included. Leaders in this year’s list include Geico, McDonald’s, Verizon, AT&T, and Walmart. Brands that made the biggest awareness gains since 2016 include Uber, Blue Apron, Trivago, Dollar Shave Club, Lyft, Hulu, and Nintendo. Consumers value innovation and usefulness when evaluating brands. Each company on the list works hard to be the top in its category.

Which brands do you value and recommend to others?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Class discussion: What makes for a strong brand?
  2. What are favorite brands in the different industries such as automotive, appliances, cars, hotels, food, etc. (see the industry list on YouGov).
  3. Show the YouGov brand index: http://www.brandindex.com/ranking/us/2017-index
  4. Compare the students’ list with the rankings and discuss the findings.
  5. Now have students list brands that are weak or for which they have negative feelings.
  6. What could those brands do to improve their overall rankings?

Source:  YouGov Brand Index, Brandchannel.com

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‘Bank in a Can’ in Rural Africa


It can tough to get to the bank, especially when customers are located in rural areas that are remote from urban financial centers. Many rural areas lack access to quality banking and important financial services that the population needs. This is the case in rural South Africa where people face challenges in getting to banks and getting sound financial advice.

“Bank in a can” is an innovative solution that is now being used in South Africa. A product of a joint venture between South African FNB Bank and design firm Architecture for a Change, the pre-manufactured units are made from shipping containers and can be located in any rural (or urban) community. The nature of the pop-up units allow organizations to become operational quickly in less than three months. The new pop-up bank branches include teller windows, offices for opening accounts and applying for loans, along with separate ATM areas.

FNB is not the only bank to try pop-up locations. Canadian Tangerine Bank also has opened pop-up locations in shipping containers across Canada as a way to introduce customers to direct banking.

Reusing shipping containers are a clever way for companies to expand their reach into new area.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of distribution for products and services.
  2. What are creative ways in which companies can expand their reach?
  3. Show photos of the pop-up banks:

Architecture for Change site (South Africa): http://www.a4ac.net/

Tangerine Bank (Canada): https://www.tangerine.ca/en/landing-page/mobilepopups/toronto/index.html

  1. Have students discuss how these solutions can expand a service’s reach and market access.
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team select another service and work out how a pop-up site might benefit the service.

Source: Branchannel.com

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Pizza Boxes Do Double-Duty


Everyone likes pizza. But let’s face it, the pizza boxes are a hassle and take up space in the trash and on the kitchen counter. Wouldn’t it be nice if pizza boxes had usefulness beyond just delivering a hot meal?

Pizza Hut agrees and has had several clever iterations of their boxes in different markets – all of which extend the usefulness of the box itself. For example, there is a pizza box that turns into a movie projector, another that is a playable DJ box, and yet another that turns into a game box for flick football. That’s great news for extending the life of the box, and making the party livelier.

But, did you also realize that pizza boxes are not generally recyclable? While cardboard can certainly be recycled, most pizza boxes are contaminated with grease and food, rendering them unsuitable for recycling. It’s not an easy problem to solve, but given the mountains of boxes piling up in college dorms, there should be a solution.

So, next time you order a pizza, consider how the packaging could be more useful.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students about their pizza habits. What happens to the boxes? How many boxes are used in an average week?
  2. Next, show some of the creative uses of pizza boxes:
  3. View a video on recycling pizza boxes: https://youtu.be/bQgVhbbMkiI
  4. Bring up the Web site for Green Box pizza boxes: http://www.greenboxny.com/
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team research pizza boxes and design new uses for the boxes. Have students focus on reuse, recycle, and sustainability.

Source: Ad Age Daily, CNN, Fortune, other news sources

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