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The World’s Most Ethical Companies According to the Ethisphere Institute

29 Mar

There are various reports about the most ethical firms in the world. One of the most comprehensive such reports is compiled by the Ethisphere® Institute.

According to its Web site:

“The Ethisphere® Institute is the global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices that fuel corporate character, marketplace trust and business success. We have a deep expertise in measuring and defining core ethics standards using data-driven insights that help companies enhance corporate character. Ethisphere believes integrity and transparency impact the public trust and the bottom line of any organization. The World’s Most Ethical Companies is a distinction that honors superior achievements in transparency, integrity, ethics and compliance.”

“The World’s Most Ethical Companies® designation recognizes companies that truly go beyond making statements about doing business “ethically” and translate those words into action. Honorees not only promote ethical business standards and practices internally, they exceed legal compliance minimums and shape future industry standards by introducing best practices today. In 2015, 132 honorees were named spanning 21 countries and five continents and representing over 50 industries. In its ninth year, the list includes 15 nine-time honorees and 11 first-time honorees.”

Of the 132 honorees for 2015, 100 are U.S.-based companies!

Click the image to see the 2015 honorees, designated by industry as well as alphabetically.
 

 

A Study on Global Internet Censorship

24 Mar

We know that open access to Internet content is not available to all residents in every country around the world. But where is censorship the worst?

In a controversial research study of this topic, Jeremy Bender reports the following for Business Insider. DO YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE? WHY?

“Internet censorship and limitations on online speech are an unfortunate fact of life around the world. In 2014, Reporters without Borders designated 19 countries as “enemies of the internet,” including the United States and Great Britain. According to the organization, these countries all engaged in forms of online censorship, ranging from the UK carrying out a distributed denial of service attack against Anonymous to North Korea having building its own internal Internet and walling its citizens off from the global Web.”

“The infographic from George Washington University’s Master’s in Paralegal Studies Online program visualizes the various forms that Internet censorship can take around the globe.”

 

 

2014 Global Patent Filings

21 Mar

According to the WIPO Web site:

“Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names, and images used in commerce. IP is protected in law by, for example, patents, copyright, and trademarks, which enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create. By striking the right balance between the interests of innovators and the wider public interest, the IP system aims to foster an environment in which creativity and innovation can flourish.”

“The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property policy, services, information and cooperation. A specialized agency of the United Nations, WIPO assists its 188 member states in developing a balanced international IP legal framework to meet society’s evolving needs. It provides business services for obtaining IP rights in multiple countries and resolving disputes. It delivers capacity-building programs to help developing countries benefit from using IP. And it provides free access to unique knowledge banks of IP information.”

Here is an infographic about global patent filings in 2014.
 
infographics_pct_2014
 

The Promotion Value of Store Window Displays

17 Mar

Window displays can play a large role in generating the enthusiasm and browsing behavior of shoppers. Great displays can generate store traffic that would otherwise be lacking.

As Barry Rice writes for ShutterCo, a leading provider of shutters in Dublin, Ireland:

“Some fashion brands have gained a reputation for their impressive window displays, most notably high-end brands like Louis Vuitton and Chanel. They go the extra mile when it comes to attracting shopper’s attention.Whether they have effective storyline type displays or they simply let colors or their clothes do the talking, these brands ensure they turn heads with their window displays.”

“It can be a task to get window displays right. In fact, window dressing is an art in itself which requires a lot of experience and of course, attention to detail. In our infographic we outline some of the most impressive window displays over the past few years that have rocked the world of retail. We provide details on each: what is depicted in the display, where it is located, and why is it so effective.These inspiring designs will make you look at window displays in a whole new light — from Bergdorf Goodman to Chanel to Apple.”

“See how visual merchandising is done right with our insightful info graphic on ‘The Art of Window Displays.’ Enjoy!

 

The_Art_of_Window_Displays-Infographic
 

Globally, Brick-and-Mortar Stores Still Alive and Kicking

8 Mar

Despite perceptions to the contrary, on a global basis, the brick-and-mortar store is not fading away in the face of online and mobile shopping — as long as such stores are committed to customers and adaptive to the times.

eMarketer reports that:

“Customer satisfaction may be down in the U.S. for brick-and-mortar retailers, but globally, the physical store is still the most popular purchase location. In a September 2014 study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), seven in 10 internet users worldwide said they bought products in-store at least monthly, and more than half of that group did so weekly or daily.”

 

“One online channel gave brick-and-mortar shops a run for their money. Digital buying via PC ranked second, with the majority of respondents purchasing there at least monthly. However, all other digital channels were used far less frequently for purchasing. For example, fewer than one-quarter purchased products via mobile phone or smartphone at least monthly — providing more evidence that mobile is still mostly for upper-funnel shopping activities — and despite the fact that tablet users often show similar behavior to PC shoppers, buying frequency was almost the same as that on phones.”

Click the image to read more.
 

 

Why Aren’t Wages Rising Faster?

4 Mar

Positive performance of the Gross Domestic Product? Check. Unemployment rate still dropping? Check. Energy prices down from last year? Check. (Despite some recent price increases). So, why haven’t U.S. wages risen faster and higher than they have?

Are wages finally ready to have a meaningful uptick? According to Knowledge@Wharton:

“An early spring looks in store for workers with unexpected good news from the U.S. Labor Department: In January, unemployment clocked in at 5.7%, down from a post-financial crisis high of 10% in October 2009. Over the last three months, employers hired at the fastest pace since 1997. Another positive sign: After years of stagnant wage growth, average hourly earnings rose by 0.5%, the biggest gain in six years.”

“Though small, this uptick in wage growth raises the question of whether economic recovery might finally bring higher pay along with it. In February, Wal-Mart Stores announced a pay raise for its U.S. workers to $10 an hour, above the $7.25 an hour federal minimum wage, and other companies, such as Starbucks, Panera Bread, and Aetna have also raised wages at the lower rungs. That’s good news, when average real wage growth has hovered around zero among developed countries since the end of the financial crisis, according to a 2014 report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the International Labor Organization and the World Bank Group. G-20 countries overall have averaged only 1% to 2% real wage growth a year, most due to wage increases in China, according to the report.”

“Workers should remain skeptical of any dramatic change afoot on the wage front, however. The economic recovery taking hold at least in the U.S., if not in other major developed economies, may enable workers to claw back jobs, but dramatically higher pay is a much more tenuous prospect. The availability of still more U.S. workers on the sidelines ready for hire, along with an eager supply outside the U.S., continued displacement of workers via technology, and weaker worker protections in the law will allow employers to hold the upper hand for some time to come, experts say.”

Click the image to read more.
 

 

Does Rebranding Always Work?

25 Feb

Many times, companies tinker with their logos, their slogans, and other branded materials. They want to “freshen” things up.

Four recent rebrandings (Gap, Starbucks, Vodafone, and AirBnB) are the subject of a recent analysis by Erik Devaney for HubSpot:

” If you’ve ever been part of a company or worked on a product that’s undergone a rebrand, you know how absolutely crazy it can be. From establishing goals, to iterating on designs, to actually implementing your branding changes on your Web site and across all of your marketing channels, it’s a lot of work.”

“I was part of a rebrand at a startup a few years back. The company at the time was shifting direction and targeting a different audience, so a rebrand made sense. We had to come up with a new name, new logo, new  colors  …  new everything! Needless to say, there were a lot of brainstorms, a lot of late nights, and a lot of general craziness right up until we flipped the switch on the new branding.”

 
Click the image to read about rebranding at Gap, Starbucks, Vodafone, and AirBnB.
 

 

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