Tracking Innovative Product/Package Development

Very simply, the stamper kit allows the laying down of water-washable paw prints—for example, reindeers at Christmas or bunny rabbits at Easter—around the floors and other surfaces of the home. The product and packaging consist of four major components—the outer paperboard carton, powdered paint in a clear film pouch, the stamper (made from die-cut foam adhesively adhered to a chipboard card) and a rigid plastic tray for mixing the paint powder in water and then dipping the stamp to create the paw prints. The paw prints can be applied on floors, walls, tables, and other flat surfaces, and the water-soluble, non-toxic paint can be easily wiped away with a damp cloth. To accomplish the packaging, Hoppy Paws enlisted the services of Assemblies Unlimited, Inc., a full turnkey contract packager capable of providing hand-assembly, materials and systems fulfillment, and custom packaging management.
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UPS Building Additional 15 CNG Fueling Stations and Increasing CNG Fleet

UPS (NYSE:UPS) today announced plans to build 15 compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations to support the purchase and planned deployment of 1,400 new CNG vehicles over the next year. Twelve of the CNG stations will be in new natural gas vehicle deployment areas, and three will replace existing CNG stations with more robust, higher capacity equipment. This purchase represents a nearly 30% increase to UPS's current industry-leading alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet of 5,088 vehicles worldwide. The CNG fueling stations and vehicle purchases are part of UPS' ongoing commitment to diversify its fuel sources, implement a fleet infrastructure that can utilize lower carbon intensity fuel sources and increase experience using alternative fuels in freight transport applications.
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Online Retailers Get In On The Fun on April Fools’ Day

Online retailers attempted to capitalize on the whimsical nature of April 1 via e-mail marketing campaigns aimed at turning practical jokes into sales. Apparel chain Gap Inc., No. 19 in the Internet Retailer 2014 Top 500 Guide, sent an e-mail with the subject line “Haha,” offering shoppers up to 35% off on April 1 when entering the promo code HAHA at checkout. Online eyeglasses retailer EyeSave had some fun with customers, sending out an e-mail with April Fools! in blurry type, offering shoppers 10% off all purchases. Online costume retailer HalloweenCostumes.com took a similar tack, sending out a coupon giving shoppers up to $20 off orders placed on April 1. Research and consulting firm IHL Group attempted to get customers’ attention with a fake announcement claiming that Amazon is buying more than 1,000 U.S. Postal Service locations.
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Study: Brands Don’t Understand Consumers

There is a significant perception gap between how well businesses think they are marketing and the actual customer's experience. A U.S. study of 276 marketers and more than 1,100 consumers, developed by Econsultancy for IBM found that almost 90% of marketers agree that personalizing the customer experience is critical to their success. Despite this widespread agreement, nearly 80% of consumers stated that the average brand doesn't understand them as an individual. Further illustrating the disconnect between marketers and consumers, 80% of marketers strongly believe they have a holistic view of individual customers and segments across interactions and channels. In addition, this group also believes strongly in their ability to deliver superior experiences offline (75%), online (69%) and on mobile devices (57%).
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5 Tips for Evaluating Your Promo Piece

As you’re creating your promotional piece, you want to keep in mind that the goal is to bring love into your business (love being good clients, cash flow and all that good stuff). You’ll know when you’ve created a genuine love-bringing piece when you’ve answered “hell yeah” to the following questions: 1. Did this piece bring me joy while I was creating it? If you’re not enjoying creating it, your client probably won’t enjoy receiving or looking at it. Bring the passion you have for design and pour it into this work. In other words, don’t hold back! Be bold, be risky, be experimental.
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Oil Falls More Than 3 Percent as Iran, Big Powers Negotiate

Oil prices fell more than 3 percent on Thursday as officials from the big global powers stayed locked in nuclear talks with Iran that, if successful, could allow the Islamic state to release more crude oil onto world markets. Negotiations on Tehran's disputed nuclear program have stretched well beyond a self-imposed March 31 deadline, with diplomats saying the chances of a preliminary accord in the next few hours are finely balanced. Tehran is hoping for a deal that will end crippling economic sanctions and allow it to sell millions of barrels of oil, some of it stored at sea in supertankers and ready for delivery. Brent crude for May slumped $2.23, or 3.9 percent, to a low of $54.87 a barrel before rallying to around $55.20 by 0745 EDT. The contract settled $1.99 higher on Wednesday.
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Sonoco’s Menasha, Wis. Paper Plant Receives Bronze Sustainability Star Award

Sonoco (NYSE:SON), one of the largest diversified packaging companies, has recognized U.S. Paper Mills Corp.'s facility in Menasha, Wis., with a Bronze Sustainability Star Award for the plant's successful efforts to achieve a 26 percent waste reduction. The plant achieved this significant waste reduction by recovering fiber from the waste streams in the pulping process and reducing moisture content in its waste stream by optimizing equipment. The fiber recovery component alone reduced waste by 50-60 tons per month.
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Pac-Man Gobbles Its Way through Google Maps

On Tuesday, Google Maps added a button that lets users turn city maps into playable Pac-Man mazes. Blinky and Pinky on the Champs Elysees? Inky and Clyde running down Broadway? Power pellets on the Embarcadero? Leave it to Google to make April Fools' Day into throwback fun by combining Google Maps with Pac-Man. The massive tech company is known for its impish April Fools' Day pranks, and Google Maps has been at the center of a few, including a Pokemon Challenge and a treasure map. This year the company was a day early to the party, rolling out the Pac-Man game Tuesday. It's easy to play: Simply pull up Google Maps on your desktop browser, click on the Pac-Man icon on the lower left, and your map suddenly becomes a Pac-Man course.
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USPS Delays Rate Changes for First Class and Packages, Too

The U.S. Postal Service served notice to the Postal Regulatory Commission today that it would delay implementation of price and classification changes for First Class Mail and competitive products until further notice. USPS last week announced it would postpone the April 26 implementation date for its proposed changes for market dominant products, which were twice rejected by the PRC. The Postal Board of Governors' choice to delay the implementation “was primarily motivated by a desire to minimize the potential adverse impacts that might result from staggering the implementation of new prices,” according to the notice. The Postal Service reported that it will announce a new implementation date for all affected mail products when it submits the revised rates to the PRC.
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Amazon Delivers in a Dash With a Push-Button Reorder Service for Prime Members

Amazon.com Inc. today unveiled the Amazon Dash Button, a device that resembles a key fob that, once set up, lets consumers reorder packaged goods by pressing a button on the device. Simply put, the Internet-connected fob eliminates the need to go online to place an order at Amazon.com. Members of Amazon’s shipping and loyalty program Prime can request an invitation to receive Dash Button devices for free starting today. Each button is linked to a specific brand of packaged goods. For example, there is a Dash button to reorder Bounty paper towels and another to reorder Tide laundry detergent. The devices have an adhesive backing so they can be attached to a washing machine or paper towel dispenser. At the moment, 254 product SKUs covering 10 product categories are linked to Dash Buttons. Other participating brands include Olay, Gillette, Gerber, Kraft, Glad, WellPet and others.
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