Good Week/Bad Week in Branding

Smart Move: Starbucks – The ubiquitous caffeine pusher announced plans to give each of its U.S. store employees and managers a pay raise of at least 5% and to double the stock options given to those workers who remain with the company for two full years. The move comes as the chain tries to hold onto its workforce in the face of increased competition among major retailers for talent.

Novel Move: Fiat ChryslerIn a first-of-its-kind program, the automaker announced it has engaged a crowd-sourced cybersecurity firm to enlist white-hat hackers to find bugs and vulnerabilities in its vehicle software. The prize for finding a glitch: $1,500… roughly the monthly price of keeping an old Fiat on the road.

Mixed Bag: Pokemon Go – The instant cultural craze – an augmented-reality app that has kids and maturity-challenged adults staring into their phones as they wander around attempting to capture Pikachu and other creepy characters – has been accompanied a string of troubles ranging from malware to traffic accidents and phone robberies among users not paying attention to where they wander. Hacked, smacked and jacked?!? Sign me up!