Thursday, December 17, 2009
We know that the original Christmas brand is the Christian story of Jesus being born and three wise kings bringing gifts for the baby Jesus. Christmas in that sense is a religious holiday to remember and celebrate the holy birth of Jesus.
Then there is the commercialized Christmas. Some celebrate this holiday only in the commercial sense as in the sense of gift giving and receiving and spending time with loved ones without much thought for the Christian meaning.
Then of course we have the "Happy Holidays" version of Christmas that is the politically correct way of wishing someone who may or may not be of a different faith a happy holiday.
What does Christmas mean to you? One, more or none of these?
Friday, December 11, 2009
So here's my take on the best brands for runners by category. Please feel free to comment.
I know this will vary by individual runners but generally what I have experienced and heard from reliable sources is that the following brands are superior.
• New Balance
• Under Armour
• Garmin GPS watches
• Nike+ gear
Fuel & Hydration:
• Gatorade G2
• Cliff shots or Gu
• Cliff Protein bars
• Runners World
• Running Times
• Local running stores like Second Sole, Vertical Runner or Fleet Feet
• Other runners and running groups like Road Runners
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Celebrities have powerful brands much like companies and products. Should celebrities be expected to have a higher standard of moral behavior, the same as everyday people or lesser standards because they have more power and money than the average Joe?
Monday, November 23, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I like Caribou but at the end-of-the-day I'm a Starbucks girl!
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Building a brand on Facebook is critical to marketing success in today's economy (particularly for consumer products companies). Facebook provides all sorts of engagement level ads: basic ads you see with text and call to action, rich media ads that integrate video and or sound, reach blocks that blast the whole Facebook network for a period of time such as one day, etc. And there are also applications created to build brand awareness and engagement on Facebook.
To many people, Facebook has replaced email as a common means of communicating. This means any business owner or marketer must evaluate whether they should be building their own brand community on Facebook and/or advertising on Facebook to reach potential customers.
For more information on Facebook marketing visit www.facebook.com/marketing or contact me.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
1) Michael Jackson - After the untimely death of the pop-star he's on the best-selling artists on i-tunes, winning awards, people are wearing "I Miss Michael" shirts and dressing up like the King of Pop himself for this Halloween. Now if that isn't a brand I don't know what is.
2) Harry Potter - The Potter series has been popular since the first movie was made. This summer the second to the last movie came out and with it the Harry Potter brand gained momentum and you'll see plenty of Harry's this season.
3) Vampires - With the wildly popular Twilight series hitting the scene and the second movie due out in just a few weeks there will be many many vampires and creatures of the night stirring this year.
4) Star Trek - Again with the movie you see that Star Trek, which has always had a core brand following has momentum and plenty of trekkies will be knocking on doors for candy I'm sure.
5) Disney - Disney has such a cemented brand. I wonder how many little girls in the U.S. and around the globe want to be Disney Princesses?
6) Superheros - From Batman and Catwoman to Wonder Woman to Superman to X-men there are sure to be superheros on every corner this weekend.
7) Hannah Montana - Miley Cyrus aka Hannah Montana is so big she gets her own category. What a brand! Like it or not she is a superstar.
8) Movie/storybook characters - with the upcoming movie Alice in Wonderland coming out we'll see plenty of those along with Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks, good old Wizard of Oz characters, etc.
9) The Role-Playing Costume - nurses, doctors, maids, prisoners, officers, you name it. These come in the more tame or naughty varieties. If you're out at adult parties you're likely to see the latter.
10) The Rockstar/Hippie - These ones both are popular year to year and that seems to be no exception this year.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Networks: The big ones are Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn and YouTube, you can also have or contribute to a blog, utilize networks like Slideshare or create your own network on Ning. My advice is to think about your goals. If you're trying to market a consumer-oriented business usually Facebook is best, Twitter may also work. If you're trying to promote yourself and or a B2B product or service, LinkedIn, blogs and Twitter will likely be most effective.
Who to Connect With: Customers, potential customers, friends, family, colleagues, groups. Many people use LinkedIn for professional and Facebook for personal. I connect to all my people on all of my networks so they really get a true sense of who I am as a person because in the marketing business relationships are important.
How to Stand Out: Mostly just commit to being engaged. Post relevant and also fun information. Always be yourself but maintain a level of professionalism on all of your networks. Position yourself as an expert in your field.
How Much Time: As much as you can afford. Minimum of once or twice a day for social networks and once every week or so for blogs.
How Can it Help Your Business: create or strengthen your online brand, connect you to people so you can create relationships, promote your expertise and your products or services.
Hopefully this helps. It is very important to complete your profiles on all of your networks and to be actively engaged in conversations. If you have questions feel free to comment or contact me.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Youngstown, Ohio: A young town again | The Economist
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Friday, October 9, 2009
YouTube has reached one billion views per day! That number boggles my mind. YouTube is celebrating this milestone by showcasing a special version of its logo and rightfully so.
If your company has any video content be sure that you're not missing out on the opportunity to strengthen or even build your brand through the use of video marketing on YouTube. If you haven't done so already, you can create your own YouTube channel and upload your video and multimedia content to share on YouTube and link to other sites such as your own website and social media networks. If you're in need of help getting this setup or in generating the actual content contact me and we can chat.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Looking for a Company or CEO on Twitter? As I was doing my daily research on social media, I came across a site that I thought might be helpful to agency or sales people on Twitter that are looking for companies or execs they'd like to follow. The site Twitter Corp (http://twittercorp.com/) is an easy-to-use directory of companies and executives that are actively engaged in the Twitter community. I love that people take the time to develop applications, tools and directories for Twitter - it's what makes the community so unique and so helpful!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I am a huge advocate for LinkedIn as it has opened many fruitful connections for me. But just because I use it and love it doesn't mean the whole world agrees. Some executives are reluctant to share information on Linked in because they don't want to share their connections or want to allow limited access to who gets to view their information. They feel linked in is "too open". A new social networking B2B site called "WhoDoYouKnowAt" is trying to carve a niche that competes with LinkedIn. It will be interesting to see how this new site performs as we all know that LinkedIn is a huge success!
WhoDoYouKnowAt: Because LinkedIn is Too Open
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Thursday, September 10, 2009
Some of the study's highlights were as follows:
• over 70% of Twitter accounts were from January 2009-on.
• 5% of Twitter users account for 75% of the activity.
• 21% of users have never posted a tweet.
• There are more women than men on Twitter (53% versus 47%).
• Market share for Twitter publishing tools is ruled by Tweetdeck at close to 20% use.
Some explanations for the data can be explained as follows:
• Rapid growth has been fueled by media attention and celebrity usage and endorsement.
• Those who understand or see the value with Twitter are likely to post more often than those who don't so the usage stat makes sense.
• Some people open Twitter accounts and just follow others or open it and never use it.
• More women in the overall population so this stat makes sense.
• As people come to utilize and understand the value Twitter provides from a monitoring and relationship-building standpoint we will see usage across Tweetdeck and other apps increase.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
• By 2010 Gen Y will outnumber Baby Boomers….96% of them have joined a social network
• Social Media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the Web
• 1 out of 8 couples married in the U.S. last year met via social media
• Years to Reach 50 millions Users: Radio (38 Years), TV (13 Years), Internet (4 Years), iPod (3 Years)…Facebook added 100 million users in less than 9 months…iPhone applications hit 1 billion in 9 months.
• If Facebook were a country it would be the world’s 4th largest between the United States and Indonesia
• 80 % of companies are using LinkedIn as a primary tool to find employees
• Ashton Kutcher and Ellen Degeneres have more Twitter followers than the entire populations of Ireland, Norway and Panama
• 80% of Twitter usage is on mobile devices…people update anywhere, anytime…imagine what that means for bad customer experiences?
• Generation Y and Z consider e-mail passé…In 2009 Boston College stopped distributing e-mail addresses to incoming freshmen
• The #2 largest search engine in the world is YouTube
• There are over 200,000,000 Blogs & 54% = Number of bloggers who post content or tweet daily
• People care more about how their social graph ranks products and services than how Google ranks them
• 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations, Only 14% trust advertisements
• More than 1.5 million pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photos, etc.) are shared on Facebook…daily.
(note: the sources to back up these statistics can be found on Socialnomics Blog)
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Okay, so anyone who knows me (loved one, client or friend) knows that I am a huge advocate for social media and have recently been touting social media as "the new mass media". Just this week I have given three presentations on how to use social media and I came across this news from The Gap this afternoon, which made me squeal with delight.
The Gap will not be using its tried and true television advertising for its "Born to fit" fall ad campaign. That's right folks. The Gap is trading in its old denim for the new media...Facebook! They will have print ads, cinema ads and outdoor - all driving traffic to their Facebook page! I love it! The message they are sending to others is loud and clear...be there or be square.
We're developing social media solutions for clients in a wide variety of industries. Have questions? Give me a shout. I'd love to talk shop with you.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Those of us who relay on social media as part of our daily routines and jobs are frustrated by this as I can tell from the numerous status updates on facebook about. I hope this is fixed soon!
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I've learned of chiropractors, new musicians and special promotions at Starbucks, etc all from social networks. All of these businesses have benefited from social media. Big brands can capitalize on community-building for their brands and achieve reach and frequency more often and less expensively. Small brands can build their awareness and their communities just the same - although smaller the principles still apply. The link below is an article I read today on Mashable, highlighting some additional small business success stories.
Additionally, the intelligence one can gather on social networks (especially Twitter) is invaluable.
So to my former agency manager, I have to kindly disagree because I see it working everyday.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I've been talking with several companies over the last couple of months about social media and the implications for their business. I am an advocate for it because of a number of reasons including but not limited to realizing personal success and also because this is how people are communicating now. It can't be ignored or dismissed as "the latest thing". Growth in social networks has exploded in the last year or two and that trend is not going to change.
The best way to get started personally is just to dive into it, but I will caution you that the time investment initially is great if you are to develop a thorough understanding. If you're interested in social media for your business, start by putting together a plan or have an agency (like WhiteSpace) put a plan together for you. If you create objectives in the beginning, it will be much easier to track success.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Old Crow Medicine Show - Caroline Video by Old Crow Medicine Show - MySpace Video
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Monday, July 20, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Some of the contents include:
• Explanation of how social media is becoming both a paid and unpaid distribution mechanismfor advertising content.
• A look at how social features are becoming integrated into online display advertising.
• A piece on how tools such as Facebook Connect are moving the social graph out onto the Web.
• An introduction to the SIM Score and what it means for marketing.
To access the report click the link below.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
The latest Facebook stats released indicate an aging demographic for the popular online social network. Facebook at one point was dominated by college students and while many in that age group are still using Facebook, so too are young and middle-aged professionals.
According to new research by istrategylabs, the latest stats show a staggering 513% increase in Facebook users 55+. Facebook users aged 35-54 has seen almost a 200% increase and ages 25-34 have seen a 60% increase. This is according to data analyzed over the last six months. Also, important to note that as the older population increases, the high-school and collge-aged users are decreasing from 15-20%.
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Although I'm not generally a PC or Microsoft user anymore as I love my macbook and safari, it's important to note the progress that PC's and MS are making. I find it interesting that Bing is doing so well.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
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To sign up for your personal page, go to http://www.facebook.com/username. Dont wait long, because if someone gets the name you want before you do - it's too late. Also note that once you've chosen your vanity URL you can not change it, so choose wisely.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
To be unique, a brand needs to 1) Be important to the target audience, 2) Meet a need or promote a brand promise not currently being used by a competitor and 3) Be supported by company strengths and/or processes.
Typically in branding, the brand tries to own only one or two key benefits or attributes. The more complicated a brand promise or brand message, the less likely a consumer is to remember it. We need simple yet powerful concepts that consumers can and will relate to.
Below are some possible ways to differentiate a brand. Keep in mind that choosing several of these and lumping them together will not be advisable. Again, focusing on one or two key areas is best.
* Brand is a category leader (Crest)
* Brand is a category inventor (Sensodyne - toothpaste for sensitive teeth)
* Brand was a pioneer in a market - Ford, Coca-Cola
* Brand is the category innovator (Toyota, Dell)
* Brand is the most convenient or easy to use (Band-aid)
* Brand meets a niche need and leads at serving that niche
* Brand delivers a unique product purchase or usage experience (Apple, Dell)
* Brand is the "next big thing"
* Brand tells an engaging story about itself that consumers connect with
* Brand is trusted
* Brand is a technology leader
* Brand has unique qualities
* Brand comes from a place known for excellence in category (California Wine, Italian Olive Oil)
* Brand is the choice of experts (Tylenol, Jif)
* Brand is the best value for the cost (Wal-mart
* Brand is the definition of luxury in a category (Lexus, Rolex, etc)
* Brand is all-natural (Horizon organic milk, Kraft naturals)
Once you've adequately branded yourself based on what you and your market dictate, then you must craft marketing messages and use tactics that constantly reinforce that central brand idea.
Average age: 41
Household Income: $100K+ = 53%
Own Smart phone or PDA: 34%
College Grad/Post Grad: 80.1%
Business Decision Maket: 49%
Portfolio value of $250k+ = 24%
C-Level Executives - 7.8%
EVP/SVP - 6.5%
Sr Mgmt - 16%
Middle Management - 18%
These statistics were provided by www.linkedsecrets.com/blog.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
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Sunday, May 31, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
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Thursday, May 21, 2009
- United Airlines offering special fares, which they've ideally named "Twares" to their Twitter followers. You can sign up for Twares at www.united.com.
- The TV network that recently put an RFP for an ad agency with social media savvy. A great opportunity for those who are using Twitter as a business development tool.
- Recently cancelled NBC show My Name is Earl - fans have organized a Twitter campaign to advocate for the show's continuance (see @EarlTwitition).
- Land Rover using Twitter to drive traffic to see its new models at the NY Auto Show
Thursday, May 14, 2009
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Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
- 51% of Americans do not currently use social media.
- 49% of Americans use Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.
- 48% have either a MySpace or Facebook account though only 16% say they update daily.
- 5% say they are using Twitter
- 75% of 18-34-year-olds have a MySpace or Facebook
- 24% of 55+ have an account
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
For those of you who think there is not a market for marketing on the infamous Twitter...
Friday, April 17, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
- Search was up 16.7% over March of 2008
- Google owned 64.2% share of search
- Yahoo Search has gained a little ground (1.7%) on Google for a total of 15.8%
- MSN ranked third in share of the search market at 10%
- Number of video streams in March reached 9.7 billion (up 8.7% over last month)
- Google-owned YouTube is top-rated with 5.48 billion streams
- Hulu has the second spot with 348 million
- Yahoo ranks third followed by Fox Interactive Media, Nickelodeon Kids and Family Network.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
- It is not a logo
- It is not a symbol
- It is not a tagline
- It is not a font or color scheme
- It is not what you say it is
- It is in part an identity made up of name, logo, colors, fonts or symbols
- It may or may not include a tagline or taglines
- It is a means of differentiating a product, service, person or place from competing products or services
- It is a collection of perceptions held by consumers and prospects about a product, service, person or place
- It is an experience associated with a product, service, person or place
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
- While some premium brands like Starbucks are suffering, brands seen as quality value brands such as Dunkin' Donuts Coffee (which was the 2nd of the top 10 food and beverage brands) have performed very well.
- Also in the food and beverage category, brands that cater to the health conscious seem to be doing very well as evidenced by Gatorade's G2 occupying the top spot in the top 10 and Progresso Light taking the third spot).
- Consumers are trying d-i-y products at home in many instances versus going to a professional first. For example the Ped Egg is on the top-ten list of non-food brands showing that pedicures on the home are on the rise. Not good news for spas but nonetheless people still want to be pampered even if they have to or choose to do it themselves.
- Gatorade G2
- Dunkin' Donuts Coffee
- Healthy Choice Cafe' Steamers
- Progresso Light
- Hormel Compleats
- Digiorno Ultimate
- Smirnoff Ice Flavors
- Pepsi Max
- Tyson Any'Tizers
- Diritos Collisions
- Charmin Ultra Strong
- Ped Egg
- Secret Clinical Strength
- Dawn PLUS
- CoverGirl LashBlast
- Maybelline Define
- Tidy Pure Essentials
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
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Monday, March 23, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
- In today's economy don't underestimate the power of personalization - in email campaign, in direct campaigns, etc.
- Keep things simple. If a customer or prospect doesn't understand your offer how can they respond to it?
- Use social media to leverage your company and your staff's credibility. It will require an investment of time but one that is necessary to develop your online brand and compete in the online market, which continues to grow exponentially.
- Concerning social media, integrating channels is important to success for brand building and developing quality relationships that translate into business efforts.
- Don't underestimate the importance of search marketing: both paid and organic. It works and is a relatively cost-efficient way of reaching your target audience online. To be really effective with search, make your pages relevant, use keywords that have been tested or identified as being the most relevant options and continue refining your efforts to maximize your results. Because search is dynamic it requires ongoing effort.
- Quantifying results is becoming more and more important. Marketers want to know response rates, click-through-rates, overall marketing ROI and so on. Metrics should be a part of the way we as agency people communicate our successes to our clients.
- Always factor in the customer wants and market conditions into any of your marketing tactics because if your offer does not align with the economy or customer wants and needs it will be dismissed. Some of our agency retail clients are performing exceptionally well versus their competitors because the way they are positioned and the creative that we are developing for them are strategically right for present market conditions and customer wants and needs.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I thought it might be helpful to provide a brief article on what social media is, identify some of the categories and key category players in the social media space and provide an overview of the benefits and limitations of each media.
First, we'll start with a basic definition of social media. According to good old Wikipedia, social media are primarily Internet and mobile-based tools for sharing and discussing information. The term most often refers to activities that integrate technology, telecommunications and social interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio.
Now we'll briefly describe some of the most popular and emerging social media types and properties.
- Blogs - blogs are an online based communication tool where a user can publish articles, links and media on a topic of interest to them. Blogs are widely used by celebrities, business professionals, sports teams and also many everyday people who simply like to write and want to have an online voice. This blog, which I recently created is a place where I can discuss my thoughts on branding and various marketing related topics. Key players in the blog creation world include Blogger, Typepad and Wordpress.
- Microblogging - a form of multimedia blogging that allows a user to send brief text updates up to a certain number of characters to various media outlets like a blog, facebook page, etc. The most commonly used tool for microblogging is Twitter. Other key players include Plurk and Pownce.
- Social Bookmarking/News - Users save links to articles or web pages that they want to remember or share. It's a simple way of aggregating and organizing information about topics that interest the user. For example, I use Google Reader to subscribe to and review dozens of blogs related to branding and marketing as well as running. Additional examples of social bookmarking sites include Delicious and Stumble Upon. Social News sites like Digg and Reddit are user-controlled news sites where articles can be submitted and commented on and voted up or down. Think of it as dynamic online news.
- Social Networking Sites - online communities that allow people to connect with friends, family, coworkers, clients, etc to follow their thoughts, activities and more. There are a number of sites frequently used for various groups and reasons. Key players here include MySpace, Facebook, Linked in and a handful of others. MySpace is mostly targeted to the younger demographic. It is extremely popular with teens. They can create their own page and customize it with content they like, meet new people, connect to existing friends, listen to music, watch videos, share photos, etc. Facebook is similar in some ways as MySpace though it is more heavily used by the college population and educated young to middle-aged adults. Facebook allows users to connect to other people and share photos, information, links, notes, join groups, etc. Linked in is really purely an online networking tool used heavily for business people who want to stay connected to certain people and/or groups. It can be used for business development, professioanl development, etc.
- Media & Information Sharing - there are a number of sites for sharing pictures, music and information. Some of the more popular ones include Flickr, YouTube, Wikipedia, etc.
This is not meant to be an exhaustive list but rather an introduction to popular types of social networking tools and sites. The best way to understand this new media is to dabble with it yourself. As you use and interact with these media you will have a sense for what may or may not work for promoting your business or cause.
If you'd like to have further discussion on this topic please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.