Thursday, December 17, 2009

Oh Christmas Brand! Oh Christmas Brand!

What is the Christmas brand? Some people would be offended that I ask. I'm not asking to be offensive but rather because the Christmas brand has taken on various meanings as opposed to the original Christian meaning it once had.

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

Best Brands for Runners

The last few years I've become what some would call a serious runner. Frequent disciplined practice, goal setting, competitive racing and an obsession with performance are some of the tell-tale signs that this subculture of runners is a place I belong. I've also learned what brands runners really love. Many of which I had no idea existed until running became a passion.

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.


• Asics

• Brooks

• New Balance

• Nike

• Mizuno


• Under Armour

• Nike

• Adidas

• Asics

• Brooks


• Garmin GPS watches

• Fuelbelt

• iPod

• 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

Celebrity Brands - Should Celebrities Be Better Examples?

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?

By now we've all heard about Tiger Wood's affair(s). Is it really that surprising? While he is a genius on the golf course he is still merely human. And apparently a human who makes bad decisions much like Kobe Bryant, Bill Clinton, David Letterman, Madonna, and all the others who have harmed their marriages because they didn't control their urges. Or what about Michael Phelps and Amy Winehouse - both talented individuals who indulged themselves in recreational drug use? Or what about Snoop Dogg and other celebrities that have been arrested for violent behaviors?

Does the fact that these celebrities have problems make us relate to them more? Does it affect our own views of what is and is not acceptable or moral behavior? I can't say and it's not my position to judge people only to ask if celebrity brands affect us.

Monday, November 23, 2009

AOL Rebranding

Is it just me or is society homogenizing to the point where all logos created today are trying to achieve that same modern look? It's like they all want to be Apple or Target clones or something? Case in point: take a look at the new AOL logos. Okay the two on the right upper and bottom are not too bad but look at some of these...the fish...the hand. I mean really?

AOL please take note. You are not Apple, You are not Google. You are not Target. You are more like a Microsoft (albeit not as successful) and changing your logo into a fish is not going to change that.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Get Real with Caribou Coffee?

Looks like Starbucks will have a little more competition this holiday season as Caribou Coffee unveils its first ever TV campaign to generate awareness about the boutique coffee brand. Of course this is a very different strategy than that used by Starbucks who largely built their brand on a public relations/word-of-mouth platform. I'd be interested in seeing the results the TV campaign will bring and how success will be measured (i.e. increased sales, store traffic, awareness).

I like Caribou but at the end-of-the-day I'm a Starbucks girl!

Find more videos like this on AdGabber

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Facebook - The World's Super Media for Today's Advertising

I attended a Facebook presentation this afternoon that was sponsored by the Canton Ad Federation. Everyone knows Facebook is huge but not everyone realizes the huge advertising super media Facebook has become.

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 or contact me.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

2009's Ten Most Popular Halloween Brands/Costumes

I love Halloween. It's so much fun to dress up and check out all the costumes! It's also facscinating from a branding and pop culture perspective to research the year's most popular costumes (see list below).

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

Mac Vs. PC: New :30 Spot

I always laugh when I see the Mac versus PC ads. Comparing Macs to PCs really is like comparing apples and oranges. Anyone such as myself who has crossed over years since to the Mac world knows the many benefits a Mac offers. The point I want to make here is that Mac really has done a much better job over the years with its branding than its competitor...the PC. Riding the coatwaves of the iPod success and now the iPhone, Mac's brand has become a dominating force in the personal computer space. The latest ad in the Mac versus PC campaign does a great job of reminding PC that it's not the cool kid on the block.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Brand YOU!

Today I attended a luncheon focused on developing ones personal brand through social media. I am often asked some basic questions like "which networks should I join?", "who should I connect with?", "how can I stand out in my industry?", "how much time should I dedicate to social media each day or week?" and "how can my business use social media to grow?"

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

Rebuilding and Rebranding Youngstown

Cities like people have persona's. I lived in the Youngstown (Valley) region for several years and came to know many hard-working, intelligent, passionate people (including the wonderful folks at YBI). People who despite what the outside world thinks or says will fight for their Valley. The persona of Youngstown that I know is one of hope and determination. Although I live outside of the region now (still in NEO though), a piece of Youngstown will always be in my heart. I am happy to see the city garnering some national attention for its many efforts to rebrand itself as a city that went through tough times but emerged years later as a center of technology. Go Youngstown!

Youngstown, Ohio: A young town again | The Economist

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Friday, October 9, 2009

The YouTube Era

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

Cool Twitter Directory for Companies & Execs

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 ( 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

New LinkedIn Competitor on the Scene

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

Interesting New Twitter Study

Sysomos recently released a study called "Inside Twitter" that I felt shared some interesting insights into the users of Twitter or Tweeters as we often refer to ourselves. For the survey, they analyzed 11.5 million+ Twitter accounts including profiles and status updates.

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

Interesting Stats on Social Media

I just stumbled upon some interesting statistics regarding social media. It's funny, I still hear a fair amount of people who don't like or just don't get social media and feel it's a fad. People listen is not a fad!

• 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

Gap Fall Ad Campaign Goes Social!

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 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

Cutest Dog Competition

Okay so I love my dog Yetti! He is sweet and cute and very well-behaved. Please vote for him. If I win, I'll be sure to throw a big party and invite all who helped me win!
Vote for my DogSponsored by All American Pet Brands makers of premium dog food.

What's up With Twitter & Facebook?

So apparently Twitter has had some kind of long-term failure as it's been down all morning as far as I can tell. Tweetdeck was missing a lot of data when I opened it as well. Okay this we know. So what's going on with facebook? All morning it's been slow and giving network transport data errors. Weird!

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

Social Media for Businesses - Large and Small

One of my former agency managers said "social media doesn't work". That's odd because I see it in action all of the time. Take yesterday for example, I went to a new salon to get my hair done. I learned about the salon because the owner friended me on Facebook. I talked with her yesterday and she said she has gained many new customers through this kind of marketing.

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

Social Media Helps Brands Grow & Yield ROI

I was just reading the results of a study by Wetpaint and the Altimeter Group, which indicate that companies using social media as part of their overall marketing efforts are realizing financial gain. Brands like Starbucks who jumped on the social media bandwagon early are reaping the rewards but they've also invested the time and resources to do it right.

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

DMB Concert Opener is Old Crow Medicine Show

The video below is for a song called Caroline. This band (Old Crow Medicine Show) will be opening for Dave Matthews at Blossom in Cuyahoga Falls on July 29. I've never heard of them but it's a big deal to open for DMB so I would say following the tour they should be getting much more attention.
Old Crow Medicine Show - Caroline Video by Old Crow Medicine Show - MySpace Video

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Ad Agencies: 5 Ways to Find Prospects on Twitter

Interesting article on using Twitter to find agency new business. I love Twitter and think it is a tool worth learning and using for this and numerous other reasons.
Ad Agencies: 5 Ways to Find Prospects on Twitter

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Social Media Report Released

A new social media report has been released by Razorfish.

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

Latest Facebook Stats

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%.

Bing Now Bigger Than Digg, Twitter and CNN

Bing Now Bigger Than Digg, Twitter and CNN

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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

Stop! Hammertime Again?!

Oh boy, I had a fear once that MC Hammer pants would come back in fashion. Today, I'm afraid that irrational fear could become a reality. A new show called Hammertime will air on A&E. The guerilla video below is being used to promote the show. Pretty funny given the latest fad of "skinny jeans" being all the rage.

Find more videos like this on AdGabber

Facebook Vanity URLs

If you're a professional or business owner using Facebook as part of your marketing strategy, be sure to take advantage of the new Facebook vanity pages. You can sign up to get the username or company name you want. For example I am, which ties into my Twitter handle of @pachladis as well as my email, etc. If you're trying to create a personal brand or have an online brand for your offline business, consistency is important so try to keep your identities the same to get the benefits of the search engines indexing you or your company.

To sign up for your personal page, go to 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

GM "Reinvention" Spoof - Because People Can't Help Themselves!

Okay, first I want to say that I saw the new GM "Reinvention" spot and I was impressed with the messaging and quality and imagery. I thought the agency who produced the spot and GM did a great job of conveying strength and hope for the future of the American auto giant...that being said, the GM "Retardation" spoof is still funny. After all the scandals and bailouts of American corporations over the last decade, how can one not make light of the positive spin that corporations in bankruptcy reorganization use?

New Heinz Bottle Spot True to Legacy of Heinz Brand

Just watched the new Heinz "Bottle" :60 spot (produced by Abbot Mead Vickers BBDO). Love it! I think it does an excellent job of reinforcing the Heinz Company's "anticipation" positioning and of reinforcing their leadership in the ketchup category.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Is Your Brand Really Different?

Branding a product or service based on differentiated attributes or features is not a new concept...yet so many companies get it wrong.

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.

LinkedIn Demographics

LinkedIn is a great tool for networking online. It's a great way to connect with people you work with now or have worked with in the past as well as to create new business relationships. Recent LinkedIn statistics show the following data:

Average age: 41

Male: 64%

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%

Job Titles:

C-Level Executives - 7.8%
EVP/SVP - 6.5%
Sr Mgmt - 16%
Middle Management - 18%

These statistics were provided by

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bud Light Commercial - Poor Guy

LOL! The new Bud Light commercial with the guy in the store buying beer and a dirty magazine "for his friend" is really funny. It makes me wonder how many guys have had this experience...although I'm not sympathetic!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Love the Geico Kash Commercials?

I don't care what anyone says, I love the Geico "Kash" spots. There's something really really funny about a pair of eyes on a pile of cash with 80s music like Michael Jackson's Somebodys Watchin Me. And even if other ad people don't like the spots, they still have to admit that is it yet another creative way of expressing Geico's "save money on car insurance" position.

Find more videos like this on AdGabber

Sunday, May 31, 2009

New Burger King Late Night Menu Spots

Haha! I love the new Burger King Late Night Menu Spots with the King sneaking up on sleeping people and obnoxiously waking them with bullhorns and cymbals. Check out one of the spots here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Brand Appeal Among Young Adults - Image Isn't everything?

According to a new study done by MTV Networks, young adults are motivated by more than a brand's image or popularity. To find out what ranked high read the article at e-marketer. Brand Appeal Among Young Adults - eMarketer

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B2B Marketers Turn to Digital Tactics - eMarketer

B2B Marketers Turn to Digital Tactics - eMarketer

Some interesting stats on how B2B companies are relying more on digital tactics to effectively market themselves.

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Candy Bar Commercial For New Fling

Using sex to sell original. Okay, maybe it works...but doesn't it work more on men then women. One would think. So who's the target audience for the new Mars "Fling" (skinny 85-calorie chocolate bar)? Watch the new spot. You decide. I think it's bad branding. "Naughty but not that naughty" just doesn't make the cut for me. Tell me I'll look better in my bathing suit. That's what women care about! That's why we cut calories.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Innovation Wins Even in Hard Times

I am so over hearing about the recession. Duh. We all know the economy is down...real estate and retail are down and unemployment is up. There are still opportunities and innovations galore. Seek out the positive things and you will see them. And marketing my friends is all but dead. Businesses need marketing now more than ever. Smart businesses know that times like these lead to more market share for those who work harder.

Here's a link to some inspiring things going on at

Twitter Marketing Examples

As a Twitter user and advocate for its usage in marketing (for selfish reasons of course as well as some less selfish) it is wonderful to see how companies are integrating Twitter into their marketing efforts and how users are leveraging Twitter for their interests.

Some examples of recent Twitterage (Twitter Usage) include:

  • United Airlines offering special fares, which they've ideally named "Twares" to their Twitter followers. You can sign up for Twares at
  • 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
  • etc.
The more popular Twitter becomes, the more practical using it for marketing will become. For now it's still innovative but then again Facebook used to be people's grandparents have one.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cleveland Rocks!

Poor Cleveland.  I love this city and grew up here. Despite all the progress and advancements we've made...people still love to trash us as evidenced by this video. 

We have a basketball team that just swept two teams in the playoffs, The world class Cleveland Orchestra, The Rock Hall, Some of the best healthcare and universities in the country...probably even the world, The Cleveland Marathon, The Warehouse District, lots of culture like the PlayHouse. It's okay to joke. I hear the "Cleveland Curse" all the time. I just hope we all recognize what a great place and brand Cleveland is. It's a shame the people on the outside think higher than the people who live in the community.

Find more videos like this on AdGabber

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Another Funny Twitter Spoof

When you're the hottest current social media app as is the case with Twitter, people are going to make fun of you. Case in point...the video below from called "Twitter in Real Life". It's actually pretty funny. While watching it, I thought about how different the online world versus the real world are. I wouldn't yell my status updates out at my co-workers or random people on the street, yet in a sense in the online world on Twitter, that is what is happening. Of course we all have our own thoughts about Twitter and its usefulness. No matter what your opinion is, I hope you enjoy the video.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Japanese High Blood Pressure Tea Spot

Got high blood pressure? No problem...just drink the new Japanese tea featured in this commercial. Oh yah, the spot is pretty funny too. Even if you don't speak Japanese (which I don't), you'll understand it as the dialogue has subtitles.

Friday, April 24, 2009

New Heineken Spot - Wish You Were There!

Okay, we've all been in the car with friends on the way home from the bar after a couple drinks singing! The new Heineken spot shows that exact scenario. I just watched it. It gave me that nostalgic, wish I was there kind of feeling. Probably the best part is the music...old-school Biz-Markie...oh yah and the cabbie singing along! Heineken is a fun brand with great advertising! Check it out.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

New Harris Data Shows About Half of Americans Use Popular Social Media Sites

Doesn't everyone today use the Internet and social media tools to communicate?! The answer is no...not even close. Just the other day while visiting my parents, my father clearly stated his lack of understanding or interest in the Internet and social media. I think this is partly a product of his age, profession, stubbornness and lack of understanding.  This struck me. How could someone living in today's world be so disconnected from the very tools that help keep me connected to the outside world? Apparently my father is not alone. The latest Harris Interactive poll supports my father's position. The results were as follows:
  • 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
The data varies depending on who is using the media:
  • 75% of 18-34-year-olds have a MySpace or Facebook
  • 24% of 55+ have an account
I guess I have to avoid being myopic and assuming that because I am using social media and many of my friends and colleagues are that the whole world is. Although I think we will see the percentage continue to increase over time.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Land Rover Uses Twitter for New Ad Campaign

Land Rover recently launched a new ad campaign...but it's not your average everyday media being used. The new campaign was launched largely through the use of Twitter (yes Twitter) and out-of-home items like taxi TVs and outdoor boards.

The campaign is an effort to try and build online conversation regarding the release of the new Land Rovers at the New York Auto Show.  According to AdAge, Twittad (a social media network) was tapped by direct marketing agency Wunderman to help with the launch.

To see details about the campaign on Twitter, search the hashtag #LRNY (think of a hashtag as a keyword for Twitter).  

Many companies are trying to incorporate Twitter into their online marketing efforts. This is a good example of how Land Rover has done that. I think we'll be seeing and hearing much more about advertising on Twitter over the next 6-12 months.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Twitter Brand Keeps Growing

For those of you who think there is not a market for marketing on the infamous Twitter...

I could go on and on and write a long, boring post on why you should be learning and using Twitter to market your brand and/or yourself. Fortunately, I think the image here speaks volumes. Twitter is so big that the fail whale is becoming more of an icon everyday. Whether you like or use Twitter, you've got to admit that it has brand power.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Brand Beginnings

Ever Wonder where the names of some of our favorite brands came from? Below is a short list of popular companies and details about how their names came to be.

Wendy's - Melinda Thomas of Dublin, OH (near Columbus) was nicknamed Wendy growing up. When her father Dave Thomas started his hamburger chain he chose his daughter's nickname. At that time she was eight years old.

Coca-Cola - John Pemberton, an Atlanta, Georgia pharmacist created the original soft drink. His bookkeeper Frank Robinson named the beverage according to its two main ingredients, which were coca from coca leaves and kola from kola nuts.

Apple - Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak named their computer company after a record label they both liked.

Honda - The popular auto company was named after its founder Soichiro Honda when he started the company after WWII...however at that time Honda was a motorcycle company only. It was not until Honda entered the U.S. in the 1960s that it started manufacturing automobiles. 

Mickey Mouse - Back when Walt Disney was first starting out in his art career he had developed the classic concept for Mickey Mouse. The original name he wanted was Mortimer Mouse but his wife Lillian convinced him to use Mickey instead. In 1928 when Mickey debuted in his first film, a star was born.

Banana Republic - The safari-inspired attire that began in 1978 and has grown into a luxury career brand as well as an upscale casual retailer today derived its name from an uncomplimentary term used to describe an unstable Latin American country.

There are so many good examples. You may see similar posts in the future. 

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Nielsen Data for March 2009 Shows Growth in Search & Video Marketing

The latest Nielsen data for search and video show continued growth in online use for research and entertainment. It's hard to imagine that just ten years ago the Internet was still a baby. 

According to Nielsen search data for March 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%
According to Nielsen video data for March 2009:
  • 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.
These numbers are further proof that your brand should be highly engaged in search, video and other types of interactive marketing.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Social Media Hurts Domino's & Maybe Others

Okay so the latest example of brand defamation via social media was thrust upon an unknowing Domino's Pizza. Two Domino's employees thought it would be cute and funny to post YouTube videos of them messing with people's food. The videos quickly rose to popularity (over 720K views) and disgusted a lot of people.

Although these actions were merely taken by two idiotic Domino's employees, their actions have harmed the brand and maybe the brands of key competitors such as Pizza Hut and Papa Johns. Of course they were fired but the damage is done. I hear there is talk of Domino's suing the former employees, which I feel is deserved but how do you get money from two obvious losers who work at a low-paying fast food job? 

I see where this is going. Companies are now going to have to add a page to their employment manuals about responsible social media usage. Most people are smart enough to not do things as stupid as these former Domino's employees but the couple of idiots that are the exception can cause a lot of damage.

As consumers, we need to be aware that a) this is not Domino's fault but rather the gross people who chose to record and post the YouTube videos and b) this is not the norm in food prep.  

As marketers, we have to consider how social media is affecting our brands and learn how to better manage the dissemination of content that could be detrimental to our business.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Branding the New Palm Pre

Ready for the next big phone least in the world of non i-phone using business execs? The new Palm Pre, which operates on a 4G network is the latest and greatest. I'm trying to decide if I should upgrade from my Treo 800 to this or wait until my contract expires and switch to the i-phone.  Anyways, check out the cool demo for the Pre. Even if you're an i-phone loyalist, you can agree the Pre looks pretty cool.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Latest Facebook Stats - Why Branding on Facebook is Important

Facebook reached its 200 millionth user last week and continues to grow rapidly - especially among the 26-44 age group within the U.S.  Many of whom are educated professionals and buyers with disposable income. 

Your business can't afford to not at least consider how it can tap into this growing social network. Think of Facebook as an investment in your overall online brand. It's not difficult to get started. It is easy enough that most people or companies can setup their own accounts and pages, but if you're in need of professional help, drop me a line or give me a call or get in touch with another professional who specializes in social media.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

What is a Brand?

Often clients and prospects ask me to help them better understand what a brand is or what a brand means. I thought I would take a few moments to define and explain what a brand is and isn't and what is significant about a brand's meaning.

First, let's start by clarifying what a brand is not:
  • 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 
Now, let's work on defining what a brand 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
A brand has to have a meaningful difference for consumers to understand it and decide whether or not it is a brand they want to buy or a person or place they want to endorse or visit. This meaningful difference has been called a brand position, unique selling proposition, differentiating attribute, etc. It is the perceived difference a consumer or prospect believes about a brand. For example, Volvo's meaningful difference is safety. Federal Express's meaningful difference is overnight delivery. Listerine's meaningful difference is kills germs, President Obama is change we can believe in and so on. 

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Dunkin' Donuts Brand: Simple = Success

I noticed a sign close to where I live this morning that said "coming soon...Dunkin' Donuts". I thought to myself there are already two nearby Dunkin's...why are they building another. Then I thought about it and realized how many new Dunkin Donut stores I have seen spring up over the last year or two. There are several new stores within a 10-15 mile radius of my home.  Talk about a revitalized brand! 

I remember my parents bringing home dozens of donuts from Dunkin' when I was a kid and remember that feeling of carefree bliss I felt when those tasty donuts hit my lips. Then as the population became more health conscious and more interested in luxury brands like Starbucks, old Dunkin' seemed to take a back seat for a while. Yet in a time like present...when Starbucks is closing stores left and right...Dunkin' is opening stores just as fast.

The Dunkin' brand was revitalized a short while back with their "America runs on Dunkin'" campaign and corresponding store makeovers. Dunkin' is positioned as a quality, no-frills American coffee and breakfast brand. I guess at the end of the day, Dunkin's strategy shows us that simple wins over complicated and value wins over over luxury.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Marketing Your Brand Through Online Search

Companies large and small that understand how important search marketing is to their overall online marketing strategy are reaping the reward of a strong ROI. A former manufacturing client from a previous agency called to check in and rave about how well his pay-per-click campaign is working. They've added a substantial amount of new business from integrating paid search into their online marketing strategy. This is just one example. I hear success story after success story from companies that are looking to grow and using online search marketing as a core component of their strategy.

Case studies like this prove just how valuable search marketing is.  Also, the proof is in the data.  According to data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers, Internet advertising reached $23.4 billion in 2008 - a new record high. Search was largely responsible for that growth at 19 percent over the previous year. 

To succeed at marketing today, businesses must have an online brand that people desire and must be easily found through search and/or other online marketing tactics. Marketing online does not utilize a "build it and they will come" strategy. You must be proactive in helping people to find you.  Just remember search is only half of the equation, the other half is how professional and relevant the online brand you've developed is perceived to be by your target audience.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Do-it-Yourself Brands Winning in Tough Economic Times

Information Resources Inc (IRI) reported its findings on the most popular new food and beverage and new non-food brands. The results indicate further how consumers are adapting their lifestyles to save money and realize value during difficult economic times. 

The results in a nutshell indicate the following:
  • 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.
The top 10 brands for Food and Beverage were as follows:
  1. Gatorade G2
  2. Dunkin' Donuts Coffee
  3. Healthy Choice Cafe' Steamers
  4. Progresso Light
  5. Hormel Compleats
  6. Digiorno Ultimate
  7. Smirnoff Ice Flavors
  8. Pepsi Max
  9. Tyson Any'Tizers
  10. Diritos Collisions
The top 10 brands for new non-food products were:
  1. Zyrtec
  2. Alli
  3. Charmin Ultra Strong
  4. Ped Egg
  5. Secret Clinical Strength
  6. MiraLax
  7. Dawn PLUS
  8. CoverGirl LashBlast
  9. Maybelline Define
  10. Tidy Pure Essentials
Bottom line: brands that show value and or innovate in these economic times have a better chance of prospering.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Premium Brands in a Recessionary Economy

I read an article this week in Business Week about premium brands that despite the ailing economic times are not looking to change their pricing strategy to accommodate financially conservative consumers. Panera Bread and Apple were two examples specifically mentioned in the article. 

The article got me thinking. Who is smarter here (from a marketing perspective)? The companies that are adjusting their prices to reach more consumers or those who refuse to accommodate cash-strapped consumers? Some premium brands like Starbucks have certainly felt the pain of the recession and as such have created new lower-priced product offerings with the hopes of appealing to more people looking for value. 

In my own experience, each time I have been to the mall recently or out to eat it seems everyone is running a sale or special. I think (and I could be wrong here but will say what I think nonetheless) that premium brands who refuse to budge will be hurt by this decision. As more people continue to lose their jobs or fear losing their jobs, savings grow and spending tightens. As spending tightens more people will look for values - particularly premium values.   I guess my thinking here is that even premium brands have to be adaptable to survive in the long run and part of that adaptation is adjusting to economic conditions. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Can the World Forgive Vanilla?

Vanilla Ice Apologizes for 'Ice Ice Baby' in Virgin Mobile Ad, Not for Flowing 'Like a Harpoon Daily and Nightly' (Video)

I think Virgin Mobile's use of Vanilla Ice in their new commercial is just too funny. Vanilla Ice is a great case study on branding based on authenticity. Given that the whole Vanilla Ice debacle happened years before the social media will be interesting to see if people are willing to give him another chance.  

Visit the link here and you can view the spot and at the end Virgin points to a website where you can vote on whether or not you can forgive Vanilla. 

Posted using ShareThis

Monday, March 23, 2009

$4 Foot Long? Quiznos Versus Subway.

I was just reading about Quizno's latest ad campaign, which is apparently going to be promoting $4 footlong sandwiches in an effort to try to steal market share from Subway. I haven't seen the TV spots yet but read on Adrants that the spots use a sexy theme...using phrases like put that foot long in me. Even though I haven't seen this yet, I just want to say WTH are they thinking?

First of all, $4 footlongs just doesn't roll off the tongue with quite the same ease as $5. Okay, I guess if it's an all-out price war then maybe Quizno's will up its volume for the short term. A temporary solution to the overarching Quiznos problem. Problem: Quizno's is a me-too brand in the sandwich category and has yet to develop its own meaningful brand identity. I mean who are they? I honestly can't say. Subway, on the other hand, has long-standing brand recognition. And healthy and fresh coupled with price is what Subway claims to be best at. 

Secondly, using sex to sell sandwiches may not be the strongest approach...especially against a solid family-centered brand like Subway.  Tying to differentiate this way will likely backfire. I really think Quiznos just needs to figure out how they're different from Subway versus trying to just be cheaper. That works for Wal-mart but not for everyone. And it only works on wooing consumers who solely care about price.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

New Nike "Believe in the Run" Spot - Another Great Demonstration of the Nike Brand

Okay, just watched the new Nike "Believe in the Run" spot and I am literally ready to jump out of my office chair, run home, throw on my Asics and my running gear and hit the pavement. Wow! I'm including the link to the video (below) on the blog so you can watch it.

The Nike brand is simply one of the best brands in the may be thee best brand in the world...although that's a matter of opinion. Personally, I run in Asics shoes because of the stability, but many, many, many people swear by Nike.  I also should mention that 75 percent of my running gear (shorts, pants, tops, hats) are Nike. Why? Because Nike is synonymous with style, quality and functionality. Their products look good, last for many wears and actually work. Take the Nike Dri-FIT product for example. I have several Dri-FIT shirts and I will keep buying more because they actually work.

One more thing I want to mention about Nike is that they know their audience and they have this amazing ability to target them. Back to the new running commercial...only Nike could develop a spot so emotionally and theatrically realistic to its running customers. Kudos to Nike for developing one of the coolest most innovative brands of all time and to the Nike agencies who again and again demonstrate the power of great creative.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

When Brands Become Movements

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all. Irish or just pretending to be Irish for the day's festivities.  I see a few individuals wearing green and hear talk of after-work plans for celebration. My mind wanders and I contemplate how St. Patrick's Day really is a brand. The brand of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.  I can't help but think how this one person became a brand (known throughout Ireland and now the world) that became a movement. Because today, people of all races and nationalities and beliefs celebrate St. Patrick's Day by wearing green, eating and drinking certain Irish foods, watching the parade, etc. It has moved from a person to a brand and beyond a a movement.

Where we saw this happen most recently was in the Obama for president campaign. Obama is a man, who became a brand who transcended to become a movement. A movement of hope and change. This movement is what led to his success. The other candidates had brands but none with the kind of traction and emotional appeal of President Obama.

Another example of a brand becoming a movement is the Livestrong effort led by highly-respected athlete Lance Armstrong. Livestrong is the brand for Lance's foundation.  As most people know, Lance successfully overcame cancer only to win the Tour de France again and again and is very passionate about the fight against cancer. His Livestrong brand apparel as sold by Nike contributes 100 percent of its profits to cancer research. This brand and this cause has grown into a movement that people connect with.

When brands become movements their success is often a sure thing assuming the brand attributes are positive and desired by consumers.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Marketing & Media in a Down Economy

On my drive into work this morning I heard on the radio that the popular morning show Today is making some adjustments to its content to better relate to its target audience during these less than stellar economic times. Today has been doing a "Where in the World is Matt Lauer" segment - showcasing exotic places all over the world. To be more practical given economic times, Today has decided to take a different approach.  Matt Lauer and the other Today folks will take road trips within the U.S. instead of traveling abroad. This is interesting because it is a way for msnbc to cut back on the show's production budget and also a way to better relate to its viewers and make the show more relevant to them. 

After hearing the news about Today, I got to thinking  about something my boss said recently about positioning and how not only is brand positioning about the company, its competitors and customer wants and needs...but it also must align with market conditions. Today is adjusting its content based on market conditions much like Target has adjusted their messaging to better reach out to people looking to shop at a better retailer but still get value. Target's "Fabuless" campaign conveys that point precisely. They haven't changed their position but have adjusted their messaging to better reflect that position given market conditions. 

With so many retailers going out of business and experiencing declining profits, maybe it's time for them to look at their brands and assess where they started, where they are and what can be done to refine the brand's appeal and messaging given today's market conditions.  Promotions may be helpful to reaching out to cash conscious consumers but in the long run will probably not be strong enough to sustain success for the retailers.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Little Brand Nostalgia

It's funny how times change. Back in the 1950s, most women would never have thought of coloring their hair.  At that time it was not socially acceptable to do so. That was the premise behind Clairol's famous "Does she or doesn't she?" advertising campaign.  In the campaign, seemingly respectable women who had changed their hair color were shown...but even getting the ads published was a process! Life magazine and some TV stations would not run the ad because they felt the language was too suggestive and may offend women readers or viewers. Hard to imagine that this campaign would be offensive given today's standards! 

To get the ad campaign approved to run, Clairol asked Life to survey a group of their own women employees to see if they were offended by the ads. The women didn't mind the ads so the campaign was launched and it was a highly successful marketing effort for the hair color company and was instrumental in the freedom we have today to express ourselves through changing our hair color.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Report Shares Insight Into Effective Marketing Strategies & Tactics

In a recent report titled Marketing Wisdom for 2009, Marketing Sherpa and its sponsor Omniture share interesting insight into what types of marketing work best given the plethora of options available today: email, web 2.0, search marketing, mobile marketing, landing page & website design, B2B marketing, B2C marketing, lead generation, direct mail, customer intimacy, testing and metrics, advertising, public relations and video. The report's information is derived from  real life examples of marketing professionals. I recommend reading the full document but prepare to invest a little time as the pdf download consists of approximately 50 pages. If you don't have time, I've summarized what I feel are the key takeaways below.

Some of the key points I have taken away are as follows:

  • 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.
To download the report, visit and select the Wisdom Report.

To discuss building your brand on or offline send an email to

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Social Media Savvy

In asking both marketing and non-marketing business professionals about their thoughts on using social media tools for business development and branding, I am faced with the reality that many people still don't have a grasp on what social media is and thus are not sure if and how they should be using it to promote themselves or their businesses. Social media is an integral part of a company's online brand and should be utilized wherever it makes sense strategically.

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

Pepsi - Logo of the New Generation?

I'm sure by now almost everyone has seen the updated Pepsi logo. It's interesting to talk with people about their thoughts on the new logo and advertising campaign as I often hear mixed reviews. Certainly logos of iconic brands like Pepsi should be updated overtime, but how often I can't say. 

I don't know that there was anything wrong with the old logo but rather that Pepsi wanted to update its logo as a sign of the times. In looking at the new Pepsi logo, I can't help but think some of the inspiration must have been derived from President Obama's logo. 

For years Pepsi has claimed that it is the cola of choice for the "new generation". This positioning clearly helped Pepsi to close the gap on Coca-Cola's market share. I don't know that I particularly care for the look of the new Pepsi logo but must admit the change was a good strategic move. With Obama taking office, many in the U.S. and across the world feel a renewed sense of enthusiasm, hope and direction. Why wouldn't Pepsi want its brand to be associated with that kind of positive motivational "change" to think like a "new generation"?