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.