Monday, October 25, 2010

Biggest Brands of Halloween 2010

Yay, it's that time of the year again! You know - late October! Who doesn't love making a complete fool of themselves dressing up for Halloween? It could be the most fun holiday of the least in my opinion.  

It's big business too! According to the National Retail Federation, the average American consumer is estimated to spend $66.28 on their costumes, candy and decorations. This is an 18% increase over 2009. Industry experts feel the increase is likely due to the down economy and consumers wanting to spend a little and have fun this Halloween.

So let's take a look at the biggest brands of Halloween for 2010. Are you ready?

• Lady Gaga - no surprise here as she had a very successful year including a highly-publicized tour.

• Jersey Shore - as if it is not bad enough to just watch the show (which btw is a complete and udder train-wreck albeit one that is hard to not watch), tons of people will be dressing up this year as the crew's Pauly D, Mike the Situation, Snooki, etc.

• Avatar - of course the biggest movie of the year would make the list.

• Other popular movie characters this year include Alice in Wonderland and Toy Story.

• 1980s retro - the 80s are coming back all-around and Halloween is no exception as many people will take this trend over the top with funny hair and clothes.

• The Old Spice Guy - one of the advertising industry's most popular campaigns will come to life with guys dressing up as the guy on the horse.

• Twilight - this one along with vampires in general will be big because lucky us, the whole vamp lit trend continues.

• Horror movie villians - there will be no shortage of Michael Myers, Freddie Krueggers and their other creepy counterparts.

• Funny couple costumes including my new favorite the Plug + Socket.

So there you have it. If you still haven't decided what to be you can opt for one of these popular Halloween Brands. Go ahead, we won't judge you if you dress up as Snooki or Pauly D (snickering). Want to add some good ones to the list? Leave your comments!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Branding Lessons: The Gap Logo

Branding is a complex process for any organization - especially when you're a large, national clothing chain such as The Gap.  Updating a brand requires considerable planning and a strong and strategic implementation. Can some please explain that to The Gap?

Some of you probably saw or heard about the new Gap logo unveiled via social media last week.  At the time I'm sure Gap's marketing execs thought it would be a great idea to use crowd sourcing to have Gap fans come up with a new logo.   As one might expect, the Gap logo redesign "contest" garnered a significant amount of interest from Gap fans, marketing execs, designers, wannabe marketers, wannabe designers, media and social media professionals.

Most people weren't sure why The Gap was changing its logo and why a professional agency wasn't used as opposed to the weak idea of using crowd sourcing for such an important business decision.  A lot of people just made fun of the new logo and the method it was developed.

When a company doesn't approach branding strategically, problems are likely to arise.  Take for example the backlash that The Gap has been enduring since last week.  Already Gap has announced it will stay with its original logo -- proving that the decision to crowd source a new brand identity is not a good one.

I'm curious would you consider crowd sourcing for your company or personal brand? Did you like the newly designed Gap logo or think returning to the classic logo was the right decision?