Author Archive

You CAN Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

December 12, 2012 Leave a comment

On November 29th, 2012, a post was made on Social Media Today, titled, “ 90% of Social Media Has Nothing to Do With Social Media”, that immediately caught my eye. As much as we learn in school that innovation and true customer insight comes from research and constant social media monitoring, nothing beats getting out of the office and truly experiencing life. The real life. The one outside those cyber walls. The life with fresh air, real people, real adventures and real content that makes for successful branding and marketing.

In the post, the author offers a few ideas on how to “avoid the peaks and valleys of great content and become a more dependable source of value to your consumers?” I would like to share them with you now.

Once you have read them, I hope that every office chair is left spinning as each and every one of you is out in this beautiful world bettering the company you work for as well as taking sometime to simply enjoy the little thing I like to call…. life.risks

1) Prove your brand’s promise

Undoubtedly you have a deep understanding of what your brand means to consumers’ lives and continually work to prove this through everything you do. Create compelling content by documenting, capturing, and finding new and creative ways to prove your brand’s promise. Don’t just talk about it, live it, and showcase that.

2) Showcase your product or service

While you certainly don’t want to over do your self-promotion, or try to hard sell your consumers via social media, a key reason why people are attracted to you on social media is because of your product or service. Think about showcasing your product or service, how it is used, who uses it, where it is produced, and on. The key thing here is to show the reality of your product or service, not just rhyme off information from a sell sheet.

3) Community spotlight

For too many brands a community spotlight means commenting or liking a contribution that one of your consumers made on social media. Consider spotlighting consumers who use your product or service in interesting ways, or who do particularly interesting things themselves that are related to your brand. When you’ve identified these people, reach out to them, meet with them, and find some time to see them in person to learn what they’re up to, and how your brand plays a role in their life. Chances are that others interested in your brand, will be interested in these people as well.

 4) Do something interesting

Have you ever noticed that the most interesting of your friends to follow on social media are those who live interesting lives? The reason for this is that their social media profiles mirror their real lives. The same principles hold true for brands. Find opportunities for your brand to live an interesting life and you’ll be rewarded with numerous opportunities for great content creation. Think about planning an event, making a splash with a new product launch, sponsoring a conference, or holding training sessions, to list a few ideas.

As a young professional marketer, I especially connected with the last piece of advice: do something interesting. The observation could not be truer. Why do you think so many people take such an interest in the lives of celebrities and/or professional sports players? It is because of the unique and seemingly exciting lives they live. We wish to live vicariously through them. The “abnormal” intrigues us. This common notion holds true for almost everything, especially when it comes to product branding. You must be different.

We, as marketing professionals, must be willing to take risks, go with our guts and most of all.. truly live.

What do YOU think? 

Is Pinterest Secretly Destroying Us?

December 5, 2012 Leave a comment


I don’t know about you, but I use to love Pinterest. Whenever I had a free moment, you could bet that I was pinning, organizing and of course dreaming that I would one day own that dress, make that dish, climb that mountain and of course have that unbelievable walk-in closet. However, I began to feel that when I was done pinning, I was left feeling less inspired and motivated then when I had started.

I began to realize, I spent far too much time fantasizing about the ideal world portrayed through the thousands of “pins” rather than appreciating the life I have and the world I am actually living in. The more I think about it, the more I see Pinterest as another way to solidify stereotypes, gender norms, and make everyone feel a little less adequate. We scroll up and down, hours upon hours, wishing and wanting and feeling like if we were to obtain these items and lifestyles, we would then be one step closer to a better, tastier, prettier and more adventurous self. Now that I think of it, there have been plenty of times I have closed my computer, after a long Pinterest session, looked up and thought“ I am so poor, uncreative and never going to one day swim in the crystal clear waters of Bali or climb Rapunzel’s Tower in Wales (who knows if these places are even what they really look like, thanks to the wonderful world of Photoshop, but that’s a whole other story). Come to think of it, who has ever pinned something they actually own or have done? It rarely happens, because we all seem to be fixated on the idea of being completely unsatisfied with the present, and constantly wanting more.


Fellow blogger Ashley Witzel, who contributed to with a blog post titled, “Pinterest is ruining my life”, not only further validates my point and feelings but also offers a GREAT solution to this growing internal struggle.

“Pinterest makes me feel like a loser. To combat that, today I started a new Pinterest board today called “things I have” so that I can review that from time to time and remind myself of all of the wonderful blessings I have in my life. If you too are Pinterest Possessed, I encourage you to start one.”

I am not here to complain about my own life, I just worry that the intentions of Pinterest are beginning to be a bit skewed and potentially doing more harm than good. There is no doubt that Pinterest has proved to be a very profitable and successful medium for businesses and marketers, however, I just feel we need to be extra careful about how it is used and better understand its true purpose and value.

But for now…we continue to pin.

The Subscription Takeover

December 3, 2012 Leave a comment

As the gift-giving season quickly approaches, adults often begin to reminisce about their youth-filled days of uncontrollable anticipation, no sleep and the complete and utter joy of tearing through the wrapping paper on Christmas morning and uncovering the gifts inside. For me, it has always been about the element of surprise. Luckily, businesses have begun to catch on to this way of thinking and have made it so every month can now be like Christmas morning.

Subscription buying has seen tremendous growth and transformation over the past few years. What was once just for purchasing monthly magazines and newspapers, now covers everything from beauty and fashion to fitness, art and cooking. Fellow blogger Lisa, from Fantabulously Frugal, has a great list of subscription boxes that are currently available to consumers.

Birch Box Subscription

How does it Work?

For a set monthly fee, normally ranging from about 10 to 80 dollars, selected items arrive at your doorstep in brightly colored boxes each month. For most of the subscription services, before you receive your first box, you complete a survey or quiz to better pin point your specific wants and needs. Companies can then tailor your box and help improve overall retention and maintain the satisfaction of its subscribers.

Depending on the service, you receive an array of products and goods that usually, in total, cost more than what you pay per month, therefore satisfying the “deal shopper” in you. Also, some boxes are merely full of sample products that allow for trial and experimentation without having to spend the money and commit to full size products.

Lastly, one of the biggest perks to this way of shopping, is that you are completely unaware of your box’s monthly contents until it arrives at your doorstep. The surprise factor has been so well received that millions of people now create “unboxing” videos that can be found on YouTube for people to watch and join in on the fun.

Are there Risks?

Subscription boxes have several benefits including saving time and money, however, if you are not careful, this way of shopping can also leave a giant whole in your wallet without you realizing it. The monthly fees can quickly add up. Many consumers become “ subscription happy”, and simply sign up for a host of services that they do not necessarily need. Since it is only a single fee each month and often charged to one’s credit card, many don’t really pay attention to it and how much they are really spending each month.

In addition, you do pay the risk of not liking what is in your box. It is important to do your research and find the services that best suit your needs and offer the most flexibility when it comes to returns.

The Future?

It will be interesting to see how these subscription box services continue to grow and become more or less popular over time. It will also be interesting to see how companies and marketers take advantage of this growing trend and how much time and money will now be spent on getting their products in these boxes each month.

Here are just a few questions I have when it comes to this new way of shopping:

-Will the element of surprise slowly fade and become less appealing?

-Will consumer confusion and frustration ensue due to the rapid growth of different services offering similar products?

– Will consumers no longer purchase full size at full price products, therefore, becoming brand disloyal, sample size, discount users?

What do YOU think?