Posts Tagged ‘branding’

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? 

Humanizing brands

December 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Recently I came across a blogpost written by Sean Hazell ” 8 Reasons Misery Loves Your Non-Human Company”. Few years back I wouldn’t have understood the relevance of this but today it holds true more than ever for most of the brands. We see brands like Comcast, Jetblue, Best Buy constantly talking to their customers getting a feedback, addressing issues. Social media has enabled two way communication between the brands and their customers. Customers, who are loyal to these brands and would like to play a significant role in the brand’s evolution. Today it is okay for a brand to make a mistake as long as they own up to it. Customers trust their brands to do the right thing. They share a love-hate relationship with their brands just like they do with their friends.  Customers use their favorite brands as a means of self-expression when they tweet about their experiences, like a post on Facebook or pin pictures of their new google phone. As the customers interact with their brands on various online platforms they build stories and memories around their brands and when the brand reciprocates with good customer service or a quick fix to their problem it is well-appreciated. They attach certain attributes to these brands which is above and beyond the functional attributes and much more emotional and human. It is real, honest and sticky. Without these personalities the brand is meaningless.

Are you keeping up with your younger consumers?

September 30, 2012 Leave a comment

As markets found different and unique ways to reach their target audience for “Back to School” sales, a lot did not take full advantage of digital marketing. Perhaps because this term “digital marketing” is still new to the field and a lot of people don’t quite know how to use it effectively. I understand that some people might not know how to create effective digital marketing campaign. Well, I am going to use this article that demonstrates six great “Back to School” digital marketing campaign and give my own opinion of why I think it was executed well and what could have been done to further enhance it.

1. Teen Vogue:

First of all, Teen Vogue allowed customers who have the “insider app” to retrieve coupons and discounts on their mobile devices. This allows only an exclusive group of their target audience to get discounts and spread the word to their friends to also join this app. Second of all, the benefit of having fashion shows in different cities is that those who don’t subscribe to Teen Vogue were reached. Furthermore, participating retailers increased brand awareness and trials.

Improvement: They could have encouraged those who witnessed the fashion shows to send live pictures of the events on Instagram and Twitter (ex. #TVfashionshow) in a chance to possible gain coupons and discounts.

2. American Eagle

First of all, American Eagle (AE) used a catchy phrase. “Live Your Life” really encourages young people to live their life the way they want without worrying about what others might think or say. Second of all, by asking your consumers to enter their pictures, you gain brand ambassadors. These brand ambassadors will be able to influence their peers more than an ad would do. Third of all, AE asked their followers to vote in order to increase interaction amount friends as well as those who don’t want to post their pictures but still want to participate.

Improvement: They should really extend this “Live Your Life” campaign and partner with non-profit organizations. Being a teenager in the U.S is very hard especially if you do not fit in with the cool crowd. The tag line would go so well with the anti-bullying organization or eating disorder organizations to bring more awareness to the on-going issues.

3. Staple

First of all, they were smart to keep offering new deals weekly, because this keeps consumers coming back for more deal. They want to see what will unfold this week that didn’t last week. In addition, your brand becomes top of mind for these consumers. Second of all, it was great that they added the #StaplesforStudents hashtag in order to make consumers feel like they are participating in a good cause.

Improvement: I don’t think the campaign should be limited to Twitter only, because they will be overseeing a lot of their target audience who are not on Twitter yet. The same idea, minus the hashtags, should be transported to the AE Facebook page. In addition, videos should be created that show where the donations are going and post it on Youtube (with tweets of those who donated embedded in the videos).

4. Target

First of all, Target understands the headache that goes into going away for college. In order to attract more consumers to their mobile app, they created this engaging checklist to help the new students easily transition in their new life. Second of all, they provided design inspirations to help students understand what goes with what. Years later they might remember Target as the brand that helped them in their transition phase.

Improvement: I know this might sound too stretched but adding tips beyond what they need is necessary. A lot of students might not know how to wash covers, bed sheets, etc. They also might not know how often they need to change they sheets or how to fold their laundry. You also want to provide a chat option in case they have questions.

5. Sears

It is always good to partner with a non-profit and raise awareness that might be overlooked. However, the cause has to reflect your mission statement and your longterm goals. Sears in this case did a good job of reminding students about bullying as they were heading back to school.

Improvement: Again expanding it beyond Twitter, because the company is still growing. I think adding Youtube again might be a good idea. Or creating educational short documentaries that could be picked up by teachers so they can show it to the students.

6. SpareFoot

This is such a simple but yet effective campaign for a storage company. All you are doing is grabbing attention from users by asking them what they’ve kept since elementary school instead of talking about the services that you offer. Not only are you engaging with the brand by you are helping them supply kits to students. And here you see the use of both Facebook and Twitter.

Improvement: In addition, SpareFoot could allow users to create a collage from their keepsake  to be posted both Pinterest and Instagram

The first time is always hard especially in this ever-changing era where you have to constantly be on your toes. However, the key to creating effective digital campaigns is understanding where your consumers are, be creative in a simple way , integrate different social media sites, and allow engagement/sharing.