Here are this week’s stories that caught my attention in branding and digital marketing in this week’s Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding.
#1 – “Dollar Shave Club is Back with a New Product and Another Outrageous Video” – via BrandChannel.com
Premise: Dollar Shave Club (DSC) is extending itself into a new market – wet wipes, aimed at men. DSC went viral last year with its blades and razors subscription service and an eye opening YouTube ad. They are back with their extension into wipes, which has remained a small, niche category relative to toilet paper sales. DSC has some interesting research/data available behind this product that might suggest a strong opportunity to draw appeal. As of now, the new wipes can only be purchased by those that sign up for their blades and razors subscription, but that might change in the future.
Thoughts: If you are not familiar with DSC’s YouTube ads, please click on the link above. DSC’s President is clearly willing to take the risk of offending some people, with the (achieved) goal of breaking through the ad clutter. I have been considering signing up for DSC to see how the razors are from an efficacy standpoint. These ads make you want to try their subscription based service.
#2 – “Top-Down Thinking Is Bad for Your Brand” – from Al Ries, via AdAge.com
Premise: Al Ries has written a number of “branding”-related books, along with his daughter Laura. The focus of this write-up is how you go to market with your brand and hones in on the topic of my favorite book by Ries, “Focus”. Ries uses Apple and HP as perfect examples of a bottom-up and top-down approach, respectively. With Apple, you know what you are getting and what they stand for. With HP, do you have any idea?
Thoughts: While recent months likely prove otherwise with Apple, it is still a very good example of a company that has focused on a particular market and successfully won share because of that laser-like focus on a particular product/brand. You can easily communicate it and explain to the consumer exactly what the benefit it. Despite having a strong brand name, HP’s advertising doesn’t break through the clutter whatsoever. They might have a great product out there, but it is also likely hidden behind 50+ other variants that play in the same area.
What’s your thoughts on focusing and winning somewhere vs. brand extensions?
#3 – “4 Reasons To Include Yelp In Your Digital Marketing Strategy” – via MarketingZen.com
Premise: Beyond the Facebook’s, Twitter’s, etc. of social media, there are a number of sites that provide a great amount of depth and breadth to improving your branding and digital marketing. The author presents his case for including Yelp in your brand’s digital strategy, providing the numbers behind the site and four specific reasons behind his thought process.
Thoughts: I personally do not use Yelp. I am signed up for it, but continued using FourSquare instead. However, the author presents some strong facts and reasons behind considering the site – most of which isn’t exclusively available for Yelp. Much of this comes down to engagement with your consumers and picking your spots in the digital space that work best for you and your brand.
If anyone is willing to provide some rationale as to why Yelp is better than FourSquare or others, I’m all ears. What sites or platforms are you using for your business in this arena?
#4 – “YouTube Mobile vs. YouTube on your TV and the impact of TrueView” – via BlgMaverick.com (Mark Cuban’s Blog)
Premise: Mark Cuban put together a few thoughts on how YouTube has done a good job of driving its users to mobile platforms to view ads and raises the question of whether or not it will be able to drive usage through big screen TV’s in our living rooms. From Cuban’s perspective, the answer is ‘No’. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as Google quickly cut the cord on a few of its content services. YouTube is successfully bringing in advertising money and through their TrueView platform, are better able to target the right ad/message to specific consumer groups.
Thoughts: The growth in online video and use of mobile have been a perfect pairing for Google and YouTube. Cuban brings up several interesting topics here, including whether or not YouTube can become a bigger presence in the living room. Personally, I hate the YouTube app on my TV. It takes far more time to get to what I am looking for through my Xbox than it does on my mobile phone/tablet.
At the same time, this is yet another example of the power of analytics on digital platforms, particularly with Google. Their TrueView system helps them better understand who is watching what, and subsequently get the right message to the right people at a more successful rate.
#5 – “How to Use Twitter’s Vine App” – via ClickZ.com
Premise: Here is another write-up on the early successes of Twitter’s Vine app and several more examples of brands that are driving engagement through the platform. The author puts together a small list of recommendations for what to do or how to best use Vine for your business, along with several more click-through links to learn more about the app.
Thoughts: Why do we have another write-up about Vine? Well, it is FINALLY available in the Google Play market! Earlier this week it became available and I swooped it up to create a few sports-related apps for the NBA Playoffs. I probably should have read more links like this because my first Vine (see below) was a colossal failure. I could have sworn you were able to rotate the camera angle/view when I tried the app on my wife’s Ipod Touch. Well – that is going to be my first recommendation when they go to upgrade the app a bit – the ability to rotate your six second video before posting to the site.
In any case … try not to get dizzy viewing this. Have you tried Vine yet?
What stories in branding and digital marketing caught your attention this week? Have a great week everyone!