Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 9-1-13

Photo Credit: CBS Philadelphia

Photo Credit: CBS Philadelphia

Happy Labor Day weekend to those in the US!  Here are this past week’s top stories in branding and digital marketing that caught our eye.

#1 – What Google’s Chromecast means for marketers – via iMediaConnection.com 

Premise: The author takes an interesting perspective on the recently launched Google Chromecast – while you might first think that this is targeted for consumers, it is a product that will be of great aid to advertisers.  As mobile shopping and the ‘second screen’ behaviors continue to grow, Chromecast presents an ability to unite the TV and mobile device.  Advertisers and marketers will be able to collect a wealth of information on end-user behavior, key for more focused and relevant advertising.

While past efforts from Google (Nexus Q and Google TV) have failed to take off, the Chromecast might be the device that takes Google’s advertising model to the next level.

Thoughts: I purchased a Chromecast the day it was announced and have enjoyed the quality and performance of the $35 product.  At the time, I said I thought it could be a game-changer, but really only thought about it from the consumer angle.  This write-up really takes a brilliant look into the device from a unique angle – one that advertisers can really take to heart and start planning against.  The consumption data that will be generated will help marketing teams strengthen and tailor their message to the right audience.

#2 – “How to Create a LinkedIn Company Page That Drives Sales” – via SmallBizTrends.com    

Premise: As the title suggests, the author takes you through steps and recommendations to building a stronger LinkedIn company page.  Here you will find several prerequisites that must be met on LinkedIn itself and then several of the necessary set-up requirements.  The crux of the recommendation is to complete all of the information available to be filled in, providing you with a more appealing page than your competition; this includes; a company overview, adding products and services, and a call to action.  Additional options include requesting recommendations from others and a careers page for job opportunities within the company.

Thoughts: While some of this may seem like common knowledge, you would be surprised how many company’s out there don’t fill in at least a portion of their LinkedIn Company page.  While some of this seems tedious (side-note: it is), it is also very important.  The ‘call to action’ is important – make sure you have the right information available for someone to reach out to you.  You have taken them this far, don’t leave them stranded on your Product/Service page without a next step.  Finally, take a look through the SlideShare at the bottom of the write-up for several best-in-class examples from 2012.  

#3 – “Brands Need To Stop This. Now.” – via Unmarketing.com

Premise: Mr. Unmarketing strikes again, taking down the Golf Channel’s (shameless) ploy for attention on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech.  He also hyperlinks to two other faux pas trying to capitalize on other world events.

Thoughts: I sincerely thought about typing “Yep.” and leaving my thoughts simply as that.  There are certain times and events were we just need to, in the words of The Beatles, “Let it be”.  Every so often, let’s turn down the dial a bit and act like humans.  I also wanted to include this write-up as it has a YouTube video of ‘The March on Washington’ and speech that took place 50 years ago this past Wednesday.

#4 – “McDonald’s Wants Your Short Film Idea in 140 Characters” – via DigiDay.com

Premise: McDonald’s Canada and its agency have come up with a new Twitter campaign, #MakeMyFilm.  They will select the twelve best ideas and turn them into digital micro-videos.  Those interested in participating must use one of the items on McDonald’s menu and, obviously, keep it under 140 characters.

Thoughts: Brands continue to turn to social media to build engagement and try to strengthen loyalty.  An increasing number of brands/companies are adapting their strategy to include micro-video – as we have covered off for many weeks in the Sunday Musings.  Vine, Instagram, and other micro-video platforms continue to drive new means of reaching consumers.

This program from McDonald’s actually reminds me a lot of the Amex Film Festival and getting people involved from the start of a “project”.  While they aren’t the ones actually creating the micro-video, fans are driving the creative element to them and will feel like they have a say, or being a part of, the idea from the initial stages.

#5 – “Starbucks’s Supermarket Invasion, Now With Juice” – via BusinessWeek.com

Premise: Starbucks is looking to move into your home’s kitchen through a partnership with Whole Foods, through their Evolution Fresh juices and snack bars.  These items have been sold in the past at Starbucks’ stores, but are moving into the food store by the end of the year.  This is one step along the path of expansion, with a partnership with Danone to make yogurt forthcoming over the next couple of years as well.

Thoughts: Starbucks moves the needle and you have to pay attention to what they are doing.  As you will see in the article, this initiative seems to have done pretty well in test markets on the west coast, so the brand is looking to expand those efforts around the country.  Through strategic acquisitions, Starbucks continues to poke new holes and opportunities for itself with its extremely loyal fan base.

Those are the top stories this week in branding and digital marketing.  Hope you enjoy the week ahead!  For those of you in the States, enjoy the extra day off tomorrow (hopefully)!