Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 11-17-13

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Welcome to another edition of Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding, the top stories in branding and digital marketing from the past week!  Be on the lookout for an announcement later this week for a project that I am really excited for!  (Teaser alert!)

#1 – 5 Reasons Why You Need to Be Mobile Ready for 2014 – via 

Premise: Danny Brown provides five (more) reasons that your business needs to have a mobile game plan based on the results of a study conducted by Nielsen and Google.  Consumers are doing more research/search on mobile – looking up information on products, for deals, etc.  While results are mixed thus far, the benefits of geo-location apps can be seen when your business is found on the likes of Foursquare and Facebook Places.  Finally, consumers are beginning to use mobile devices for purchasing / at the point of purchase and that trend is more than likely going to continue upward.

Thoughts: Over the past few months we have spent a good amount of time and effort on the importance of mobile – including our Foursquare tips and introduction to the mobile advertising company Nearwoo.  The shift towards mobile devices will continue and I hope your brand/company is ready for it.

Are you making adjustments to your mobile game plan?  Have you had early success or failure?

#2 – “Google+ #Helpouts: How three big brands have been using it” – via    

Premise: Last week Google+ launched its Helpouts feature – a build off of G+ Hangouts and tutorial videos for consumers to offer “Real help, from real people, in real time”.  Google+ is allowing those that create these videos to charge consumers if they wish – with any payments being handled through Google Wallet.  For those interested in hosting a Helpout video, there is a request form that must be filled out.  Finally, the author takes a look at three brands that are already leveraging this new feature on Google+ – Sephora, Weight Watchers, and Rosetta Stone.

Thoughts: Google+ Helpout videos are a content marketers dream come true.  Sephora’s free Helpout videos offer make-up tutorials.  Weight Watchers (also free) is providing tips across several different related categories, while Rosetta Stone is using the service to help drive revenue by charging for their Helpout content.

Take a look for yourself at what other Helpout videos are currently available from brands and companies.  While I understand what and why Rosetta Stone is charging for their content, I would imagine this would be an outlier and most brands would (and probably should) be creating their content free of charge.

#3 – “Starbucks Tests Commuter-Friendly Café on Swiss Train” via

Premise: Starbucks continues to test new and varying ways in which to expand its brand name.  Its latest test is being conducted in Switzerland, where the brand has developed its first café on a train, through a partnership with a Swiss rail line.  Opening next week, the rail car will serve your typical Starbucks menu and include baristas.

Thoughts: While this only a test market, I actually really like this idea.  The picture of the inside of the rail car is a great site – coming from someone that is accustomed to NJ Transit and the NY subway.  This would be a great option for trains that run up and down the coasts and/or across country and you know the Starbucks’ loyalists and ambassadors would jump on.

#4 – “LIVE: Why HBO Must Learn From Blockbuster’s Disaster” – via   

Premise: Florencia Iriondo hosted an online video chat with a few others on Friday discussing the failure of Blockbuster and how/why HBO may benefit from learning and adapting.  The story is built off of a story regarding how HBO must consider moving away from being solely available through cable companies.

Thoughts: I find it to be incredibly frustrating that HBO, Showtime, and similar are only available (full content) with a cable subscription.  Blockbuster is a perfect example of a company not seeing the path forward and now, have fallen by the wayside.  Can, or will, HBO adapt in the next few years and break away from cable companies?

#5 – “How a Winery Uses Social Media to Increase Sales and Brand Loyalty – via 

Premise: Whitehall Lane is a winery in Napa Valley that has taken to social media to build a loyal fan base and indirectly improve sales.  Aside from its own web site and blog, the brand has turned to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter to build engagement levels.  Direct sales and club member sales/retention have all improved/increased.  The brand has also partnered with others to run contests and given away wine glasses and cookbooks, while rewarding fans with gifts to improve loyalty.

Thoughts: The winery is simply doing things right across social media networks – posting unique content to each of the platforms, rewarding users and building loyalty.  While they are restricted in that they can’t give away their wine, they have thought outside the box a bit and found items that are well within their range and make sense.

A focus over the past week or two here has been the concept of ‘brandscaping’ and the winery provides another example of the benefits of finding similar brands/companies and leveraging common goals and users to increase/build your audience.

Tweet of the Week:


From the Youtube Twitter feed, Mashable’s Grumpy Cat paired with Sesame Street’s Oscar the Grouch this week in a Youtube video that took off quickly.  At the time of this writing, the video was seen well over 350,000 times in four days!  The witty video combines the power of Sesame Street’s character(s) with the growing popularity of this darn, Grumpy Cat.

That is all for this week’s Sunday Musings – the top stories in branding and digital marketing from the past seven days!  Have a great week!  We’re closing in on Thanksgiving here in the US!  (That’s another subtle hint to be on the lookout for some news later this week.)

  • Danny Brown

    Hi guys,

    Thanks so much for including my mobile post here, much appreciated, and completely agree with your take on it – the only way is up as far as mobile is concerned.

    Gotta love the way Starbucks is continuing to move the needle – just goes to show, even huge corporations can be nimble when you have a CEO who’s not afraid to take risks.