Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 5-24-15

Photo Credit: CBS Philadelphia

Photo Credit: CBS Philadelphia

Happy Memorial Day Weekend to everyone in the States!  In this week’s #SundayMusings we’re going to build off of last weekend’s “Pin of the Month” on mobile travel and link in loyalty-related articles, ahead of next weekend’s latest “Loyalty to Brands” write-up.  Here are several write-ups that I have found on brands that I have some level of loyalty to when booking travel.

#1 – “National’s App Adds “Virtual Aisle” Service” – via AutoRentalNews.com

Premise: Earlier this year National Rental Car deployed a “virtual aisle” to its Emerald Club members and users of National’s mobile app.  At specific airports around the US, National’s mobile app allows you to conduct a real-time inventory check on what cars are available at the airport.

Thoughts: National Rental Car has always been my preferred rental car provider for as long as I have been traveling for business.  The bypass of the counter feature was enough for me right out of the gate.  However, I’ve never had a negative experience with National, their customer service has been solid, and their mobile app includes just about everything you could possibly need.

#2 – “Hilton HHonors Rewards Program” via Wanderbat.com

Premise: Wanderbat provides a rundown on the Hilton HHonors program and all of its features, implied value, the encompassing hotel chains that fall under the program’s umbrella, and more.  The write-up suggests that earning points via your spend level at Hilton properties does not carry as much value as other hotels.  However, there are a number of partner programs that can be connected to your Hilton HHonors account.

Thoughts: This write-up provides quite the extensive list of benefits, how to earn and redeem points, and runs the gauntlet of coverage on the program.  Within a few clicks you will be able to find a similar rundown for your hotel of choice.

You may have already seen this but my loyalty in the hotel space has been with Hilton HHonors.  That will provide you with everything you need to know about why I am a loyal member to their program.

#3 – “Best Airline Rewards Programs” via USNews.com

Premise: USNews.com reviewed the top ten frequent flier / airline loyalty programs and came away with the ranking found in the link above.  JetBlue and Southwest are at the top of the list, respectively.  The bigger airlines – United, American Airlines, and Delta – find themselves in the middle of the pack.

The page linked to above provides a quick summary blurb for each of the ten airlines measured.  Each airline is then one, additional click away for a more comprehensive review of their respective loyalty program.

Thoughts: While I have preferences in airlines, I am not loyal to anyone in particular.  This is largely due to differences in flight destinations, convenience, and price.  Very rarely do I purchase an airline ticket without checking prices and flight times at each of the following locations – Newark, JFK, LaGuardia, and Philadelphia.  All four are anywhere from 30 – 90 minutes away without any major traffic issues.

It is incredibly tough to be loyal to an airline when you are traveling to various locations.  If you are traveling to one location for your job every week or month, it makes it a lot easier to rack up miles and eventually earn enough for reward travel.  However, I let my points accumulate with Hilton vs. any airline program due to what I view as stronger, more usable benefits.

Moving away from stories and reviews, I wanted to provide a few additional links for mobile travel.  Here are a few mobile travel apps that I find to be very helpful while I am on the road.  The links below are to the apps’ Google Play page.

  • FlightTrack: Offers free and paid versions – link is for the free version – and is typically ahead of airlines when updating delayed flights, gate information, etc.
  • Waze: When I run into issues with Google Maps and the navigation within it, I quickly turn to Waze.  This is somewhat ironic since Google now owns Waze and they should probably be better intertwined by now.  I digress.  Waze will provide you with the appropriate driving directions, alternative routes, and notify you when law enforcement may have been tagged by other users on the roads ahead.
  • 1Weather: I started using this weather app when I purchased an Android Wear smartwatch.  However, I wouldn’t recommend waiting to use this app for your weather and forecasts needs instead of The Weather Channel app.  It is far superior in my opinion.

Tweet of the Week:

Found Simplify’s tweet on a Twitter search for “mobile travel” and loved the link that is embedded here.  Tnooz.com provides a quick summary on travel and hospitality news, specifically with links to mobile and technology.  No surprise that the top stories connect mobile travel to the Apple Watch, as more brands look to make their mark in the wearables market.

That’s it for this weekend’s mobile travel-related #SundayMusings.  What apps do you find most useful when you are traveling for business or leisure?  Let me know in the comments below or via email so I can check them out.  Thanks!

 

Pin of the Month – The Modern Mobile Travelers

Infographic by Usablenet.com

Infographic by Usablenet.com

Building off of last weekend’s #SundayMusings, our “Pin of the Month” for May dives in on mobile, specifically the mobile traveler.  This month’s infographic coincides with a free ebook from Usablnet.com.  With an interest in mobile and a desire to always be traveling, this one was right up my alley.

The infographic takes a look at the mobile traveler and provides input and feedback as to how brands can better connect with them.  I particularly enjoy how each section of the infographic itself is followed by an insight blurb to put all of the pieces together for you.

After the demographic and background information, we get to the meat and potatoes of who the mobile traveler is and their respective behaviors.  This includes the very obvious differences across generations / age groups.

There were, however, two items that surprised me a little bit (read: I don’t fit the mold here):

  1. Consumers are consistently more likely to book travel on mobile web vs. a specific app.
  2. Approximately half of mobile travelers say they are influenced by loyalty programs.  I would have thought this would be much higher.

How are you using mobile when considering or booking travel?  Are you a multiple device researcher/planner and purchaser?  Does anything catch your eye in the statistics here like they did for me?  Let us know in the comments below or drop me an email at john@shorebranding.com.

For those unfamiliar with our “Pin of the Month”, every month we post one of the better infographics, pictures, etc. that we find on our Pinterest page and (over-) analyze it in our “Pin of the Month”.  If you have an infographic that you would like to promote here on Shore Branding, just let us know.  Thanks!

 

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 5-10-15

A mobile #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding! (Photo credit: ZDNet.com)

A mobile #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding!
(Photo credit: ZDNet.com)

We are focusing our efforts on mobile in this week’s #SundayMusings.  With the recent announcement from Google (Mobilegeddon) and its impact on web sites and search results, it feels like a good time to keep an eye on all things mobile.

#1 – “How to Ace the Google Mobile-Friendly Test & Score 100%” – via Moz.com

Premise: Google has begun to further roll out its mobile-friendliness rankings within its search algorithms.  This write-up focuses on the mobile test itself by Google, but also includes links to several other Mobilegeddon write-ups that were put on Moz.com.

Google’s mobile checking Chrome extension will rate your site and provide feedback on areas that may need improvement.  The write-up also goes into the five components of the mobile score and quickly what each represents.  The team at Moz wound up doing their own test across 4K sites to see who did well and who scored poorly on the new algorithm.

Thoughts: What caught my eye on this article vs. the many, many others regarding Mobilegeddon was the willingness to put together real-life examples from around the web and quantifying those results.  A well deserved “kudos” to the team at Moz that went through this effort!

Have you tested your site’s mobile ranking?

#2 – “Google’s Mobile-Friendly Algorithm A Week Later: Was It Really Mobilegeddon” via SearchEngineLand.com

Premise: After all of the uproar, did the change in Google’s algorithm drive significant change in mobile search results?  According to this write-up and the coinciding mining, the answer is ‘not really’.  Tracking results from others around the web (links included within the story, including the work done by Moz) the author finds that while changes have been seen, they are not as significant as “feared”.

Thoughts: Similar to many stories seen on the news these days, Mobilegeddon was ramped up as a colossal event that would shake the world to its core (OK, maybe that is even a bit much), only to find that the changes in search results have been impacted, but not turned upside down.

#3 – “Notes From A Mobilized Marketer – It Isn’t The Young That Value The Smartphone The Most” via JeffHasen.com

Premise: Jeff cites research from Pew Research Center that states that the older you are, the more you value your smartphone.  The vast majority (82%) of those 65+ in age say their phones give them freedom.  That’s just one of a dozen or so headlines from the past few weeks included in this “musings”-like write-up.

Thoughts: While I tend to agree that as I get older, my phone becomes more prevalent, I don’t know if I think that is because I’m getting older as much as it is the fact that my phone is getting better.  What are your thoughts on this?

What really caught my attention here is actually the news that Meerkat jumped ahead of Periscope and was first to launch its app on Android devices, while Periscope remains an Apple-only product.  If I didn’t love Twitter and Vine so much, I would make a much bigger deal out of this, but come on Periscope … we’re waiting!

We’re going to move away from more news articles this week and embed a few items of interest.  First, take a look at the SlideShare below on Wearable technology and its role in mobile:

Next, I found this YouTube video (on DigitalTrends.com) and thought how true (and sad) this is in our everyday lives:

Tweet of the Week:

Have you seen this story yet?  A woman was in a hostage situation in Florida and placed an order to her local Pizza Hut with the emergency message for help.  Truly amazing that she was able to get this through, the employees were smart enough to act on it, and the situation didn’t escalate.  It’s a crazy world we live in these days.

That’s it for this weekend’s #SundayMusings.  Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

 

Updated Pinterest Tips – 2015

Updated Pinterest Tips for 2015 via ShoreBranding.com

Updated Pinterest Tips for 2015 via ShoreBranding.com

Pinterest continues to grow in popularity and I thought it would be a good idea to build off of our original Pinterest Tips article given all of the new features, updates, etc. that have been rolled out since the write-up a little over a year ago.  Those tips still ring true when thinking about leveraging the network for your brand/company, so I’m not going to spend much time rehashing those recommendations.  (As a reminder, if you are already on the network, please leverage your readily available Pinterest Analytics.)

We’ll start with one of the latest features from Pinterest:

Leverage the new “Save button” within your browser

Pinterest has made it as simple as you can possibly imagine to save an article, image, etc. on the web with its new save button.  If you don’t want to share every article you save, create a private board to save web links to so that you can revert back to them at your convenience.

Connect with others through Pinterest Messaging

More than halfway through 2014 Pinterest rolled out its messaging capability, where you could send a message within the network or via email.  Simply roll over a Pin and click on ‘Send’ which will bring up the message screen.  Select who you want to send the Pin to and away it goes.

To be transparent, I rarely use this tool.  However, the option to have it is powerful.  I imagine this works well for ideation on various team projects and the like.

Promote your Pins

Pinterest launched its advertising platform as a new revenue stream.  Within three steps you can be up and running, promoting your Pins to a targeted audience and under a controlled budget.  See the screenshots below as a quick walkthrough – pick your Pin, set up the appropriate keywords for search, add the appropriate screening as desired, and click through to enter your billing information.  That’s it, you’re set!

Add keywords and phrases to your promoted pin and scope out the size of your audience with Pinterest Advertising

Add keywords and phrases to your promoted pin and scope out the size of your audience with Pinterest Advertising

Filter down your advertising further, set your budget and away you go with Pinterest Advertising

Filter down your advertising further, set your budget and away you go with Pinterest Advertising

Note that I actually got a little tripped up here as Pinterest will review the pins that you are looking to promote and will reject your pin if they don’t meet certain criteria and guidelines.  When I save a Pin I will typically also share it on Twitter at the same time.  However, you can’t have more than one hashtag in a Promoted Pin, so I had to edit the Pin itself accordingly.

As a second addendum, hashtags do not add any particular value on Pinterest specifically.  So when our first Pinterest Tips article referenced the use of hashtags, you’ll see that it was for sharing across other platforms and networks.

Find the right frequency for Pinning

Mass-pinning or not pinning often at all are both losing strategies.  Try to find the right level of frequency in terms of number of pins and how often over the course of the week.  This isn’t easy, so you will want to monitor results and tweak those plans over the course of several weeks, if not months.

Finally … Engage

Beyond the messaging feature referenced above, use Pinterest to engage your customers / audience.

  • Invite others to become a member of your group board
  • Run contests
  • Create exclusive content only for Pinterest followers
  • Direct your followers from other platforms to your page … or a specific board

What are you doing on Pinterest that is / is not working?  Do you have a specific plan in place for Pinterest in 2015?  Let us know in the comments below.  Hope these ideas provide some guidance or ideation for you to leverage moving forward.

 

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 4-26-15

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding focusing on LinkedIn (Photo credit: PowerFormula.net)

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding focusing on Pinterest (Photo credit: PowerFormula.net)

Our #SundayMusings continues “Pinterest Month” here on Shore Branding with a look at a handful of news and stories regarding the platform, how to leverage it, and what businesses can do to maximize their efforts.  Building off of last weekend’s “Pin of the Month”, here are the top stories from around the web that related to Pinterest and caught my eye.

#1 – “Pinterest Marketing: Your Complete Guide to Success” – via socialmediaexaminer.com

Premise: A collection of articles from around the web on how to market yourself / your business on Pinterest, as well as a resource for tips and recommendations for the site.

Thoughts: Our first article actually links to a number of articles and I thought this would be a good starting point to cover just about all different bases on Pinterest, Pinterest marketing, etc.  This includes an entire sub-section of articles devoted to Pinterest Analytics, a fantastic way to track your efforts and gauge success on the site.

The article also contains links regarding Pinterest advertising and promotional recommendations to help build your presence / network on the platform.

#2 – “10 Amazing Facts About Pinterest Marketing That Will Surprise You” via jeffbullas.com

Premise: Want to know more about Pinterest and the opportunity it may provide for you?  Take a look at these facts and figures, based off of an infographic.  After a few, key numbers on Pinterest, the author goes into ten facts regarding why Pinterest should have your attention if it doesn’t already.

Thoughts: What caught my attention right from the beginning is that not only is Pinterest growing in total numbers still, but the amount of “activity” the site is producing.  Pinterest users remain active on the network and aren’t just signing up and disappearing.

One item that I do wish this article and a lot of others would stop doing is comparing Pinterest – or any other site – to Facebook.  Growth rates for the latter should not be expected to be well into the double digits, given the enormity of how many people are already there.  It’s a terrible comparison and unfair to either site.

#3 – “How Businesses Can Get Started Using Pinterest” via maximizesocialbusiness.com

Premise: Interested in creating a Pinterest page for your business but looking for tips and recommendations on how to do so?  This write-up is for you.  The author puts together step-by-step instructions on how to create a business page on Pinterest, whether that be from scratch or converting over from a personal page.  From there, a few tips are provided on some of the basics for your business page.

Thoughts: Occasionally, I/you take for granted the initial setup because it has been so long since you did it yourself.  That was my rationale for including this post in today’s #SundayMusings.  It has been a while since our Pinterest page was setup and verified.  These steps will help Pinterest newcomers easily get through these early stages of account setup and maintenance.

#4 – “Relationship Marketing with Pinterest with Wade Harman” via ManlyPinterestTips.com

Premise: Wade Harman makes an appearance on the “Manly Pinterest Show” and provides his thoughts and feedback on social media, spending a good amount of time focusing on Pinterest specifically.  For those that don’t want to sit through the 40 minute discussion, there is a table of contents with time markets underneath the embedded video.

Thoughts: Interesting feedback and truthful responses from Wade in the interview.  It was refreshing to hear someone say, “I used it to drive traffic at first”.  After covering relationship marketing, the discussion pivots back to Pinterest and whether or not it is a social network (I believe it is), leveraging the messaging feature (I don’t use either), etc.  I also like one of the final discussion points and Wade’s decision to not automate his pins.  (Agreed.)

#5 – “How to Turn Pinterest Into a Revenue Generating Channel” via quicksprout.com

Premise: The author has created an infographic on how to generate revenue via Pinterest.  Starting off with a few facts and figures on the site, the infographic then takes you through how/where Pinterest is more effective than other social networks.

Thoughts: I thought this was another fantastic infographic on Pinterest.  Had I not found last weekend’s “Pin of the Month” tied more closely to brands/branding, this would have been used … and still may down the line.

Interesting statistics from the infographic:

  • Customers spending more money from a Pinterest referral vs. other platforms.
  • I really like the setup of the quad map and how to think about how others leverage the site.
  • There are a lot of tips and recommendations on the bottom half of the infographic on building engagement and your network on Pinterest worth thinking about.

Tweet of the Week:

 

Interesting article and certainly different ways to leverage Pinterest, creating unique value on the platform for yourself and/or your brand.  What are some other accounts you have seen that go in a unique direction on Pinterest?  I would love to hear about them and take a look.

That’s it for this weekend’s #SundayMusings.  Hope you are enjoying “Pinterest Month” here on the site!

 

Pin of the Month – The Most Pinteresting Brands

April's "Pin of the Month" - Infographic by Unmetric.com

April’s “Pin of the Month” – Infographic by Unmetric.com

Over the next couple of weeks we are going to be focusing on Pinterest.  That starts this weekend with our April “Pin of the Month” from Unmetric – “The Most Pinteresting Brands” infographic.  We have actually used infographics from Unmetric in the past for our “Pin of the Month” but they keep producing some of the best infographics out there.

The top of the infographic says it all – a look across Unmetric’s database of 1,500 brands’ Pinterest pages.  Here are a few items that caught my attention from the infographic above.

What brands are winning with Pinterest?  L.L. Bean, Jetsetter, and Nordstrom all have well over 4 million followers.  Better Homes and Gardens has two of the top boards out there when it comes to driving repins.

It was a little staggering to see that among the 1,550 brands analyzed, only 150 (just under 10%) of them have posted at least once per week since 2013.  This is just another example of “you don’t have to be everywhere on social media” and/or “if you are going to sign up for a platform, do it right”.

The infographic closes with a profile of/on Pinterest.  The site is overwhelmingly used by females (93%).  It is interesting to see how little people comment on Pinterest, but they are more than willing to share/repin images and graphics that they like to their followers.

As Pinterest approaches 50 million users, how are you using the network to connect with your users/customers?  Are there any brands out there that you particularly enjoy following on Pinterest?  Let me know in the comments below.  (Personally, I like what Leap Frog does on the network.)

For those unfamiliar with our “Pin of the Month”, every month we post one of the better infographics, pictures, etc. that we find on our Pinterest page and (over-) analyzing it in our “Pin of the Month”.  If you have an infographic that you would like to promote here on Shore Branding, just let us know.

 

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 4-12-15

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

This week’s #SundayMusings are no joke, as we take a look back at April Fools’ Day news from around the web and across brands.  The first of April has become a great branding day as brands come up with fake news stories to draw some added attention in their direction.  It doesn’t always work out positively, but here are the stories that caught my attention for April Fools’ Day this year.

#1 – “The 11 best April Fools’ gags of 2015” – via theverge.com

Premise: A collection of the top April Fools’ Day jokes from brands and their respective YouTube clips.  Out of the 11 examples provided in the write-up, 5 of them are from Google or Google’s properties (Motorola, YouTube).

Thoughts: Across this list, I tend to like Google’s Smartbox mailbox, Microsoft’s MS-DOS Mobile, and Netflix’s Binge Watch Warnings.  I saw multiple people complain online about Netflix’s warning, not realizing at the time that it was an April Fools’ Day joke.  That’s phenomenal!

#2 – “Don’t Fall for the Jokes!  All the Hilarious April Fools’ Day 2014 Tech Gags” via digitaltrends.com

Premise: Looking for the top April Fools’ Day gags across the tech world?  Look no further than this compilation from DigitalTrends.com.  From Samsung, Google, Sony, and a special “brandscaping” from Uber and Tinder.

Thoughts: I’ve covered off on most of the best in the list of brands above.  I really liked Sony’s PlayStation Flow idea for underwater gaming.  One additional item that I thought would get a lot of attention was iRobot’s Waggin’ Wagon for pets.  I’m surprised I didn’t see that show up on my Facebook feed from at least a few people … it actually looks like a pretty sweet ride for your pet.

#3 – “April Fools’ Day 2015: Our Giant Roundup of the Best Brand Hoaxes” via adweek.com

Premise: An all-encompassing list from around the web via AdWeek.

Thoughts: I don’t know if AdWeek missed a single April Fools’ Day campaign from brands in this write-up.  We’ll classify this as “scores of ads” from around the web.  There were a few additional pranks that you wouldn’t have seen in the first two write-ups, including solid pranks from: Blue Moon (beer infused oranges?!), Kotex, Tough Mudder (Baby Mudder!), and two new delivery options from Dominos and Jimmy John’s.  How far away are we from the last two?  I’d venture to guess “not very” in some capacity.

#4 – “Gotcha!  This Year’s Best Travel-Themed April Fools’ Jokes (With Videos)” via budgettravel.com

Premise: Focusing specifically on the travel niche, this write-up provides another list of April Fools’ Day pranks from around the world.

Thoughts: The Honda Selfie dashboard would probably fit right up the alley of a number of people and would actually improve sales.  That’s sad.  Quickly pivoting away from this, watch the Blue Man Group scare a few visitors at Madame Tussauds in Las Vegas.

#5 – “Bob Barker returns to ‘The Price is Right’” via cnbc.com

Premise: Looking for a nice surprise on April Fools’ Day?  How about attending a taping of “The Price is Right” only to have legendary host Bob Barker come out after they announce Drew Carey.  The audience goes crazy when Barker comes out for the show.

Thoughts: Bob Barker still has it … and that’s awesome.  I don’t think I really need to say anymore than that, right?

Tweet of the Week:

While my wife and I have finally agreed that Modern Family has gone down the tubes, they did a great job of engaging fans on Twitter on April Fools’ Day.  Take a look at their timeline for the episode on 4/1 – building a number of RT’s and Favorites throughout the evening.

That’s wraps up this week’s #SundayMusings.  Let’s welcome in Spring and, hopefully, some warmer weather.  What brand(s) won this April Fools’ Day?

 

Brands Winning on Vine – 2015

Brands Winning on Vine - 2015 Edition

Brands Winning on Vine – 2015 Edition

Since launching, Vine has made stars out of your average Joe’s.  The site took off without even having a web site at first.  The platform – which now includes a web page – continues to be one of the most appealing ways to catch my attention when it comes to online video.

Vine may or may not be slowing down in terms of momentum, but it is still a site / an app I tend to frequent regularly.  With that in mind, I wanted to update an article written back in August of 2013 and provide a new perspective on “Brands Winning on Vine”.  The brands mentioned then – specifically Lowes and Oreo – are still “winning” on the platform, albeit not as frequently, as their number of posts have slowed down.

However, other brands and companies have certainly picked up the slack.  With that in mind, here are a few, new brands winning on Vine:

NBA:

The NBA has done a fantastic job of leveraging Vine this season, consistently updating their feed with highlights and clips from around the league.  Not only do they show in-game highlights, but you get a behind-the-scenes view of shootarounds, practices, and individual players.

Aside from the official NBA page above, a number of reporters and analysts have discovered the site – likely due to how frequently the NBA itself was cross-posting its Vine videos on Twitter.  I would estimate my Vine feed is two-thirds NBA-related these days between the NBA-branded pages and additional NBA writers.

The NBA is doing so well on Vine they have managed to turn it into another promotional angle.  As you will see below, they now have a daily “#KiaTopPlay”, promoting one of the league’s biggest sponsors, Kia.

WWE: Frankly, the WWE is winning in a lot of different places on social media these days.  They are consistently posting to Vine from their live TV shows, but also from “house shows” (off-air) to give fans added perspective … while perhaps providing WWE fans with an added push as to why they should buy tickets for these additional, off-air shows. Coming off of their showcase event, Wrestlemania, the WWE worked the Vine platform to perfection, going through the crowd and providing their reaction to a number of key moments from the show, including the very end …

Samsung:

Yes, I am loyal to Samsung, but they truly do a great job on Vine.  Any brand or company that will dedicate the time to put together holiday clips has my attention.  (If you know of any other brands that do this, please let me know.)  Samsung does a great job of using Vine to further promote their “next big thing” that is launching.  They have a great combination of visual appeal and terrific branding.

Again, any brand that creates something like the clip below has my approval.

General Electric & Mashable:

GE and Mashable (along with Oreo) won a Shorty Award in 2014 for being the best brands on Vine.  GE has has shown signs of slowing down in the early stages of 2015, but deserves the recognition still of being one of the top brands on Vine.  I have to give credit to Mashable for continually producing high quality Vine clips.  They catch your eye no matter what speed I’m flipping through my feed.

Overall:

Those are my current favorites on the platform.  What brands are catching your eye on Vine?  Let me know in the Comments section below, particularly if I’m missing out on one of the better, more appealing brands out there.  Thanks!

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 3-29-15

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding - St. Patrick's Day Edition (Photo credit: ILoveShelling.com)

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – St. Patrick’s Day Edition
(Photo credit: ILoveShelling.com)

Today’s #SundayMusings with Shore Branding is going green … for St. Patrick’s Day branding news!  Here are the top branding and/or digital marketing stories that caught my attention over the past few weeks revolving around the luck of the Irish and St. Patrick’s Day.

#1 – “Liam Neeson Narrates This Gorgeous Tourism Ad for Ireland Timed to St. Patrick’s Day” – via AdWeek.com

Premise: A 60 second ad to help promote visiting Ireland with Liam Neeson as the voiceover.  The ad itself also carries the #GoGreen4PatricksDay.

Thoughts: What better way to start a St. Patrick’s Day #SundayMusings than a visual trip to Ireland?  Fantastic ad with iconic landmarks from around the world, plus the natural beauty of Ireland itself.

The hashtag probably could use a little work though.  Throwing in the “St” probably would have helped make it a little easier for others to remember / use the right phrase.

#2 – “A Diageo Reminder: ‘Guinness Is Good For You’ Beyond St. Patrick’s Day Too” via brandchannel.com

Premise: WSJ reports that four times as many pints of Guinness are consumed on St. Patrick’s Day vs. your normal day.  Guinness has been struggling to increase or even maintain sales in the US – largely thanks to the growing craft beer movement.

The brand is doing its part to promote its corporate citizenship and “green” initiatives.  The write-up includes a number of tweets circling around these programs and the promotion of Guinness Blonde, the latest brand extension from the brewing company.

Thoughts: Guinness is my #1 beer of choice, but I can’t help to think about the brand extensions they have launched here in the US and how they simply have not taken off.  Black Lager and now Blonde have no appeal to me under the Guinness name.  All I want to see is the original, no matter how much weight the Guinness name carries.

#3 – “Bud Light’s St. Patrick’s Day tweet has users seeing red instead of green” via mashable.com

Premise: To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Bud Light tried to leverage/hijack the holiday and threw in its #UpForWhatever hashtag into a tweet.  Said tweet however had of five women in it and insinuated that it was OK for you to pinch others (read: women).

Thoughts: This went over about as well as you would suspect.  Bud Light deleted the tweet, issued an apology and tried to move on as quickly as possible.  Damage done.

Seriously though, did someone really think the hashtag campaign #UpForWhatever wasn’t going to eventually lead to some level of trouble?  Whether it was from the company itself (check) or the hashtag being hijacked (check), it was bound to happen sooner rather than later.  You can read some of the replies from Twitter users within the link above.

#4 – “How To Get Lucky With Content Marketing” via uberflip.com

Premise: A catchy slideshow on content marketing from uberflip on setting goals that provides several recommendations on how to leverage content marketing and measure the results from those efforts.  The strongest recommendations however – talking to your current customers and putting that to good use, and focusing on growth metrics (vs. engagement metrics).

Thoughts: While it was put together to drive you to their free ebook, I loved the St. Patrick’s Day theme throughout the slideshow.  Visually appealing, easy to read and flip through, and I didn’t feel inundated with “sales” materials throughout each slide.  I may have to check out this ebook …

Tweet of the Week:

Rather than give you one tweet, we decided to go with a slew of them from brands and companies focusing in on St. Patrick’s Day!  Hope you enjoy …

That’s it for this week’s St. Patrick’s Day branding-inspired #SundayMusings.  What brands caught your attention with their holiday efforts?

Pin of the Month – The Power of Word of Mouth Marketing

Building Your Brand Through Customers - The Power of Word of Mouth Marketing by Salesforce Canada

Building Your Brand Through Customers – The Power of Word of Mouth Marketing by Salesforce Canada

 

March’s “Pin of the Month” landed in our Inbox a few weeks ago.  With a focus on branding through word of mouth advertising, the infographic above from Salesforce Canada’s blog provides quite a few staggering numbers in the power of word of mouth.

An overwhelming majority are influenced in the purchasing/buying behaviors by word of mouth advertising from others.  Whether that is friends, family, and/or brand ambassadors, leveraging word of mouth advertising is critical for your brand.  I was actually surprised that WOM was the “second best source of revenue according to US small businesses”.  When I think of building small businesses, WOM is the first brand builder that comes to mind.  Without word of mouth, small business owners will have an uphill battle in getting their business off the ground.

The infographic then moves on to help explain why customers share information and recommendations about brands and closes with several tips on how to get others to talk about your brand.  There are several items that I wanted to highlight among the tips that I felt are worth noting:

  • Under “Target” I was glad to see they mentioned employees … there may not be bigger ambassadors to your brand or business than your own employees.
  • Social listening continues to grow in relevance and importance.
  • Reverting back to brand ambassadors, developing a program that is dedicated to these consumers is a great idea.  Identify these people and try to come up with some type of program that rewards them for being an ambassador.
  • Finally, as always, tinker with your program to find the right mix.  Stick with what is working and adjust the rest to optimize the program.

Have you focused any attention to word of mouth advertising?  Do you have an ambassador program for your advocates?  What has worked for you in the past?  Let us know in the comments below.

For those unfamiliar with our “Pin of the Month”, every month we post one of the better infographics, pictures, etc. that we find on our Pinterest page and (over-) analyzing it in our “Pin of the Month”.  If you have an infographic that you would like to promote here on Shore Branding, just let us know.