Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 1-17-16

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

We are breaking from the themed-approach for this weekend’s #SundayMusings.  There were several stories that caught my eye recently that I wanted to call out, but there is very little commonality between them.  You’ll survive, I’m sure of it.  

#1 –  “Super Bowl Ad Tracker: Everything We Know About 2016’s Commercials” via

Thoughts: Want to know who will be advertising during Super Bowl 50?  Look no further than AdWeek’s on-going tracker that can be found in the link above.  With the NFL Playoffs in full swing, we’re counting down the days for our next Super Bowl Ad Review!

What brands have caught your attention so far this year – whether that be by an ad teaser or news from the link above or elsewhere around the web?  I was a little stunned to see that Colgate-Palmolive has never advertised during the Super Bowl.  The other tidbit that caught my eye is that GoDaddy will not have an ad this year … and that is probably a good thing.   

#2 – “Post-Lafley, Procter & Gamble is Trying to Turn Challenges Into Opportunities” via

Thoughts: One company, and tens of brands, not found in the ad tracker above is P&G and its portfolio.  New CEO, David Taylor, is working on reshaping and redesigning the company and its portfolio, continuing to sell off brands to narrow its focus.  P&G continues to feel the pressure from investors to right the ship or more drastic changes are going to be requested.  

#3 – “Gobble Gobble: Turkey On Board – Woman Flies Cross Country With Her Emotional Support Turkey” via

Thoughts: #SaveThanksgiving efforts are starting in January apparently!  If for nothing else, click on the link above to see the turkey looking out the airplane window.  

There are several references here to the woman that flew with the turkey having coping issues, so I don’t want to make a joke about the state of Washington needing to reconsider the legalization of marijuana … wait …

Tweet of the Week:

Reverting back to Super Bowl discussion for a second, take a look at next year’s Super Bowl mascot.  Terrible.  We have plenty of time to go back to the drawing board NFL.  Please do so.  


Pin of the Month – Building Stronger B2B Relationships

Click To Enlarge

7 Subtle Yet Powerful Ways to Build Stronger B2B Relationships

Via Salesforce


Our first “Pin of the Month” of 2016 was passed to me via email and is from Salesforce Canada.  Continuing with a little bit of focus on Customer Experience (CX) and the power it has, or can have, for your brand, I thought this was a timely infographic.  You can find a full write-up on the power of building stronger B2B relationships in the corresponding write-up.  

There is a cultural shift towards building a stronger overall experience with customers.  I truly started buying into this after listening to Mark Cuban on Shark Tank, while in the middle of making the largest investment in the show’s history (at that time).  

That segues nicely into this infographic that builds out the power behind a customer’s experience, the support you put behind them, and more.  While there tends to be a focus on building new business, retaining your current customers and making them happy must be a key business strategy.  

I found the middle section of this infographic particularly informative, regarding the idea of building a customer advisory board.  Selecting a group of customers to bounce ideas off of, gather feedback, and generally show that you care, are powerful ways to empower your customer while also collecting valuable feedback on what is working and what might need improvement for your brand or business.  

What are you doing to focus on your current customers?  Are you seeing a shift or desire from customers to improve your brand’s overall experience?  Let us know in the comments below or drop me an email at  

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 me know.  Thanks!


Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 1-3-16

Hello 2016! #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding (Photo credit:

Hello 2016! #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding
(Photo credit:

Happy New Year!  2016 is upon us and I wish you nothing but the best as we say goodbye to 2015 and hello to 2016.  Before we fully jump into the new year, today’s #SundayMusings takes a look back at some of the best summaries in branding-related stories from around the web.  

#1 –  “2015’s Top Customer Lessons” via

Thoughts: If you are looking for a solid list of hot topics in customer experience, look no further.  Take a look at what trends began in 2015 and where CX is heading this year.  There were two pieces that caught my eye – “Data Discipline” and “Getting Personal”.  Brands and companies must overlay data from various sources and have them break through silos.  At the same time, brands and companies must embrace social media channels and focus on the one-to-one experiences of each individual.  

This all circles back to last weekend’s book review – take a look here.

#2 – “What Went Wrong For Your Brand This Year” via

Thoughts: There isn’t a better branding blog out there in my opinion vs. Branding Strategy Insider.  They consistently pump out must-read content.  Eight different targeted messages are included in this write-up for what may have went wrong for you / your brand in 2015, along with some first-step guidance on how to course correct.  This is absolutely worth the read if you feel underwhelmed with your business results this past year and a great start on how to make the appropriate adjustments.

#3 – “The best social media campaigns of 2015” via

Thoughts: One opinion on what brands had the strongest social media campaigns of the past year.  The two that I liked the most are HP’s #BendTheRules campaign that targeted Millennials and Lowe’s “Fix in Six” Vine campaigns – that we have touted in the past.   

Tweet of the Week:

The tweet above includes a link to the best and worst branding efforts of 2015.  Yes, another compilation article and look back at the past 12 months.  Leading the way – Google.  So much news and noise for the tweaking of their signature logo.  The worst – without getting too political – was Hillary Clinton’s, who seems to be open to doing absolutely anything in order to get elected.  I’ll leave all other opinions off of this write-up.  

What caught your attention in 2015?  Have any particular brands resonated with you or driven a change in your perception of them over the course of the past year?  Let me know in the Comments section below.  

Happy New Year!


Book Review: The Effortless Experience

Book Review - "The Effortless Experience" by Matthew Dixon via

Book Review – “The Effortless Experience” by Matthew Dixon via

Over the course of 2015, I have read more than a handful of books on Customer Experience and how to make improvements for yourself and your organization through the overall experience of your brand.  While most were enjoyable reads, the one that intrigued me the most was Matthew Dixon’s “The Effortless Experience – Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty”.  

The overall theme is that you don’t have to pull a “Wow” experience every single time with every single customer.  You don’t have to create the ‘Nordstrom experience’ where customers expect to be blown away by extraordinary efforts that go the extra mile.  Through research on research, Dixon and his organization found that there is a certain cutoff point in the customer experience where it simply doesn’t improve your ROI any further.  More simply, you need to set expectations appropriately and ensure you or your organization are meeting those goals with each and every customer.  

In terms of measurement tools, there are a number of metrics to consider tracking to better understand, track over time, and fix / make improvements when necessary.  Dixon broke these up into three categories – Experience with the Rep, Customer Effort, and Moments of “Wow”.  The major takeaways from each of these include the following:

  • Did the rep know how to resolve your problem or issue
  • Did the rep understand “you”, as the customer
  • How many people did the customer have to talk to in order to resolve their issue (driven by a goal of meeting first/second contact resolution)
  • Measuring the customer’s perceived level of effort for resolution
  • Willingness of the organization to meet/exceed expectations


Take a look at the video below for a quick overview of what “The Effortless Experience” is all about.  This is a great way to understand (in less than two minutes) what you and your organization should be striving for in terms of driving overall satisfaction.  

Have you been focusing on your customer’s overall experience?  With social media now playing an integral part of listening to and resolving your customer’s issues, it is absolutely critical that you understand what it takes to meet their needs.  You don’t have to create a “wow” moment on every single complaint, issue, and/or contact.  You simply need to meet their needs and correct problems or issues as quickly as possible, making it as easy and effortless as you can for the customer.  

Have you read “The Effortless Experience”?  What did you think?  What were your major takeaways?  Let me know in the comments below or through email at  Thanks!


Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 12-20-15

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding - Happy Holidays! (Photo credit:

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – Happy Holidays!
(Photo credit:

Happy holidays everyone!  Today’s #SundayMusings focus take a look at my two favorite stories related to Christmas branding.  Both campaigns were found via AdFreak.    

#1 –  “Miller Lite Dresses Times Square Billboards in Huge, Handwoven Ugly Sweaters” via


Ugly sweaters may or may not be as popular as ever, but I still love them.  The most amazing part of this campaign from Miller Lite is that all of the ugly sweater billboards are handwoven out of yarn!  For those not interested in clicking the link above, if you are in NYC you can find the campaign on 49th and 7th.  

#2 – “Reese’s Turned Gripes About Its Ugly Christmas Candy Into Funny Ads About Tree Shaming” via


Due to us living in a world where you have to complain about something all of the time, several people took to Twitter to complain about Reese’s Christmas tree snacks and the shape that they were coming in.  Reese’s turned it into a beautiful campaign and drove some relatively free PR out of the entire situation.  

Tweet of the Week:

Despite the move to online shopping, brands still have a tremendous opportunity to build engagement with customers and the general foot traffic that passes through their stories.  While I virtually never praise their name, Apple did a nice job with their window display seen in this article.  

What Christmas branding or ad campaigns caught your attention this season?  Happy holidays everyone!  Merry Christmas!


Pin of the Month – The Best and Worst Rebrands

December's "Pin of the Month" from

December’s “Pin of the Month” from

December’s infographic for our “Pin of the Month” landed in my Inbox several weeks ago from Oomph.  It is a fascinating look at the best and worst rebrands from around the globe.  Sometimes these work, sometimes these don’t and this infographic pulls out the highlights and lowlights over time.  

If you pay attention to branding efforts from large corporations, you are probably familiar with more than a handful of these.  Which ones caught my eye? …

  • Lego has done an amazing job of rebranding itself over the years and has become an absolute behemoth in the toy industry.  While it has almost always been largely popular, I’m blown away by how well they have adapted to the times.  
  • There are probably Millennials reading this that have no idea that Old Spice was a brand practically left for dead 15 years ago.  An aftershave and cologne brand that had an archaic brand image completely reinvented itself, launched brand extensions, and completely turned itself around.  
  • Several failures – The GAP’s rebranding failed miserably with customers, as did Pepsi’s.  BP tried to rebrand itself after the Gulf oil spill and let’s just agree that this didn’t work.  

What brands caught your eye in the infographic?  Let us know in the comments below or drop me an email at  Thank you to the team at Oomph for passing this infographic along to me!

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 me know.  Thanks!


Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 12-6-15

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding focusing on Pinterest (Photo credit:

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding focusing on Tech Gifts (Photo credit:

Today’s #SundayMusings focus on the forthcoming holidays and tech-related gifts that have caught my eye … you know, for others of course.  

#1 –  “Great home tech gifts” via

Thoughts: Great gifts for around the house, but the Petzi webcam at the end of this review is amazing.  We’re now at a stage where through the webcam and an app, you can talk to your pet and give them treats via push of a button.  Think about that for a few seconds …

#2 – “The Hottest Tech Gifts of 2015” via

Thoughts: I figured this was just going to be another writer’s list of top tech gifts to purchase this holiday season, based on their respective opinion of one.  Instead, it is a nice compilation of ideas from some of the most well known folks out there in technology, digital, and social media.  

#3 – “Santa Might Have to Check eBay and Craigslist to Get You a Samsung Gear VR” via

Thoughts: I saw this and my first thought was, “Damn it!”  The Samsung Gear VR was on my list this year and we’re likely just going to have to wait until 2016 to see what level of awesome we have with Samsung’s latest extension.  I was checking out the Oculus website for the apps that were going to be coming along with this one and am looking forward to trying it out … eventually.   

Tweet of the Week:

The PhoneDrone was on a tentative holiday list and then I decided at the last minute to not send in the money to KickStarter.  Why?  I just wasn’t sure how much I would use the drone and I didn’t feel like reading all of the potential paperwork for registering the drone – if that is even necessary for the PhoneDrone.  Maybe next year … or at some earlier point in 2016.

What is on your holiday list?  What tech gifts are you looking for from Santa?  


Product Review: Samsung 4K SUHD TV

The Samsung SUHD TV Product Review

The Samsung SUHD TV Product Review

First, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

One of the bigger hits from this week was a more recent purchase for our house.  Several months ago we decided it was time to finally replace the 2005 big screen TV in our living room.  That antique was a great big screen for what it was worth, but lacked ANY HDMI plugs and was taking up a little too much space.  With that, it was an easy decision to figure out what brand we were going to go for, it was just finding the right one.  When you are loyal to a brand, it makes decisions a lot easier.  

With that arrived the latest from Samsung – a 55 inch, 4K SUHD TV.  What are some of the highlights on this one?  Glad you asked …

  • Smart Hub with all of the Samsung apps available with the click of a button
  • 4 HDMI ports
  • Beautiful picture and sound – particularly when combined with our Samsung Blu-Ray player!
  • Screen mirroring from your mobile devices

The TV has been an absolute welcomed addition to the living room.  With 3840×2160 resolution and UHD Upscaling, the picture is absolutely fantastic.  Equipped with Dolby support, the audio is equally fantastic.

We have only had one issue so far – occasionally when in the Smart Hub, we get booted out of the particular app we are trying to watch.  This happens most often in the YouTube app, so I can’t speak with much conviction that this is absolutely the “TV’s fault” vs. the app or a hiccup in the WiFi signal.  (First world problems, I completely realize this.)

If you are in the market for a new TV, I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending a Samsung UHD model from their product lineup.  Have you recently bought a new TV?  If so, what model did you select and why?  Let me know in the comments below.  Also, if you have any ideas as to why we might be getting booted out of apps in the Smart Hub, please let me know.  Thanks!


Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 11-22-15

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding - Thanksgiving Edition (Photo Credit:

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – Thanksgiving Edition
(Photo Credit:

Welcome to a Thanksgiving-geared, #SaveThanksgiving special edition of #SundayMusings with Shore Branding.  There has not been too much news or debate – maybe I’m too busy to notice – on retailers opening up on Thanksgiving Day for Black Friday / holiday deals.  I’ve seen a number of petitions but none of them have necessarily exploded.  

In any case, for those of you celebrating Thanksgiving this coming week, I hope you enjoy it and get to spend time with your friends and family.  Onward to this week’s musings …

#1 –  “Be Thankful for Feedback: Good, Bad, and Indifferent” via

Premise: Customers have had polar opposite opinions on retailers opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day.  What is somewhat lost in all of the debate is the value of the feedback these stores have received due to making decisions like this.  Good or bad, listening to the feedback provided by your customers is absolutely critical.  The author provides three tips to consider as you embark on your holiday messaging.  

Thoughts: Well, the crux of our efforts really started in a similar spot.  However, the overall theme here, when you pull back the curtain, really is to listen to your customers.  You have to understand the impact of the decisions you make.  

#2 – “3 tips to avoid marketing missteps this holiday season” via

Premise: How do retailers keep shoppers involved and engaged throughout the holiday season and beyond?  The author puts together three tips on what retailers can do to sustain their efforts over a longer period of time.  

Thoughts: What really caught my attention is the third tip in this article, “bridge the gap between bricks and clicks”.  If you can’t optimize your customer experience by having both channels work together, then don’t try and focus your efforts on one or the other.  It is incredibly frustrating to have a completely different user experience between the in-store and online.  

#3 – “Izze’s Friendsgiving Campaign Includes Pop-Up Social Events for Millennials” via

Premise: Fruit-drink maker Izze is back with a new campaign heading into the holidays, called Friendsgiving.  The brand will be advertising across Amazon, Instagram, and Pinterest as it targets Millennials.

Thoughts: Respectfully, I had no idea that Izze was part of PepsiCo’s portfolio until this week.  I missed last year’s campaign, but I really do like what they are doing as we head into Thanksgiving.  

What brands are using a Thanksgiving-related campaign or hashtag that has caught your attention over the past few weeks?  Please do pass them along!

Tweet of the Week:

Once again, please spread the word and help others who are struggling to put a meal on the table this holiday season.  

For those celebrating Thanksgiving this week, please have a great, yet safe holiday!  #SaveThanksgiving


Pin of the Month – Thanksgiving Cooking Hacks

November's "Pin of the Month" via #SaveThanksgiving

November’s “Pin of the Month” via

In November I tend to put a ton of attention on Thanksgiving for obvious reasons (  Our “Pin of the Month” keeps that focus on the holiday and our #SaveThanksgiving efforts.  However, this isn’t your typical infographic this time around.  We’re simply trying to provide you with a few time-saving tips and tricks for your Thanksgiving holiday, thanks to the corresponding article on

Tips within the article itself include cooking-specific instructions and household tricks to make your life that much easier the days leading into Thanksgiving.  Several of these tips are well practiced here – anything revolving around “cook ahead of time” and store in the refrigerator is an art.

Are you hosting Thanksgiving at your house this year?  What tips do you install or what would you add to this list of hacks that have worked for you in the past?  Let us know in the comments below or drop me an email at  

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 me know.  Thanks … and don’t forget … #SaveThanksgiving!