The Fall Means the Return of SaveThanksgiving.net

Visit SaveThanksgiving.net and help us ... #SaveThanksgiving Gobble Gobble

Visit SaveThanksgiving.net and help us … #SaveThanksgiving
Gobble Gobble

The end of summer 2014 means that we are entering fall and here at Shore Branding that equates to paying attention to the forthcoming Thanksgiving holiday. We began our #SaveThanksgiving efforts in November of last year and now with more time available, we would like to take it to another level.

As mentioned last year, there is no greater holiday than Thanksgiving! Unfortunately, the day continues to be swept under the rug while consumers leave their families behind to get the early bird deals for their holiday shopping. More and more retailers open their doors on Thanksgiving Day and it is a growing tradition that I would truly like to see broken.

With the help of Berry Smart Media, we launched SaveThanksgiving.net as a site to take back the holiday and its traditions. Our goal is to remind people that this is a day for giving thanks for all of their respective blessings from the past year, and spend quality time with their family … not leave the house the second the doors open at local retailers.

Last year several retailers remained closed on the holiday, including; PC Richard & Son, Costco, TJ Maxx, and Marshal’s. We want to help support these retailers and those like it that refuse to open their doors, taking their employees away from their families on the holiday. Whether through sponsorship or something as simple as making it a point to shop at these stores in the coming weeks, help these retailers over the coming months.

If you, or anyone you know, is open to partnering with us and joining the “fight” to #SaveThanksgiving – please let us know. Let’s give thanks to our friends and family and spend one day with them without the distractions! With a little addition to our family, we will be contributing to at least one food drive in the area but will not be running our own. We’ll keep you posted on where those contributions will be made and/or let us know if you have suggestions and we can help spread the word.

Again, you can visit SaveThanksgiving.net and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest. Every Thursday we take a Thanksgiving theme and share a few pins.

How can you help? Share your stories with the world – it could be a simple memory of loved ones, a funny story that makes you think of the holiday, or a picture and memory. If these stories can convince one retailer, one radio station, or just a few people, this will have been worth it.

Happy Thanksgiving! #SaveThanksgiving

Product Review: Samsung Gear Live

What do you think about Samsung’s Gear Live smartwatch?  (Photo credit: play.google.com)

What do you think about Samsung’s Gear Live smartwatch? (Photo credit: play.google.com)

After focusing a Sunday Musings on wearables last month and toying with the idea of getting a smartwatch for about a week, I finally caved and purchased the Samsung Gear Live from the Google Play Store.  Within two days, the smartwatch was at my doorstep and ready for use.  Below are a few thoughts and considerations for the device, along with a wishlist for improvements.  You will also find a few app recommendations sprinkled in.

Ahead of the purchase, I had read a good amount of complaints about the Gear Live’s band and the way that you snap it into position on your wrist.  I actually don’t have any problem with getting the band on my wrist and it fits comfortably.

Samsung Gear Live Band

There were also a lot of comments on the charging device.  Again, I don’t have a problem with the charger either.  Is it a little awkward?  Sure.  Is it hard to attach to the back of my watch?  No, not at all.  That said, my mind/opinion would immediately change on the charger if (or when) the prongs start to break and I have to purchase a new one.

Samsung Gear Live Charger

Finally, setting up the phone is as easy as promoted.  Simply download the Android Wear app in the Play market, turn on your Bluetooth on your mobile and power up the smartwatch.  You will receive a sync approval message and that’s that, you are connected.

Positives:

One of the biggest reasons for purchasing the smartwatch was to track my health a bit more closely.  I tried using my S5 and the S Health app, but I found myself getting annoyed at trying to remember to put my phone in my pocket as I walked around the house.  I figured using a pedometer on the smartwatch would be much easier … and it is.  I also found the heart rate monitor to be much easier to use vs. putting my finger on the sensor on the back of my S5.  Net/net, the beta version of Google Fit works better on my smartwatch vs. trying to track this data via my phone.

Voice texting is pretty awesome on the Gear Live … after switching to the Hangouts app.  Originally, I was using the Message+ app from Verizon and voice texting simply was not working.  After switching off to Hangouts for my primary texting service, voice texting worked almost flawlessly.  Occasionally there will be a misunderstanding or the watch doesn’t catch what I’m saying, but overall, this works pretty well and is becoming more regular/normal for me to do as each day passes.

Where there is room for improvement:

In my first positive I mention the good parts of Google Fit.  However, what I mentioned as the “positives” are really the only parts to Google Fit right now.  This is very much a beta version.  At the very least, it would be nice to have a complimentary app to plug in what I eat/drink on my mobile devices, note when I exercise, etc.

I would like to see better integration across Google Apps as soon as possible.  While you can drop a new note/reminder into the Keep app, you can’t edit existing apps that you have already created.  I would love to be able to use Wallet directly on the Gear Live as well.

Apps:

There are two essential apps that you will want to download as soon as you get your Gear Live.  The Wear Store app will keep you up to date on all of the latest and greatest app releases for Android Wear.  The Wear Mini Launcher app is also a must have.  After downloading, simply swipe to the left on your Gear Live and and all of the apps will appear for you.

I’ve downloaded two games to keep myself occupied and to see how functional they are.  The first was a simple tic-tac-toe app.  The second is Flopsy Droid, which I love.

Finally, I have switched weather apps across my devices.  So long Weather Channel and hello to 1Weather.

The app market for Android Wear does make it feel that much more of a beta version.  There are Twitter apps, but nothing official from the company.  One only lets you send a tweet, another only lets you read your Twitter feed.  So, that leaves a lot to be desired.  I would also like to see an official app from Foursquare/Swarm.  The ability to check-in via voice control would be a nice little perk.

Overall:

Personally, I really like the Samsung Gear Live.  The smartwatch does have a beta feel to it and there are obviously improvements to be made / forthcoming.  If you are in the market for a smartwatch, I would have no reservations about recommending this to you.  For those that aren’t ready or aren’t sure if they are ready, you are probably better off waiting until the market becomes a bit more mature, or you are likely to feel a bit underwhelmed with the product.

 

New Poll – What wearables are you planning to purchase in 2014?

What wearables will you be purchasing in 2014? (Photo credit: Diginomica.com)

What wearables will you be purchasing in 2014? (Photo credit: Diginomica.com)

Wearables are beginning to turn the corner in terms of consumer acceptance and adoption. The latest poll on ShoreBranding.com builds off of yesterday’s #SundayMusings and asks which wearable devices are you thinking about purchasing in 2014?

We have selected several of the most popular wearables for the poll but have also included a general “Other” for the many others that continue to pop up. Whether you are focusing on a smart band to track your physical fitness, or taking a step up to a full smartwatch … or even Google Glass, let us know what wearable devices are grabbing your attention and which you are most likely to purchase this year.

So which item, or items, are you going to purchase? You can choose from the iWatch, Samsung’s Galaxy Gear Smartwatch, LG’s G Watch, Nike FuelBand, Adidas Fit Band, and/or Google Glass. For those interested, let us know why you have selected the device you have.

Personally, I don’t see myself getting a smartwatch at this time. If Google Glass were to become more affordable down the road that is probably the wearable device I would most likely look to purchase.

Below is a presentation from SXSW regarding wearables that I found to be of interest.

Thanks for taking the time to vote! For more on wearables, you can keep an eye on our “Technology” Pinterest board.

New Poll – Will your brand spend money on mobile ads this year?

Are you budgeting for mobile advertising in 2014?

Are you budgeting for mobile advertising in 2014?  (InteractiveMarketingTraining.com)

 

As witnessed in our May 2014 “Pin of the Month”, mobile and smartphone ownership and usage continue to grow. It seems like every few months, if not weeks, we are spending more time focusing on mobile-related stories in our Sunday Musings (including this coming weekend).

So our latest poll on ShoreBranding.com is simple – will you be spending any portion of your marketing budget specifically on mobile? A simple “Yes” or “No” is all it takes. It doesn’t matter where – whether it be on social media apps, location-based services or companies, or anywhere in between. [Read more...]

ShoreBranding.com Book Review – “Brand Against the Machine” by John Morgan

 

Go read this book! "Brand Against the Machine" by John Morgan

Go read this book!
“Brand Against the Machine” by John Morgan

Occasionally, I fall into a book and feel strongly enough that it is worth putting together a few additional words on it so that readers know that I feel it would be worth their time and investment.  That time has come as we have found another fine example with John Morgan’s “Brand Against the Machine”.

Brief Summary: [Read more...]

Super Bowl Ad Review 2014

This past weekend’s Super Bowl was the most watched event in television history, with over 112 million viewers tuning in!  With the growing popularity of the NFL and a match-up of the two #1 seeds, there was a lot of talk about how good of a match-up it would be.  Well, the game itself didn’t pan out (for the Broncos at least), but the viewership numbers certainly eased the minds of the marketing teams that spent a good penny to advertise during the game.

Here are my personal favorites from the game, with a few comments for each, along with a few additional ads towards the end – two that I didn’t like and two that caught my attention well before kickoff of the Super Bowl. [Read more...]

New Poll – Where will you be advertising in 2014?

What advertising platform will you be leveraging in 2014? (Photo credit: BusinessNewsDaily.com)

What advertising platform will you be leveraging in 2014?
(Photo credit: BusinessNewsDaily.com)

Over the course of 2013, we covered off on several different trends in the advertising space, including the shift to advertising on various social networks (throughout many of our weekly Sunday Musings) and mobile advertising (most specifically with startup Nearwoo).

With that in mind, our opening poll question for 2014 is relatively simple: which advertising platforms will your brand/business be leveraging in 2014 to increase awareness and/or build stronger loyalty?  The options include:

  1. Mobile
  2. Paid Search
  3. Facebook
  4. Instagram
  5. Twitter
  6. LinkedIn
  7. Foursquare
  8. Other Social Media Networks

After voting, if you would like to endorse a particular avenue, please feel free to do so in the Comments section below.  If you have already leveraged any of these streams, let us know what level of success you may have encountered.

Thanks for taking the time to vote and Happy New Year!

ShoreBranding.com Book Review – “Brandscaping” by Andrew Davis

 

Andrew Davis' "Brandscaping" (Photo credit: Amazon.com)

Andrew Davis’ “Brandscaping”
(Photo credit: Amazon.com)

Two of the first few blog entries we put together on here on Shore Branding were book reviews for my favorite six books revolving around branding and digital marketing over time.  While two others have been read this past year, neither were as enjoyable as Andrew Davis’ “Brandscaping”, so I thought it was appropriate to put together a review of the book.

For convenience, here are the write-ups from my top six books – Part 1 and Part 2.  I have to say that I would put “Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Brand Partnerships” in the top three.  (Apologies to Mitch Joel…)

Brief Summary: [Read more...]

New Poll – What Is On Your Holiday Wish List?

 

What is on your holiday wish list?  (Photo credit: 123rf.com)

What is on your holiday wish list?
(Photo credit: 123rf.com)

We were overdue for a new poll for a few weeks on Shore Branding, but held off in the spirit of our #SaveThanksgiving efforts.  With Thanksgiving past us, it is now time to think about what your holiday wish list looks like.  Our new poll question is simple: What is the one tech-related item that you hope to receive as a gift this month?  (Whether this is self-gifted or from someone else is unimportant…) [Read more...]

Visit SaveThanksgiving.net

Visit SaveThanksgiving.net and help us ... #SaveThanksgiving Gobble Gobble

Visit SaveThanksgiving.net and help us … #SaveThanksgiving
Gobble Gobble

If you have been reading our blog over the course of the year, you have probably realized that we love to celebrate the holidays.  Well, there in this poll of one, there is none greater than next week’s Thanksgiving holiday!  Unfortunately, as the years go by, it seems that Thanksgiving is getting swept under the carpet more and more, while consumers leave their families behind to get the early bird deals for their holiday shopping.  Retailers are opening on Thanksgiving Day more frequently, and now, earlier and earlier.

For these reasons, we have launched SaveThanksgiving.net!  In short, we want to take back the Thanksgiving holiday, remind people that this is a day for giving thanks for all of their respective blessings from the past year, and spend quality time with their family … not leave the house the second the doors open at local retailers. [Read more...]