Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 6/21/15

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

This week’s #SundayMusings is dedicated to all the dads out there as we celebrate Father’s Day with a little Father’s Day branding summary.  Here are a few write-ups from around the web that caught my attention regarding today’s holiday here in the US.

#1 – “Father’s Day 2015: Here Comes the Dadvertising Deluge” – via brandchannel.com

Premise: With today’s holiday, brands have been rolling out their Father’s Day advertisements trying to breakthrough the clutter.  Brandchannel has put together a slew of these ads in this one write-up for you to compare and contrast which brands are using the right messaging and which aren’t.

Thoughts: Angel Soft took a unique way of celebrating Father’s Day, that’s for sure.  These Dove Men+Care ads for various holidays have been really, really good in recent months.  But the winner probably goes to Goody Hair …

#2 – “Celebrating Dads on Twitter” via Twitter’s Blog

Premise: Twitter’s blog put together a bit of text analytics behind Twitter profiles.  About 2.5 million profiles have “Dad” or “Father” in their profile and their analytics team took a look at tweets that included content on fatherhood-related topics.

Thoughts: One of the items that I like most about the Twitter blog is that they pull in their own tools and tricks without being very “salesy” in the approach.  This week’s Father’s Day write-up adds a nice touch with the inclusion of a number of fatherhood tweets from users.  I will have to agree with #1 on the “Fatherhood is …” list here.

#3 – “Infographic: Need a Father’s Day Gift? These Are the Top 10 Brands Dads Desire” via AdWeek.com

Premise: Y&R did a little research on the modern dad and put together the appended infographic in this write-up on what brands are driving the strongest levels of interest with this audience.  Spoiler alert: Apple has two of the top five brands on this list with “Apple” itself at the top and the “iPad” rounding out the top five.

Thoughts: I have to say that beyond Netflix, there isn’t a single other brand in the top ten that I have any interest in.  Completely understand why Apple is on the list, though it would be nice to see Android break the top ten list here.

Not to be a stickler, but do you see the typo in the infographic?  This type of stuff drives me crazy.

#4 – “Why We Should Get Rid of Dad of the Year Language on Father’s Day” via DannyBrown.me

Premise: Interesting read from Danny Brown on pushing out the Hallmark “Father of the Year” slogans and such and that how our kids turn out is really what will ultimately drive how you are viewed as a parent down the line.

Thoughts: I wasn’t sure if this was a rant at first against Hallmark, but I then read the comments to the article and it all fell together for me.  Danny does a great job of engaging with his audience and addressing their commentary.

At the very least, some food for thought as you go about your Father’s Day!

Tweet of the Week:

MLB, along with most national sports these days, do a nice job of raising awareness for various diseases, events, and such as their respective season progresses.  A nice effort here from MLB to celebrate dads but also raise a little awareness and salience for prostate cancer.  For those of you heading to the ballpark on Sunday, look for the blue ribbon decals throughout the park for these efforts.

Have a great Sunday / Father’s Day and hope you enjoyed our Father’s Day #SundayMusings!

 

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 6-7-15

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

As we enter Summer and people head to the shore, I figured it was a good time to dedicate a #SundayMusings to the top Summer branding news entering the season.  The following stories caught my eye over the past few weeks.  What campaigns or brand positionings have caught your eye for this Summer?

#1 – “To Kick Off Summer, Miller Lite Stages a Mini Awards Show on Twitter” – via AdWeek.com

Premise: For the second consecutive year, Miller Lite is using the turn of the season to invest heavily in its Twitter advertising.  For $200K, Miller Lite was the ‘promoted trend’ on Twitter for a day, using a tweet with the hashtag #ItsMillerTime – a refurbished marketing message from advertising used years ago by the brand.

Thoughts: Aside from providing the cost behind what it takes to advertise on Twitter, there was a second nugget in here that piqued my interest; Miller Lite is NOT tying this Twitter campaign to a television ad.  The move to online advertising is real folks …

#2 – “7 Days to Building a Stronger Brand This Summer and Beyond” via hub.coxmedia.com

Premise: Many businesses rely on the Summer months to drive sales/revenue.  This write-up helps you think about ensuring you have done enough to drive brand resonance.  This was the start of a seven day series of write-ups regarding branding your business to further drive sales.

Thoughts: I thought this was a great idea to promote the free e-book being offered and to continue driving people to download their material.  I don’t think there is too much groundbreaking material here, but I did want to call out the 7th tip, “Be patient”.  In short, “cosign”.

#3 – “Marmite readies ‘summer of love’ campaign with flower-power logo design” via MarketingMagazine.co.uk

Premise: Marmite has filed a patent claim on a logo for the brand that includes the tagline “Summer of Love”.  Unilever has not provided any further information at this time, but the brand looks to pivot with a new campaign, logo, and tagline.

Thoughts: Had to go across the pond for more Summer branding news.  Have you ever tried Marmite?  The ‘love it or hate it’ motto/mantra seems to be very true.  I tried it on vacation once and let’s just say I fell into the latter category of that motto.  However, people swear by it.

#4 – “Target Branding 2015” via CargoCollective.com

Premise: The Target logo is nice and simple, but also rememorable.  Peters has created a new ad campaign for Target taking this theme to another level with vibrant images.  However, the red and white colors remain firmly in place.

Thoughts: There are a number of images from the various Target ads/campaigns but they all stay true to the Target logo.  I particularly like the ones that have the red polka dots that seemingly go over the person or object also in each piece of creative.

What do you think of these ads?  Too much?

Tweet of the Week:

I’m not going to lie, I laughed out loud when I saw this tweet from Captain Morgan.  Maybe it is a New Jersey thing, but I loved the hashtag #SunsOutRumsOut.  We have a winner for the best Summer branding hashtag of 2015!

Hope you enjoyed our Summer branding #SundayMusings!  Now go outside and enjoy the start of the Summer!

 

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!

 

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!

 

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. [Read more…]

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! [Read more…]

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. [Read more…]

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

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Welcome to the latest #SundayMusings with Shore Branding!  This week’s stories highlight the latest and greatest news as we head into 2015’s SXSW conference in Austin, Texas.  Are you traveling to SXSW this year?  If so, let us know what you think.  Below are the news stories that caught my attention …

#1 – “New Fitness Brand Radius Keeps SXSW 2015 ‘in shape’” – via MobileMarketingWatch.com

Premise: Fitness and wearables will play a large role in this year’s edition of SXSW in Austin and Radius will be looking to lead the way.  Radius, from NBCUniversal, works with RadiusFitness.com on personalized workouts for desktops and mobile devices.  The brand will be hosting and promoting itself throughout the festival.

Thoughts: Through sponsorship and branding at charging stations and through hosting across the festival, Radius is just one of a large number of brands looking to capitalize on SXSW’s popularity.  The brand is going to have to break out the big guns if it is going to want to break through the clutter at the event.

That said, it does make perfect sense for a brand that focuses on one of the hottest of hot topics – wearables – tries to make its mark at SXSW this year. [Read more…]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 3-1-15

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding - The Valentine's Day Edition! (Photo credit: blog.templatemonster.com)

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – The Valentine’s Day Edition!
(Photo credit: blog.templatemonster.com)

 

We are closing out February with a Valentine’s Day #SundayMusings – taking one last look at the branding and digital marketing news from brands and companies as they relate to Valentine’s Day.  Here are the holiday stories that caught my eye heading into and through the month.

#1 – “Love Across the Twittersphere” – via blog.twitter.com

Premise: The Twitter blog dives into some Twitter Analytics and how “love” is spread across the network.  Sweden comes out on top as the most “in love” country around the globe.  Twitter also takes a look at some of the most commonly used hashtags across the calendar year.

Thoughts: The Twitter blog is a great bookmark to see the latest and greatest from the site.  It hits on current and relevant news, holidays, sporting events and more.  I’m not sure what level of humor vs. sadness I find in the hashtags across the span of a calendar year.  (OK, it’s funny) [Read more…]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 2-15-15

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding - The Super Bowl Edition! (Photo credit: MixedNutsAndLove.deviantart.com)

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – A look into NFL branding
(Photo credit: MixedNutsAndLove.deviantart.com)

This weekend’s #SundayMusings will focus on the NFL and NFL branding.  While the league has clearly become America’s favorite sport with millions watching every weekend, it certainly doesn’t have its warts.  The league can’t seem to stay out of the news in a negative way as well.  Check ESPN’s NFL page at any point and you are likely to see at least one headline of a legal issue.

The 2014 season started off with the Ray Rice domestic abuse incident and Adrian Peterson’s child abuse case, then finished with “DeflateGate”.  Commissioner Roger Goodell stumbled and bumbled all the way through both, leading to more terrible PR for the league.

Within hours of the season ending in Super Bowl XLIX, the NFL found itself with more controversy.  Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel checked himself into rehab and his star WR was busted once again and suspended for all of the 2015 NFL season.  None of this is good news but the NFL will survive.

Typically in #SundayMusings we look for stories within the past week or two to discuss.  However, we’re going a little further back this week and looking at various articles that have been written about the NFL’s branding and how/where the league stands to benefit.

#1 – “The NFL Brand – Discuss” – via Forbes.com

Premise: With several of the stories listed above hot in the news, the author conducts a ‘roundtable’ discussion on the NFL brand with several strong minds in the marketing and advertising space.

Thoughts: Excellent reference to the NFL as “The Teflon Brand” as no matter what the issue has been, the NFL has moved past it and gotten stronger in the ratings.  There are a lot of good ideas and thoughts in this piece and is worth the read, particularly behind the last question/thought, “can a brand be too strong, too powerful?” [Read more…]