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

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding - Thanksgiving Edition (Photo Credit: GlowRockport.wordpress.com)

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – Thanksgiving Edition
(Photo Credit: GlowRockport.wordpress.com)

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 Change.org 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 Loyalty360.org

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 SaveThanksgiving.net 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 imediaconnection.com

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 BrandChannel.com

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

 

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 8-2-15

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

This week’s #SundayMusings with Shore Branding is somewhat unique in its style in that I am building off of our Loyalty to Brands write-ups and have found recent news from brands and companies that we have focused on in the past.  Here are a few headlines that have caught my eye on several of the brands that I consider myself loyal to.

#1 – “Online shopping startup ready to rival Amazon” – via NYPost.com

Premise: Having launched two weeks ago, Jet.com’s founder Marc Lore promises to be an open book when it comes to corporate disclosure – a key contrast vs. his former boss and employer, Jeff Bezos at Amazon.  Lore provides several quotes into how he prefers to run Jet moving forward.  Jet has raised $225 million in funding but is projecting losses in its operating margin for the next five years.

Thoughts: As mentioned in last week’s Loyalty to Brands on Jet, I think it is a phenomenal site and product already.  I’m seriously considering the next nine months as the last chance for Costco to wow me with something or my membership will be cancelled.

Marc Lore has made the rounds over the past two weeks, so it is highly likely you have already seen or read what he is expecting out of Jet.com and his vision for the company as it moved out of beta testing.

#2 – “Dunkin’ Donuts Is Using 7 Social Platforms to Sell Iced-Coffee to Music-Loving Millennials” via AdWeek.com

Premise: Dunkin’ Donuts’ summer marketing campaign will go across seven different social media platforms, in an effort to better connect / resonate with millennials.  The campaign is called “DD Summer Soundtrack” and will include similar messaging and advertising across social platforms.

Thoughts: Either Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts know exactly what they are doing or this is just an effort by Dunkin’ to take some steam out of Starbucks’ connection with younger consumers.  I don’t love the idea, particularly if it was formed based on the latter assumption, but it could work out very well for Dunkin’, given its heavy promotional efforts.  I also liked to read that the brand will include a focus on Periscope – where I have seen several brands start to make their presence known.

#3 – “Hilton’s Canopy Reykjavik Offers Valuable Customer Experiences Steeped in Local Culture” via Loyalty360.eu

Premise: Canopy, “Hilton’s new lifestyle hotel brand” will be opening in Reykjavik Iceland in 2016 and be located in center city.  It will offer all of the local flavoring of the city, including food and local amenities.

Thoughts: OK, so this caught my eye and I cannot wait to go back to Iceland and stay at this new Hilton hotel.  If you have never been to Iceland, I highly suggest you check it out as the country is absolutely gorgeous.  We stayed at the current Hilton in Reykjavik and while it was very nice, it was a little off the path from center city.

Tweet of the Week:

Honda is another Loyalty to Brands focus and they have recently turned it up a notch with their digital marketing and social media efforts.  They recently aired a Periscope video rolling out the design for the 2016 Honda Accord and now have this hashtag campaign out there across networks.

The light bulb has seemingly gone off for Honda that they needed to step up their game across social media platforms.  I really enjoy what they have been doing in recent weeks.

Any of these brands in this week’s #SundayMusings catch your attention?

Happy Sunday and enjoy the week ahead!

 

Loyalty to Brands – Jet.com

Jet.com

Jet.com

Our next installment of “Loyalty to Brands” focuses on a newcomer to the world of ecommerce – Jet.com – having just officially launched this past Tuesday – after a few months in beta testing.

When I read someone describing Jet as “when Amazon meets Costco”, I knew I would be interested.  After getting into the group of beta testers and sharing the site across social media, I wound up being in the top 10,000 group which provided a free, one year membership and early access to shop Jet before its launch date this past week.

So how have I become loyal to Jet in such a short amount of time (~6 months).  There are two major reasons:

  1. Focusing most of my cart on household goods (toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc.), I find the bulk shopping and incremental savings increases to be eye-catching.
  2. Not having to leave my house to go battle the lunatics on weekends in places like Costco, Walmart, and Target is equally important to me.

It really is that easy to turn me into a loyal, avid shopper.  Give me a reason (or two) to not have to deal with maniacs at the store, in the parking lots, and/or even just on the road during the weekends, is a benefit that I can’t put a dollar number on.

Note that the savings doesn’t end with household items.  You can find gadgets, food, baby care, pet items, books … virtually everything you could imagine (see the complete list below).

A bevy of categories to choose from on Jet.com

A bevy of categories to choose from on Jet.com

I will say that Jet’s beta program (Jet Insider) really did a lot to pique my interest.  It felt good to have “exclusivity” to the program and helping them fine tune the system and channels they put in place.  From the very first order, items have landed on my doorstep in the timing that was promised.  Not to mention, the fancy delivery boxes that they come in … nice branding work there!

The power of well branded, purple boxes! (Photo Credit: GeekWire.com)

The power of well branded, purple boxes! (Photo Credit: GeekWire.com)

Have you signed up for Jet this week now that they have officially launched?  If so, what do you think?  Were you a Jet Insider and did you have similar feelings to the early access?  Let me know in the Comments below.

As always, if you have a brand or service that you consider yourself loyal to and are interested in guest blogging on Shore Branding, please do reach out and let me know via the Comments section below or through the Contact page.  Thanks!

 

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 1/4/15

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding - Happy New Year / 2015! (Credit: wallpaperput.com)

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – Happy New Year / 2015!
(Credit: wallpaperput.com)

 

Happy new year everyone and welcome to the first #SundayMusings of 2015!  I hope everyone had a great, safe holiday season and that you are ready to make 2015 bigger and better!  Why not start with the top stories that caught my eye in branding and digital marketing as they relate to entering the new year?  Done and done …

#1 – “The Top 7 Content Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2015” – via Forbes.com

Premise: “Content marketing” continues to grow.  The author has spent time in the past putting together predictions and outcomes of content marketing (links within the article).  Now he takes a look at how content marketing will shift/progress into the new year.

Thoughts: A few of the highlighted trends caught my eye, specifically #2 – “Content marketing will become inextricably linked with social media marketing” and #5 – “The reputation of guest blogging as a content marketing strategy will be repaired”.

It is hard to argue with #2, as this trend continues to grow seemingly month to month.  However, #5 is an item that is important here on ShoreBranding.com.  We have openly embraced guest posts in the past, but willingness to do so weakened in the second half of 2014.  Again, if you are interested in being a guest writer here on the site, please just let me know via our Contact page (or reach out via email / social media). [Read more…]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 11-9-14

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Welcome back to another edition of #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding.  Our focus this week will be on brand loyalty and the customer experience.  This builds off of October’s “Pin of the Month” and the continuation of our “Loyalty to Brands” series.  Here are the top stories from the past few weeks that caught my attention.

#1 – “Amazon CEO Wants to Make Holidays Easier and Stress-free for Customers” – via Loyalty360.org

Premise: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has issued a promise to Amazon’s customers that the company will be focusing on the customer experience throughout the holiday season.  Beyond competitive pricing, Amazon will have 15K Lightning Deals, gift lists, updated product lineups and the ability to to make purchases and contribute a portion to your preferred charity.

Amazon announced a slew of new tech products for the holidays, including new Kindles and Fire tablets.  There is a focus on kid friendly content and products.  Amazon Prime members will continue to reap additional benefits through early access to sales and exclusive deals on MyHabit.com.

Thoughts: As mentioned in our latest “Loyalty to Brands”, Amazon has become my go-to retailer and is where I continue to increase my share of wallet for holiday shopping.  I can’t think of another store or retailer where customer support has made it easier and more customer friendly than what Bezos has done with Amazon. [Read more…]

Loyalty to Brands – Amazon

"Loyalty to Brands" focusing on Amazon.com

“Loyalty to Brands” focusing on Amazon.com

By a show of virtual hands, who has shopped on Amazon in the past week?  That’s what I figured and the leader in ecommerce is our focus in the latest “Loyalty to Brands”.  Founded in 1994 as an online bookstore, Amazon has become much, much more over the years.  There isn’t much out there for sale that you can’t get on Amazon.  Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos continues to run the show at the Seattle-based giant, finding new and exciting ways to expand Amazon’s portfolio.

So what has driven my brand loyalty to Amazon?  While price is an added benefit, it is not my number one driver.  The convenience of shopping on Amazon drives my loyalty.  Specifically, Amazon Prime has made my life so much easier.  It is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the best $99 I spend every year.  With two day shipping on the majority of purchases, I know that I’m getting what I want/need in a timely manner.  If said item doesn’t meet my needs, returns and exchanges cause virtually no pain or anguish.  Over the past five years or so, I would estimate that at least 80% of my holiday shopping is done on Amazon.  In just November and December, the Amazon Prime subscription fee pays for itself.  Tech gifts, clothes, K-cups, and on and on, the list continues to grow each and every year. [Read more…]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 6-8-14

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Welcome back to another edition of #SundayMusings! This week we will be focusing on retail-related news and stories that caught our attention over the past few weeks. As a quick aside, we will also be focusing on retail and retail loyalty in the forthcoming June “Pin of the Month” next weekend. For now, here are the stories that caught my attention.

#1 – Do Tablets Have The Power To Revolutionize Retail – via CMO.com 

Premise: While not there yet, tablets will soon be everywhere. Similar to how the iPod revolutionized the music industry, tablets will turn the retail landscape on its head. It is predicted that half of the US will have a tablet within the next few years. Tablets are a research-friendly device for customers and the author provides several additional motivating facts for leveraging tablets for your business.

Thoughts: The second screen has changed consumers’ behaviors – from how they watch television to the entire retail/shopping experience. The Nordstrom example provided by the author is a great way to show how a retailer can leverage a tablet to create a unique experience for its customers. Bookmark the site for future write-ups on how tablets are impacting additional industries as well. [Read more…]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 1-19-14

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Welcome to #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding, the top branding and digital marketing stories that caught my attention from the past week.

#1 – The Best-Perceived Brands of 2013 – via AdWeek.com 

Premise: YouGov’s BrandIndex results are in for 2013 and Amazon has become the strongest perceived brand, followed by Ford and Subway to close out the top three.  Banks/Financial institutions started to rebound in 2013 as well, with four out of the top five most improved brands coming from this arena (with the other being American Airlines).  The article includes an infographic of the results and at the bottom you find the top brands by political affiliation.

Thoughts: It isn’t surprising to see Amazon at the top of the list, given their customer service and experience, along with the growth in Amazon Prime and the Kindle.  What is surprising is to see the Kindle itself come in at number 10.  Also surprising are the number two and three top brands – Ford and Subway, respectively.

What brands would be at the top of your list?  I would put Google and Amazon at the top of mine. [Read more…]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 11-24-13

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Welcome to Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding, the top stories in branding and digital marketing from the past week!  We’re heading into the short work week here in the US with the Thanksgiving holiday upon us!

#1 – 12 Actionable Pinterest Tips To Increase Sales – via HeidiCohen.com 

Premise: Since launching, Pinterest has become a platform to help drive sales across various industries.  While it started as a place to display food, clothing, and more, it has turned into a marketing machine and an e-commerce platform.  Heidi’s write-up includes seven tips to increase the likelihood of others re-pinning your material and five overall tactics to increase/improve results. [Read more…]