Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 8-3-14

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

This week’s #SundayMusings takes us back to our branding roots and focuses in on brand extensions! Occasionally you see some off the wall ideas launched under a brand umbrella and it makes you hide in fear. Other times, it is a stroke of genius. Is there a real science here or is it just luck? Take a look at some of these brand extension stories from the past few weeks and maybe they will help you decide.

#1 – Instant.ly Says It Can Tell Brands Which New Products People Will Actually Buy – via AdWeek.com 

Premise: Instant.ly has launched a metric called “Shelf Score Index” which measures purchase intent through their platform, which also takes into account “category disruption from small or unknown brands”. CPG brands are always looking to better understand purchase intent, particularly with brand extensions and new SKU’s. This new method of testing is faster and less expensive according to Instant.ly. The metric will be released on a monthly basis.

Thoughts: Brand extensions can be a very scary proposition. The ability to quickly understand the size of prize and opportunity of an extension is a powerful metric, as it can tell you to pull back on the marketing and push for a new product based on its likelihood to fall flat with consumers, or conversely, to push the product/SKU further given its appeal.

Interesting infographic at the bottom of this write-up that has been created for the top ten scoring product innovations in July within the food/CPG space, with snacks and cereals dominating the list.

#2 – “Reebok Gets Into the Bacon Business, Catering to CrossFitters’ Sizzling Indulgence” via AdFreak.com

Premise: The CrossFit Games took place this past week. Helping with the celebration was Reebok, who decided to release a new product … bacon. CrossFitters are known to follow a Paleo diet. In an effort to stretch the Reebok name – a sponsor of the CrossFit Games – the brand sent its bacon packages to the athletes participating in the event, as well as others in the community. It will also have a food truck at the event serving, of course, its bacon.

Thoughts: This brand extension had me at … bacon. This is about as wide of a brand stretch or extension that I can remember and you know what, it seems to work/make some sense. They have tied the promotional efforts together nicely between the CrossFit Games and the typical dieting efforts. If nothing else, it will be interesting to see how big the buzz gets for the brand. Moving forward, they could really take advantage of the different events that lead up to the Games themselves, promoting at both the Open in February and Regional events in May.

This also reminded me of the Scope Bacon mouthwash YouTube clip that the brand put together last April Fools’ Day.

#3 – Brand innovation is like a trip to the dentist via BrandAide.com  

Premise: The folks at BrandAide have a book coming out and this article includes excerpts from that publication with a Q&A with Kyle Hermans. The Q&A/discussion centers on brand innovation, what it really means to Hermans, the fear that innovation creates, etc.

Thoughts: I thought this was an excellent interview that gets behind the mindset of brand/product innovation and how it can be a painstaking process that either has great reward or failure. This happens across industry time and time again.

Two particular discussion points really caught my attention. First, the example of Kodak and its complete and utter failure to recognize the growing trend of digital photography. By the time they tried to adapt, it was far too late and they are essentially a dead brand at this time. The second part that caught my attention is at the very end of the article and the discussion on innovation working for younger brands, given the power of the internet and digital marketing. It doesn’t always come down to the size of your marketing budget these days. Good communication and a strong business model can help virtually anyone attain success.

#4 – “Foursquare: Why Making Things Complicated?” via Andy Joohyun Lee on LinkedIn  

Premise: Foursquare won the location-based services game years ago with badges and the power of data/information for discovery. With the move to break its business into two distinct brands/apps, there has been a mountain of negative press, including this write-up on LinkedIn from Andy Joohyun Lee.

Thoughts: We talked about this a bit in our last Sunday Musings as well. While this feels a little “birds in a feather…” I continue to see write-ups on the negative side of Foursquare’s decision to split its business in half between what is now Foursquare and Swarm. I am clearly not the only person that doesn’t enjoy having to use two apps. While I typically try to avoid the negativity seen in comments sections, take a look through the comments on this write-up. They are overwhelmingly negative to the split.

I’m interested to see how Foursquare responds to this by the fall. I’m more interested in their reaction to the negative feedback then the new logo and app updates they pushed out in July.

Tweet of the Week:

I would have never, ever guessed that Toby Keith would be the #1 celebrity entrepreneur and brand builder. Keith has extended his own brand name into his bar & grill – which now includes his own house drink (Wild Shot Mezcal) – and a clothing line. Forbes has selected Keith for their cover based on his ability to take his brand name, extend it into various product lines (that largely work together) and create a whale of success.

Below you will find a Slideshare that I found to be of interest for anyone that is interested in reading more on the basics of brand extensions, brand building and innovation.

 

Thanks for swinging by this week’s #SundayMusings! What do you think of brand extensions and how they alter a brand’s image? Let us know in the Comments section below. Have a great week!

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 12-8-13

 

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Here we go with another edition of Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding, the top stories in branding and digital marketing from the past week!  This week’s stories include news on Movember and two stories apiece on brand extensions and loyalty. [Read more...]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 6-9-13

 

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Here are this week’s stories that caught my attention in branding and digital marketing in this week’s Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding.

#1 – Dollar Shave Club is Back with a New Product and Another Outrageous Video – via BrandChannel.com

Premise: Dollar Shave Club (DSC) is extending itself into a new market – wet wipes, aimed at men.  DSC went viral last year with its blades and razors subscription service and an eye opening YouTube ad.  They are back with their extension into wipes, which has remained a small, niche category relative to toilet paper sales.  DSC has some interesting research/data available behind this product that might suggest a strong opportunity to draw appeal.  As of now, the new wipes can only be purchased by those that sign up for their blades and razors subscription, but that might change in the future.

Thoughts: If you are not familiar with DSC’s YouTube ads, please click on the link above.  DSC’s President is clearly willing to take the risk of offending some people, with the (achieved) goal of breaking through the ad clutter.  I have been considering signing up for DSC to see how the razors are from an efficacy standpoint.  These ads make you want to try their subscription based service. [Read more...]

Most Influential Reading – Book Review Part 2

Photo credit: ScriptsandScribes.com

Photo credit: ScriptsandScribes.com

Building off of last week’s article on some of my favorite books that cover branding and digital marketing-related topics/issues, here are my top three all-time favorites to conclude the book review.

Similar to the earlier reviews, below I have included a link to the online reviews on Amazon within the title of the book itself.  I’ve also provided a link to a respective page for each author (Twitter feed, own home page) for those that may be interested.

#3 – “Six Pixels of Separation” – by Mitch Joel

Brief Summary: [Read more...]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 3/3/13

Sunday Musings 2

Here are this week’s links and stories that caught my attention in branding and digital marketing this week.

#1 – Why Some Brand Extensions Are Brilliant and Others Are Just Awkward – Time.com

Premise: Brand extensions are happening all of the time – some of them work tremendously, while others are tremendous flops.  This article provides a few, recent examples of both.  The good: Chipotle and NyQuil; the bad: Zippo and Virgin.

Thoughts: Failed brand extensions and product launches that go too far beyond a brand’s core principles drive me a little batty.  If a brand feels the need to reinvent their wheel and go in a completely different direction, just start a new brand and give it a unique name.  Know your strengths and your limitations of where you can go, and “Focus” on what you are doing right to ensure you have a sustainable business.

(The “ “ around focus is intentional, as we’ll be starting a book review this coming week on some of my favorites around the world of branding and digital marketing.  Cliffhanger alert.)

#2 – “Groupon’s Andrew Mason: ‘I was fired’” – AdAge.com

Premise: After Groupon’s latest quarterly report, the board finally pulled the plug on its founder and CEO, Andrew Mason.  The article pastes in Mason’s full email to his employees.

Thoughts: I have sparingly used Groupon over the past few years but never truly understood how this could be a sustainable business model, particularly with the likes of Google and Amazon continuously looking to get into this space.  Groupon has proven to be one big mess of a company since going public, burning through cash at an alarming rate.  (Mason once turned down a $6 billion offer from Google several years ago.  Ouch.)

With all of that said, I thought Mason’s email to employees, as well as his general humor on social media about being let go, were done in good fashion.

#3 – “Zynga Joins Gamble on Online Gambling” – MobileMarketingWatch.com

Premise: It isn’t a matter of “if” but “when” online gambling comes in full force to the United States.  Nevada and (my very own) New Jersey are pushing down on the accelerator here and others are sure to follow.  Zynga and its CEO Mark Pincus are looking to join the fray, taking online gambling and making it “social”.

Thoughts: Zynga’s move towards “real” online gambling is a no brainer for the company.  The potential revenue from this is tremendous.  The company already enjoys millions of players for its Zynga Poker game and has recently launched ‘Go Slots’ and ‘Lucky Play’ (a sportsbook) on its own web site.  Similar to Groupon, Zynga has had a tough time convincing investors the company has a sustainable business.  However, the quicker online gambling is adopted in the US, the quicker Zynga can turn around its business.

(Disclosure: I bought Zynga stock when it first went public and have since bought on the huge drop-off.  Still holding now and waiting for … well, the above to come to fruition.)

#4 – “Making LinkedIn Work For Your Business” – manireblog.net.  

Premise: LinkedIn continues to mold itself into a preeminent spot on the web for businesses.  The author takes us through a few of the more powerful steps in which LinkedIn can be leveraged, most specifically on lead generation.  With the redesign of the site’s ‘company pages’ feature, businesses have the opportunity to customize their design and message on their page.

Thoughts: As we have mentioned here a number of times over the first month of the Sunday Musings, LinkedIn has continued to shape the functionality of its site for both businesses and individuals.  While a few of the thoughts and recommendations may seem a little basic to some, this article does a nice job of explaining what you should be covering off on if you are creating or updating your businesses LinkedIn page.

#5 – “Google Glass Changes Everything Including Inbound Marketing” – Square2Marketing.com

Premise: Google Glass has been launched and rather than just “Ooh” and “Aah” over its design and capabilities, this article takes a unique perspective on how Google Glass can have a significant impact on inbound marketing.

Thoughts: This is an interesting spin on what Google Glass can do for businesses and marketers.  The continuous search for more content, knowledge and power takes another step towards being at our fingertips 24/7 with Google Glass.  Connecting and sharing content through voice command is going to be taking a significant step forward in 2013 and into 2014 with Glass.

Take a look at the official video and feel free to “Ooh” and “Aah”:

There was a lot of news in technology this week, particularly in three companies (Groupon, Zynga, and LinkedIn) that went public more recently.  While LinkedIn has seen tremendous growth over that time, the others have struggled.  What do you think the future is for any of these three?