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!


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?  


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


Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 11-8-15

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

As we head into and through the end of the year, there are a number of different branding efforts taking place.  This week’s #SundayMusings runs the gamut across a few of these holidays as brands have begun their year end marketing campaigns.  

#1 –  “Top hotel bonus points promotions for Thanksgiving week stays” via

Premise: Loyalty Traveler informs its readers of the best hotel travel deals for Thanksgiving week, one of the biggest travel weeks of the year in the US.  

Thoughts: Across all of the major hotel chains – Hilton, Marriott, IHG, etc. – you will be able to find the current promotions and deals in this article.  Depending on your loyalty across each, I’m sure you will be able to find something if you are considering traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday.

#2 – “REI Stores are Closing on Thanksgiving” via

Thoughts: No premise is needed here.  You have probably seen this announcement from REI, completely closing their stores on Black Friday.  Thank you! #SaveThanksgiving

Even better news … the retailer will be paying its employees as if it is a regular workday and have opted to turn this into a hashtag campaign – #OptOutside.  Well played REI!

#3 – “Why Hallmark is Ditching TV, and Sentimental Ads, for a Bit of Biting Humor this Holiday” via

Premise: For the first time, Hallmark is abandoning TV advertising for its Keepsake holiday ads, going with an all digital approach.  There are a handful of ads on its microsite for the campaign and the company is using the #KeepsakeIt hashtag for the campaign.  

Thoughts: It pains me to write anything about Christmas here – ahead of Thanksgiving – but I did want to bring to your attention.  It is telling when a brand rich in tradition decides to completely abandon the TV and go all digital.  The times, they are a changin’ …

Tweet of the Week:


Self-serving?  Sure.  A good cause?  Absolutely!  Check out the online food drive on Feeding America through the link in the tweet above.  Help others who are struggling to put a meal on the table.  Thank you!

Hope you enjoyed this week’s #SundayMusings!


Let’s #SaveThanksgiving – 2015

Visit and help us ... #SaveThanksgiving Gobble Gobble

Visit and help us … #SaveThanksgiving
Gobble Gobble

As we kick off the month of November, Halloween has past and we move into the official holiday season here in the US.  Too often, we find ourselves skipping over my favorite holiday – Thanksgiving – in order to concentrate on Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years.  Retailers and brands have done this too, continuing to have Black Friday creep into the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.  

For the past two years, we have promoted and the #SaveThanksgiving hashtag across social media platforms.  This year is no different.  For weeks, I’ve seen retailers starting to decorate for Christmas.  That’s before Halloween people!  Stop it!

However, there is some hope.  Staples announced that after being open on Thanksgiving Day in years past, it will remain closed this year.  I’m hoping that many, if not all, of the retailers that stayed closed in 2014 will remain closed this year as well.  If you hear of others that have changed their tact and will now close their doors on Thanksgiving Day this year, please do let me know.  

What can you do to help?  Glad you asked …

I was thinking about creating a #SaveThanksgiving t-shirt on  If you are interested in purchasing one, please let me know and if a few people reach out to me, I’ll get that up and running immediately.  

Help #SaveThanksgiving!  For more, visit and follow our #SaveThanksgiving Pinterest board.  

Thank you!

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 10-25-15

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding! (Photo credit:

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding!
(Photo credit:

Welcome to a Halloween themed #SundayMusings with Shore Branding!  With next weekend being the holiday here in the US, let’s take a look at what you may want to do, or avoid, for the holiday.  We’ll also take a look at a few early winners when it comes to their Halloween branding efforts!

#1 –  “5 Scarily Bad Brand Personality Traits to Avoid This Halloween (and After)” via

Premise: With every holiday comes a desire and plan to tailor your brand’s message or social media posts to make it relevant.  However, there are a number of items to avoid when thinking about tying your brand to a Halloween, or any other holiday, themed message, post, etc.

Thoughts: This really didn’t have to be tied to Halloween at all.  However, arrogance and/or dullness in your posts, message, etc. top this list in my opinion.  There is no need to break through the clutter through something provocative if that isn’t your normal tone.  Stay consistent.  

#2 – “5 Designs We Love: Seasonal Branding for Halloween” via

Premise: Five of the top branding and/or packaging items that have been seen thus far for the forthcoming Halloween holiday.  

Thoughts: I really like what Fanta did with their packaging.  Great look and an even better bit of innovation to it, by turning it into a drink dispenser and, from what I can tell, a Halloween basket as well.  Doesn’t that look like a Halloween basket to you?  

The other winner here is one of the most digital savvy brands we have, Oreo.  Naturally … #3 – “This App Will Help You Find the Perfect Wine to Pair With Your Halloween Candy” via Premise: I’m relatively positive the title of this article says it all, as Vivino – an app for winos … excuse me, “wine enthusiasts” has launched this year’s perfect pairings between Halloween candy and wine.    Thoughts: This is simply fantastic.  Added bonus, it comes with an infographic!  An interesting point worth mentioning is that there are no specific brands mentioned or referenced in the pairing, only types of wine.  That sounds like a future brandscaping opportunity for a wine company! Tweet of the Week:

I’m not even sure where to go with this one.  Hanes XTemp technology keeps you cool as you load up on your Halloween costume, layers, and yes, hair.  Fantastic use of the holiday that can be reapplied for Christmas in a few months in a similar manner I’m sure.

Added bonus time, here is my favorite Halloween Vine thus far (from Lowe’s) …

Hope you enjoyed this week’s #SundayMusings!  Happy Halloween and Happy Halloween Branding efforts to those giving it a try!