Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 3-30-14

A mobile #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding! (Photo credit:

A mobile #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding!
(Photo credit:

Happy Sunday and Happy Spring … at least according to the calendar.  This week’s #SundayMusings will focus on mobile and mobile marketing, so here are the top stories that caught my attention over the past two weeks under this umbrella.  Enjoy!

#1 – Foursquare CEO: How We’ll Tell You Where To Eat And What To Order – via 

Premise: Aside from telling our friends and family where you are via mobile check-ins, we are providing a dearth of data and information that foursquare is leveraging to help create recommendations for you in the future based on your interests and behaviors.  The author sat down with foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley to talk about what the future is or might be for his company.

The interview itself talks about the past and present numbers for foursquare and where it is seeing growth around the globe, including how to monetize the platform based on the success it has seen in the US.  It then pivots towards “anticipatory computing”, i.e. where your mobile device knows your location and is able to make recommendations for you.

Thoughts: If this is your first, or one of your first visits to the site, I’ll just preface my thoughts with the following: I’m a big fan of foursquare and the personalization I can get from the network.  I thought the interview was fantastic and at the end was an “aha” moment.  When Crowley says that if three people go to Google Maps and search for dinner, the same places will come up.  However, if those three people search foursquare, they are going to get recommendations based to their interests.  That’s the point and that’s the Holy Grail right there – you get what you want.

(If you are considering using the foursquare platform for your business, take a look at the “Tips” article we put together several months back.)

#2 – “7 Unbelievable Mobile Marketing Success Stories” – via    

Premise: Is your company considering a mobile campaign?  This write-up provides you with seven brands/companies that have successfully implemented a mobile marketing campaign, including; Ikea, Chipotle, Starbucks, and more.

Thoughts: I wish I knew about the Ikea app before we started home improvements two weeks ago!  Creating a virtual 3D image of how an item would look in your home sounds like an amazing feature.  Chipotle used a mobile game (Chipotle Scarecrow) to draw in millions and build awareness of their “Food with Integrity” initiative.

Another brand and unique way of driving engagement with customers is creating exclusivity in a mobile app, like Target has done with their “Cartwheel app”, providing users with unique deals.  Starbucks is mentioned in just about every success story article published.  (Therefore, it is time to put the “Brand in Focus” in the coming weeks.)

Which one of these mobile marketing campaigns catches your attention the most?

#3 – “How Mobile Marketing Can Benefit Your Business” via  

Premise: Are you taking advantage of mobile marketing for your brand or business?  The author puts together several ways in which you can use mobile to build your business – SMS, GPS-based, Search, and/or Apps.  These efforts provide you with greater access to who your customers are and helps build stronger loyalty to your brand.

Thoughts: I wanted to use this write-up in today’s #SundayMusings because it is a simple reminder that mobile marketing comes in more than one shape or size.  There are a number of different avenues you can take.  You should be picking the one(s) that you are most comfortable with and committing to them.

#4 – “A Step-By-Step Guide to Setting Up a Mobile Marketing Campaign” via 

Premise: It is critical to put together a plan for your mobile marketing campaign and Convince and Convert has laid out the boundaries for you with this write-up.  From defining your objectives, through data/reporting, and follow-up, the article takes you through a checklist of items to consider when planning your mobile campaign.

Thoughts: Building off of #3 above, this article would be a nice ‘next step’ for you to consider when thinking about your mobile campaign.  Define your goals first.  Once executed, be willing and open to tweaking the plans based on learnings and findings while the campaign is being executed.  At the very end of the write-up you’ll find a well-placed campaign from Naked Juice on foursquare as an example.

#5 – “McDonald’s bets on rich media to build Facebook following” via  

Premise: In an effort to increase their presence on Facebook, McDonald’s is turning to mobile advertising on the platform.  Given the changes on Facebook’s newsfeed, the organic reach of posts are typically declining for brands and businesses and efforts similar to this can be used to subsidize those losses.  The McDonald’s campaign has users select their favorite image and takes them to the McDonald’s Facebook page.

This isn’t the first time McDonald’s has leveraged social media for its promotions, having used Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter in the past.  The goal continues to be to drive engagement with its fans and customers.

Thoughts: Few brands out there have the resources that McDonald’s does, but I find it interesting to see them quickly making adjustments based on the changes Facebook continues to implement on its platform.  McDonald’s is bringing in more and more mobile marketing strategies in order to stay connected with their audience.

#6 – “Google unveils Android Wear, its modified OS for wearables” via  

Premise: About two weeks ago Google announced that they will be pushing out their Android Wear line, starting with smartwatches.  The wearables will have a new OS that will leverage Google Now voice recognition (similar to Google Glass).  Google will be partnering with HTC, LG, Samsung, Asus, and Motorola to roll out their smartwatches.

Thoughts: Let’s pivot away from mobile marketing for a second.  Are you using a smartwatch yet?  I have seen very few people with them, but as the author of this article points out, with Google jumping into the market, it does provide a little more stability to the market … at least for me anyway.

Maybe the YouTube clip will help start to pique your interest:

#7 – “Mobile Media Summit LA Puts “Cars and Stars” Center Stage” via  

Premise: The largest mobile advertising conference in North America and Europe hits Beverly Hills, California this coming week.  With the continued shift in focus towards mobile, advertisers have followed suit.  The write-up provides a list of presenters and a registration code for saving a few dollars for those interested.

Thoughts: Given that this is coming up this week, I wanted to put this out there for those that might be interested.  Even if you can’t attend in person, if the prior articles have sparked an interest, you can follow Mobile Media Summit on Twitter to catch the latest news from the event.

Tweet of the Week:


Not to be outdone by McDonald’s, here is news on Wendy’s mobile platform from engadget.  However, if you take a look at their story, you’ll quickly learn that Wendy’s has left out discount and promotional efforts from their app, unlike Burger King.

Are you using your mobile phone for payments in store?  If so, how is the experience?  What do you see as the greatest benefit to doing so?

That’s it for this week’s #SundayMusings!  Have a great week ahead!

Pin of the Month – Restaurant Mobile Apps


Infographic credit to

Infographic credit to


Our March 2014 ‘Pin of the Month’ includes a bit of information on the key talking point this month on – loyalty.  The infographic itself was found on’s blog and was immediately selected based on the first of five tips it provided to restaurants who are considering a mobile app.

The infographic contains a wealth of information on the success of a number of restaurant chains and their respective mobile platforms.  The five recommendations for building a stronger mobile app include: Loyalty, Payment, Marketing, Ordering, and Entertainment.  As you can see above, each recommendation comes with a handful of successful case studies / brands that have done their part to engage their customer base.

Is it surprising at all to see Starbucks in the lead mention spot under two of the mobile tips?  The coffee maker has led the charge in changing consumer behaviorisms and their mobile efforts are just one of the more recent examples.  I find it amazing that from 2012 to 2013, they increased their mobile loyalty program by 86%.

A second eye opener from the infographic is the percentage of mobile ordering that is being done at Papa John’s (45%) and Domino’s Pizza (40%).  Has Pizza Hut missed the ball on this one relative to its national competitors?  I’d say so.

What I really enjoyed about this month’s ‘Pin of the Month’ is that it didn’t focus solely on national, big name brands.  Sure, you have probably heard of the vast majority of these examples, but there are several, local based brands that have turned their mobile platform into a success story.  Those successes came through various mobile plans as well; with Earl of Sandwich and Marble Slab Creamery leveraging their loyalty programs, while a Papa Murphy’s franchise in Nevada rolled out a SMS campaign to get people in their door.

Finally, as you can see on the last tip, your brand doesn’t have to always be direct selling to the customer.  You can build engagement by entertaining your audience through games or witty characters on your mobile app.  We don’t have a Bojangles near us, but I had to take a look at their app after seeing this infographic!

What brand/restaurant has caught your own attention through their mobile efforts?  Let us know in the comments below and we’ll take a look at their app!

For those unfamiliar with our Pin of the Month, each month we’ll be posting one of the better infographics, pictures, etc. from our Pinterest page and (over-) analyzing it in a blog write-up.  For those that may have missed our other loyalty-related write-ups this month, here is the Sunday Musings that introduced the topic at the beginning of the month and here is our first “Loyalty to Brands” write-up.  If you are interested in guest blogging about a brand or company that you find yourself loyal to, please let me know!

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 3-2-14


Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing


Welcome back to a new #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding!  As mentioned in our last write-up, our #SundayMusings will continue on a bi-weekly basis and each one will focus on a key topic of interest.  This edition will focus on the various aspects of loyalty – from setting up a loyalty program, to specific rewards programs, and several other unique angles or pillars that all fall under the loyalty umbrella.

#1 – Sochi Olympics Shows Us the Future of Marketing … and It’s Very Cool – via 

Premise: The Olympics coverage has leveraged a new way to understand and interact our customers through video data.  Those that are already integrating video data with the information they are receiving from their loyalty programs are creating powerful tools and information to analyze.  This of course assumes that those marketers have the right loyalty program in place, collecting the right information to improve their respective businesses.

Thoughts: To be honest, when I first decided to move to a bi-weekly format, I thought for sure we would be covering the Olympics through a branding lens in this week’s edition.  However, I spent all of about 10 minutes watching this year’s Olympics and didn’t find it to be of much interest.

This felt like a good starting point of talking about loyalty programs based on the caveats the writer mentioned.  Anyone can initiate a loyalty program.  It is what type of information you collect and how you use that can really separate you from your competition.  Set your goals, think about what you want to achieve and how you are going to get there, and be open-minded enough to consider what changes may need to be made as the program progresses … without annoying your customer. 

#2 – “Five Reasons Why You Should Create a Customer-Loyalty Program” – via    

Premise: This write-up looks into the “why” you want to consider setting up a loyalty program, with five key reasons: Permission, Privacy, Process, Profitability, and Purpose.  You want to build stronger loyalty with your customers.  Following these five steps will help you better manage the program.

Thoughts: The fourth “P” here (Profitability) is a tricky one and I don’t want anyone to assume that setting up a loyalty program means you will automatically become profitable.  If used correctly, it can certainly assist you down the path to profitability, but there are a number of moving parts that aren’t tackled or really suggested here.

I do however wholeheartedly agree with #5, Purpose.  You’ll need buy-in from everyone in the organization to do their part and share in the common vision of building stronger loyalty and more profitable customers.

#3 – “Jamba Juice Debuts New Jamba Insider Rewards Customer Loyalty Program” via  

Premise: Jamba Juice has initiated a new rewards program (“Jamba Insider Rewards”) for customers of the smoothie and health-conscious food maker.  Customers can sign up with their phone number and receive an immediate $3 coupon off their next purchase.  Members will earn a point for every $1 they spend, as well as receive personalized deals and discounts.

Thoughts: Have you ever had a Jamba Juice smoothie?  I seek out a kiosk when traveling through airports as I love them.  Unfortunately, there isn’t one near my house or office.  This rewards program, for me at least, is a no-brainer.  It will be interesting to see what Jamba Juice does with their data, how they tailor promotions to the individual users, and how they use technology (web and mobile) to grow the program.

#4 – “7 apps to take your customer loyalty program mobile” via  

Premise: The author offers up seven different mobile platforms to consider in order to take your loyalty program away from a card or piece of paper and into the world of mobile.  There is a blurb on the size and scope of each app, along with a few personal thoughts from the writer.

Thoughts: Anything that relies on a QR code has already lost me, so ignoring those apps that are referenced, there are definitely a few to check out on this list if you aren’t using or considering them already (from either the personal or business side).  Belly and Front Flip certainly sound intriguing for a business and we have covered off on Foursquare here in the past a number of times – the size and scope of the platform make it appealing from the get-go.

#5 – “How Do The Best Companies Deal With At-Risk Clients?” via  

Premise: Losing a client is tough, but what if you could predict that a customer was unsatisfied and adjusted the necessary means before they were lost?  The author puts together five steps to leverage in order to better satisfy your current customers/clients.  Starting with a customer satisfaction tool and progressing through internal and external reviews, as well as continuous adaptation, you will learn more about what the positives and negatives are in your customer’s POV.

Thoughts: This pivots the conversation of loyalty a little bit and puts the topic in a slightly different perspective.  Sure, this can be applied to a business – consumer relationship, but this ties more closely to a business – business relationship.  Also, just a note that the author includes a separate link for more information on each of the steps along the process in this article.

#6 – “4 Reasons Employees Are Your Best Brand Advocates” via  

Premise: Who are, or at least can be, your businesses great advocates … your current employees.  This write-up focuses on the benefits that can be achieved by leveraging your employees in order to build a stronger brand/company.

Thoughts: Again, this pivots in another direction under the loyalty umbrella – focusing on strengthening the appeal of your business amongst your own employees.  Engaged employees can lead to a stronger business, as they can help build your brand, deliver new leads, and create new business without having to spend a small fortune on marketing and advertising.

Are you doing anything to better understand how your employees feel about your business?  How engaged are they with your line of work?  Are you trying to make improvements in areas of weakness?  All of this can be better understood by measuring and understanding your employees’ thoughts and opinions of your business.

Tweet of the Week:

For those that aren’t already following them in some capacity, does a fantastic job of creating and aggregating loyalty-specific stories on a daily basis.  Their inaugural awards conference will be held in Florida from 3/17-3/19.  There are five categories with four tiers of awards within each.  Definitely keep your eyes open for more news and the winners next month!

I hope you enjoy the new set-up for our #SundayMusings with more focus on a specific topic per write-up.  Several months ago I made a note to myself to consider a new series of write-ups on that focused on ‘Brands I’m Loyal to’ and this week’s write-up has helped push that decision further along.  Look for the first entry to come next weekend!

With that in mind, what brands or businesses are you loyal to?  Let us know in the comments below!

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 2-9-14

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

This week’s #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding refocuses on branding and digital marketing and moves us away from news on the Super Bowl and its advertising.

#1 – Only Twitter TV Can Save Twitter – via 

Premise: Twitter held its first earnings report since going public last year and things are off to a rocky start.  The company reported a profit, despite posting a one-time, half-billion dollar loss for going public.  A major concern is the slow growth in total users, while CEO Dick Costolo also suggests that while Twitter has high awareness, engagement is not where it needs to be.

The author’s suggestion to help Twitter grow is to launch “Twitter TV”.  The idea is to have a steady flow of tweets across a number of popular categories (sports, celebrities, technology, etc.) and have related tweets under each channel on the Twitter home page vs. the basic sign-in screen, where only users see anything at all, and that is among the people that they follow.

Thoughts: This article quickly caught my attention, as I was under the impression the author was suggesting that Twitter should release its own TV platform, similar either to what Intel and others have tried to do, or similar to Apple TV and Chromecast.  I’m glad that isn’t the actual suggestion here and the author’s comments do make sense.  At the very least, this gives non-users the ability to see what Twitter is all about and the ability to look at news/tweets on the topics they are specifically interested in.

#2 – “Esurance Hands Out That $1.5 Million, Releases Mind-Boggling Stats From Twitter Stunt” – via    

Premise: A fantastic use of digital marketing from Esurance, who purchased the first ad slot after the Super Bowl for $1.5 million less than what it cost to advertise during the game itself.  Esurance’s campaign was to give that $1.5 million to someone that used the “#EsuranceSave30” hashtag on Twitter.  What ensued is an impressive outpouring of reach and impressions across social media and a spike in traffic to the Esurance web site itself.

Thoughts: What a way to leverage Twitter and the power of a hashtags to run a wildly successful digital / social media campaign by the company.  4.5 million people used the hashtag in the first 24 hours, and all of this created over 2.5 billion impressions on Twitter alone!  Kudos and congratulations to Esurance for coming up with an engaging campaign on the biggest night in TV history.

#3 – “CVS Brilliantly Encouraged People To Share Its Tobacco Story” via

Premise: Earlier this week, CVS announced that it would no longer sell tobacco products in its store by 10/1/14.  Beyond simply making the announcement itself, it encouraged others to share the story on social media and put together several steps to turn this announcement into a feel-good campaign / promotion for itself.  The pharmacy company built its own landing page ( that includes a plethora of information, including facts and figures, pictures, etc.

Thoughts: A second example this week of brand/company taking a little bit of time to think about a better way of getting their message out to the masses and allowing the power of social media to allow others to take care of most of the work.

#4 – “Foursquare Gets $15M And Licensing Deal From Microsoft To Power Location Context For Windows And Mobile” via  

Premise: Foursquare received additional funding from Microsoft, strengthening the relationship between the two companies, and giving more location-based data to Bing and Windows products.  Microsoft will be able to leverage Foursquare’s geo-based targeting system on its platforms and will provide users with notifications and stronger integration into Microsoft products and devices.

Thoughts: Foursquare continues to move further and further away from “mayors” and “badges” and deeper into ‘big data’ and the future of location-based services.  Pretty soon, your mobile device is going to be directing you where you want to go for dinner based on your prior input and preferences and where you are located.  That probably scares some people, but I think it is pretty awesome!

#5 – “Is Seattle’s Russell Wilson the Perfect Brand Ambassador? We’re About to Find Out” via  

Premise: The starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, Russell Wilson, stands to heavily benefit from last weekend’s Super Bowl result.  Wilson is a young QB and seems to have many of the attributes brands are looking for in a celebrity endorser.  Wilson already has deals with Nike, Levi’s, Alaska Air, and American Family Insurance … but expect this list to continue to grow as more brands find out more information about the type of person Wilson is and what he does on and, more importantly, off the field.

Thoughts: You didn’t really think we would miss one more opportunity to talk about the Seahawks victory in last weekend’s Super Bowl did you?  What a great victory!

Back to the article though, I wholeheartedly agree with the premise and will not be surprised when Wilson’s name and face are all over the TV in the coming weeks and months.  In just two seasons in Seattle, he has taken over the city and would almost definitely win in a landslide if he ran for office in the city or state.

Tweet of the Week:

We’re cheating here due to last week’s sports-geared write-up.  This tweet from Laura Ries is a great resource for all things branding-related and how/why your brand should “focus” in a particular area in order to win.  The link will take you to a PDF that offers up Ries’ prior writings and various consulting options that they are offering for brands.  I’ve read several of their writings and others are in the queue – this is certainly worth looking into for those interested in branding.

That’s it for this week’s #SundayMusings!  What caught your attention this week?

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 

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 – 1-5-14

Happy New Year / 2014! (Photo credit: Pinterest User: GeekyGoddess626)

Happy New Year / 2014!
(Photo credit: Pinterest User: GeekyGoddess626)

Happy New Year / 2014 everyone!  I hope you have a great year ahead of you!  This year on we’ll continue with the weekly #SundayMusings, will be putting together several more “Tips” articles, and putting more “Brands in Focus”.  Look for those in the coming days and weeks ahead.

For the first #SundayMusings of 2014, I have broken this up into two parts: reflecting on 2013 and looking forward to 2014.  Here are this week’s top branding and digital marketing stories:

#1 –’s Top 10 Advertising Stories of 2013 – via 

Premise: AdWeek put together a list of the most read stories from the site in 2013, with links to each in case you may have missed any of them.  The most read story of the year – Crest and Oral-B’s Halloween ad with the kids’ reactions (similar to the AT&T ads).

Thoughts: No surprise to see the Crest ad at or near the top of the list, along with stories from the Super Bowl, and AT&T’s ads from this past year with the children at the roundtable.  There are also several countdown articles within this countdown (most beloved brands, top ads) to take a look through as well.  There are several, fantastic advertising and branding stories in here.

What will you remember most from 2013?  I’m going to say the AT&T ads and the Geico ‘Hump Day’ ad. [Read more...]

New Poll – Where will you be advertising in 2014?

What advertising platform will you be leveraging in 2014? (Photo credit:

What advertising platform will you be leveraging in 2014?
(Photo credit:

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!

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 12-29-13

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding - Happy Holidays! (Photo credit:

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – Happy Holidays!
(Photo credit:

Happy holidays everyone!  Welcome to a festive Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding, the top stories in branding and digital marketing from the past week!  This week’s stories have a Christmas theme to them.

#1 – Why Pepsi Should Get Mean At Christmas And Brand The Grinch – via 

Premise: Coca-Cola has put a stranglehold around Christmas marketing and the use of Santa Claus and this write-up suggests that Pepsi leverage the Grinch in an effort to create their own branding benefits around the holiday.  Pepsi should take the “bad boy role” and run with it during the holidays.

Thoughts: This is not a bad idea at all for Pepsi to consider.  As the author points out, society tends to love the bad boy role these days.  With the right amount of resources behind it, a tie-in with the Grinch should certainly build some buzz around the holidays and the branding could be a hit.  Who doesn’t love this guy …? [Read more...]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 12-22-13

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Welcome to this week’s Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding, the top stories in branding and digital marketing from the past week!  Again, we have largely been able to focus on one particular subject this week.  As we come to the end of 2013, it is natural to look ahead to 2014 and this week provided a lot of content for predictions and tips going into next year.

Throughout the links below you will also find several write-ups that we put together here on that particular subject over the course of the past nine months.  Take a look if you missed any of it! [Read more...]

New Poll – What Is On Your Holiday Wish List?


What is on your holiday wish list?  (Photo credit:

What is on your holiday wish list?
(Photo credit:

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...]