Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 12-6-15

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding focusing on Pinterest (Photo credit: PowerFormula.net)

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding focusing on Tech Gifts (Photo credit: PowerFormula.net)

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 Cnet.com

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 inc.com

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 TechCrunch.com

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?  

 

Product Review: Samsung 4K SUHD TV

The Samsung SUHD TV Product Review

The Samsung SUHD TV Product Review

First, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

One of the bigger hits from this week was a more recent purchase for our house.  Several months ago we decided it was time to finally replace the 2005 big screen TV in our living room.  That antique was a great big screen for what it was worth, but lacked ANY HDMI plugs and was taking up a little too much space.  With that, it was an easy decision to figure out what brand we were going to go for, it was just finding the right one.  When you are loyal to a brand, it makes decisions a lot easier.  

With that arrived the latest from Samsung – a 55 inch, 4K SUHD TV.  What are some of the highlights on this one?  Glad you asked …

  • Smart Hub with all of the Samsung apps available with the click of a button
  • 4 HDMI ports
  • Beautiful picture and sound – particularly when combined with our Samsung Blu-Ray player!
  • Screen mirroring from your mobile devices

The TV has been an absolute welcomed addition to the living room.  With 3840×2160 resolution and UHD Upscaling, the picture is absolutely fantastic.  Equipped with Dolby support, the audio is equally fantastic.

We have only had one issue so far – occasionally when in the Smart Hub, we get booted out of the particular app we are trying to watch.  This happens most often in the YouTube app, so I can’t speak with much conviction that this is absolutely the “TV’s fault” vs. the app or a hiccup in the WiFi signal.  (First world problems, I completely realize this.)

If you are in the market for a new TV, I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending a Samsung UHD model from their product lineup.  Have you recently bought a new TV?  If so, what model did you select and why?  Let me know in the comments below.  Also, if you have any ideas as to why we might be getting booted out of apps in the Smart Hub, please let me know.  Thanks!

 

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 7-19-15

A mobile #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding! (Photo credit: ZDNet.com)

A mobile #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding!
(Photo credit: ZDNet.com)

Welcome back for another #SundayMusings with Shore Branding!  This week’s discussion and links all circle around the world of mobile and mobile advertising.  Here are the top stories that have caught my eye over the past few weeks.

#1 – “Televisions Are No Longer the Screen of Choice for Kids” – via AdAge.com

Premise: A recent report from Miner & Co. Studio finds that more than half of parents surveyed said their children preferred to watch video on a mobile device (tablet or phone) over the television.  The impact of this is yet to be seen as these devices become more and more prominent in US households.  However, it is having an impact on TV ratings, specifically kids stations.

Thoughts: So the study itself didn’t surprise me, but the stories from the research irked me.  There is very little that is more annoying than going out to dinner and seeing a family with their heads down all paying attention to their own device.  Equally annoying is when a parent sits down with their kids and immediately hands the child a device.  STOP IT!

Here is the video linked to in the article above from the study.  I couldn’t even get all the way through it without having to walk away.

#2 – “Top 10 mobile advertising campaigns of Q2” via MobileMarketer.com

Premise: The author / site puts together a quarterly list of the top mobile advertising campaigns and with the recent launch of the Apple Watch, there was a lot to choose from over Q2’15.

Thoughts: The news that caught my attention first was the use of the Cinematic Pin offering from Pinterest.  Several brands have pushed forward with the platforms latest ad-related (and revenue driving) technique, including Virgin America and Gymboree.

One additional piece of feedback though … too many stories centered around “selfies” made the list.  Of course, one story would have been too many …

#3 – “9 Mobile Marketing Stats That Will Make You Look Smarter On Twitter” via unbounce.com

Premise: Unbounce breaks down a number of key stats and numbers illustrating the size and growth of mobile marketing over the years.  Whether it is the growing number of users, the amount of time spent on mobile devices, or the amount of money spent on mobile advertising, there is no denying the exponential growth of mobile.  Finally, when talking mobile in 2015, you can’t leave out the growing push towards mobile video.

Thoughts: Beyond the stats and numbers here, if you just followed Twitter’s business over the past five years, you would understand how to stay on top of recent mobile trends.  You started with Twitter and micro-blogging (I hate that word/phrase) and then pivoted into micro-videos (i.e. Vine) and are now moving towards livestreaming via mobile devices (i.e. Periscope).

Brands and companies that stay with these on-going shifts in behavior and consumption have a leg up on more than their fair share of competitors.

#4 – “Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 the next thinnest tablet in the world with 8-inch Super AMOLED screen display, other montster specs” via vcpost.com

Premise: While a release date remains unofficial, it is expected that Samsung will soon announce the release date of their latest tab – the Galaxy Tab S2.  Specs for the devices are starting to float around the internet (as evidenced in the link above).  The device will run on Android’s Lollipop OS and have a microSD slot for extra storage and as always, is compared to the latest iPad devices.

Thoughts: Why is this in today’s #SundayMusings you ask?  Simple … I need a new tablet and this is 99.9% likely to be the tablet that I purchase in the near future.  As you may have seen me complain about on Twitter, my 2012 Nexus 7 is dead thanks to “upgrading” to Lollipop and has become worthless.  I refuse to buy the Nexus 9 due to the lack of additional storage available on it.  The cost doesn’t help the N9’s cause, particularly with being limited to the internal storage provided.

What tablet are you currently using and would you recommend it?  Let me know, I would love to do some comparative shopping.

Tweet of the Week:

While I don’t think there is any earth shattering news among these five mobile trends, it is good to refresh the memory and to ensure you are keeping an eye on what the latest and greatest is … not that this won’t change three or six months from now.  The biggest takeaway among the tips for me is the mention of content marketing via mobile and to keep an eye in this area.  (I’ll ignore the oversight of referencing Periscope and Meerkat.)

That wraps up another #SundayMusings!  What has caught your eye in mobile over the past few weeks?

Enjoy what remains of your weekend and the week ahead!

 

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…]

Brands Winning on Vine – 2015

Brands Winning on Vine - 2015 Edition

Brands Winning on Vine – 2015 Edition

Since launching, Vine has made stars out of your average Joe’s.  The site took off without even having a web site at first.  The platform – which now includes a web page – continues to be one of the most appealing ways to catch my attention when it comes to online video.

Vine may or may not be slowing down in terms of momentum, but it is still a site / an app I tend to frequent regularly.  With that in mind, I wanted to update an article written back in August of 2013 and provide a new perspective on “Brands Winning on Vine”.  The brands mentioned then – specifically Lowes and Oreo – are still “winning” on the platform, albeit not as frequently, as their number of posts have slowed down.

However, other brands and companies have certainly picked up the slack.  With that in mind, here are a few, new brands winning on Vine: [Read more…]

Loyalty to Brands – Samsung

Samsung (Photo credit: KiddsKids.com)

Samsung (Photo credit: KiddsKids.com)

With more than a just a slight hint in last weekend’s #SundayMusings, we walked into our latest “Loyalty to Brands” here on Shore Branding.  Founded almost 80 years ago, Samsung has become a dominant force in consumer electronics over the past two decades.  From its rapid growth in equipment and partners in mobile devices to its continued production of highly regarded TV’s, Samsung continues to become a more prevalent brand in and around our household.

How or where did my loyalty to Samsung start?  About a decade ago I led a research project on consumer perceptions of various TV’s and somewhat to my surprise, Samsung was a near dominant player in satisfaction and several forward-thinking attributes.  That caught my eye as I was in the market for a new TV for my house.  Since purchasing that 46” LED flatscreen TV and being completely satisfied with the product, it has been a growing loyalty with Samsung. [Read more…]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 1-18-15

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding focusing on LinkedIn (Photo credit: PowerFormula.net)

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding focusing on #CES2015 (Photo credit: PowerFormula.net)

This week’s #SundayMusings takes a look at the top news and stories from last week’s #CES2015 event in Las Vegas.  Here are a couple stories that I found to be of particular interest and then we’ve changed things up this week a bit.  Below that are a number of summary articles from around the web and what their respective highlights were from CES this year.

Did you make it to #CES2015?  What did you think?

#1 – “The Five Most Disruptions Innovations at CES 2015” – via Forbes.com

Premise: At each CES show Forbes puts together their “Big Bang Disruptors” that help move an existing market/product to new heights.  From self-driving cars to the continued evolution of health and fitness and into “augmented reality”, a number of companies moved the needle into areas that aren’t that far off into the future anymore.

Thoughts: CES help brought self-driving cars another step closer to reality.  Virtual reality gaming is essentially here.  What did you think was the most amazing or jaw-dropping innovation at CES?

What caught my eye in this article wasn’t even on Forbes’ list.  It was early in the article when they described Google Nest’s ecosystem and partner companies that are helping bring everyday chores, activities, etc. to the 21st century.  Nest will work with lightbulbs, washer and dryers, and more in an effort to make your life that much easier. [Read more…]

Product Review: Samsung Chromebook 2

Product Review: The 13.3 inch Samsung Chromebook 2 (Photo: Samsung.com)

Product Review: The 13.3 inch Samsung Chromebook 2 (Photo: Samsung.com)

Several weeks ago we decided that we needed a second “family / house” computer.  With a Samsung Ultrabook already in our possession and virtually no issues with it over the past 3-4 years, I was leaning on another Samsung laptop.  The Ultrabook already had Microsoft Office and Windows 8 and there wasn’t a need for another $700+ laptop with all of the same programs on it.  The second laptop was going to be for web browsing, watching video and … surprise, surprise … blogging.

I quickly turned my attention to the Samsung Chromebook series and it quickly became a matter of “which one” vs. looking at other devices.  After viewing a number of YouTube videos (like the one below) on the nuances of Chromebook, I figured it was worth a shot. [Read more…]

Product Review: Samsung Gear Live

What do you think about Samsung’s Gear Live smartwatch?  (Photo credit: play.google.com)

What do you think about Samsung’s Gear Live smartwatch? (Photo credit: play.google.com)

After focusing a Sunday Musings on wearables last month and toying with the idea of getting a smartwatch for about a week, I finally caved and purchased the Samsung Gear Live from the Google Play Store.  Within two days, the smartwatch was at my doorstep and ready for use.  Below are a few thoughts and considerations for the device, along with a wishlist for improvements.  You will also find a few app recommendations sprinkled in.

Ahead of the purchase, I had read a good amount of complaints about the Gear Live’s band and the way that you snap it into position on your wrist.  I actually don’t have any problem with getting the band on my wrist and it fits comfortably. [Read more…]

New Poll – What wearables are you planning to purchase in 2014?

What wearables will you be purchasing in 2014? (Photo credit: Diginomica.com)

What wearables will you be purchasing in 2014? (Photo credit: Diginomica.com)

Wearables are beginning to turn the corner in terms of consumer acceptance and adoption. The latest poll on ShoreBranding.com builds off of yesterday’s #SundayMusings and asks which wearable devices are you thinking about purchasing in 2014?

We have selected several of the most popular wearables for the poll but have also included a general “Other” for the many others that continue to pop up. Whether you are focusing on a smart band to track your physical fitness, or taking a step up to a full smartwatch … or even Google Glass, let us know what wearable devices are grabbing your attention and which you are most likely to purchase this year. [Read more…]