Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 1-3-16

Hello 2016! #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding (Photo credit: wallpapersshd.com)

Hello 2016! #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding
(Photo credit: wallpapersshd.com)

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 Loyalty360.com

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 BrandingStrategyInsider.com

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 iMediaConnection.com

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!

 

Brands Winning on Periscope

What brand's are winning on Twitter's Periscope platform?  Periscope.tv

What brand’s are winning on Twitter’s Periscope platform? Periscope.tv

Twitter’s Periscope app is in its infancy stage but I would recommend you jump on board now while the iron is hot!  When Twitter released its quarterly earnings about a week and a half ago, the call was also a “scope” and shown live on the app.  It was then I realized it was time to write a little something more in depth on the app.

While I have not broadcast anything relevant on Periscope (yet … I want to make sure I can commit to it on a regular basis and right now, I can’t) I do check it out on a daily basis, check for who is doing what, and what brands are live on the platform.  I can not speak for Periscope’s main competitor, Meerkat, as I have never checked it out.  This write-up will focus solely on those brands winning on Periscope right now.

In fact, we’re going to start with several big name, national brands but I also want to give a shoutout to two people that are really doing a heck of a job on Periscope with their personal brands / branding as well.

Bolthouse Farms:

Bolthouse Farms just gets social right.  Every Thursday they hose a #ThirstyThursday scope and have bartenders creating drinks using their product.  Check this out next Thursday!

Honda: Honda teased and succeeded with their scope on the launch / unveiling of the 2016 Honda Accord on Periscope.  As mentioned in last weekend’s #SundayMusings, someone at Honda has really changed their culture as the company is clearly “getting it” now.

Zillow

I really liked what Zillow did from their home office in Seattle earlier this week.  Three employees sat in a conference room and each of them answered questions about the housing market from viewers and their respective markets.  A useful/productive way to engage with your audience and fans.

Doritos Even if Honda did get the Twitter tease from someone else – like Doritos (UK) did in June – I still appreciate the use of the platform.  Doritos is/was a very early adopter to Periscope, hosting a cross-platform #DoritosRoulette campaign across Twitter, Periscope, and Vine.  Well played Doritos, well played! In fact, this likely contributes to Doritos having a commanding lead in the Periscope game of earning hearts.  Despite having about 30% of the following of the next brand, Doritos has a significant advantage in earning hearts from its fans, with well over 600K to date.

Red Bull

The energy drink has ~40,000 fans on Periscope and has done a tremendous job broadcasting events … prior to their Lollapalooza campaign that took over their social media pages over the past few weeks.  It will be interesting to see how much time Red Bull puts into Periscope moving forward, as it feels somewhat competitive against their Red Bull TV.  An interesting storyline to follow for the next few weeks and months.

Personal Branding Winners

I wanted to also give a shoutout to two Scopers that are doing a great job on Periscope with their own personal brand – hyperlinks below connect to their respective Twitter pages:

  1. Scott Williams broadcasts frequently and has an open dialogue with viewers, along with providing tips on how to “do Periscope right”.  If you are looking to get started with the platform, follow Scott for a few days first.
  2. Dustin W. Stout has a broader focus for social media marketing but also broadcasts frequently and is very much worth the watch.  His broadcasts are very engaging.

Overall:

What do you like the most about Periscope (or Meerkat if that is your live streaming app of choice)?  What brands have caught your attention?  Let me and others know in the Comments below.  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!

 

Brand in Focus – the NBA

The NBA logo, aka Jerry West via the NBA’s Twitter page

The NBA logo, aka Jerry West via the NBA’s Twitter page

With the NBA Draft this past Thursday night and my Minnesota Timberwolves owning the first pick of the draft (Karl-Anthony Towns), this feels like the right time to put NBA branding in focus!  The NBA’s branding efforts across social media have driven a nice niche for the sport, most specifically on Twitter and Vine.  Let’s dive right into it and start with the NBA’s own web site.

NBA.com ... please clean this up

NBA.com … please clean this up

For a company that does well for itself on social media, I don’t understand why the NBA’s web site always feels so cluttered and confusing.  The screenshot above was taken less than two days ahead of the NBA Draft and it is just a mess.  You have ads on the sides – which drives me bonkers across the web – and not enough focus on the one event that is in the immediate future.  I’ll save you the trouble of what scrolling down on NBA.com looks like – links everywhere, columns and rows that don’t blend nicely.

The one other item that I noticed is that the NBA has the Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ counts on the top of their page, but to find all of their social media pages, you have to drag your mouse over the “More” link towards the top right and a pop up of social media sites is provided there.

Let’s move on … quickly … to where the NBA is doing solid work and driving real engagement with its fans.

Twitter:

With 15.5 million followers on Twitter, the NBA is doing a tremendous job of promoting its brand on the network.  The NBA passes along news from around the league, RT’s pertinent information from team pages, NBA players, and finally, sister Twitter feeds that have been set up over the time – @NBAHistory, @NBADraft, @NBATV and more.  A generic search on Twitter for “NBA” gave me a compilation of all of these elements:

NBA on Twitter

The league has truly embraced Twitter and has somewhat “forced” its TV partners to follow suit.  My personal Twitter feed is full of NBA news and notes from around the league no matter what time of day or night it is.  The NBA received 100’s of RT’s and Favorites when it posts its own content and is directing followers to many other pages as well with its RT efforts.

The efforts by the league’s Twitter team has also done a fine job of carrying over engagement with fans on Twitter’s Vine platform …

Vine:

With 1.1+ million followers on Vine, the NBA is blowing other US professional sports leagues out of the water on the micro-video network.  I don’t think anyone can argue that the NFL is the #1 professional sport in the US right now and they only have 350K+ followers, while MLB has over 330K.  Essentially, the NBA has three times as many followers on Vine vs. the two leading professional sports here in the US.

Need more proof on the NBA’s branding efforts on Vine, well, I actually wrote about this a few months ago – click here.

Facebook:

27 million plus fans have Liked the NBA’s Facebook page and the engagement coming from these fans is immense.  While I see a lot of duplicative effort and cross-posting between Twitter and Facebook, the NBA typically receives thousands of likes and hundreds of shares on each Facebook post.  Note that this isn’t a once a day posting either, there are a handful of posts typically coming on a daily basis from the league to their fans.

I did notice one area of improvement to recommend … it looks like the page owner’s gave up on the milestone dates after 2011 per the screenshot below.  Please, fill this in!  I truly enjoy the history lesson that brands provide when they fill this in and maintain it adequately.  The NBA does a nice job of referencing championship teams in the timeline, but also major milestones in league history.

NBA on Facebook

Instagram:

While winning on the three prior social networks referenced above, the NBA seems to have some work to do if it is going to maintain a presence on Instagram.  With the deep following on Facebook, it would make a lot of sense for the league to consider going deeper on Instagram over its time and energy on Pinterest (see below).

The NBA has 8+ million followers on Instagram and the landing page screams “Help!”.  I’m not a big fan of how bland the landing page here is.  I have really enjoyed seeing brands create a banner that rotates images on the landing page and what you see below is a pretty basic, white landing page.

NBA on Instagram

That said, the NBA is clearly embracing the video features on Instagram, uploading a number of videos for the NBA Draft throughout the days prior, as well as snippets from the NBA Finals that just wrapped up a few weeks ago.

While I believe the league’s page could be cleaned up a bit, you can’t argue with the results, as most uploads are receiving hundreds of thousands of likes and hundreds of comments.

Pinterest:

Relative to other social media platforms, the NBA ‘struggles’ to build a highly engaged audience on Pinterest.  The league has slightly over 13K followers on the platform, well behind its other pages and networks.

However, I do like what the league has done on Pinterest and it might be better suited taking this style and approach over to Instagram.  If the NBA were to take the “off the court” approach that it uses on various boards and board covers on Pinterest over to Instagram, I think it could be a real winning formula.

NBA on Pinterest

Overall Summary:

The NBA is clearly doing a lot of good across social media.  However, there are a few, small tweaks worth considering in their digital marketing efforts to help build a strong brand image with (potential) fans.

Positives:

  • They have really built a nice niche on Vine
  • Consistent content is being sent to their followers on a daily basis
  • Driving engagement with fans through the use of images and video

Improvement Areas:

  • Pay attention to the details and nuances of each page – for example, keeping the milestones up to date on Twitter
  • Leverage its Pinterest approach on Instagram and maybe even consider dropping Pinterest given how far behind the NBA’s following is relative to Instagram

What are your favorite and least favorite parts of the NBA’s social media efforts?  Where would you like to see the NBA make improvements?  Let us know in the Comments section below.

 

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…]

Brand in Focus – Bolthouse Farms

Bolthouse Farms Logo (Bolthouse.com)

Bolthouse Farms Logo (Bolthouse.com)

This quarter’s “Brand in Focus” takes a look at the branding and digital marketing efforts of Bolthouse Farms.  The company’s web page promotes their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.  Noticeably missing from the links at the top for me, is the brand’s Vine page as that is how Bolthouse Farms originally caught my attention. [Read more…]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 12-21-14

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding - Happy Holidays! (Photo credit: RealClubResorts.com)

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – Happy Holidays!
(Photo credit: RealClubResorts.com)

Welcome to the last #SundayMusings of 2014!  The holiday season is in full swing and so are a number of brands with their marketing and advertising efforts.  The following stories caught my attention over the past couple of weeks regarding advertising and branding Christmas.  Enjoy!

#1 – “Brands get super creative on social media for #Christmas” – via Branded3.com

Premise: Brands continue to step it up a notch with holiday / Christmas branding efforts across social media networks.  The author picks four brands that have stood out this holiday season with their respective campaigns.

Thoughts: I love the Vine from Asda in this article!  That is essentially my Christmas wish to be able to decorate the tree that quickly.  Congratulations to UPS for winning the internet for one day with their “UPS Wishes” campaign and the video included in this article.  You can send in your wish to UPS here. [Read more…]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 7-20-14

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Welcome back to another #SundayMusings where this week’s focus will be on social media! This week I’ve picked out two write-ups that speak to social media broadly and then the remaining stories cover off specifically on my favorite social media platforms – Twitter, Google+, Foursquare, and Pinterest.  We’ll go into each in more detail below.

#1 – 5 Reasons Why Brands Need Integrated Social Media Marketing – via neerajsancheti.wordpress.com 

Premise: As integrated marketing plans become more and more regular across companies, it isn’t enough to be on one or two social media platforms. The author puts together five reasons why your brand or company needs to be on different platforms and where you should think about going.

Thoughts: There is a fine line between being everywhere and being in the right places. Many try to be everywhere in order to achieve the greatest ‘reach’. However, if you aren’t engaging with your customers / followers, what’s the point? At the same time, trying to be everywhere leaves you communicating with the wrong audience more times than not. So there are some points in the write-up that insinuate increasing visibility is the best thing you can do, and I would add the caveats before deciding to sign up for each and every social media platform. [Read more…]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 1-26-14

 

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Hope you are enjoying another weekend!  Welcome to #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding, the top branding and digital marketing stories from the past seven days.

#1 – The Healthy Brand: Take Your Brand From Good to Great – via ParkerWhite.com 

Premise: The write-up starts out with a good introduction to the importance of branding via 90 second YouTube clip from ParkerWhite Brand Interactive.  How do you make a great brand?  The company provides a thorough checklist of items to consider and answer for your brand/business in order to ensure your branding efforts are doing the most for your business.

Thoughts: ParkerWhite has dubbed brands that are fulfilling items on this branding checklist as “healthy brands”.  I just came across this site this week and will be keeping an eye on it in the coming weeks, given the comments towards the end of the write-up that they will be providing further information in the coming weeks on what makes a “healthy brand”.

As for the checklist itself, “Focused” and “Supported by brand loyalists” are certainly topics that have been discussed quite a bit here in the past within Sunday Musings.  I wouldn’t question any of the items on the checklist at all. [Read more…]