Guest Writer Wanted!

Want to write a "Tips" article on Yelp or Instagram?

Want to write a “Tips” article on Yelp or Instagram?

Towards the end of the summer I referenced that several changes would be happening here at and this is one of those items/announcements.  I am looking for a guest writer/blogger to help out with a few digital marketing write-ups.  I have two in mind specifically, but am more than open if someone also had thoughts/ideas of their own and wanted to leverage this site as a platform.

What I am looking for specifically is for someone to write a “Tips” article for Yelp and/or Instagram.  To be perfectly honest, I do not use these sites nearly enough (Yelp) or at all (Instagram) and any type of tips article written by me would be a disservice.  There isn’t a rule or set number of tips that need to be included in the write-up, but I would expect more than a handful for each.  For reference, here are our past “Tips” write-ups on other social networks/platforms. [Read more…]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 8-25-13


Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Welcome back to Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding, the top stories in branding and digital marketing that caught our eye from the past week.

#1 – Agony and Ecstasy: Steve Ballmer’s Years At Microsoft – via 

Premise: Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer announced that he will be retiring within the next 12 months on Friday, sending the stock price up a few dollars.  This write-up takes a look back at his tenure at the tech giant, listing out the successes (company restructuring and killing off failed projects) and failures (Xbox One’s original rollout and the Surface tablet).

Thoughts: Upon Ballmer’s announcement, the stock surged 10% or so and finished the day up over 7%.  I’m not sure how I would feel about that if I were Ballmer.  Of course, with that increase he increased his personal wealth millions of dollars over (he reportedly owns over 300 million shares in the company), so I doubt he takes it to heart.  There was no announcement as to who would be replacing Ballmer when he retires, so expect the search to create a lot of news in the coming weeks and months.

Microsoft is well behind Apple and Google in mobile right now and it will be important for the next leader to put heavy focus and investment in this arena.  The Surface tablet has been a colossal failure thus far.  While Xbox had been a gold star for Microsoft and Ballmer, their original plans for Xbox One were panned.

Who do you think will take over at Microsoft?  Will Bill Gates return?  Will they steal someone from Google (or Apple)? [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

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…]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 4-28-13

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Here are this week’s ‘Sunday Musings’ – the top five stories in branding and digital marketing.  You can find the archives of this weekly write-up under the Blog-Sunday Musings tab at the top of the page.

#1 – Starbucks Hopes to Grow Loyalty Program with Expansion to the Grocery Aisle –

Premise: Starbucks has some of the most loyal fans and brand ambassadors in the world.  The company is looking to increase their loyalty and engagement with the brand by allowing purchases in the grocery / retail store count towards their Starbucks Rewards program.  There will be a sticker on each product in the store that the shopper will need to peel off and add to their account themselves in order to receive credit for the purchase.

Thoughts: It looks like Starbucks has found another means of building/driving loyalty and engaging with those that are most connected with the brand.  Building stronger connections through retail and driving people to their rewards account online can/should help build an even stronger relationship between the brand and its customers.

#2 – “Facebook Challenges Yelp with Mobile Pages Redesign Featuring Actions, Local Biz Details and Ratings” –  

Premise: Facebook has redesigned its mobile Pages to more prominently show reviews of each page or business and what is local to the individual user.  The redesign was launched earlier this week on the iOS version and is coming to Android’s platform in May.  The article here provides several visuals comparing the old and new look to Facebook Pages.

Thoughts: In its continued shift toward mobile, Facebook’s latest updates certainly make Pages more actionable and more detailed at first glance.  I agree with the author of this article; the look of the redesign provides more easily accessible content and a better use of space.  The redesign does look a lot like a Yelp business page.  It will be interesting to see if Facebook can better compete in the local search space, given the strength of Yelp and others (Foursquare, Google Places, etc.).  

#3 – “Branding Like Apple: 20 Ways to Make Your Biz Stand Out” –

Premise: The article provides twenty different ways to help your brand or business stand out with others.  These recommendations or steps are presented in a straightforward manner with a few blurbs following each to provide a little more detail.

Thoughts: We’ve mentioned this a few times here; branding isn’t rocket science, but it is very easy to miss a step, focus in the wrong areas, and/or trip up along the way.  These steps/recommendations are good to keep by your side / in your back pocket as a reminder for your business on what to do and how to do it better than your competition.

To point to just one of the recommendations here, I particularly liked #18 – “Culture a tradition”.  I really like the thought behind this; make your customers comfortable right from the beginning.  They should know exactly what to expect from you or your company right away.

#4 – “Google+ for Brands: 4 Reasons Your Brand Should Be On It” –  

Premise: While many are quick to dismiss the platform, Google+ has grown to 500 million users, of which almost 350 million are considered active users.  This write-up provides more rationale as to why you or your brand/business need to be using the network.  With a lot more detail in the article itself, there are four steps or reasons for your brand to be on G+: 1. Better Discovery, 2. Deeper Engagement, 3. Marketing Performance, and 4. Measurable Impact.

Thoughts: Past Sunday Musings have focused on G+ and a need to leverage the site, particularly around #1 and #2 from this article – which includes our personal recommendations to engage in G+’s Communities.  The connections across Google’s platforms presented in #3 and #4 here are just as important to your brand/business.  Working with and fully understanding the capabilities of Google’s AdWords, Ripples, and Analytics will help your brand better understand your audience and to make the necessary tweaks to your online presence and to optimize your message/efforts.

#5 – “Celebrity Endorsement – 5 Key Questions You Should Ask” – Alison Cressey on

Premise: One would typically believe that celebrities help sell your brand or product.  Before spending money on hiring a celebrity to promote your business, this write-up provides a few questions you should ask yourself to ensure you are getting the most out of your investment.

Thoughts: Interesting take on how or when you should consider celebrity endorsement here, with an appropriate caveat to why you might consider passing on this marketing technique.  I particularly “enjoyed” reading about Oprah’s promotional efforts of the Surface tablet … while using an iPad.  I would not be happy if I was Steve Ballmer and I would be pretty embarrassed if that was my campaign … and/or infuriated with Oprah.

The questions and thoughts here make a lot of sense.  You need to make sure the celebrity endorsing your products connects with and is relevant to your target market / audience.  You can quickly waste a lot of cash by not fully understanding these components.

What caught your eye this week in branding and digital marketing?