Nice work by Charmin and Kmart for bringing their brand personality and voice to this fun exchange on Twitter this week.
Appreciating the smaller moments that put a smile on your face, like when Jeremiah Owyang favorites your Tweet, or someone you admire affirms your opinions.
It’s what marketers strive for with their customers, right? We want to create a connection, make customers feel special and valued. It’s not about building loyalty, though that is a desired outcome. Help people, make them feel special, be useful and genuine. Try it today and see what happens.
In a recent post, Jay Baer shares how Smirnoff leveraged a very popular, yet potentially controversial meme to their own advantage.
I have to say that this was a risky move. Critical to pulling something like this off, is having a clear definition of your brand persona. One that includes tone, voice and some framework around what the brand personality is and is not.
At Janrain I developed a brand manifesto in partnership with our creative director, that is a great reference resource for conversations around new content and campaign ideas. When done well, a brand manifesto goes beyond your style guide to help writers, communicators and all who interact with your audience to pause and reflect on “would my brand say/do that”?
What do you think: did Smirnoff act within the brand personality?
Give Before You Get
There’s many different ways to put this mentality of giving before receiving: give before you get, give more to receive more, etc. It all comes down to giving generously in order to receive abundantly, whether in work, friendships, charity or just life in general.
This article sums it up so well: Give Before You Get by Brad Feld
What’s your take on this? Do you believe in giving more than or before you receive? Do you see this differently from the “no, you can’t pick my brain” belief?
Cat lovers (and there are a lot of them) will be first in line to grab the newest Monopoly game but players old and young are talking about the mature Hasbro brand today.
And there lies the smart strategy behind what started as a simple Facebook promotion to vote for a new game token. Monopoly has been around for more than 75 years which makes it a very mature brand, the kind of brand that needs to sustain interest and relevance to their audience. An audience, by the way, that is increasingly tempted with the newest and coolest video games that have the potential to replace board games.
This promotion encouraged anyone who has ever played Monopoly to reminisce, perhaps journey back to their own childhood days of playing the game with their family or friends. Taking over Boardwalk and St James Place, and building their real estate empire. In that nostalgia lies the magic of this campaign. The kind of magic that builds loyalty and advocacy.
Mature brands don’t need to wait for a milestone anniversary to create this surge of interest, or slipping sales. The key is to connect with those who have always loved your brand, and find ways to make your brand, message or product relevant to a new audience.
What are you waiting for?
Not all brands can do this, right? I mean, how many companies have a command center in place for the Super Bowl?
The reality is that this can and should be a lesson for all organizations on the power of being nimble and taking risk. I’m not talking about the kind of risk where you gamble your brand equity away. I’m talking about having trusted individuals, with the right talent, access and resources, who are empowered.
A rock star in-house team could pull off something like this because their jobs are on the line and no one should be more intimate or protective of the brand.
Even an agency team , with access to a decision-maker 24/7 could be opportunistic in this way.
The reality is that all marketers need to be on the lookout for opportunities to leverage trending topics, events or news for their own benefit, and have the common sense or instinct to know when to pass. This is how the small no-name brand leapfrogs into the spotlight, or how the mature brand sparks conversations with new audiences. It doesn’t always take a lot of time, money or resources.
But it does take the right people in the right place at the right time.
My humble opinion on this: It’s important for brands to remember the context within which their message is viewed. When I worked on a big, family brand with golden arches long ago, we had a policy of not placing spots in any violent content because you don’t want your brand associated with the emotions the viewer might be feeling at commercial break.
Same thing happens in social media - when tragedy hits and people turn to social media for updates or comfort, the last thing you want them to see is your hard pitch. Brands, like people, need to be aware of context and have the confidence to quickly respond to situations.
Lisa has wise advice for brands and communities - go see what she has to say!
Here’s the challenge with many agencies: creativity for creativity sake. Taking this to the point of actually making perfume samples was at least one step too far.
Tip: know where to draw the line with your campaigns.
Today’s retail environment is certainly competitive. The state of our economy has driven consumers to find the best value, and they have more options and tools available than every to do so. At the end of the day, people want good quality product at a great price, right?
Technology is there to help the consumer in her pursuit. Look around in an electronics or high end toy store to watch the people scanning product UPC codes with their phones. What are they doing? Well, they’re likely checking prices or adding them to a wish list at Amazon.
Amazon is one of the smartest retailers today. From their Amazon Prime offer to Universal Wish List and their mobile apps, they continue to innovate to help people shop smarter.
And they just did it again.
To quote VentureBeat:
Amazon has quietly made its “Universal Wish List” feature even more powerful and aggressive, VentureBeat has learned from developers. But some people are saying it’s too aggressive.
Now, if you say, find a toy that you like on Walmart’s website, Amazon’s feature allows you to see the same product in an overlay window — including a price discount — that lets you buy the product on Amazon.com, sometimes for the same price or cheaper.
So, let’s think about this. You’re shopping at Walmart.com, find the item you want and are ready to buy it when Amazon presents an offer to you with a lower price. Hmm, same product, lower price. If you’re an Amazon Prime member this is a no-brainer decision.
What do you think: ingenious or too aggressive?
I’m on the fence with this one. Retail is a pretty competitive industry and Amazon just upped the ante. That Walmart, Target and other big guys aren’t coming after them leads me to believe that they’ve got something up their sleeve too. Back in January I claimed my retail predictions for 2012 but I certainly didn’t see this one coming.
Measuring Campaign Success
Whether your campaign is delivering a brand message to generate awareness, a promotional message to create a sense of urgency, or a plea to step up and help, advertising is about grabbing attention and telling your story in a way that leads to action. All campaigns (should) have goals, against which success is measured and insights are leveraged for future planning purposes. This is a basic model, right?
Well, as I read Nielsen’s announcement this week on their cross-platform performance ratings which allows media buyers to measure the impact or effectiveness of cross-platform ad campaigns, I can’t help but reflect on the state of campaign measurement, and the challenges that surround that topic.
First let me acknowledge that its been almost five years since I’ve been intimately involved in media buying so I’m not as familiar with the daily challenges around measurement that effect today’s media buyer. Back then we were trying to figure out how to report on our media buys with the introduction of DVRs and delayed program consumption.
It’s clear that with innovation come challenges, but measurement so often lags and this can create a barrier for many brands to take notice of emerging media opportunities. Innovative brands will lead the way in experimentation, but at some point we need to be able to measure the efficacy of these trials to learn and iterate, and to help us sell ideas into the C-suite.
Just this week at OMMA Global I listened to a session from comScore on Viewable Impressions which once again stressed the challenge in digital media buying and evaluation for today’s buyer. We’ve been placing ads on websites for over a decade, and yet marketers still struggle to accurately report on the effectiveness of placements.
While new media opportunities result in new metrics and measurement standards, we also need to consider shifts in media consumption from the audience. Look at the use of multi-screens while watching TV, which is an increasingly common scenario in homes across America. In our home there’s always a second device around, sometimes two or three while the TV is on.
Unless, of course, it’s family movie or TV time. That’s sacred and we turn off the secondary devices…or sneak into the other room to get a quick tweet in.
In my opinion, these measurement issues will continue to challenge media teams as technology leaders continue to innovate how we create and consume media. In the not-too-distant future, consumers will flow between programming and content as easily and fluidly as we surf the web. Marketers will tap into new technologies to capture attention and engage with their audience.
Attention and engagement. Those are quality metrics that I can promise will lead to business objectives. For any campaign, no matter the media or delivery vehicle, I’d want to know: did my ad get your attention? Did you engage with it? What did you do next?