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Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Keeping the Spark Alive

I often insist that brands should be approached and understood in the same way as our relationships. So, it’s no surprise that some playful Valentine’s Day relationship advice might actually reveal valuable insights for brands, particularly aging ones. Avoid a stale relationship or brand with these tips for keeping the spark alive… with your brand, that is.

Say “I love you”

Perhaps not literally, but it is important that your consumers feel appreciated and valued. Pay attention to the little things by thanking them for their loyalty or surprising them with added value like a free service, product or discount. Acknowledge that they have a choice to engage with your brand and you are happy and grateful for it.

Grow together, not apart

In the case of a brand, distance does not make the heart grow fonder. As time passes, things change—including people, experiences, and expectations. So often we see once great brands become irrelevant relics. Embrace change. Reinvent and reinvest so you stay top of mind and sustain a meaningful relationship between your consumers and your brand. Challenge your consumer to act or think differently. A great brand is bold, taking big risks and often reaping bigger payoffs. 

Remember when you first met

The first moments of a new relationship are often the most romantic. We try feverishly to impress the other and win their affection. Regardless of how successful or developed your brand is or becomes, avoid getting too comfortable in existing patterns or losing sight of the foundation that your brand was built upon. Remind your consumer why they fell in love with you in the first place. Whether it’s a return to quality, service, or a nostalgic experience, find opportunities to reignite excitement for your consumer and they will fall in love with you all over again.

Don’t go to bed mad

If your consumer has a bad experience with your brand, address it immediately. Particularly if they take their anger online. With social media outlets like Twitter, addressing consumer concerns in real time has become mandatory. Consumers have more power than ever before; a simple tweet about a bad experience can spark a revolution against your brand. A day in the twitter-verse is like a hundred years in real time. The longer you wait, the more consumers you risk losing or offending.


No, not like that. What I mean is, as consumer diversity continues to increase, it takes more than just focus groups and surveys to understand the deep complexities of the people and experiences that make up your market. You need to literally put yourselves in your consumer’s shoes, and step outside of your own perceptions to understand theirs. Examine their options, the choices they make and personally replicate their experience with your brand at every touchpoint noting where the experience breaks down. Learn what moves, annoys, and attracts each unique consumer. These role-playing exercises will empower you to anticipate behaviors and expectations—insight that will help you sustain and strengthen their relationship with your brand.

For more brand relationship advice, check out my blog, My Boyfriend the Brand.

And The Award Goes To…

Emmys, Grammys, SAG, Oscars oh my! If you didn’t already know its award season. As a pop culture fanatic it’s one of my favorite times of the year. In the spirit of all the award shows happening lately I wanted to honor some of my favorite moments in marketing and social media in the past year.


Best Marketing Campaign: Dove Real Beauty
In my book the most memorable campaign of 2013 was the Dove ad where women were asked to describe themselves to a forensic sketch artist then strangers were asked to describe the women to the same artist illustrating (no pun intended) how women often are their own critics. It went quickly went viral and also inspired some spoofs. The campaign was successful because it touched on human emotions and was relate-able to its target audience.

Best Brand Experience: David’s Tea
David’s tea is a Canadian tea house that made its way to the United States in late 2012. Although I’ve already written a whole post about why I love them I couldn’t not mention them in this one. From promotional items to product packaging everything is well thought out, beautifully designed, and cohesive.

Best Social Media Channel: Pinterest
For those not in the know, Pinterest is like an online cork board that allows users to organize and share things they find on the web. Last year I really gained a new found appreciation for Pinterest. Where most social channels are all about conversation Pinterest feels less noisy. From a newly engaged bride collecting wedding ideas to a food label sharing recipes with their customers, you can find it all on Pinterest. I love it because it encourages people to share ideas and that’s always a beautiful thing

Best use of Social Media: Oreo Cookies
I must hand it to these cookie monsters. They really worked the social scene in 2013. From their cookie vs cream campaign down to their rapid thinking during the 2013 Superbowl blackout that lead to this  tweet. These guys were quick on their feet, stepped up their game, and thought outside the box which lead to great social success in 2013

This year help your company win. Think big, think creatively, and think outside the box. Let this New Year inspire you to take your brand to award winning levels.

Social Warfare

Competition is part of the game when it comes to business. Some businesses become obsessed with keeping tabs on the other team and get caught up trying to outdo each other (think of the fast food industry for example). Others play the game more strategically and wait for just the right moment to set themselves apart via social media. Here are two companies that choose to do the latter.

Last month Guido Barilla, Chairman of Barilla pasta group made remarks on an Italian radio station referencing how Barilla would never use a same sex couple in their advertising. Barilla said “(My idea of) family is a classic family where the woman has a fundamental role.” Naturally this type of statement had the internet in an uproar. Quickly and strategically Bertolli, another leading pasta company, crafted a clever photo  and posted it on their Facebook account with the caption “Love and pasta for all!”


 Millions of offended Barilla consumers pledged their new allegiance to the pro equality brand and Bertolli came out on top. The Barilla exec has since apologized for his statement however the damage had already been done.

This type of strategic advertising was also seen this year when Apple launched their new iPhone 5S and 5C models.  An aesthetic perk of the new 5C phones that many people were excited about was the vibrant, new color options (Apple is known for their generic white or black option on most of their devices,) While Apple likes to position themselves as trailblazers in the technology world not everyone thought this idea was so unique. Nokia took advantage of the buzz Apple had created and at the peak of the excitement posted an ad on their Twitter account showing their Lumia model which had been available in multiple bright colors. The copy on the ad and tweet read “Imitation is the best form of flattery. “Thanks, #Apple ;).” Even the most die hard Apple fan had to crack a smile at that perfectly timed jab.

Lesson learned: Instead of constantly trying to one-up your counterparts be smart and strategic like these two and let your competition set the stage for your campaign.  Both of these companies quickly stole the spot light from their competitors and social played a huge part in this of course. Social media makes it easy for businesses to quickly interact with a captive audience. Thanks to hash tag searches you can easily find out what topics and companies are trending and get in on the action.  Although timing is key, it is important to take a little bit of time to verify exactly why a business or topic is trending before you join the conversation.  Have a great creative team on deck as visual campaigns tend to stick more than others. One clever visual can be more effective than month after month of trying to keep up with the Jones.

Competing isn’t always about exhausting yourself and your resources to keep up with everyone in your industry. Keep the majority of your energy focused on keeping your customers happy and doing the absolute best you can by them. Let your competition do the legwork in creating the buzz and when all eyes are on them find your opening and shift the [social] focus your way. All is fair in love and social media.