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Posts Tagged ‘vmentor’

Focus Within

It’s every brand’s dream to be the talk of the town. We all want our target audience to introduce us to their networks and shower us with good graces. Of course there are a ton of tips I could give you on how to create some positive buzz for your brand however, before you invest more on your external marketing look internally for an opportunity to create a positive brand experience.

The group of people who interact with your brand more than anyone is most likely your staff. Without them it would be nearly impossible to run your organization. That being said you should consider your employees as a target audience. A happy employee, much like a happy customer, will sing your praises not only to their friends but represent you well at industry events. Here are a few easy ways to create a sense of community and keep morale high among your new found audience.


BD Team at Lunch

Listen Up: An important but often forgotten element to ensuring happy employees is listening to their needs. Whether you send out an employee survey or start every team meeting with an open forum, be sure to set some time aside to hear out your team. Creating a space where people feel heard and are not afraid to speak their mind will result in a more confident workforce.

Activate Creativity: All work and no play makes for a stressed team. Infuse some fun activities employees can partake in that not only get their mind off work for a bit but unleash creative thinking. Bring in an improv expert or make everyone take a 15 min doodle break. You will be surprised what great ideas can spur from a little bit of fun.


BD working together through a team building exercise.

Create Greatness: Beautiful brochures and newsletters aren’t just tools for your sales team. Creating great internal materials can help keep your mission top of mind throughout the company.  Employees will notice that you aren’t skimping on internal communications and will appreciate the message within that much more. Having great internal marketing pieces makes staff feel important and also sets the bar for external work.

Perk Up:  Health insurance, fancy holiday parties or even a free lunch here and there can all go a long way in building morale.  These gestures show your staff that you care about them as people and appreciate the hard work and effort they put forth on a daily basis. You might groan at the thought of an expensive company dinner but what better advertising than a few employees posting images with ear to ear smiles touting the awesome company they work for.

Your people are your greatest asset and you should invest in them as much as possible. An appreciated team is a grateful, happy and productive team. Staff will come to work ready and willing and glad to go that extra mile for the company and their clients.

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.