My husband and I went to a Korean BBQ restaurant in our neighborhood last night. It’s been through several management changes almost every year. What’s funny is each time it changes, they change a few things about the décor. Usually it’s the paint color and some light fixtures. This time, they removed some booths and added some condiment shelves to make more room for the slew of Korean side dishes that always accompany Korean BBQ.
What was more interesting was the branding. They renamed the restaurant with a catchy American name and mascot, along with the traditional Korean name to appeal to both locals and Koreans. They had it plastered everywhere and it still sticks in my head. I couldn’t even come close to what the other names of this restaurant were in past years as they were Korean names that I could barely pronounce.
They also had reminders painted on the wall in huge letters that took up an entire wall at the entrance: “Don’t forget to check-in on Facebook, Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter,” and more. I’ve seen the same stuff at other places, usually on a business card, but not pushed in this way. Right when we walked in the door, that’s the first thing I saw, not the hostess or seating area, just their social media marketing. Those little reminders to customers seemed to be working. The restaurant was packed by the time we left.
If you are using social media, make sure it’s visible where your customers can see it. And think outside the box so that it’s memorable.
FREE isn’t a word we often associate with marketing. In fact, while creating your marketing plan and/or strategy it’s difficult to decide how to spend your budget and what the best use of the dollars will be. There are however some FREE resources out there that are surprisingly useful and can make a big difference when it comes to research, performance, and tracking results for your marketing tactics. If you’re not taking advantage of these tools, you should be. Here are a few we’re hot on lately:
1. Google Analytics – duh. If you aren’t using this one, you’re missing a huge opportunity to see how people are interacting with your website, where they are coming from, and where your missing opportunities may be
2. Marketing Grader – a tool that gives you a full report on how your website is doing SEO (Search Engine Optimization) wise, and how you rank against your competitors
3. SimilarWeb – website traffic insights for any website
4. Broken Link Checker – a quick way to find out whether your website has any dead links that may be turning customers away
5. GTmetrix – uses Google Page Speed and Yahoo! YSlow to grade your site’s performance and provides actionable recommendations to fix these issues
Ever wonder how a YouTube video gets 10 million views in just a short time frame? Most of the time this is just viral (and not viral marketing). Marketers, however, are quickly realizing that they can leverage the power of something “going viral” to drive revenue.
To start, what does it mean to “go viral”? We’ve all fallen for at least one pyramid scheme in our lives. Whether it was the latest energy drink, cosmetic or nutritional supplement, these pyramid schemes operate on an exponential network theory. If you share something that is “that awesome” with 5 friends, they’ll inevitably share it with 5 friends…who will share it with 5 more. With social networks, this process got a lot easier. You can now share something with 100+ people in minutes. In just 4 levels of separation our network quickly multiplied to one hundred million people (100x100x100x100).
So for marketers, their goal is to create something so unique, cool, exciting, awkward, and unusual that you want to share it with your network. Usually your 40% off Christmas sale isn’t special enough to get attention. More often than not, it is something that has nothing to do with a sale that gets your attention.
Below are two examples of some random (and fake) promotions of new products by American Eagle and Scope. These both got national media exposure and took their brand on a roller coaster. This also led to millions of web hits to learn more about the product. What are your thoughts on this unpredictable viral marketing campaign? Tell us in the comments.
Minus the long hair and leather pants, today seems a little too much like the 80’s if you ask me. It was the time where being rebellious was “cool” along with listening to “the devil’s music” and smoking cigarettes after school. Today’s cigarettes and devil’s music are still around; they’ve just changed a little. Today its racy television shows and gory video games that are making parents cringe. And the more the parents seem to cringe, the more the kids seem to watch, buy, and play.
Advertisers are using this to the fullest extent. The popular video game DeadSpace2 has built its entire advertising platform on the slogan “your mom will hate this”. And television shows are using movie like ratings PG-13 and R as a bragging right instead of a warning. So why the big move towards “rebellious” advertisements? It seems the more outrages the ad or promotion, the more controversy. And controversy means people are talking about your product, service, goods, etc. and that’s exactly what advertisers want.
Check out this Redbull ad which blatantly advertises one-night stands and “hook-ups” with multiple people. Do you think it’s appropriate? Does it make you want to drink a Redbull?
Another TV spot getting some major attention is the MTV show Skins, based off of a British teen show, the new hit is causing quite a stir among parents as it depicts “the life of real American teenagers.” The controversy might have something to do with the fact that these “real” teenagers are drug addicts, alcoholics, party-animals, and law breakers. So would you let your kids watch this? And if you told them they couldn’t do you think they’d find a way to watch it anyways?
The bottom line is it works – this is nothing new, we saw it in the 80’s with rock and roll, we saw it in the 90’s with sex and today is no different. If you tell kids their parents will hate it, or don’t want them to see it, it makes them want it more.
Have a comment? We’d love to hear from you! Let us know what you think about these new ad’s and the impact on kids.
It was the beginning of my sophomore year and the entire student body at USC had just gained access to the newbie social networking site. We learned that Facebook originated at Harvard, spread to the other Ivy’s and finally made the 3,000 miles journey west to Stanford, UCLA, and USC. My friends and I carefully crafted our retrospectively primitive profiles by adding birthdays, classes and other basic information. We agonized over the perfect profile picture because if you recall, users were only offered one pixilated representation.
Recently Facebook has undergone scrutiny regarding their privacy settings. It seems that people are suddenly feeling violated by the somewhat complicated privacy options. In fact, recently I have found myself defending Facebook’s honor whenever a disloyal user casually threatens to un-friend the online sphere. I stand by my conviction that social networking will only further infiltrate our society; there is no sense in fighting an inevitable. I’m sure there was much controversy over e-mail in its infantile stage; how impersonal! Can you imagine not using it now?
Honestly, having been a Facebook user for six harmonious years has afforded me the luxury of growing with the network. Mark Zuckerberg and his team have introduced countless changes and tweaks every year, which has made understanding what Facebook is today fairly seamless for long-time members, such as myself.
However, every one of those new additions was met with resistance from users, because people don’t like change. Some people might remember the controversy over the introduction of the news feed about three years ago. The modification took some adjusting, but right on its heels followed its cousin, Twitter.
But back to the privacy uproar of present. Yes, more information is available online; your information to be exact. However, skeptics tend to overlook that users are in full control of how much information is given. The only real requirements are your full name and email, which is a heck of a lot less incriminating than ordering a pair of shoes online.
While the sharing of personal information is admittedly a scary subject, it’s the future. I suppose I just don’t find our future to be bleak. The world wide transmission of information has led to so many wonderful reunions and created an easy way to connect. I personally keep in touch with literally hundreds of people I would have otherwise let fall to the wayside of my life. Aside from personal connections, I feel more connected to the world in general, and I don’t even mind being shown targeted advertisements every three seconds.
Bottom line: Next time you get frustrated/upset because you keep getting Farmville invitations or you just saw that your Ex is engaged…rethink pressing the delete button. The truth is you’ll only end up signing up again once you get bored/curious/over your Ex.
The rumors are true, the famous Disney star and teen idol, Miley Cyrus, has deleted her twitter account leaving thousands of followers/fans feeling “neglected” according to an MTV.com article. It seems they will have to go on with their lives without knowing what Miley ate for breakfast, what song she’s listening to on her iPod, or what her dog just did. Stating that the site had begun to “blur the lines between her private and public life” she chose to terminate the account when she realized how much time she was wasting on the site.
So when do our tweets start to defeat the purpose of Twitter? And what even is the real purpose of twitter? I guess I’m not sure what its original intention was but it has become a mix of micro-blogging, instant messaging, and status updates built around different emerging social trends. For some Twitter users, it is a business tool, for others it’s simply a way to keep in touch with friends, and for many it has become a way to keep up on what celebrities are doing on a daily basis.
Many think that Twitter is just a way to talk about the mindless stuff people do all day and to stalk their favorite celebrities. My rebuttal to those people is that the glory of Twitter is you can make it what you want it to be. You don’t have to follow any celebrities, you don’t have to follow politicians, and you don’t even have to follow anyone you know. You can keep it to just your friends, just people in your industry, or just news sources. And if someone starts to tweet about mundane things that are boring to you, you can ‘un-follow’ them, never to receive a boring tweet from them again.
On the other hand, you can tweet about whatever you want. If you want to tell people what you did in your morning workout, what you are doing this weekend, or if you found a cool restaurant you want to recommend, it’s all up to you. I choose to tweet mostly to my friends, but I follow many news sources, travel experts, and all things Colorado. I constantly follow new people, and delete old people I am not getting any value from following. My advice to skeptics – don’t knock it till you try it. It may take time to find the perfect balance of tweeting and following but once you do, it can be both useful and entertaining.
- Kaitlyn Anderson, Marketing Trailblazer
When in a service industry of any kind, the state of the economy can take a large toll on a company’s profitability.Lately, the economic downturn has forced many companies to cut budgets, freeze spending, initiate layoffs, or worse – close their doors.When speaking to many of our clients, partners and friends, it seems that many people are either suffering or prospering – there truly is a balance of good and bad right now.
However, it is difficult to ignore all of the negative media coverage regarding the current economic state.The media’s redundant message of “doom and gloom” eventually convinces us all that we must surrender and give in to the recession that is upon us.
Brand Iron disagrees.
As a company, we’re opting to not participate in the recession this year.Yes, you heard it here first.Brand Iron is not giving in to the “doom and gloom.”We challenge you to do the same.
Many companies are focusing on the positives and the new opportunities that this changing business landscape has opened up.For example, in an industry (luxury travel) where economic woes can take a gigantic toll on profitability Carnival Cruise Lines is saying “we will not go quietly into the night” and await the inevitable.Carnival continues to make strides towards out-of-the-box, interactive advertising.
I’m sure we have all seen the commercial with the large beach ball floating around downtown Dallas.That commercial was an extremely effective way for Carnival to catch the attention of the business-class professional on their lunch break.Throw a gigantic beach ball onto a bustling street full of unhappy professionals and see what happens – attention, positive feedback and enjoyment, that’s what.
Today, I came across an article about Carnival’s latest attempt at interactive advertising.They’ve managed to take advantage of the empty street-level office spaces in the Houston, Baltimore, Los Angeles, New York and D.C. areas by installing “virtual aquariums” for all to interact with.
Picture this, you’re walking down a cold city sidewalk on your lunch break when you look to your right – no longer is there an empty office space with a broker’s contact information in the window.No, you now see a 12-foot digital aquarium.Not only is this virtual aquarium engaging, it’s interactive.In five easy steps, you can use your cell phone to design a personalized fish to appear instantly in that very same window.This is an example of a company seeing an opportunity that may not have presented itself before the downturn in the economy. This is brand evolution and adaptation at its best.If there are three pearls of wisdom that we should all recognize after this economic downturn, they would be: never stay static, always engage new ways of marketing, and consistently separate yourselves from the competition.
Blogging is a trend on the rise. It was just a few years ago that people started to post their opinions on the web about anything and everything by writing a personal blog. Now, more and more companies and their CEO’s are posting blogs, exciting consumers about new products, services, events, or just getting them caught up on industry related news.
Here at Brand Iron, we too keep a weekly blog, written by everyone from the president to the interns to help keep our customers informed. Recently, we came across this story on NBC Nightly News-hear what the “experts” say about blogging and how you can utilize blogging to help promote your company.