IHOB = Marketing Genius!

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On this episode, I break down the marketing genius of IHOB from IHOP.  In case you missed it, the company announced it would be changing its name by replacing the P for pancakes, with B for burgers and the internet freaked out. There was so much hype in June around the name and this for a brand that I (and many) haven’t thought about in quite some time.

The move, it turns out was a publicity stunt to announce the addition of burgers to the menu to help capture off-peak hour business and help turn the tide on declining numbers, experienced by most brands in their category.  IHOP and their creative agency decided to temporarily change its name (with no intent on keeping it that way) to earn massive exposure and accelerate WOM around their message. While most of the chatter was negative, mainly from IHOP loyalists, the masses did their heavy lifting for them and got the word out that burgers are now ready for consumption at an IHOP near you.

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Competitor brands with smart social media teams, jumped in right away to get into the dialogue. Hats off to Burger King, for quickly making this new mock logo and pushing it out via Twitter. This was a very easy way for them to use the draft wind of IHOPs move, to accelerate their own brand message. #wellplayed

While this article in Adweek claims that foot traffic did not increase following the stunt, it does concur that the buzz/awareness was valuable in its own right and IHOP claims that the data used by Foursquare does not accurately capture the true metrics. It appears that the brand is pleased with the play and I think Droga5 deserves some brops (see what I did there?) for the work!

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GREATS: Another brand that is, dare I say it….GREAT at digital!

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On this episode, we break down the brand GREATS, another brand doing everything right from a digital POV.  These days there are so many websites and countless brands, trying to sell to you online. It is hard to differentiate, but some dare to be great (sorry, had to) and stick the landing with next level E-commerce skills.  GREATS is one of those brands.

From the first time seeing their content, all the way thru to the first time you slip their products on your feet, it is an epic experience.  These guys really understand how to balance branding and sales. They create great content, are great at community management and engagement and are great at getting a user down their sales funnel and converting them from prospect to customer.  Their name is super fitting.

 

 

 

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Outerknown: A brand doing digital right!

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On this episode, I throw some props to Outerknown, a brand that I think is doing everything right when it comes to digital. From prospecting thru Instagram (which offers amazing targeting at very low CPMs) to retargeting me with Facebook Ads, they effectively got me into their funnel. They then had a social following (based on brand and awareness) that gave me a social queue that they might be a brand worth exploring further, based on social interest within the Facebook Graph.

On their website, they offered a first-time buyer discount to incentivize me to purchase and I pulled the trigger and purchased shorts from them that came in record speed mind you. I wanted to return two pairs for credit and their outsourced Zendesk customer service solution was excellent and resolved it for me right away.

When I went back to buy some new pairs, I didn’t want to pay full retail so I put some items in my cart and bet that this smart brand would have an abandoned cart campaign in motion in short order.  Of course, they did and when they teed up a 20% cart completion offer I pounced!

On top of all of this their branding and messaging from the packaging, to their emails is sharp and memorable. A cherry on top is that they have a sustainable mission and are the type of brand I want to invest my money and attention with. #wellplayed

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On playing the content game the right way…

The Fhitting Room, knows how to play the content game the right way. It doesn’t hurt that their Founder is a marketing maven and super savvy Entrepreneur, but they also clearly understand how to leverage the tools at their disposal in today’s digital landscape.

They came to Sircle for some help with content creation and together we crafted some videos about their incredible staff. In the crowded personal fitness space, especially in NYC, it is hard to stand out from the clutter. Besides being a one of a kind, excellent workout, they realized that their people are the foundation of what makes them special and represent a real unique selling proposition in the market.

We created a video series that highlights the stories behind these amazing humans and we used that social content natively on Facebook to draw users in. In doing so we leveraged the platform’s love for video, to hack increased organic and paid reach for targeted visibility in Manhattan. The content strategy/journey only begins there…

Once the user clicks through to consume more, they land on a FHITPRO profile page that takes you into a much deeper conversation about the trainer. You learn about their back story, a 21 question series about their personality, their Spotify playlist (content a prospect or customer can enjoy from home or work) and then it even links to their schedule, so people can book a class and experience them for themselves.

This funnel directly leads to bookings and email captures for future marketing. It also leads to retargeting opportunities that can be custom tailored based on the trainer(s) that the visitor viewed while on the site. This way the business can use content and strategic marketing to covert them later on, if they don’t transact up front, which is highly likely.

For those who do book, they now have a more intimate relationship with that trainer when they arrive. As a direct result, the customers are becoming more transformational than transactional and more sticky to The Fhitting Room brand in the process. This is mission critical for any small business looking to flourish. #wellplayed

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Big Brand Theory: Deepa Gurnani

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Instagram, as we have talked about before is a great platform for brands, even if it is not a big driver of e-commerce. While it does not directly drive sales, it does allow a brand to tell a story and reach fans in an engaging way. One of our clients, Deepa Gurnani-a jewelry and accessories designer, has been very successful on Instagram since they signed with us in February of this year. We are very proud of the progress we have made on their account!

When they began with us, they had a little over 1000 followers on the platform and their numbers have grown steadily and continue to do so every day. Even more important that follower count is that they have found their voice on Instagram, which is not always easy to do. They employ a nice balance of product and lifestyle shots in their rotation. They also take advantage of filters to spice up their photos and make them attractive and fun to their audience, rather than just using a plain white background. The jewelry images show their product(s) in a clever and attractive way allowing them to really tell their story in the process.

We are also committed to being timely and keeping up with what is going on in popular culture- i.e. “Ellen’s selfie” from the Oscars.  We are also using NYC as a backdrop as this is where the brand is primarily based. There is a real connection to the city and it is therefore a must that we weave it into our conversation. By posting these types of lifestyle posts we are able to share more about who the brand is, without directly “selling” the consumer. This is all about brand building, and it is going really well thus far!

To see more of how Deepa Gurnani is owning Instagram here!

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Marc Jacobs Fashion Week Pop-Up Experiments with Social Currency

Fashion week is upon us and New York based designer, Marc Jacobs is stealing the spotlight. Jacobs is not in the news for his new designs, but instead for turning tweets into currency at his pop-up shop to support the launch of his new fragrance, ‘Daisy’. During the upcoming Fall-Winter 2014 shows, Jacobs will be debuting a new social media experiment. According to the release, “Transactions will be based solely on a customer’s use of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.” Even if you’re poor you can shop it, as long as you’re rich in social media.

Known as the Daisy, Marc Jacobs Tweet Shop, social media users who post using the #MJDaisyChain hashtag will be offered afp-daisy-marc-jacobs-2freebies in exchange, along with the best daily Instagram photo winning one lucky user a MJ handbag. Score! It’s not clear right now as to how much each tweet is worth, or whether they will be more valuable based on how many retweets you generate.

What can you expect at the pop-up? A lounge, photo booth, food, drinks, Marc Jacobs fragrances and accessories, and of course, a wifi lounge. Who knew your tweets could win you such amazing freebies?

The Marc Jacobs pop-up will take place from February 7-9 in SOHO during the upcoming Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week.

 

 

 

 

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Dodge’s Clever New Campaign

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If you haven’t seen them already, Dodge has filmed about 70 videos to support their Ron Burgundy campaign for the Durango. AND they have added a twist to their campaign. They are doing real-time responses to those commenting on the video Ads. #genius

In one of their videos, Ron Burgandy compares the horse power of the Durango to a horse. In the beginning of October, Breeder’s Cup tweeted “Thinking @Dodge and Ron Burgandy have vastly underestimated the power of one horse!…” In response to that tweet, Dodge came out with a video a few days later of a talking horse who explains the comparison of a horses horse power and the Durango’s horse power. The horse concluded that after you take into account the Durango has a “360 horse power” and a horse has four legs, you carry the one and take the square root of x, and you get Durango.

This campaign is blowing up and is simply hilarious and super clever! How much farther do you think they will take it? I guess we will find out.

Check out the video campaigns here.

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Yahoo Takes Tumblr

tumblrSo the rumors starting swirling around last Friday that Marissa Mayer and Team Yahoo had their sights set on acquiring Tumblr. The move reportedly valued at $1.1 Billion is definitely a mega deal, and it is a tactic for Yahoo to go very strong at the Social Media space. This (or something like it) is a move they desperately need to make, to really get on track to being more relevant.

The problem is that Yahoo has developed a terrible reputation for making things “uncool” and that makes any moves very difficult, especially in a highly skeptical internet community.  The Tweets are already swirling!  Perhaps the saving grace to this deal is just how “cool” Tumblr really is or at least is perceived to be.  David Karp has done a great job developing the blogging platform that is for the cool kids and has never really “sold out”. Perhaps until now???

It will be interesting to see if the deal definitely gets done (Sure looks like it will) and then more importantly if Yahoo and Tumblr can combine to make a baby that will be well received and universally used. You wouldn’t think that the active and proud Tumblr users would just jump ship, but you never know.  Typically things are cool until the masses learn about it and start using it and that is exactly when the cool kids leave and go looking for the next big thing!
Read here for a little more on the big story!

 

 

 

 

 

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Google Glass Parody

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It didn’t take long for the comedy writers at Saturday Night Live to point their pens (read: guns) at the highly anticipated Google Glass product. This weekend Tech Correspondent, Randall Meeks (Fred Armisen) showed up on The Weekend Update to offer his insider review on the highly anticipated product.

I have read countless articles on the new and innovative release and know some people who personally have actually had the opportunity to test it out in the past few weeks.  The reviews online have been mixed and the personal accounts from those have used it have been good from an innovation standpoint (the novelty of it all) BUT sort of strange and uncomfortable from a usage POV.

Though I have yet to use it personally, this review by Randall Meeks seems to nail the strangeness of it all!

 

 

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Facebook Home

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Facebook announced last week that it would be introducing a new product that would change the mobile experience of The Social Network forever. In his announcement, Mark Zuckerberg talked about their “mobile best” strategy (as opposed to the common mobile first strategy for interactive software). The platform looks to be very exciting for Facebook fanatics such as myself.  Here are some main features:

  • Replacing the lock-screen with Timeline updates and Photos from your Facebook account.
  • Chat Heads – Their new feature that keeps the communication portion of SMS and Facebook Messenger in the forefront of your phone experience.
  • People First, Apps Second – The user interface that highlights “the people in your life” and let Apps take a back seat.

They are also about to launch their first ever television campaign across the US and you can see one of a series of new spots promoting Facebook Home here:  WATCH HERE

If you want to hear more in-depth discussion about what these updates mean for developers of Android and Facebook applications on the web, CLICK HERE 

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