Does your organization struggle with the problem of properly fitting people to jobs? Here is a handy hint for ensuring success in job placement.
Take the prospective employees you are trying to place and put them in a room with only a table and two chairs. Leave them alone for two hours, without any instruction. At the end of that time, go back and see what they are doing.
If they have taken the table apart in that time, put them in Engineering.
If they are counting the butts in the ashtray, assign them to Finance.
If they are screaming and waving their arms, send them off to Manufacturing.
If they are talking to the chairs, Personnel is a good spot for them.
If they are writing up the experience, send them to Tech Pubs.
If they don’t even look up when you enter the room, assign them to Security.
If they try to tell you it’s not as bad as it looks, send them to Marketing.
If they’ve left early, put them in Sales.
And if they’re all bullying each other, they’re Management material.
Mobile marketing is on three out four marketer’s plans for 2011 according to Forrester Research. Unlike other forms of digital marketing, mobile marketing involves a layer of complexity due to the difference in platforms and devices. To help you understand this evolving marketplace, here are 56 mobile marketing facts including 23 charts. Each point is based on market research and can guide your marketing plans.
To facilitate use of this information, it’s broken into the following categories: mobile marketplace, mobile marketing, mobile social media, mobile apps, mobile advertising, SMS/text messaging, mobile commerce and location-based services (LBS). If you’re interested in mobile marketing, there’s something here for you.
Mobile is ramping up faster than other technologies. Mary Meekerpredicts that 2012 will be the smartphone inflection point.
About 30% of US mobile users have a smartphone in 2010 according toNielsen.
Smartphones will grow by about one third to 43% of mobile users by 2015 according to eMarketer.
US smartphone operating systems are in a tight competition. The top three systems are: Apple/iPhone with a 27.9% share, RIM/Blackberry with a 27.4% share and Android with a 22.7% share, based on The Nielsen Company data. It will be interesting to watch how well the iPhone fares on Verizon’s system and if it effects other Verizon customers.
Blackberry’s desirability pales compared to iPhone and Android for next operating system choice among smartphone owners, The Nielsen Company survey showed. Note: Blackberries are popular among corporate users and teens.
Women are more likely to get an iPhone while men are more likely to get an Android according to The Nielsen Company.
2011 is projected to be the tipping point for U.S. smartphones according to forecasts by The Nielsen Company.
Smartphone carrier loyalty as measured by The Nielsen Company over the last six months showed that a surprising 77.2% of customers stayed with the same carrier. This underscores the need to lock in new customers.
How fast IS your cellphone? Four out of five The Nielsen Company surveyrespondents were familiar with 4G (which is mobile data speeds of more than 100 MBits/s) but only half of them knew what it meant.
Seven out ten consumers are planning to get 4G service in the next twelve months The Nielsen Company survey found.
75% of marketers are planning to add mobile to their marketing mix according to Forrester Research. It’s important to note that this may not be advertising related.
The biggest categories of non-data usage for mobile phones are photographs and text messages according to Pew Research. This is important to consider when thinking about how mobile phone owners spend their time.
How mobile phone users spend their time is becoming more important. Current usage is still dominated by email according to The Nielsen Company.
Mobile Social Media
Social media usage on mobile devices continues to grow with 49.4million users projected in 2011; a 27% increase from 2010 according to eMarketer.
Social media network usage on mobile internet and mobile phones continues to increase as a percentage of users. This is attributable to the fact that participants view social media as a communications format.
The top ten app categories for 2010′s fourth quarter based on page views were games, social networking, music and entertainment, mail/messaging, education/employment, weather, sports, maps, news/current events, and travel, according to Millennial Media.
We won’t pay or will we? Apps continue to grow, free apps grow faster according to Distimo.
Over 3 million downloads each day during December 2010 were generated by the top 300 free apps in U.S. while 350,000 paid apps were downloaded daily.
Paid U.S. app downloads in December 2010 were 30% higher than June 2010 which shows that consumers are willing to pay for mobile apps (Distimo).
Three different app payment options have emerged: paid app, free app with in-app purchases and paid app with in-app purchases according toDistimo.
Average mobile app price has decreased since January 2010 according toDistimo.
The U.S. is the second largest mobile advertising spending market globally after Japan, according to Smaato
With a 2011 forecast of $1,24 billion growing to $5 billion in 2015, U.S. will close the gap according to Smaato.
Average U.S. mobile advertising campaign range is $75,000 – $100,000 according to Smaato.
The creative spend on U.S. mobile advertising campaigns averages 10-15% of the budget according to Smaato.
Marketers use or plan to use a variety of mobile marketing techniques in 2010 and 2011. Most striking is the fact that less than half of them have a mobile website according to Forrester Research via eMarketer.
Still searching for you on the go. US Mobile advertising market breaks out as follows: 46% search, 29% display/banner advertising, 20% SMS/text opt-in messaging, 3% mobile games and video and 2% apps according tomobileSquared via Smaato (October 2010).
One-sixth of US mobile users have engaged with some form of advertising on their mobile phone based on Lightspeed Research for mobileSquared via Smaato. With anticipated growth of US mobile market, this translates to more users who will interact with mobile advertising.
Mobile ads are more effective across brand metrics based on Insight Express research. Bear in mind that this can be attributed to the medium’s newness.
The top five mobile video stations are YouTube, Fox, Comedy Central, ESPN and MTV according to The Nielsen Company. These stations reflect the high usage by the teen and twenty-something demographic. Further, it shows that users are looking for entertainment, sports and news.
U.S. Mobile local advertising market is expected to grow to about $2.0 billion by 2014 according to BIA/Kelsey.
Women send more text messages per month (716) than men do (555) based onThe Nielsen Company tracking.
One in three mobile phone owners accessed a retailer site or mobile shopping app based on research by ForeSee.
26% of mobile phone owners who haven’t accessed a retailer site or mobile shopping app, plan to according to ForeSee. This means that retailers must be on mobile platform or risk loosing opportunity.
73% of survey respondents favored using their smartphone to handle simple in-store tasks compared to 15% of survey respondents who preferred to interact with an employee, according to Accenture researchdone in ten countries (Note: This information doesn’t state which countries where surveyed.)
One in nine shoppers (11%) bought something using a mobile device during 2010′s holiday shopping season, up from 2% in 2010 according to ForeSee.
How’s your mobile website experience? Shoppers preferred computer experience to mobile experience based on ForeSee‘s survey results.
Almost seven out of ten shoppers check the store’s website while they’re in the retail establishment! (ForeSee)
Shoppers use mobile websites to check for price comparisons (56%), product comparisons (46%), product information (35%) and product reviews (27%) based on ForeSee’s research.
The competition is just a click away even when customer is physically in your store! Almost half (46%) of shoppers checked competitors’ website using a mobile device while in bricks and mortar stores, ForeSee found.
Mobile commerce is approaching the same level of sales as online retail, based on Mary Meeker‘s projections.
One out of three customers are interested in mobile loyalty program from trusted brands, based on Zoomerang’s October 2010 research for HipCricket. Of these shoppers, 90% received value from the program revealing potential marketing opportunity.
Location-based services (aka LBS) – Where are you now?
Location-based service users increased roughly 200% in 2010, based on SNL Kagan.
Location-based services are made for smartphone usage. This is shown by the drop in Internet usage on both Foursquare and Gowalla according toCompete.
Location-based services as an advertising platform is still evolving as evidenced by the fact that less than half of advertisers have included it in their plans.
With smartphone usage projected to reach 50% in 2011, it’s time to consider how you’re going to incorporate mobile into your overall marketing mix. One thing is certain, whether you’re an online or offline organization, you need a mobile destination with supporting mobile search advertising, otherwise, you’re leaving an opportunity on the table. The reality is that consumers use smartphones to gather information about their purchase alternatives while they’re in a retail establishment. If you’re not present when they use their phone to search, they may leave and buy from your competitor.
Have you earned your Google Plus (aka Google+) cred yet? If you’re not one of the Pluserati, chances are that you’re still coming up the Google+ learning curve or maybe sitting on the sidelines because the thoughts of building a presence on yet another social media platform seems too daunting. The reality is that if you’re a marketer or involved in technology or social media eventually you’re going to need to take the dive. Granted that Google+ is another Google product and Google hasn’t been very effective at social media beyond YouTube, but give it a test drive. As the old ad said, try it, you’ll like it!
To help you get your Google+ on, here’s a round up of the best resources to get you up to speed quickly and efficiently.
Google Plus: The facts, nothing but the facts
While there’s no doubt that Google+ is off to a running start, you may want to take a closer look at what’s behind the numbers.
comScore weighs in on Google+’s growth with some details about who’s using the service.
Google+’s growth trajectory is included in this Gigaom piece explaining why Google screwed up on the topic of brand pages. This is important for brands, media entities and lawyers. (Several sources are all using the same information. Here’s the analyst behind the chart, Leon Haland.)
These resources are the Google+ manuals. Dip into them to see which ones work best for your needs. Remember that Google+ is still in beta and this information continues to evolve.
The Google+ Demo. Google put together a fun interactive map of the features of Google+. Mouse around and explore. There’s a lot to learn.
The Google+ Project Home page. Tap into all of the content Google’s put together to explain Google+ including a video overview. Tabs on the project home page lead to detailed descriptions of the various features.
The Google+ Help Center. This is the support page for all Google+ users. It’s reachable from a link on any Google+ page. Being Google, it’s search engine based.
Google+ Tips & Tricks, a collaborative document. In true social media form, here’s the ultimate guide to Google+ created by over 120 people!
Mashable. As the repository for everything social media, Mashable editors have been using Google+ and sharing their insights regularly. Here’s their comprehensive Google+ Guide. Even if you’ve got some Google+ experience under your belt, you may want to check this article to get a list of Mashable staff on Google+.
These are the folks who’ve risen to the top of the Google+ ranks. Don’t get discouraged since many of them had a head start by having strong followings on other platforms.
The Google Pluserati. Alltop.com has gathered on one webpage the RSS feeds of several dozen influential bloggers who are active on Google+ including Danny Sullivan, Scott Monty, Ann Handley, Paul Allen and Matt Cutts, to name just a few.
Facebook employees. If you can’t beat them, at least keep tabs on what they’re doing. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, is one of the most followed people on Google+. Marketers, this is a great lesson in competitive intelligence. Get onto competitive platforms or buy competitive products to understand their customers.
Andy Hertzfeldwho has been working at Google since 2005 is the design lead on the project and the one to thank for the great-looking Google+ interface. You’ll likely recognize his name from his time spent at Apple (1979 – 1984) where he was a key designer for the original Macintosh software team. Read about the design effort in Steven Levy’s,Inside Google+ article on Wired.com.
Google Plus meets the spin cycle
Here are some articles from established media sources to share how they view or assess Google+.
Econsultancy assesses Google+ in light of new psychological research from UCLA. The research alone is worth your reading time.
The New York Times takes notice of Google+ in an article by Paul Boutin: What Google+ Is All About appearing in the Personal Tech column on June 30th.
Wall Street Journal. presents a top line assessment of Google’s entry into the social media ecosystem A Review of Google+.
Znet. Every party has a pooper. Znet found ten features that they think should be incorporated into Google+. (Did anyone tell them that it’s in beta?)
What the experts say about Google+
While everyone wants to be in the know and part of the cool circle (Google+ speak for gang), take some time to discover what some of the social media marketing thought leaders are saying. Interestingly, many of these experts have found that their articles on Google+ are among their most popular to-date.
David Berkowitzpresents a useful Google+ FAQ. David is a social media tester par excellence and gives his feedback.
Olivier Blanchard (aka The Brand Builder) weighs in on eight questions about Google+. He gives thoughtful responses.
Chris Brogan’s top 50 thoughts on Google+. As a top Ad Age 150 blogger, Chris knows his way around new social media platforms. His testing of Google+ had an organized approach. Therefore, it’s a good starting place for anyone looking to get a feel for the platform before they take a deep dive.
Jeff Bullas has an interesting perspective on Google+’s high level of engagement which is useful to marketers.
Brian Clark (aka Copyblogger) weighs into the discussion by questioning whether Google+ is useful for content marketing.
Heidi Cohen makes the case that Google+ is a battle for your time. (Okay, I know it’s linking to my blog!)
Jason Fallscreated a ten minute video to give you a tour of Google+ combined with his feedback. It’s useful to watch Jason’s video before you start clicking around.
John Jantsch, (aka Duct Tape Marketing) small business know-how expert, shares his five tips for integrating Google+ into your business routine.
Christopher S. Penn, Blue Sky Vice President of Marketing, has put together a starting point for those of you who want to track your Google Plus results. No surprise, his step by step tutorial uses Google Analytics.
David Pogue says, in his July 13th , New York Times Personal Tech column, Google+ Improves on Facebook, that even though this is a first test version, “Google’s less sprawling, more video-centric, better-controlled new service is already too good to ignore.”
Robert Scobbles (aka Scobilizer), the enfant terrible of blogging, weighs in about Google+. If you’re not familiar with Robert, you’ve probably been hiding under an outdated, overweight computer. When Robert blogs, the tech world listens and so should you.
Danny Sullivan writes from a personal viewpoint commenting on the usability of Google+ and Twitter in his post, Google+ Vs. Twitter: A Personal View. He takes a “watch and see” attitude.
Mark Zuckerberg, While he didn’t give Google+ a thumbs up or a thumbs down, he did say that the rise of social in more companies was in line with his view of the world. “I view a lot of this as validation as to how the next five years are going to play out,” he noted in a Facebook video chat.
Can you find me now? What Google Plus means for search marketing
What do the search experts have to say about Google+ and what do you need to know.
Get your tech on – Integrating Google Plus and technology
Do you want to be on top of how to integrate Google+ into platforms and tools? Then this section’s for you!
The Google+ Cheat Sheet. Google+ is geeky. It has a number of keyboard shortcuts and editing macros. This cheat sheet from Mashable includes most of the common syntax, hotkeys and tips to enable you to use Google+ like a pro.
Google+ Icons anyone? Here are 14 options to add to your social sharing on your blog or website.
Photography anyone?Photographer Colby Brown has done a great job of laying out how to use Google+ for photographers including addressing IP rights and TOC. Even if you’re just a amateur using your smartphone, this post has useful information. Remember that photographs are important content!
Google+ Sparks. Nate Riggs gives pointers on using Google+ Sparksas a listening post. This is a must for every marketer and PR expert.
Searching Google+. It’s ironic that the 900 pound gorilla of search doesn’t enable participants to search their stream on their social media platform. Here’s a work around for searching your Google+ stream but be warned it’s VERY geeky.
Chrome Extensions. Google+ doesn’t do everything yet. However, if you use their Chrome browser, you can add extensions to power up your Google+ experience, including one that will cross-post your feed items to Twitter and Facebook. Business Insider put together a review of the best Google Chrome extensions.
+1 Everywhere. Google has not yet published a Google+ Application Programming Interface (API) to distribute its functionality to other websites as have Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms. However, you can add a plus one button to any web page to encourage your readers to share your content on the new service. Find out how on the Google +1 page.
Google+ WordPress Themes. Google always gets good reviews from designers for its minimalist approach to web page design. Now, WordPress users can style their blogs like Google+ using one of a number of Google+ inspired themes, such as Reflex+ from CSS Reflex.
Google+ goes mobile. Google announced a Google+ app for Android smartphones and tablets when it first opened the service. You can find it in the Android Marketplace. Now there’s also an app for iPhones. Search the App Store or download it from iTunes using your smartphone’s browser. While there’s no iPad app yet, you can still use Google+ on the popular tablet via the Safari web browser.
Google+ wish list. Yes it’s Google but we can hope that they’re listening. Here are twelve items Google must get right. Josepf Haslam is on the money. What do you think?
Let’s play – How marketing can use Google Plus
While Google Plus isn’t ready for prime time marketing, you should be testing it on your own and making sure that it’s in your plans for next year. Here are some early indicators for marketers.
Are you paying attention to how journalists are using Google+?If you’re a marketing or a PR professional, the media is critical to helping you get your message out. Here’s how journalists are testing Google+ as reported by TNW (aka The Next Web).
Regardless of your feelings for Google, Google+ is here to stay. Therefore, the sooner you get onto the platform and test it out, the faster you’ll be able integrate it into your marketing plans. One thing’s for certain, it’s critical to include it in your next year’s plans and related budget.
Elvis Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) indelibly changed contemporary music as traced through the over 700 tracks he recorded during his career. In honor of the thirty-fourth anniversary of his death, here are the King of Rock and Roll’s Top 50 hits and the social media lessons they contain.
Hound Dog. Do you stalk people on social media platforms? Do the people you follow perceive that your actions are creepy? While following and engaging with others on social media networks is expected and encouraged, as in real life, you need to respect people’s boundaries.
Suspicious Minds. Social media assumes a level of transparency in your interactions. As a result, there’s a level of trust that helps to overcome doubts.
Mystery Train. While Elvis sings about the fact that even a runaway train can’t take his gal away, on social media, it’s hard to keep an air of mystery. Being open and above board are the basis for interactions.
Heartbreak Hotel. By building your social media tribe, you don’t need to feel the sense of desolation Elvis expressed in Heartbreak Hotel.
I Just Can’t Help Believing. This Elvis song could be an ode to social media where positive contributions to the greater community and a pay-it-forward mentality makes everyone feel welcome.
Suspicion. This song’s focus on a victim points to the need to use social media responsibly.
Good Rocking Tonight. This song could be dedicated to some of the more active social media meetups and Twitter chats like Sunday night’s BlogChat.
Doing the Best I Can. Social media platforms can require time to get used to the protocol. That said, it’s important that you contribute to the community in a positive way.
One Night. For marketers, social media is about having an on-going relationship not a one shot promotion.
Tomorrow is a Long Time. Elvis’ cover of the Dylan song. On social media, information gets transmitted in real time as well as in lapsed time. For a business with angry customers, twenty-four hours can seem like an eternity, especially if the customer’s communication goes viral.
Can’t Help Falling In Love. Social media platforms are important for building relationships over time that are both personal and business (although falling in love is rarely the objective.)
Little Sister. On social media platforms, it’s important to be supportive of newbies and others who may not have your level of knowledge. Again, pay it forward.
Don’t Be Cruel. Another Elvis ode that emphasizes treating others well on social media platforms. Remember you don’t know how others will interpret your words and actions.
It’s Now Or Never. Social media demands that you take a stand. It’s not a place where being wishy-washy is tolerated. That said, take time to think through the implications of your actions since words travel straight from your brain through your fintertips.
Polk Salad Annie. Just as the name of this song makes no sense, the same may be said of many social media handles that are attributable to common names or strange abbreviations.
All Shook Up. With its ability to communicate in real time, social media brings news home almost instantaneously. Think of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami and theEgyptian revolution.
Please Don’t Stop Loving Me. On social media platforms, this translates to follow me back and don’t block or unfollow me.
Blue Moon. It’s the second full moon in a month that’s come to mean “rarely” as in the phrase once-in-a-blue-moon. With the current time spent and level of interaction on social media platforms, it’s hard to believe that any engagement is rare.
Crawfish. On social media platforms, it’s possible to find like-minded people who share your interests or needs. It’s the law of large numbers at its best and the means to connect.
A Mess of Blues. Just as Elvis is feeling blue, social media platforms can expose your heart to pain. You’ll see how people who don’t know you react without understanding your perspective. This is why it’s critical to have a social media tribe.
That’s All Right. Social media’s technology enables users to connect with family, friends and others who help support you in difficult times.
Long Black Limousine. While Elvis sings about a poor southern singer whose gone too soon, social media provides the means for everyone to build their following. While social media is egalitarian in approach, the reality is that star power builds followings on these platforms.
Guitar Man. Many musicians take advantage of various social media platforms, especially YouTube to help build their following and to get noticed by established labels.
Jailhouse Rock. Some social media platforms are set up to prevent spam and limit your communications. For example, Twitter won’t let you send more than 100 tweets in an hour or 1,000 in a day. When you do, they put you in Twitter Jail and prevent you from tweeting for a period of time. ( Yes, I’ve been there!)
Love Me Tender. Treat everyone with respect on social media. It’s just a good policy for living.
That’s Someone You’ll Never Forget. When it comes to social media platforms, you want to put your best foot forward because you don’t want to be unforgettable in a bad way. If you’re not sure of how you’re coming across, ask some friends and colleagues you trust for honest feedback.
Any Day Now. Social media platforms enable both instantaneous communications and asynchronous communications. As a result, most participants expect to hear your response quickly.
Burning Love. This Elvis song about overwhelming passion translates to having employees who are social media evangelists for your brand and/or business so that their feelings come through their social media interactions.
Viva Las Vegas. With Location Based Services, you can check-in in Las Vegas or anywhere else.
An American Triology. When it comes to social media, the three main platforms are Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. WithGoogle+’s meteoric growth, it’s likely that it will unseat one or all of these platforms.
Trying to Get You. Social media is all about engagement! ‘nuff said!
A Fool Such As I. When you make mistakes in social media as in love, the best course is to own up to it like the King did.
Reconsider Baby. While the power of Elvis’ blues may not come through on social media, you need to be open to new ideas.
Trouble. Since social media provides every consumer with their own megaphone to amplify their message and discontent, businesses must monitor the landscape 24/7 and have a Crisis Management Plan in place to take action when appropriate.
I’m Leavin’. With social media, you’re able to share your location and activities to a broad audience.
Are You Lonesome Tonight. By contrast, on social media, you don’t have to be alone. At any hour of the day or night, you can find others to interact with, either across town or across the pond.
In The Ghetto. Here’s where social media’s social conscious hits its stride.
Return To Sender. While few social media users still use old-fashioned postal mail to which this song refers, social media runs on email to keep members abreast of what’s happening and coming back for more.
She’s Not You. While this song involved a love triangle, on social media platforms, you need to be open to new connections and relationships.
The Girl of My Best Friend. This title is ready made for social media where everyone is less than six degrees away. Who do you want to connect to?
I’ve Lost You. With the power of relationships on social media, you have to work to not get found. On the other hand, on social networks, you can be overly zealous in your communications and turn someone off so that they block your messages.
Baby Let’s Play House. While not the intended song reference, many social media platforms use game mechanics to engage participants and keep them coming back.
Always on My Mind. With many social media platforms, you’re able to see who’s on the system so that you can communicate in real time. Therefore, unlike Elvis, you don’t need to keep thinking about them.
I Need Somebody to Lean On. With your social media tribe and other social media groups, you always have a community to help you whether it’s words of support or information.
His Latest Flame. On social media, you need to be true to your friends and others. Further, you shouldn’t use social media as a gossip conduit.
It Hurts Me. As a social media participant, sometimes you need to grow a thick skin because you can unintentionally get hurt by how people say something.
Way Down. Is this what you think of your social media standings as measured by Klout and other influence trackers?
Love Me. On social media, participants accept you for the value you provide and your engagement.
Too Much. Like Elvis and other rockers, sometimes too much social media interaction is too much and you get burned out. At times like this, you need to take a break and unplug.
You’ll Never Walk Alone. Build your social media network and you’ll always have real people ready to support you.
Regardless of which Elvis Presley ballad’s your favorite, one thing’s for certain, they all ring true with human feelings that are at the core of social media.
Are there any other Elvis Presley favorites that you’d add to this list? If so, what are they and what’s the social media lesson they contain?
Brandshave a wide range of uses for businesses, products and individuals in today’s dynamic marketing landscape where publishing and message distribution are no longer limited to media entities. Through the use of social media platforms, every consumer is a publisher and has his own brand to promote. Each brand is competing for time and attention—today’s scarce resources—to break though the message clutter in order to build relationships with their target audience(s). By itself, a brand isn’t a marketing strategy.
In their own words, here are thirty branding definitions from marketers and visionary leaders (aka the original Mad Men) to help you understand what branding entails. (Editor’s note: For formatting purposes, some multi-paragraph answers appear as one paragraph and typos were corrected.)
The American Marketing Association defines a brand as “A name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. The legal term for brand is trademark. A brand may identify one item, a family of items, or all items of that seller. If used for the firm as a whole, the preferred term is trade name.”
Brand is a known identity of a company in terms of what products and services they offer but also the essence of what the company stands for in terms of service and other emotional, non tangible consumer concerns. To brand something is when a company or person makes descriptive and evocative communications, subtle and overt statements that describe what the company stands for. For example, is the brand the most economical, does it stands for superior service, is it an environmental responsible provider of x,y,z service or product. Each communication is deliberate in evoking emotion in the receiver to leave him/her with an essence of what the company or person stands for. Donna Antonucci
Branding is the art of aligning what you want people to think about your company with what people actually do think about your company. And vice-versa. Jay Baer – Convince & Convert. Author with Amber Naslund of The Now Revolution
A brand is the essence of one’s own unique story. This is as true for personal branding as it is for business branding. The key, though, is reaching down and pulling out the authentic, unique “you”. Otherwise, your brand will just be a facade. The power of a strong logo in brand identity is that a simple visual can instantaneously communicate a brand and what it is about. Some large brands are able to do this by symbol only, without words, that is the Holy Grail that brands dream about. This seems to represent the very essence of communication at its most primitive roots. Few can pull it off. Logos are vitally important, but are just one component of what creates a strong brand. Logos should support the broader brand strategy that supports an even bigger brand story. Paul Biedermann – re:DESIGN
A brand is a reason to choose. Cheryl Burgess – Blue Focus Marketing
A brand symbol as “anything that leaves a mental picture of the brand’s identity. Leo Burnett
Branding is more than a name and symbol. A brand is created and influenced by people, visuals, culture, style, perception, words, messages, PR, opinions, news media and especially social media. Like when a child is born and given a name, a brand needs nurturing, support, development and continuous care in order to thrive and grow. Some brands have a life cycle and grow old like people. Some brands are timeless and never die, are “born again” or reinvented, while some brands live a short but powerful life and have an iconic legacy. Lisa Buyer – The Buyer Group
Branding is the encapsulation of a company’s mission statement, objectives, and corporate soul as expressed through the corporate voice and aesthetic. Margie Clayman
Brands are shorthand marketing messages that create emotional bonds with consumers. Brands are composed of intangible elements related to its specific promise, personality, and positioning and tangible components having identifiable representation including logos, graphics, colors and sounds. A brand creates perceived value for consumers through its personality in a way that makes it stand out from other similar products. Its story is intricately intertwined with the public’s perception and consistently provides consumers with a secure sense that they know what they’re paying for. In a world where every individual is also a media entity, your consumers own your brand (as it always was). Heidi Cohen– Riverside Marketing Strategies
Branding, to me, is the identity of a product or service. It’s the name, the logo, the design, or a combination of those that people use to identify, and differentiate, what they’re about to buy. A good brand should deliver a clear message, provide credibility, connect with customers emotionally, motivate the buyer, and create user loyalty. Gini Dietrich – Spin Sucks
Branding is the sub-total of all the “experiences” your customers have with your business. For successful branding you need to understand the principles of Ivan Pavlovas my brother Jeffrey and I discussed in our Waiting For Your Cat to Bark. For branding to work you must have:
Consistency. Pavlov never offered food without ringing the bell and never rang the bell without offering food.
Frequency. The bell rang several times a day, day after day.
Anchoring. Pavlov tied the experiment to something about which the dog was emotional. Frequency and consistency create branding only when the message is associated with an emotional anchor. This is the most difficult and essential element to get correct.
However, keep in mind Pavlov had an easier time because he chose dogs which are much better at following a leader, today’s customers are more cat like and not as easily persuaded or motivated. Bryan Eisenberg – Author of Waiting for Your Cat to Bark
In today’s social, customer-controlled world, marketers may be spending their money to build a brand. But they don’t own it. In their influential book, Groundswell, Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff state “your brand is whatever your customers say it is…” As a marketer, this means that, while a brand is the emotional relationship between the consumer and the product, you must engage with consumers and build positive brand associations. The deeper the relationship, the more brand equity exists. Neil Feinstein – True North
Branding can be divided into old and new.
Old Branding. Advertisers shouting carefully pedicured messages at consumers who don’t want to hear it.
New Branding. Advertisers  humbly listening to what consumers tell others the brand is and back up with real action (like repeat purchases) and  incorporating appropriate innovations so their products continue to earn consumers’ loyalty and word of mouth.
Dr. Augustine Fou – Marketing Science Consulting Group, Inc.
Brand is the sum total of how someone perceives a particular organization. Branding is about shaping that perception. Ashley Friedlein – Econsultancy
Branding is an ongoing process of looking at your company’s past and present…and then creating a cohesive personality for the company and its products going forward. We do SWOT (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis and go through all the benefits (real and emotional) that the product or service fulfills for its customers. We review the key factors that spurred growth, pricing, corporate culture, key players, and we figure out “who you are”, by key players, the president, customer service. Then we create the brand voice first. It’s a wonderful process. Lois Geller – Lois Geller Marketing Group
A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer. Seth Godin – Author of Linchpin
Brand is the image people have of your company or product. It’s who people think you are. Or quoting Ze Frank, it’s the “emotional aftertaste” that comes after an experience (even a second-hand one) with a product, service or company. (Also, it’s the mark left after a red-hot iron is applied to a steer’s hindquarters.) Ann Handley – MarketingProfs, Author with C.C. Chapman of Content Rules
Attention is a scarce resource. Branding is the experience marketers create to win that attention. Jeffrey Harmon – Orabrush
Branding is the representation of your organization as a personality. Branding is who you are that differentiates you. Dave Kerpen – Likeable Media, Author of Likeable Social Media
A brand is a name, term, sign, symbol, or design or a combination of them, intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of the competitor. Phillip Kotler – Author of Marketing Management
That old “a brand is a promise” saw holds true, but only partially true. Rebecca Lieb, author of The Truth About Search Engine Optimization
Don Zahorsky is an old cattle breeder in my neighborhood. He’s been in the business of registered Angus cattle for decades, even back when my dad was a kid. Ride around in the pasture with Don, and he can tell you the parentage of every animal. “What’s that tag number? 0282? That’s another Dominator son. His mother is a real good cow. Her father was the grand champion … “ He has invested his life in breeding the best registered Angus cattle he possibly can. He’s bought bulls back from people, because he didn’t like the way they performed. He’s never thought once about business brands, about emotional experiences, about logos. But he does care a lot about his reputation and the service he provides his buyers. He brands his bulls with a DZ on the right hip. Everyone around here knows that brand. They know Don. They know that brand means a good bull. Here’s the lesson: It’s not the brand that makes the bull valuable. It’s Don’s reputation that makes the bull valuable. The brand is just a way of showing it. Becky McCray – Small Business Survival
A brand is the meaningful perception of a product, a service or even yourself –either good, bad or indifferent — that marketers want people to believe based on what they think they hear, see, smell, taste and generally sense from others around them. Josh Moritz
A brand is “The intangible sum of a product’s attributes: its name, packaging, and price, its history, its reputation, and the way it’s advertised.” David Ogilvy, Author of On Advertising
Branding is the defined personality of a product, service, company, organization or individual. Many folks confuse “having a logo” for an ongoing branding process, but in fact a good logo is an extension of a defined identity for a venture in the same way that a flag or national anthem may represent a country. A well designed brand personality can be seen in everything from customer service to the actual products a company may offer. Another misconception about brands is that they should reflect a quality; and that may be true in a brand that’s about quality (think of a Chanel logo which communicates the idea of luxury) but on the other hand if a local dollar store even has a designed logo that may in fact work against the goals of their brand as they may seem overpriced. Like an artist finding his or her voice the goal of a branding process should be to always frame in a concise way what makes your endeavor unique; and then apply that message to each medium.Michael Pinto – Very Memorable Design (Disclaimer: I use Michael for my branding.)
“A brand is a singular idea or concept that you own inside the mind of a prospect.” Al Ries – Author of Positioning: the Battle for Your Mind
“Branding” is what lazy and ineffective marketing people do to occupy their time and look busy. David Meerman Scott – Bestselling author of Real-Time Marketing and PR
Successful branding is what you do, not what you say or show. Successful branding requires your delivering consistently positive experiences for your constituents. It comes from keeping your promises to them, from earning their trust that your brand will do its best at every point of contact to deliver on what they want and expect from you. This trust leads to their choosing your brand again. Successful brands never take their constituents for granted. They never forget that most important to constituents are what’s in it for them, that constituents are distracted, and you must earn their attention. (Constituents include, depending on your product or service: customers, consumers, suppliers, employees, partners, allies, investors, funders, donors, analysts, critics, unions, regulators, the media, voters, etc.) The logo and theme line are not the brand. The logo symbolizes the brand. The theme line, if it’s any good, uniquely and memorably expresses the brand promise. (Most theme lines fail to do that.) Jim Siegel – HealthCare Chaplaincy
“General advertising is Cyrano. He comes under your window and sings; people get used to it and ignore it. But if Roxane responds, there’s a relationship. We move the brand relationship up a notch. Advertising becomes a dialogue that becomes an invitation to a relationship.” Lester Wunderman, Author of Being Direct
“A brand is essentially a container for a customer’s complete experience with the product or company.” Sergio Zyman, Author of The End of Advertising As We Know It
While marketers’ definitions of branding may differ, what’s consistent is the importance of building your brand as a competitive marketing tool. Brands retain their power in today’s evolving social media ecosystem and device indifferent information consumption because they provide a short hand communication that breaks through the ever-increasing message-laden environment. What matters to your bottom line is that your prospects have strong, positive brand associations that they’ve integrated into their worldview.
The Future of Social & Search
Lately, I’ve been interacting more regularly on some key social platforms.
What I’ve noticed is that there is a lot of anxiety, confusion, and yearning for answers as to how to become more influential across the social interweb. And the above mentioned forums are excellent resources for sharing and communicating implementation strategies and tool usage. So major props to the hosts of those forums/communities.
With social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Youtube massively changing the way businesses interact with their market, the future of business IS SOCIAL, there will not be an option. Those choosing to stay out of it will disappear.
Because Trust and Credibility, accompanied by top of mind awareness will win customers every time over a marketing message.
Social is built on these foundations of buying decisions.
The sun is shining, and many of us are still wearing shorts and enjoying
summer’s last rays, which means the holidays are still a long way off,
right? Not exactly. Even though thoughts of sugarplums, eggnog, and hot
cocoa may seem like they’re months away, the time for planning your holiday
campaign is now. Fortunately, as you’ve told us on our Facebook
poll, many of you are now starting your holiday campaign planning.
Here are our top 10 tips for kicking your holiday campaign into high gear.
(If it helps, try tackling some of these while relaxing by the lake.)
Decide on your goals –
It may sound very basic, but thinking about what you want to achieve
with your holiday campaign is critical to creating the right strategy.
As you think about your business right now, what is most important? It
could be to increase your customer base, profit, or revenue. Keep in
mind that it’s unlikely you will be able to do all of these things, so
pick one or two.
Develop your budget –
Your budget will help you decide what channels you can afford to use.
Email marketing and social media marketing are two channels that don’t
cost much and usually have very high return on investment, so consider
making them a major part of your plan.
Look back at last year –
In looking at what you did (or did not do) last year, what worked and
what didn’t? Think about how you can improve upon what you did last
year, and don’t be afraid to recycle something that worked particularly
well. You can always spin your recycled offer as “back by popular
Get familiar with key dates –
You may have the big holidays covered, but there are many other key
dates to keep in mind. Are there any quirky holidays you can use to
stand out from the crowd? What are the can’t-miss dates for your
Choose what you want to offer –
As a small business, it can be difficult to stand out from the big-box
retailers during this season, so make sure you include more than just a
discount on your product. Get creative with your offers, and wrap them
up in a personal way that only your small business can. If you’re at a
loss for new ideas, don’t be afraid to ask your customers. Pose a
question on Facebook or Twitter, such as, “What offer would you most
like to see from us this holiday season?” Give your customers a few
options to choose from (along with a write-in option), and be prepared
to use the best idea.
Use an integrated approach –
Think about how your channels work together and which channels reach
your target customer. If email marketing is your primary marketing
vehicle, think about how you can extend your message using social media
and vice versa.
Create a messaging schedule –
Now that you have come up with some ideas for offers and have circled
key dates on your calendar, you will want to come up with a schedule for
promoting those offers. How long do you want your offers to last? When
do you want to start promoting them? When will you use email, and when
will you use social media?
Grow your list – The
holiday season presents great opportunities for reaching new customers,
so use this time to grow your email list and social media following. If
you are a retailer, ask people to sign up for emails during checkout.
Online, make sure you have email sign-up forms on both your website and
social media pages. Consider offering an extra incentive for signing up
for your email list.
Keep the conversation going –
Use social media to keep your customers engaged with you throughout the
season. Start a conversation by asking questions related to your
business. Run a sweepstakes for following/liking you, or consider making
a donation to charity if you get a certain number of likes.
Don’t forget events –
If you host holiday events, use email to invite your customers to
attend, and use social media to talk about the events both during and
after. Consider having an event to get people excited about your
business, such as an exclusive presale shopping hour for your email
subscribers. If your business is online only, create a coupon for a
first look at your sale selection before the general public gains
Follow these steps now, and you’ll be able to welcome fall with peace of
mind, knowing you have a fantastic holiday campaign all planned out and
ready to shine.