Text 2 Apr Q: You Say You Want a Revolution?

A: How a “Revolution” reinvented advertising, led to a revolt by the Beatles & reinvigorated the Greek goddess of victory

"Nike & The Beatles" is a very entertaining read. I wonder how that kid named Michael turned out. 

Text 8 Mar 1 note Advertising or Fadvertising?

Remember planking? Maybe. Tebowing? Possibly. Gangnam? Seems so long ago already. If your advertising is based around fads, your brand strategy will surely suffer. With the internet exploiting fads at lightning speed, fads have a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shelf life. Like a TV show that relies heavily on pop cultural references, if your brand relies on fadvertising, your message will quickly become dated and consumers alienated. They won’t be laughing with you, they’ll be laughing at you. So, put away that “great Harlem Shake idea” and tell a good story that people can talk about a year or two from now. 

Text 7 Jan battle of the brands: menchie’s vs. yogurtland

Relatively speaking, Menchie’s is the “youngin’”. Yogurtland is the “old guard”. But, who has the cooler & (more importantly) more effective social media strategy? Let’s take a social media taste test.

Yogurtland has contests such as “5 words or less” and “Tweet of the week”. Cool. Sweet. They keep people coming back and engaged. They have 288,000 “Likes” on FB. However, Yogurtland only has 7800 followers (up from a mere 52 in late 2012) on Twitter. They’ve stepped up their game with the customer interaction and results are showing. However, the ones that thank and recognize their customers don’t use “@” on the Twitter name so the customer isn’t notified that the company is thanking them. A missed “thank you” is almost as bad as no “thank you” at all. And this is something that is as easy to fix as it is inexplicable. Not cool.

Each has around 200 locations, but in the social media landscape, size doesn’t matter. The layout of each store necessitates you walk by the front counter where you’re warmly greeted with a cheery “Hello” from one of their employees. On Twitter, they have 2800+ tweets and 13,000+ followers. They’re retweeting customers’ pics and thoughts, interacting and giving out info on their flavors and stores. It’s 3-dimensional – and it’s working. What a difference vs. Yogurtland!

Each brand presents a lively experience within each store. Bright and colorful. Tasteful and tasty. They appeal to people of all ages with a simple product, sold in a very similar fashion. Yet, no two experiences are the same. They are both about individual choices. Does that carry forward into their social media presence? Sometimes. Is that enough? No.

Menchie’s and Yogurtland should turn up the temperature on their social media strategies and find new ways to inject the warmth and charm that we encounter with each visit while making the audience feel like each experience is their own, tailored to them.

Their brands need consistency and better engagement to reach customers in many different ways. They could each sample from each other and see what’s working. A little Oreo here, a little blueberries there. Voila.

Yogurtland and Menchie’s, give your brands a twist.

Text 5 Nov 1 note Battle of the Brands: Home Depot vs. Lowe’s

With fall here and the holidays just around the corner, I wanted to review how to big brands are battling each other in the social media space. With 1.77 million likes, Lowe’s has double the amount of eyeballs on Facebook. However, Home Depot leads with a Twitter audience of 98,000 vs 72,000 and has outpaced Lowe’s with the number of tweets by 1.5 times.

Without coming out and saying it directly, Home Depot has positioned itself as the Do-It-Yourself partner. Meanwhile, Lowe’s is your home improvement partner. There’s a difference and that’s where they really start to diverge.

Home Depot is using videos and YouTube for instructional purposes which complements their in-store classes on how to do things yourself (for example, fixing a leaky faucet). Meanwhile, the Lowe’s videos are more about how to buy the right drill. Useful, but once again, it’s a different strategy.

Both use the power of video (and their combined 83 million YouTube views each show that power) to engage with the customer and brand themselves to make a distinct message. 

I’d say Home Depot does it better. Their social media strategy is grounded with what they’ve been about all along: DIY. While the subtle message is learn from us / buy from us, Lowe’s is more upfront with their videos of personnel in Lowe’s clothing in a Lowe’s store giving you guidance on purchases.

Home Depot puts the power of doing more and the power of saving more directly in the consumers’ hands through their social media branding.

Text 17 Jul Breaking Brands: Umami Burger

Umami – unique, delicious, cult-like. They know burgers, but do they know social media? First, there’s no click-over from Umami’s home page (which is branded with other restaurants under the parent company umbrella). Log on to Facebook and you’ll find a fragmented, hard-to-follow social media strategy that is far from warm, delicious and comforting. The Facebook strategy is to have a page per location. There isn’t a branded corporate page; one central location for their quickly growing chain. At first, each location seems to have its own Facebook page. Not so fast. Because Umami has more locations (10) than FB pages (4 that I could find). Collectively, the pages have about 15,000 likes, with the LaBrea spot collecting more than 11,000 of those.

Meanwhile, their Twitter account force feeds its 8000+ followers Umami facts and has more of a ‘check us out!’ feel instead of a community-building one. While they do interact with customers with a genuine feeling of appreciation for everyone having an Umami experience, the brand falls short of all its capabilities with these tools.

Umami is about being unique. The feel and experience on social media should reflect that. It should also speak to the quality and care they put into every aspect of the dining experience: ingredients, approach, etc. You’ve got a passionate following, but if you make it difficult to find you on the web and you don’t give people new, interesting info to like or share, the social media experience is flat and not unique at all. Umami’s burgers may stand out, but its social media strategy does not.

Umami, your brand is broken.

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