Archive for the ‘Brand’ Category

Your Brand In A Single Word?

December 29, 2010

Can your prospects and customers sum up your product or service in a single word?

If not, your product or service is not a brand.

For each additional word it takes to describe your company’s products and services double the amount of competitors you will have to defeat in order to earn a share of your target audience’s attention let alone wallet.


Facebook: The Brand Experience Channel?

May 18, 2010

A long time friend and I were talking today about his recent privacy score of .09 on Facebook.

Because he is a well known author and speaker within his industry he is a celebrity of sorts and as such he lives his life publicly both offline and online – particularly within his Facebook account.

Hence his .09 privacy score.

As both a celebrity and brand he expects less privacy than most and was only somewhat concerned about his .09.

I on the other hand have a 10.0 Facebook privacy score – which also coincidentally confirms I am not a celebrity – so he and I occupy opposite ends of the privacy continuum.

He also knows I think Facebook is a waste my attention and keystrokes.

Today he surprised me with his “case” for marketing on Facebook.

My friend stages seminars across the U.S. and Costa Rica and sells his products online.

He has lots of Facebook “friends” and uses Facebook primarily as a channel for staying connected to his customers.

He then floored me when he said he has gotten new business as a result of the time he has spent connecting with customers i.e., “marketing” on Facebook.

No way!

Yes way – he insiststed!

I asked how.

He cited two examples –

1). Three previous prospects contacted through other media channels converted into buyers after “friending” him and his then friending them back.

2). Fourteen new seminar attendees became buyers as a result of being friends of his existing friends (customers / buyers).

Are you kidding me?

While he didn’t have hard data supporting his claims, he was personally convinced the sales resulted in the manner he outlined.

His case then for using Facebook as a channel for maintaining relationships with customers began to sound pretty compelling.

I was somewhat taken back.

How could Facebook actually produce new customers?

After further investigation and discussion, I concluded Facebook Fan pages or Facebook sites set up to cultivate and maintain business relationships on behalf of personalities and brands like my friend who provide valuable noteworthy experiences can produce new buyers because Facebook users who are satisfied with a particular brand who in turn post about the good times they had with the product or service can capture, communicate and convey the consumer’s unique experience and perception of the brand.

This type of experience and perspective is generally considered more trustworthy than that of the brand’s marketing and advertising messaging which tells consumers what they should think experiences with the brand will be like.

Isn’t the implicit message of a trusted friend more valuable than almost any brand’s explicit message?

In my friend’s case, he provides an experience his buyers often want to share with their friends -and they do en masse- which in turn results in positive word of mouth being generated and spread to friends of their friends and their network of friends.


Thus the friend’s message becomes an implicit endorsement which can then travel freely across the social network as far as the network decides is appropriate.

Although I am still not convinced Facebook’s power as a direct response channel will ever rival Google’s, I can now see how Facebook’s potential as a “brand experience channel’ may find traction with marketers provided they don’t abuse their friends and fan’s trust in the process.

Business Owners: Why Is This The Single Most Important Page On The Web?

March 31, 2010

Most businesses think their homepage is the single most important page on the web and rightfully so.

However, for any business other than those with a well established offline brand and a corresponding branded domain name, such is not the case.

The Single Most Important Place On The Web

The Single Most Important Place On The Web


What happens to those businesses without well established brands who’s prospects or customers don’t know exactly where to find them online?

They first ask for directions from Google, the single most important page on the web.

Reaching Brand Advertising Impression Goals?

September 5, 2009

Watching a college football game for the first time in what seemed like years, I noticed an innovative brand advertising placement from Allstate Insurance.

Brand Advertising Impression Goals

Brand Advertising Impression Goals

Apparently field goal net advertising has been in use for several years but tonight was the first time I noticed a brand’s ad there.

With the price for the consumers attention at an all time high, will we soon see more innovative brand message placements in traditional media like those now appearing in college football field goal nets?

When will the NFL start leasing their field goal net “real estate” to brand advertisers like Allstate?

Surely NFL field goal advertising is imminent.

What other traditional media consumer attention zones could become potential brand advertising hot spots?

Online Advertising Offline Sales Lift Greater Than Television

August 17, 2009

comScore has released a study in conjunction with dunnhumbyUSA showing online advertising to be on par with television advertising in growing retail sales of consumer packaged goods brands.

From the comScore release:

Over the course of twelve weeks, online ad campaigns with an average reach of 40 percent of their target segment successfully grew retail sales of the advertised brands by an average of 9 percent. This compares to an average lift of 8 percent for TV advertising as measured by Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) and published in their seminal research paper “How Advertising Works.”

Offline Sales Lift

Offline Sales Lift

comScore Executive Chairman Gian Fulgoni had the following comments about the comScore/dunnhumbyUSA research:

“These early results confirm the ability of online advertising to successfully build retail sales of CPG brands on par with the impact of television advertising. It is likely that the more precise targeting ability of the Internet – especially in terms of accurately reaching the desired demographic segment — is a key reason for its effectiveness. That is meaningful in and of itself, but when you take into account the fact that online advertising is generally less costly than television, these results take on even greater significance.”

Hernan Lopez, COO, Fox International Channels and dot.Fox Networks commented:

“While there is no doubt that advertising can increase sales, measuring that effect is very hard to do. comScore and dunnhumbyUSA’s robust methodology has without question achieved that goal and puts online display in the select club of media that can generate measurable sales in the short-term and build brands in the long term.”

I expect to see more studies like this one from comScore/dunnhumbyUSA comparing the effectiveness of online display advertising to other major media’s display advertising counterpart – particularly television’s – from both Madison Avenue and the Online Advertising Industry over the next several years.

Online display advertising will eventually have its day – when that day will arrive still remains to be seen.

Search Arbitrage: Bing Targeting Local Search… On Google

June 12, 2009

Last week, I wrote about how Microsoft’s was buying ads on Google to promote its new search engine Bing.

With Bing’s launch, Microsoft said it planned to target four distinct categories: shopping, local, travel and health.

Today while logged into my Gmail account, I noticed the following Google Adwords ad for Bing targeting local search.

Bing Local Search Decisions

Bing Local Search Decisions

The Official Bing site ad reads: Local decisions. Get Pricing, Maps and Reviews For Local Businesses.

Clicking the Bing ad takes visitors to site where the Bing search box is prepopulated with the “Business, category and/or location” prompt.

Bing Business Category or Location

Bing Business Category or Location

Upon entering a business name, Bing presupposes my search is for a local business and provides a list of results from my city.

Bing Local Business Search

Bing Local Business Search

Entering a business category produces search results from the same locale as the business name search.

Bing Local Category Search

Bing Local Category Search

A Microsoft brand search produces a list of businesses that apparently carry Microsoft branded products within the same locality.

Bing Local Brand Search Microsoft

Bing Local Brand Search Microsoft

Any predictions on how this search / search arbitrage will pan out for Microsoft’s Bing?

Google Marketing Research Study: The Brand Value of Search

May 10, 2009

Google commissioned OTX, an independent marketing research company, to conduct research to better understand the impact of search impressions on travel brands, specifically the Air, Hotel, Car Rental, Cruise and OTA Travel Categories.

The primary objectives of the OTX project were to determine:

1). Whether or not a search ad can impact key branding metrics.

2). Whether or not a search result’s placement matters.

The study was conducted in an online controlled “laboratory” format that mimicked a real search experience. Subjects were exposed to 1 of 12 search engine results pages (SERP) each of which showed the same search results  and differed only where the test brand’s ad or organic listing appeared.

The results of Google’s Brand Value of Search study are available on YouTube.

Twitter and Skittles: An Experiment in Open Social Branding

March 2, 2009

In what may be a first from a major brand, Skittles has begun experimenting with integrating community comments and inputs into its online presence via Twitter Search and RSS feed.

The website has become a mashup of the brand and its community’s Tweet stream.

I am not sure what the short term or long term implications will be for the brand, but one thing is for sure this particular mashup approach is innovative by any definition.

In exchange for participating in the new website, visitors are asked to simply provide their birthday.

Skittles Audience

Skittles Audience

I suspect by day’s end with this simple request Skittles will have a more clear idea of who their online audience is vis-a-vis their average age.

Seems Skittles should have also asked whether their visitors were male or female – unless of course Skittles assumed the majority of their online visitors were going to be male.

The new Skittles home page still has a navigation box in the upper left hand corner where visitors can reach the brand’s website.

Taste The Rainbow

Taste The Rainbow

After being on the site for a while I received the following dialog box:

Return to Skittles Home Page

Return to Skittles Home Page

Unfortunately, I wasn’t ever able to reach the traditional home page from my Mac with  Safari or Firefox browsers.

I guess I will have to Tweet my experience with the new website on Twitter.

YouTube Now Considered A Google Adwords Search Partner?

January 19, 2009

Over the weekend I noticed some of my clients Google Adwords ads – not YouTube Sponsored Video ads – began displaying in YouTube search results.

I don’t recall seeing or selecting YouTube search as a distribution option in my Adwords dashboard.

However, I think distributing brand related keyword ads to YouTube search results is a logical evolution in both the Google Adwords text ad distribution platform and YouTube search.

According to comScore, if YouTube were to stand alone it would be the second largest searched site after Google itself.

Where will Adwords advertisers soon find YouTube as an ad distribution option in their Adwords account?

Will they find it under the Networks and Bidding options?

Google Networks Bidding

Google Networks Bidding

Or will we see it after learning about the Google Search Network?

Google Search Network

Google Search Network

Its not yet in the list of Google Search partners today but I it soon could be…

Google Search Network Partners

Google Search Network Partners

Unless of course, Google’s ownership of YouTube doesn’t technically require them to identify and disclose YouTube as a search partner.

I guess Google’s considering YouTube an extended part of Google search would still be technically correct.

Won’t we soon learn which path Google has chosen?

Borrowed and Blended Brand Images

January 16, 2009

I don’t know what to think of the following two brand images which appear strikingly similar to each other.

Barack Obama Twitter

Barack Obama Twitter

Barack Obama



Refresh Everything – Pepsi.

Which brand has borrowed and blended their image from the other?