Brand Conflicts: When Messaging does not Coincide with Reality

Last week I was in the local mall getting a jump on holiday shopping. I happened to be in one of the two malls that has opened a Microsoft Retail store. I was curious to see what it was like as I always enjoy browsing the Apple store. My first reaction; what a blatant copy of the Apple store! The glass, the layout inside, the wandering employees, their version of the Genius Bar, etc. Here is a pic I shot from my iPhone (hehe) from outside the store. My second reaction was wow, they have the audacity to do it
Show Me More

Twitter Mania: It's More Than "I'm sipping coffee now"

Twitter usage is exploding. It’s gone from silly, self-indulgent status updates such as “I’m sipping coffee now” to another Internet wild west. Business professionals are experimenting with this social media channel trying to discover where it can drive real value to their business. There are success stories, especially in the realm of big brands offering coupons. Besides every tenth person you meet claiming to offer social media services (that’s more madness than mania), I would like to demonstrate the mania by the crop of new tools and services around this channel. Here is a list of a variety of tools
Show Me More

Extending Our Own Immersive Brand Experience

Rhythm Interactive has moved into a place of its own. On June 30th, we moved into an awesome building in the Bacchus Signature Series park in Irvine, California. There are numerous benefits with our move but the one I would like to speak about here is how we are making it our own and truly extending our brand. In so doing, we are practicing what we preach by further developing our own “Immersive Brand Experience.” Since we had an empty shell to work with, much like a blank piece of paper, we started from scratch. We worked with our architect
Show Me More

Benefits of Email Marketing Compared to Direct Mail

Industry reports continue showing email marketing provides the highest return on investment for every dollar spent compared to all other marketing channels. According to the Direct Marketing Association, in 2008 email marketing’s Return on Investment was $45.06 for every dollar spent. In comparison, marketing via catalogs returned $7.28 for every dollar spent. Even though email marketing outperforms direct mail in a dollar-to-dollar comparison, integrating the two channels remains an important strategy to reach the desired target with the maximum effectiveness since both are effective in allowing a corporation to send out their message to a targeted and perhaps pre-qualified audience.
Show Me More

Microsoft Launches 'Decision Engine' Bing

The $100 million advertising campaign for Microsoft’s new search engine Bing tells me that it is something special. According to Microsoft, “Bing will help you make smarter, faster decisions. We included features that deliver the best results, presented in a more organized way to simplify key tasks and help you make important decisions faster.” I bing-ed around the website and found some helpful features: •    Bing xRank chronicles the most popular searches by category, including celebrities, musicians and bloggers •    Bing Translator lets users translate text and web pages •    Bing Travel provides airfare and hotel reservations and predicts the
Show Me More

Traditional vs. Interactive Marketing for Mother's Day

In the past, shopping for a Mother’s Day gift involved calling a florist or going into a store and buying flowers, as well as a card. Now we have the Internet – which boasts free e-cards and websites solely dedicated to flowers, gifts, apparel, poems…and the list goes on. Since the economy is still looking dismal, Mother’s day spends were expected to drop 10% this year to $14 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. I noticed during the few weeks before Mother’s Day this year that flower companies had stepped up their marketing efforts with both traditional and interactive
Show Me More

Making Video Work for You

Video is hot. Technology has lowered the barriers of entry for companies to incorporate quality video productions into their marketing communications. Obviously, there are large corporate brands that shoot full-scale productions for national TV commercials but not all companies are able to afford the media buy associated with a campaign of that scale. If you’re a marketer on a tighter budget, you can still make video work for you. Here’s how you do it. 1. Clearly define your idea. What story do you want to tell? Are you informing, persuading, training? What do you want to achieve and what should
Show Me More

A Virtual Department Store Makeup Counter?

Many brands have made the shift to online marketing and are taking advantage of the many tools out there to connect with customers. I recently read an article about cosmetics companies using social media tools and interactive websites to reach out to consumers and help them find products that truly fit their needs. As a woman shopping for makeup, skincare and hair products that are high in quality, sometimes I see products and wonder what they could really do for ME personally.  L’Oreal Paris has created something that can help people like me who need information on new products and
Show Me More

The $25 Million Dollar Phone Number

How far will a company go to brand itself? Successful branding relies on marketing that relates a ‘need’ for a company’s product or service to its target audiences.  Nutrition firm Natrient LLC has gone the route of purchasing the rights to a phone number that will most likely resonate with thousands, but does not directly relate to its products in any way. In 1981, Tommy Tutone sang a song about a girl named Jenny…you know the rest. Natrient purchased the rights to 800-867-5309 for a whopping $25 million, hoping to connect with their target audiences through the recollection of this
Show Me More

How E-Book Readers Measure Up

As an avid reader, my shelves are full of books, most of them read, some unread. Many regular staples in the print industry—magazines, newspapers—have gone online with positive results. The newest thing to hit plain old paperback books is the e-book reader. I remember reading about these devices a few years back, and they continue to intrigue me. While holding a book is a favorite pastime for many, some have come to embrace the sleek and inviting e-book reader that may hold their entire library of favorite books. There are two popular e-book readers out there: the Amazon Kindle 2
Show Me More