Tuesday, September 20, 2011

POP-UP Brand Marketing Strategies

The conceptual model of pop-up retail is certainly not a new strategy in the brand and product marketing playbook. Pop-up stores have been effectively employed by a number of the world’s most recognizable brands. Most often they are used to introduce new product, gauge consumer interests, and enhance exposure through cleverly placed, transitory concept venues that are designed to generate buzz by creating an out of the ordinary brand experience.

By nature both experiential and ephemeral, the pop-up concept forces a greater degree of interactivity and imaginative engagement between brand and consumer because the timetable to create memorable impressions is accelerated. The consumer desire to experience a pop-up venue is fueled by time sensitivity and exclusive access to the brand. Customers want the opportunity to experience a unique orchestration of art and commerce available to a limited few, given time and space restrictions.

For these orchestrations to be staged and performed symphonically, however, brands must invest extensive economic and operational resources in these intentionally limited interval sprints designed to generate excitement among a limited consumer base able to experience them. The persistent question among brand marketers continues to be how to most effectively scale an innovative pop-up strategy to achieve maximum exposure impact. Enter the mobile medium, and the introduction of a new, complimentary approach to pop-up experiential marketing.

The essence of the pop-up experience is time sensitivity, location and exclusivity. Much the same is true when speaking of the differentiated elements of the mobile medium. The mobile medium is location aware, dialed-in to time, intensely personal, action-oriented, and integrated into the social DNA of the digital native consumer. As such, the medium conveys a unique value proposition to experiential brand marketing – offering a transitive platform for a more scalable and consistent pop-up retail delivery infrastructure.

The end goal for any mobile optimized pop-up engagement campaign can vary. From driving store traffic to providing game clues through QR code scans to an invitation-only event, or from delivering limited availability product and promotional offers to showcase exclusive branded production content. The true value is in the platform that couriers the message and ensures a more cost effective and consistent series of consumer encounters with the brand. These campaigns effectually serve as component extensions of a comprehensive experiential pop-up marketing strategy.

To intelligently integrate mobile for this highly scalable model, considerations must be given to the aspects of the medium that make it unique. Whereas the physical pop-up experience is spatially focused – with considerations concentrated primarily on location, staging, atmosphere, and exhibition – the success of pop-up mobile encounters is predicated on creating actionable mobile moments that adhere to the following fundamental premises:

The Mobile Consumer is a Moving Target

The mobile medium is constantly connected and often in motion. As such, it represents the ideal events-driven medium for engaging consumers in a pop-up fashion. Effective mobile events, when properly orchestrated, consist of actionable, properly sequenced occurrences and provide an instantaneous portal into the brand encounter. This ability to effectively market in the moment bridges communication lag, with precision aim focused at the moving target.

The Mobile Medium is Transitive

Mobile provides a consistent interface for customers to assist in the navigation of an ever-evolving ecosystem of digital consumer touch-points. The transitive functions of the mobile medium provide the continuous messaging and engagement capabilities necessary to deliver a pop-up marketing model. This model ensures a balanced, timely, and relevant encounter with the brand, providing heightened degrees of interaction.

The Mobile Medium is Contextually Aware

Location and time recognition capabilities specific to the medium allow savvy pop-up mobile marketers to engage consumers in a contextually relevant manner. The effectiveness of any pop-up mobile marketing campaign is predicated on being relevant. Communicating branded messaging with an understanding of time and space creates interaction momentum and encourages consumer engagement.

Pop-up retail marketing is fundamentally designed to provide a metaphysical outlet for brands to see beyond the boundaries of their own brick and mortar and provide experiences for consumers that excite, entertain, and illustrate the innovation of the brand. The mobile medium is uniquely equipped to provide that same level of intrigue, based on an understanding of the context through which a consumer engages in brand encounters. The imaginations of marketers are free to guide consumers along a collaborative journey and create truly engaging, consistent, and scalable experiences that build intimacy and loyalty, while highlighting the creative vision and innovative nature of the brand.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ad of the Day: Google "The Web Is What You Make Of It"

NFL = Brand King

The NFL season kicks off tonight with the Packers v. Saints. The NFL is widely recognized as the #1 sport in America, having replaced our “national pastime,” baseball. There are many reasons for this change over the last generation. One key to the success of the NFL is its branding.

NFL players themselves are often barely recognizable. The viewers and fans know them in uniforms and helmets. NFL uniforms only appears in commercials from sponsors and I’m sure after a process of review and approval.

The NFL is a branding machine. Sponsors line up to pay huge amounts to associate themselves with the NFL. Fans pay large sums for jerseys and other merchandise. How have they done it?
Part of the success is because the NFL  puts forth its brand in a cohesive manner. Their trademarks are well protected – most teams own trademark registration for  several variations of their logos, helmets designs and uniform designs. Only two brands, besides the NFL teams, are allowed to be a part of the game in any manner — Gatorade beverages and Motorola headsets worn by the coaches — and those rights come at a cost.

The NFL CBA contains significant provisions related to branding and licensing that provide some insight into how the NFL controls its brands to its advantage.

-Every NFL player contract must include the NFLPA Group Licensing Program provisions.

-The NFLPA Group Licensing Program clause grants widespread rights to the NFL including rights to use and to authorize others to use, in any format and for any purpose, a player’s:
name, nickname, initials, likeness, image, picture, photograph, animation, persona, autograph/signature, voice and all other id characteristics.

-Players must wear jerseys with sponsor logos if asked to.

-The NFL and Clubs have the right to “regulate any third party branding or other commercial identification that may appear on any footwear or gloves worn by players”.  (With footwear and gloves being the only part of the uniform that players have any control over.)

-On game days, from before the game until 90 minutes after the game – as well as at any training camp or practice – players must wear uniforms and other items as specified by the NFL or the team.

-During any television interview on team premises, a player may not wear or display any item that displays any other logos or brand names other than those from the NFL.

-The NFL can require any player to wear a tracking device for the purposes of broadcasting games.

-NFL Films can mic any player during any game, except that no player will be required to wear a microphone more than 4 times during the regular season.

As a result, the NFL controls its brand – through its players – excessively.  And therefore the brand is cohesive, strong, and extremely valuable. If any player could endorse a cheap product and wear NFL merchandise in a commercial to make it look like the team or league was also endorsing it, the value of the NFL brand would be cheapened. If players could conduct interviews or practice where tee shirts promoting brands that complete with the NFL’s official licensing partners, the value of the licenses would be diminished. NFL has wisely made itself the brand king.

An article in the Wall Street Journal this week highlights just how valuable the NFL brand has become….”the league and PepsiCo Inc. are set to announce a 10-year, extension of their sponsorship deal that ultimately could be valued at $2.3 billion through the 2022 playoffs, making it one of the largest sponsorships to date in U.S. sports.”

Even if your business is a minute fraction of the size of the NFL’s , your brand is just as important to your success. By properly using trademarks, registering them where possible, and when appropriate, controlling how they are used by employees and partners, any company can become the king or queen of its own brand.

Top 10 Star Trek Episodes of All-Time

45 years ago today, Star Trek premiered on NBC. Seventy-nine episodes, an animated series, eleven movies, and four spin-off series later; the little show that NBC cancelled after three seasons has become a cornerstone of science fiction. What better occasion to list the ten best episodes of the Original Series?

All of these episodes are available for online streaming on StarTrek.com.

1. The City on the Edge of Forever

I doubt anyone would disagree that this is the best episode of the Original Series, and possibly of all Trek. This is the one where McCoy, while tripping out on drugs, runs through the Guardian of Forever and prevents Joan Collins from being killed, which prevents America from entering WWII due to her pacifist activism. So Kirk has to go back in time, fall in love with her, and then watch her get hit by a truck. Watch this episode on the official site.

2. Mirror, Mirror

Spock has a goatee! Admit it, when you saw that for the first time; you thought it was the coolest thing ever. Kirk gets tossed into an alternate universe where the Federation is a warlike empire and manages to get to the Spock of that universe, who we later learn in DS9 was able to change things. Watch this episode on the official site.

3. Space Seed

 Khaaaaaaaaaaaan! This little episode, where the Enterprise finds genetically engineered supermen frozen in stasis would lead to the best Star Trek movie ever made. If you haven’t seen it, watch this episode on the official site.

4. The Trouble With Tribbles

This is perhaps one of the most famous of all Original Series episodes. It’s lighthearted, and a lot of fun. They even chose this episode to revisit when on Deep Space Nine they wanted to include that crew in an Original Series episode. Watch this episode on the official site.

5. Balance of Terror

Romulans look just like Vulcans? Your brain explodes! One of the best episodes of the Original Series introduced the Romulans, who would become a major race in the franchise, as well as giving some future-history when the Earth-Romulan war is talked about. Had Enterprise continued, we would’ve seen that war. Watch this episode on the official site.

6. The Doomsday Machine

How does Kirk destroy an indestructible planet killer? By flying a starship inside it and blowing it up! Watch this episode on the official site.

7. Amok Time
Spock has to return to Vulcan because he’s horny, and while there he and Kirk fight to the death. Complete with That Fight Music. One of the more famous episodes of the original Trek, if only for That Fight Music. Watch this episode on the official site.

8. Arena
The episode that forever put California’s Vasquez Rocks on the map. They used that filming location numerous times over the history of Star Trek, but it is 'Arena' that made it famous. Kirk’s ingenuity is on display in this episode when he makes a bazooka out of almost nothing to kill the Gorn. Watch this episode on the official site.

9. Devil in the Dark
This is Shatner’s favorite Star Trek episode, and for good reason. Nothing really funny to say about this episode, as it’s pretty much a perfect example of what Star Trek can and should be. Watch this episode on the official site.

10. Journey to Babel  
Journey to Babel is like a murder mystery on the Enterprise, with Vulcans, Andorians, and Tellerites all in on the fun and an Orion tossed in for some flavor. The episode introduced Spock’s parents, who would become major recurring characters in Trek. Watch this episode on the official site.

Friday, September 2, 2011

White House Press Briefings


A little known fact about myself...my guilty pleasure is that I watch or listen to the White House Briefing on a nightly basis. For the most part not because of the content but to watch and listen to how the Press Secretary handles reporters questions.

Just like my younger days as a college QB, the White House Press Secretary has to know about all the moving pieces inside and out of the White House. He or she has to be able to answer,dodge and deflect the press on pretty much any subject they throw out. Quick on your feet just like a QB and smooth just like a good QB, the Press Secretary is the mouth piece of the administration. With new media taking a huge role in communications for the Obama administration the press briefings are live streamed and archived on www.whitehouse.gov

OKmy secret is out..lets keep it between you and I:)

What is Marketing?

Marketing is the business of presenting and promoting goods and services in such a way to make customers want to buy them....Period!

Song of the Day...Talking Heads - "Once In A Lifetime"

Same as it ever was....same as it ever was!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Amway signs Red Wings sponsorship deal

Amway, the network-based direct-sell giant, has inked a deal to become the Detroit Red Wings' first-ever presenting team sponsor.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but the contract is believed to be a two-year, seven-figure deal.

The deal should give a slight boost to the Red Wings' net income, which was estimated for the 2009-10 season by Forbes at $15.3 million (sixth-best in the 30-team National Hockey League) on revenue of $119 million.

It's believed that this currently is the only team-wide presenting sponsorship in the NHL.

Amway's logo will be incorporated into all uses of the Red Wings' team logo that doesn't otherwise use other sponsorship logos, the team said. It will be used on signage throughout the arena, on the ice and elsewhere.

The sponsorship is scheduled to be unveiled during a media event this morning at Joe Louis Arena.

The sponsorship represents increased investment by Amway in the team: It signed a deal to put its logo on the team's practice jerseys and pucks in November.

Also part of the deal:

• Amway's Nutrilite products become the official vitamins and nutritional supplements of the Red Wings.

• The "Red & White" intrasquad scrimmage will be reinstated at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids on Sept. 27. It was last held there in 2007.

• Amway will present the Detroit Red Wings Facebook Fan of the Day and every live social media event put on by the team's social media department, like official Tweetups. The Facebook Fan of the Day will receive Amway's products and an official Red Wings practice puck.

Amway has a number of other pro sports investments: It holds the naming rights of the Amway Center, home to the National Basketball Association's Orlando Magic. The company also is the presenting sponsor of Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes and the Los Angeles Sol of Women's Professional Soccer.

Amway, known for sales of health, beauty, and home care products through network marketing, is owned by Ada-based Alticor Inc., which had revenue last year of $9.2 billion.

3 Reasons Your Brand Needs You.... On YouTube

As technology continues to evolve, video is becoming more and more prevalent across the internet. Even five years ago, filming and publishing professional-grade video content was much more difficult than it is today. From a personal branding standpoint, video is a fantastic tool as it allows your audience to see your face and hear your voice… instead of simply reading text. Below are three great reasons why, if you are serious about personal branding, you need to be on YouTube:

1) Video allows you to connect with your audience in a way no other medium can. Blogging is great. So is a strong social media presence and well-written content on your website. But no medium can provide the type of personal connection that video offers. There is no substitute for this connection.

2) Video allows you to express your personality. The essence of your personal brand is your personality. And video allows you to express yourself far more effectively than any other form of media. From your facial expressions to vocal inflections, video communicates the subtleties that make you unique. Video allows you to express your passions effectively as well—passion is communicated much more clearly through video than through text or pictures.

3) Video is fun and easy for your audience. Let’s face it, reading takes more effort than watching a video. For better or worse, most of us enjoy being able to lean back and simply watch the computer screen rather than actively read. In addition, video is easy to share, both on your website and on social media.

Today’s technology makes establishing a video identity achievable for every single business owner. YouTube and other video-based websites are dramatically growing in popularity every day, so don’t wait until it is too late to jump on this bandwagon.

Ad of the Day: Tape-Maker Duck Pays Homage to 'Tron' With Light Cycle Scene