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Branding Blunders: The Sequel

Branding Blunders_The SequelWe are back with more Branding Blunders! If you missed our last installment of Branding Blunders, check it out! Let’s look at a few situations where branding efforts hurt big brands.

Mange Your Social Media Accounts and Change Your Password
We have become more tech savvy as the we have ventured farther into the new millennium. With the population becoming more tech savvy, passwords need to be changed often. Why? Because you don’t want to experience a PR Nightmare like Burger King. In February of 2013, someone found their way into Burger King’s Twitter page and decided to wreak some havoc. The account hijacker changed the Twitter handle name and avatar to McDonald’s and to the McDonald’s logo, and began to post inappropriate content. The lesson is to constantly manage your Social Media accounts and passwords. And for those of you still using “12345” and “Password” as your passwords, perhaps you deserve to have your accounts hacked.
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Branding Blunders

Branding allows audiences to associate with your brand. However, poor branding can hinder your brand equity, causing it to become less popular in your target consumers’ eyes. Unfortunately, there are several ways in which brands can hurt their image. Here are a few duds to avoid when pursuing branding efforts.

Logo and Slogan Blunders
Have you ever looked at a brand name, logo, or slogan and asked yourself, “How did that get approved?” We assure you that you are not alone. Many companies have attempted to create artsy or clever logos and have ended up harming their brand. The paint company, Sherwin Williams created a logo with a paint can pouring paint over the Earth. The slogan “Cover the Earth” was displayed as  red paint. At a deep or artsy level, one may understand that Sherwin Williams was attempting to brand their company as the all-encompassing paint company that can create paint consisting of all of the colors under the sun. However, we don’t all look at logos from an artsy perspective. One look at the image and you may wonder what Sherwin Williams is really up to. Maybe it’s the dark side in our human nature, but the logo looks like a cartoony death threat. Sherwin Williams clearly did not want to pour blood-red paint over the planet, but the logo’s sinister appearance definitely made consumers wonder in the early 1900s.
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This Year’s Notable Marketing Trends

Image courtesy of www.jeffbullas.com

Image courtesy of www.jeffbullas.com

Marketing is an ever-changing landscape effected by cultural, political, and technological changes. What works today may not work one year from now, or even one month from now. Old trends will die out and new trends will hit the mainstream. Below is a list of trends that are expected to see continued growth throughout the rest of 2014 and into the new year.

Real Time Social Media Marketing
We have mentioned Oreo Cookies many times, and with good reason. Oreo’s “You can still dunk in the dark” Twitter post last year during the Super Bowl blackout, had a major impact on Social Media marketing. No longer were brands keeping their messaging focus solely on their products and brands. Now brands are using pop culture and topical information to reach larger audiences.
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Reddit Continues to Stump Marketers

Reddit AlienThe Internet is vast universe of information constantly expanding at an exponential rate. Like debris out in space, information travels across the web in a seemingly untraceable manor. When you experience a new meme for the first time, do you know its origin? Probably not. Information travels virally from one website to the next, and from device to device. Although a meme’s creation may never be discovered, there is a good chance that it originated at the center of the deep dark depths of the Internet; also known as a website called Reddit. Not long after Reddit was founded in 2005, it began to receive a strong cult following. As the website began to grow in popularity, more and more subpages, known as subreddits (i.e. /r/TodayILearned) began to emerge. Subreddits are specialized pages focusing on a specific topic area using their own moderators, set of rules, and etiquette. As the website has grown over the years, many companies have attempted to market their products via Reddit but have failed because they lacked the necessary information to get in on the action.
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What Shakira teaches us about Personal Branding

Image courtesy of facebook.com/shakira

Image courtesy of facebook.com/shakira

Personal branding is often defined as the practice of individuals marketing themselves, their achievements, and their careers as a brand. Every day, individuals are unintentionally building their personal brand. When you decide what to wear for the day, do you think about how others will evaluate you? You probably do when you are dressing for work or for a celebration. What we are doing in these situations is branding ourselves. When Facebook users post unique pictures of themselves, post a comment or share a news story, or wish their friends a Merry Christmas, they are gaining Social currency, which has become more important with the increase in Social Media usage. Social currency increases your followers’ chances of further Social Media interaction with your Social pages.
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Why Professionals Love WordPress

Image courtesy of triggersandsparks.com

WordPress offers many benefits to bloggers and website builders around the world. In fact, these benefits are the reason why roughly 72 million websites use the open source content management system (CMS). As of 2012, one in four new websites were built using the WordPress platform. When WordPress 3.3 was released, it took less than five months for the new version to exceed 12 million downloads. And the users that utilize WordPress are active; every day, WordPress.com receives around 500,000 new posts from users.

Did you know that big name organizations like NFL, NASA, Ford, and CNN use WordPress? WordPress is more user friendly than the old website building methods, so it is a laymen-friendly form of content management. Here are some of the benefits to using WordPress as your content management system (CMS).
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Vines are Spreading

Vine Social Media PlatformVine is a relatively new Social Media platform with less users than YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Although it has a smaller following, with roughly 40 million users, it is growing rapidly. Vine is a video sharing Social Media platform that allows users to share short, looped videos. Other users can then Like, comment, or “re-vine” the videos, which helps proliferate the video across multiple Social platforms.

Vine may not be the most popular form of Social Media, but it is certainly an important one. In fact, many brands, like Oreo Cookies, have started to utilize Vine in their branding efforts. It is important to note that Vine branding is not meant to replace other Social Media marketing, but rather to accent it and to help form a more diverse integrated marketing strategy. Let’s take a look at the many ways in which Vine can help companies spread their branding message.
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What Marketers Can Learn From “Keep Calm and Carry On”

Keep Calm SloganLove it or hate it, “Keep Calm and Carry On” is one of the most recognizable slogans in the world. Based on Google searches, the slogan reached its peak of popularity in March of 2012 and has slowly been dwindling out of popularity ever since. But where did the slogan and imagery come from? Certainly, at some point in the past few years you have heard hearsay about the origins on of the massively popular slogan, but do you know the true story?

It all began just before World War II broke out on British soil in 1954. The British Ministry of Information wanted to encourage a positive outlook on the Home Front during WWII, and thought the best way to inspire the people may be in the form of propaganda posters. In preparation for the coming war, Britain printed 2.45 million copies of the iconic “Keep Calm and Carry On” posters, and planned to issue them when the war began. However, officials could not agree on whether the message would be well received or not, so the posters were never officially authorized for public view.
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Snapchat’s Geofilter: The New Age of Social Media Marketing?

Image courtesy of value.shellsec.com

The mobile application Snapchat received an update today that has the potential to be very lucrative for Snapchat and marketers alike. The update allows for a fantastical feature called Geofilters. These Geofilters are small, artistic, location-specific designs which pop up in the picture when the user swipes the screen to the side. This new feature allows users to apply sentimental meaning to their photos. Unfortunately, this new feature is only available in select locations, but will hopefully be coming to a town near you. Although this new feature was made for the enjoyment of Snapchat users, it has the potential to bring in some big marketing bucks for the application, should they choose to jump at the opportunity.
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YouTube Surpasses Facebook in Active Users

Image courtesy of youtube.com

Facebook has long been the dominant Social Media platform. In fact, the website and mobile application has gained over 1.3 billion active monthly users. However, Facebook is no longer the king. Last month, YouTube took over as the most popular Social Media website in the world, beating out Facebook with a total of 167,848,349 unique monthly visitors.

What’s unique about YouTube and other video sharing Social platforms is that they typically overlooked when marketers are designing their digital campaigns. Still, there are plenty of brands that market on YouTube, but relatively speaking, there are many fewer than other Social platforms. With this information coming to the surface, many brands need to incorporate YouTube into their branding efforts.
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