Consumer/Lifestyle Branding Digest, February 24, 2016

Apple’s Brand Hangs in the Balance of Its FBI Standoff
(Mashable, 19.02.16)

Apple’s showdown with the FBI over access to an encrypted iPhone has been hailed by privacy advocates as a bold idealistic stand against the U.S. government’s overbearing mass surveillance system.

You Won’t Grow Your Business Relying on These 3 Marketing Myths
(Entrepreneur, 08.02.16)

There’s a lot of money to be made online. In 2014, more than $300 billion dollars was spent online according to The Internet Retailer. The Internet offers opportunity.

Branding in the Age of Social Media
(Harvard Business Review, 01.03.16)

In the era of Facebook and YouTube, brand building has become a vexing challenge. This is not how things were supposed to turn out. A decade ago most companies were heralding the arrival of a new golden age of branding. They hired creative agencies and armies of technologists to insert brands throughout the digital universe. Viral, buzz, memes, stickiness, and form factor became the lingua franca of branding. But despite all the hoopla, such efforts have had very little payoff.

6 Ways to Capture and Keep Your Audience’s Attention Online
(Search Engine Journal, 29.12.16)

With nearly a billion websites online, there is a lot of competition vying for your audience’s attention. Granted, many of those websites won’t be your direct competitors, but they do create plenty of distractions you need to break through if you want to capture and keep your audience’s attention.

“Best way to sell something—don’t sell anything. Earn the awareness, respect and trust of those who might buy.” —Rand Fishkin

Lifestyle Branding Digest, June 3, 2015

Creating Insight-Driven Experiences to Build Brands
(The Huffington Post, 19.05.15)

A buzz-worthy and breakthrough ad campaign can seem like pure magic, belying the rigor behind the concept. Account planners and strategists mine the psyches of their target audiences to unearth insights that the creative team uses as the foundation to inform their ideas. However, this same kind of rigor doesn’t always extend to other marketing disciplines. When it comes to experiential marketing, many brands and agencies spent a lot of time and energy thinking through the experience they want to create and neglect to give equal weight to considering the experience their consumers want to have. Tapping insights can help architect an experience that feels like a moment of kismet, adding dimension to the brand and bringing it to life in a way no other medium can.

Interactive Ads Are Not Gimmicks but ROI Boosters
(Marketing Week, 12.05.15)

Recent ‘interactive’ poster campaigns from Birds Eye, Carlsberg and Pepsi haven’t just been gimmicks, but are part of a strategic move to get greater exposure and returns from outdoor advertising investment.

Small Business Best Practices for Generating Brand Awareness
(Small Business Trends, 08.03.15)

Small business digital marketing, and specifically display advertising, is about more than just generating immediate clicks. Marketers now have the opportunity to develop campaigns to specifically brand services and products for generating brand awareness.

Hiring for Cultural Fit at the Top
(Strategy Business, 02.01.15)

Bringing a new C-level executive on board is always fraught with risk: Any misstep can be expensive and embarrassing. As a result, companies may play it safe by looking for someone with just the right CV or perhaps a recent stint at a high-flying competitor. Who does the board like? What will the analysts think?

“On what high-performing companies should be striving to create: A great place for great people to do great work.” —Marilyn Carlson

Pumped by Circumstance

Another successful summer intern class has graduated from @erwwpr after totally energizing our offices. In New York City, we salute Lauren Carson (St. Anselm), assigned to our consumer Buzz Group; Joshua Johnson (Penn State), who worked on consumer accounts; Ally Norton (Boston College) and Audrey Schnell (North Carolina), who worked with healthcare clients; and Kate Urbach (James Madison), assigned to new business and marketing. In Pittsburgh, Cassie Lenski (James Madison), Anne Merrick (Pitt), Shay Myrick (Point Park) and Alexandra Salerno (St. Bonaventure) were tasked with various projects to help promote One Young World, which is headed to Pittsburgh in October.

The Right Way to Draw Fashion Fans

Originally posted on Euro RSCG Worldwide’s Social Life and Social Media blog.

From designers and stylists to publicists and event managers, Fashion Week in New York is one of the most important platforms for fashion hopefuls. They all get a chance to make a name for themselves and obtain a following to help sell their designs or services. But like a good PR strategy, they’ve got to do it right.

Just because you’ve already got a presence online via social media doesn’t mean you’ll get results similar to your competitors. A brand can’t rush into a campaign without a clear plan. Manuel De La Cruz’s Fall/Winter 2010 show is a good example of this.

De La Cruz, an up-and-coming designer, has generated decent buzz on blogs frequented by models and stylists. His team had postings on FashionIndie’s event listings page and generated Facebook fans to help promote his show. There were even several tweets from models and stylists leading up to the show to help create buzz.

De La Cruz’s team had all the right tools, such as a huge Facebook fan base, to help establish the brand in this industry, but without proper direction, the profiles are pointless. Brands need to do more than just create social profiles. They need to engage with their followers and leverage their online presence for additional editorial opportunities.

There were a few blog posts and tweets after the De La Cruz show that focused their attention on the jewelry and after party, with little mention of the actual clothes:

  • “His use of some fantastic futuristic accessories from Dany Escobar saved the women’s looks from being a total bore.” – The Fashion Loving Stylist
  • @hauteheaded: Manuel de la Cruz show was amazing #NYFW loving the ear pieces!
  • @MLYBblog: Jewelry collection is strong at Manuel De La Cruz love the womans cuffs #nyfw
  • @JasonCPeters: Headed to Manuel De La Cruz Afterparty!

The brand mentions are good to have, but for an up-and-coming designer, you want the brand messaging to focus on the actual looks, which helps lend credibility to your designs.

Here are some strategies De La Cruz’s team—and the representatives of every designer—could implement to help sustain the buzz and produce additional editorial focusing on the collection, beyond the show:

  • Leverage editorial relationships. The team had a profile on the FashionIndie network and posted event listings. However, they could have also reached out to the FashionIndie editors/owners (or those of another high-traffic, syndicated blog) to create a partnership, offering exclusive content and photos to use before and after the show.
  • Use video to speak with customers. A casting call for models or a behind-the-scenes film could have been distributed to fashion blogs and forums; v-blogs that explained the concept behind the collection could have been sent to online fashion communities. Behind-the-stage photos and videos can break the barrier between brand and consumer, which can lead to more brand loyalty and help maintain momentum beyond a show.
  • A call to Twitter. A “call to action” for guests, especially the media, can be invaluable. A simple card with a Twitter handle and hashtag could have helped encourage conversation about De La Cruz’s clothes. A handle that interacted and engaged with guests and potential customers could have helped even more with brand loyalty and discussion about the collection.
  • Embrace the electronic age. De La Cruz’s press kit and line sheets were printed out. During Fashion Week, editors go from one event to another and can’t carry a lot of stuff. My friends at Details and GQ have said they prefer a USB drive or CD that’s easily portable and contains all the important documents: high-resolution photos, press release, line sheets, etc. Electronic press kits make journalists’ job easier during this stress-filled week.

The fashion industry is definitely a difficult one to survive in. However, with the right plan and appropriate PR strategies, a brand can go from unknown to viral.