Archive for the ‘Branding’ Category

Brands Want To Be Like Mike (and Ike)

For anybody unfamiliar with the Mike and Ike story, for over a year now the popular candy has been engaged in an extensive marketing campaign aimed at re-branding their product. Since April of 2012 Just Born (the owners of the Mike and Ike brand) has been running a social campaign- posting stories about Mike and Ike’s breakup on Facebook, Twitter and various blogging sites.

The reason for the duo’s split was down to ‘creative differences’ after the pair couldn’t agree on new flavours and packaging for the candy. Mike was leaving to focus on his music career (his debut single entitled “Strawberry or Die”) while Ike now had the time to focus on his art. The somewhat controversial twist of the pair also filing for gay divorce made the break up even more intriguing and the story was picked up by various media outlets like the John Stewart show- which only added to the story’s popularity. Viral videos (that continue to upload) on YouTube, as well as the Mike and Ike movie added to the hype surrounding the candy duo’s comeback and made the product re-launch a massive success.

Traffic to the Just Born social media sites (and website) has more than tripled since last year and the brand now has over 1 million fans on Facebook. Just Born has also reported a 7.2% increase in sales- the largest in the brand’s history.

The pillars of the campaign were set primarily in:

  1. The Packaging (or the Physical)- This let people know the campaign was for real. The physical aspect of Mike sometimes being scribbled out on boxes of the candy and other times Ike being so reinforced the story being told and made people question if this was for real.

  2. The Digital-  the ability for the brand’s audience to engage with the story in the form of a the two-way dialogue between the brand and it’s audience was crucial to the campaigns success. Leveraging the power of Social media not only built a following, it kept the audience engaged and turned customers into fans.

For me this campaign not only highlights vital considerations for re-inventing brands, it also offers a blueprint on how to do it. Firstly, it shows just how important social media is- to the re-branding process and to an organisation’s digital strategy. It also shows how important it is to the customer (i.e. the brand’s audience).

Let’s take a closer look at this story and while doing so you might consider how you could apply these steps to your re-branding process:

  • Create an engaging brand narrative that is captivating or humorous (or both) to your target audience.

  • Identify the best ways to engage that audience with the narrative. Between Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and various blogging sites it is likely that the market for Mike and Ike candy engaged with this campaign at some point in time.

  • Decide on the story, decide on the media AND STICK TO IT! The Mike and Ike story has been running for over a year now. Sometimes businesses expect social media to work miracles instantly- and sometimes it can- but more often than not it requires work. This doesn’t mean you can’t eventually become as successful as some of the bigger brands out there (case in point here) and build a sizeable following that actually engages with your product. After all it’s not just likes and shares we are looking for, but rather potential clients and fans.

  • Find out who is popular in your target audience’s circles. Make use of endorsements from celebrities, symbols or figures who can reach a wider audience. In this case, rapper/producer Nelly along with NBA basketball player Lamar Odom were included in the campaign to identify with a specific type of audience. This attached meaning to the story and again added to its intrigue and its humour.

  • REWARD LOYALTY. As a way of ensuring that Mike and Ike’s new found popularity lasted and translated into increased sales, the brand introduced a new flavour- “strawberry reunion”. They are also rewarding customers for their engagement over the past year with numerous special offers, promotions and interactive games on their website and Facebook page. This is an important note that is sometimes overlooked; just because a campaign  is “over” it should never really end (especially one as successful as this). Now that you have done all this hard work and increased your traffic (and hopefully your sales), sustain it’s success as long as possible and use it to get started on the next big thing! Just like products, campaigns also have a life cycle.

The Mike and Ike campaign is not the only successful re-branding story that utilized the power of an integrated digital and social  strategy. If you have any others we would love to hear them!

Defining Luxury Branded Real Estate

When Peter and I went to Dubai to speak to international developers at Cityscape in 2007, I had the pleasure of touring the Baccarat residences. I was impressed with the level of detail and how its designers had successfully integrated the brand’s products throughout this property thereby reinforcing the brand dynamic.

Baccarat Residence Paris

Branded real estate today leverages well-respected luxury brands and turns properties into destinations. Some industry insiders see “Retail Branded” properties as the next big thing, and project that they could become the norm as demand for high standards of design, amenities and service increase among consumers in the luxury market. These global endorsements of high-end brands for a certain echelon of hospitality and residential real estate have been licensed by several familiar brands including: Virgin, Versace, Bulgari, Baccarat and Armani.

Globally as real estate development costs are ever increasing in prime markets, research is showing that developers can ensure success and improve their profitability by strategically aligning with these high end brands, offering fully-serviced designer luxury hotels and residences that are appealing to ultra high net worth consumers. The trend began as a way to add more of a mark on a property.

While creating upscale branded properties has been going on for generations with names like Biarritz, San Remo, and Dakota, there has been an evolution of luxury branded properties over the last decade. It began as residential developments chose to link to trusted high end hotel brands like The Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons and St. Regis. More recently, as a billionaire class of UHNW has emerged developers continue to seek ways to elevate the perception of their product to attract this audience.

Developers with properties in A+ locations, with outstanding views need not pursue licensing agreements with luxury retail brands. Yet, properties in B locations are apparently able to achieve similar success and price points when the property is associated with a respected luxury retail brand. In fact, such properties can become the anchor to new upscale neighborhoods.

Armani Casa Deck at 20 Pine

Developers also continue to bring in top architects and designers to add to the cache of new developments with celebrity architects like Frank Gehry, Richard Meier, Herzog & de Meuron, Robert Stern and Philippe Starck, Cesar Pelli, Enrique Norton (who became luxury brands in their own right).

Branded properties around the world are being valued around at 30% to 300% more valuable than other competitive real estate when they are attached to one of these high-end name brands. What analysts and reporters are saying, the reason these branded properties are so successful is the sense of innovation, high end services, impeccable design and the “trust” associated with buying into a designer brand meaning you’ll have a higher quality and sexier product. What consumers also feel is that they are buying into a community, going beyond the bells and whistles, decor and eccentric public areas, buyers feel as those they are part of other like minded contemporaries when buying into a certain style or aesthetic, that they are in a ‘club’.

People purchasing these premium properties, are walking into the buying experience with the same level of expectations they would have walking into a designer shop on 5th Avenue. The expect a higher level of service, a very distinct style and user experience. This translates to how they are shopping for these residences attached to their beloved designer brands.

Mercedes House NYC

So how did this pan out for the 20 Pine/Armani Casa and the Mercedes House, two designer properties here in NYC?

The 20 Pine/Armani Casa condominiums was one of the few instances we found where this was not as successful a pairing as it was in other countries as it came to the market as the real estate bubble of 2007 burst. However, today six years later, the property holds a greater appeal than many downtown properties and has been on solid footing with increasing property values. It continues to out perform the lower Manhattan market as a whole.

More recently, The Mercedes House a new rental on the far west side appeals to young professionals who want great amenities and are aspiring to a higher quality of life. This property, developed by of Two Trees Management Company, was able to leverage the Mercedes car dealership at its base. The property is commanding higher prices and greater interest than other neighboring new buildings by venerable apartment developer Archstone.

Does the concept of excess and blatant affiliation work favorably for high profile buyers today - after all of the Wall Street’s bad publicity? A year ago, I would have said no, but the period of remaining low profile and more humble seems to be over. Glamour is back and it looks like trends are moving back towards interest in these high level brands again with the introduction of the Baccarrat residences here in New York off 5th Avenue. Based on global performance, it is pretty clear that this trend will continue to move forward and we’ll be seeing a lot more of these kinds of pairings in the NYC, the US and around the world in real estate development industry in the near future.

To reach Bob Posner,  to discuss your company’s marketing needs, please call 212-867-3900 ext 302 or email [email protected]

Are you Missing out on Potential Customers?

Unlike a retail setting where you know customers have found you the minute they walk in the door, online customers can be searching for the products you offer 24/7 without you even knowing.

Every day consumers turn to the internet to research products and services.  As customers search online, businesses often miss out on the chance to engage potential customers because of missing elements on their company website. Read the rest of this entry »

B2B or B2C - 7 Reasons to Consider Social Media

Having a social media presence is no longer an option for most businesses. In today’s online environment, having a social media presence is as important as having a website. Savvy customers will look your business up not just on a general internet search but also on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook to see how often you update your pages and how responsive you are to customer comments and questions.

Although, social media is generally thought to be a business-to-consumer marketing channel, there is growing evidence that social media benefits B2B. A Hubspot 2010 State of Inbound Marketing Lead Generation Report states that B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those who do not. In a BtoB 2012 B2B Social Media Marketing Report, B2B marketers were asked to choose the most important method used for their social media efforts. LinkedIn was chosen by 30% of respondents, followed by   Facebook (20%), blogging (19%), Twitter (16%) and YouTube (8%). Read the rest of this entry »

7 Elements of Viral Videos

In the last post, we focused on how online video advertisements enhance brand awareness, increase customer engagement and ad performance.  Whether you want your next ad to be like the Kia Soul Hamster or the T-Mobile Angry Birds Live, the power of viral videos is undisputed.

By definition, viral videos are videos that become popular through sharing on the internet through social media sites, video sharing sites and e-mail.  The appeal of creating a viral video is the possibility of having thousands of people talking about and sharing a video about your brand.

By the end of 2011, the Visible Measures 2011 Social Advertising report stated consumers had chosen to watch video ads over 5.6 billion times.  The same report stats 1 in 12 campaigns drove over one million views in 2011, 40 campaigns totaled over 10 million views and the average campaign generated 765,000 views. In 2009, the average view for a video ad campaign was approximately 460,000.   Read the rest of this entry »

Enhance Your Brand with Video Ads

The world of digital marketing continues to evolve and the internet has become just as important as print and television to advertisers. According to Nielsen, in 2011 over 274 million Americans have internet access, doubling the number of Americans with access in 2000. That number will keep growing as record sales of tablets and smartphones are on tap for 2012.

Once the star of online advertising, banner ads are losing their allure to more entertaining and engaging video ads.  Early on, static banners gave advertisers the chance to reach new customers and provided the ability to easily track web visits back to the ad source.  Banner ads were the staple and trusted choice for online advertising.   Things have changed. Read the rest of this entry »

Creating Cohesive Traditional & Digital Marketing Campaigns

A recent study by the CMO Council revealed that only 9% of senior-level marketers believe traditional ad agencies are excelling at extending digital services to their clients. Although some may find this study discouraging, the study reveals an incredible opportunity for ad agencies to improve communication with their clients on the services offered.

The survey also revealed aggravations marketers have with their ad agencies. The number one grievance cited by marketers in the study was that ad agencies often lack knowledge or understanding of their business.  Understanding a client’s business is an area that Posner Advertising excels in. Since 1959, we have provided creative solutions for healthcare, hospitality, real estate, retail and luxury markets. As mentioned in a previous blog post, Peter Posner stated “We take pride in serving these markets and continue to find and implement new ways to assist and educate our clients.”

As an ad agency we marry together digital and traditional marketing efforts to save  Read the rest of this entry »

Tips for Providing Exceptional Customer Care Online

Providing customers with an exceptional customer experience is essential for luxury brands.  From the way staff greets customers to all of the efforts made to ensure every customer experience is outstanding, luxury brands have mastered delivering customer care that goes above and beyond. To date, only a handful of brands have figured out how to deliver this same level of care online.

A few of the ways your brand can deliver outstanding care online are highlighted below:

Listen to Online Conversations
Brands that have yet to fully embrace social media and digital marketing should at a very minimum start monitoring online brand conversations. Regularly search your brand online and use Google alerts to monitor conversations.  Use Twitter search or free tools such as Twendz to monitor how people are responding to your brand. You should also monitor blogs discussing your brand. Both Technorati and Google Blog search tools are good tools to use for monitoring any brand discussions happening in the blogosphere.

Create Memorable Customer Experiences Online
Most businesses have a strategy in place for providing exceptional customer experiences. This same focus needs to be delivered online. Brands can enhance customer experiences by providing interesting lifestyle content, sharing employee stories, inviting customers to share their own stories and sharing videos and photos that cater to the unique interests of your customers. Read the rest of this entry »

Top 5 Reasons to Advertise in Print Media

Think print is dead? Think again. Find out the top five reasons why print beats online advertising any day.

3 Facebook Questions for our President

Michelle McCormack from Boston, MA asked:
“How do you decide within the agency who does the actual engaging in social media? Do you have a content strategy? Is there one voice determining the message and execution? Is the message decided by committee and then one voice execution?”

Those are excellent questions, Michelle. Posner Advertising has been around for over two decades, specializing in traditional and new media marketing for the real estate, healthcare, hospitality and luxury market. We take pride in serving these markets and continue to find and implement new ways to assist and educate our clients.

When our agency hires a manager to look after our social media presence, we look for a person who is knowledgeable about the aforementioned markets. Our social media manager must also be organized, have superior common sense, be able to communicate with a professional, authentic and ethical point of view and most importantly, he or she must possess good listening skills – because as much as we want to be “social,” our priority is in finding out what our clients’ needs are.

Additionally, we strive to create an informative and empowering marketing platform for our potential and existing clients.  Therefore, even though our agency’s voice may appear to be very focused and singular, it is in fact a grouping of shared ideas from many of our top marketing executives. Read the rest of this entry »