Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Old Spice - The Man Your Man could smell like has left the Stage

It's true. Isaiah Mustafa is off to his next gig. The iconic hunk synonymous with Old Spice has left the brand. In his wake is a case study of how a partnership between a traditional CPG company (P&G), a brilliant creative team (W&K) and a talented actor (Isaiah Mustafa) revitalized a 71 year old brand.

Overnight the brand became a viral hit, making it the darling of the media and a commercial success. Previously known as "the deodorant my grandfather used", the relaunching of the brand was achieved by an overhaul of the brand strategy and the courage to break new ground. The team kept true to the brand’s core values - genuine, honest, sincere, authentic and masculine but re-staged them in a way that was relevant to a much younger audience.

They ditched the whistling sailor and girl in every port but kept the rugged, sexy guy and the jingle. What was brilliant about the new campaign was the way it appealed to women as much as it did to men (I want my man to look and smell like Mustafa). And with the clever use of humour, the character was aspirational and accessible to a target group looking for heroes and ways to build self-confidence.

A well executed marketing strategy was also key to the brand’s success – from the launch of the “The man your man could smell like” ad at Superbowl to the real time social media tactics that kept the brand top of mind and engaged with a wide consumer and media base.

So who will replace Mustafa? A familiar face from the big hair and diso days – Fabio. The casting for Mustafa’s successor must have been a nightmare – the same nightmare the producers of the James Bond movies must have gone through in replacing the iconic Sean Connery. Yet the Bond franchise, through some trial and error, has successfully built its fan base and stayed relevant.

It will be interesting to see if Fabio will resonate (or not) with the Old Spice fan base.
What do you think?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Starbucks Evolution from a U.S. to Global Company

Normally I focus my articles on marketing ideas and case studies but today's post is a little different. I'm a big fan of Starbucks, not only because it's such an iconic and successful brand but because I have a personal interest (ok, I did spend 12+ years of my life contributing to its success around the world in various brand & marketing leadership roles). Oh and I do have a little stock - full disclosure :)

So what are they up to and why am I excited?

Starbucks announced a number of strategic changes this week that will continue to position the company for strong growth. All of these, in my opinion, are really smart changes.

The most important change is in the underpinnings of the company– a leadership restructuring that signals the move from Starbucks operating as a U.S. company doing business internationally, to Starbucks becoming a truly global company. This is good news for the brand and business.

The company will be divided into 3 regions – The Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific/China. This is a big shift from the prior model which was split in two - a U.S. Division and the rest of the world under SCI (Starbucks Coffee International) . Leading each of the new divisions are familiar faces:
  • The Americas: Cliff Burrows (President U.S. and former President UK - a dynamic operations leader, motivating leader and storyteller)
  • EMEA: Michelle Gass (President Seattle's Best and former head of marketing/category as well as global strategy - super smart, long time trusted leader and confidante of H. Schultz who grew up in Starbucks - also has an engineering background and P&G pedigree)
  • APAC: John Culver (President SCI, former head of Food Service - smart business leader, highly personable and great team leader)
These changes will help Starbucks build global consistency while balancing local relevance. The new structure will also bring more focus and improve the leadership's ability to leverage regional opportunities.

In addition, the structural changes include additional responsibilities for Annie Young-Scrivner, CMO. She has a CPG background (PepsiCo) and loads of international experience and while fairly new to Starbucks ( Sept 2009) has made impact. Annie will now take on the leadership of Tazo Tea. Since Starbucks acquired Tazo in 1999, this little gem of a brand has been under-leveraged so it will be interesting to see what innovation comes out of the tea business with Annie at the helm.

The other change is the addition of Seattle's Best Coffee to Jeff Hansberry's portfolio which currently includes CPG and Food Service. While I don't know much about Jeff, I hear positive things from ex-colleagues who work in his group. He's also a relative newcomer to Starbucks joining the company in June 2010.

All in all, smart and strategic changes that will see the continued success of Starbucks, a brand that is barely tapping it's opportunitites in the rest of the world.

I'm excited! What are your thoughts?

Monday, June 20, 2011

5 case studies that show how to drive traffic and sales from your Facebook Fan base

Last week I featured a post from Wildfire's blog with tips on how to create great ads on Facebook. This week I'm featuring five case studies that Wildfire has put together on how to leverage your Facebook Fan base to drive traffic and sales using Wildfire's platform.

Tip #1: Turn your coupons into a game!
Online ‘private’ retailer Hautelook ran a coupon campaign with us but instead of just offering up a coupon they made it much more fun by creating an ‘instant win’ coupon game. After becoming a fan of the Hautelook Facebook Fan Page entrants were presented with a coupon but the value of each coupon was a surprise and ranged from 10% to 20%, and some had free shipping. The results were great! Not only did Hautelook generate thousands of new fans they also generated tens of thousands of sales in just one day. In fact, they generated a return on investment of more than 5x and over 20% of purchasers were first time Hautelook customers. ThePost Options great thing about this campaign is that it turned something standard like a coupon into something fun and exciting like a game.

Tip #2: Drive People into your Store via a Giveaway
Giveaways are a great way to engage people and generate word of mouth, but by offering a giveaway that must be picked up in store it can also be a great way to drive purchases. Digital Surgeons, a digital marketing agency, used Wildfire to run a giveaway for their client Edible Arrangements. After becoming a Facebook Fan of Edible Arrangements entrants received a voucher for free chocolate dipped strawberries. But to redeem the coupon fans had to visit an Edible Arrangements store – thus providing a fantastic opportunity for local Edible Arrangements franchisees to promote their store to a slew of new customers. This campaign was a wild success for Edible Arrangements – not only did it generate 170,000 new fans but it also resulted in a double-digit increase in sales from the year prior.

Tip #3: Drive visitors to your online store via a creative sweepstakes
Zappos ran a unique sweepstakes with Wildfire where they promised users the chance to win a $500 voucher for use at Zappos, but only after entrants visited the online store and put together a list of the items that they would purchase with the winning money, if it were theirs. This was a powerful way to encourage thousands of people to not only visit the Zappos site but to also create a list of their favorite items on Zappos, which, in turn, encouraged many consumers to buy.

Tip #4: Create lucky coupons to draw users into your store
Jamba Juice launched a campaign called “Feel Good Bucks” that used Wildfire’s unique coupon code generation functionality in a very interesting way. They gave out ‘lucky’ coupons via our Facebook Connect Product and Facebook Fan Page Product that could be redeemed at Jamba Juice stores. When consumers redeemed the coupons they either received $1 off their purchase or they had the opportunity to win one of many thousands of instant prizes, including cash prizes of $10,000! To make Jamba’s campaign even more fun and social, they combined it with Wildfire’s Virtual Gifting solution so users could send Jamba Bucks to their friends in the form of fun, Jamba-branded virtual gifts like smoothies, bucks, and cartoons. By combining the utility of a coupon with the anticipation of an instant win and the social channels of Facebook, Jamba was able to generate huge interest in their campaign and drive tens of thousands of consumers to purchase at their stores.

Tip #5: Use a sweepstakes to drive people to your coupon
In celebration of its one millionth Facebook Fan, Duck Tape launched a Wildfire sweepstakes, giving 100 lucky winners a Duck Tape prize package. But to sweeten the deal for every entrant in the sweepstakes, they also put up a coupon for $1 off a roll of Duck Tape, which was available for claim to anybody completing their submission into the sweepstakes. Sweepstakes are not only a great way to encourage users to interact with your fanpage and website but they’re also a powerful way to drive people to your coupon or online shopping cart so it’s certainly worth considering the combination of a sweepstakes with a coupon.

Monday, June 13, 2011

18 Super Easy & Effective Tips on using Facebook ads to grow your fan base

My thanks to Wildfire, the Palo Alto based social media platform company. This blog post was SO good and comprehensive, I thought I would share. As always, test a whole collection of ads, use different images, different copy, different headlines—then within one day or so, see which ones are winners. Pause all the ones that are stagnant and put the budget back into the winners.

Unless you have a large existing fan base or newsletter base, the best way to grow your fans is via Facebook Ads coupled with a promotion (e.g. contest or coupon). In fact, the #1 way that Facebook users find out about fan pages is via Facebook advertising so it is extremely important to your overall social media success that you know how to run Facebook ads effectively. Simple things like the image you choose or the title you use can make the difference between success and failure when it comes to advertising. We’ve compiled a list of practical, easy-to-implement and highly effective tips to help you maximize the performance of your Facebook ads.

What Images Should You Use?

Tip #1: Ads with people, and especially close ups of faces and eyes tend to get a higher click through rate. In other words, give your ad a human touch!

Tip #2: However, don’t use an image of a person if this doesn’t fit with what you’re promoting – ads with an image that’s relevant to your advertisement tend to be most successful.

Tip #3: It’s best to upload horizontal (landscape) images to ensure you’re maximizing the space available, which is 110×80 pixels

Tip #4: Include branding in your image. Only a tiny percentage of people exposed to your ad will actually click on it but lots will see it so it’s important that you maximize your branding. The great thing is that you can opt to ‘pay-per-click’ for your Facebook advertising so if someone learns about your brand by looking at your ad but doesn’t click, you just got brand exposure for free!

Tip #5: Scale your image as large as possible. Meaning, zoom into your image so that it extends as close to the edge on all 4 sides as possible without losing the sharpness of the image. For example, an image that contains one close up of a face will be more appealing than one that contains full body shots of multiple people, all of whom will appear so small in the photo that you wont be able to see any details.

Tip #6: Another trick you can try after your image has been created is take a large step away from your monitor and see if you can still make out what the image is from far away—if you can’t tell, the image isn’t as clear as it could be for a good ad.

Tip #7: Eliminate unnecessary surroundings around your main image, either by giving it a transparent background or a white one. You don’t want to distract people from what you want them to notice.

Tip #8: Use colors in your image that contrast with Facebook’s shades of blue— they command more attention and stand out from the rest of the website.

Tip #9: Be creative! You want your ad to stand out from the millions of other ads your audience is exposed to every day.

What Title Should You Use?

Tip #10: Ask questions. People who read questions to themselves are often sub-consciously answering them also. If your question is compelling enough, they will want to click through to see the answer.

Tip #11: Limit titles to one line.

Tip #12: Try titles that will elicit some kind of reaction from your audience, like making them laugh.

What Text Body Should I Use?

Tip #13: Be clear with your message – what are you offering and why should a user care?

Tip #14: Give a compelling reason to click: access to promotions (deals, coupons, sweepstakes, contests, giveaways) is the number one reason people become fans.

Tip #15: If you’re targeting users based on certain “Likes & Interests” or demographic information, tie that information into your copy. For example, an ad targeting users living in Palo Alto, CA, can fare better if the words “Palo Alto” or “Bay Area” were in the copy, making the ad appear more relevant to the viewer seeing it.

Tip #16: Ask people to like your brand— telling your audience exactly what you want them to do is a surprisingly effective methods of getting users to do what you requested. For example, “Fall is here and so is our seasonal pumpkin cupcake. Click ‘like’ if you think this sounds delicious!”

Tip #17: Don’t forget a call-to-action! Try messages like “Click here!” or “Enter now!” to let users know exactly what they’re supposed to do within the interaction.

Tip #18: Try not to sound like a large corporation in your body message. Speak to your audience like people.

Monday, June 6, 2011

How a 404 error can actually build your brand (and keep customers)

How often has this happened to you? You are trying to get some needed information on a website and whammo.....401 Error NOT FOUND pops up to your dismay.

Getting a 404 error (server not found) on a website or while trying to subscribe to an online newsletter can be a frustrating experience for the end user and leave a poor impression of your business. 400 or 500 errors are caused by broken links when a page is moved or deleted.

OK - stuff happens and you don't usually catch a broken link until it's brought to your attention. In the meantime, you have spent time and resources to drive people to your website and you are frustrating and potentially losing these visitors.

So what to do? Having a great 404 error page is as important as creating great content and can engage visitors while redirecting folks back to your homepage. It's a good way to create a second chance and reinforce your brand voice.

Here are some great examples of messages to get your inspired. Feel free to share your favorites!

CSS Tricks



Acorn Creative