Archive | November 2011

Integrating the Online and Offline Communities


Dell opens a pop-up gallery in New York

A fortnight ago we were talking in our Friday brainstorm about how Sony’s ambition should be to become an enabler to make.believe projects. They should open up their products and services to the creative community for them to play and create – in line with the collaborative consumption trend they could allow their products to be rented by a creative community within a locale. Dell are streets ahead and have opened up a pop up gallery on the lower east side for New York artists to showcase their ideas and be able to use Dell products to create new work. If they successfully build a community then perhaps this will become a more permanent space.

Join Whole Foods for a Twitter Wine Tasting

Whole Foods are using their Twitter feed to bring people together for a shared wine tasting event. Friends and family can take part at home and follow the tasting TweetChat on the 17th November to share their experiences.  This is a great idea for activating an online social community to share in a physical world experience and a great way to drive to purchase.

Zuckerberg Talks about Steve Jobs, IPOs and Google’s “Little Version of Facebook”

An interesting article documenting an interview with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Highlights include how he considers Facebook in relation to Google, Apple and Amazon. Despite the interviewer pushing the idea of a “flat out war” between the companies, Zuckerberg says that whilst there is some competition, he doesn’t think one company will “win all the stuff” – Facebook is a sharing platform for these companies products.

Google+ Pages and Google+ for Business

Earlier this week Google+ launched their brand pages which appear similar to Facebook. However, there are some significant differences – real face-to-face conversations with “hangouts”, consumers being able to recommend brands in Google searches and ad’s using the +1 button. Whilst it’s only been a few days, some big brands who focus highly on social media, such as Burberry, Pepsi and Cadburys, have already set up quite impressive pages.


New services

A new bank for 18-30 year olds

OCBC bank in Singapore have launched a new brand specifically for the youth audience. Frank by OCBC have tailored their services and products to this young age group with bank cards that can be customised with personal colours and images, bank accounts that have a management system that lets customers separate savings from their expenses and branches that resemble music stores. Engaging the next generation with the importance of savings and building trust in the financial institutions will be a key objective for banks in Europe – I’m not sure branches that resemble music stores is the answer though.



QR Code Art

Even QR codes are undergoing a creative transformation this week, with creative agency JESS3 transforming the bland black pixels into a work of art. Whilst these do look good on their own, the bigger benefit to brands is being able to fit QR codes into their content and advertising without it being such an eyesore.


B2B marketing trends

Groupon, LinkedIn & The Blurring of B2C and B2B Marketing

Traditionally B2C marketing has always produced higher website traffic than B2B but in recent years this has equalled out. Business buyers are spending more time researching vendors prior to contacting them, mirroring consumer behaviour and B2B companies are utilising their online channels to a better extend to drive traffic to website. Interestingly this writer suggests that more businesses like Groupon, LinkedIn and Facebook cater to the individual as well as businesses. This overlap allows these sites to take a hybrid approach offering free services for consumers, but additional paid-for services for businesses. As the consumer base increases, there are increasing opportunities for up-sell if the overlap between consumers and businesses is high. Will digital communities lead to a blur in B2B and B2C communities?



The brands that survive will be the brands that make life better

Making life better doesn’t mean saving humanity, it means making life better for the individual – does a brand make you fitter, wiser, smarter, closer? That’s what consumers are interested in according to research carried out across 50,000 consumers. The survey found that consumers think only 20% of brands they interact with have a positive impact on their lives, and 70% could disappear without them even noticing.

Garner identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2012

It is essential we keep up to date with the latest technologies as these often pave the way for future trends. This study found that that Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2012 were:

  • Media tablets
  • Mobile-centric applications and interfaces
  • Contextual and social user experience
  • Internet of things
  • App stores and marketplaces
  • Next-generation analytics
  • Big data
  • In-memory computing
  • Extreme low-energy servers
  • Cloud Computing



Social Media in Sport and Spoken Arts in Banking


Manchester United to unveil global social strategy

The football club have appointed SapientoNitro as its global digital agency, identifying a target of more than 500m fans. The aim is to drive engagement with the clubs fans and tap into Asian markets. Being a football club supporter is inherently a social experience so it will be interesting to see if Manchester United use the Facebook community simply as a marketing platform or whether they look to engage these passionate fans at a deeper level.

Arsenal “Build a Banner” Facebook app

Arsenal are also developing their digital social strategy with a new crowdsourcing concept. The fairly simple idea allows fans to create banners, showing their love for the club and celebrate their 125th anniversary. Once the banners are created, people can vote for their favourites and the winners will be bought to life in 2012. This is a great example of bridging the gap between the online and physical worlds.

Mexican Clubs Replace Players’ Names with Twitter Handles on Shirts

Mexican Premira Division side Jaguares are encouraging their players to engage with fans and have replaced the player’s names on their shirts with their Twitter usernames. Whilst this is a great way for fans to be brought closer to their idols, it is taking a large risk. Many sports stars have already found themselves in hot water over Twitter rants, such as Rugby star Fuimaono-Sapolu who has had several outbursts, including likening a match schedule to the holocaust, and is now facing a 6 month ban.

Global Approach Key for Budwiser

The beer brand who market their product as the “American Dream in a bottle” are setting their sights on the rest of the world, with the aim of reaching consumers through sport. They recently renewed their sponsorship of the FIFA World Cup and said “Essentially you bring together the world’s number one global brand with the world’s largest sport, which is soccer”. What does this mean for Heineken and Carling?


Consumer Revolution

First Direct Dialogue

First Direct are positioning themselves as the bank famous for their service and for having great conversations with their customers. Obviously talking about banking isn’t very engaging for your average Joe Blogs so First Direct are hosting a 4 day Dialogue Festival featuring an array of speakers including poets, comics and storytellers, with the aim of exploring why in an increasingly digital world, human chatter matters. This event is a one-off and so perhaps First Direct will be looking for a long term sponsorship to align themselves with spoken word…. Poems when you are put on hold for ages springs to mind…

Brand Loyalty Eroding as Consumers Economic Pressures Increase

ComScore have been quantifying the impact of consumer’s declining spending power on brand choice since 2008. They have just updated the 2011 report and it is not good news for brands. In 2008 54% of consumers said they bought the brands they wanted, compared to 43% this year. 38% said they were buying offers compared to 33% in 2008 and 19% are switching to private labels now, compared to just 14% in 2008. However, these brands are realising that digital advertising is an effective way to drive top-line growth, with IAB reporting a huge 23% increase in online advertising, well ahead of the 3% average growth for all measured media.



Augmented reality gaming

Think running is boring? How about if you were being chased by Zombies? A new AR mobile game is being released that challenges users to re-build civilisation after a zombie apocalypse by completing location specific task whilst running in the real world. We’ve been changing attitudes to being green energy with EnergyShare and changing attitudes to volunteering with Rockcorps, perhaps we should look into changing attitudes to fitness?

Nokia trials free Wifi in London

With their deteriorating leadership in the mobile market, it was only time before Nokia had to do something innovative ahead of their competitors. They announced this week that they would be trialling free Wifi in London, with 26 hotspots around the Oxford Street area, to fill the much need space between 3G and home internet. However, the Wifi will accept any device, including tablets and laptops, so are the mobile giant building their own brand or just giving their competitors, with more diverse product ranges, a leg up?