Category Archives: viral campaigns

Brands and Social Media: Avoiding the Usual Blunders

By James D. Roumeliotis

Image result for brands and social media

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine


Branding should be the set of expectations and relationships, that as a sum, are on a consumer’s top of mind, which in turn choose one product or service over another. Therefore, to be clear, contrary to misleading beliefs, a brand is not merely the recognition of a logo, design or packaging.

Social media is, on the other hand, defined as “web-based communication tools that enable people to interact with each other by both sharing and consuming information.” In this digital age and with a plethora of wireless devices, businesses ought to be present online and interacting with its intended audience — if it is to build its brand, as well as grow its crowd of loyalists.

When the brand utilizes social media strategically and wisely, the results will yield a tremendous amount of sharing and community involvement. This requires a coordinated marketing effort on behalf of the brand which is intended to bolster information and sentiments about the product or service through at least one social media platform such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Most importantly, social media postings and campaigns should be well focused, have measurable outcomes and are directed at influencing their targeted audience to act and/or feel in a specific way.

Legacy brands vs Newcomer brands

Legacy brands such as in Mercedes, Gillette, Pepsi, Marriot have their disruptive “Newcomer” brands which compete in the same category such Tesla, Harry’s, Red Bull and Airbnb (among others) respectively.

Brand equity erosion is hitting the traditional as today’s consumers, especially the younger demographic such as the Millennials, are seeking practicality and functionality along with companies which share their values, offer some form of advocacy and interact genuinely with them.

Legacy brands communicate with consumers through traditional media, whereas the Newcomer and agile brands are more often discovered via social media and direct word of mouth. That is where most of their target audience spend their time and interact these days. This will most certainly remain that way for some time.

Purchase brands and digital brands

According to branding expert, Mark Bonchek, with some exceptions, the “Traditional brands are ‘Purchase’ brands and Digita’ brands are ‘usage’ brands.”  In his B2C study and article in “Branding Strategy Insider”, Mark states that “Purchase brands focus on the “moments of truth” that happen before the transaction, such as researching, shopping, and buying the product. By contrast, usage brands focus on the moments of truth that happen after the transaction, whether in delivery, service, education, or sharing.” He further states, “The benefits of shifting from purchase to usage are reinforced by our research. Survey respondents show more loyalty to usage brands. They had stronger advocacy in the form of spontaneous recommendations to others. And they showed a higher preference for usage brands over competitors, not just in making the purchase but in a willingness to pay a premium in price. On average, the usage brands were willing to pay a 7% premium, were 8% less likely to switch, and were more than twice as likely to make a spontaneous recommendation of the brand.”

Brands do not mean much unless the company serves a larger, holistic purpose for the environment, health, and other societal issues important to consumers. Thus, as a behemoth food processor in the age of healthier consumer offerings, Kraft-Heinz and many other such food giants will remain in strife, unless they change their ways in a timely manner.

The takeaway

Contemporary marketers are effective due to their evolving tactics which keep pace with societal and consumer changing demands. Newcomer brands and established ones, which are agile and savvy to progress, do not offer fluff in order to create value. They have the foresight and insight to know what to offer in terms of a product or service with value-add and how to best communicate it. This includes an effective narrative and a lifestyle around their offerings. In other words, more than just an appliance and/or a facility. Digital marketing is where all the marketing action lies at this day and age. Legacy brands, please take note. Either you focus on traditional marketing and branding tactics, whose effectiveness is dissipating, or evolve into a digital brand by switching your positioning on the lives of your customers.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine


Request your TWO FREE chapters of this popular book with no obligation.

EntrepreneurialEssentials - FrontCover Final

Leave a comment

Filed under 1, Branding, Business, small business branding, social media, total customer experience, viral campaigns

Giftvertising — a Brilliant Trend and Unconventional Marketing Tactic

by James D. Roumeliotis

WestJet's Christmas Miracle 2013 - Hamilton Airport, Ontario, Canada

WestJet’s Christmas Miracle 2013 – Hamilton Airport, Ontario, Canada

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Sadly, every day we are inundated with a slew of advertising messages almost everywhere we turn. There seems no escape.

A new study of media usage and ad exposure by Media Dynamics, Inc. reveals that a typical adult’s daily media consumption has grown from 5.2 hours in 1945 to 9.8 hours (or 590 minutes) currently.

Companies that wish to cut through the advertising clutter and stand-out are constantly utilizing unconventional and bold tactics through creative and methodical strategies. Through Giftvertising ‒ or gift giving captured on a video for advertising purposes, a brand develops memorable organized events with elements of surprise, while concurrently filming the reactions. The filmed message conveyed is one of generosity and caring to enhance customer perception.

Guerrilla marketing in video format

“Guerrilla” Marketing, a term was coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his 1984 with his initial book entitled ‘Guerrilla Advertising’, is regarded as a bold, unconventional and low budget marketing/advertising strategy with effective results. In marketing, the element of surprise is a crucial method in breaking through a plethora of traditional advertising media. ‘Giftvertising’, an advertising trend, where marketers surprise their customers with free gifts, is akin to “Guerrilla” advertising in an online video format. Its aim is to create a highly entertaining and emotional bond with its customers and viewers. Furthermore, the scene filmed on video is anticipated to create buzz thus go viral on social media.

The advertising industry is constantly under pressure, by its demanding accounts, to create elaborate experiences for their targeted audiences. Ingenious campaigns are expected to break through the clutter, whilst differentiating a brand and improving its image which elevates its perception as trendy and customer driven. To be noticeably effective, the campaign required a public relations strategy approach, as well as be distinguished as authentic and purposeful by its viewing audience if it is to go viral.

Within the last few years, several brands experimented by launching their share of emotional based Giftvertising videos including WestJet Airlines which started it all with its “WestJet Christmas Miracle” − followed by others including TD Bank with its “Automated Thanking Machine”, Air Canada’s “Gift of Home for the Holidays” and MasterCard’s “Priceless Surprises.”

Case Study: WestJet

If there is a contemporary brand which inspired other Giftvertising campaigns which followed, it is none other than Canadian carrier WestJet Airlines Ltd. In December 2013, in time for the Christmas holiday season, it became one of the most watched viral videos over the Internet with over 40 million YouTube views (and counting). Additionally, it received numerous press mentions around the world. Consequently, other companies launched their own videos yearning similar results.

A year later in 2014, WestJet put out another remarkable Christmas video. This time it was set in the Dominican Republic. However, it did not reward its customers but instead it gave back to a small town in that country the airline flies to. Both videos average 5’30” each – an ideal amount of time to communicate the occasion without getting carried away.

Not surprisingly, both Giftvertising campaigns had a positive impact. They dramatically increased WestJet’s website visits along with bookings compared to the same month the previous years. All told, the company’s revenue soared by more than 80%.

All things considered

It takes unconventional marketing wisdom with bold tactics, along with a demonstration of genuine admiration and care for the customer, to produce emotional and memorable occasions including utter joy displayed by company employees. All this can have a profound effect on the millions of viewers. If it succeeds in its intended purpose, the publicity it generates on social media will be well worth the investment.

Giftvertising, undoubtedly, establishes a strong emotional bond between the brand and its customers just as it conveys a strong emotional impression boosting its positive image of a company one should certainly consider doing business with.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine


Request your TWO FREE chapters of this popular book with no obligation.

Leave a comment

Filed under Giftvertising, marketing strategy, public relations, publicity, viral campaigns